Like Amsterdam's Red Light District, Paris' Pigalle Place is well known as the home of all that's X-rated: peep shows, sex shops, prostitution, strip clubs, and more. While you won't find any window brothels in this city, Pigalle has a definite adults-only atmosphere that makes it a popular tourist attraction, even for just a few hours.
Pigalle lies on the north side of town, adjacent to Montmartre. At one time, this district was the home of artists including Toulouse Lautrec (whose portayals of the district's Moulin Rouge dancing girls are some of the most popular displays at Paris' Orsay Museum). Montmartre was home to many well-known names including Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, and Pablo Picasso.
The neighborhood is also home of the city's cabaret or cancan scene. Moulin Rouge was the city's first show and still draws in as many bodies as the theater can pack in every night for an expensive but fun show.
The reputation of Pigalle was always a wild one, though; in World War II, soldiers nicknamed the area "Pig Alley."
Today a visit to Pigalle is still a little bit of a walk on the wild side. Come by during the afternoon hours for the quietest look or return at night for a show.
Or, just have a little look around the neighborhood with our virtual visit to Pigalle. Click here to start our slide show, progressing through street scenes, a look at Moulin Rouge, sex shops, the Erotic Museum, and more.
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