©Litchi Cyril

Nice Carnival

Showtime on the Cote d'Azur!

The “Carnaval de Nice” brings together hundreds of thousands of festival-goers every winter in the capital of the Côte d’Azur. Don’t miss this 2-week, non-stop whirlwind extravaganza of magnificent processions, floats, flower battles and burlesque shows on the Mediterranean coast – and be sure to wear your finest fancy dress costume!

An institution in Nice and beyond!

One of the world’s most famous carnivals, the Carnaval de Nice, held every year on the Côte d’Azur, is a mega-event celebrated by the people of Nice alongside visitors of all ages from around the globe. Proof of the pudding – if ever it were needed – of our love of all things festive! The carnival includes both day and illuminated night-time events and stars 17 exceptional floats reflecting the chosen theme, designed from official drawings selected by the Nice Tourist Office out of the hundreds submitted every year. Since its creation in 1873, the carnival has never ceased to renew itself, with a new and evermore imaginative theme every year. If you want to take a closer look at the magnificent floats, an exhibition near Place Masséna invites you to admire them before they head out onto the streets. On the programme: an extraordinary opening ceremony kicking off the festivities in style, with a multimedia show starring the King, Queen and their offspring the “Carnavallon”, flower floats, messengers from the town’s various quarters, flag bearers, musical troupes and dancers…

An absolute must-do

The party continues with a plethora of entertainment on the street arts theme – the carnival’s hallmark. Local, national and international troupes light up every parade with exciting and colourful performances, against the backdrop of the festival’s irresistibly festive and friendly atmosphere. Watch out for the astonishing “Brigade d’Agitateurs de Tribune“, comprising no less than 60 dancers, acrobats and circus performers. The “Corsos Carnavalesques” parades feature the carnival’s iconic floats, accompanied by the traditional “grosses têtes” (big heads) and effigies – a photographer’s dream! After the parades, venture into the carnival village where you’ll find a variety of entertainment, plus a range of tempting gourmet food stands if you’re feeling peckish. Want to find out more about the history of carnivals? Simply dive into the wings with a “Carnival Masterclass“! Not to be missed too: the funny and surprising shows on offers at the town’s outdoor Théâtre de Verdure and, of course, the election of the year’s new King and Queen.

The world-famed Flower Battle

Nice Carnival has a poetic and elegant dimension too: the Bataille des Fleurs (flower battle) is an absolute must-see! These magnificent floats bedecked with flowers pay tribute to the local flower industry: an astonishing 80% of the flowers used for the “battle” are grown in the region. The Bataille des Fleurs parade, during which thousands of flowers and handed out to onlookers, is truly the only one of its kind in the world. So make the most of it – after, all you don’t get flowers given to you every day! The actors dressed in magnificently-intricate costumes are a feast for the eyes too. Last but not least, the gorgeous flower and greenery-filled walk installed in the middle of Place Masséna invites carnival-goers to immerse themselves in a genteel floral stroll…