Sheltering from the rain in Galerie Vivienne

The heavens decided to open up while we were in the vicinity of Rue des Petits-Champs in Paris after many, many hours in the Louvre and a wonderful souffle lunch at – where else but – Le Souffle! So we ducked into the Galerie Vivienne, one of the historic ‘Passages Couverts’ in Paris.Galerie Vivienne – 4 Rue Petits Champs

Built specifically to shelter shoppers from bad weather, these covered passages ensured a genteel shopping experience to wealthy clients. Most had two or more entrances, so their carriages could drop off shoppers at one, and pick them up at the other so as to ensure minimum exertion! Aah the life of privilege.

Of the 140 or so pedestrian passages that existed in Paris in the early 1900’s, only 20 such passages remain. The Galerie Vivienne is one of the most beautifully restored, with gorgeous glass roofs, mosaic floors, smart cafes and elegant shops! It was a Sunday, unfortunately, and most of the shops were closed. But a delightful cup of tea at “A priori thé“ while we waited out the sun, was just the break we needed, before we took off again into the rain washed streets of Paris.

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

82 thoughts on “Sheltering from the rain in Galerie Vivienne

    1. There are several around that area. You could google to check out which ones you like and which are on your route for the day. Well worth a look see 🙂

  1. We skipped Paris on our tour but right now, these lovely images will do. This is just as I picture Paris arcades in my mind, Madhu. 🙂
    Btw, I grinned at that bit about the two shop entrances. Sooo spoiled those genteel shoppers, haha.

  2. The passages are marvellous, aren’t they? It might have been a shame these elegant shops weren’t open (though with hubby in tow, perhaps it wouldn’t have been such an exuberant exploration!) but the lack of shoppers has given you free rein to photograph the building itself (as opposed to a streetscape). And, a lovely shelter story. Beautiful, and great memory prompts for me, which has been lovely.

    1. Happy to have refreshed fond memories! Shall return to those shops with the daughter next year, to drool if not to shop 🙂

  3. What a lovely way to wait out the rain as so many others have done for years. Thank you for sharing your photos.

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