Paris Travel Planner   Palais Royal Passages, Paris, France
For elegance, visit the passages near the beautiful Palais Royal.

 Galerie Vivienne, Paris
Above, Galerie Vivienne.


The Palais Royal is a lovely building with exquisite gardens, not far from the Louvre and the theater of the Comédie-Française. This area was a vibrant social center in the early 1800s, and a number of passages were built at that time.

To the north of the gardens is the wonderful Galerie Vivienne. This L-shaped passage was built in the 1820s and includes beautiful mosaic floors and artwork on the arcades and shops.

The Vivienne offers several excellent cafés and tea rooms, lovely spots to sit and sip a drink and enjoy the passing visitors. There are also shops focusing on interior decoration, clothing, gifts, and books. Throughout you get a feeling of elegance and taste.

Just next door is the Galerie Colbert, also built in the 1820s. Its architecture focuses on a beautiful rotunda, with a bronze statue of Venus. The galerie that we see today is actually a reproduction of the original, which had fallen into disrepair.

Passage Vero-Dodat, Paris
Ceiling medallion in the Galerie Véro-Dodat.

The Galerie Colbert was never a commercial center like the Vivienne or others, and today it houses the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art (you may need to pass through security to enter). The Grand Colbert Restaurant is still there. This historic restaurant is both a national monument and an active brasserie, with a large menu featuring sea food and other traditional French cuisine.

Just a few blocks further west (toward the Avenue de l'Opéra) is the Passage Choiseul. Although built at the same time as Vivienne and Colbert, it went through a variety of changes over the years, with theaters and other uses. Its interior balcony is unusual and distinguishes it. Today you'll find a variety of restaurants—many of them Asian—as well as shops for brocante (second hand items), shoes, and more.

These three passages are all in the 2nd arrondissement.

To the east of the Palais Royal, in the 1st arrondissement and closer to the Louvre, is the gorgeous Galerie Véro-Dodat. Named for its founders, a butcher named Véro and a businessman named Dodat, it is considered one of the most beautiful and most successful of the passages. Its location was fortuitous, as it provided the best access from the Palais Royal area to the markets of Les Halles.

The decor of the Véro-Dodat is lovely and includes identical shop fronts and beautiful ceilings painted with figures from mythology. Today it has many antique and art dealers, as well as printers and printed materials

Métro: Bourse (for Vivienne, Colbert, and Choiseul); Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre (for Véro-Dodat)
RER: Châtelet-Les Halles

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Galerie Vivienne, Paris

Above, Restaurant in the lovely Galerie Vivienne.

Rotunda, Passage Colbert, Paris

Above, The rotunda of the Passage Colbert.

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