From: Thursday, February 8, 2024
To: Sunday, February 18, 2024
Cádiz is one of Western Europe’s oldest cities, famous for its stunning blend of Moroccan and Spanish architecture, windy streets and impressive Atlantic Views and, of course, Carnival!
- Are you visiting Cádiz? Book your Carnival trip well in advance, as the event attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. Stay in the Old Town for the best Carnival experience. Stay at the Hotel Alquimia Cadiz, rated “Excellent” by guests, located in a former chapel, steps from the celebrations.
- Cadiz carnival is known throughout the world as a massive street party. Eleven days of non-stop fun, originality and, more than anything else, mass participation.
- The Andalusian people, known for their friendliness and highly-energetic traditions, pour onto the streets in Cádiz to revel in performances and other spectacles each year during Carnival.
- In past Carnivals, gymnastics experts have shown off their skills on the streets together with costumed individuals performing as exotic lions and tigers.
- Cadiz is a spectacle one would expect of a carnival on steroids, a Halloween in the middle of Winter. Everything might seem out of place, but it makes Cádiz Carnival special.
Cadiz Carnival, how it all began.
- The Origins of Cadiz Carnival go back to the 16th century when Cadiz was one of the most important ports in the Spanish empire.
- Visitors and merchants brought many different traditions, including the influences of the Venice Carnival, famous for its satire and humour.
- These influences evolved into the Carnival celebrations of Cadiz, a unique and different type of event compared to other Spanish Carnival celebrations.
- Through sarcasm, mockery and irony, Carnival groups and visitors “purge” today’s most pressing problems.
- Stay close to all the celebrations and enjoy some of the most spectacular views in Cadiz at the Hotel Casa de las Cuatro Torres rated “Wonderful” by guests with superior rooms and delicious breakfasts.
- Saturday, 10th Feb 2024 – Old Town Cádiz – Cádiz Carnival is all about the costumes, or “tipo” as they are known in Spanish, and the costume is an essential part of the celebration.
- Don’t visit the Carnival without one, especially on the first Saturday of the Carnival and during the parades.
- The city is full of shops specialising in Carnival costumes, and it is common to see large groups dressed in similar or themed outfits.
- Locals spend many months preparing their costumes in advance with elaborate designs and fierce rivalry between different local groups.
- It’s quite something to walk by a herd of Giraffes and then look over to see a group of StormTroopers eating tapas on a terrace.
Carrusel de coros (Parade of the groups)
- Sunday, 11th Feb 2024 – The parades of the “Coros” or group are held on the first Sunday of Carnival from early morning until lunchtime.
- A Coro is an eclectic mix of different musical groups singing side by side wearing identical costumes as part of coros (choirs) or chirigotas (satirical singing groups).
- Performances are held in the Old Town the Abastos Square, the Plaza de la Catedral, Gran Cavalcade del Carnaval and a great concert in the Plaza de San Antonio.
- The coros sing about holy figures and perform tango and popular variety songs to the thousands of people who pack the squares.
- Groups typically include basses, backup vocalists, tenors and an orchestra playing lutes, guitars and bandurria.
- Coros make their way through numerous bars in the neighbourhood, where you can enjoy local delicacies and drinks between recitals.
- Arrive before 1 pm to catch the best performances.
- Enjoy contemporary and spacious rooms in the heart of the old town at the “Wonderful” rated La Sal by Pillow Hotel.
Charangas Ilegales (Illegal Groups)
- The “charangas ilegales” are another characteristic element of the Cadiz Carnival: they usually convene in the Plaza de las Flores.
- These are families, groups of friends or workmates whose repertoire of songs compete for humour and laughs with the “official” groups.
- Open-air parties, fireworks, fancy dress dances and endless additional activities ensure the fun doesn’t stop for a moment throughout the celebrations.
- Carnaval de Cádiz hosts two processions during the Carnival celebrations on the first and last Sunday of the event.
The Gran Cabalgata (Great Parade)
- Sunday 11th Feb – The Gran Cabalgata (Great Parade) The first procession is a spectacle full of colour and fun, with more than 100,000 locals and visitors joining the parade as it makes its way through the main street at the entrance to the city.
- It takes more than four hours from the parade to move along the 3.5 kilometres of the parade route featuring a seemingly never ending parade of elaborate floats and customed revellers.
Cabalgata del Humor (Comedy Parade)
- Sunday 18th Feb – Cabalgata del Humor (Comedy Parade) The final parade of the Carnival, making its way through the historic city centre.
- Groups of locals and visitors in elaborate costumes sing, dance and celebrate one last time.
Gay and Gay Friendly Bars and Restaurants
- Teniente Seblón – Popular long-running gay bar and tapas venue.
- Kings & Queens – Intimate disco bar and host of popular drag shows and theme nights.
- Cáfe Royalty – Sit beneath the cafe’s striking pink ceiling – decorated with cheery angels, exotic birds and lashings of gold leaf – while indulging in coffee and homemade chocolate cake served from a silver trolley.
- Taberna Casa Manteca – Founded in 1953, drop in for some delicious tapas. Try the chicharrones (thinly sliced cured pork belly with lemon and herbs) and wash it down with a glass of full-bodied, locally made Garum wine.
- Restaurante El Faro – Despite starting life as a sailors’ tavern, El Faro has evolved into a classy fish restaurant. The grand interior is all dark wood, crisp tablecloths, azulejo tiles and ageing photos of past diners – and the waiters still wear bow ties and white jackets.
Places to Visit
- Plaza España is a charming part of Cadiz, in the centre of the old city with a historic monument city’s founding.
- Plaza de San Juan de Dios, also in the old town, is home to some superb restaurants and is excellent for seafood and cold beer.
- The Old City promenade offers the perfect way to explore the best of the city as you make your way along the historic wall that once protected Cádiz from attack.
- Visit Parque Genovés, one of the most spectacular parks in the city.
- Take in the sunset at Castillo de San Sebastian at the western tip of the old town.
- Cortadura beach – semi-natural beach, on the outskirts of Cádiz, on the isthmus that joins with San Fernando.
- Sunset Beach – Cadiz’s most famous beach, Playa de La Caleta, is right in the old town. This beach imitated Havana’s craggy harbour in the James Bond film Die Another Day.
- Visit all of these attractions with your own customised private tour.
Getting to Cadiz
- There are two international airports located close to Cadiz: Jerez ( XRY) and Seville ( SVQ). Both airports have several daily connecting flights to the rest of Spain and Europe.
Where to stay in Cádiz
Here are the hotels we recommend that have good reviews and keep you close to all the action
Plaza Mina Suites, Boutique Hotel Casa Cánovas, Hotel Monte Puertatierra, Parador de Cádiz
Where to stay close to all the gay bars
Our top 4 selections with the best rates.
Plaza Mina Suites in Cádiz
is our preferred hotel in the city.
For further information and advice on
Carnaval de Cádiz visit the Website
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We have chosen hotels in Cádiz that keep you close to all the shops, restaurants & bars
Highlights from the Sunday festivities at Carnival in Cadiz