When we think of the Moulin Rouge, the world's most famous cabaret, we visualize cancanes and imagine period music in Paris. Today it is possible to relive this splendor. The real magic of the Moulin Rouge is in its vintage night show and for this hundreds of tickets are sold every day, which you can buy individually or as part of a pack with other activities in Paris:
Enjoy the most famous cabaret in the world
Perfect if you want to live in first person the experience of attending the famous cabaret of the Moulin Rouge. Enjoy the experience while tasting a dinner menu and champagne.
Enjoy the most famous Parisian cabaret in the world and its more than one hundred artists on stage. Be amazed by the glamorous costumes, the colorful scenery and let the music transport you to the bohemian atmosphere of the city in the early twentieth century.
Booking a ticket for the Moulin Rouge with dinner will allow you to experience the French cancan in first person, while tasting the local cuisine with a good champagne.
The Moulin Rouge is usually open every day of the year with some exceptions and the show runs at 9pm and 11pm. The show lasts about two hours and the ticket includes half a bottle of champagne.
Why I like this option: this is the most complete option to experience live the magic of this Parisian cabaret.
Recommended if... you want to attend a show at the Moulin Rouge at the best price.
About ticket prices
One thing you should keep in mind is that the price of tickets to the Moulin Rouge will depend on the extras you add to the show, i.e. dinner and drinks. There are about four menus to choose from (one of them vegan) of French dishes and different prices and you can include or not the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Of course, you have to request it in advance because the cabaret does not work as a restaurant where you can order from the menu. The Moulin Rouge show is attended by both tourists and locals and, especially in high season, it is advisable to book tickets in advance to avoid running out of room for the day and time chosen.
Dinner at the Moulin Rouge
If you choose to dine at the Moulin Rouge, you can choose from several types of menus (including vegetarian and vegan dishes) that change seasonally and always include a starter, main course and dessert. The price of the ticket increases significantly with the choice of dinner and, although I recognize that the menu is very careful both in taste and presentation, the real added value is not the dinner itself but the show at the Moulin Rouge.
If you want to live the experience of dining in this cabaret go ahead, but do not do it looking for excellence in the kitchen because what you will find will be something correct and enjoyable, but no more. Keep in mind that the tables at the Moulin Rouge are shared, so if you want to enjoy an intimate dinner this is not the best option.
What time is the Moulin Rouge show?
The Moulin Rouge show times, with some exceptions, are always the same: there is a show at 9 pm and another at 11 pm every day from Monday to Sunday. Please note that you should come early enough to see the show; about fifteen minutes before is recommended.
What is the Moulin Rouge show like?
The show is undoubtedly stunning. Feathers and more feathers, colorful costumes and lively music with light effects, make up the most attractive staging of the French music hall. If you add to this almost a hundred dancers coordinating amazing choreographies, you will feel for a while in the Belle Époque in all its splendor.
The shows held at the Moulin Rouge may change according to the season, but will always be based on the legendary cancan dance that was the one that gave fame to this cabaret. The rise of this dance coincides with a time of optimism and social satisfaction; at the gates of the twentieth century there was confidence in technological progress, artistic avant-garde and economic growth.
There was, in general terms, a generalized joy and a desire to enjoy life that materialized in this dance that painters like Tolouse Lautrec portrayed in his paintings. All this atmosphere is still recreated every night to this day, and to experience it the best thing to do is to buy in advance your ticket for the Moulin Rouge with dinner and champagne.
Plan your visit
If you already have your ticket to see the Moulin Rouge show, now you just need to know a few details to organize your visit as best as possible. I'll tell you everything below:
- How to get there: The Moulin Rouge is located in the Montmartre district, in the Pigalle "red light district" of Paris. The area is perfectly connected as it is one of the main tourist attractions in the city.
If you haven't bought your ticket including transfer, the easiest way to get there is by metro: the 'Blanche' stop on line 2 will drop you right at the door. A cab or a VTC are also valid options. I leave you our post on How to get to the Moulin Rouge where you can expand this information.
- For the dinner option: If you have the dinner option included, you should go to the Moulin Rouge around half past six, since dinner is served at seven. The show lasts two hours and then you will have a few minutes to enjoy the champagne included.
- How to dress to attend a show at the Moulin Rouge: To attend the show, the dress code is formal without the obligatory jacket and tie and avoiding shorts and sportswear. Inside you will find everything, from a morning coat lost in the VIP boxes to jeans. The best, the classic "dressed up but casual"; you are neither going to walk around the city nor are you going to a wedding.
