Fodor's Expert Review Galerie Vivienne
Considered the grande dame of Paris's 19th-century passages couverts—the world's first shopping malls—this graceful arcade evokes an age of gaslights and horse-drawn carriages. Once, Parisians came to passages like this one to tread tiled floors instead of muddy streets; to see and be seen browsing boutiques under the glass-and-iron roofs. Today, the Galerie Vivienne still attracts unique retailers selling clothing, accessories, and housewares. La Marelle (No. 25) stocks secondhand designer labels, and wine merchant Legrand Filles & Fils (1 rue de la Banque) is the place for an upscale tasting. 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.