Moulin Rouge, Paris

Last Updated: 10th Dec 2013

moulin rouge cabaret, paris

by – Matt Vernick, Tour Manager, Europe

Of all the cabaret shows, not only in Paris, but the world, almost unquestionably the most famous is the Moulin Rouge.

Cabarets were the coolest places to hang out during the late 18, early 1900’s and the Moulin Rouge first opened it’s doors in to 1889 (the same year the Eiffel Tower was completed) As well as offering a fantastic show, there is an aurora of history that surrounds the theater, for example, the ‘Rouge was a favorite hang out of Toulouse-Lautrec (among many others) while due to superstition the title of all their shows begin with the letter ‘F’. The theater has also played host to many great performers including Edith Piaf and Elton John while even the Queen of England has been entertained there.

Although the cabaret scene kind of died off in places like Berlin, this never happened in Paris and the Moulin Rouge regained its reputation as one of the most famous theaters in the world due in no small part to the 2001 movie of the same name (the actual experience is very different to the movie). The show runs around 2 hours and is simply spectacular. The costumes are amazing and with up to 60 people on the stage at any one time, and just so you’re not shocked, true to cabaret tradition, some of the performances are topless (both the guys and the girls).

No Parisian cabaret experience in complete without the authentic French Can-Can, which is a lot of fun in itself, however cabaret isn’t just about singing and dancing – there are awesome variety acts in between the shows, some funny, others just plain amazing with the show and performances are mostly in French and English (catering for an international audience).

Before the show begins here is a live band playing some cool music and you can get up and have a cut some rug on the dance floor if you like – being able to say you’ve danced on the floor of the Moulin Rouge is pretty cool.

The meal is included with the package offered by Contiki and the food is good (lets face it, the place isn’t famous for the food) but the great thing is that the wine is. A few glasses of wine complement the meal nicely as does a glass of champagne just before the show – fantastic!

A lot of people ask and talk a bout booking the show themselves, or booking the show without the meal. There’s nothing to stop you form doing this, however you’ll probably end up with a better deal with Contiki. It may appear to be cheaper to book yourself but once you factor in a bottle of wine (bottles start at around 90 € ) Seats are generally a lot better with a group (If you book yourself you may find yourself towards the back of the theater) plus you get to share a great meal and a great time with your tour mates. As with all things Contiki, this also takes the hassle out of booking and getting back home afterwards.

Wildly popular during the summer months, the show is simply spectacular the opportunity to go to the Moulin Rouge is either at the start or end of a tour and the Moulin Rouge is a simple unforgettable way to end a tour or a fantastic kick-start to your European Adventures.

by – Chad Hartin, Tour Manager, Europe

One of my favourite excursions is the French Cabaret. Whether it is the Moulin Rouge or La Nouvelle Eve, it is a great evening for not only all of my passengers

Still, after about 60 visits myself, it is a great evening for me! The French Cabaret is the original Las Vegas Show ( all of them ) packed into one! You have magic, acrobatics, comedy, amazing sets and costumes as well as showgirls and dancing! To top it all off, great food and drink!

How else could you imagine spending either your first or last night in Paris? I may know all the words to the music and the acts but I still love it every time! Paris is the only place in the world you can see a “French Cabaret”.

The Moulin Rouge is offered as an optional excursion on all winter tours visiting Paris, and a limited number of Time Out/Superior/Hotel summer tours.

During the summer Contiki Concept/Budget Tours, Contiki Camping Tours as well as many Time Out/Superior/Hotel offer the Nouvelle Eve cabaret as an optional Parisian cabaret excursion.