Hello Everyone, it’s me #Marimonda!
Today, I’d like to share my first carnival experience in Nice. Nice Carnival is one of the best world carnival festivals in the world with the one in Venice and Rio. I heard of Nice Carnival about seven years ago for the first time, since then I’ve wanted to participate the event. Luckily, now I am staying in France so I had the opportunity to visit Nice during the festival period.
This year, Nice Carnival was held from16th February to 2nd March. Even though the Carnival lasts for about two weeks, the parade doesn’t take place every single day during the festival. Therefore, I would recommend you to check the parade schedule and check out what event you would like to participate in.
Nice Carnival consists of two parts: the Parade and the Battles of Flowers. Both Parades begin at Place Masséna, then they continue to promenade des anglais. By coming back to the place, the Parades are over. It takes about one and half hour to two hours. With music and dance, the atmosphere of the Place Masséna is full of laugh and energy. You could hear audiences chattering, pointing, oohing and aahing, and laughing, and clicking their camera shutter. While clicking your camera shutters, two hours would be gone like a second.
At the Place Masséna, the parade does some performances and at the Battles of Flowers, they distribute flowers when they arrive at the Place Masséna after touring the city. You can get some flowers for free! Stay closer to the front if you like to catch some flowers.
Theme. The Carnival has different theme every single year to attract more visitors. The theme of this year was Roi du cinéma (King of the Cinema in English). You could enjoy the parade of movie heroes like Charlie Chaplin, Avengers, also funny props of Trump, Macron etc. There was a Korean traditional fan dance parade, too.
Ticketing. Usually, tickets are on sale from the mid-December, you can get them online, too. Purchasing tickets on the Internet would be a better option since you can choose the seat you want (If you’re buying a seat in Tribune section). Prices for adults start at 5 euros in the standing area and 26 euros for reserved seats. There’s a combo package for the two events (the Carnival Parade and the Battles of Flowers) for 40 euros. The combo offer helps you save some euros. Watch out, you cannot choose Saturday spectacular with the combo tickets.
Tips for ticketing. The Tribune Jean Jaurès offers the best spot to enjoy the show because you can see the parade entering into the Place Masséna. Also, performers dance and do some performs at the stage in front of the Tribune Jean Jaurès and Phocéens. If you prefer sitting in sunny side get tickets in the Jean Jaurès section. If you like avoid Sun and stay in shade area, purchase tickets in the Phocéens section.
Transportation. I took a flight from Charle de Gaulle (AF7710) Terminal 2, and it took me one and half hour to arrive at Nice airport 2. My flight was delayed for 40 mins but arrived about 20 mins later than it was scheduled. Thus, real flight time would be like an hour and 10 minutes. From the airport, you can take an express bus(Bus #98 to City Center, #99 to Gare SNCF) which costs 6 euros. You can purchase the ticket on board or at the ticket booth in the airport. If you want to save money, you can go to Terminal 1 using the free Airport shuttle bus then take any local bus (1.5 euro) to the center of Nice.
You can also check out La Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival) in Menton, or La Fête du Mimosa in Mandelieu la Napoule. They are also celebrating local events in the similar period and the two cities are not that far away from Nice. Since Nice is a hub city of Côte d’Azur area in terms of transportation, you can go visit other famous cities such as Menton (bus #100), Monaco (bus #100) Cannes (bus #200), Grasse (bus #500), Saint Paul de Vence (bus #400), Èze (bus #82)., etc. by bus or train easily.
I attach some useful websites to travel Nice. Hopefully, it helps you out.
French Riviera Pass. It is a city pass which allows you free (or with reduced price) access to the most important touristic destinations in Nice and other Côte d’Azur cities such as Eze, Monaco, Cagnes sur Mer, etc.
Lignes d’Azur. This is a bus company which operates the service between cities in Côte d’Azur area, and airport express busses.
See you again 🙂