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Moulin Rouge

An iconic venue opened in the late 19th century, credited with the invention of the can-can dance.

TravelCurious Tip

Some of the shows have been known to involve snakes. They aren’t tossing them into the audience, but just to warn you!

The original Moulin Rouge was built in 1889, but it burned down in 1915. Presumably things got a little bit hot in there. It has since been rebuilt and immortalised in the 2001 film of the same name. It is found close to Montmarte in the district of Pigalle, and it is, of course, marked out by the gaudy red windmill on its roof.


At the start of the twentieth century this place had a bit of a reputation. What went on inside caused a lot of public outrage, though the same men were probably sidling in later that evening to get a glimpse of the licentious ladies. During this period, the artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a regular, and he painted a number of famous scenes from his experiences. More recently the club has cleaned itself up, shed its reputation as a glorified brothel and it now attracts a high-class clientele looking for clean fun.


Fan-Fan of the Can-Can?

Moulin Route is the spiritual birthplace of the modern can-can dance. This dance has its origins in a seductive number performed by the courtesans who once operated on the site, but it soon became an entertainment in its own right, leading to cabarets springing up across Europe. You can still catch a performance here, set amid the romantic decor of fin de siècle France.


Thank you for the music

Before Russell Crowe made his brave but ultimately hopeless baritone performance in Les Miserables, the movie musical was brought back to life by Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. Everything is cheeky, piquant and burst with vitality. Who could fail to be charmed by the love story of a young poetic Ewan McGregor and a glamorous, doomed Nicole Kidman.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
The Louvre
The Louvre is the biggest museum in the world. Inside you’ll find the jewels of every civilisation since prehistory.
Place de la Concorde
One of the major public squares in the city centre, well-known for its fountains and obelisk - and its bloody history.
Saint-Pierre de Montmartre
An unsung gem of a medieval church, Saint-Pierre started life in the 12th century as a renowned women's monastery.
Le Sacré-Coeur
The Sacré-Coeur is a white basilica perched atop Montmartre, with a stunning view of Paris below.
Moulin de la Galette
A windmill in the historic Montmartre district that has been immortalised in works by Renoir and Van Gogh.
Montmartre
A vibrant and artistic neighbourhood once home to Renoir and Gauguin, offering spectacular views over the city.

Related Tours

Private Bohemian Montmartre Walking Tour: Home of the Artists
Uncover the history and art of a quintessentially Parisian neighbourhood on this walking tour. 

  • Explore bohemian Montmartre, the home of world-renowned artists, including Picasso and Renoir.
  • See Sacré CoeurVan Gogh’s former home and the city's last vineyard.
  • See the home of the Moulin Rouge.
  • Experience some of the best panoramic views of Paris from the top of the hill.
    
Bohemian Paris

In this fascinating walking tour of Montmartre, you will be immersed in Paris' most bohemian and intriguing neighbourhood, whilst exploring this unique enclave of the city. You will see first hand where some of the world’s most influential painters including Renoir, Picasso and Van Gogh, lived and worked on this beautiful hill towering above Paris. 

You will also have the pleasure of discovering the windmills and many monuments for which this area is famous. A highlight undoubtedly will be paying a visit to the famous  the Moulin Rouge, as well as traversing the highest point in Paris at the gleaming white Sacré-Cœur Basilica. 

Sacré-Cœur: Worship and War

Built in the 19th century in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War and the chaotic Paris Commune, the Sacré-Cœur emerged to become a symbol of the struggle between the conservative Catholic establishment and the secular republic radicals. Your expert city guide will explain the complex history of Montmartre, a place of devout worship spanning from the Druids of ancient Gaul right up to today. Make sure you have your camera as you are sure to be rewarded by a spectacular picture-perfect view of Paris below.
Create Your Own Half Day Tour of Paris
What better way to explore the historic city of Paris than with your very own personal tour guide?  Plan your day with an expert to visit the places that excite you most and spot the hidden gems you might have otherwise missed along your way.

  • Tailor-made tour to suit your needs and interests.
  • Free consultation service with your expert guide.
  • See the key sights or get off the beaten path and experience a different side of Paris.
  • Explore the city at your own pace.
  • Adapt your itinerary on the day to get the most out of your time in Paris.
Our professional, hand-picked guides are experts at designing tours for you.   The choice is up to you.  Do you want to take in the ultimate highlights of this world-famous city? Just say the word and you’ll be swept off to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame.  Or maybe you’re looking to get a little further off the beaten track?  That’s fine too, you could go exploring in the picturesque neighbourhood of Montmartre, or if you're really adventurous our guides could whisk you away to an undiscovered arrondissement that samples the best of Parisian life.  No matter your preferences, we tailor the tour directly to your interests to make sure you get the most out of your time in the city.

Ultimately, you’ll discover the Paris you want to see, at the pace you want to see it, with the knowledge and expertise of a local friendly guide.
Central Paris & Bohemian Montmartre: Full Day Highlights
Uncover the history and art of the quintessentially Parisian neighbourhoods on this tour.

  • Begin crossing onto Île de la Cité.
  • Pass into the Latin Quarter. Explore its colourful streets and back alleys.
  • Amble through The Louvre courtyards, The Tuileries gardens & Place de la Concorde.
  • Travel by metro to bohemian Montmartre, ascend to the highest point in Paris.
  • See the Sacré Coeur, Van Gogh’s former home and the city's last Vineyard.
  • Get well acquainted with the city's topography -  all neighbourhoods and attractions in walking distance.
Begin your walking tour at the medieval Île de la Cité. This small island on the Seine is the most ancient point in Paris. Explore its crooked streets and marvel at Notre Dame's intricate interior and exterior. Pass over the famous ‘love locks bridge’ and into the Latin Quarter. Uncover its most flavoursome streets and treasures. Next reach the Louvre, marvel at the architecture and explore its numerous beautiful courtyards. Then pass through the Tuileries Gardens to the Place de la Concorde, the famous execution site of Louis XVI during the French Revolution. 

The second part of your tour takes you to the bohemian Montmartre neighbourhood. By metro, you will quickly arrive at the steps of the Sacré Coeur. Ascend by tram or foot to the highest point in the city and take in the most spectacular, panoramic views. Explore Montmartre's vibrant streets, where artists and craftsmen sell their work. See where Vincent Van Gogh resided as a young man, and visit the last remaining vineyard in Paris. Finish the tour seeing the famous Moulin Rouge and its iconic neon windmill.
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