Moulin Rouge, Paris: My Experience (Tickets, Dress Code, What to expect etc)

Things to remember while visiting Moulin Rouge Paris. Find more about my experience at the Moulin Rouge Paris & how to get Moulin Rouge Tickets,what to wear

Written by: Soumya Nambiar

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I am supposedly a cultural traveler. That is what my friends tell me. Maybe I am because I usually don’t miss my chance of watching shows whenever I am traveling. After watching ‘Phantom of the Opera’, a Broadway musical in New York, I wanted to see “Moulin Rouge” in Paris. No, I am not talking about the movie.

Actually, I never saw the movie since I was still not an adult back then and then never bothered to watch the movie post that. So, what is Moulin Rouge in Paris? I knew that it was a cabaret. But knowing it and wanting to see one of the world’s greatest acts are two different things. I learned it the hard way and read on to find out how I got one of the biggest cultural shocks in my life. I have realized that I should research more in the future. Here I list some of the ‘Things to remember while visiting Moulin Rouge Paris‘.

In this post, I write about how to get your Moulin Rouge tickets, what is the Moulin Rouge Dress code, what to expect at the Moulin Rouge Paris and so many other details as well. Are you planning to visit Moulin Rouge Paris and don’t know what to expect? The Moulin Rouge experience is something that you should not miss if you are in Paris.

Moulin Rouge” (CC BY 2.0) by Gabriel Villena – Cover Pic


How to get Moulin Rouge Paris tickets?

The easiest way to get a ticket is to go to the Moulin Rouge’s website and book the Moulin Rouge tickets through them.

There are generally 3 options when it comes to Moulin Rouge tickets. You can either combine it with a dinner or a dinner and cruise. All Moulin Rouge tickets come with champagne by default. The VIP tickets allow you to skip the line as well as give you access to the best seats in the hall.

Book VIP Tickets

Want to skip the line at Moulin Rouge and get access to the best seats?

How much does it cost to see a show at Moulin Rouge?

It is approximately 90 Euros for a single person for a show with champagne. If you include dinner, it is around 200 euros.

How long is Moulin Rouge show Paris/Moulin Rouge show duration?

Moulin Rouge, Paris runs 2 shows every day of the year at 9 PM and 11 PM (I am not sure about holidays). For those wanting to have dinner, there is an option of having dinner at 7 PM followed by the 9 PM show. The Moulin Rouge show length is approximately 105-110 minutes.

I did not choose the dinner option since there were no vegetarian options to choose from and at the same time, it was expensive too. You have to pay a minimum of 105 Euros for a single ticket.

What to wear to Moulin Rouge Paris (Moulin Rouge Paris Dress Code)?

So you are wondering what is the Moulin Rouge Paris dresscode? They are very elegant when it comes to Moulin Rouge attire. They don’t expect the men to wear ties or suits and business casuals will do. But I did not see anyone in jeans and most people dress up when they are going to see the show at Moulin Rouge, Paris. But shorts, flip flops, sports shoes and sportswear are not permitted inside and that is the only rule when it comes to dress code for Moulin Rouge.

Since I was on a 6-week trip around Europe, I had only flip-flops and sports shoes. So, I actually went shoe-shopping in Paris and ended up buying a gorgeous pair of heels (my only splurge shopping throughout the entire trip). I ended up wearing an evening wear gown, which I had carried with me. They do have a cloakroom for storing your coats.

Can you wear jeans to Moulin Rouge?

Jeans are not banned. However most people wearing jeans coupled that with a blazer or something fashionable. After all it is the fashion capital of the world.

Do people dress up for Moulin Rouge?

Yes, it is a very fancy affair with champagne and a course meal included. So most people do dress up for the Moulin rouge.

Recommended Read – Planning A EuroTrip from India

When to arrive for the shows at Moulin Rouge Paris?

It is recommended that you arrive at least half an hour in advance. Most shows are fully booked and it does take the staff some time to seat everyone. You can either carry a paper ticket or you can show the tickets on your smartphone.

First impressions of the hall at Moulin Rouge Paris:

It is a huge seating area and the entire hall is classily done with red shades and it is eloquently gorgeous. Each and every guest is individually seated. I had a normal ticket and I was placed right next to the stage in the front. You are prohibited from taking any pictures and please adhere to this rule.

My ticket came with half a bottle of champagne and I ended up having only a single sip.

After seeing the ambience, I was extremely excited and I couldn’t wait for the show to begin.

Moulin Rouge Paris facts and History:

Moulin Rouge, Paris is a cabaret and has been around since the late 1800’s. The original building burnt down in 1915 and it was replaced with the existing building, characterized by the red windmill.

The most famous dance shown here is the Can-Can dance, which is a very enthusiastic but at the same time physically challenging dance. There are around 80 dancers, both female and male dancers with around 60 of them being ladies. The ladies are affectionately called Doris’s girls after one of the most famous dancers, Doris Haug and who formed the first Doris’s troupe.

The resident stage show is called the Feerie, which has been running since 1998. It comprises of 4 acts, each sticking to a theme. The first act is in the ‘Garden of Moulin Rouge” followed by ‘Pirates’, ‘Circus’ and the last act paying tribute to the women of Paris.

Between each act, there are some international acts like the couple in roller skates, a trio of acrobats etc.

What is Moulin Rouge Paris?: 

The shows always start on time and as I sat there waiting to be transported to another land, the show started. It started innocently enough with lots of dancers entering the stage all dressed up. You have to see it to believe it. All the costumes are gorgeous and colorful with exquisite sequined designs and fascinating headgears.

But then as the act progressed, I suddenly sat there shocked out of my wits. I can only blame myself but I did not know till I actually saw the frontal female nudity that this show was adult-themed. Yes, you can expect to see a lot of boobs (Oops, did I actually use the word on my travel blog? Please grow up if you felt offended by it.) There is a lot of dancing and a fair number of boobs too. So do expect some Moulin Rouge nudity if you are ever there.

Mind you, not all Moulin Rouge dancers are nude. In the group of maybe 60 girls, around 15 of them are nude while the rest of them are covered. After I recovered from my initial shock, it was actually lots of fun. There was nothing trashy about the whole show and it was as classy as it can be. There is some superb dancing and to top it for us girls, there is some eye candy in the form of gorgeous male dancers. The passion that goes into each show is evident from the smiles of each and every one of those dancers. In spite of doing some hard numbers, all of them do it with a captivating smile.

Costumes are out of this world and each of them appears to be carefully crafted with elaborate headgears and lots of sequins. The acts are all entertaining even though I could not understand a word of what they were singing. Everything is in French but in spite of that, I sat absolutely enthralled with everything going on in the show.

In addition to the dancers, you can also find some cute miniature horses and clowns during the Circus act. In one act, you can see a lady swimming with Boa Constrictors and I was ready to sprint out when I saw the snakes so close to me. All the acts in between are also exceptional and special mention needs to be given to the couple dancing in roller skates. The energy through the Can Can dance is quite inspiring too.

It was a great way to spend two hours of my life and I am really glad that I got to see Moulin Rouge, Paris.

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Where is Moulin Rouge Paris?

It is located on Boulevard de Clichy, at Place Blanche, the intersection of, and terminus of Rue Blanche. The district is Pigalle while the area is Montmartre and is in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. Full address is 82 Bd de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France.

Are children allowed at Moulin Rouge Paris? / Is Moulin Rouge child friendly?

Kids above 6 years are allowed but unless you want to scar your Indian child for life, I would strongly advise you against taking your kids to watch the Moulin Rouge, Paris. I really can’t comment on kids from other countries, though. There is a lot of upper body nudity for both men and women. So it really depends on how comfortable you and your kids are when it comes to that kind of nudity. And most shows are well past children’s bedtimes.

Is it advisable to go to Moulin Rouge with Indian elders?

Again, I would strongly advise you against it. Unless you want to scare your mother in law to death after seeing so many boobs.

Would I advise a solo traveller to go to Moulin Rouge Paris?

I went alone and I had a gala time during the entire show. Go with an open mind and you will definitely have a great time.

How long is the Moulin Rouge show in Paris?

The show lasts around 2 hours if you do not go for a dinner show. The timings are basically at 9 PM and 11 PM. If you are going for a dinner show, it lasts for around 3.5 – 4 hours and starts at 7 PM.

