top of page

Las Fallas 2024: Everything you need to know about Valencia's fiery festival

Updated: Mar 12

The image is associated with headline, Las Fallas 2024: Everything you need to know about Valencia's fiery festival

-A Valencian woman in a typical Fallas costume -

A mesmerising medley of art, satire, tradition and off-the-wall fun, the Fallas of Valencia is a true feast for all five senses. From the sublime sights and sounds of towering sculptures and kaleidoscopic street parades to the irresistible scents and flavours of gigantic communal paellas, this is a festival that, once experienced, is never forgotten. 

From the 1st of March to the 19th, Valencia will become the setting for one of the best festivals in Spain. From opening night fireworks to the setting ablaze of the giant paper-mâché ‘ninots’ on the final night, Las Fallas serves up an array of weird and wonderful activities that are, quite simply, unmissable.

What is the history of Las Fallas, Valencia?

An image of the Las Fallas Festival in Valencia, Spain, 1931.

- Las Fallas Festival, Valencia, Spain, 1931 -

The story of Las Fallas stretches back centuries. Legend has it that it originated as an old carpenters’ tradition, whereby master woodworkers celebrated the coming of spring by setting fire to the wooden staffs that had been used to prop up their lights during the past winter. 

This tradition evolved over the years, with the wooden staffs soon adorned with the old clothes that had seen the carpenters through the colder months. This gave the wooden structures a human-like appearance and the sardonic Valencian humour took over, infusing the creations with satirical quirks. Eventually, the ‘ninots’ were born – gigantic caricatures of people from popular culture created by local craftspeople. 

Each neighbourhood or ‘barrio’ has its group, known as falleros, who are tasked with raising money for, planning, and commissioning their neighbourhood’s ninot during the year. 

During Las Fallas, neighbourhoods compete to create the best design. On the last day, the ninots are set ablaze and burnt to cinders during La Cremà – a darkly compelling, strangely beautiful ceremony, where these amazing works of art succumb to the flames.  

Only two make it out unscathed. The winning ninots are whisked away to the Fallero Museum, where they are immortalised and proudly displayed alongside the chosen Fallas few of years gone by.

Las Fallas is Valencia’s most beloved festival and, despite the humour and madness of it all, one they take very seriously. Lots of money, time and effort is put into creating the ninots and in the final days giant tents known as verbenas are set up, where people gather to eat paella, dance, sing and celebrate, with traditional dress for men, women and children.

Key dates for Las Fallas of Valencia

An image of the Cremà at the Fallas Festival in Valencia.

- The Cremà-

Across the nineteen exhilarating days, from March 1 to 19, you’ll find an array of activities that make up the most beguiling of Valencia festivals. Each day at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (town hall square) at 2pm sharp, the earth-shaking sounds of La Mascletà. Valencia will reverberate with loud explosions – lots of them – as the locals unleash their passion for pyrotechnics in spectacular style.

The daily Mascletà aside, those visiting Valencia should keep an eye on the array of special events that make up Las Fallas. Don’t miss the following:

The Plantà, March 15

Teams of falleros work tirelessly through the night, combing up their ninots across a single monument – the eponymous falla. Each installation is fitted together with expert precision – some of the large ones even involve using large cranes. Once completed, the fallas are ready to be judged the next day.

Award-giving, March 16-17

Following the judging procedure, the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and its surrounding streets will be filled with the sights and sounds of marching bands and colourful costumed parades, as the falladas collect their awards. Awards include the two winning ninots – the Ninot Indultats, spared from the flame-grilled fate of the others – to the neighbourhoods with the best lighting and best costumes.

Flower Ofrenda, March 17-18

Following a fabulous floral parade through the centre of the city, the Ofrenda sees each Fallas commission make the offering of a flower to a 15-metre high statue of the Virgen de los Desamparados, Valencia’s patron saint. From 4pm until late in the evening, the city’s central square is adorned with fragrant, colourful flowers, the perfect counterbalance to the pandemonium over the next couple of days. 

Nit del Foc, March 18

Valencia’s sprawling Turia Gardens plays host to a spectacular night of fireworks, elevating Las Fallas to the status of one of the best festivals in Spain. The Nit del Foc,' illuminates the early hours of the 18th, showcasing a unique fireworks display – an unforgettable medley of music, fire and light.

The Cremà, March 19

The Fallas of Valencia reaches its fiery crescendo with the one-and-only Cremà. Valencia comes to a standstill, as hordes of locals and those visiting Valencia gather to witness the final act of the festival, as the year’s ninots go up in flames. The bonfires start at 8pm and finish at 11pm, with the burning of the Town Hall’s very own ninot. 

