All You Need to Know About Carnival of Venice as a Solo Traveller

As a solo traveller, the Carnival of Venice is an event you should add to your bucket list. It is a celebration known for its elaborate masks and costumes, as well as its parties, parades, and performances. 

But there is much more to the Carnival of Venice than the glamour and glitz. It is a cultural tradition that embodies the rich history and art of the city. It is a unique opportunity to experience a part of Venice that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

In this blog post, I have covered the event’s history, what to expect when you attend, and how to make the most of your experience at the Carnival of Venice.

First, let me start with a little background on the Carnival of Venice.

The history of the Carnival of Venice

The origins of the Carnival of Venice date back to the Middle Ages. The carnival was originally a celebration of the arrival of spring, with people taking to the streets to dance, sing, and play music.

Over time, the carnival evolved into a more elaborate event, with people wearing masks and costumes to conceal their identities. 

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Carnival of Venice became particularly popular. The wealthy and aristocratic classes from all over Europe attended the festival. It was a time for socialising, flaunting one’s wealth, and showcasing the latest fashions. 

However, the Carnival of Venice faced several setbacks in the 20th century. The Italian government during both World Wars banned the festival. Similarly, in 1979 it was cancelled due to a major flood in the city.

But the Carnival of Venice was revived in 1979, and it has since become a major tourist attraction and a beloved cultural tradition in Venice. 

What to expect at the Carnival of Venice

The Carnival of Venice is a multi-day event typically occurring for two weeks in February. It’s a time when the city comes alive with parties, parades, and performances. So, be ready to witness the city come to life during the festival. 

One of the main highlights of the carnival is the grand parade, which takes place on the final Sunday of the event. Attend this part even if you can’t be present throughout the carnival. You’ll be awestruck to witness the floats and performers in costume. There is also live music and dancing. Now, who would want to miss that? It’s a spectacular spectacle that no traveller should miss out on!

In addition to the grand parade, you can also participate in several other events and activities. These include concerts, plays, and performances by local artists and musicians. Many of these events are held in the city’s historic palaces and churches, allowing you to experience the city’s rich cultural heritage while enjoying some truly amazing performances.

Several markets and stalls are also set up throughout the city, where you can buy souvenirs and traditional Venetian goods, such as masks and costume pieces.

How to make the most of your experience at the Venice Carnival

If you’re planning on attending the Carnival of Venice as a solo traveller, here are a few things you can do to make the most of your experience.

  • First and foremost, to have a smooth experience at the Carnival of Venice, you need to plan! As the city tends to fill up quickly during the festival, book your accommodations in Venice well in advance. You can also check the hostels in Venice if you’re on a budget.
  • Make sure you have tickets to any events or performances you’re interested in attending, as many sell out in a blink of an eye.
  • It is important to plan your costume. Many visitors to the Carnival of Venice dress up in elaborate masks and costumes, and you’ll also want to join in on the fun. You won’t want to be a spoiled sport, right? There are a variety of costumes and masks you can purchase in Venice. Or you can even choose to make your own. Either way, make sure you give yourself enough time to find the perfect costume for the occasion.
  • Besides everything, it is also important to be mindful of your surroundings when you attend the Carnival of Venice. The city can be quite crowded and chaotic. So keep track of your belongings and be aware of your surroundings to have the best time at the festival.

What is the most iconic aspect of the Venice Carnival?

The most iconic aspect of the Carnival of Venice remains its masks. They are intricately designed pieces of art worn by attendees to conceal their identity and create a sense of anonymity. The masks also serve as a way to break down social barriers, allowing people from all walks of life to come together and celebrate.

You’ll find many different masks worn during the Carnival of Venice. And the best part is that each mask has a unique meaning and symbolism. One of the most popular and traditional masks is the “bauta,” a full-face mask with a long, pointed nose and a black cape. The “bauta” was initially worn by men to represent Venetian society’s wealthy and powerful class.

Another popular mask is the “Colombina,” a half-mask covering the upper half of the face, adorned with feathers and jewels. The “Colombina” is traditionally worn by women and represents Venetian society’s playful and mischievous nature.

Carnival of Venice 2023

After knowing everything about the Carnival of Venice, I understand you must be highly intrigued about attending it. And the question that might bug your mind is when the Carnival of Venice in 2023 will be held. The festival is going to take place from 11th February 2023 to 21st February 2023. Mark these dates in your calendar right away! 

If your schedule does not match the event’s time, you can also attend the pre-Venice carnival from the 4th to the 10th of February to get a bit of the festival’s vibe.

Entry fee for the Carnival of Venice

Although there’s no particular entry fee for the entire festival, different entry fees apply to different events during the carnival. 

That said, for a detailed list of programmes and entry fees, here’s a link to the 2023 Carnival of Venice schedule. 

Is Venice Carnival worth it?

what to do in carnival of venice

Yes, the Carnival of Venice is worth it for those interested in experiencing Venice’s rich history, culture, and traditions. It will likely be a memorable and worthwhile experience if you pre-plan according to your budget and point of interest.

I hope through this blog post, I have put an end to all of your queries regarding the carnival. So, are you geared up to attend the festival in Venice? You can take help from my ultimate guide to a solo trip to Venice to plan your time in the city.

Until next time, happy travelling!


An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.

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