Can you eat at the Moulin Rouge Paris?

As mentioned before, you have an option to book your tickets along with a dinner option. I did not choose to have dinner at Moulin Rouge since I did not find any good vegetarian options. However, from the reviews I have heard about dinner there, some people call it exceptional while some people cite it as just average.

Are seats assigned at Moulin Rouge?

You are taken to your assigned seat just before the show. You do not have an option of selecting your seats before the show. So depending on your luck, if you go for normal tickets, you can end up with a place anywhere. Since I was solo, I got a pretty decent seat in the front of the hall. Also, it is advised to go early to ensure you are in the front of the line so that you can get good tickets.

Is Moulin Rouge in English?

No, it is in french. But in spite of not knowing any french, I loved the performances of all the dancers and artists.

Getting Back after watching the Moulin Rouge show:

The first show gets over at 11 PM. There is a taxi stand just opposite and you have to wait in a queue to get a cab. If you can leave a little early to beat the crowd, then please do. I was staying close by and this taxi ride cost me around 12 Euros.

Is Moulin Rouge Paris worth it?

Definitely. I would love to go back again one day with my partner. It was so much fun and the atmosphere was just awesome.

Where to stay in Paris near the Moulin Rouge?

The Moulin Rouge is in the Pigalle district and in the hip artisty area of Montmartre. Since Paris has many other attractions like the Louvre, Eiffel Area etc, it really depends on what your priority is when it comes to accommodation and area. But listing some of the hotels that I had stayed at as well as researched for my multiple trips to Paris.

  • Hotel Du Continent: This is where I stayed during my last trip to Paris. This was in the 1st arrondissement and was very close to attractions like the Louvre. It is hardly a 10 min cab drive from the Moulin Rouge. It was a very cute and quirky design hotel and it was ideal for a solo traveller.
  • Hôtel des Arts Montmartre: This is one of the most highest rated hotels in the Montmartre area and hence would be an ideal choice if you want to stay near the Moulin Rouge.
  • Hotel Saint-Louis Pigalle: A good choice if you want to stay in Pigalle itself. It is just around 350 metres from the Moulin Rouge.
  • Maison Souquet: If you are looking for a luxury hotel with themed rooms in the Montmartre district, then this is the best choice for you. It is hardly 100 mtrs from the Moulin Rouge.
  • Le Relais Montmartre: Another highly rated hotel in the 18th arrondissement of Paris.

Conclusion:

So that is it, my scandalous summary of my time at the Moulin Rouge, Paris. If you want to catch a trailer of the show, you can check it out here. I would definitely love to watch Moulin Rouge all over again.

Find out more things to do for 3 days in Paris.

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75 thoughts on “Moulin Rouge, Paris: My Experience (Tickets, Dress Code, What to expect etc)”

  1. Loved reading your post! I’ve walked past the Moulin Rouge numerous times but never ventured inside. It does sound so scandalous but I am also so curious about it after reading about your experience! I would definitely NOT feel good about being in the same room as a boa constrictor, as snakes are pretty much my biggest fear in life, but sounds like it was all worth it. I’m actually going back to Paris for a day in a couple of weeks with my boyfriend so maybe we’ll book a show!

    Reply
    • I beg to differ. You can check online and find out more. In the trailer, they are only showing the ones with the leotards. And like I have mentioned, most of the girls are not topless, just a few during every act. Have you ever been to a Moulin rouge show?

      Reply
      • What looks off the stage is not true on the stage. Surely this is the best show but unlike Crazy Horse it not put under the ADULT show and even kids are allowed because of hardly any nudity in it. I have watched the most of them, few in Paris and others in America (They do in Vegas/Chicago/NYC too). After all you learn a lot after travelling to 4 continents. Check out our FB page for more insight on lot many destinations you may get surprised with.

        Reply
        • Links are not allowed in the comments. If you want to promote your page, please look elsewhere.

          I am not going to argue with you over the nudity aspect in Moulin Rouge. I am sure of what I saw and I am going to stick to that. About allowing kids to the Moulin Rouge, Europeans actually don’t care. This is evident from the number of nude beaches in Europe.

          So does it mean that you have more expertise just because you have been to 4 continents? I didn’t know that. Oh and just for your information, I have been to 5 continents.

