But, as is so often the case when it comes to Paris, the image doesn't exactly jib with the reality. While the Galerie Vivienne is all sophistication, the Passage du Caire (which actually predates Galerie Vivienne by some thirty years) is all business without the frills. Located in the Sentier, the city's garment district in the 2nd arrondissement, its central hallway is busy with workers carting boxes and pushing racks.
Don't plan on making any purchases here, that is unless you own your own shop. It's purely wholesale. But even so, it's worth the trip. What the interior lacks in charm, the exterior, built at the time of Napoleon's campaign in Egypt, more than compensates.