Once considered a hotbed of debauchery, with all its cabarets and brothels, Pigalle is now being taken over by hipsters and partygoers alike. The neighbourhood has kept its unique atmosphere with its numerous sex shops but is rapidly rising in popularity among a young professional crowd.

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Pigalle has been the hangout of many famous names, such as Dalì, Picasso and Van Gogh, who all enjoyed the district’s debaucherous atmosphere. They would hang out in brothels and cafés such as 'Le Tahiti' or cabaret clubs like the '66 rue Pigalle'. If you’ve seen the film “Midnight in Paris”, you’ll remember how sex and drugs were part of many an artist’s lifestyle back in the day. On the Place Pigalle, up until the mid 20th century, there was a café with a particularly peculiar name: Le café du Rat Mort (The Dead Rat café). Apparently the name came from the stench emitted from the cellars, but this didn't stop Baudelaire and Rimbaud being regulars. On the Boulevard de Clichy, where all the sex shops are concentrated, you can also find more ‘cultural’ activities! Read more...


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  • Average for restaurants and bars
  • Higher prices in clubs

  • tourists
  • students
  • shop keepers
  • middle-class families

Main Metro stations:
  • Pigalle (line 2, line 12)
  • Blanche (line 2)
Bus:  67, 30, 54

  • Moulin Rouge
  • Rue Henry Monnier
  • Place Gustave Toudouze
  • Place des Abbesses
  • Musée de l'érotisme

A unique atmosphere which comes alive at night!


The Pigalle area started to make a name for itself in the late 19th Century, when cabarets such as the world-renowned Moulin Rouge and the Chat Noir opened. Many bars, cafes and restaurants boomed around these cabarets, followed by a lot of brothels. Pigalle was known as the centre of prostitution in Paris, where people from all around the world would come to enjoy a fun time in high-end cabarets. From 1910 to the late 50s, Pigalle became the headquarters for many criminal organisations who developed prostitution rackets and opened up gambling houses. Read more...

Who you'll find there

Pigalle's population is a melting-pot of cultures, ages and social backgrounds. During the day, you will find mainly tourists, shop keepers and a handful of families. Read more...