Paris is known for a lot of different reasons: some of the best museums in the world, its great architecture with wonderful landmarks on every street corner, its amazing cafés and restaurants, its fashion shops and art galleries… but one thing you cannot forget to mention when talking about the city of lights is its top world-class cabarets! With some of the oldest and definitely the most famous cabaret shows, long before Las Vegas even existed, Paris has made a name for its numerous cabarets in which French and international guests come to enjoy a luxurious meal while feasting their eyes and hearts on great burlesque shows in which lights, music, dancing, provocation, and subtlety mingle for an unforgettable night (dinner optional).
From historical institutions like the Moulin Rouge to more modern shows like in the Lido, there is a cabaret for every taste, some even being children-friendly! If you feel drawn to this atmosphere and are going to be spending some time in Paris, you should definitely look into booking a show like that (preferably long enough before so it’s not already fully booked!). With prices ranging from 65€ to several 100€, you should definitely be able to find a cabaret to your taste in this list of the best cabaret shows in Paris, so sit back and enjoy the show…
• The Moulin Rouge
This is without a doubt the most well-known cabaret in the world: its unique architecture has inspired many cabarets in the world, from Europe to Vegas, and its name is universally known, partly thanks to the 2001 movie by Baz Luhrmann. Opened in 1889 on the edge of the Montmartre butte in Paris, this architecturally unique building with its red wind-mill has known a sustained level of success since the 19th century, with famous dancers like Mistinguett and the most well-known cabaret dance: the French cancan.
Meeting place of the numerous artists living in Montmartre of the time, it was decorated by the famous Toulouse Lautrec, and still, has the authenticity of the time. The only setback is, the room is very full, the tables being incredibly close to each other. The show costs 77€, 175€ with a luxurious dinner. This family-friendly cabaret (children over 6 allowed) is an incredible experience because of its notoriety and atmosphere, with people from all over the world going there to catch a show, which definitely ranks it in the best cabaret shows in Paris!
Le Moulin Rouge, 82 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018
Metro Blanche (line 2)
Here is a great article about the various things you can do around the Moulin Rouge area.
• The Crazy Horse
Definitely the most risqué of the cabarets in this list of the best cabaret shows in Paris, it is also the smallest and most intimate. No dinner in this one, only very few tourists (definitely no tourist-buses in front of the building) and no children under 13 allowed: it is a much more intense experience than most other cabarets in the city. With nothing but female dancers, the shows in the Crazy Horse are all incredibly meticulously choreographed and put the beauty of the female body in the spotlight for the evening. Specialist of “effeuillage”, the French version of the strip-tease, this cabaret has a lot of guest stars which you should be looking out for if you are planning on going there during your stay! The shows start at 85€.
Le Crazy Horse, 12 avenue Georges V 75008
Metro Alma-Marceau (line 9) or George V (line 1)
• The Lido
Incredible location on the Champs-Elysées, a very modern show using high-tech techniques, to provide the best possible show, with a lot of luxury, glitz, and glitter! The food prepared by chef Philippe Lacroix is delicious, and the night is sure to be amazing in the biggest cabaret in Paris, that has seen incredible performers like Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich or Joséphine Baker during its long history. You can also get a behind the scenes tour if you want to experience the work and preparation that goes before a successful cabaret show! The show starts at 85€, 170€ if you wish to add the dinner, in this big cabaret that is sure to surprise you! Children older aged 4 and older are allowed.
Le Lido, 116 Avenue des Champs-Elysées 75008
Metro Georges V (line 1) or Charles de Gaulle – Etoile (lines 1, 2 and 6 and RER A)
• The Paradis Latin
A smaller cabaret than the Lido, the Paradis Latin is almost hidden in a very small street of the fifth arrondissement, but is still one of the most popular cabarets in Paris, especially among French people. Its popularity among French people has a couple of causes and consequences, among which the fact that it is considerably cheaper than most other main cabarets in Paris (with a show starting at 65€) and that the food is outstandingly good despite the reasonable price!
The show is as good as any cabaret show and will definitely satisfy your need for glitter and kitsch, it might not be quite as incredible as the cabarets mentioned before, but this cabaret has a very important edge: it is the most authentic one. With a majority of French spectators, almost no tourist buses stopping in front of it and reasonable prices for good food, this is definitely the cabaret a Parisian would consider going to first! The show starts at 65€, include the dinner for 120€. Children older than 4 years old (4 included) are allowed in, and the atmosphere is welcoming.
Le Paradis Latin, 28 rue du Cardinal Lemoine 75005
Metro Jussieu (lines 7 and 10)
All in all, amongst the four main cabarets of the city, you are sure to find one to fit your tastes and hopes, and if not, there are a number of smaller ones than those. I do recommend the ones mentioned above as they will for sure provide you with an astounding show of glitter, glitz, fun, amazement and so much more, all in a wonderful setting! Whether you choose to have dinner there or just enjoy the show, you are sure to spend an unforgettable evening!