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Top 10 cities to celebrate Carnival in Germany

Alaaf und Helau! On 11.11 at 11:11 am, “The 5th season” is held every year. What do we mean by that? The carnival in Germany of course! Which is also known as Fastnacht, Fasching, Fasnacht, Fasnet, Fastabend, Fastelovend, or Fasteleeraber depending on the region. Nobody knows why the celebration starts on November 11th at 11:11 am. Some think November 11th was the last date in the farmers' calendar. Others say the number eleven has long been considered foolish.

Karneval 2019 in Deutschland

As it may be, the Carnival 2021 is not long in coming. And millions of people in the carnival strongholds are eagerly waiting to take part in carnival parades or to admire them. So dress up, get your most creative costumes out, make a colorful make-up, and party with us!

Discover the most beautiful and famous carnival events in Germany with HotelFriend. We'll give it away for you! We have put together useful information on carnival programs, ticket prices, and tips, especially for you. Have fun!

When is Carnival/Fashing 2021

Dates of the Carnival Calendar 2021 in Germany 11.02.2021 - 17.03.2021.

The dates of the carnival are based on the date of Easter.
But one thing is the same every year: preparation for the carnival always starts on 11/11 at 11 a.m.

Session start Wed., 11.11.2020
Weiberfastnacht Thu., 11.02.2021
Carnival Friday Fri., 12.02.2021
Carnival Saturday Sat., 13.02.2021
Carnival Sunday Sun., 14.02.2021
Rose Monday Mon., 15.02.2021
Violet Tuesday Tue., 16.02.2021
Ash Wednesday Wed, 17.02.2021

Cologne Carnival 2021 (North Rhine-Westphalia)

Kölner Karneval

The Cologne Carnival in North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the largest and most famous carnival festivals worldwide and the most popular in the whole country. It goes back to the Middle Ages and is celebrated magnificently every year.

The carnival session starts on November 11th, 2020. As always, a different motto is selected every year. This year it’s „Et Hätz schleiht em Veedel“.

If you are in Cologne during the carnival season, you should definitely master the following exclamations: "Kölle Alaaf" and „Da simmer dabei! Dat es prima! Viva Colonia!“.

Tip: Experience the highlight of the Cologne Carnival - the Rose Monday procession. The almost 8 km long parade is the largest in Germany and is celebrated by over a million people.

The parade begins on February 15, 2021, at 10 a.m. in Cologne's Südstadt.

Tickets

Kölner Karneval

Unroofed seats/row of seats: EUR 55.00 (grandstands in the entire cityscape).

Roofed seats/seat shell: Euro 79.00 ("Colosseum am Heumarkt" incl. (planned) moderation and entertainment by Linus, Martina Kratz & Michael Hehn).

You can order grandstand tickets at kartenservice@koelnerkarneval.de or from the beginning of January in the "Kaatebus" of the Cologne Carnival Festival Committee on Neumarkt, phone: +49 221 2580404.

Program of the Cologne Carnival 2021

11.02.2021: Weiberfastnacht on Thursday. 11:11 a.m.: Start of the street carnival on the Heumarkt.
12.02.2021: Carnival Friday. From 6 p.m.: Star march in Cologne city centre. From 7 p.m.: Laughing Cologne Arena in the Lanxess Arena. From 5 p.m.: Viva Colonia in the marquee at the south stadium.
13.02.2021: Carnival Saturday. From 10:30 a.m.: Funkenbiwak of red sparks on Neumarkt. From 6 p.m.: Ghost train from Lindenthal to Sülz. From 7 p.m.: Mummenschanz costume ball. From 7 p.m.: Laughing Cologne Arena in the Lanxess Arena.
14.02.2021: Carnival Sunday. From 11:11 a.m.: Schull- and Veedelszöch from Südstadt to Mohrenstrasse.
15.03.2021: Rose Monday. From 10 a.m.: Rose Monday parade through Cologne city center.
16.03.2021: Violet Tuesday. Nubbel burning in front of many Cologne pubs.

Hotels in Cologne

Carnival 2021 in Düsseldorf (North Rhine-Westphalia)

Düsseldorf Karneval

Alongside Cologne and Mainz, Düsseldorf is one of the three strongholds of the Rhenish carnival. Over 300 splendid meetings, balls, anniversaries, receptions, and costume parties are on the schedule during the crazy time. Also, in Düsseldorf, on November 11, 2020, with the traditional "Hoppeditzerwachen" on the market square in front, of the town hall, the carnival will begin.

The motto of this session is currently being selected. It is interesting that the Thursday, on which the Altweiberfastnacht is celebrated, is even considered an unofficial holiday in Düsseldorf. The women storm the town hall and cut off the men's ties!

