History of Chic: Shopping in Paris
2.5-hour private walking tour
Rates. €90 per person, with a 2-person minimum.
This walk explores the history of shopping, an aspect of the city that has shaped its urban design and architecture. We begin near the Louvre at the Palais Royal where, 200 years ago, its galleries were a mecca for high society’s material pleasures. We then focus on the arcades, or covered passages, the 19th-century forerunners of today’s commercial malls. The sumptuous Empire décor of the Galerie Vivienne makes it one of the most beautiful arcades in the city. We’ll also visit the Passages Panoramas and Jouffroy. In these glazed and gas-lit emporiums, there emerged a new kind of modern Parisian: the flâneur, or stroller, someone who “walks the city in order to experience it.” We will then turn to the Grands Boulevards. These wide, airy commercial thoroughfares led to a new model of urbanization later in the 19th century.
After the Neo-Baroque Opera House by Charles Garnier, stops at the neighboring department stores will bring us into the 20th century. The architectural spectacle of these commercial palaces—the neo-Byzantine glass dome of the Galeries Lafayette and the Art Nouveau cupola at Printemps—set a standard for the modern shopping experience. We finish on the rooftop of Printemps, where we’ll enjoy a stunning, panoramic view of a city that has defined chic.
If you are a group of 4 or more, and would like to request a group rate for this walk, please email us with your request.