Carnival route

Of street tradition and hooligan spirit, The Cádiz party has been declared of cultural interest. A tour of the key stages will be essential to experience its essence throughout the year.

A party well awaited by lovers of carnival and good vibes, and it is not for less, with a unique atmosphere, the art and the salt shaker of its people, Cádiz becomes the most visited place in February, where citizens dress up, and with their songs; troupes, chirigotas, quartets, choirs and romancers express with satire the current events in the various alleys, squares and neighborhoods without a clear and spontaneous call.

This guide will be useful at any time of the year but we will assume that it is not Carnival, in this way we will visit the most important places of the great party.

We take as a starting point the Central Market (1) where the succession of Doric columns open to the open air give it the appearance of a Roman forum, but the Central Market is really neoclassical. Around it, in the freedom square, the most iconic Carnival event is held: the Choir Carousel. This is the most mythical area for choirs, but Cádiz celebrates other carousels during midday and night in other locations, such as the Plaza de la Mina or the Plaza de Candelaria. The 45 components (maximum) of each grouping are raised in batches (mobile structures pulled by tractors) to sing as they move around the plaza.

Nearby is the Plaza de Topete or de las Flores, chaired by the Post Office building, whose staircase is also an improvised auditorium. Or the palace of the Marquises of Recaño (century XVIII), museum of the party and another of the excellent forgings of illegal.

We recommend having a good and exquisite hot chocolate for breakfast at “La poeme” with the artisan churros from “La Guapa”, without a doubt, the best you will try.

We are going to the famous La Viña neighborhood (2) and it is not by chance that the epicenter of Carnival coincides with The vineyard, a neighborhood of popular houses to the southwest of the old town that owes its name to the vines that populated the area in the 18th century.

La Viña is a place for good tapas, such as the famous greaves from Casa Manteca and the shrimp omelettes from El Faro.

Yes now, we head towards the majestic Gran Teatro Falla (3), fans define it as "temple of Carnival" or "house of red bricks", beautiful neomudéjar building of 1905.

Walking through an old town with straight and narrow streets, the Plaza de San Antonio (4), in which the recently proclaimed Spanish Constitution was read that 19 March 1812, it has been opening for centuries as a public place of recreation. At Carnival there is no exception. Since the mid-nineteenth century there have been documented decorations and celebrations for the festival. Here it is celebrated in a carnival proclamation every year by some well-known character, as well as concerts and food tastings, as the Ostioná. Nearby is the Oratory of San Felipe, a 17th century elliptical temple and home to that first Magna Carta, whose cover is the place chosen by many groups to sing.

We continue our way to Mine Square (5), Among 19th century gardens, Carnival is felt in this square with choir carousels. It is a meeting point for families, and the nearby Zorrilla street offers options for tapas, such as the Cumbres Mayores restaurant or the Balandro. And again another carnival reuse: the steps of the Provincial Museum both serve as access to the archaeological splendor of Cadiz, because it houses Phoenician and Roman pieces, as for the performance of a group illegal.

At this point we can take advantage to eat something, some tapas in Balandro or Cumbres Mayores will leave you wanting to return.

Nearby is the Candelaria Square (6), arisen after the confiscation of Mendizábal, in 1836, like many others. The contemplation of the farmhouse that surrounds it is a good example of the residential architecture of Cádiz from the 18th century. Carnival is also here, in a “mix of tangible and material heritage with the immaterial”, as defined by Benítez. In La Candelaria The "Peña Cultural La Estrella" is based, mid-20th century, in charge of setting up a tablao for carnival performances and organizing one of the free gastronomic tastings that abound in the party. The restaurant is also located here Coffee Royalty, refined local 1912 in which to taste tapas, elaborate dishes and other sweet options where we can have our coffee before continuing.

By last, we will visit the District of the Pópulo (7), a secluded and monumental network of narrow streets and buildings such as the palace of the Casa del Almirante (17th century) or the church of Santa Cruz (del XIII), that constitutes the medieval nucleus of Cádiz, with their 3 arcos (The Rose Arch, of the populace and Los Blancos) and several curious cartoons or legends that circulate through its alleys, like the one in the alley of “El Duende”, where it is said that the name was given to him as a result of the trapicheo and the contraband that was carried out in this alley by a pirate well known by the inhabitants of the city and who responded to the name of “Elf”.