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carnaval in madrid

I would just like to point out that carnaval in Madrid is pretty disappointing, considering that Madrid is the city that has the craziest partying. Well, ok, the parade that goes down Gran Via (starting at Plaza de España and finishing at Plaza de Cibeles) is pretty awesome... but that's IF you manage to find a spot where you can actually SEE it! It started at 7pm- so my advice is if you're in Madrid for carnaval, get there early, like 6:30, to stake out a spot.

In Spain, the best carnaval is in Cadiz, or anywhere in the south, really! Because everybody dresses up, and there are stands selling costumes, masks, etc. everywhere! I was quite surprised that in Madrid, they had tons of stands in Plaza Mayor selling Halloween costume items but NOTHING- I repeat NOTHING- for Carnaval, and Carnaval is actually a Spanish holiday, unlike Halloween.

Also in Cadiz, you don't need to try to push your way through a crowd to see a parade- because the crowd IS the parade! What you come to Cadiz to see is basically other people just like you who've dressed up in some very creative costumes and drink on the streets all night.

Now that said, I was quite glad to be in Madrid where I could find somewhere warm! In Cadiz it was quite chilly and I didn't have any place to stay there, so I had to deal with the cold until 5am when the first train left for Sevilla.

Some photos. Compare this....


...to this...


All in all, I think your best bet for Carnaval is to head over to Brazil, where there is partying in the streets AND it's warm because it's summer there now! :)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 26th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
My friend Andy just texted me that he's in Granada and having a blast. He's in the middle of driving from here to Gibraltar and said the bars and restaurants are awesome.
Feb. 28th, 2010 12:54 pm (UTC)
Granada is an awesome city. 99% of the bars give you free tapas with your drinks- and you can get a small beer usually for around 1.30-1.70 euro. And these aren't just small, wussy tapas, either. They're decent-sized.
This is one thing I miss here in Madrid- free tapas are hard to come by here!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )