10 Best Carnival Cities In The World

You may want to know the best carnival cities to visit, this is for you. With the annual festival of Carnival quickly approaching, it’s time to begin organising your travels around the world to experience the best celebrations. But with so many countries and cities to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where and which to go. To make things easier, we have compiled a list of the top 10 best carnival cities in the world. To ensure you make the most of your experience, we will also provide some helpful tips and shortcuts. So grab your dancing shoes, it’s going to be an unforgettable journey

10 best carnival cities in the world!

This article provides a comprehensive guide to the top 10 best carnival cities in the world. It highlights the unique features and attractions of each carnival, including their location and cost. The article also offers valuable insights on the best ways to explore each city and its surroundings during your visit. In addition, the guide offers a glimpse into the biggest and most extravagant carnivals in the world.

1. Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Brazil

The Rio de Janeiro Carnival is a highly celebrated event, known for its rich history dating back to 1597. It is recognized as one of the most popular carnivals globally and is held annually. The city of Rio de Janeiro, where the carnival takes place, is known for its cosmopolitan vibe and exciting atmosphere.

The carnival festivities kick off with a grand parade on Monday, followed by a series of cultural events throughout the week. On Friday night, the highlight of the carnival takes place with a mesmerizing parade filled with extravagant floats and costumes. Saturday is dedicated to musical performances and dance shows, while Sunday is usually a day of relaxation. Overall, the Rio de Janeiro Carnival is a breathtaking and unforgettable experience that is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the rich culture and tradition of Brazil. Are you looking for some of the best carnival cities in the world, then go for the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Brazil.

2. Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival, Spain

The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival is a globally renowned celebration that takes place annually in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. Spanning over four days and nights, the carnival is filled with a diverse range of events and activities, such as concerts, parades, and street dances. 

The carnival has deep roots in history, tracing back to the 16th century when it was referred to as the “Fiesta of Saint John.” Despite its historical significance, the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival has evolved into one of the most popular festivals in Spain and one of the largest carnivals in Europe, attracting approximately 2 million visitors each year. The carnival is well-known for its vibrant costumes, intricate floats, and lively music, making it a must-visit event for anyone interested in Spanish culture and traditions, also making Spain one of the best carnival cities in the world.

3. Carnival of Venice, Italy

The Carnival of Venice is a much-anticipated yearly festival that is recognized as one of the most renowned events of its kind in the world. Held every February, it draws in large crowds of tourists from various countries who come to experience the unique and vibrant atmosphere of the carnival. This celebration has a long history and rich cultural heritage, dating back centuries in the city of Venice.

One of the key highlights of the Carnival of Venice is the lavish costumes that people wear, creating an atmosphere of fantasy and magic. Participants of all ages come dressed in intricate and colorful attire, making the streets of Venice look like a grand masquerade ball. Along with the costumes, there are beautiful dances and musical performances that add to the festive mood.

The carnival begins with La Gazzetta dello Sport, a parade that showcases imaginative and creative floats created by local artists. The parade winds its way through the city, making its way to the Piazza San Marco, where street performances, concerts, and food stalls offer visitors an abundance of entertainment options. The vibrancy of the Carnival of Venice celebration and the numerous entertainment options, makes Venice one of the best carnival cities in the world. The celebrations continue into the night with live performances at nightclubs and restaurants throughout Venice, ensuring that the festive spirit remains alive until the early hours of the morning.

4. Nice Carnival, France

The Nice Carnival, held in the city of Nice, France, is a much-anticipated event that is renowned for its grandeur and beauty. Known as one of the most popular carnivals in the world, it attracts thousands of visitors each year who come to witness the magnificent spectacle and experience the vibrant atmosphere of the event.

One of the standout features of the Nice Carnival is its stunning flower displays. Floats and participants are decorated with an abundance of colorful blooms, creating a breathtaking sight as they make their way through the streets. The flower theme is an integral part of the carnival, adding to its charm and making it a unique experience for visitors.

Another highlight of the Nice Carnival is its elegant parade. Floats, performers, and participants come together to create a mesmerizing display of music, color, and movement. The parade is a true feast for the senses, with intricate costumes, imaginative designs, and live entertainment that captivates audiences and leaves them in awe.

The great atmosphere of the Nice Carnival is another reason why it’s so popular. The streets are filled with the sounds of music and laughter, and the air is filled with excitement and anticipation. The carnival is a celebration of life and is a time for people to come together and enjoy the festivities, making it an unforgettable experience for all who attend; at the same time making Nice one of the best carnival cities in the world.

5. New Orleans Mardi Gras, USA

New Orleans is a city that is rich in cultural heritage and has a long history of hosting some of the most exciting and vibrant carnivals in the world. The city is famous for its jazz music and the Mardi Gras celebration, but there is so much more to New Orleans than just its wild and decadent festivals.

The Carnival season in New Orleans, which takes place in February, is one of the city’s most renowned events and draws in visitors from all over the world. This celebration is characterized by its vibrant atmosphere, lively street parties, and colorful costumes, which has given New Orleans the privilege of being one of the best carnival cities in the world. It’s a time for people to come together and celebrate life, creating a memorable experience for all who attend.

Mardi Gras, also known as “Fat Tuesday,” is one of the oldest and most popular carnivals in the United States. It’s celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday and marks the end of the Carnival season. Mardi Gras is known for its wild parades, featuring elaborate floats, brass bands, and a sea of outrageous costumes. The festival atmosphere is lively and electric, with the streets filled with the sounds of music and the sights of revelers celebrating in costume.

6. Carnival of Trinidad and Tobago

The Mardi Gras celebration is a true testament to the spirit of New Orleans and the city’s love for life and celebration.The Carnival is a time of joy and merriment celebrated all over the world. It is a festival like no other, renowned for its unique and thrilling experiences.

The Carnival of Trinidad and Tobago is one of the biggest and best in the world, taking place annually between February and March. It is famous for its extravagant masquerade balls where participants dress up in elaborate costumes and wear intricate makeup, depicting characters from history or mythology.

Another highlight of the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is the calypso music, a genre that originated in Trinidad and is known for its strong beats and energetic rhythms. It is a major part of the carnival and adds to the lively atmosphere of the festivities.

Visitors looking for an electrifying experience should consider visiting the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. With its elaborate masquerade balls, colorful costumes, and pulsating music, it is a festival that is truly like no other. No doubt, this city boasts as one of the best carnival cities in the world.

In summary, the Caribbean Carnival in Trinidad & Tobago is a feast for the senses, showcasing a wealth of musical and dance styles, as well as spectacular costume displays.

7. Notting Hill Carnival, London

Notting Hill Carnival is a highly celebrated and widely attended carnival that takes place annually in the neighborhood of Notting Hill in London, England. 

This carnival is renowned for its energetic and exuberant street performances and festivities. The carnival is also celebrated for its cultural richness and diversity, making it a must-visit for travelers to London and making Notting Hill one of the best carnival cities in the world.

With roots dating back to the 18th century, it is one of the oldest carnivals in the world, originally established as a celebration of Lord Torrington’s triumph over the area’s street gangs. Today, it has evolved into one of the largest and most diverse carnivals globally, attracting participants and spectators from all over the world.

8. Cologne Carnival, Germany

Revellers celebrate the start of the carnival season in the streets of Cologne, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

The Cologne Carnival in Germany is a highly celebrated and well-known event, recognized as one of the largest carnivals in the world and one of the six major European carnivals, making Germany one of the best carnival cities in the world. Held annually in the city of Cologne, the festival lasts for approximately three weeks and draws in millions of visitors each year.

The carnival is famous for its energetic and festive atmosphere, showcasing a spectacular parade that boasts an array of vivid floats and balloons, often decorated with intricate designs. Additionally, the carnival features numerous musical acts and performances from popular German bands, adding to the lively ambiance.

Although known for its wild and rowdy nightlife, the Cologne Carnival is also notorious for its potential dangers. Despite the risks, the chaotic and exciting atmosphere of the carnival continues to attract visitors, making it a memorable and unforgettable experience.

9. Carnival of Oruro, Bolivia

The Carnival of Oruro in Bolivia is a major and well-attended festival, taking place annually in the month of February. It is renowned for its boisterous celebrations, including extravagant costumes, lively parades, and live musical performances, which makes the City, Bolivia, one of the best carnival cities in the world.

While the Carnival of Oruro is a source of great excitement, it is also recognized for its potential dangers. Participants often adorn themselves in costumes inspired by fearsome characters, such as witches and pirates. Additionally, certain events, such as the “La Bamba” parade, which involves participants racing down a steep hill on spiked boards, can be hazardous. Despite these risks, the Carnival of Oruro continues to attract large crowds, providing a thrilling and unforgettable experience.

The Carnival of Oruro, despite the potential dangers associated with it, remains a highly sought-after event in Bolivia. It is a singular chance to delve into some of Bolivia’s most intriguing cultural traditions and is widely regarded as one of the country’s most popular carnivals.

10. Quebec Winter Carnival, Canada

The Quebec Winter Carnival in Canada is widely regarded as one of the most popular carnivals in the world and is held in Quebec City; making Quabek City one of the best carnival cities in the world. It is considered one of the largest winter carnivals globally and spans over a period of 10 days,

offering a plethora of events such as parades, street performances, and musical concerts.

The carnival is renowned for its impressive snow sculptures, created from snow and often showcasing intricate designs. The best snow sculptures can be viewed at Place d’Armes, located near the Old Port of Quebec City.

In addition to its stunning sculptures, the Quebec Winter Carnival is also celebrated for its parties and festive atmosphere. With various events such as costume contests and dance parties, it is a perfect destination for individuals looking to have fun and enjoy time with friends.


Carnivals are vibrant and colorful festivals that are celebrated in many cultures around the world. They are characterized by lively music, elaborate costumes, and festive activities that bring communities together.

The origins of carnivals can be traced back to ancient pagan celebrations that marked the end of winter and the arrival of spring. Over time, these celebrations evolved into large-scale public events that are now celebrated in many cultures.

Carnivals usually feature a range of activities such as parades, street parties, live music performances, dance competitions, and costume contests. They are often regarded as an opportunity for people to let loose, have fun, and celebrate the community spirit.

This article serves as a guide and provides an insight into some of the best carnival cities in the world, therefore have fun on your next visit to any of these cities and make the most of your stay.

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