Yes, the parks are beautiful, food is great, museums are stunning, and for the first timer doing the 10 country in 9 day European tour, and the Eiffel Tour is a ridiculous hoot.  But the joy of Paris at any time of year is drifting through Paris’s remaining passages, or passages couverts.

During the 19th century these commercial alleys catered to upper class Parisians.  Many were built through or between the city’s massive buildings, and above these passageways are canopies of glass that both sheltered shoppers from the elements and gave these paths various shades of luminescence.

As many as 150 of these passages were dispersed through Paris, but as the change in shopping habits evolved throughout France, many disappeared.  Department stores and urban renewal projects took their tool, and now less than 20 remain.  Nevertheless, you can spend plenty of time wandering through them.  Sip a pastis, peruse through a used bookstore, or gawk at an eclectic clothing store.  Navigating through these architectural gems is one of the best ways to spend a day in Paris.  Enjoy the photos!

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.