Moulin Rouge: Where Cancan is Queen

The Moulin Rouge was established in 1889 during the height of what was Paris’ most unique periods of history. At the start of the industrial revolution an interesting thing happened in Paris – social boundaries were dropped and fun, exuberance, and frivolity were in abundance. This was a big change from the former uptightness of the classicism period. In the midst of this exciting era, the most famous cabaret the world will ever know opened its doors to anyone who wanted to come.

An extravagant and wild atmosphere that no one had seen before was offered at the Moulin Rouge – including the Cancan, made famous by the Moulin Rouge. The Cancan dancers here were like none the world had ever seen. Each night when the doors opened at 10pm a fleet of young girls entered stage and threw their legs high in the air in a wave of frills and black stockings. Some of the most famous Cancan dancers were Jane Avril and Yvette Guilbert, the latter of the two going on to become a famous fortune teller.

Today, you can still visit the Moulin Rouge in all its glory and catch an exciting burlesque show. You don’t need to wait until 10pm, though. You can make reservations for a meal and a show as early as 1pm. With a history as rich and exciting as the Moulin Rouge’s, and its traditions still being upheld, don’t leave Paris without experiencing it!

The Passages, Bibliotheque Nationale and Bourse

Passages – MUST SEE NUMBER 19# Paris’s nineteenth-century arcades are gradually being restored to their former glory and are fertile hunting ground for curious and one-off buys.

St-Ouen market – (les Puces de St-Ouen)

Puces de St-Ouen – MUST SEE Number 20 – Its easy to lose track of an entire weekend morning browsing the acres of fine antiques, covetable curios and general bric-a-brac at St-Ouen, the mother of Paris’s flea markets.

The St-Ouen market, sometimes called the Clignancourt market, is located just outside the northern edge of the 18 arrondissement, in the suburb of St-Ouen.  Its officially open on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 9am to 6:30pm – although this can vary depending on the weather, and many stands are closed on Monday.  Its poular name of les puces de St-Ouen, or the “St-Ouen flea market,” dates from the days when secondhand mattresses, clothes, and other infested junk was sold here in a free-for-all zone outside the city walls.  Nowadays, however, it’s predominantly a proper – and very expensive – antiques market, selling mainly furniture, but also old zinc cafe counters, telephones, traffic lights, posters, jukeboxes and so on.

The closest metro stop is Port-de-Clignancourt (line 4), from where it’s a five-minute walk up the busy avenue de la Porte-de-Clignancourt.  For a slower but quieter approach, you can go to the Porte de St-Ouen stop (line 13) and walk north along the avenue de la Porte de St-Ouen, turning right after the peripherique flyover, and continuing along rue du Dr Barbinski for about ten minutes until it meets rue Jean-Henri-Fabre.