Added to the already impressive nightlife character of Paris is the sparkling atmosphere that the famous Moulin Rouge offers. Since it opened over 120 years ago, show biz stars, actors, musicians, and iconic names have all visited this cabaret. Visitors aside, the Moulin Rouge is also frequently attended by Parisians. They often attend The Machine’s club scene and the rooftop Bar à Bulles which can be found in the temple of cabaret. Also, Toulouse-Lautrec posters, radiant lamp-posts, and artificial trees lend the allure of this place.
Featuring stunning topless dancers, the cabaret show has emerged popular across the world as thousands of tourists visit every year. The show also features acrobats, feathers and sequins, choreography, and the famous Can-can dance. Moulin Rouge should be on the itinerary of anyone looking to enjoy the nightlife in Paris.
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A Short History of The Famous Moulin Rouge
The famous Moulin Rouge opened its doors in 1889, at the start of the ‘Belle époque’ (the era of Optimism). Many expected that it will become one of the most authentic sites of the local cultural life. Truly, the stage’s architecture was countercultural at the time, and it allowed prompt series of developments in shows and sets.
In the splendid and festive nights it held, people were surprised by the astonishing performances of artists like the clowns, pétomanes, and others. But the major attraction was the iconic French Cancan and the dancers.
Some dancers like “Nini pattes en l’air”, Jane Avril, etc. remain legends in the cabaret’s history. In addition, the Moulin Rouge has emerged as a captivating place for tourists and artists. During its early days, people like the iconic painter Toulouse-Lautrec frequented here. It was so adored by tourists that there was an attempt to make a replica. So it is not surprising to read about Moulin Rouge-esque cabarets in other parts of the world.
Moulin Rouge is essentially situated close to Montmartre and is therefore at the heart of the signature Partisan cultural lifestyle. Today the street outside the cabaret is not especially attractive. Still, the cabaret’s character remains as its fame swells with time.
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Why You Should Visit the Moulin Rouge
It is the cradle of the cabaret and Cancan. Some might find it intriguing that the dancers are- for the most part- topless. But there is more to Moulin Rouge- great shows are on display here that are filled with enhanced effects, wide costumes, and comedy (occasionally). It remains the number one rated night show in Paris and the most famous cabaret in the world. As an example of its highest standards, every new production costs about 9 million euros.
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What to Look Forward to At the Moulin Rouge
Every night, there are three exciting shows. The Moulin Rouge runs for an hour, and a half and pictures are not allowed to be taken as soon as you are in. At Moulin Rouge, what happens there does not necessarily stay there. And as such, visitors have recounted stories involving seized cameras.
Watching the Moulin Rouge is often an unbelievable experience. Though an overwhelming majority of the audience are tourists, all the fame and hype around the show makes it highly reverberant, a real scintillating experience (and of course, the fact that gorgeous dancers are topless does add a tinge of some element to the experience).
From the Far East romance story to the history of the French capital, the storylines depicted in the show are captivating. And you should expect fireworks at the popular Cancan, which is the peak of the show. The numbers include fantastic costumes, and the level of detail is beyond expectations.
What is perhaps more astonishing about Moulin Rouge is quite a high tech. Every few minutes, the stage has a new look with props trooping in from the sides, the top, and the bottom. Apart from the dance numbers, there is a rib-cracking comedy act that involves the crowd and an awe-inspiring acrobatic act performed by a duo that looks to be from the Russian Olympic gymnastics team. In this piece, the guy lifts the girl on one of his hands and moves in and out of difficult positions. This maneuvering is one of the show’s main attractions, and it does not involve topless dancers.
Here Are 6 Interesting Things to Do Around the Moulin Rouge
Go on a Montmartre Walking Tour
To a local, the picture-perfect area of Montmartre is different from any other part of Paris. Only a Parisian could explain to a visitor why Picasso, Edith Piaf, and Van Gogh made Montmartre their abode. When you visit, check out the outlandish lifestyles of present and old residents, find out why Parisians are proud of their unique vineyard and savor Montmartre’s romantic atmosphere. Explore why it is called the artsy part of Paris. And do not forget to see the rest of the city from Montmartre. It is spectacular.
Get a Portrait at the Place du Tertre
In this small square, you can find lots of painters who can make your portrait in a few minutes. This place is popular and truly representative of the district. You can even make souvenirs out of the portraits.
Go to the Montmartre Cemetery to meet Zola and Dalida
The special atmosphere of the area’s cemetery might be morbid at first, but that quickly dissipates to give room for a welcoming ambiance where you can enjoy a break from all the sightseeing trips you earlier had. Emile Zola, Dalida, and Michel Berger and others have their resting place here. The sunrise’s tender light makes it all the more spiritual if you want to have a splendid time in a place where the clock does not stop ticking.
Buy a Theatre Ticket to the Place De Clichy
Between l’Européen and Le Méry, visitors will have to choose. These are the two major theatres on Place de Clichy for those who want to watch a French play. Truly, young and dynamic artists like Claudia Tagbo are on set here and would make visitors cry, or laugh, or both.
Dine at L’Eté en Pente Douce
This perhaps takes home the crown as the best restaurant in the 18th arrondissement. The ambiance is cozy, and the food is highly delectable. The stunning setting is the first thing to impress here, and Sacré Coeur’s beautiful surrounding that is close to the restaurant brilliantly complements it.
People-Watch at Lux Bar
People-watching from the comfort of a lively café is an activity that never gets out of fashion in Paris. Spare a moment to indulge in this adorable Parisian past time with your friends and family (if you are not alone). And if you are alone, sit with a crossword puzzle, a book, or just place an order, and watch the beautiful world unfurl around you at Lux Bar.
Lux Bar is a petit café about a minute walk from the Moulin Rouge from where you can descend near the major boulevard and watch other tourists come to appreciate the ‘Red Mill’. The café has outdoor seating that is great for joining the excitement at a cheap price. You might also want to check out Café des Deux Moulins and Le Refuge, both in the 18th arrondissement. They are other places to people-watch in the area.
How to Get to the Moulin Rouge
Before visiting, you should have bought your tickets, and they are not that cheap. Visit the show’s website to book them in advance, and do not forget that there are varieties of tickets to be bought. For example, their VIP tickets (including show, dinner, champagne, DVD, souvenirs, and services), dinner and shows tickets, and standard tickets.
It is possible to get 80 euros tickets and 200 euros tickets per person for the VIP tickets. Every night, there are three shows with different prices and expect to pay around 110 euros on a ticket. Do not forget that shows are changed every few years, so it makes sense to visit multiple times.
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Why is Moulin Rouge Famous – Summary
Although it is very touristy, visiting the Moulin Rouge is undoubtedly a highlight of any night. I recommend that you see a show during your next visit to Paris. The show is indeed expensive to attend, but the dances, costumes, the magic, the hype, and the allure -along with a glass of champagne- culminates to a night well spent in Paris.
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