The Private Passage of 61 Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis
Be quiet as a mouse, act confidently and offer a polite bonjour to the security guard at the entrance, preferably with an added Monsieur or Madame for the utmost respect.
You are about to discover a little oasis in the middle of Paris.
Ignoring the sign ‘Privée’ which warns that you are entering private property, saunter through the pretty passageway with a sense of adventure and excitement but sshhh …
You don’t want to be refused entry at this point!
Pots full of lush plants line the entire paved ‘impasse’ (dead end laneway) adding to the magic of this secret hideaway.
Apart from a few bicycles propped up against walls, a couple of benches and seats scattered along this delightful Parisian passage, you won’t find much else here except a welcome respite from the busy street outside and a tranquil little piece of paradise.
Cute as a button, clean as a whistle and pretty as a picture.
Please don’t confuse this sweet passage tucked behind the blue double doors at number 61 with the Cour des Petites-écuries (the courtyard of the small stables) at bis 61 and opposite Passage Reilhac pictured here.
A visit to Cour des Petites-écuries and Passage Reilhac, approximately 4 shopfronts north is also worth a quick peek, considering that you are in the area, but don’t be disappointed that you missed this unique gem by confusing 61 with ‘bis’ 61.
Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis was once a royal thoroughfare on the outskirts of the now long demolished fortified wall protecting Paris, represented by the doors of Saint-Martin (Porte Saint-Martin) and Porte Saint-Denis pictured below.
Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis may appear a little seedy in places, however, it is quickly becoming the hip new place for Parisians to reside and is worth a stroll along this long road to discover more open and covered passageways that branch off the street.
The monumental arches; Porte Saint-Denis and Porte Saint-Martin, commissioned by Louis XIV and located a mere 260 metres from the secret passage at 61 Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis would be a good place to start your exploration of this area, abound with passageways which could fill a good part of the day discovering Paris for free.
However, if you only make it to this deliciously enticing car free passage, you will be so glad you did.
Although I have searched in vain to learn historical information about this quaint passage that I stumbled across during my wanderings, I hit a brick wall. Not a thing to be found but maybe the fact that it doesn’t appear to be documented anywhere means it is simply our little secret and we can keep it that way.
There are plenty of hidden treasures to be found in Paris, you just need to know where to find them …
If you have found this information interesting or useful, please leave a comment or follow me on facebook for daily tips, photos and anecdotes, your feedback encourages me to keep this site up to date. Merci!
Combine a visit to the secret passage with these historic covered passageways:
- Passage du CaireA unique façade, a magnificent glass ceiling, 360 metres in length, Passage du Caire is the oldest and longest Passage in Paris
- Passage du PradoRarely mentioned in travel guides, with not a tourist in sight, this unique passage was once in the heart of fashionable Paris.
More Paris Adèle Secrets :
- Belle Époque BrothelsLavish brothels dotted around Paris during the Belle Epoque were easily identifiable, some relics exist today, if you know what to look for.
- Square de MontsourisA hidden jewel, begging to be discovered. Eclectic maisons wrapped in greenery, unseen by most tourists to Paris.
- Secret Garden Hôpital Hôtel-DieuA secret garden in an unusual location, right in the centre of Paris that thousands of tourists pass by each day without knowing it exists.
- La GalcanteVintage periodicals and books fill this small quirky, off the beaten path shop in a secluded courtyard where you may find the perfect Parisian souvenir.
- Lavirotte Building and Square RappExquisite Art Nouveau building with one of the most beautiful doors in Paris & a tiny square that offers a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower.
- Passage de l’AncreWho would know a delightful, tranquil little piece of paradise could be hidden away behind an unassuming crooked doorway in the heart of Paris.
- Rue CrémieuxA tiny paved street, that oozes charm, lined with pretty colourful houses that will take your breath away, still one of Paris' best kept secrets.
- Musée des Arts ForainsTransport yourself back in time. Ride spectacular antique carousels, play ancient fair-ground games and admire colourful memorabilia.
- Villa Olivier-MétraPretty cottages with colourful shutters line this serene leafy path with quaint personal touches added by residents who have a playful sense of humour.
- Bibliothèque Sainte-GenevièveA remarkable and historic reading room with its spectacular ceiling, books lining the vast long walls and rows of green reading lamps.
- St. Sergius Orthodox Theological InstituteHidden away on a leafy hill is the oldest Russian Orthodox Theological Institute in Western Europe.
- Restaurant Foyer de la MadeleineLurking deep in the cellars of L’église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine is one of Paris' best kept secrets, Restaurant Foyer de la Madeleine.
- An Angel in ParisSoaring high above, with it's delicate wings nestled under a fourth floor balcony and yet remarkably this rare Paris secret often goes unnoticed.
- Bibliothèque RichelieuMillions of books line the walls of this historic library under monumental ceilings and finally, it is open to the public.
- The Secret PassageThis lush and adorably sweet top secret passageway is a pure delight. Let me show you where to find it and how to gain entry. But sssh ... it's our secret.
- Passage BoudinCreeping vines, colourful flower boxes and an unusual semi-circular building that would be more at home in the Mediterranean is just some things you will find.
- Cité FloraleA secret micro village hidden away, in a small pocket, off the beaten path in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Discover why it is called the Floral City.
- La Butte aux CaillesA secret hideway with cobbled streets, a sweet village square, interesting street art and friendly, affordable cafés, tucked away in the 13th arrondissement.
- Rue de MouzaïaOff the beaten path, Rue de Mouzaia will make you feel blessed that you discovered this secret hideaway and it’s surrounds in the 19th arrondissement.
- Rue des ThermopyleApart from locals taking a short-cut, or Parisians on a quiet stroll, what you will find here is a wisteria filled, rustic cobbled pathway.
- Square Saint-Gilles Grand VeneurHidden away behind the Hôtel du Grand Veneur in the Marais is a little known secret square with a surprising artistic connection.
- Salvador Dali SundialMany people pass this hidden gem by Salvador Dali tucked away on the Left Bank of Paris unaware that they only need to look up.