Carnaval is a Spanish celebration of colorful costumes, music, and much food and drink. Known as Mardi Gras in the US, this exuberant display of excess falls just before the Christian observance of Lent begins. As Lent is typically a period of refraining from extravagance and making sacrifices, Carnaval is the perfect time to indulge in whatever your heart desires. Whether its eating rich foods, enjoying an extra drink or 2, or dancing until the sun comes up, Carnaval gives you the chance before its too late!
Barcelona is host to many Carnaval celebrations as each neighborhood puts together a festive gathering in a central area. A large parade makes its way through the city center as dancers dressed in dazzling and eye-catching costumes dance through the streets as colorful parade floats follow and all are serenaded by bands playing live music. Elaborate make-up and masks hide the true identity of participants and lend an air of mystery to the event. The energetic and friendly vibe found throughout Barcelona during Carnaval invites you to join in the fun and satiate your appetite for fun.
5 Festive Ways to Experience Carnaval:
- Arrive a few days before the big parade and consult our concierge on where to find colorful Carnaval garb of your own!
- Secure a rooftop view of the parade as it winds itself through the city center and enjoy cocktails and tapas as you take in the spirited scene below.
- Traveling as a family? There are some child-friendly events during Carnaval including a childrens parade in the Gracia district with an opportunity for kids to dress up as their favorite animal and participate in a parade of their own!
- Travel to Sitges for an even more flamboyant celebration. Less than 30 miles from Barcelona, this LGBT friendly town takes Carnaval VERY seriously, and parties the week away with parades, concerts and shows. The costumes here are even more over the top and splashy than in Barcelona.
- Brush up your dance moves or learn the steps to the traditional Catalan dance, Sardana, with a private lesson or as a group in a studio so youre prepared to get your groove on late into the night.
As Carnaval is only celebrated in certain cities around the world, its a rare opportunity to experience this vibrant and joyful event! Experience this outrageous party like a local, with Time & Place .