The Tomatina Festival Spain; Everything to know and how to plan your visit!
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2021. La Tomatina Festival Spain was cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19, but it will start again next year – La Tomatina Festival 2022 is going ahead! So I’ve answered all the questions you need below so you can plan your visit too.
TLDR? La Tomatina Festival in Spain is a once-yearly festival in a small town near Valencia (Bunol). For 1 hour in the middle of the day, trucks carry 120 tonnes of tomatoes. 20,000+ people (many of whom are very drunk!) have a giant tomato fight. When the horn sounds, it’s over, and the hoses come to wash the place down. What’s not to love right?!
What is the Tomatina Festival in Spain?
It’s basically a crazy festival where up to 100, 000 people congregate in a town to throw tomatoes at each other for a day. The whole town gets stained red
Where exactly is the La Tomatina Fesival Spain held?
It’s only 30km from the Mediterranean, in a small town called Bunol, 40km west of Valencia, just off the East Coast of Spain.
When is La Tomatina festival each year?
It’s held on the last Wednesday in August every year, during a week of festivals in the town.
Do I need a ticket to do the Tomatina Festival in Spain?
Since 2013, yes you do need a ticket to enter the festival. This is due to how popular the event became, when in 2012, over 50,000 attended! So now it’s limited to 22,000.
You can buy tickets for 10 euro here: https://www.tomatofestivalspain.com/. But it’s often sold out, meaning you have a book a 1/2 day tour from Valencia, including transfers/hotels etc.
Is the Tomatina Fesival Safe?
It’s crowded, and there are a lot of tourists. Pick-pocketing can be common. It’s safe in that you’re unlikely to be a victim of violent crime, but expect lots of barging around, drunk people and crazy behaviour! Best to leave your valuables, including your wallet, in the hotel and go with an open mind!
How To Get to Bunol?
Most likely all accommodation in Bunol is sold out, as usual. So mostly people sleep in Valencia and transfer to Bunol in the morning, and back to Valencia again in the evening.
Valencia to Bunol:
- Drive – rent and drive the 40 minutes (that means no alcohol though!).
- Bus – The bus is about an hour. Buses #265a, #265b, and #2 will get your there from Valencia. About $10, or equivalent, for the return rip.
- Train – Same price as the bus, same duration. Train number C3 from Valencia will get you there.
How does La Tomatina work?
At 10am in the morning, people try to climb a greasy pole to get a ham at the top.
Around about 11am, someone will knock the ham down, the shot goes in the air and the fight starts. Trucks come in with tomatoes, bringing them to the Plaza del Pueblo and people go crazy for one hour. 60 minutes later they shoot another shot into shot into the air signaling the end. The water cannons come in and hose the square (and the people) down, leaving the place pristine. Perfect!
Woman wanted to be part of the Bunol festivals but they weren’t allowed. Then in 1945 some woman saw a vegetable cart and started throwing tomatoes at people as a protest The police removed them, but next year more people came and did the same. The rest is history!
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