Where to see the best sculptures

An image of a plated fallas with ninots in Valencia.

- A falla planted with ninots -

When visiting Valencia during Las Fallas, don’t miss the Fallas Festival Ninot Exhibition at the City of Arts and Sciences from March 2 until March 15. You’ll get to peruse each of the hundreds of the ninots taking part in the the Fallas of Valencia festival this year, and you’ll even get a chance to cast your vote for your favourite sculpture.

After La Plantá on March 15, you can download and follow the 2024 Fallas Festival Map for an overview of all 400 different Fallas locations throughout the city, then take a tour of the most stunning sculptures.

Tips for viewing a mascleta in Valencia

An image of a mascleta in action during the Fallas festival in Valencia.

- Mascletà -

Each day during the festival, as the clock strikes 2pm, the sound of two lone fireworks echo through the city. It’s the cue for one of the most magnificent moments – the mascletá!

Taking place in the town square every day from 2pm, the Mascleta is a thrilling experience. It’s worth getting there early, say an hour or so, to beat the crowds and get a good spot. It’s such a popular part of Las Fallas – gradually, as 2pm approaches, the crowd will swell to an enormous number until the entire Town Hall Square is jam packed with revellers.

It makes for an exhilarating atmosphere, but it also means you need to think ahead. Bring plenty of snacks and enough water to keep you hydrated. Also, make sure you don't lose your friends or get caught short and end up needing to use the toilet – getting back out through the crowds is no joke.

Mascletás might last mere minutes, but experiencing the thrill of the spectacle and the joy on the faces of onlookers as the fireworks reach an electrifying crescendo is essential for anyone visiting Valencia during this special time of year.

An image related to a verbena at the Fallas festival in Valencia.

What is a verbena?

Aside from the larger-than-life puppets and pyrotechnics, Las Fallas also features an array of wonderful live music performances and street parties throughout Valencia. Therese verbenas range from small tents to massive pop-up arenas, showcase bands and DJs from near and far.

Performances go on until well into the small hours. Keep an eye out for the Las Fallas, Valencia verbena programme, which is released on the first day of the festival.

- Verbena -

The best location to stay in Valencia for Las Fallas

During Las Fallas, Valencia is abuzz with energy like at no other time of year. It’s what makes it one of the best festivals in Spain, but also extremely busy. This means that planning ahead to secure good restaurants and accommodations is essential.

If you’re staying in a central location, expect a lot of noise, especially if you're right next to a Falla or a verbena. For those dedicated to being at the centre of the action, this won’t be a problem, but others might prefer a little more tranquillity. Here are great options for both.

In the thick of it

An image of the Hotel Vincci Mercat in Valencia.

Experience the vibrant heart of Las Fallas and stay at the sleek and sophisticated Hotel Vincci Mercat, just a short stroll from the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (town hall square) and with a great roof terrace for catching the action.

An image of the Yours Boutique Hotel in Valencia.

A little further out in bustling Ruzafa, Yours Boutique brings a good blend of peacefulness – massage treatments, infinity pools, cava on welcome – with proximity to all the best elements of the festival.

This is a picture of Hotel Puerta Serranos in Valencia.

On the edge of the old city, Hotel Puerta Serranos has an amazing roof terrace and is close to some of the top restaurants in Valencia.

A quiet escape

Image of the Barracart Hotel in Valencia

Relax and recharge in between the merrymaking at the glamorous beachside Barracart Apartments in El Cabanyal. It’s a stylish refuge, some 5km from the centre, guaranteeing a good night’s sleep in one of the city’s most beautiful spots.

An image of Hotel Barcelo in Valencia.

Visit Hotel Barcelo for the peacefulness of nearby Turia Park, along with stunning views of the distant fireworks and a trendy rooftop bar and restaurant. It is also conveniently located near the Aqua shopping centre.

An image of Hotel Balneario Las Arenas in Valencia.

For a peaceful and elegant seaside experience, Hotel Balneario Las Arenas, a renovated 19th-century spa, is difficult to surpass. It offers stunning views of the Mediterranean, impressive pools, and an excellent restaurant.

Discover Las Fallas

An image related to the headline "Discover Las Fallas in Valencia."

- Falleros -

The Valencia Fallas festival is a uniquely magical experience, essential for anyone visiting Valencia during March. Whether you’re returning for another year of high jinks or you’re experiencing it for the very first time, we recommend thinking ahead – from planning the best things to do in Valencia to the best places to stay – so you can make the most of this incredible piece of Valencian heritage.

An image related to the headline of an article about seeking a short break in Valencia to experience seaside glamour.

Click here to discover the top coastal town of Javea and immerse yourself in the dynamic culture of this lively region.


bottom of page