February 27 to March 3 2014
The temperatures might be higher in Rio, but this hot event is right on your doorstep. The general rule of thumb: if you stay, then party, if you don't wish to, leave town. Our suggestion is to stick around and experience these crazy days, which start in earnest on the Thursday morning of the season.
At eleven minutes past eleven, the women storm the town hall in the old town and in the afternoon chaos breaks out. Literally everyone on the street or in the bars is enticed to party and the men have their ties cut off by drunken dames.
Events take place all weekend, two to note on Sunday being the Königsallee from 11am and Niederkassel from 1pm.
The grand finale is on Monday from 12:30pm, when an enormous procession takes place throughout the town centre, after setting off from the river front. Over a million people line the streets to join in, food and drinks are everywhere and sweets are tossed from the trailers.
Tuesday morning, you would never know it happened; the streets are spotless again, all evidence is removed and the fanatics start planning for next year. If you haven't had enough, travel to Mönchengladbach, where celebrations continue.