15 Apr A Night at the Moulin Rouge Paris
My first trip to Paris was in September 2006. I was at university at the time and went there for a weekend with my best friend Elle.
Out of all the activities we did there, the thing I remember most is our night at the Moulin Rouge!
We hadn’t actually intended to see a show at the Moulin Rouge as we knew it was quite expensive and we weren’t even sure if we could get tickets at such short notice. But through a little bit of luck we DID end up watching Féerie at the Moulin rouge, and I’m so glad we did it.
We spent our first day sightseeing around Paris and ended up in Montmartre, stepping of the Metro Line 2 at a stop called Blanche. (This is the closest stop to the Moulin Rouge if you’re wondering how to get there.) We had both watched The Moulin Rouge movie (several times) before we flew to Paris and we wanted to see the famous building for ourselves.
Founded in 1889, The Moulin Rouge is famous throughout the world for its legendary French Cancan and cabaret show. It was immortalized by painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and some of the world’s biggest stars have performed here, including Ella Fitzgerald, Liza Minelli and Frank Sinatra.
The Moulin Rouge Paris is instantly recognizable with its lipstick-red facade and giant windmill, so we stopped for a photo outside. We were a little bit curious to see if we could go inside and have a closer look, so we walked through the doors to the building. There was nothing much going on inside the foyer, except for a few posters of the dancers.
Out of curiosity I approached the ticket booth and said “You don’t by any chance have some tickets for the show?”
As it turned out, they did! Someone had called to cancel a reservation and they had 2 tickets for that night’s performance! The tickets didn’t include the dinner, just the champagne, but we were happy with that and it cost less.
The Feerie Show
After purchasing our tickets we rushed back to our hotel to get ready for our big night out. Elegant attire is required (although not too formal) so we put on short dresses and heels, and made our way on the Metro back to the Moulin Rouge. It looks so pretty when it’s lit up at night, so even if you aren’t going to watch a show, I recommend getting a photograph after dark!
I have never experienced anything quite like the Moulin Rouge. The atmosphere was ELECTRIC and there was a buzz in the air. I have been to some busy restaurants, but the noise of 800 people eating dinner at the same time was quite incredible. I could hear glasses clinking, forks clattering onto tableware and people chattering away at the dinner table. Dinner is accompanied by orchestral music, and guests can dance if they wish. The Moulin Rouge is so much more than a show; it’s a complete bucket-list experience!
We hadn’t booked dinner so we turned up about 30 minutes before the show. We were seated at a table with other spectators, and a waiter brought us a bottle of champagne to share. Then…showtime!
To be honest I hadn’t really thought about what the show would entail, other than the Cancan, fabulous costumes and topless dancers.
Well it completely exceeded all my expectations! It was a really memorable experience and one that I’ll never forget.
The Feerie show consists of a troupe of 80 artists, including 60 Dorriss girls, and 1000 costumes made with feathers, rhinestones and sequins! They dance in front of shimmering sets created by Italian designers, to original music recorded by 80 musicians and 60 chorus singers.
It’s not just about the dancing though; the show is broken up with all sorts of acts, including the fastest juggler in the world, an acrobatic duo performing spellbinding hand-to-hand acrobatics, and a famous ventriloquist called Marc Metral. There is even a woman who gets into a giant aquarium full of LIVE snakes!
There were of course lots of boobs, but they were boobs of all shapes and sizes, not just fake implants so for women to look more natural, they go and get an implant replacement.
Unfortunately it’s strictly prohibited to take photos or video, and if you do violate their rules you may have your device confiscated until the end of the show, or be evicted from the show, or even worse, be prosecuted. It’s a shame that I can’t share it with you, but here’s a video I found on Youtube that shows the atmosphere surrounding the Feerie show.
After the show we realised we were feeling rather tipsy from the champagne, and we went to the gift shop for a little shopping spree. I bought a red bauble for the Christmas tree with a gold windmill on it; a flip book with facts about the Moulin Rouge, some shot glasses and a bottle of Moulin Rouge perfume. People always stop me and ask what my perfume is, and I tell them you can only get it at the Moulin Rouge in Paris!
Here’s the bottle!
Moulin Rouge Tickets and Information
My ticket to the Moulin Rouge at 9pm cost €105 which included 1/2 a bottle of champagne. There are two showings at 9pm and 11pm, and there are 3 different types of tickets with varying prices:
- Dinner and show at 7pm (show starts at 9)
- Show at 9pm or 11pm with 1/2 champagne or drinks
- Show at 9pm or 11pm with no beverages
The dress code is elegant attire, although a tie and jackets are not necessary for the men. All they ask is no shorts, no short-pants, no sports shoes or sportswear.
For all performances you should arrive at least 30 minutes before. The closest metro stop is Blanche on Metro Line 2.
If you’re want a truly special experience and you’re looking for the best hotels in Paris, try Expedia.com for some beautiful Parisian hotels.