The Moulin Rouge is unquestionably the most famous cabaret show in the world. I have had the privilege of watching the show 36 times to this date. Yep you read correctly, that is not a typo, 46 times and counting.
So who better to advise you of some of the details you should know before visiting the Moulin Rouge. If you’re wounding why I have seen it so many times is because I love watching my talented wife perform in the show and if I could I would watch her every night.
The current show which is being performed at the Moulin rouge is called “Féerie” which in English translates to “Fairy”. The Moulin Rouge currently consists of approximately 80 artists, 60 of which are Doriss Girls.
Fun Fact: Did you know that every show which has been performed at the Moulin rouge has started with the letter “F”
1983–1988: “Femmes, femmes, femmes”
Since 1999: “Feerie”
Skip the Lines At The Moulin Rouge
If you were to attend the second show at 11pm which is the one I most often attend, you will notice the massive line on the street prior to entry. Don’t be alarmed because everyone will get a seat if you already have your ticket. The show will not start before they have seated everyone in the line.
There is however an advantage to be had for lining up early. The closer you are to the front of the line the better chance you have of getting a good seat. However this is not guaranteed, you may be unlucky and still be seated with your back to the show or with a partially obstructed view.
If you are attending the first show without a dinner then the line will be considerably shorter because there will already be customers dinning in the theatre prior to your entrance.
Many attractions in Paris such as the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre have a skip the line tickets which are purchasable prior to attending the attraction. To my surprise I did actually find a skip the line VIP entrance for the Moulin rouge.
I can’t vouch for these skip the line tickets however I did read that they also give you VIP treatment which means a seat on the balcony above the stage, gifts, Champaign and more. All I can do is point you in the right direction and let you make your own decision. From my perspective a 30minute wait in Paris to see an attraction is quick.
What To Expect When You Watch
For starters you can expect to see my amazingly talented wife on stage possibly dancing as a soloist if your lucky. She will be the one on stage camouflaged amongst the other 40 stunning Doriss Girls wearing similar costumes.
You can expect to see glamorous women and athletic men showcasing their talents as professional cabaret dancers. Bright, colourful, stunning costumes covered in beads and feathers accentuating some excellent performances and choreography. The dancing is broken up by a number of specialist acts and could range from breathtaking circuitry performers to hilarious comedians.
I do not recommend that you attend the Moulin Rouge if you are offended in anyway by topless women. I have only really heard two complaints from visitors to the Moulin rouge: The first complaint is that they were disgusted that the girls had no top on. That complaint is easy to fix, if you can’t handle topless women, DON’T GO!
Sorry but it really frustrates me when I hear this complaint. This is a 2015 cabaret show based in Europe, what do you expect? The show is performed by professionally trained dancer with tasteful choreography and gorgeous costume. Let me reassure you however that it is not full nudity and only the top half of some of the girls are exposed.
The second complaint is as mentioned before about getting a bad seat. Yes the seats can sometimes be a bit squishy and you could be unlucky enough to sit with your back to the stage. If this occurs then I would suggest turning your seat around at least 90 degrees so you can enjoy the show.
Fun Fact: Did you know that some extremely famous performers have featured on stage at the Moulin rouge, some of which include: Liza Minnelli, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Tony Curtis and many more…
Dinner At The Moulin Rouge
In the 36 times I have seen the Moulin rouge I have only had dinner there once. It has to be said that you shouldn’t expect a meal from Michelin chef however they are well presents. However since I ate there 3 years ago I have been told that the menu has been improved considerably.
The best thing about the dinner is that you get to spend about 4 hours at the show rather than just 2 hours for the normal ticket without dinner. The atmosphere is quite amazing and you can really feel the history in the ballroom when the lights are on.
Tickets Times and Prices
Dress Code: A jacket and tie is appreciated as dress code at the Moulin Rouge. They are however pretty understood that tourists may not have packed a suit and tie. At the bear minimum you should wear jeans and a nice shirt. However clothing that is not acceptable are shorts, Bermuda’s, sports cloths and sports shoes.
Surprisingly children form the age of 6 years old and up are accepted but please be aware as mentioned before that there is frequent partial nudity.
Fun Fact: Did you know that on the 23 November 1981 the Moulin Rouge Closed its doors for one night to present its show to Queen Elizabeth II
There are three time slots for the show all of which I recommend arriving at least 30minutes before start time. There is a 7pm dinner slot where you can enjoy a 3 course meal and live music, a 9pm performance without dinner and an 11pm late show without dinner.
Depending on the time of year and day of the week, the Moulin rouge will occasionally hold a matinee show which is performed about lunch time.
Depending on where you order your tickets, what time of year and what package you purchase the price can vary considerably. Price can range from around 110euro all the way up to around 500euros.
Also you should be aware that some tour companies may offer package deals which include a number of attractions bundled with Moulin Rouge tickets.
After The Show
You should be aware that the late show can sometimes finish as late as 2am in the morning. This means the all the trains and most public transport will not be operating. The only options you have to get back to your hotel would be a Paris shuttle, Taxi or Uber.
A common mistake I see every night is tourists trying to waive down a taxi out the front of the Moulin Rouge and getting upset when the say no or won’t stop. The reason for this is because there is a taxi rank on the other side of the street. It is illegal for taxi drivers to pick up a customer within a few hundred meters of a taxi rank.
If you walk to the end of the street they will stop for you or you can wait in the massive taxi line. However honestly if you have the Uber app I will vouch for this service over a taxi in Paris every time.
Don’t forget your coat! There is a coat and bag check station on the way in to the show however it is not free. Some items such as camera cases and back packs are compulsory to be check in before entry.
Photos and Souvenirs
During the day you can grab some Moulin Rouge Souvenirs from the store located around the corner on Rue Lepic. Otherwise after and before the show there is a small glass counter in the foyer which also sells souvenirs.
Photo and video recordings are prohibited in the Moulin Rouge, the staff are quite aggressive and strict about this. It is for good reason as well, the entire show is protected under copywrite laws plus there are a number of partially nude women which do not need to be spread all over the internet.
Just before the show there are photographers walking around asking if the customers would like a photo together. We did purchase this option once but I can’t remember how much it cost. I still have the Moulin Rouge match box with our picture on it in a shoe box at home.
So There You Have It! Everything I could think of that will prepare you for your visit to the Moulin Rouge. The show is amazing, well worth the money and i personally recommend attending. It will be one of the highlights of your tip to Paris. For more information visit their official website, comment below or sent me an email.