Best time to go to The Netherlands

Dutch Carnival—Vastelaovend 2024

Even though Carnival is more of a southern tradition, it's being widely celebrated in Catholic provinces of the Netherlands

Dates: February 11–13, 2024

Dutch Carnival—Vastelaovend
Dutch Carnival—Vastelaovend
Dutch Carnival—Vastelaovend
Dutch Carnival—Vastelaovend
See accommodations nearby

Find a colorful costume and celebrate Carnival with the Dutch. The celebration starts after the mayor of the city hands over the keys to Prince Carnival, who becomes in charge of the festivities in the city for three days. Singing, dancing, and pub-crawling is a typical way to celebrate Carnival in Holland.

Visit the provinces of Limburg and Noord-Brabant, which are predominantly​ Catholic, to see the most massive celebrations. Some of the greatest locations to experience Vastelaovend include Maastricht and Venlo in Limburg, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Breda, and Den Bosch in Noord-Brabant. Other locations include Nijmegen, which is right north of Limburg, yet already in the province of Gelderland.

Maastricht Carnival

The three-day carnival makes Maastricht the best party city in the Netherlands for the annual end-of-winter festivities. During these three days, the streets of Maastricht are filled with revelers in bright costumes, colorful floats, music, and dancing. The highlights of the celebration include the Prince Carnival selection on Markt Square, Sleuteloverdracht (the Presentation of the Key) on the Saturday before Carnival, and the Boonte Störrem Carnival parade on Carnival Sunday. The parade features many brass bands and Carnival groups as well as colorful people of Maastricht in their best 'pekske' or carnival costumes.

Velno Carnival

Venlo Carnival is among the most popular events in the Netherlands. The three-day celebration features several parades, multiple stages of entertainment, and the coronation of the Prince and Princess of the Carnival. One of the highlights of the festivities is the Rural Wedding, or “boda campesina,” held on the last day. Colorful costumes, giant puppets, street performers, and concerts make the Vastelaovend one of a kind.

Find hotels and airbnbs near Dutch Carnival—Vastelaovend (Map)

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin