The Nice Carnival’s Bataille de Fleurs is a completely different animal from the regular Carnival Corso parades: It has its own floats (covered in flowers), a separate route along the seaside, a completely different ambience of elegance and aesthetics, and whereas it unfortunately has no free zone, it makes up for it with party favors …everyone leaves with an armload of blooms!
The ‘Battle’ in the Bataille de Fleurs originated in the 19th century, when Nice was the carnation-growing capital of France. The 1876 festival featured young ladies dressed in their finest with copious florals, parading down the Promenade… and pelting each other and the audience with flowers.
At first glance the entry fee seems high, but don’t buy the top ticket, go for the standing zone: it’s not only much cheaper but infinitely more fun as you can circulate and jockey for position to catch the flying flowers raining down from the floats. Added bonus to the standing zone: if you get an estrogen overload from all the femininity in the air, you can walk against the flow, see it all in about 30 minutes, and make your escape. But staying until the end does have its rewards; the floats are plucked and the florals are flung. And actually, at 10€ for the standing ticket, the price of admission is less than what you would spend for a bouquet.
This year you have 5 chances to experience the Bataille de Fleurs: Saturdays (Feb. 16, 23 and March 2) and Wednesdays (Feb. 20, 27 and March 6) at 2:30pm on the Promenade near the Hotel Meridian.
Related Page: Insider tips on how to do the Nice Carnival