Walking in to the Moulin Rouge was definitely a mixed bag of feelings. At €90 per ticket, we had ummed and aahhhed over it for ages. Was it really worth that much? Was it as good as expected? Is this just the most enormous tourist trap ever? We had justified spending that much by the fact that our travel plans had been derailed somewhat, and we were in Paris for a lot longer than intended and therefore missing out on tourist destinations (and associated costs) in all the places we wouldn’t be able to go. When we arrived (a little later than the 30mins before as recommended) there was an absolutely monstrous line. We walked along beside it trying to find the end for what felt like forever. Given the size of the entrance to the building, we seriously thought that despite having tickets we surely wouldn’t be able to get in. There were multiple gaps in the line as it was so long it actually crossed in front of numerous other bars in the area. Just as we thought we would get to the end, there were more people. It actually rounded a corner! That was when we really started to worry we had made a terrible and expensive mistake.
However, once we actually got inside (and, seeing as we were the last there, negotiated some better seating as it was initially terrible), the show absolutely blew my mind. I would even consider paying to see it a second time!
From amazing dancing, to acrobatics, to stunning costumes (where there were costumes – the girls spent a large part of the time topless), it was really enjoyable and full of surprises, from start to finish. My favourite of which was when a giant tank emerged from under the stage, filled with huge snakes, which one of the girls promptly jumped into. My jaw simply could not have dropped any further.
If anything, I would say that even with all its fame and hype, Moulin Rouge is actually underrated. Add it to your budget and itinerary, and just make sure you get there early (and get the ticket with the champagne included).