Paris Nightlife for Adults: The Paris Red Light District

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Looking for suggestions about Paris nightlife for adults? Read on for ideas for a night out for adults in the Paris Red Light District.


Looking for more Paris travel suggestions and reflections? Check out these other posts about Paris:

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Recommended Paris Hotels

> Yooma Urban Lodge Eiffel Tower – family favorite! (Tripadvisor and Booking.com)
> Serotel Lutece (Tripadvisor and Booking.com)
> Pley Hotel Paris (Tripadvisor and Booking.com)
> Les Jardins D’Eiffel (Tripadvisor and Booking.com)

Paris Tour Recommendations

These are links to our vetted, trusted tour partners who we know will take good care of you.
> Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour of Paris
> Seine River Dinner Cruise
> Eiffel Tower with Summit Access
…looking for something else? View all Paris tours here

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Pigalle, Paris: History and First Impressions

Pigalle is the Paris Red Light District.  Soldiers during World War II nicknamed the place “pig alley” because of its seedy reputation, but it was actually named after a French sculptor.

Pigalle has had a long reputation of being a place where prostitutes were stationed on every street corner and criminals abounded, but in our recent visit, we did not many signs of illegal activity.

Perhaps this is due to recent efforts by the French government to clean up this popular tourist destination in Paris.

When you take the Metro to the Pigalle stop, you emerge right in the center of the action, near the world famous Moulin Rouge.   My husband and I came here for an evening stroll on our recent trip to Paris.  We came mostly out of curiosity and a desire to snap a tourist photo of the Moulin Rouge.

Paris Pigalle Metro Stop
The Paris Pigalle Metro Stop
Moulin Rouge, Paris

We weren’t sure what to expect.  Our only foray into a red light district had been in Amsterdam, and while it has been interesting, the pot smoking and legalized prostitution gave it a little bit of an out of control sort of feeling (probably why people like going there for wild parties.)

Pigalle had a classier sort of feeling than the feeling that we had gotten from Amsterdam.  It was cleaner.  There were more people walking around that seemed like they were having a relaxing night out with friends for dinner and some drinks and less people that looked like they were hell bent on a wild party.

There were many normal, middle-aged-looking couples, dressed up nicely, that looked like they would belong in a classy neighborhood in New York city.

Of course, there were still lots of sex shops, sex shows and the like.  It felt like a place where one could straddle the line between normal and risque…like you could dip your toes into the dark pool that is the sultry seductive pool of Paris’ other side.


Is the Pigalle Area Safe?

Pigalle Paris Sex Shops

Reading about Pigalle and the Paris Red Light District online, I noticed that there have been some safety concerns reported there.  I am not sure how recent some of these scams and such have been happening.

I am under the impression that there has been a major effort in the last few years to clean this area up, and indeed, we felt very safe in this area at all times.

As a precaution, I would suggest making sure to take your partner or a friend with you in this area if you are unsure or feel unsafe.  Many of the scams seem to involve a single person being lured into a bar or club for a drink by a beautiful woman, and then being forced to pay a ridiculously high bill.

Use common sense; if there aren’t any other patrons in the bar or restaurant and all you see is the restaurant’s employees inside, pick a different place.  Stay in places where there are other people around you.  I have also read that things like this are less likely to happen if you are with a date or your spouse.

A Map of The Paris Red Light Sights and Attractions in This Post

Before Dinner: What to See in Monmarte and the Pigalle Paris Red Light District

Here are some ideas for a what to do in Paris in the Monmarte area and the Paris Red Light District before dinner.

Note

This itinerary is not intended for children.  If you are looking for a family friendly tour of the area, check out this link for some other great options for family friendly tours in Paris here!  Here is a great piece if you are looking for suggestions for other things to do in 3 days in Paris (or more).

Sacre Couer Basilica

Sacre Couer Basilica in Paris

Start your evening by heading up to the steps of Sacre Couer Basilica to see the sunset.  The view of Paris is amazing from here, and this is a wonderful way to start your evening (you can get to Sacre Couer by taking the Metro to the Anvers metro stop and walking north up Rue de Steinkerque to get to where you can either walk up the stairs to the foot of the basilica or pay a small fee of a couple Euros to take a tram).

The Basilica itself is open seven days a week until 10:30pm, so while you are here waiting for the sunset, you will have time to check it out.

  • Address: 35, RUE DU CHEVALIER-DE-LA-BARRE; 75018 PARIS
  • Metro Stop: Anvers (walk north up Rue de Steinkerque to get to where you can either walk up the stairs to the foot of the basilica or pay a small fee of a couple Euros)
  • Hours: Every day from 6:30am-10:30pm
  • Cost:  Free entry into Basilica, dome and crypt 5 euros
  • Website: https://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com/english/

Le Mur des Je t’aime (The Wall of Love)

Love Wall, Paris "Le Mur Je T'aime"

This mural has “I love you” written in different languages.  This would be a great place to stop for an Instagram worthy photo of you and your love (or your good friends) before your big night.

Chef PJ’s Small Group Montmartre Food Tour

If you’re looking for a Parisian food tour that is more than just a collection of small bites, then don’t miss out on this Chef’s food tour where you will be guided by a real expert and eat like you are a true VIP.

Hidden Montmartre Tour

Get away from the selfie sticks and discover one of the most romantic enclaves in Paris, with a local guide leading you to the best-hidden spots.


Where to Stay Near the Paris Red Light District

Here is my short list of researched and recommended hotels in or near the Paris Red Light District.

