Carnival in the Netherlands 2023

11:00am 18 Feb - 12:00am 21 Feb, 2023

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Noord-Brabant, Netherlands

Carnival In The Netherlands 2023: Party in the South

Carnival in the Netherlands, also known as ‘Carnaval’, is a three-day celebration in the Southern, Catholic region of the Netherlands. Celebrated in and around the province of Noord-Brabant, the Carnival starts on Sunday and continues through to Ash Wednesday. The annual celebration sees locals suspend their daily life for three days; and visitors travel from all over the world to enjoy traditional Dutch events.

Throughout the carnival, locals and visitors dress up in crazy and extravagant costumes; which include the traditional ‘role reversal’. A range of parades featuring floats and performances can be found throughout the major cities. Bar crawls, outrageous city name changes and official colours can all be found during this event.

Preparations for the Carnival in the Netherlands start on the 11th of November (11/11) at 11:11. The number 11 is the ‘fool’s number’ in the Netherlands.

Suspend your daily life for three days and join in on action at the Carnival in the Netherlands!

On the 11th of November each year, the city council votes for a Prince of Carnival for their town. The mayor then transfers the power and key to the city to the Prince on the first day of the carnival; symbolising the suspension of daily life and the beginning of the party. The Prince is ultimately in charge of the city for three days.

Where to view Carnival in the Netherlands

The Carnival in the Netherlands is predominantly celebrated in the southern region of the Netherlands. The province of North Brabant (Noord-Brabant) borders Belgium.

It includes some of the largest Dutch cities such as Eindhoven, Breda, Tilburg and ’s-Hertogenbosch. The Carnival is celebrated in most major cities in the South of Holland. 

How to get around Noord-Brabant

Getting around the Netherlands is quick, easy and affordable; with a range of public transport options available. Noord-Brabant features a number of major cities, which can be reached by intercity trains as well as buses.

The nearest airport is Eindhoven Airport, located in the Noord-Brabant province; however, visitors can easily travel from Amsterdam airport to the Southern Region by train. You can easily travel around and/or between cities by frequent trains or buses. 

Where to stay in Eindhoven

Carnival is traditionally celebrated in a number of major cities in the South of Holland. Many visitors choose to use the largest city of Eindhoven as a base and visit other nearby events from there. Eindhoven has a number of accommodation options ranging from hostels to hotels and Airbnb’s; all within walking distance of the central station.

You can find accommodation options in Eindhoven for Carnival on the map below. Other popular carnival bases include Breda and Den Bosch close by. 

Things to do in Noord-Brabant

There are a number of things to do in the Noord-Brabant province during carnival season. The Dutch are known for their music festivals and of course, there are plenty to choose from during the carnival. The most popular carnival festivals include Karnaval, Confettival and Het Stuiterbal.

In addition to music festivals, there are also a number of attractions; ranging from parks and nature reserves to museums, sporting events and countless dining options. 

Rad’s Carnival in the Netherlands Bucket List

Dress Up!Dressing up for Carnival is absolutely essential as everyone who celebrates will be in costume. Crazy and traditional carnival costumes can be found in most stores from as early as January and will have plenty of options for you to choose from. Homemade costumes can also be found on many throughout the celebrations.

Role Reversal – One of the traditions of the Carnival in the Netherlands is role reversal; where as the name suggests, males dress up as females and females dress up as males. Take part in this fun Dutch tradition and switch up your outfits with your friends! You can also find plenty of costumes in store. 

Try Schrobbeler – The traditional liquor from Brabant is a popular drink in the province; particularly during carnival season. Prepare to drink a lot of this as many people will offer the local drink to you. You can also find the drink at most bars as well as liquor shops.

Carnival in the Netherlands 2023 Dates

The next celebration of Carnival in the Netherlands will take place from February 18-21, 2023. You can also check out the Maastricht Carnival.  

When in the Netherlands it’s also worth exploring Maastricht Carnival. What other crazy Carnivals are happening in Europe? Read more about Notting Hill Carnival in London and Basel Carnival in Switzerland two of the best parties on the continent.

Photo Credit: Omroep Brabant

Netherlands Travel Tips:

Plan ahead: Book your perfect trip with our Netherlands travel guide and destination information. Does Netherlands require a visa? Check the visa requirements before you get caught up during your travel.

Spend money wisely: Take public transport and dine in from time to time are common saving tips during traveling. How to spend money wisely in Netherlands? Make use of technology. There’s an app for everything.

Accommodation near Carnival in the Netherlands 2023

Rad Season is providing you with rentals and hotels at the lowest prices available online. Book your stay for Carnival in the Netherlands 2023 using the map below!

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One thought on “Carnival in the Netherlands 2023

  1. Miranda says:

    Carnaval is celebrated better in Limburg, the Netherlands. Far better than in Brabant. Come visit Maastricht, Heerlen or Kerkrade for the best experience!

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