After 2 years of pandemic, the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has returned more fun than ever. It was my first time in the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and I couldn’t resist to share with you the experience. Discover one of the biggest Carnivals of Europe and one of the best in the world.
If you thought in Europe, the most famous Carnival was the one from Venice, then you are mistaken! Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in Canary Islands, Spain has the best Carnival in Europe that lasts for more than one week. This Carnival has been considered as one of the best in the world, after Brazil, and now I understand why. Unfortunately, the Carnival of Tenerife has been interrupted for the last 2 years due to covid-19, but it’s finally back and I could enjoy it for the first time.
TENERIFE CARNIVAL: MORE THAN ONE WEEK OF FUN
I was so surprised that the Carnival lasts for more than one week and for one weekend it’s day and night, non stop! The celebrations are open in the streets, meaning everyone can come and be outdoors dancing, laughing, eating and drinking. The first day of Carnival is marked by fireworks and on the following days, it has musical groups that play live, exhibition of Carnival groups and the Carnival queen’s election gala. Then the most expected days are when the Carnival kicks off in the streets, which is normally by Thursday night and it goes until Sunday, when it’s the end of the party.
I went this Saturday, 25th of June and the Carnival had started by 10am, perfect for whoever has children and wants to come with them, and it went until 7am! It’s incredible! Everyone is dressed in costumes, dancing, happy, having a really good time.
Everyone, and when I say everyone is everyone, is dressed in Carnival costumes! Men, mostly go disguised as a woman, which is really funny, because after a few alcoholic drinks, you cannot identify anymore who’s a woman or a men! It got me thinking if men like to dress like a woman, why do we still have a “sexist” world, but nevermind, philosophical questions are not welcome in a moment like Carnival. Besides that, you see a lot of groups of friends and families all dressed with the same costume, even kids follow the same trend.
Carnival costumes in Tenerife are not “bloody” as Halloween, the costumes are supposed to be funny and very festive. I went as Selena Quintanilla, meaning I didn’t follow the rules of going funny or festive, but at least I tried to be “Carnival dressed”. Just make sure to take comfortable shoes and closed ones. I went with sandals and the streets were all dirty and wet, so my feet at the end were in a bad state.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You can take your own food and drinks and place them on the street or you can choose a food or cocktail truck to get something to eat or drink. Everything is cheap, if you compared with the rest of Europe.
At Saturday night, when I went, everyone was dancing next to a stage or a truck with music. You have all the sorts of music, latin, reggaeton, techno, eletronic, house, you just have to keep walking in the overcrowded streets and find the best spot for your taste.
Normally, Tenerife Carnival is in February and March, but due to the pandemic, they have opened an exception this year and did it next to the bank holiday of Saint John’s, on the 24th of June.
If everything in the world goes back to normal, in 2023, should be again between February and March. However, I would prefer if they kept it in June, because it’s summer and warm, giving that “party feeling”. In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where the Carnival is, which is located in the north of Tenerife, they have winter, unlike south of Tenerife. So if the event happens on the dates that used to be, you need to make sure to take a coat.
I wish I had known before about Tenerife Carnival! It reminded me my University times, with friends outside in the street having fun, everyone celebrating around with not a worry in mind. This type of events are so good to remind us that life is much more than work. Laughing, dancing, being with friends and family is a privilege that we need to enjoy everytime we can.
It’s a very crowded event, so if you don’t like crowds, then this won’t be for you.
In terms of transport, it’s better to come early to find some space to park the car or if you’re coming by public transports check it before, because here public transports can be delayed or the connections between south and north of the island can be scarce.
Other locations in Tenerife have their own Carnival celebrations too, but the best one is in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Have a happy week!
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