Düsseldorf Karneval

Tip: The traditional Tonnen races and the parade in beautiful Düsseldorf Niederkassel are really worth seeing because this is a particular highlight at the Düsseldorf street carnival. The participants run in a race with the wheelbarrow in their hands - and have done so for over 100 years. With six carriages, over 20 groups of feet, and around 700 participants, this year's parade is the largest in the 125-year history of the Tonnengarde.
When: From 12:45 p.m. on February 11, 2021.

Program of the Carnival in Düsseldorf 2021

11.02.2021: Altweiber in front of the town hall with the "alten Möhnen" from 11:11 a.m.
13.02.2021: Carnival Saturday. from 2 p.m.: youth and children's parade at the Görres high school on Königsallee. From 5 p.m.: Tuntenlauf at the Nachtreside
14.02.2021: Carnival Sunday. From 11 a.m.: Kö-Treiben on the Königsallee. From 12:45 p.m.: Tonnen parade and Tonnen race in Niederkassel.
15.02.2021: Rose Monday. From 10 a.m.: Rose Monday parade in Düsseldorf city center.
16.02.2021: Violet Tuesday. From 7 p.m.: Närrischer Zapfenstreich on the market square.

Hotels in Düsseldorf

Dusseldorf Guide

Carnival 2021 in Mainz (North Rhine-Westphalia)

Mainz

In Mainz, the carnival is called Fastnacht. Besides Cologne and Düsseldorf, Mainz is also one of the carnival strongholds in Germany.

The motto for the carnival session this year is: „Humor ist Meenzer Lebensart, mit Herz und Toleranz gepaart!“ ("Humor is a Meenzer way of life, paired with heart and tolerance!"). After the session's start on November 11, 2020, the people of Mainz did not wait like the others for Weiberfastnacht to continue celebrating.

Already on January 1, 2021, the guards move through the city, and afterward, there is the traditional New Year's concert on the Domplatz (cathedral square). And then the fools meet every week until Weiberfastnacht.

Mainz

Tip: A real highlight of the Mainz Fastnacht is the Rose Monday parade. It is definitely worth seeing this with your own eyes when you are in Mainz for Fastnacht. Oversized paper mache heads are presented here, which represent 30 different typical Mainz characters.

The grandstand tickets are available:
🔸 in the MCV office.
🔸 by email to mcv-kartenstelle@mainzer-carneval-verein.de

Tribune I (tribune in front of the State Theater). Row 1-4 € 35.00; Row 5-8 € 38.00; Row 9-12 € 29.50.

Tribune II (tribune in front of the Gutenberg monument). Row 1-3 € 33.00; Row 4-6 € 29.50.

Program of the Mainz Fastnacht 2021

01.01.2019: New Year's Day. From 11:11 a.m.: New Year's parade of the guards in the city center.
11.02.2021: Weiberfastnacht. From 11:11 a.m.: Weiberfastnacht at the Fastnachtsbrunnen.
12.02.2021: Carnival Friday. From 8:11 p.m.: Carnival meeting in the Kurfürstlichen Schloss Mainz „Mainz bleibt Mainz, wie es singt und lacht“ ("Mainz remains as it sings and laughs").
13.02.2021: Carnival Saturday. From 1:11 p.m.: AKK train from Kastel to Kostheim From 8:11 p.m.: Prinzengardeball in the Rheingoldhalle.
14.02.2021: Carnival Sunday. From 11:11 a.m.: Parade of the foolish guards on Ludwigstrasse. From 1:11 p.m.: Dance on the Lu.
15.02.2021: Rose Monday. From 11:11 a.m.: Rose Monday parade in the city center. From 4:11 p.m.: From fool's tower to fool's tower on the Lu.
16.02.2021: Carnival Tuesday. From 3:11 p.m.: Caps move.

Hotels in Mainz

Fastnacht in Frankfurt 2021 (Hessen)

Frankfurt

The city of Frankfurt am Main in the state of Hesse is without question one of the carnival strongholds. As in other towns, the colorful carnival celebrations begin in Frankfurt on 11.11.2020 at 11:11 a.m.

A royal couple is selected every year for Fastnacht. Last year in Frankfurt, it was Pascal I. and Selina I.

Frankfurt

Tip: The highlight of the Frankfurt Fastnacht is the big Fastnachtszug on Sunday through the city center. You have to see that. The parade begins at 12:11 p.m. at Rotfeder-Ring and ends after 3.5 kilometers at Mainkai. Over 90 associations and organizations, almost 3000 participants celebrate the fifth season together. There is a lot of music, party, and dance.

Seat tickets for the tribunes on the Römerberg for the Frankfurt carnival train on Carnival Sunday (arrival of the train at the grandstand). Price 18.00 euros.

