Nice Bataille de Fleurs, the Carnaval Flower Parade

Marc Chagall, Bataille de Fleurs

Held on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons during the Nice Carnaval February 17- March 3, 2024, the Bataille de Fleurs is a completely different animal from the regular Carnaval Corso parades:  Instead of being raucous, the flower parade is elegant and refined, with its own 14 floats covered in literal tons fresh flowers.  It’s romantic and whimsical with a focus on aesthetics and beauty, and it smells wonderful.  Plus, this parade has party favors… If you stay to the end, you’ll leave with some 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.


170px-Carnaval_de_Nice_-_bataille_de_fleurs_-wikiDon’t buy the top ticket for a seat (28€!), go for the 14€ standing zone (5€ for children 6-12):  it’s not only much cheaper but infinitely more lively and 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, you can more easily make your escape.  But staying until the end does have its rewards; the floats are plucked and the florals are flung or passed. And actually, at 14€ for the standing ticket, the price of admission is less than what you would spend for a bouquet.

Buy your tickets online to avoid the crowds at the ticket booths, which open at 11am for the parade which starts at 2:30pm.

Related Page:  Insider tips on how to do the Nice Carnaval

Photo credit: Bataille de Fleurs by Zil, licensed under Creative Commons

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