Our top 5 alternative carnivals

The Carnival is a pagan celebration leading up to Lent. Carnivals are held around the world as a celebration to indulge in rich food and drink while taking on the guise of another character. Perhaps most of us think of the colorful and samba driven celebration at Rio de Janeiro, while others may think of the elegance and mysticism of the carnival in Venice. Carnivals are held in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.  Around the world they are an opportunity to become who you want to be without shyness or restrictions, to party and enjoy life without regrets. Have a look at our list of our five favorite carnivals:
  1. Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain)

This is a big party in a beautiful island with a privileged climate. It’s a week of celebrations in the streets that culminate in a massive parade to choose the Queen of the carnival. The contestants wear spectacular dresses that weigh hundreds of pounds. You can either visit the competitions or enjoy the party in the streets where there is plenty of music and lots of people in their costumes. Spaniards know how to party so just imagine how an event like this transforms the city into a place where people go crazy for an entire week. After the Burial of the Sardine when the party is over, we recommend you to take a few days to enjoy the island and hike in the Teide National Park to admire the astonishing lunar landscapes. Find the best hotels in Santa Cruz de Tenerife at  and support the social cause you care about.
  1. Carnaval de Nice (France)

Nice is a picturesque city in the French Riviera with a charming core that makes it worth visiting at any time. Nice also has a beautiful and entertaining Carnival that takes place in February. It’s a music-based event with more than a thousand musicians and dancers from around the world that turns into a massive party that lasts all night long. The flower battles are distinctive and beautiful and take place in the stunning Promenade des Anglais. You can’t miss the Parade of Lights, a colorful cavalcade that you will certainly enjoy. Take time to enjoy the city, get lost in the old town and go to the castle hill to have an exclusive view from the top. Book your stay in Nice at
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  1. Cologne (Germany)

Cultural customs, parades, beer and fun, do we need to say anything else? The carnival in Cologne is a big party for the city. There are no closing times for pubs and locals go all out. The big day is on Monday when the Rosenmontagszug takes place with costumes, dancing, parades and drinking. We recommend you to arrive early at the Kölner Dom so you can have a great spot to see the action. Make sure you also visit the alternative carnival with a Ghost Parade on Saturday night, show up dressed up as a ghost and join the parade!
  1. Carnaval de Cádiz (Spain)
Wander-Carnival-de-Cadiz The carnival in Cadiz is about laughing: laughing at yourself, laughing at politics, at the World…  The “chirigotas” are satires that fill theatres will laughter. You can also see them on the streets in a spontaneous mix with the locals to enjoy their particular sense of humor. Cadiz is beautiful and food is delicious but if you can take some extra time, we recommend you to visit Tarifa, a surf town with a cool atmosphere. Book the
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  1. Quebec Winter Carnival
Captures from the 2013 Carnaval de Quebec, in beautiful Quebec City. Embracing winter with fun and a positive attitude. Captured from the 2013 Carnaval de Quebec, in beautiful Quebec City. Embracing winter with fun and a positive attitude. This is a different kind of carnival. It’s cold but absolutely worth it. It’s a celebration with French roots that embraces snow-covered streets. You can take part in all kind of activities in the festival like participating in the Snow Racer Grand Prix, playing floor hockey at the Hydro-Québec Space, riding a cariole, or going dog sledding. Make sure to get in on an organized snowball fight! Of course the Carnival has parades, they take place at night and are beautiful.
We love carnival, as we do love all celebrations that give us the perfect excuse to visit a city and embrace its culture.
Book the
best hotels in Quebec at and we'll give back at no extra cost If you have the chance to attend the greatest known carnivals you won’t regret it. Attending Rio’s Carnival is something that is on almost anyone’s bucket list. Rio de Janeiro’s party fills the streets to become the country’s largest celebration, but it's certainly not the only carnival you can attend. We would love to hear your thoughts on Carnivals. Have you ever been to any? What do you like about them? Which ones one you like to attend? What would you like to do there?  Share with us your experience in the comments!  
  Pictures are under CC (bit.ly/1P4imcs) courtesy of Flickr users: Apoteosis del Carnaval, Santa Cruz de Tenerife by Philippe Teuwen, Quebec Carnival by Jamie McCaffrey, Cadiz Carnival by Alcalaina, karneval by netgnom, Carnaval de Nice by adrigu.
2017-02-08 16:31:42
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