The Tomato Festival, more popularly known as La Tomatina Festival, is one of Spain’s most unique events that’s notorious for being absolutely crazy, utterly messy, and most importantly of all – ridiculously fun!
La Tomatina Festival has taken place in the town of Buñol, near Valencia, every August since 1945. This year marked the 70th anniversary of this giant food fight. I’ve known of this festival since I was a kid watching the travel channel. So, during my first time in Europe, I made sure to schedule my trip around this festival!
After attending this super fun festival, I’ve outlined 4 tips on how to enjoy La Tomatina Festival to the fullest.
4. Buy VIP Tickets Beforehand.
My friend and I bought our VIP tickets 1-5 months in advance to ensure our slots in the event. The organisers tend to limit the number of visitors to this small town because some people got seriously injured a few years back. Fortunately, the ticket is only €10, so it really is just a means to control the headcount to the event. The VIP ticket also includes a return shuttle from Valencia, a wristband, and an official shirt that you can wear after the fight.
3. Dress for Success.
Needless to say, comfort is key to attending La Tomatina Festival. However, to get the utmost satisfaction, wear a sparkling white shirt. We wore brand new white shirts for this event! We also wore comfy shorts and closed shoes that we were willing to throw out afterwards. Once it was over, though, I felt sentimental and decided to bring home my tomato red shirt with me as a souvenir anyway. I mean, right?
2. Less is More.
We often talk about how to travel light, but I’m talking about a whole new level of light: bringing almost nothing, that is. Remember that you will be soaking wet and will be needing both of your hands to throw tomatoes at people, too. We brought nothing but a waterproof camera, our cell phones in waterproof pouches, and a few Euros in a ziplock bag. An underwear with zipper pockets would be brilliant to bring, too, though.
In summary, La Tomatina Festival is an enormous food fight during which 100 tonnes of over-ripe tomatoes are driven into the Plaza de Pueblo, where thousands of revellers await, poised to throw the tomatoes at each other until Bunol’s streets resemble an explosion in a ketchup factory. So have FUN! A full hour of fun.
Yes, you read that right. The whole thing is only an hour long. You might be thinking, “What??? One hour? Sinulog is a whole week affair and It’s not enough.” I thought the same.
Believe me when I say that an hour long of tomato fight is enough, though! Anthony and I gave up at the 40-minute mark, which is actually longer than most people. After all, it gets exhausting to be at level 10 at all times.
Read all about my La Tomatina experience and follow the rest of my Euro adventure happening now.