The Moulin Rouge in Paris: 10 Tips for Visiting the Cabaret

22 Oct 2021
Moulin Rouge

The Moulin Rouge is not just a world-famous cabaret – for many tourists it is a symbol of Paris. "The Red Mill" was opened in 1889 in the Montmartre district. Its peculiarity was that both middle class and high society people, such as Oscar Wilde, Sigmund Freud and even the Prince of Wales, came to the extravaganza.

The Moulin Rouge Show and the French Cancan

The Moulin Rouge Show and the French Cancan

The highlight of the Moulin Rouge is the famous French cancan (natural quadrille). This dance was invented by Céleste Mogado in 1850. The cancan so shocked the public that the cabaret immediately became famous not only in Paris, but also outside France. The post-impressionist artist Toulouse-Lautrec depicted the dance on the posters and signs of the cabaret. 

The shows of the Red Mill are known all over the world, and all the beauties of the capital gather here. Professional dancers, feathers, glitter, fanfare — this is what makes the atmosphere of the Moulin Rouge truly unique. In between performances the audience can enjoy circus tricks, clowns and magicians. Once in the Moulin Rouge it is impossible not to plunge into the bright colors, noise, fun and spirit of a true French cabaret.

How to buy tickets to the Moulin Rouge

How to buy tickets to the Moulin Rouge

You can buy a ticket to the Moulin Rouge at the cabaret box office or online. We'll note that whenever you visit the ticket office, it's almost a certainty that there will be no tickets for today and tomorrow. Therefore it is better to prepare in advance and buy tickets online. You can do it on the official website or right here. The prices are the same wherever you purchase them.

» READ MORE - Moulin Rouge tickets: how to buy them and how much they cost

Do I need to get a ticket with champagne?

Do I need to get a ticket with champagne?

The Cabaret Moulin Rouge is the biggest consumer of champagne in the world. You can buy just a ticket for the show, which will cost from 100 euros (from 87 during promotions). But everyone recommends getting a second-tier ticket for 115 euros, which comes with half a bottle of champagne per person. If you buy just one ticket, they will bring you a single small bottle of the real French drink.

It must be said that in the atmosphere of the cabaret, with everyone around drinking champagne, it is difficult to resist indulging. But drinks cost twice as much to buy inside as they do when you add them to your ticket in advance. So we do recommend tickets with champagne.

The entrance ticket to the Moulin Rouge costs from 100 euros. A ticket for the show along with half a bottle of champagne will cost about 115 euros per person, and with dinner reservations it's roughly 190-240 euros (depending on the menu). These prices are not valid on New Year's Eve.

What about dinner at the Moulin Rouge?

The Moulin Rouge cabaret has a very good restaurant. If you have a special date or just a busy schedule, you don't need to have food somewhere before the show. Book your tickets with dinner. By the way, the dinner tables are closer to the stage.

Dinner is served in three different categories ranging in price from €190 to €235, but each menu includes champagne. Want to learn more? Check out the deals here.

Do I need to buy tickets to the Moulin Rouge in advance?

It's extremely rare that someone can buy a ticket for the same evening. Usually there are no tickets to the Moulin Rouge for at least the next couple of days. And some specific dates – New Year's Eve or February 14 – sell out a couple of months in advance, even though they are more expensive. Book the dates you want as soon as you can.

There is another reason to get tickets in advance. There are no fixed seats. Upon arrival at the Moulin Rouge, you will be escorted to your table. It is clear that the most VIP sit by the stage, then those who have booked a show with dinner. The rest are usually seated depending on when they bought their ticket. In general, the earlier the better. 

Get dressed up! Learn the Moulin Rouge dress code

dress code

There is no strict dress code in the Moulin Rouge, but the administration strongly recommends dressing elegantly. This means an evening dress for women and a suit for men. The Moulin Rouge may be one of the only places in Paris where you should wear an evening gown and jewelry. In general, cabaret is almost like the theater. Dress so as not to feel like a black sheep among dressed-up people.

Of course, you will see differing degrees of dress, and many tourist groups may be dressed more casually. You can still get in if you're wearing jeans, but shorts may be a problem.

Can I come to the Moulin Rouge with children?

Officially, children over 6 years old are allowed. But, most likely, children will be bored. The performance itself is designed for a more adult viewer. As you can imagine, teenagers might be interested. Despite the costumes of the dancers, the show is more artistic than erotic. These performances were considered lewd in the puritanical times of the Victorian era, but aren't explicit by today's standards.

Our advice: come as a couple or with friends. Disneyland is better for children.

» READ MORE - Paris Disneyland: Everything a tourist needs to know

How to get to the Moulin Rouge Cabaret

Moulin Rouge puts on two shows a night, at 9 and 11 pm. You should arrive at least 30 minutes before the start. Dinner starts even earlier, at 7 pm. Each of the shows runs about an hour and a half. You can get to the cabaret by public transport. It is located near the metro station Blanche (line 2), or you can get there by cab.

After the show: the truth about the red light district

red light district

You'll leave the Moulin Rouge at 11 o'clock or even 1 am (depending on which show you go to). And you'll walk out into the epicenter of the "red light district" of Paris. It's not one of the dangerous areas of Paris, but it's still quite extravagant.

After an early show on a weekday and Sunday or Saturday you can use the subway, it operates until 1 am on weekdays, and until 2:00 on Friday and Saturday. The nearest station is Blanche. In other cases, you can count on a cab.

If you book a VIP night at the cabaret, shuttle service will be included. 

Is the Moulin Rouge the only cabaret or are there more?

The Moulin Rouge is not the only cabaret in Paris. There's also the cabaret Le Lido on the Champs Elysees and the Crazy Horse. Both cabarets put on shows that are as good as Moulin Rouge, and sometimes even better. But it is the Moulin Rouge that remains the historic place where people have been singing, dancing, drinking and enjoying life for 130 years!

» READ MORE - The most famous cabaret in Paris

Is the Moulin Rouge even worth a visit?

Is the Moulin Rouge even worth a visit?

Great question. It's expensive, and it's not much erotica, much less than you'd see at a strip club. But that's the thing: it's a cabaret. It's a historical show and a historically unique place. They don't show it anywhere else, and if they do, it's just an imitation. Imagine that Edith Piaf started on this stage. The audience included artists, poets, princes and kings, all who came here to drool over this jaunty French cancan. And what could be more French than the Moulin Rouge? The girls, the dancing, the underskirts colored like the French flag, the champagne — it's all here.

Videos and photos at the Moulin Rouge 

Officially, taking videos and photos of the show is not allowed. If the employees notice, they will take away your camera or smartphone. So enjoy the moment in person. You can also watch a video on our website.

Enjoy your evening in the Moulin Rouge!

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