Activities/Sightseeing – NICE (Carnaval de Nice, 14 February-04 March 2014)

The Carnaval de Nice 2014 (Nice Carnival) is coming soon and is one of the biggest events on the French Riviera, held this year between 14 February and 04 March.

Until the eighteenth century, the ‘Carnaval’ consisted of masked balls and food fights in the streets of Vieux Nice.  During major military and political turmoil caused by the French Revolution and the First Napoleanic Empire, festivities were put on hold.  In 1830, the first parade was held where carriages/floats were marched past the King and Queen and set the tone for the future of the carnival.

Today, care is taken choosing an annual theme – 2014’s theme is ‘King of Gastronomy’ – and the creation of the floats uses modern technology, textiles and amazing work of sculptors.


‘King of Gastronomy’ – Nice Carnaval theme 2014 (image courtesy of Nice Carnaval website / Nice Tourism Office)

I highly recommend this event if you live in the region or are visiting.


– Tickets can be pre-purchased online at and you print an e-ticket. Saves time having to collect tickets!  Or you can buy tickets from 27 January, at the Tourism Office (Office du Tourism et des Congrès) at 5 promenade des Anglais in Nice (there are various other ticket booths located near the parade route for pre-parade sales but as this is a popular event you will be battling lots of people and congestion pre-parade).  If you purchase online, refer to the parade map in this link to check seat numbers plan-tribune

–  Adult tickets cost €35 for 2 events (excluding Saturdays). Children under 6 years are free of charge when seated on a paying adult’s lap. Kids 6-12 years – tickets cost between €5-€10.  Note:  There is FREE ENTRANCE on 14 February from 8.30pm for the opening of the Carnival, and also 04 March from 8.30pm for the Burning of the King float and fireworks at Place Massena.

– There are rates for persons with reduced mobility and their accompanying person. €5 in standing area, or €10 in reserved seating or €10 in a wheelchair area with raised level.  The wheelchair area will be located opposite the Tourism Office (5 promenade des Anglais).  Carparking with disabled spaces is nearest on rue des Congrès. All of these rates must be booked via French Nice Tourist Office, their email  If you speak English and need assistance reserving these tickets please contact me on and I can help you.

– Parade routes will be closed 2 hours prior to each parade. Bear this in mind when arriving to the parade by car.


previous Nice Carnival float (image courtesy of Nice / Nice Tourisme Office)

– Many Nice hotels offer ‘Carnival’ accommodation rates for families. Some participating hotels are Novotel Nice Centre and Best Western Roosevelt. View accommodation rates online at

I am hoping to take my son to the opening evening, and the closing evening so with some planning on how to get there and where to sit, it should be another enjoyable event.

Also, don’t forget to vote for the Carnival Queen!  prizes are up for grabs including restaurant meals, Flower Parade tickets, cookery classes and a stay at the Hotel Beau Rivage. Vote online at

Happy Carnival!  Here’s to the ‘King of Gastronomy’!