The best carnivals in Spain

The best carnivals in Spain

28.01.2023 – 12:12 p.m. Updated 01.28.2023 – 12:12 p.m.

The traditional murgas in Tenerife and Extremadura, the great parades with costumes and costumes created for the occasion that are spectacular, the celebration of comparsas and the typical chirigotas that can be seen in Cádiz or Madrid, as well as the different parades and parties. Lots of partying, atmosphere of celebration, joy and streets full of light and color.

In this guide you can consult a selection of the best carnivals in Spain, the more original and fun to enjoy a unique experience. Some of these celebrations have even been declared as Festival of National Tourist Interest due to the large number of visitors who come to it and for combining the most typical traditions and particularities of each town. And if you want to enjoy this party in a big way, in this other information you can check what are the best carnivals in europe.

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1. Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canary Islands

Tenerife Carnival

The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife tops the list because it is one of the most popular and long-awaited celebrations of the month of March. In fact, the island’s Carnival is recognized worldwide, and even in the In the year 2000 it became the World Capital of Carnival.

Parade of people at the carnival

Why is he so famous? Among its most massive events are the murgas, floats and comparsas contests, and the election of the Children’s Queen, the Adult Queen, the highlight of the festival due to the spectacular costumes worn by the applicants, and the Queen of the Third Age .

carnival costumes

The celebrations and activities related to Carnival on this island begin well in advance. The program has marked the last week of January as the start date of the carnival celebrations in 2023.

Carnival costume

A year whose theme is dedicated to New York. On the 26th, Thursday, the children’s murgas begin. But that is only the beginning of several masked balls until dawn, carnival during the day and parades full of color and joy.

troupe participants

On February 8, the Queen of the Festival of the Groups of the Elderly is chosen and, from this date, there are scheduled concerts, dances, costume parties and many more activities.

Costumes created for carnival

The celebration ends on the same day, February 26, with an event that proclaims the Great End of the Holidays.

Best carnival costumes

You can check all the details of Carnival 2023 in Tenerife from here.

Carnival poster Tenerife 2023

2. Carnival of Cádiz in Andalusia

The carnival of Cádiz is another of the most popular celebrations and one that attracts the most visitors from all over Spain. Nowadays, it is a whole ritual, and the people of Cádiz prepare for this event with chirigotas contests, gastronomic tastings, parades, fireworks, parades and parades.

Cadiz Carnival

Among the most outstanding acts of this festival are the Grand Final of the Official Contest of Carnival Groups at the Gran Teatro Falla, the coronation of the Goddess of Carnival or the Magna Parade.

Chirigotas from Cádiz

In 2023 the celebration of Carnival extends from February 16 to the 26th of the same month. This celebration has been declared of International Tourist Interest and proof of this is that the music, party, joy and festive atmosphere reaches every corner of the town.

carnival troupes

One of the most important dates marked on the calendar is the Grand Final of the Gran Teatro Falla, which is held on February 17.

horseback riding

The origins of the Carnival of Cádiz go back to the 16th century, when it was one of the most important ports of the Spanish Empire, which meant the entry of a great flow of influences from all over the world. Specifically, Venice shared many commercial ties with Cádiz, which is why, among many others, some of the traditions that have evolved were copied and have ended up making the Carnival of Cádiz one of the most popular and characteristic carnivals declared of International Tourist Interest.

You can consult all the details of the Carnival of Cádiz in 2023 from here.

3. Carnival of Badajoz in Extremadura

The Badajoz Carnival is considered the third most important in Spain after the carnivals in Tenerife and Cádiz. It is also considered a Fiesta of National Tourist Interest and, among the most outstanding events on the programme, are the murgas, the parade of comparsas, dances and choreographies and much more.

Badajoz Parade

During the festival, Badajoz is dyed in all colors. Many places offer the performance of the murgas, theme parties and costume balls, among others.

Neighbors of Badajoz in Carnival

On the last day, as a great culmination of this celebration, it is essential to attend the Burial of the Sardine that takes place, as every year, in the neighborhood of San Roque. There, all those who have resisted the four days of intense carnival say goodbye until the following year, having breakfast in the numerous bars that the bars and restaurants have.

Traditional ride of Badajoz in carnival

It is a celebration with a long history and trajectory. There is evidence that this carnival already existed in the 18th century.


You can check all the details of Carnival in Extremadura from here.

girl in disguise

4. Águilas Carnival in Murcia

The celebration that takes place in Murcia is known as the ‘Carnival of Eagles’. In 2023 the events of this holiday begin on February 10 and extend until March 10. Like the one in Cádiz, this is a festival of International Tourist Interest.

