All you need to know for your first Fallas

A complete guide on everything you should know before visiting Valencia during Fallas. All the major events, the best time to come by, budget suggestions, and how to go about your accommodation. All the essentials for first-time visitors to the festival.

From our personal experience living through Valencia’s Fallas, these are all the things you need to know before visiting the city at the time of the festival.

We’ll explain what the celebration is all about, the most interesting events, and the ideal time to come to be able to see them all. But we’re also going to give you all the practical information you might need about Fallas. How, when, and where to find accommodation, as well as budgeting tips and suggestions, so that you know what to expect for your holiday.

Falla in the city centre of Valencia
The giant fallas are installed all around Valencia on the occasion of the festival.

What’s Fallas? The essentials

Fallas, or Falles in Valencian, is a traditional Valencian celebration held every year in the first three weeks of March. The festival, which is a recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage , is highly anticipated by the city at large.

Fallas is essentially a non-religious celebration, and stories about its origins are contrasting. According to some, it is a descendant of pagan spring festivities. According to others, Falles was born as a way for carpenters to celebrate their patron, Saint Joseph. To others yet, it is both.

Whatever the origins, the festival is today one of the most famous folkloristic events in Spain. Millions of visitors come to Valencia to participate every year, especially on the occasion of the Semana Fallera (14th-19th March), the final and most spectacular days of the festival.

Falles is a delightful cacophony of bright colours, satirical sculptures, loud fireworks, parades, and bonfires. All accompanied by much music, flowers, and an incredibly joyful and euphoric atmosphere of camaraderie and trepidation.

Fireworks show during Fallas in Valencia
Fireworks take centre stage during Fallas, with dozens of pyrotechnic shows.

Now, because there might be some confusion: the word fallas can actually indicate a few different things. It is the Fallas festival, for sure. But it is also the word used to refer to the huge sculptural compositions built on the occasion of the event.

These fallas, made up of different figures called ninots, are built in papier-mâché, wood, and styrofoam. They represent allegorical or fantastical scenes, often with the intent to reference or satirise current socio-political events.

Almost 800 of these scenes are placed all around the city during Fallas, and at the end of the festival, they are all burned in massive, spectacular bonfires. But something else Falles is known for is the fireworks. Valencians love to put on deafening, bombastic pyrotechnic displays that shake the ground and echo in the streets during the entire duration of the festival.

If you’d like to know more about Fallas - about its participants, sculptures, traditions, and curiosities, you can check our Fallas overview.

Events calendar - The best things to see during Fallas

Valencia’s committee members, falleras, falleros, and artists work year-round to make Fallas possible, although the festival itself unfurls between the end of February and the 19th of March.

Following are all the events that make Fallas what it is. Keep in mind that the most appreciated and celebrated events are the Crida, right at the beginning of the festival, the Mascletà (a daily occurrence), and, right at the end of the celebrations, the Ofrenda de las Flores, Nit del Foc, and Cremà.

Ofrenda de las Flores - Fallas Valencia
The Ofrenda de las Flores is a huge flower offering, where the participants parade in traditional costumes.

Of course, you’re not likely to stay for the entire three weeks of the festival, so this is just to get an idea of the various events you’ll find at different times throughout the month. If you want to know more about the single events and schedules, you can check out our Fallas calendar article.

  • 3rd February, 7:00 pm, Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe Exposición del Ninot

    The Ninot Exhibition is a competition to determine which of the city’s ninots will be saved from the final bonfire (Cremà). This event is particularly special because all visitors get to vote for their favourite sculpture and have a look at the sculptures up close. It’s the perfect chance to get involved personally in the Fallas festival.

  • 25th February, night, Plaza del Ayuntamiento Cordà

    The Cordà is one of the biggest pyrotechnic spectacles you’ll see during Fallas. This opening show happens within the confines of a giant metal cage that takes up a good part of the square.

  • 26th February, 7:15 am, all over the city centre Despertà Infantil

    For the despertà infantil, the young falleras and falleros walk around Valencia, waking up the city with loud firecrackers. This is a pretty cool event to watch from your balcony.

  • 26th February, 7:30 am, all over Valencia centre Macrodespertà

    Right after the despertà infantil starts the macrodespertà, where adults pretty much do the same thing as the kids, just louder and followed by marching bands. This is concluded in Plaza del Ayuntamiento for a final, loud display called Disparà. Again, this is usually enjoyed from the balconies.

  • Every day from the 26th of February, 2:00 pm, Plaza del Ayuntamiento Mascletà

    A Mascletà is a loud pyrotechnic event where rounds upon rounds of gunpowder are set off to create a deafening rhythm. You should go see this - or rather feel it, as this event is centred around firecrackers rather than lights - at least once. But if you’re in the city centre, you’ll end up hearing it regardless, since it’s a daily event until the 19th of March.

  • 25th February, 7:00 pm, Torres de Serranos Crida

    The Crida is the proclamation of the Fallas. This is considered the official opening ceremony, and a major event. Valencia’s mayor and Falleras Mayores give their speeches before a firework display. The Crida really lets you feel the spirit of the festival and how it brings Valencianos together.