You can order the tickets at https://www.grosser-rat.de/kartenverkauf/trib%C3%BChne-am-frankfurter-fastnachtszug/

Program of the Frankfurt Fastnacht 2021

13.02.2021: Carnival Saturday. From 11 a.m.: Before the train party at the Römer. From 11:45 a.m.: Storming the town hall and handing over the keys to the prince couple. From 12:11 p.m.: Children's carnival procession from the Konstablerwache to the Römer.
14.02.2021: Carnival Sunday. From 12:11 p.m.: Big Frankfurt carnival train in the city center.
16.02.2021: Carnival Tuesday. From 2:31 p.m.: Klaa Pariser carnival parade through Frankfurt-Heddernheim. From 3:11 p.m.: Enthronement of the Frankfurt prince couple in the NWZ.

Hotels in Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt am Main Guide

Carnival 2021 in Stuttgart (Baden-Württemberg)

Stuttgart

Carnival in Stuttgart is much more apolitical than in Cologne or Düsseldorf, where political topics are chosen as the motto.

The motto of last year's campaign in the capital of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg was: „Ob groß, ob klein, ob arm, ob reich, im Karneval sind alle gleich!“ ("Big or small, poor or rich, everyone is equal for a carnival witch!").

The Fasnacht is called "Fasnet" or "Fasnacht" and predominantly shaped by its regional and local traditions. In Stuttgart, the traditional carnival costume is a carved mask and the haes, as the fool's dress is called.

Stuttgart

Tip: The highlight of Fashing in Stuttgart is the big procession on Carnival Tuesday, in which more than 2,000 people take part. The parade begins at midday when everyone gathers at the starting point of the train, in Friedrichstrasse and Kronenstrasse. At 2:30 p.m., an extra parade for children starts on Marktstrasse, in which around 500 children fight for the so-called "wooden moon mask".

Program of the Carnival in Stuttgart in 2021

01.06.2021: Three Kings Day From 6:11 a.m.: Dusting off the mask and Felbentaufe in the Küblerhaus Bad Cannstatt.
02.11.2021: Dirty Thursday From 10 a.m.: Foolish weekly market on the market square in Bad Cannstatt. From midday: school and town hall tower in Fellbach.
02.13.2021: Carnival Saturday Big Küblerball in the Kursaal Cannstatt: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for children, from 8:11 p.m. - for adults.
14.02.2021: Carnival Sunday From 2 p.m.: Big carnival parade in Weil der Stadt. From 4 p.m.: Felben history on the banks of the Neckar Bad Cannstatt, then torchlight procession and worship.
15.02.2021: Carnival Monday From 5:45 p.m. Foolish Tribunal / Schnurren Schnitzelbänk on the market square in Stuttgart and Bad Cannstatt.
16.02.2021: Carnival Tuesday From 8 a.m. horse market with carnival parade on the festival meadow at Schlossberg. From 12 p.m. "Geizigrufen" and move to Bad Cannstatt.

Hotels in Stuttgart

Fashing in Munich 2021 (Bavaria)

München

The carnival in Munich is very different from the carnival celebrations in Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Mainz. In Munich, the carnival festival includes huge parties where tradition and modernity are combined.
For Carnival in Bavaria, Krapfen (donuts) are real specialties. These are available here with all possible colors and fillings

Tip: What you shouldn't miss during the carnival season in Munich is Carnival Tuesday on February 16, 2021, when the market women dance in traditional costumes on the Viktualienmarkt.

Program for the Carnival 2021 in Munich

München

● 12.01.2021 - enthronement of the royal couple.

● 11.02.2021 - Carnival parade of the Damische Ritter.

● 14.02.2021 - Carnival Sunday with "Munich Narrisch".

● 15.02.2021 - Rose Monday with "Munich Narrisch".

● 16.02.2021 - Carnival Tuesday with the dance of the market women.

● 17.02. 2021 - Ash Wednesday.

Hotels in Munich

Carnival in Aachen 2021 (North Rhine-Westphalia)

Aachen

With a total length of more than 6 kilometers and over 5000 participants, the Aachen Rose Monday’s parade is among the ten largest in all of Germany. Like in Cologne, in Aachen is said "D’r Zoch kött!"

The street carnival in Aachen officially begins on Weiberfastnacht at 11:11 am. Then there are numerous celebrations for the opening throughout the city. Some companies even hold their own carnival meetings on Weiberfastnacht. Many people come together for parties. The custom is particularly popular, in which the “jecken Wiever” (the crazy women) cut off the men's tie.

Tip: The Aachen Children's Costume Parade on Tulip Sunday is the only one of its kind in Germany.

Program of the Aachen Carnival 2021

Aachen

● 01.01.21 at 1:11 p.m.: Rathausgarde Öcher Duemroefe, New Year's welcoming.

