Grands Boulevards is an area in Paris situated in close proximity to Opéra Garnier and Grands Boulevards metro station. The plural form is not a coincidence; these lavish avenues and boulevards all exemplify the Parisian style created by the Baron Haussmann, whose work completely changed the city’s allure during the second Napoleonic empire in what is now considered a primitive form of urbanism. The grand scale, transformative works saw Paris welcome wider avenues, numerous fountains, intricately ornate buildings, and plentiful green spaces. But Haussmann did not create those spaces out of thin air; most of the Grands Boulevards now stand on what used to be the Louis XIII wall, which explains their remarkable size, uncommon for Paris at the time. It’s unclear which streets are part of the Grands Boulevards denomination and what the credentials are; it would be logical to think that boulevards like Beaumarchais, Capucines, Filles-du-Calvaire, Montmartre, Madeleine, Temple, Saint-Martin, Bonne-Nouvelle, Poissonnière, and Italiens would qualify considering their respective style and history.
The Grand Boulevards area is also famous for being home to typically French department stores like Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, as well as most of the city’s major theatres and nightclubs.
Grand Boulevards is a Parisian neighbourhood contained within the square formed by Place de la Madeleine, boulevard de Strasbourg, rue Réaumur, and rue Richer, in the city’s 9th arrondissement. It is not advised to get to Grand Boulevards by car as parking is scarce and complicated; the area comprises several metro stations, including Grands Boulevards, Opéra, Strasbourg Saint-Denis, Bourse, and Chaussée d’Antin (with service on lines 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 12, and 14).