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A parisian attraction without parisians
What would you call an attraction for wich you can book only online or through a tour operator ?
In the begining, the Moulin Rouge, built in 1889 by Joseph Oller, situated in the seedy area known as Pigalle (in fact boulevard de Clichy), not far from Montmartre presented the thrill of the "fruit defendu" : women showing their legs in an era where ankles were something "audacious".
It became widely known through the paintings from Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, like "La Goulue" in 1891. But that was more than an century ago and the cabaret has slowly gone down since.
There was a renewal in the 50's when Georges France, bought the Bal du Moulin Rouge and invited newcomer artists and stars like : Charles Trenet, Charles Aznavour, Line Renaud, Bourvil, Fernand Raynaud...but this also had an end.
Today, the Moulin Rouge is mostly a casino-type revue without a casino, draining busloads of tourists to an expensive dinner.
To be honnest : Moulin Rouge is not really bad, just as exciting as a matinee at Holliday on Ice.
Unique Suggestions: A good point : From the 31st of March 2004, it is forbidden to smoke inside the Moulin Rouge
Fun Alternatives: Rent a film !
6 films have been made about the Moulin Rouge, from 1926 to Baz Luhman's and have a good dinner.
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Don't Even Think About It
As a fan of the movie and ever curious about topless dancers I was set on the MR experience. The show was ridiculous...an absolute waste of 80 Euro per person. It was also a waste of an evening. No matter what you have heard, I strongly discourage a visit here.
*Note: Photography is strongly prohibited inside. I snapped just one picture of a side wall before being admonished by a waiter and told that my camera would be taken if I took another picture.
Unique Suggestions: DRINK LOTS AND LOTS OF ALCOHOL
Is it worth 150 euro and up ? - crumpet watching..
If ever there was a place that was living off past glories, it is the Moulin rouge.
It does however still have a steady trade, relying on hoardes of rich tourists to fill up the theatre seats. For about 150 euros each they get a somewhat average meal from Seven O'clock and then a show from Nine O'clock, always featuring a bunch of East European Lovelies, with legs up to their armpits, pretending to be turn-of-the-century french courtesans dancing the can-can.
It all seems to be a bid staid and formulaic compared to the "Va Va Vroom" expressed in the film "Moulin Rouge" where senses tingled with anticipation at a night spent here.
Fun Alternatives: In a similar night out in Lincolnshire UK, it will cost you about 12 quid. A quick meal at Weatherspoons (£5.50 for two), A bottle of Cava From ASDA (£1.99) and entry to a dodgy nightclub (£3 at 'after dark') to watch a bunch of long-legged Latvians strutt their stuff.
- Arts and Culture
Moulin Rouge -Do it once!
It was our wedding anniversary trip to Paris and my dear wife - a dancer and lover of shows - wanted to go to The Moulin Rouge. I read the Tourist Trap reviews here and tried to steer us away, but then booked two tickets to make her happy! The cost was 100 Euro each, with half bottle of champagne each in the price. We got there at 8.30, lashed out 2 Euro to leave our coats in the cloakroom, and 8 Euro on the big glossy souvenir programme. then were efficiently ushered to our seats (which we shared with two nice guys from Philadelphia who were already seated). Our bottle of Champagne arrived on ice (plenty enough to see us through the show), a singer entertained til all were seated. The girls were stunning, the costumes spectacular, though they really allowed the girls only to parade and pose most of the time so the choreographer was overpaid! The music was a bit "canned" but was OK. The show was 2 hours, non-stop, with excellent male acrobats, and very impressive & funny juggler/drummer (go and see!) between the dances. The very fast can-can, by both male and female dancers was impressive, and we left very happy. The feared hard sell did not materialise. We did pay 25 Euro for the photo of us at the table but it was a special anniversary, and we felt no pressure to have the photo taken. So! I'm glad I went. A lovely evening, costing only a bit more than decent seats at a musical in London!
Unique Suggestions: Have a local meal at a brasserie or bistro, then go to the show. Pigalle/Boulevard de Clichy is mainly Peep Shows etc, but we've often walked here in the evening to go to bistros & shops (there's a Monoprix supermarket across from Moulin) without feeling uncomfortable, though it may be different after midnight. Beside Moulin Rouge is Rue Lepic, where you immediately leave any seediness behind and enter Montmartre. A busy little street, lined with small local shops, delicatessens and lively bars/brasseries. One is the "2 Moulins" where "Amelie" works in the film of the same name. Go in any of them for a beer, a coffee or a simple but tasty meal at good prices (3 courses and a glass of wine about 20 -25 Euro). Some have live music. Lepic rises to Rue Abbesses at the top, again lined with good bars and restaurants haunted by students and locals. Turn right, and in a few hundred metres you will pass Abbesses art nouveau Metro entrance, follow the signs another 100 metres to the foot of Butte Montmartre with Sacre Couer at the top, floodlit at night. Walk up 200 steps (or take the funicular!) for views over Paris. Whenever you go, you wont be alone - people from across the globe will be sat on the steps sharing the view with you, and the younger ones will have a guitar & be singing! Behind and to the left of Sacre Couer is Place de Tertre - bars/cafes & pavement artists, touristy yes, but nice to stroll narrow cobbled streets or have a beer and watch the world go by! As you leave the shops and cafes turn down left, to pass two old wooden windmills. You are now back on Rue Lepic, which will curve round back to Moulin Rouge, or shortcut down some steep steps to the same destination. Great day or night!
