Paris Travel Planner   Place Pigalle, Paris, France
In the age of Internet porn, Paris's Place Pigalle nightlife district seems a lot less racy than in previous times. It's actually fairly tame...and enjoyable.




Ah, Pigalle! Paris's famously naughty nightlife district seems positively tame these days, with the Internet offering every conceivable sort of tittilation, pornography and sex appliance and amusement.

Place Pigalle (Métro: Pigalle), the focus of the district at the base of Montmartre, was named for Jean-Baptise Pigalle (1714-1785), one of Paris's most popular mid-18th-century sculptors. No doubt M Pigalle would be appalled at what his surname has come to signify in Parisian life.

The district around Place Pigalle is still a popular nightlife area, with the famous Bal du Moulin Rouge drawing busloads of eager fans to its spectcular, glittery show of spangled costumes, colored lights and bare breasts, and other nightclubs offering lesser shows at lower prices, right down to the few remaining peep shows and lap-dance places.

Pigalle is not particularly sinister or dangerous, day or night. In fact, the clubs, adult video stores, racy lingerie and sex-toy shops, and occasional ladies-of-the-night take up far less of the district than do its many sidewalk cafés, bars, boutiques, restaurants, traiteurs, souvenir shops, banks, and other un-racy businesses.

In fact, the souvenir shops, off-price clothing stores, fabric emporia and children's carousel at the top of rue de Steinkerque, just up from the Anvers Métro station east of Pigalle, draw crowds just as big as Pigalle's racier attractions.

Most of the non-Parisians who come here are actually on their way up the slopes of Montmartre to marvel at its panoramic views, Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, Église de Saint-Pierre de Montmartre, artist-filled Place du Tertre, and its picturesque winding streets made famous by Maurice Utrillo and others.


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Bal a Moulin Rouge, Pigalle, Paris, France

The famous Bal du Moulin Rouge, Pigalle.

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