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The forerunners to modern-day malls, Paris’s passages couverts (covered passages) allowed the 19th-century flâneur to take shortcuts, shelter from the rain, shop, dine... or spend a secluded, debauched hour in the arms of a lover. Nowadays these tucked-away arcades, mostly around today’s Grands Boulevards, are where to head for hours of sumptuous browsing. The Galerie Vivienne must be one of the prettiest, with its ochre paintwork and mythological mosaics. Best for a mooch, though, are Passage Jouffroy and its continuation, Passage Verdeau, inaugurated in 1847. Here you’ll also find the Musée Grevin waxwork museum and an array of dinky boutiques selling everything from precious stones, stamps and jewellery to antique cameras and furniture.
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