Of all the things to do in Paris, cabaret is a must—an incontournable, as the French would say. After all, this is the city where it all began. Cabaret, a word used to describe a little inn or homely bar in the 17th century, has come to represent an alluring form of dinner theater, replete with good food, fine wine, and adults-only entertainment. Read on for our top 5 suggestions for catching the can-can in the City of Light.
Classic cabaret– Moulin Rouge
Near Montmartre, in the 18th arrondissement, sits the world-famous cabaret house, Moulin Rouge. Marked by the red windmill atop its roof, this is where virtuosos like Jane Avril and Edith Piaf got their start. Your ticket grants you admission to Féerie—a vibrant revue complemented by a French bistro meal and champagne. Bon appétit! Masterful choreography, enthralling melodies, and jeweled costumes make this show more than an homage to Old Paris—it’s a modern classic.
After the encore, duck inside the aptly titled Hotel Amour for a nightcap. Discover an array of top-shelf liquors at this hotel bar and courtyard that comes to life around the stroke of minuit.
Cabaret on the Champs-Élysées – Le Lido
Marvel at the way the statuesque Bluebell Girls paint an onstage picture with admission to Le Lido Cabaret on the Champs-Élysées. Lauded for its intoxicating blend of cabaret and burlesque, Le Lido has hosted illustrious femmes fatales like Margaret Kelly, Eartha Kitt, and Josephine Baker. Indulge in a flute of champagne while soaking up the show, which features more than 600 costumes—some hand-stitched with rhinestones, feathers, silk, and fur.
After the show, UC-61 offers an intimate spot for a quick drink near the Champs-Élysées. Premium liquors line the bar and are put to good use in signature cocktails with catchy names.
Avant-garde Cabaret – Le Crazy Horse
Take a walk on the wild side with admission to Le Crazy Horse—the evening show that bares it all in an avant-garde execution of cabaret. Even the steeliest spectators are sure to utter an Ooh la la! as magic is paired with seductive dance during Désirs—a one-of-a-kind dance spectacle. Your ticket to the event grants you access to the historic theater as the dancers grace the stage in bob wigs, cherry-bomb lips, mile-high heels—and not much else.
A few short steps from Le Crazy Horse is Le Lucien at Hôtel Le Fouquet’s. Following the show, head to this upscale bar and relive the magic while sipping an elegant cocktail.
Cabaret in a historic theater – Paradis Latin
Relive la Rive Gauche with admission to Paradis à la folie—a show at Paris’ oldest cabaret, replete with provocative antics and a titillating can-can display. Settle into plush seats inside the historic theater—transformed by Guztav Eiffel in the 19th century—and sip champagne as the talented troupe transports you to the Paris of yesteryear. When the artists take the stage, your eyes dance along to a tantalizing tap dance you won’t soon forget.
Want to continue the thrills? Stroll along the Seine and land at Petit Bain, a self-proclaimed island in the middle of the city. Kick back on this floating-barge-turned-restaurant and catch the live band’s final act.
See-it-all cabaret experience – Seine River, Eiffel Tower & Moulin Rouge
Don’t want to miss a thing during your stay in the French capital? City Wonders Limited combines the very best of things to do in Paris in a single evening. Your sightseeing tour invites you to sail down the Seine before ascending to the second floor of Le Tour Eiffel while the city lights twinkle to life. The evening ends at the Moulin Rouge, where you can sip a bit of bubbly and drink in the renowned can-can revue.
After your enchanting evening, tuck into a booth at Lulu White—an intimate bar that pays homage to New Orleans with a well-curated menu and an Art Nouveau interior.
Where would you go to see cabaret in the French capital?