  • Hotel Rochechouart Paris:  This smart choice near Monmarte boasts budget prices with luxury touches (lookup on Tripadvisor or Booking.com).  The hotel has rooms in a variety of sizes including family “suites” with two connecting rooms.  I loved the fact that it has a rooftop terrace with Eiffel tower views.  Reviews touted a great, free breakfast with a variety of hot and cold items.
  • Le Regent Monmarte: This is a hotel/hostel is located in a beautiful old building in Paris that is close to the Anvers Metro stop (lookup on Tripadvisor or Booking.com).  The completely renovated property has a wide variety of rooms to accommodate all sizes and configurations of families, from singles to quadruple rooms (some of the rooms have beautiful views of Sacre Couer.  If you can get one of these, do it!)  Free breakfast and shared kitchen round out this rare find.  This is DEFINITELY on our shortlist next time we stay in Paris!
  • Grand Hotel de Turin: This 3 star favorite is on a quiet street near Monmarte (read reviews on Tripadvisor here or check on Booking.com). This historic hotel has 52 balcony rooms (do note – not all rooms have air conditioning…read the descriptions carefully). They do offers triples and quads for families as well as connecting rooms, which I love!
  • Apart’hotel Adagio Paris Monmarte: This apartment hotel will provide all of the comforts of home and is conveniently located close to the Anvers metro stop (check on Tripadvisor or Booking.com).  The bright, airy apartments can accommodate up to four people with enough space to feel comfortable.  Cooking in its small but well equipped kitchen can save you money on food, which can get expensive in Paris.  A solid choice!
  • Le Pigalle Paris: This small, boutique hotel is a great choice for those looking to stay right at the heart of the variety of restaurants and nightlife in Pigalle Paris (book on on Tripadvisor or Booking.com)!   This hotel has a hip, vintagey local vibe to it.  It is decorated with local art, antiques and kitschy odds and ends.

Entertainment Options in the Paris Red Light District

Lapin Agile

Lapin Agile Cabaret, Paris
Lapin Agile Cabaret, Paris

While this is technically not off of the Pigalle Metro stop, it is only two stops away and I couldn’t resist listing it as a great stop for a budget evening.  35 Euros for the show and a drink is a great deal by Paris standards.

This traditional cabaret show includes singing, comedy in a traditional French cabaret atmosphere.  This is not an adult show, there is no nudity, but it promises to be a good time.

  • Address: 22 Rue Saules;  75018 Paris
  • Metro Stop: Lamarck/Culaincourt (2 stops away from Pigalle)
  • Cost: 35 Euros for show and 1 drink (extra drinks 7 Euro)
  • Website: https://au-lapin-agile.com/

The Moulin Rouge

The Moulin Rouge in Paris at Night

A splurge for sure, dinner and the cabaret show will run you approximately 175-200 Euros per person.  This is the mother of all French cabaret shows (and something that I haven’t experienced, but would like to, at least once.)  Even if you aren’t going to see the show, this is a must-see photo opportunity for anyone visiting the Paris Red Light District.

  • Address: 82 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France
  • Cost: 245 euros for show with dinner and champagne; starting at 133 euro for the show only without dinner
  • Hours: Dinner is served at 7pm followed by the show at 9pm. There is also another late night show at 11pm.
  • Website:  http://www.moulinrouge.fr (english translation button on the bottom left corner

Le Trianon Concert Hall

This epic and stunningly beautiful concert venue is located in Monmarte (not quite in Pigalle, but close).  The theater is worth seeing on its own.  It is packed full of ornate, baroque architecture.  Seeing a concert here would certainly by a highlight of any trip to Paris!

  • Address: 80 Bd de Rouchechouart, 75018 Paris, France
  • Metro Stop: Belleville
  • Cost: Varies
  • Hours:  Doors open for most shows between 6:30p and 7:30pm.  The main show usually starts around 8:30pm
  • Website: https://www.letrianon.fr

Les Trois Baudettes

This Pigalle entertainment staple offers a music hall with a stage, two bars and a restaurant.  They feature a huge variety of French musicians in all genres.  This is a great place to enjoy some drinks (great happy hour deals) and listen to music in a local environment.

  • Address: 64 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France
  • Metro Stop: Blanche
  • Cost: Varies, not expensive (many shows seemed to be between 10-20 euros)
  • Hours: Restaurant open 6p-midnight on concert nights (happy hour until 8p), music starts at 8p
  • Website: http://www.lestroisbaudets.com

Chez Michou

Chez Michou, a Paris Institution...

This Paris entertainment institution is a must-see if you like either Drag or a good time in the Paris Red Light District. This is an authentic French Cabaret show run by Mr. Michou who is a character in himself. Parts of the show are in French, so some of it might be better suited to native speakers, but it is still an authentic cabaret experience in a small, intimate space.

  • Address: 80, rue des Martyrs, Paris
  • Metro Stop: Pigalle or Anvers Metro Stop
  • Hours: Wed-Sunday. Doors open at 8:15pm, show at 10:15pm
  • Cost: 45-75 euros for the show only with a drink, 120-160 euros for the show with dinner.
  • Website: https://www.michou.com/

Recommended Bars in the Paris Red Light District

La Fourmi

Unpretentious and laid back with a great local atmosphere.  Great burgers.  Affordable.  A nice bar that doesn’t have the same party atmosphere as some of the other bars in the area (no dance parties or DJ’s.)

  • Address: 74 Rue des Martyrs, 75018 Paris, France
  • Metro Stop: Pigalle
  • Cost: Main courses 10-12 euros, burgers 12-13 euros, cheap drinks
  • Tripadvisor reviews here

Le Machine de Moulin Rouge 

This is an epic experience for those looking for a whole night of partying and dancing.  This club occupies three floors right next to the Moulin Rouge.  If you are looking for a big night out of partying, this is a great place to head!

Have you been to the Paris Red Light District?  What are your favorite suggestions for Paris nightlife for adults?

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