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The coat you do not need.
We were booked for a mini tour to Moulin Rouge. The guidelines told us the men should wear a coat and tie which they did.
But before we shown to our table the attendants told the men (and me but I wouldn't) to give their coats to the Cloak Room as there was no room for coats inside . Guess what the Cloak Room storage was NOT free.
Unique Suggestions: Unless you are cold do not wear a coat or be prepared to wear it at table.
Be prepared to be squashed in to your seat. Go to the toilet immediately after dinner and the shop too as it is hopeless later.
Go with a mini tour as they at least advise you of the pitfalls . Our guide took us right in to the attendant.
So warn your friends
Photo from web site
Very expensive drinks on offer while you wait for the show to begin. A tourist next to us paid £25 for a glass of coke!
Unique Suggestions: Worth seeing the show, but try to purchase a ticket that includes a drink. Ours included a half bottle of champagne (disguised as sparkling wine) and sip very very slowly.
- Theater Travel
Areas to AVOID
The streets surrounding the Lido and the Moulin Rouge are full of 'clubs' that feature hawkers to get you into the 'club'. What you need to know and what you aren't told until you are inside is that there is a 1 drink minimum. This doesn't sound to bad until you find out that a very weak Vodka Tonic cost 80USD. A Bourbon and Coke (not the good stuff, either) is 85USD. What a shock we had when we found out. You can't just get up and leave, either. They have 'bouncers' to prevent this. BE CAREFUL!
Unique Suggestions: There is no way. Just don't go!
Fun Alternatives: If you go to the Lido or to Moulin Rouge it's great! Just avoid the surrounding streets.
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Can-Can You Say "piège à touristes?"
Not trying to offend anyone, and to each his own:
but in my opinion the Moulin Rouge
is a classic tourist trap.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec doesn't hang out there any more, but busloads of international tourists do.
(where is Le Pétomane when we need him?)
Bring lots of money, the staff has figured out just about every way to get most of it.
The Belle Epoque Dinner and Show package for one person is now 175 Euros ($276) per person!, with no extras included.
I can think of better ways to spend $300+ on myself than cancan, but hey, that's just me....
Unique Suggestions: At least you can say you've been there.
But what the hell....
If you go to places like Moulin Rouge or Lido,
please enjoy, here's to you, and have a great time. Here's their website for a preview of what you are in for....
Moulin RougeThough the Moulin Rouge certainly couldn't give a damn about my opinion it appears they are tired of being associated w/ the term "tourist trap" & are trying to do something about it.
Friends of mine who have visited recently tell me the food, value, and shows have improved (especially the food). In all fairness, I say if you have Euros to burn, check it out. PS..... No smoking now
Fun Alternatives: Walk up the hill on Rue Lepic to Montmartre.
At night, it's touristy too (and Clichy/Pigalle sometimes gets a "little hairy" at night),
but at least you can find little places to hang out or walk to where they don't vacuum the euros from your trousers so vigorously.
82 boulevard de Clichy 75018 Metro: Blanche
+33 (0) 153.098.282
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Once Is Enough
The Lido on the Champs Elysées-- it is a huge tourist draw (note that their website is in French, English, and Japanese).
You can join with 1,099 other tourists and see a remarkable show-- remarkable in terms of lighting, stage technology, costumes, beautiful showgirls and showboys-- and pay a very healthy sum. The show without dinner, depending on the time and package, ranges from €70 to € 120. Dinner plus show will set you back from € 130 to € 170 per person.
Unique Suggestions: Is it worth it? Well, that depends. If you like Las Vegas shows, you'll be happy. If you want a little unique slice of French culture, you may be pleased. If you want a dazzling production in terms of sets, fountains, feathers, spangles... you'll be in seventh heaven. No question the dancers are talented, the bodies are beautiful...
Fun Alternatives: Having been there once, I have no desire to go back again. For the cost of this place, you can enjoy a wonderful meal. OK, maybe no feather boas, but GREAT food.
- Theater Travel
L'Art du Nu?
In addition to the Lido, there are several cabaret spectacles still surviving in Paris: Paradis Latin, Les Folies Bergere, the Crazy Horse Saloon... plus numerous lesser-known places. Each has its own style and personality-- for example, the Crazy Horse is much more bawdy and burlesque, whereas the Lido is elegance. And then of course there is the newly-famous Moulin Rouge. For a website that describes all these places, go to http://www.cofrase-cabarets.com/index.htm
Unique Suggestions: 1. Bring lots of money.
2. Expect to pay a fortune for drinks.
3. Don't expect great food (although it seems some places are bringing in some heavy-hitter chefs to try and up the food quality).