● 05.01.21 at 7.30 p.m.: Prince proclamation.

● 27.1.21 at 3 p.m.: Proclamation of the Prince Charming.

● 11.01.21 from 11:11 a.m.: Fat Thursday celebration.

● 14.2.21 at 11:11 a.m.: Children's costume procession of the Prince Charming in the city center of Aachen.

● 15.2.2021: Rose Monday procession.

Hotels in Aachen

Bremen Carnival 2021 (Free Hanseatic City of Bremen)

Bremer

The 36th Carnival is already taking place in Bremen this year.

The Carnival in Bremen is not an ordinary carnival, because here the focus is always on samba.

More than 1500 participants from around 100 samba, mask, and stilt groups not only from Germany but also from the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, and Great Britain will be moving through the Hanseatic city of Bremen this year.

Tip: If you value creativity and delicacy, you've come to the right place. The Carnival in Bremen is all about creative references to the topic of nature, its wonders, idiosyncrasies, incredulity, diversity, exuberance, and overflowing energy. Here you will find a source of zest for life and new energy.

Program of the Carnival in Bremen 2021

Bremer

● 01.02. - 28.02.21 - Photo exhibition - Kafé warehouse.

● 12.02.21 4:00 p.m. - Carnival of Kids - Bgh Weserterrassen.

● 12.02.21 6:00 p.m. - Lights - Milchquartier (milk quarter).

● 12.02.21 8 p.m. - Einheizen - Viertel (heating - quarter).

● 13.02.21 midday - Opening - (Marktplatz) market place.

● 2/13/21 12:20 p.m. - Parade - market square/district.

● 2/13/21 2 p.m. - Open Air - Quarter.

Hotels in Bremen

Carnival in Nuremberg 2021 (Bavaria, Franconia)

Nürnberg

The carnival procession in Nuremberg traditionally takes place on Carnival Sunday. Around 100,000 visitors gather to admire the festive parade. The parade begins at 1 p.m. on Bayreuther Straße and ends at Saturn. This year, the 622nd Fashing procession is taking place.

Every year a new train button with a different motif is chosen. You can buy it on Carnival Sunday at the carnival parade or the Nuremberg carnival companies. With this, you support the customs of the Nuremberg carnival procession.

Nürnberg

In Nuremberg, as in other cities, a royal couple is elected every year. Last year the couple were Jürgen I. and Manuela I. The motto for their reign was "Whether north or south - „Ob Nord, ob Süd – mit uns wird die Stimmung nie trüb“ ("North or South - with us the mood will never be cloudy").

Tip: The highlight of the carnival in Nuremberg is the children's parade on Rose Monday. It begins at 1:00 p.m. at Lorenzkirche and moves through the city center, led by the children’s royal couple.

Program of the Nuremberg Fashing 2021

13.02.2021 Solemn enthronement of the royal couple in the Hotel Maritim.
14.02.2021 at 1 p.m. Fasching parade on Carnival Sunday.
15.02.2021 at 1 p.m. The children's carnival procession of the city of Nuremberg.

Carnival in Cottbus 2021 (Brandenburg)

Cottbus

The carnival in Cottbus is the largest carnival parade in eastern Germany. Over 3000 people take part in this festival. The procession is led by the triumvirate, the royal couple, and Funkenmariechen. During this festival, not only camels but also Spreewald cucumbers, pancakes, and quark balls are offered for visitors.

Last year Toni I. and Jannett I. were the royal couple. And the motto for the 2018/2019 Carnival session was: "Jubel, Trubel, Heiterkeit für Fantasy(ie) ist es jetzt Zeit!" (Cheers, hustle, and bustle for fantasy (ie) it's time now!).

Program of the Carnival in Cottbus 2021

Spatzengala  19.01.2021 - town hall Cottbus.
Men's ballet tournament of the Carnival Association Lausitz 02.02.2021 - Restaurant "Zur Eisenbahn" in Kolkwitz.
Carnival gala "Heut steppt der Adler" ("Today the eagle is quilting") 11.02.2021 - town hall Cottbus.
Confetti party 12.02.2021 - Old chemical plant, 5 p.m. to midnight for teens.
ICC Fashing party 13.02.2021 - Old chemical plant, program start at 8:11 p.m.
Carnival parade in Cottbus 14.02.2021 - the city center of Cottbus, starting at 1:11 p.m.

Would you like to experience carnival celebrations in Germany? Then choose from our exclusive package offers a suitable deal in the carnival strongholds, and get a guaranteed discount of up to 56%!

Enjoy your Carnival stay, including pleasant free hotel services. Travel smart with HotelFriend!

Hotels in Cottbus