The Secret Passages of Paris

Paris photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

Paris for me is Paris in the 20’s, through a lens of Woody Allen level nostalgia and with A Moveable Feast in mind. Thus it probably comes as no surprise to my readers that I made it a mission on this trip to Paris to uncover the secret passages of Paris, the history behind them, and spend too much time sipping on a cafe au lait with a crunchy pain au chocolat in hand.

The passages are a nostalgic glimpse in the cities’ past, before the days of modern shopping malls and convenience stores, when small boutiques and artisans weren’t just highly prized, they were the norm. There were originally more than 150 of these passageways around Paris in the 18th and late 19th centuries, however most of them were sadly demolished during modernisation and only a handful remain.

The passageways that remain today are more than listed here, but these were my absolute favourite passageways that I wanted to share with you in the hopes that you visit and see Paris through my lens of the golden days!

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Galerie Vivienne

For sure my favourite passageway and I dare say the most glamorous remaining today, Galerie Vivienne is a popular pitstop for locals and their miniature pooches, looking for artisan goods and services in the heart of Paris. Located right by the Palais Royal Theatre, this gallery in the second arrondisement of Paris is an almost perfect display of polished wood, ample natural light and wrought iron.

4 Rue des Petits Champs, 2nd arrondisement

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Passage des Panoramas

With antique signs laced with gold foil and a train restaurant reminiscent of the Hogwarts Express, Passage des Panoramas is a close second favourite for me given its similarities to Diagon Alley (yup, hopelessly devoted fan over here!) This is one of my favourite places in all of Paris for a completely nostalgic kick, and with companions it would be the perfect place to sit and enjoy for hours over a long lunch.

11 Boulevard Montmartre, 2nd arrondisement

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Passage Jouffroy

My third favourite passageway I found in Paris is located in the 9th arrondisement, conveniently located opposite the Passage des Panoramas (although the locations are two separate arrondisements, they are literally on opposite sides of Montmartre Boulevard, facing one another. This Passage offers a cute boutique hotel at the finish line, completely reminiscent of life in Paris during the 1920’s.

10 Boulevard Montmartre Boulevard, 9th arrondisement

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Galerie Vero-Dodat

I stumbled upon Galerie Vero-Dodat by chance, walking around the louvre for a bite to eat. This happens to be one of the quieter passages in Paris, so is great for a photo op with those iconic black and white tiled floors.

19 Galerie Vero-Dodat, 1st arrondisement


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Over to you!

Have you visited more of the secret passages of Paris? Which was your favourite?

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    Girl In Gamba
    June 23, 2017 at 8:03 am

    I studied abroad in Paris maybe two or three years ago, and I don’t think I ever saw any of these passages! Wish I would’ve know about them because they are darling! Maybe next time!

    June 21, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    We stumbled across Galerie Vivienne on our way to Le Grand Colbert. We were a little early for lunch so went for a walk to kill time and found it quite by accident. Truly beautiful……

    Kevin R. Thompson
    June 9, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    Some of my favorites spots in Paris. It’s so exhilarating when you find a new secret passageway to walk through, like you stumble through time. So much fun and such great photos.

    Benjii Silvertongue
    June 3, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Truly a magnificent place, and definitely on my travel list. I love the architecture, and how the city breathes history and culture.

    Ana Inés Cosa Aguirre
    June 1, 2017 at 2:28 am

    I went 5 years ago to Paris and I did not see that place so beautiful.

    Natalie Ann Redman
    May 30, 2017 at 6:32 am

    So pretty!

    May 30, 2017 at 5:07 am

    I was in Paris as a little girl over fifty years ago. I was being home-schooled by my parents and saw many of these architectual beauties. It changed my life.

    May Ann
    May 29, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Beautiful infrastructure in Paris…^_^

    Three Brits
    May 28, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    We have just returned from Paris and tried to go to Pasage Viviene on our morning run, but we were too early and it was shut! Your pictures have made things a little better for us to see how beautiful it is! We are going to have to just make a return trip to Paris to see it ourselves (what a shame haha!!)
    Loving all your pictures of the secret passages they really are so stunning and so typically Parisien!

    May 28, 2017 at 9:02 am

    I absolutely ADORE this post – it’s really like stepping through time in the pictures so I can’t even imagine how magical it would be in person!!!

    May 27, 2017 at 8:40 am

    This is so beautiful, I can’t believe I still haven’t managed to go to Paris to explore. I feel as if I would love it so much!
    Your photography skills are also ACE

    the adventurer
    May 27, 2017 at 4:10 am

    The passages of Paris are so fun to explore =o) Our class did a whole day of walking through several of them and it was always interesting to see where we would walk through and end up =o)

    May 27, 2017 at 3:39 am

    Thank you Brooke for these pictures and your love for Paris. I also recommend
    -passage Verdeau (6 Rue de la Grange Batelière, 75009 Paris) where there are second hand bookshops, and especially two shops that I like very much : Pain d’Epice, a toy shop with wooden toys and miniatures pieces for dool houses, and Bonheur des Dames, a wonderful embroidery shop where you can find the nicest kit for cross stitch.
    -passage du Grand Cerf (place Goldoni, 75002 Paris) which is one of the highest in Paris, and where there are nice shops, especially Lil Weasel, one shop for wool and knitting, and one shop for fabrics and sewing. The wool shop is one of the nicest in Paris. And the area has a lot of nice places to have coffee or meet friends.
    Enjoy Paris !

    Rachael @ Catch Me If You Can
    May 27, 2017 at 3:16 am

    we did the end of our photoshoot in gallerie vivienne and it was so fun! made for some really gorgeous pictures. i love this, hidden paris is the best!!

    May 26, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Awesome picture.Nice blog.Thanks for haring.

    May 26, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    What beautiful reminders of days gone by. Thank you for sharing. I truly enjoyed it.

    Jess Munday
    May 26, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Beautiful photos makes me want to visit Paris again!

    Tanja (the Red phone box travels)
    May 26, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    so pretty!

    Michael @ Mile in my Glasses
    May 26, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    These are so beautiful! I’m heading back to Paris this Autumn and I can’t wait!

    I hope you have a lovely FriYAY!

    May 26, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Oh how i love this Brooke!
    Before visiting Paris myself, i never truely understood the obsessiveness people have with it… Now i not only understand, i have a cliche love affair with Paris and cannot wait for the day i get to return!
    Thank you for stirring my wanderlust and getting me daydreaming again… 🙂

    super mario world
    May 26, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    i love Paris <3 <3

    madalin stunt cars 2
    May 26, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    So great!! Thank for sharing

    May 26, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    The editing on these photos reminds me of a Victorian crime novel. Just what secret passages need. Love it!

    • Brooke Saward
      May 26, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      Aw thanks! They were so ethereal!

    May 26, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    You know…it looks a bit like Melbourne in parts…