Forget the expensive catalogues and travel itineraries, Spain’s La Tomatina can be done on nifty budget!

The La Tomatina is an epic food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Bunol near Valencia in Spain. Thousands of people make their way from all corners of the world to participate in the ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’ where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets. In preparation for the dirty mess that will ensue, shopkeepers use huge plastic covers on their storefronts in order to protect them from the carnage. This year the festival will be held on August 31.

Prior to 2013 anywhere from 40,000 to 50,000 people crammed into this huge tomato fight, greatly expanding Bunol’s normal 9,000 person population. Since 2013, official ticketing has been put in place limiting the number of participants to just 20,000 lucky people.

The city council follows a short list of instructions for the safety of the participants and the festival:

  • The tomatoes have to be squashed before throwing to avoid injuries.
  • No other projectiles except tomatoes are allowed.
  • Participants have to make way for trucks and lorries.
  • After the second shot indicative of ending the tomato hurl, no tomatoes should be thrown.

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1. First you need to get your hands on one of those coveted limited number entry tickets to the festival.

Since most of these tickets are sold through tourist agencies, they are bundled with stay + travel packages. We’ve found what we think is the best option for you. If you head on over HERE, you will find several packages for 3 day 2 night stays at either a 3 or 4 Star hotel. This will cost about INR 15,000/- per person. You also have an option to stay additional nights for INR 8000/- (per double room) or INR 11,000 (per triple room) per night. These add ons have to be made along with your package bookings so make sure you plan in advance. This also includes your transport to and from the festival in addition to some exclusive parties.

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2. Book your flights to Valencia right away.

You can get the best deals on flights at Skyscanner if you book ASAP. A round trip flight via Mumbai to Valencia will cost you about INR 53,000/-.

3. Don’t forget to plan out your F&B spending.

The cost of living isn’t very high in Valencia so you should be ok with a maximum of INR 15,000/- for your three days in the city.

4. Try to visit some other places while you’re in Spain.

Once you’re there, you might as well make the most of it. While these costs exceed the scope of this budget, there are a lot of great cities like Madrid, Barcelona and even Ibiza to explore.

5. Final Round Up.

Your trip to the La Tomatina festival should cost approximately INR 15,000/- (Ticket + 3 Day-2 Night Hotel Stay) + INR 53,000/- (Round Trip Flight) + INR 15,000/- (F&B) = 83,000/-

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Be sure to factor in other costs such as visa, miscellaneous expenses, sightseeing, local transport etc. before you go.

The Sherp wishes you a happy and safe journey!