- Theater Travel
The notorious red-light district of Pigalle is located in the Montmartre district. It's very colorful, and interesting to see. But don't let anyone pull you into one of the clubs. Everything, especially drinks, is way overpriced. The girls will do whatever they can to entice more money out of you.
Unique Suggestions: If you want to see Pigalle without being hassled, walk down the long traffic island in the middle. You can take it all in, and they won't bother you.
Fun Alternatives: There really is nowhere else quite like Pigalle. It is fun to see everything here; just don't go into the clubs and blow a ton of money.
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It's not like the movie!
The Moulin Rouge is a must see...from the outside. This is where the world famous can can is performed by the Doriss Girls, but the distant days of glorious hedonism are long gone for the Moulin Rouge and these days it is little more than a fairly standard cabaret venue. If you like that kind of thing, dinner and a show will cost you anything between €135 and €165 per person (the dinner comes with a half bottle of champagne.)
Unique Suggestions: I'd advise seeing it, but not going inside unless you are a big fan of cabaret...otherwise it could be an expensive disappointment.
If you are going to the...
If you are going to the cabaret Moulin Rouge, don't take your photo or videocamera with you - you won't be let in. And... want to laugh? Know that the entrance doors of Moulin Rouge are made of glass and so clean that that glass is almost invisible. After the performance finished my friend was pacing too quickly and smashed against the closed doors with her nose. The nose swelled.
Pigalle strip club Trap
I was there in Pigalle with 2 of my friends. We were not really looking to enter a strip club, just looking around.
Suddenly in front of a club, a guy approached us and said Euro 10 per person for the show and one drink free. We said we are not interested. He persisted and said that we can take a look and if we don't like, we can leave without paying. That enticed us and we entered. Just as soon as we were inside 3 good looking skimpily dressed girls surrounded us carrying our drinks and their own's and started chit chatting. About 3-4 mins into the chit chat , each asked us to go to a separate sofa to talk more comfortably. already inebriated, we obliged. As soon as we were on separate sofa's a lap dance began. I've had lap dances before and this one was intense , more touching and teasing than others.
Anyways , the girl kept drinking something which seemed like orange juice. The waiter just kept bringing it for her. About 15-20 mins into the charade, my friends girl asked her if they want to open champagne. My friend - a stingy person by nature, thought that it would be expensive something in the range of Euro 70-80 so straight away declined. Some how , something clicked in his mind and he asked the manager to tell him the bill amount. (All of us had had 2-3 drinks by that time). He though that our drinks would be expensive and they might fleece us.
Crash ! The roof collapsed. Not actually, but that is an understatement. The bill was Euro 390, he escaped the girl and we reconvened on the sofa on which we initially sat. We were discussing that Euro 130 per head was way too expensive and that we had been conned. Just then, the manager came and asked my other friend to come and check his bill. He went and his bill was Euro 430. Yes, the Euro 390 was the bill of first friend alone , not ours cumulatively , Euro 420 of 2nd and Euro 320 was mine.
This cheaters had charged Euro 50 for girl company, Euro 100 for lap dance, Euro 80 per drink of the girl which we did not approve and we did not ask for , our drinks were (relatively cheap) in the range of Euro 8-15 .
We tried to protest but suddenly out of now where 3-4 tough looking bouncers appeared by the manager. Our anger mellowed and we meekly requested him that we are students and stuff.. He waived off the Euro 50 per head for the girl company charges and yet we were forced to pay a total of euro 1050 total, i.e. euro 350 per head. Thank goodness it was our first day of the trip , otherwise hell knows frm where we might have paid.
It killed the entire trip. we had a good budget for our 14 day Euro Tour, but we had to be stingy throughout thanks to that one ***ing strip club.
Unique Suggestions: If you do visit any strip clubs, make sure you ask the price of EVERYTHING before hand no matter how inconsequential it may seem. Do not let a girl sit besides you without knowing the charge, do not touch or flirt with a girl without knowing the charge. Ask for the price of everything otherwise you may have to pay one hefty price. And never ever offer a drink to ANY girl in a strip club. You can offer if you have loads and loads of money to spare, but for the rest - DON'T
Fun Alternatives: Who needs Strip Clubs ? Go to Lido's go to Crazy Horse , roam in the city, visit some museums, there are incalculable number of nightclubs, pubs, bars, visit them... No fun in getting conned in a seedy place like Piggale
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Lido Paris is not a safe place!
Lido de Paris: Don`t leave precious items on your table! Tip Rating: [Not enough ratings yet]
Written by cuscret on Jan 3, 2007
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Nightlife Spot: Lido de Paris
We were at Lido on new year`s eve 2007.The show was great, but the night was wasted because our camera with all the pictures of honeymoon was stolen while we were dancing.
It is not the value of the camera but the value of the pictures that was so important for us.
The personnel staff was not helpful,they were only interested to get rid of our complaints.The lido of Paris is not a safe place.Keep your money with you and don`t leave items on your tables.
And they have their own "taxi system" ! To make 1 km 25 euros per person ! We asked for taxi and they sent us to their own system,this is not fair.We are completeley unsatisfied with Lido personnel and managers for their incompetence and their extremely low customer satisfaction.
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