Located on the edge of the eighth and 19th arrondissements, Pigalle has long had a reputation for debauchery. Paris’ former red-light district and a haven for turn-of-the-20th-century bohemians, Pigalle is today renowned for its (sometimes sordid) nightlife and festive spirit—as well as world-famous venues like the Moulin Rouge.The Basics
Located at the base of the Montmartre hill, Pigalle has long been known for its sleazier pursuits as well as its artistic pedigree: the neighborhood was once frequented by everyone from Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso to Van Gogh. Today, Pigalle retains something of its risque allure—the area is still home to various adult-entertainment venues and sex shops—but a recent revival means it now boasts a heavy concentration of trendy cocktail bars, hip restaurants, and edgy boutiques.
Pigalle can be discovered on history-themed walking tours, while evening performances at cabaret venues such as the Moulin Rouge and Nouvelle Eve draw flocks of after-dark visitors. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Some of the coolest addresses in the neighborhood are clustered in South Pigalle—or SoPi, as some have taken to calling it.
- The Rue des Martyrs, home to lively cafés, boutiques, and other small businesses, is one of the area’s most popular thoroughfares.
- In addition to its entertainment venues, Pigalle also hosts several cultural stops, including the Musée de la Vie Romantique and the Musée National Gustave Moreau.
Pigalle is served by several Métro stations, including Pigalle (lines 2 and 12), Place de Clichy (lines 2 and 13), and Blanche (line 2). It can also be reached by the 30, 54, or 67 bus, or the Montmartrobus, which serves the hilly area. Alternatively, head to Pigalle on foot, by Vélib’ bike, or by taxi.When to Get There
Pigalle has always been a district that comes into its own when the sun goes down, and that’s still when you’ll find the area at its liveliest. Enjoy the charged atmosphere and dose of revelry when you attend a late-night performance at the Moulin Rouge or another of the area’s famed cabaret theaters.Montmartre
Located at the foot of Montmartre, Pigalle is just a quick commute away from some of Paris’ loftiest heights (and most impressive views). Couple your Pigalle explorations with a trip to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica—preferably at sunset, if it’s a romantic atmosphere that you crave.