The Nottingham Carnival Experience

About the Festival.

The “Nottinghill Carnival” is a yearly event situated in London, United Kingdom at the heart of Kensington Borough. It is usually a two day event during the end of summer on the August bank holiday.

The festival which is considered the largest street party in Europe started on the year 1966 and is hosted by British Caribbean Communities. Featuring parades, food stalls from around the world and live music from Reggae, RNB, hip-hop, house to Latin and other modern genres. The two day event is known to differ with the first being a more family and children family event whilst the second day being a louder larger party.

My Experience with the Festival.

Through the years I have heard both positive and negative perspective of the carnival. You would have heard that the festival is a party full of drugs, violence and petty crime. However I have been to various festivals in my life and these are aspects you get in any events. I believe the good far outweighs the bad, the vibrant colours, the music, the food, culture and togetherness is what I see and the media can sometimes be unfair on its reports.

I have been there before as a young teenager and remember just going to where the party was, this time round (2019) I came with a more touristic approach, trying to experience the festival in all different angles.

Although the festival is focused on the Caribbean culture it seems to be open to various other cultures aswell. Firstly there are also street parties dedicated to Hispanic and African culture and furthermore there has been more and more foods from all over the world including European and Asian. . The food are cooked on the spot and the aromas are brilliant. Food here proves to be more expensive than most markets stall prices but still (in my opinion) affordable


If you like to dance I believe the best way is to find a street party with your taste in music or better yet follow one of the trucks in the parade. The main parade starts in the morning about 9am on both days and there is a judging panel in the evening. For many visitors and spectators it is one of the main reasons to go to the carnival.  The Parade includes many dancers dressed in very colourful and traditional attire, there are some floats aswell although not too many. The parade stretches a very long road so crowds are spread out however like any events the earlier you go the better chances of getting front views.

Photo from Heather R (

Overall I would say Nottinghill Carnival is an event to come and see. It is fun and a very social event with many chance to meet new people.  This event in my opinion is not one to go and see solo and I do believe it is better enjoyed with the company you are with. I believe you make Nottinghill Carnival whatever you want it to be. If you approach the event with the purpose of trying new food you most definitely will, if you want a party you will find one of the biggest and if you want to acknowledge the culture you will definitely enjoy it here. It can get very crowded at some points but spacious in other places so if your the type that doesn’t like crowds don’t be put off.  Lastly everyone talks about its safety, in my view it is safe if you stay away from trouble, keep a little precautions of your  belonging and looks after your friends. Most importantly its a event to enjoy, a widely welcoming party with so much to see and do and I truly believe everyone should come here and make their own opinion of it as the media has definitely turned a few heads in both directions. Thumbs up from me.



Nottinghill Carnival 2005  (by


“Immerse yourself in a city which follows its own rules.”

Type : City break, Weekend break
Best Date : May-Aug
Expense : Fair
Things to do : Museums, Cycle, Nightlife
Points of Interest: Anne Frank House, Van Gough Museum, Rijksmuseum, Dam square, Vondelpark, Jordaan, Royal Palace, Oude Church, Bloemenmarkt,  ect
The Good: Countless attractions and point of interest, City is Walkable
The Bad: Very busy, smell of smoke nearly in many places.


Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands situated in the province North Holland. Although everyone has always seen Amsterdam as the capital city, it was only officialised in 1983. Its name was formed due to its past of being a fishing village behind a dam protecting them from the river Amstel. Today it is unofficially dubbed as “Venice of the North” because of its numerous beautiful canals of which are also registered a UNESCO world heritage site.

I have always been eager to visit this city as there have been many different perceptions and angles to this city. So I wanted to experience the city for myself and give my own view of what its like to visit this city.


The Place

Amsterdam is a small city but with a haven full of attractions and points of interest. Although in my opinion a busy 3 day – 2 night stay is enough to roam the capital a longer stay wouldn’t result into boredom as with some places I have visited. I believe the city is best experienced walking as the inner city itself and its attractions are (if able) walkable, that said the trams are another method to observe the city whilst travelling and conserving energy. There are so many places to visit in the capital and I didn’t have the chance to see everything, so here are the places I visited and my perception of the city.


