• Riviera Insider editorial

Nice Carnival returns in 2022 with the theme 'King of the animals'

Colourful costumes, loud music and lots of fun under the spring sun: the carnival is one of the main attractions on the event calendar of the Côte d'Azur.


It is the biggest carnival celebration in France and one of the most famous in the world, along with the Rio and Venice carnivals. For a good two weeks in February, Nice follows the rhythm of daily parades, during the day and in the evening, as well as "flower battles", parades with floats decorated with flowers and scantily clad women throwing the colourful splendour into the audience.

After a break due to the pandemic, the major event is celebrating its comeback in Nice: the 137th edition of the colourful festival will be celebrated from 11 to 27 February 2022. The theme: "Le Roi des Animaux" (The King of Animals).

Every year, the event attracts around 200,000 visitors, some 18 per cent from abroad. Mayor Christian Estrosi has announced that the coming edition will be open to all, and has promised a reduction in admission prices, in addition to numerous innovations. Prices are to vary from 5 euros for standing room to 30 euros for a grandstand seat, depending on the day and access zone. Those who dress up from head to toe can even watch for free!

Thousands of people traditionally follow the carnival parades in Nice - picture from the "Corso" in February 2020 ©nicecarnaval

From the programme

The animal-themed floats with giant papier-mâché figures will parade through Place Masséna during the parades (Corso Carnavalesque - Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays).

Every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon you can experience another highlight of the carnival: the flower battles. Here, large floats decorated with mostly local flowers are presented, animated by actresses in costumes specially designed for this event. A unique parade worldwide, where thousands of flowers are spread out to the spectators.


  • The Belgian carnival will present its "gilles" dressed up in bells and gorgeous costumes on the first weekend.

  • A large "carnival village", free to everyone, will be set up around the music pavilion in the Jardin Albert 1er, where entertainment, food stalls and numerous other offerings will be available.

  • There will also be the election of a local Carnival King and Queen on 7 February. "More than ever, I want the coming carnival to be the carnival of the people of Nice," the mayor said.

Other highlights

  • Grand opening ceremony on 11 February at 6.30 p.m. on Place Masséna

  • Theatre performances for young and old

  • 27 February: grand closing ceremony starting at 5.30 p.m. with the symbolic burning of the Carnival King (free admission

You can find the detailed programme here.


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