Constructed as a home for Cardinal Richelieu in the 17th century, the Palais Royal has had a colorful, and multi-varied past, housing a handful of royals over the centuries, and taking its turn as the centerpiece of Paris’ social scene. It turned into a shopping complex in 1784, and hosted about 150 places of business, from tea shops to book stores to hair salons and boutiques. Not much has changed in the intervening years: Now, labels like Rick Owens, Acne, and Stella McCartney have taken refuge in this gorgeous arcade, which overlooks stunning gardens. If your budget allows, tuck into a very special (and expensive) dinner at the classic Le Grand Véfour on the northwest corner of the building.

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