Luckily I was in Holland, during the zomercarnaval days. My Dutch friend told me about it and I knew I had to see it. In my head, I was imagining the Rio carnival with Latino dancers and colorful floats. In reality, it was indeed all of that and more.
Rotterdam is just 40 mins from Amsterdam and easily accessible by train. The festive spirit will drive you to the parade area, though, it really lights up the entire city.
Inspired by Brazilian carnivals and hosting over a million visitors each year, the Rotterdam summer carnival is very popular among tourists and locals alike.
The best part of the carnival is that the entire parade area looks like one big festival and everyone is happy and cheerful. Being part of this huge joyous gathering is an exhilarating experience.
The Rotterdam summer carnival is one massive party with dance and music performances, fun programs like Battle of Drums and Queen Election, peppy floats, food stalls and street performances.
All you want to know about Zomercarnaval 2016
Zomercarnaval 2016 is taking place on 30th July and is expected to be bigger than ever.
Due to extreme weather conditions, it was cancelled last year so this year, so, they are going out this time with over 30 different floats, 2500+ dancers and the parade route will be around 5 kms.
Now the summer carnival is a part of Rotterdam Unlimited which is a 5 day long event from 26-30th July, the Zomercarnaval being the grand finale.
Tips for experiencing the Rotterdam summer carnival
Arrive before the big crowds gather and wait towards the end (people usually rush to the start) – Don’t worry you wont miss anything as the parade will continue as per the designated route. You can avoid hefty crowds initially but to be honest, you wont be able to avoid them for long because once the parade approaches, the crowd follows.
Wear comfortable shoes, especially if you plan to follow the parade, which is a lot of fun, if I might add.
Overall, the Rotterdam summer carnival should not be missed and in fact I would totally recommend going to Rotterdam especially to experience this fun event.
Have you been to the zomercarnaval or any other great carnivals? Do share your experience in comments below.