          Reply
          • Intelligent spirits have always encountered oppositions from mediocre minds!!!! Your are free to delete the entire comment and paint false pictures, not many can know. I have enough followers to listen and make best out of their travel. I would appreciate to know when you can write about something which is surprising true enough and not known. Shows are for tourist all over the world and European love their children as much.

          • If you have enough followers, then why are you putting links in my webpage? Please go ahead and promote your links on your page.

            I don’t paint false pictures and that is why this comment is going to stay on the page. I am not going to engage you any further.

            “Silence is the best answer to a stupid question”.

  2. I laughed out loud at the boobs! Living in Europe most of my adult life, it hardly fazes me anymore, but when my whitebread Canadian parents come visit, I always enjoy their shock! I mean, this year the nativity scene in my little Spanish town had the Virgin Mary with her breasts out to feed baby Jesus. Not nearly as scandalous as the Moulin Rouge, mind you, no boa constrictors were in the stable 😉
    I am very envious of you though. It’s definitely a dream of mine to go see one of their cabarets, shame about the food though (I’m also veggie), but in France I suppose it’s hardly surprising.
    I have to say I find your writing style really fun and easy to read! I’ll definitely be coming back 🙂 Thank you!

    Reply
  3. Loved your point of view, especially, we as Indians need to really decide where to go and where not to go with kids and parents. I would dread taking my parents on a beach in Croatia… you never know which corner is a nudist beach and my mom and dad would not know where to look! Thanks for the tips on the dress code…will pack accordingly!

    Reply
  4. Haha, I loved the way you do not recommend Indian elders and children
    to go to Mulan Rouge. To be honest, I did know it was a very erotic
    show but I didn’t think that some of the girls would be naked on the
    stage. That indeed must be a unique and strange experience. It’s great
    that your ticket came with half a bottle of champagne as well. Why did
    you only take a sip?

    Reply
  5. I’ve always wondered what the inside of the Moulin Rouge is actually like, too! Reading your post helped me visualize it really well. Good to know about the nudity. That could really offend some people who didn’t know it was part of the show!

    Reply
  6. I never knew either what was inside, I have seen the outside of the building. The way you describe it, it sounds like a scene from Rush Hour 3 where Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan became part of the show. Being a single male, French women and boobs sound perfect!

    Reply
  7. I have been to Moulin Rouge and thank you reminding me how brilliant it was. I can see why some people could feel uncomfortable. I feel it is better than the Lindo.

    Reply
  8. Oh my. I’m sorry you got shock. I did get a bit of a giggle reading this. It’s rather well known for it’s scandalous history and boobs. It’s great to see that the French idea about women’s bodies aren’t restricted and that children are allowed. After all what are boobs? Just a part of every day life.

    Reply
  9. Oh my goodness, I am so jealous! I found myself in Paris bunking on the couch of a friend of a friend of my mom’s, and he was the most fast-paced, all over the place guide in the world. We stormed by the Moulin Rouge so fast I didn’t really understand that I’d seen it until it was out of sight! I’ll have to go back for the full shebang.

    Reply
  10. I’ll be honest, I laughed for a while at “but unless you want to scar your Indian child for life”, nor because you wrote it but how different cultures across the world and how protected our kids are, which is good in my opinion. good that you wrote the disclaimer.
    Loved reading the rest of the post. Moulin Rouge is definitely in the list for our long Europe trip due next year, so I’ll be coming to your post before doing my bookings 🙂

    Reply
  11. Hahaha, if only I had read a post about you planning to go to Moulin Rouge before you actually went rather than after you had been, I might have been able to warn you about the nudity! It is one of the things that it’s most famous for, but if you’re not expecting it, it would come as a shock! Glad to hear that, once you grew accustomed to it, you were able to enjoy the experience- which is indeed a captivating one 🙂

    Reply
  12. This was really interesting! I have never been to Moulin Rouge and probably wouldn´t be able to afford it anyway, but I loved to have a peak! I think although children are allowed, it´s not really the best fit for them – not because of the nudity, but certainly I as a child would be bored to death to watch a dance show for two hours, boobs or no boobs… 😉

    Reply
  13. Oooooh sounds like a very scandalous show, I never went to find out what goes behind Moulin Rouge but you painted quite a vivid picture! Never would have guessed what performances would have came from behind the grand curtains ya!

    Reply
  14. Moulin Rouge is a big part of Paris culture and an iconic landmark. You have recounted your experiences really candidly and it is a great help for people who are in two minds about going to the show. I am sure that the act was class and never stooped to vulgarity. I can see it was quite a grand spectacle.

    Reply
  15. This is such a great post. I can just imagine your shock. Lol! But what surprises me the most is the fact that you had an evening gown with you? Wow! Talk about ready for anything!!!

    Reply
  16. Am not a culture person you can say as I have never been any shows of these kinds. Moulin Rouge sounds interesting and a different experience altogether. Your post has given me a new perspective of Paris which will remain etched in my mind. Thanks for sharing this great experience with us I will definitely take care not to take along my MIL 😛

    Reply
  17. Paris is one of my favourite cities. I’ve been several times and I’m sure that’s not the end 🙂 Still, I haven’t been to Moulin Rouge, but I think it would be really interesting to watch a show. Great post!

    Reply
  18. Oh I am also a cultural traveler. Missed seeing this when I was there long time ago but seriously it won’t go nicely with Indians. 🙂

    Yes, these shows expect one to dress decently. Good that you did that shopping. I was surprised that the ticket came with champagne. 🙂

    Reply
  19. What a wonderful experience. When I went to Paris I thought about attending a show, but I had a controlled budget and the tickets are quite expensive. But I really enjoyed reading your post and getting a good idea of how to watch a show at the Moulin Rouge. Who knows one day I go there again. 🙂

    Reply
  20. I watched the movie Moulin Rouge during my college days but didn’t know that there’s a show on it! I’d definitely love to attend this show!

    Reply
  21. The show does sound quiet intriguing. Alas, we can’t take children and that is totally understandable. Although I am going to Paris in couple of months, but given the fact that you can’t take children below 6 years with you. And as you suggested, not to take them otherwise also. I guess I will have to give it a pass. But will definitely go when I visit solo

    Reply
  22. I liked your elaborated post. We had visited Paris but didn’t saw Moulin Rouge show. Next time we will try it for a new experience. Thanks for the dress code tip. we will keep that i mind before packing.

    Reply
  23. Seems not very suitable for desi families… that means it is perfect for loners like me.. he he
    Let’s see when I can make it to Europe. But good guide, especially the practical details such as getting back at night.

    Reply
  24. Hahaha this was quite fun to read as I was wondering if you knew all of what the show consisted of! I’ve never been to the actual show myself whenever I’m in Paris, it was a bit too out of my price range, but it sounds like it was a fun time! It has a long and sordid history, so now you’ve gotten to experience a bit of that! And DO watch the movie, it’s GORGEOUS.

    Reply
  25. I saw this when I was in paris but I never ventured in. By the sounds of it though I may not have met the dress code haha. I really laughed about the scaring your mother in law to death bit. I suppose I grew up in a pretty different culture but I’ll make sure I don’t make that mistake! ☺

    Reply
  26. This sounds fun. I wanna experience moulin rouge myself some day. I completely agree with your point we Indians really think and need to decide what has to be seen with parents and adults. Rest it is ones decision. This is just a culture difference.

    Reply
  27. Ha ha..I love the way you have answered the questions on whether to take kids or not….I missed the show for precisely that reason. Did not want to scar my daughter for life 😀 …Nice set of tips

    Reply
  28. Ah so cool. I have passed by it so many times but never actually went in. Should put it on my list for next time 🙂 Love that first picture!!

    Reply
  29. This is a great way of summarisaiton. Loved the points (Children & Elders) from Indian perspective. We went to Paris in September ’16 & missed this. I’d love to witness this show next time for sure. 🙂

    Parampara-Parichay

    Reply
  30. Thanks for sharing your experience at Moulin Rouge with us, I can tell that you had a fantastic time there. Keep the traveling alive 🙂

    Reply
  31. to be very honest, I am yet to visit Paris. And when I do, I will definitely visit Moulin Rouge. But, your article did the rest, seriously. Loved reading, and it was indeed a whole of a virtual visit. Thanks <3

    Reply

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