Carnival parade

As in every corner of Spain where carnival is celebrated, there is no shortage of parades, costumes and night parties in tents full of masked people. For some years there has also been a parade with the participation of comparsas from all over the region the following Saturday, already in the middle of Lent. The ‘suelta de la musona’ is traditional, a mythological character who runs through the streets with dazzling makeup. In full celebration, it is customary to ‘break an egg’ in the head of whoever crosses our path.

carnival costumes

They are also the famous shells filled with confetti and the “Carnival of the Night” is becoming increasingly popular, in which practically everyone dresses up and goes out to enjoy the aquiline night.

best carnival costume

You can check all the details of the Águilas Carnival program from here.

5. Carnival in Madrid

Without the tradition of other cities, the Madrid carnival is acquiring greater importance year after year.

Parade Madrid

One of its main acts is the costume contest that takes place in the Ballroom of the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. The Carnival of Madrid has a thematic parade and the traditional manteo del Pelele.

Traditional Carnival cloak in Madrid

The program of the capital contemplates different activities and celebrations from the same Friday of Carnival to Ash Wednesday, specifically, from February 17 to 22. Parade, identity game, musical performances and much more. Most of the celebrations take place in Madrid Río and in the Matadero in Madrid.

Burial of the Sardine

The end of the festival comes with the burial of the sardine, which is a traditional event whose objective is to return the costumes, silence the fanfare and bury the sardine with all the honors.

End of the carnival with the burial of the sardine

You can check all the details of the Madrid Carnival in 2023 from here.

6. Carnival in Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca

The Carnival of Ciudad Rodrigo is a party with a special charm due to its activities and events of traditional dyes. In 2023 the celebrations take place between February 17 and 21.

Poster of the Carnival of the Bull 2023
It is the only one in the world where the mask festival is mixed with that of the bull. The parades are combined with capeos, encierros and bullfights through the streets of the city, declared of historical-artistic interest.

The Carnival of the Bull is one of the oldest in Spain. During the Carnival festivities, bullfights take place in the Plaza Mayor, where a rectangular plaza is built for the occasion that is dismantled at the end of the festivities.

You can check all the details of the Carnival del Toro in 2023 from here.

7. Lantz Carnival in Navarre

The celebration that takes place in the Navarrese town of Lantz is a rural carnival with a great tradition, in which for a few days the forces of good and evil face off in a symbolic battle in which the thirst for justice mobilizes popular anger.

Lantz Parade

Unlike in other places, what makes the carnival in the small town of Lantz special is not the merriment, the drinks, or the fancy costumes. Its particularity is that it is based on a true story passed down from generation to generation.

Navarre Carnival

The population of Lantz recreates every year the capture of the bandit Miel Otxin, who in ancient times committed several robberies until he was caught and burned at the stake. The characters from the story return to the streets of Lantz every year as a parody, enjoyed by thousands of visitors from neighboring towns.

Typical figure of the Lantz carnival

8. Carnival of Laza in Ourense

The Carnival of Ourense transmits an essence of traditions of the ancestors. The reason? The Carnival celebrations in the Galician town of Laza are among the ten oldest in the world. In fact, it is classified as a Festival of Tourist Interest in Galicia. In 2023 the celebrations extend from January 27 to February 21.

Typical masks of the carnival of Laza

The groups of “Peliqueiros” animate streets, squares and eras, with their handmade and careful clothing that adds ancient, medieval, baroque elements and rituals.

Ourense Carnival Parade

The participants appear covered with a carved wooden mask, crowned by a semicircle with some totemic symbol, they follow an ancient ritual program. With their runs, jumps and bellows they make the bells ring in unison, lashing with the whip anyone who interferes in their way.

Laza carnival poster

9. Sitges Carnival in Barcelona

About 20 kilometers from Barcelona is the town of Sitges, a town where the celebration of Carnival is of great importance. In 2023 the celebrations will extend from Thursday, February 16 to Wednesday, February 22when one of the most important activities of the program takes place, the burial of His Majesty King Carnestoltes.

The party starts with the arrival of the King of Carnival in La Fragata and it continues until, after celebrating the funerals of the ‘King’, he is buried on the beach of Les Barques.

The parades pass through the center where thousands of costumed people dance to the rhythm of the music. The one on the Rua Infantil and the one on the Rua Exterminio del Carnaval de Sitges stand out. The parade of Rua Disbauxa of the Carnival.

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The best carnivals in Spain