A Traveler's Guide to the Moulin Rouge
Everything you need to know about the Moulin Rouge
· 4 min read
Paris is a city that's known for its romantic ambiance, world-famous landmarks, and artistic culture. Known for its iconic red windmill and its vibrant performances, the Moulin Rouge has been entertaining audiences since 1889, and it remains one of the most popular experiences for tourists in Paris. If you're planning a trip to Paris and want to experience the Moulin Rouge, here's everything you need to know.
Is it worth it?
Given it isn’t exactly cheap to catch a show at the Moulin Rouge, this is probably the burning question for everyone.
Since we don't know what is important to you and what you are looking for, we can't exactly tell if it is going to be worth it for you. But we have combed through the web to see what people are saying, and here are some key takeaways to help you make your decision:
- The Moulin Rouge is one of the most popular shows in Paris, and is very, very touristy. So if it is your first time to Paris and you are looking for an iconic experience, this is a show that you should definitely catch.
- The shows are enjoyable, and is something that you probably should catch at least once for the experience. But it is unlikely to be something you would watch again, partly due to the steep prices.
- But if you can actually understand French or are into the French culture, you might find the show and songs disappointing. Some have also said that it is not a great representation of the French culture.
What to Expect
The Moulin Rouge troupe, comprising 60 artists and dancers, thrills audiences all over the world every evening. Be prepared to be enchanted by the exceptional performances by first-class artists from all over the world.
The shows do change from time to time. At the point of writing, the production that is currently showing at the Moulin Rouge is the sensational “Féerie” show, which was presented for the first time in 1999 after two full years of conceptualisation and creation. The show is a truly immersive experience, with a mix of music and dance, stunning costumes, and breath-taking acrobatic feats of high speed and precision.
The show has four main scenes: THE MOULIN ROUGE IN THE PAST AND PRESENT, THE MOULIN ROUGE FOREVER; THE PIRATES; AT THE CIRCUS; and THE MOULIN ROUGE FROM 1900 TO… Be prepared to be brought through four spectacular adventures as the curtains rise. In between these scenes, you will also be treated to smaller performances.
The Moulin Rouge offers dinner and show packages, which includes a full three-course meal and half a bottle of champagne per person. The dinner and show package will start with the dinner, that leads straight into the show. There are three menus that you can choose from, inclusive of a vegan option. If you are looking for something more exquisite, there is also a VIP package that is available.
The official guidelines for the dress code states that you need to be in a smart dress attire, so make sure to dress appropriately.
But what exactly does a smart dress attire mean? Well, here are some guidelines for your consideration:
- Shorts, bermuda shorts, ﬂipﬂops, sportswear, and sports shoes are strictly not permitted. Hats and caps should be removed when entering the venue as well. Sneakers are usually tolerated but not recommended.
- You can wear jeans, but it is not common and you could possibly feel under-dressed / out of place. If you are wearing jeans, perhaps pair it with a formal jacket or blazer.
- Evening dresses or business attire will definitely be a safe choice. Though you don’t necessarily need a tie!
- Travel very lightly. Backpacks, suitcases, and luggages are not allowed in the theatre, and will also not be allowed in cloakrooms.
The Moulin Rouge have two daily shows at 9pm and 11pm. There are also occasional Matinee shows, and you can keep a look out for these shows on their website. The show lasts for 2 hours.
The dinner and show packages have dinner starting at 7pm daily, followed by the show at 9pm.
💡 Note that for the second show, although the time states 11pm, the show actually starts at 11.30pm (which means you can expect to end at about 1.30am instead of 1am).
Moulin Rouge offers various packages:
- Dinner and Show — from €205 per person
- Dinner and Show VIP package — from €420 per person
- Show — from €88 per person (but when we looked through the ticketing site, we weren't able to find tickets at €88. Most of them were either €113 or €133 for the 11pm show)
- Show VIP package — from €210 per person
The VIP packages include half a bottle of superior champagne per person, and you will get priority access and privileged seats. If you are not going for the VIP package but want to have drinks to go along with your show, there is an option for you to get a package that includes drinks. Alternatively, you can also order on the spot.
The 11pm shows are generally cheaper than the 9pm show, with ticket prices being more expensive on Fridays and Saturdays. As the show sells out, it is recommended to buy your tickets early.
The tickets can be purchased from the official website, but note that there is a booking fee that is charged so it might not always be the cheapest option. You can look out for packages on other sites like GetYourGuide for better deals.
Location and Getting There
🗺️ Address: 82 Boulevard de Clichy
🚆 How to get there: If you're taking the metro, the closest station is Blanche (Line 2). The bus lines 30, 54, 68, and 95 also stop nearby.
Tips for Attending
- If you're planning to attend the Moulin Rouge show, it's recommended to arrive 30-45 minutes before the show starts to make sure there is sufficient time to clear security checks and avoid any delays. If you are attending the dinner, plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the dinner.
- During the show, photography is not allowed, so make sure to enjoy the performance without distractions.
- The shows are open to visitors aged 6 and above, though children below 12 must be accompanied by an adult. However, note that the “Féérie” show includes passages with nudity — so you may want to consider if it is suitable for your kid.
- You won’t get to choose your seat when buying tickets, and you won’t know where you will be seated until you are at the venue. So your seats and views are somewhat up to luck. It is also possible that you will be sharing tables with strangers.
- Not to worry if you can’t speak French. The Moulin Rouge is heavily catered to tourists so even if you don't understand French, you will likely still be able to understand and enjoy the show.