Carnivals in Spain, the five events you mustn’t ‘miss this year

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The streets are filled with colour, the people are out having fun, there are parties everywhere: the spirit of carnival has been unleashed.

If there’s one magical place to spend this awesome time, it’s Spain. We put together this piece to help you navigate the map and attend the best celebrations.

Ready? Get your favourite costume on because it’s party time!

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

With over 500 years of history, this is one of the oldest carnival celebrations in the world. But that’s not the only thing making this a unique carnival; it offers a plethora of options for the lucky visitors. Some of the attractions are:

  • Murga musical theatre competition
  • Drag queen gala
  • Canine carnival
  • Winner’s parade

With so many adventures packed into a single spot, you mustn’t miss this carnival celebration.


Verín is a small town in Ourense where everyone dresses up to receive thousands of people from all over the country during carnival. That’s because Verín’s carnival celebration is unlike any other. The people wear classic costumes consisting of a Cigarrón (a small unique jacket) and a painted wooden mask.

The wooden masks are the quintessential expression of the carnival spirit and are painted in bright colours. But that’s not all; it is also possible to enjoy the music of the traditional orchestras and dance all afternoon. If you love tradition, colour, and music, attending this carnival is a must.


The entire town of Cadiz takes to the streets en masse for the carnival. Although everyone is invited, this celebration has a very particular dress code: you have to dress fancy. Indeed, while in your fanciest clothes, you can appreciate the utterly traditional Chirigotas contest.

Also, this year, due to the pandemic, the carnival celebrations will take place between February and March and also between May and June. So there’s no excuse for missing this year’s celebrations in Cadiz.


Badajoz is a city taken over during carnival times. Yes, that’s right, nobody should leave home without their costume or they will look out of place. That’s because in this beautiful city, the party happens in the streets. 

While you’re there, don’t miss the Murgas musical theatre competition, the big comparsas parade, and the burial of the sardine.

Whether you go as a foodie, a curious neighbour or a carnival lover, you’re sure to have an amazing time.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

While it is popular knowledge that Rio’s carnival is the biggest in the world, not everybody knows that Tenerife is the place for the second biggest. Indeed, this huge celebration involves the entire town taking over the streets. 

This year, due to the pandemic, the carnival will be celebrated in June. June 1st is the opening so a great moment to arrive in the city. 

For three weeks, the comparsas will compete fearlessly with each other to win the competition. This is a colourful spectacle with loud music and a party spirit you can’t miss. Furthermore, the healthy competition among the comparsas attracts the best of them every year.

But that’s not all: on June 18th, the grand gala to choose the carnival queen takes place. This prestigious award is an event the entire town looks forward to.

Finally, all activities end on June 26th with a massive daytime event of music, colour, and fun.


Spain is a country of immense historical heritage as well as vibrant nightlife and incredible food. If the combination of the three sounds appealing, you mustn’t miss these Spanish carnivals this year.

Follow the advice above and have the time of your life!