Firstly I believe the main places to go whilst in the capital are its art museums. Most notable of them are the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum which are both situated in Museumplein or Museum square. The  Van Gogh museum is an exhibition dedicated to the famous Dutch painter’s work, most famous are the Sunflower 1889, the potato eaters 1885, his self portraits and so much more. Whilst the Rijksmuseum is dedicated to both Dutch art and history. Pieces of art include that from artists such as Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer and many more. Most of the museums in Amsterdam require tickets which can be bought on the day or online.


Another Highlight and Iconic place to visit is the Anne Frank house, which is the home of the German born Dutch Jewish diarist famous of her documentation of  her experience of the German occupation of the Netherlands from 1942 to 1942. The house which has been protected and converted to a museum. The museum itself exhibits the diary and drawing and pictures, is small with tight corridors and steep steps, a true experience of what it was like in their time. However note, you can only visit here with a pre booked ticket with a time slot and there is no way to buy a ticket on the day. I did see many disappointed tourists hoping to enter the house trying to buy a ticket on the day, so don’t get caught out.

Amsterdam Anne Frank

Now it is no secret that one of the largest magnetism for the capital is its Red Light District and the Coffee Shops which are world famous for getting legal highs. Although this area should be for adults, there is no barriers or signs and I have seen families with children roam around these areas. I visited this area both at day time and night (just a walk around) and I can say although the area operates 24hours it is much more busier and rowdier at night. For those who just want to walk around and learn about the place then there are walking tours which will be highly informative about its history. Museums have been erected to support these cultures, including the Red-light Secrets museum, Sex Museum, Weed and Kemp Museum, and others.

Red Light District (not4rthur)

Quite surreal,  right in the middle of the Red light district is the Oude Church which is a monumental place as it is the oldest building and monastery in the city. However today it is a place for contemporary art. The huge talk of this church is its location residing next to windows with sex workers, Coffee shops and a school.


Dam Square is another popular area tourist go. This is the location for the Royal Palace, the National Monument, Madame Tussauds and an arcade of shops. The town square which is also popular for the city’s events is usually the meeting place for many free walking tours so keep an eye out if you are looking to join. In my opinion this place is a good place to chill, unwind and rest or if you are travelling in a huge group a good meeting point.

Vondel Park is Amsterdam’s largest park popular with residents and tourists, many jog, cycle, dog-walk or on a sunny day lay and chill. Attractions within the park include the statue of Dutch poet Joost Van Den Vondel, music dome, Groot Melkhuis and many others.

Vondel Park (Dguendel)

Another place I happen to pass-by which I believe is an outstanding place to visit is the Bloemenmarkt which is the worlds first and one of few floating flower markets in the world. Trading from Monday to Saturday this colourful flower market sells different flowers and souvenirs. A popular place for tourists and locals.

After all the above the highlight and main beauty of the city for me is the canals, dubbed the Venice of the north Amsterdam has some of the worlds most charming canals where plenty relaxing  bars, restaurants and a myriad of boat tour operate. I advise to take one of these boat tours which will take you through the scenic areas, you can either take a basic, private or party tour, there are so many different operators to choose from.

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There are many other attractions within the city that I haven’t mentioned including Jordaan, Heineken Experience, Body World, Rembrandt house, Nemo Science Museum, A’DAM Lookout being just a few of them. I didn’t visit these as I didn’t have the time to do so, however these are highly rated and recommended areas to visit whilst in the city.


Overall I think Amsterdam is a powerful, attractive city which is misinterpreted as being a place for adults and parties only. Ok, its nightlife, red light district and marijuana coffee shops are huge attraction for interested tourists however the city shouldn’t only be defined for these. The canals really did take the main stage for me and defined the city more than any other aspects of the city. It has a huge number of museums and attractions and I can honestly say a short weekend trip is not enough to fully experience what the city has to offer.

A huge thumbs up for Amsterdam, and I fully recommend that this is a place to visit. I suggest a busy 2-3 days or a calmer  3-4 day stay will be needed.

Thanks for reading…



49 interesting and fun facts about Amsterdam, The Netherlands Photos that aren't mine: Red light district from not4rthur Vondel park from Dguendel