- How to get back to the hotel from the Moulin Rouge: If you choose the second session of the show, keep in mind that you may miss the last subway to the exit since the closing time is 1:15 am. In this case, you have at your disposal both cabs at the stop across the street and VTCs. If you want to save money I recommend you to choose a Friday or a Saturday as days to see the second shift of the show, as these days the Paris metro closes one hour later.
Is it possible to go to the Moulin Rouge with children?
Children from six years old (always accompanied by an adult) are admitted to the show. This is something that, considering the history of the cabaret and the current atmosphere of the area, is often surprising, but the truth is that the show is suitable for all ages. When I went to see the show I didn't see any children and I don't think it's usual to see them, both for the time of the show and the price.
Is it possible to take photos and videos at the Moulin Rouge?
If you are thinking of taking your camera (or even your cell phone) with a 100 percent charged battery to this show, you can already discard the idea. No photos or video of any kind are allowed during the show or dinner. The waiters may attract attention and, in addition, the organizers themselves will offer you the official photo during the dinner for an approximate price of 20 euros.
Things to do around the Moulin Rouge
The Pigalle area is one of the most picturesque in Paris; there you will find huge erotic stores (many with shows included) that attract attention not only for its content, but for its bright neon lights. Pigalle by night is an area full of life and it is difficult to find comparisons to describe it.
My advice is that before or after your date at the Moulin Rouge walk through this area (you can get off at the metro stop 'Pigalle' and from there walk to 'Blanche') and soak up the essence of this daring and energetic Paris. You can also take a tour bus rideand explore the Parisian nightlife in the different areas, each with its own magic.
Ana's Traveller Tip
To get the most out of the area, choose the 21:00 show. Before the show, visit the upper Montmartre with the Sacre Coeur and the Place des Painters and, after the show, stroll through Pigalle and have a drink in one of its clubs.
Take a guided tour of Montmartre, the Moulin Rouge neighborhood
Whether it's the same day you go to see the Moulin Rouge show or a different day, you can't miss exploring the area on a visit to the Montmartre neighborhood during your trip to Paris. The history of the belle époque is not complete with a visit to the cabaret; Montmartre hides many more stories that will seduce you with the same intensity as that of the red mill.
Of all the tours I have done in Paris, which you can read more about in this article on Paris ToursMontmartre is the one I have repeated most often precisely because I never tire of hearing the stories of all the artists who found in that neighborhood the true meaning of the famous slogan 'Liberté, Égalite, Fraternité'.
Who are they going to tell you about on this tour? Tolouse Lautrec, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Edith Piaf, the film Amélie or the gay icon Dalida. Many stories, all intermingled and all that while strolling through the narrow streets of Montmartre in the evening light (for me one of the most beautiful moments to do this tour) and then sit and contemplate the city from the stairs of the Sacre Coeur.
The Montmartre tour with the Paris Pass card
This is a city pass with which you will have free access to different tourist attractions and museums in the city of Paris. Entrance to the Moulin Rouge show is not included with this card, but a two-hour guided tour of the neighborhood is included.
Whether it's your first time in Paris or not, if you are going to visit several of the main points of interest the Paris Pass will pay off: it has more than 60 places included, it includes public transport in Paris and there are different prices depending on the days you want to use it. You can read more about Paris Pass in this article.
Other bohemian corners of Paris
The Moulin Rouge is an icon of the bohemian life of Paris at the end of the 19th century, but it is not the only one. The city of Paris, in particular the Montmartre district, is full of places that speak of this era. If you want to take a walk through the most bohemian corners of the city of light, in addition to, of course, walk the narrow streets of Montmartre, do not miss places like:
A neighborhood like this had to have some place to tell its history. In this museum located on rue Cortot you will see from images of the neighborhood belonging to different eras to objects that tell you about the cabarets and the cursed poets who stayed in this enclave.
You're probably familiar with the Chat Noir café from the famous black cat posters you'll see in every souvenir store in Paris, but it's not the only one. Both in Montmartre and in the Montparnasse district, south of Paris, you can find corners frequented by intellectuals such as Paul Verlaine, Baudelaire, Apollinaire or Hemingway.
Moulin de la Galette
It is one of the 30 mills that were in this neighborhood at the beginning of the last century. Although during the day it is easily located walking along the rue Lepic, at night it can be more complicated by the branches that hides it. Today it is an elegant restaurant, but its merit is that it was one of the most represented cabarets in the work of various bohemian artists including Renoir.