Notting Hill Carnival Tips For First-Time Visitors

What happens not far from us is a London institution: Notting Hill Carnival. If you've never been, you're not one of the 2 million visitors attracted to this 2-day event.

This has been an annual event since 1959. It celebrates the culture and traditions of London's Caribbean communities with not just one, but two, lively parades. The floats are reminiscent of those in the Mardi Gras parades of New Orleans or Brazil. The costumes (and hair, of course) are over the top, and often accompanied by floats filled with musicians playing the steel drums or with sound systems.

There are many stages playing live music, from reggae to dub to salsa, and food stalls of some of your favourite Caribbean foods.

Your guide to carnival festivities

The area gets very crowded, so prepare before you go!  Go early to get a good spot.

Read the Carnival Guide

Getting to and around Notting Hill Carnival

Go well-prepared to survive the crowds

Make your carnival experience family-friendly

Get yourself in the mood to go with some music

Whatever you do, have fun in the moment. There's no point in fighting your way through the crowds to get to a certain sound system when what you can have fun right where you are. We want to see photos when you pop into the salon next!