Mention Carnival and most people’s minds conjure images of Brazil.But Brazil and its Latin American neighbors are by no means the only places to find outlandish costumes, parades with ornate decorations and, of course, copious amounts of booze.
Travelers who brave the cold for a winter trek across the Atlantic discover that Europe is home to some of the most outrageous non-stop Carnival parties on the planet. For those looking for fun, this means hitting many different locales and experiencing how other countries get wild as the main party day differs from city to city.
And unlike the 12-day build-up to Christmas, Carnival’s main event is preceded by random drunkenness for nearly two weeks. Anywhere there’s Christianity, there’s some form of Carnival, but here are four must-see fiestas that make Mardi Gras look like a tea party: