There are big changes this year:
- New routes: The Bataille de Fleurs and Carnival are now both sharing a new 100% secure route, looping around the Promenade du Paillon.
- No free: Sadly, the free zone has been eliminated, and in fact nothing is free this year (unless you costume up), but tickets can be quite cheap (5€ for adults and free for kids under 10), and the standing zone B, which covers 80% of the route, is much more fun than sitting, especially if you follow my insider carnival strategies…
- No Silly String! Say it ain’t so! And much more difficult to walk away with a good bouquet at the Bataille de Fleurs.
- Major Security: You’ll feel really really safe, but the downside is that, to avoid spreading the police too thin, they cancelled three quirky side-fests for this year: Queernaval, the Rock and Roll 10k, and the homegrown Carnaval Independant.
Now, take the true/false Carnival Quiz:
“Nice Carnival is…
a) …The 3rd largest Carnival celebration in the WORLD.” TRUE! After Rio and Venice comes Nice!
b) …based on a 2000-year-old Catholic tradition of church-sanctioned debauchery… which has now evolved into commercialism and marketing gone wild.” Absolutely TRUE
c) …The start of 3 weeks of unpredictable traffic-hell that locals dread.” FALSE! The dreaded traffic hell is completely predictable… just avoid downtown and the Prom on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday evening and Wednesday… and you’ll be fine.
d) …Is super expensive and only for tourists. FALSE! Every year I drag some naysayer into the melee and they emerge converted: Carnival is provocative and irreverent, the floats are weirdly impressive, and if you do it right it can be fun, cheap, quick, easy, and totally worth experiencing at least once each year! But doing it right is the key… click here for my hard-learned Insider Carnival Tips.