Planning to go to Spain for La Tomatina? Here are some things you should know before you go get tomatoes thrown at your face.
La Tomatina takes place at the end of August (varying every year), for a celebration that no one really knows why it started. Speculation is that the village people got angry at the government and started throwing tomatoes at them to show their anger. Anyways… The annual event is hosted in a Small town near the coast called Buñol, Valencia.
Where To Stay: the obvious choice would be to stay in Valencia. And if you have the time to spend a night there then I suggest you do so. However, book it in advance, it is a small town. You may end up getting a room at their university. You can also stay in Barcelona and get your tickets through a company that will drive you overnight to Valencia.
What To Wear: Nothing you love! Everything will get ruined, including your underwear. Wear a white shirt (if you go with a tour, they will give you a white shirt ) it is great to see the transition from white to red by the end of the hour. Shorts are a great idea since you will get squished among people when the trucks go by. And DO NOT wear flip flops. It becomes a sea of tomato and you will loose them. Wear shoes you don’t love.
Storing Your Belongings: We were able to store our bags (change of clothing) on the bus, but if you are not going with a tour, some stores open up as storage locations. It costs a few euros and everyone does it – so it must be safe.
Get There Early: The tomato situation goes down at 11am. So get there early. Why? Well at the centre of the plaza there is a pole that people climb up. The idea is that once someone gets the ham at the top the event starts. But this isn’t always accomplished since the pole is extremely tall and greased up. So they just do it for a few hours and then ring the bells to start the event at 11am.
Drink Before The Bell Rings: When you walk from the top of the town all the way down to the centre of the town, you will encounter people selling alcohol. Many people set up a table outside their home selling homemade sangrias. Its hilarious, but people buy it, so it must be safe. Otherwise there are proper stalls to purchase alcohol and food from. But you don’t want a drink in your hand when tomatoes are being launched at your face.
Cover Your Eyes: You will see a lot of people selling goggles. Should you buy one? Maybe. You will definitely get tomato in your eyes. I was fine without it. However, my friend who wears contacts and also did not wear goggles ended up getting an eye infection… so everyone is different.
This should help you get through the day without anything horrible happening to you.
1. DO NOT lay down on the ground after the event. People will kick all the tomato that is on the ground onto you. And i’m pretty sure people peed in it since the lines for bathrooms are eternal.
2. If you want to take pictures, put your phone in a plastic cover. Otherwise it will get damaged.