Considered the grande dame of Paris's 19th-century passages couverts—the world's first shopping malls—this graceful covered arcade evokes an age of gaslights and horse-drawn carriages. Once Parisians came to passages like this one to tred tiled floors instead of muddy streets and to see and be seen browsing boutiques under the glass-and-iron roofs. Today, the Galerie Vivienne still attracts top-flight retailers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier (6 rue Vivienne) and the high-quality secondhand clothes seller La Marelle (No. 21), as well as shops selling accessories, housewares, and fine wine. The Place des Victoires, a few steps away, is one of Paris's most picturesque squares. In the center is a statue of an outsized Louis XIV (1643–1715), the Sun King, who appears almost as large as his horse.
Main entrance at 4 rue des Petits-Champs, Paris, 75002, France