Moulin Rouge

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The Moulin Rouge and Its Heyday

Opened in 1889, the Moulin Rouge remains one of Paris' most legendary spots. But what is it about this cabaret that has awed so many - even inspiring a hit Hollywood movie? Here are five facts about its sensational beginnings that made history.

  • The Can-Can

    1. The Can-Can

    This cheeky dance is synonymous with the Moulin Rouge, whose dancers elevated it to an art form, attracting visitors from across the world.

  • La Goulue

    2. La Goulue

    Immortalized on the Moulin Rouge’s iconic poster, La Goulue was the star of the cabaret from the very beginning. The venue owes its early runaway success to her outrageous antics.

  • Royal Visit

    3. Royal Visit

    Even the Prince of Wales visited the Moulin Rouge at the height of its popularity. Recognizing him in the crowd, La Goulue famously screamed, "Hey, Wales, the champagne's on you!"

  • The Garden’s Gigantic Elephant

    4. The Garden’s Gigantic Elephant

    The elephant from the movie really existed. It was so big that a staircase ran up its leg and a hidden stage was in its stomach, housing exclusive performances for male audiences.

  • A Taste for Scandal

    5. A Taste for Scandal

    Scandal was commonplace, but no performance caused as much furore as an Egyptian-themed dance in 1907, resulting in a riot after two female dancers shared an amorous kiss.

Planning Your Visit

  • One for the Adults

    True to its roots, the Moulin Rouge's performances remain racy – though always tasteful, of course – and thus may not be suitable for children. While children above the age of six are allowed in, some parents may prefer to treat themselves to an adults-only night out and find a babysitter for the evening.

  • Dress Code

    As a high-class venue, the Moulin Rouge expects visitors to come smartly dressed. A jacket and tie for men is appreciated, while shorts, sports clothing, and sneakers are not allowed.

  • First-come, First-served

    Although it is necessary to reserve your tickets for the show and dinner, tables are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. It's worth arriving early to score a good table near the stage to best admire the spectacular dances, lavish costumes, and elaborate sets.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Moulin Rouge is open all year, except for major holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Opening hours from 7PM.
  • Is it expensive?
    Prices vary depending on the tickets purchased.
  • Will I need a guide?
    No.
  • How to get there
    Moulin Rouge is located at 82 Boulevard Clichy - the nearest metro station, on line 2, is Blanche.
  • Additional information

    • Dress smart - no shorts, sneakers, or sports gear

    • Some shows may be unsuitable for younger viewers

What people are saying about Moulin Rouge

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 4,725 reviews

It started raining on the river cruise so everyone went inside, and I assume it was a class trip on the cruise because they were very obnoxious loud young people who were not interested in the tour at all and would not be quiet even thought the announcer kept asking. The moulin rouge did not have a very cohesive show but it was awesome. The ratio of topless females to topless males (100 to 5) seemed unreasonable considering the audience is no longer just men anymore. The other people on the same tour at the table with me and my mom were incredibly rude and unfriendly and weird about passing us our own champagne bottle. So don't be like them. Overall not a perfect experience, but seems more due to bad luck and other people rather than the actual planned tour.

Very exciting, I enjoyed the Moulin Rouge show, and despite of the cancellation of the river cruise due to La Seine water level raise, we have been compensated with a bus tour for one hour and 2 cruise vouchers valid for 1 year to be reused.. This means one extra tour added to my purchased package. These guys knows how to treat their customers. By end of night the bus took us back to hotel. I enjoyed this day so much. Just wish to add the arabic language to the list of languages supported in the tour guidance.

Lovely evening! River cruise was great & moulin Rouge show was amazing, just really pricey for drinks etc & took a while to be served out champagne, also no bar you can buy drinks from, you have to request table service which is hard to do when it’s loud / busy and only a few servers which don’t come around often. Over all an amazing evening, just be ready for the 2/3 hour gap in between both activities where you will go on a guided bus tour which can be a little bit boring and draining

The boat tour was so much fun, if not incredibly cheesy. It was a great way to see Paris at night and also feel perfectly safe. I was very excited to see the show, because Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite movies. It was a super entertaining experience and I am very glad I did it. However, Though I'm not sure what I was expecting, I was surprised. Some of the costumes were ridiculous full body suits with just the boobs cut out. But hey, it was a good show.

Enjoyed the cruise and the grand finale: watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle at 10 am. Also enjoyed the Moulin Rouge Show but the online description needs to specify that the show is at 11 pm with no snack served at that hour with the free glass of champagne. Also, I don’t think it should be for kids/teens under 18 years of age. My child was embarrassed and too tired to be awake at that hour.