Are you ready for Rotterdam Summer Carnival Weekend 2017?

We here at Free Walking Tour Rotterdam surely are but if you are experiencing Rotterdam’s biggest event of the year for the first time, we highly encourage you to bring your best self because this is one celebration you won’t forget!

The multiple-day Summer Carnival in Rotterdam is unlike any other Carnival you have ever seen! It’s colorful, it’s wild, and it’s vibrant (what kind of carnival isn’t?) — attracting over 900,000 visitors every year, this spectacular cultural diversity celebration is truly one for the books.

Event Highlights

Battle of the Drums on July 28

Get those hips movin’ and those feet stompin’ to Carribean brass band music that will certainly set the tone for the entire weekend. Three amazing brass bands will perform all the way to Hofplein where one of them could bring home the Golden Drum 2017.

Zomercarnaval Street Parade July 29/ Queen Summer Carnival July 29

A carnival can’t be a carnival without the procession of 30 flamboyant floats, 2500 dancers clad in vibrant festive costumes and other carnival groups that will aim to get you to a much festive mood than you already are in.

One incredibly talented group of young women will get to be crowned Queen Summer Carnival and get the amazing opportunity to represent Netherlands in other festivals all over the world.
Mercado Festival Market

When the party is getting a little too much, head to the Mercado and get a proper food and drink fix. Maybe go on a little shopping spree while you’re at it. They have all sorts of things you can imagine in there such as novelty souvenirs vintage clothing, gadgets and other merchandise.

Rotterdam Unlimited

This event truly serves as an inspiration to all of us in embracing our history, culture and roots. Bask in countless music and art performances from international artists, cultural display, storytelling, and other forms of art in more than eight locations.

Tips in surviving the carnival weekend

  • Avoid getting trampled by persistent crowd. Get to the party before half a million of people do. Don’t rush in getting everywhere because the parade will surely pass where you are.


  • Wear comfortable clothes, especially shoes. We suggest that you wear clothes that you can easily let go of after the carnival.


  • Keep hydrated! It could get pretty hot and humid with a crowd of hundred thousands of people so be sure to keep your body in check and give it the fuel it needs to get you going.


  • Save a lot of your energy for the biggest part. Don’t go all out very early, save it for the long walks and all the dancing you’d be doing.


  • Smile even when you’re tired. Everyone will be exhausted at some point but a flash of smile across someone’s face is enough to give you that extra boost you need to see the weekend through.


A celebration of cultural diversity on this scale opens you up to a whole new world of experience and appreciation. So we hope that more than just the colorful and loud parties, you take away very valuable things from it.

See you on the streets this weekend!