Explore the covered arcades of Paris during your stay in the capital
Enjoy an original experience of Paris from your hotel near the Grands Boulevards as you explore the covered arcades and galleries of the capital.
Did you know that the covered arcades of Paris were built in the 19th century, mainly on the right bank of the Seine? Back then they were the city’s main shopping centres. The transformation of the capital under Haussmann and the advent of the great department stores played a major role in their decline, but some arcades near your Paris hotel have survived. Take advantage of your stay in Paris to visit them!
A cultural journey through the covered arcades of Paris
Only 20 of the original 150 covered arcades found in Paris in 1850 remain open to this day. Most of these arcades can still be visited, with the exception of the Ben Aïad arcade, which is now closed to the public.
Their unique architecture consisted of a passageway between two buildings, covered by a glass ceiling. They enabled passers-by to stroll from one shop to another, sheltered from the elements, while still enjoying plenty of natural light thanks to the original covering.
The best-known examples include:
- The Madeleine gallery on place Madeleine. Open from Monday to Saturday, from 8 am to 7 pm;
- The Verdeau arcade, in the Grands Boulevards district, marks the extension of the Panoramas and Jouffroy arcades. From Monday to Friday (7 : 30 am to 8 :30 pm)
- The Choiseul arcade, in the 2nd arrondissement, is open from Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm. It’s also home to the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiennes ;
- The Brady arcade, also known as Little Brady, has one covered passageway and another that’s open. Little Brady invites you on a foodie journey around the world, with several Indian, Mauritian and Pakistani restaurants, amongst others.
The covered arcades are a unique chance to see Paris in a new light and discover its architectural treasures away from the familiar tourist sights. An original experience, full of surprises!
Suggested itinerary from your Paris hotel
You can easily get to most of the covered arcades from the Provinces Opéra Hotel. We’ll give you a suggested itinerary from the hotel door. Start off with the Panoramas arcade at 11 Boulevard Montmartre (barely 10 minutes’ walk from your hotel). This was in fact the first covered arcade in the capital, built in 1799. Its authentic décor is stunning, and the arcade boasts a number of art shops.
Step out into rue Vivienne, and at number 6, take chemin de la galerie Vivienne. This is one of the most upmarket of them all, including a Jean-Paul Gaultier boutique. Finally, take rue des Petits-Champs to end your walk in the beautiful and unique Colbert arcade. This arcade belongs to the Bibliothèque Nationale, and is full not of shops but institutes, such as the National Heritage Institute).
So it all starts off on the doorstep of your hotel near the Grands Boulevards. On your marks, get set, go!