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Nice Carnival (French Riviera, February 2019)

by Sharron Livingston
Nice Carnival 2016

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Founded in 1873, Nice Carnival is Europe’s answer to Rio and certainly the biggest in France. The capital of the French Riviera will be awash with colour, as noisy as a carnival can be with women wearing outrageous costumes and headgear.

The theme in 2019 is King of Cinema. Get into the groove with 1000 dancers and join the Niçois as they turn their streets into places of wonderment and during the Battle of Flowers, pretty girls will hurl out around 80,000 blooms by the end of the carnival.


Nice, French Riviera

⇒ READ ALSO: Nice, French Riviera – a city for all seasons


16th February – 2nd March 2019

How Much

Prices for adults start at €5 in the standing area and €26 for reserved seats.

Buy a double ticket for the Carnival Parade and the Battle of Flowers for €40 (not valid on Saturdays). This buys you a seat in the stands. Visit the official website for details: nicecarnaval.com

Tip: If you go in fancy dress you won’t have to pay at all.

The rest of the circuit is free. There are parades on Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Tip: Go midweek for (marginally) fewer crowds.

What’s On

There are three different Carnival events:

Carnival Parade

17 floats decorated on a Space theme will parade to the rhythm of street art and musical bands from all around the world in a colourful and festive atmosphere.

Carnival Parade of Lights

On Saturdays and Tuesdays, the Carnival Parade takes place in the evening when the carnival floats light up.

Nice Carnival 2016 by night

(c) OTC Nice/J. Kelagopian

Flower Parades

Every year, costumed models parade on flower-covered floats and throw a hail of flowers to the public.

For a taste of what’s on, here is a video:


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