8 Best Carnivals in the World | Travelling Manual

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Carnaval is one of the oldest and most widespread traditions in the world. With an origin clearly marked by Christianity, carnivals mark the last days before Lent, so it was formerly used to unleash the most primal instincts before the period of recollection began. Over the years, this tradition has been adapted to the times and cultures where they are held, giving rise to celebrations of the most varied nature. If you are thinking of taking a trip that is an authentic adventure during these dates, do not miss the most attractive destinations to enjoy these carnivals.


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Without a doubt, the first destination that comes to mind when we talk about Carnival is Rio de Janeiro .

During the four days of the Rio de Janeiro carnival , the city is invaded by music, color and spectacle . Thousands of men and women show off their bodies along with their costumes full of glamor and sensuality. If you walk its streets during these days, you will not be able to avoid being carried away by the music, to the rhythm of samba while you are surrounded by floats and people dressed in feathers, sequins and shiny materials.

The nerve center of the Rio de Janeiro carnival is in the Sambadrome where, during these four days, the samba schools compete to be the best , in impressive parades where the luxury of costumes and floats mixes with the dances , the rhythm of the music and the joy they convey.

If you decide to travel to this destination, keep in mind that during these days, Rio de Janeiro is a city crowded with people, it is better to have reserved an accommodation to stay and tickets to the Sambadrome to attend a unique show in the world .

2 Best Carnival: New Orleans

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If there is a festive city in the US, this is undoubtedly New Orleans. A city where Jazz and the joy that one of the craziest carnivals in the world celebrates with its particular carnival: the Mardi Gras

During these days, city dwellers and visitors fill the streets where great floats parade to the sound of music, from which toys and necklaces of all sizes and colors are thrown. In the quest to get more necklaces than the others, the practice of showing some part of the body in exchange for one has been expanding, a practice that has as many defenders as detractors due to the controversial nature of the system.

If you want to enjoy Jazz music, a population overturned with its big party and one of the most peculiar cities in the United States, New Orleans is the ideal choice for these carnivals.

3 Best Carnival: Venice

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If you want to enjoy the carnival in a more calm and different way, Venice offers a totally different vision of this ancient tradition.

The Venice Carnival is probably the oldest in the world, as it began to be celebrated in the 11th century , when the names dressed in masks during these days to mix with the common people. Although now all the Venetians of this tradition participate, their spirit has remained. All participants stroll through the city, wearing traditional 17th century masks and costumes.

Unlike the carnivals of other cities, the appeal of those in Venice are not based on large parties, but on the tradition and majesty of their parades in an incomparable setting such as the city of Venice , which will make you feel like part of the baroque nobility.

4 Best Carnival: Binche

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The carnival of this small Belgian city has been declared an Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco. For three days, the city filled with parades to the rhythm of drums and violas.

Binche offers one of the most traditional carnivals in Europe where its people dress up as they have been doing it for hundreds of years. During these three days, the Guilles parade through the streets and gather in the city's Grand Plaza. The Guilles' costume is made up of traditional clothing, covered hair, and a white mask representing the Andean indigenous people who presented Queen María Teresa of Austria after the battle of Arras, who covered their dirty faces (most of them were charcoal burners). ), so that the queen does not panic.

In addition to the Guilles, the inhabitants of Binche dress up as the typical characters of the art comedy like harlequins and pierrots. Theatrical performances also have an important weight during these celebrations.

5 Best Carnival in the World: Vevcani

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In this small city of Macedonia, about 170 km from Skopje, the capital, one of the oldest and most original carnivals in Europe takes place with a theme closer to American Halloween than to carnival itself.

The tradition of this carnival is believed to be based on ancient pagan rituals over 1400 years old . During this carnival, the inhabitants of the city wear terrifying masks and costumes. Tradition says that these costumes scare away evil spirits.

If you want to spend some scary carnivals, in a cheap country and little exploited for tourism, Vevcani is your choice.

6 Best Carnival: Canary Islands

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It is not necessary to leave Spain to enjoy some spectacular carnivals. In the Canary Islands, some of the most famous carnivals in the world are held.

Both on the island of Gran Canaria and in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, casual and glamorous carnival celebrations are held, where the shows of the choice of the Carnival queen and the Drag Queen gala attract hundreds of visitors every year.

Music, glamor and sophistication mark the point of these carnivals, where residents and visitors wear their best costumes in parades that start in the afternoon and last until the wee hours of the morning.

7 Best Carnival: Cadiz

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The Cádiz carnival is possibly one of the most fun in the world. In Cádiz, music is put at the service of humour and social satire. There the chirigotas, quartets and choirs fill the streets with their songs that describe the current events always in a humorous tone.

All the participants in this carnival wear cute costumes, full of humour, always ready to laugh at oneself and at others.

Especially important in these celebrations is the chirigotas contest that is held every year at the Teatro Falla.

If you are looking for light carnivals, where good humour and gastronomy take precedence over everything, Cádiz should be your choice.

8 Best Carnival in the World: Xinzo de Limia and Verin

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The longest cycle of carnivals in Spain takes place in these Galician towns, where the entroido (as they call the carnival in Galicia) lasts a whole month.

Battles of flour, circles of neighbours that throw pots from one side to the other of the square or parades in which traditional characters from each town beat the attendees, are some of the curious traditions that you can find in this particular carnival.

In addition to having such long celebrations, the residents of Xinzo de Limia and Verín rush their carnival to the fullest, going out with their costumes in the morning and extending the festive days until late at night . During this time, parades, dances and gastronomic days take place day after day.

Remember that when you travel it is highly recommended to have travel insurance that takes care of you and yours, especially if you do it outside the European Union.