The action takes place in the enlightened XVIII century in the German state of Westphalia. An innocent illegitimate young man named Candide is brought up in the castle of Baron and Baroness Thunder-ten-Tronk and is very pleased with his life. The children of Baron and Baroness, Maximilian and Kunigunda, are also quite happy. All three young people, and with them the maid of the Package, learn from Dr. Pangloss - a supporter of the philosophical concept of optimism. Pangloss inspires pupils that everything is for the best in this best of all worlds.
The lovers Candide and Kunigunda try to get to know each other better, but Maximilian catches them, and Candida is thrown out of the castle. He has nowhere and nothing to live for, but he still does not lose faith in optimism. Candida is recruited into the Bulgarian army, but he is not very suitable for military service. Bulgaria meanwhile enters the war with Westphalia. Castle Thunder-ten-Tronk destroyed, its inhabitants died. Candide finds dead Kunigundu on the ruins and mourns her. Candide deserts from the army and is forced to beg. He meets another beggar - this is Pangloss, who is mutilated by syphilis, but does not grieve for his fate. She and Candide travel to Lisbon and arrive there at the moment when a destructive volcanic eruption occurs. Locals lay the blame for the cataclysm on them and lead to auto-da-fe. Pangloss tries to distract the crowd with a story about how he got infected, but the Inquisition judges them with Candide and passes judgment on them. Panglossa is hanged, and Candida is flogged.
Belief Candida in optimism shaken. He travels further and finds himself in Paris. There lives a mysterious beauty, kept woman of two powerful people at once: the Cardinal-Archbishop of Notre Dame and the rich Jew Don Issachar. This is Kunigunda, who herself does not know whether to cry or to rejoice over such a life. Candide recognizes her by her voice, and the lovers reunite, but the patrons of Kunigunda violate their idyll, and Candide accidentally kills both the cardinal and the Jew. Three of us with companion Kunigunda, the Old Woman, our heroes are fleeing to Cadiz. On the way, they are robbed, and the Old Woman is trying to get money from the visitors of the local tavern, but they themselves are penniless. However, some stranger offers Candida the position of captain of a Jesuit army in South America. Travelers are optimistic about their future in the New World.
Candide and company arrive in Buenos Aires. The governor of the city, Don Fernando D'Ibaara-i-Figuero-i-Mascarenes-i-Lampurdos-i-Sousa, puts an eye on Kunigundu. So as not to miss the benefits, the old woman sends Candida away, and she herself and Kunigunda celebrates the victory of the female spell.
Accompanied by a half-breed named Kakambo Candid, he reaches the camp of the very Jesuits in whose army he is to serve. It turns out that their Mother Superior and Father Superior are none other than Pachet and Maximilian. Candide does not hide his intention to marry Kunigunde, but Maximilian is not ready to allow this to happen. Reaches the weapon, and Candide kills Maximilian. He must run away again.
Three years passed, but the governor of Buenos Aires never married Kunigunde. She is fed up with his promises, and the Old Woman - with their quiet full life. Meanwhile, Candide and Kakambo make their way through the jungle and come to the country of Eldorado - a real paradise on earth, where gold is like mud and no one is hostile. But Candide dreams of returning to Kunigunda and leaves this blessed land, taking with him jewels and local zlatorina rams. He arrives in the Dutch colony of Suriname and sends Kakambo with one of the sheep to Buenos Aires to buy Kunigunda and bring her to Venice. A local janitor named Marten makes fun of Candida’s belief in people. Trader Vanderdendur, in exchange for a sheep, puts Candida on a vessel going to Venice, but the vessel is not suitable for navigation and sinks. Candida with the last remaining ram saves sailing past the galley. One of the rowing slaves on her is Dr. Pangloss. Even out of the water rescued five rulers deprived of the throne. Those discuss and come to the conclusion that they should now lead a simple rural life.
Galley comes to Venice. There is a carnival in the midst - a hot time for a casino. In the casino, everyone wears masks, and Candide doesn’t recognize anyone, and all of them are there. Package is the main prostitute institution; Maximilian is the prefect of the police, and the casino owner pays him a favor; The old woman and Kunigunda involve men in the game and cheat with a tape measure. Pangloss goes to play, and the Old Woman and Kunigunda, without identifying Candida under the mask, are trying to spin him for money. But Candide still recognizes Kunigundu by voice. He cannot believe that this callous swindler is the woman he loves.
Candide stops talking. At the expense of selling the last ram, he buys a farm near Venice and allows Package, Maximilian, Kakambo, Dr. Panglossa, the Old Woman and even Kunigunde to live there with him. After a long time, Candide breaks the silence and offers Kunigunde a hand and a heart. Everyone agrees that it is best to live an ordinary life and accept it as it is - just cultivate your garden.