Your Ultimate Guide To Las Fallas!
Las Fallas Festival – a time where noise barriers are pushed beyond their limits, weird and wonderful structures come to life in the city streets and Valencia’s population triples, creating five days of non-stop epic fiesta’s! If you’ve found yourself amongst the hustle and bustle of Valencia’s streets just in time for this years’ Fallas (that would be from 15th – 19th March), then we have got the perfect insiders guide for you to enjoy the cities biggest festival!
So, what is Las Fallas Festival?
Basically, five days of non-stop fiesta’s. In Spain, we know how to party and there is no party quite like the Valencian Las Fallas festival. A fiesta like no other, where extravagant structures are placed on every corner, fireworks light up the night sky and dancing takes to the streets; Las Fallas is renowned for being Europe’s largest street party!
This tradition of Las Fallas began hundreds of years ago with Valencia’s carpenters creating a communal bonfire in the neighbourhood square to celebrate the beginning of Spring. The tradition has now become Valencia’s biggest festival, spreading over 19 days (altogether, although the main Fallas events begin from 15th – 19th March) and attracting over 2 million visitors to the city.
Your first 48 hours – we’ve got you covered!
Take the morning to get to know a little bit about the city by joining our free walking tour (beginning at 10:30am everyday). Get ready to make some new friends as you meet up with our guides and other fellow travellers to embark on a tour around the city. During the tour you will learn about Valencia and its history while visiting the must see spots in town such as the incredible Central Market, the Silk Exchange and the Palace of the Marques. The tour ends at Plaza del Ayuntamiento just in time to marvel at the spectacular daily Mascleta show – this is where your Las Fallas experience truly begins!
The Mascleta – what is it?
The Mascleta takes centre stage each day of Las Fallas, where earth-shattering amounts of gunpowder are exploded in a somewhat musical manner for the entire city to hear! The volume reaches decibels of a jet engine revving itself for take-off and shakes the city (literally) to it’s core. Thousands of people of all ages (even kids!) line the streets to catch this spectacle each day in this rather odd Valencian tradition to make as much noise as possible while orchestrating a brilliant symphony of gunpowder to stimulate the senses. Don’t be surprised if you find children and adults alike creating their own “mini-mascleta’s” by throwing (much smaller) firecrackers throughout the streets!
After you have experienced the Mascleta, enjoy some traditional Valencian food at one of the many Paella cooking competitions around town. Paella is traditionally cooked in Paellero’s, a large (often, VERY large… no, seriously go and see them for yourself!) round pan over pieces of wood from the Valencian orange trees. Fill up on some Paella (or whatever incredible food you choose) before tonight… you’re going to need your energy!
At 22:15 head to Plaza del la Virgen to join our guided Las Fallas street party tour for a night full of music and making memories! Our guides will take you to the best Las Fallas Verbenas in town where you will party like you’ve never partied before! Get ready for DJ’s in the street, a few free shots (on us) and watching the city of Valencia truly come to life as you dance your way from one fiesta to the next. This is guaranteed to be a night to remember (or a night you won’t – but we’ll leave that up to you…). Valencia knows how to throw a party and you could find yourself celebrating among new friends until the sun rises, so this one is a must-do during your Las Fallas experience.
Once you’ve slept off that hangover and you’re ready to go, enjoy some breakfast (or early lunch?!) at one of the many delicious spots around town (inside tip: try Horchata, a traditional Valencian drink full of goodness and a great hangover cure!). In the afternoon, join one of our guided Fallas tours (leaving at 4pm) to see some of the most incredible Fallas structures in town. There are around 300 structures in the city throughout the festival, many of which stand three times as tall as the average person! They are created full of colour and crude humour often poking fun at Spanish politicians and celebrities and are a sight to behold. Each structure is created from wood and, at the end of Las Fallas, will be set alight to burn in the street (another odd Valencian tradition, but hey, the Spanish are known for their quirky and crazy fiesta’s after all!).
After visiting these incredible structures, why not head out for more partying – after all, Las Fallas is one big non-stop fiesta. The city doesn’t sleep, so why should you, right?! We run our street party tours each night, so come and join us and help us make this years Las Falla’s festival one to remember!!
INSIDER TIPS & MUST-SEE/DO!
Beyond our guide above, we’ve put together a list of things you must see/do during your Las Fallas experience:
1. La Planta – The installation of the Ninots (March 15th)
On March 15th, the Ninots (structures or dolls) are installed around the city. These structures are the main element of Las Fallas and many are so huge that they reach multi-storey heights. The structures will be finalised throughout the night in time for March 16th morning. This is a must-see!!
2. Light show in Ruzafa
During Fallas, a giant structure in built in the area of Ruzafa which, at night, turns into a spectacular show of lights and music. A must see!
3. Nit del Foc – The Night of Fire (Midnight, March 18th)
The Night of Fire is the main firework show of Fallas. Although there are fireworks each night in Valencia for the duration of Fallas (15th – 18th nights), this is the biggest and by far the most spectacular. To get the best vantage point, get yourself an early spot on Calatravas Bridge and watch the night sky light up above you!
4. La Crema (March 19th)
This is the event the whole festival leads up to – the burning of the Fallas! On this night, each of the Ninots are filled with fireworks, set alight and burned to the ground at once. It seems as though the entire city is engulfed in flames (and if you were to get a birds-eye view, I am sure it would look that way too!). This is what the whole festival is about. Get a spot along Plaza del Ayuntamiento in time for midnight to view the burning of the City Hall’s Falla. The burning of this structure is extra special as it is created specifically for this event and it is a show not to miss!
Article written and created by Rebecca Jenkins