Forget your average food fight. La Tomatina Festival is next level.

With thousands of thrill seekers, truckloads of tomatoes and an hour’s worth of tomato throwing to get involved in, La Tomatina is pretty much the perfect definition of organised chaos. And it’s SO much fun.

Come find out more about La Tomatina Festival.

1. What can I expect on the day?

La Tomatina Festival Topdeck

Before the tomato fight begins, thousands of people take to the streets of Buñol and kick things off with a water fight.

Technically, the festival doesn’t start until someone has climbed up a greased pole to retrieve a ham (no, really). But, a cannon blast will also signal the start of the tomato throwing at 11am.

Huge trucks packed with tons of tomatoes roll through the street dropping their loads in the middle of the crowds. Then it’s game on: everyone for themselves!

The fight lasts for an hour and stops at the second cannon blast.

2. So, how did La Tomatina Festival become a thing?

La Tomatina Festival Topdeck

Legend has it, La Tomatina has been a tradition in Buñol, Spain, since around 1944/1945.

One story says that it all started in 1945, when a group of youngsters grabbed tomatoes from a nearby grocery store and started a food fight. A year later, locals came back with their own tomatoes and started the food fight again before returning year after year.

Another story says that in 1945 an annual parade turned into tomato-throwing chaos when things got out of hand. The following year, people returned to the Town Hall Square and started another tomato fight.

But, regardless of how it all started, everyone loved the tomato fight so much that it quickly became a yearly tradition.

So, now, every year, somewhere between 10,000 to 40,000 people gather to throw over 100,000 tonnes of tomatoes for about an hour. For fun. Pretty cool, huh?

3. Are there any rules at La Tomatina Festival?

La Tomatina Festival Topdeck

Despite being seemingly chaotic, yes, there are rules. And yes, you have to abide by them:

– It’s illegal to bring any bottles or other objects that could cause harm

– You can’t tear t-shirts

– You have to crush the tomatoes before throwing them (so that they don’t hurt anybody)

– You have to take care around the lorries which carry the tomatoes (to avoid injury)

– As soon as you hear the second ‘bang’ you must stop throwing tomatoes

Got it? Great!

4. Sounds messy! What should I wear/bring?

La Tomatina Festival Topdeck

Good question. Take a look at our suggestions to make sure you get the most out of your tomato experience:

– Essentially, you should wear clothes and shoes that you don’t mind throwing away after the event

– Closed shoes that you don’t mind getting very messy: no thongs/jandals/flip flops guys. You’ll lose these in the first five minutes and risk cutting your feet/getting trampled on. Not ideal. 

– Swimming goggles: tomato juice stings when it gets in your eyes. Trust us.

– Plastic clear phone pouch if you wanna take your phone in

– Valuables in a zipped pocket/safe place

– Layers: while the rules state you shouldn’t rip t-shirts, not everyone pays attention to this. So, if you wanna be on the safe side, layer up!

– A towel and a change of clothes

5. Can I take a camera/phone/GoPro?

La Tomatina Festival Topdeck

Absolutely! But only bring something you won’t mind potentially losing. In the tomatoey chaos, things can inevitably get lost on the ground and never seen again…

Same goes for any jewellery or items that are sentimental/valuable. It’s safest to just not take them.

Consider bringing a clear phone pouch if you want to take your phone with you.

6. What if I get hungry?

La Tomatina Festival Topdeck

We know how it is, throwing tomatoes for an hour is tough work and you’re bound to get a little peckish.

But fear not! The residents of Buñol sell food and drink before, during and after the tomato throwing.

Take some Euros with you in a zip up pocket and you’ll be sweet.

7. Do I need tickets?

Yes!

The good news is, if you do La Tomatina Festival with Topdeck, you’ve got the hassle taken out of the experience.

Your ticket to the event is included in the trip price and will be given to you by your Trip Leader on the day. You’re welcome!

Take a look at Topdeck’s La Tomatina trip and get ready for the best food fight, ever!

Want more tomato goodies? Have a read of Emily’s experience of La Tomatina Festival to get you excited.

Marianne Lampon
Marianne is the Content Assistant for Topdeck, writing the copy for anything and everything as well as managing The Collective. Originally from Cambridge, she’s officially caught the travel bug and loves her movies and fitness.