The best Carnivals in France

Carnival in France is known as ‘Mardi Gras,’ directly translated as ‘Fat Tuesday.’ Even though it is traditionally a Catholic tradition, French Carnival is celebrated by all ages throughout the country and offers one of Europe’s most unusual Carnival celebrations! When attending Carnival in France you will see crazy masks and even crazier costumes. Every French city celebrates Carnival in its own individual way. If you decide to celebrate Carnival in France, don’t forget to taste the waffles and beignets - some of the tastiest treats prepared for this occasion.   


When? March 3rd, 2019

This year the carnival in Paris will not only see its 22nd edition, but also has the unique theme of the « Un pour tous et tous pour le sport ! ». This 2019 parade is beginning at Place Gambetta at 2pm, and ending at Place de la République at 6pm. The party doesn’t stop until hours later though, so be prepared for a day and night of fun and music.

March 3rd – save the date! Carnival is happening in Paris and the streets will be filled with colour, music and costumes. Thousands of people will gather for what will be one of the most celebrated events of the year. We recommend you to dress up for this awesome occasion, and join the colorful parade. Book your bus to Paris and join the festivities!

Looking for some tips what to do in Paris? Get to know more about Paris here!


When? February 16th – March 2nd 2019

The Carnival of Nice is the most important winter event on the French Riviera. Nice’s carnival is one of the largest in the world! Numerous parades will take place over 15 fun-filled fays, with over a thousand dancers and musicians. The theme of the 2019 Nice Carnival will be the "King of Cinema".

Nice is famous for its beautiful carnival parades. The main parade, with 18 floats carefully designed, music groups and street theatre, is something you simply cannot miss. The Flower Parade is probably the most amazing. During this event, around 100,000 flowers will be thrown towards the crowd from the floats, most of which are produced locally. At night time in Place Massena, the carnival Parade of Lights takes place, with giant screens and illuminated floats which light up the city. On the 2nd of March don't miss the final parade, Burning of the King Place Masséna! You will experience an unforgettable atmosphere in Nice during the burning of the King in the sea. This event officially ends the carnival and accompanied with lots of music, dancers and flying confetti everywhere. Various parades will take place almost every day from the 16th February to the 2nd of March, so make sure to book your seats in advance so you can have the best views to the floats. Follow the link to the official website of carnival in Nice to check program and rates in 2019. 


When? February 2nd – March 23rd 2019

A tradition dating back to the 17th Century, the Carnival of Dunkirk is a series of events, festivities and parades taking place during February and March 2019, ending on the 23rd of March.

The Carnival of Dunkirk is arguably one of the most interesting carnivals in France, with celebrations taking place all over the weekend. Expect to find an array of different bands playing music on the streets. It might be a small town, but this doesn’t mean that its people don’t know how to have fun! The Dunkerquois love celebrating Carnival, and every year several processions and balls take place all over the town. The Carnival events end in the “Trois Joyeuses” on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday each year. On these particular days, the city is perfect for fun and partying. The locals dress in the most outrageous costumes and carry umbrellas in many different colours. During Sunday’s festivities, you can join the singing and dancing crowd and make as much noise as you want. At the Carnival of Dunkirk you can also see the typical huge puppets called reuzes, which date back to the 1800’s. So, dress up as whatever you want and join the noisy crowd at the Carnival of Dunkirk.