  • 3rd March, 5:00 pm, city centre Cabalgata del Ninot

    The Cabalgata del Ninot is a satirical parade through the city streets, enacted by members of the various Fallas committees. This is not a major event, but it is nice to see the fanciful costumes and floats.

  • Early March, selected neighbourhoods Encendido de luces

    Magnificent and artistic street illumination is set up all around Valencia. This is a much-appreciated occasion, as you get to see entire streets completely dressed up in colourful and elaborate lights that create imaginary architectures over the existing buildings.

  • Early March, 9:00-11:00 pm Mascletàs nocturnas, all over the city

    Mascletàs nocturnas are nighttime pyrotechnic displays that take place in different neighbourhoods on selected dates. As opposed to the daytime mascletàs, the night ones have the added value of being visible against the dark sky.

  • 14th March, 5:30 pm, Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe Proclamation of the Ninot Indultat Infantil (children)

    The first prize winner among the children’s ninots at the Ninot Exhibition is chosen. You can vote up until the closure of the contest, and later you get to see the big celebration as the committees take the non-winning ninots back to their casales falleros.

    This is a joyful and boisterous event, with music, dancing, and lots of people. The proclamation is not as well-known as other events, and not a lot of tourists get to see it, but we warmly recommend it.

  • 15th March, before 8:00 am, all over Valencia Plantà Infantil

    During the Plantà Infantil, the Fallas artists and falleros work to place the sculptures known as fallas infantiles in their respective neighbourhoods. This is the kind of event you might stop to look at if you see it happening in the street, but not really seek out, as there really is no programme as to when it is happening precisely.

  • 15th March, 5:30 pm Proclamation of the Ninot Indultat

    Much like the event for the children’s ninots, this is when the first prize winner among the adults’ ninots at the Ninot Exhibition is chosen.

    Once again, the committees take the non-winning ninots back to their casales falleros in a blur of music, dancing, and celebrations.

  • Between 15th-16th March, 12:00 am Albà de les Falles

    The Albà de les Falles is another pyrotechnic display that anticipates the Plantà of the fallas mayores. Like all firework displays in Valencia, this is quite something to look at, even if it is not the biggest or loudest event.

  • Night between 15th-16th March, all over the city Plantà

    This time it’s the fallas mayores (the big ones) that are placed all over the city for their own Plantà. This is not the kind of event you can observe from start to finish, as it can take several hours (or days, for the biggest fallas). It is nonetheless fascinating to see the sculptures being slowly assembled and coming to life in the streets.

  • From the 16th of March until the end of the festival, 8:00 am Despertà

    Again, hundreds of falleras and falleros wake the city up with the despertà. This is done by way of loud firecrackers and marching bands. Perfect to watch from your balcony.

  • Between 16th-17th March, 12:00 am, Paseo de la Alameda, Turia Park Castillo de Fuegos Artificiales

    Another large firework display, the Castillo de Fuegos Artificiales is always a pleasure to watch. Valencians really know how to impress with fireworks.

  • 17th of March, 3:30 pm, Plaza de la Virgen Ofrenda de las Flores

    The Ofrenda de Flores is a flower offering in honour of the city’s Patron Saint. We absolutely recommend you go see this, as hundreds of Falleras and Falleros in traditional costumes parade through the city to get to the Square.

    Here, a 50-feet statue of the Virgin is slowly covered in flowers, brought by the paraders. This is one of the most visually striking and emotionally charged events of the festival.

  • Between 17th-18th March, 1:00 am, Paseo de la Alameda, Turia Park Castillo de Fuegos Artificiales

    Yet another Castillo de Fuegos Artificiales. They never disappoint, so we suggest you see at least one of them.

  • 18th March, 3:30 pm, Plaza de la Virgen Ofrenda de las Flores

    For the second day in a row, the parade continues. This is the concluding day, where you get to see the secret design woven into the Virgin’s mantle with the offering’s flowers. If you haven’t been the previous day, go to this one.

  • Between 18th-19th March, 1:30 am, Paseo de la Alameda, Turia Park Nit del Foc

    The Nit del Foc is the grandest and longest firework display in all of Fallas. Even if you’re not a fireworks fan, this one will leave you awestruck.

  • 19th March, 6:00 pm, city centre Cavalcada del Foc

    The Cavalcada del Foc is an evocative fire parade. Expect loads of allegorical floats, fire dancers, masked figures, and fire eaters. The show is going to get you ready for the bonfire that is taking place later in the night.

  • 19th March, 8:00 pm onwards, wherever there is a falla Cremà

    The Cremà is the spectacular closing act of the festival. The fallas are burnt, one by one, in massive and explosive bonfires all over the city. The fallas infantiles are burnt first, then the bigger ones, and the falla municipal (the biggest) in Plaza del Ayuntamiento is burnt last.

    This is truly the highlight of the entire festival, so it absolutely cannot be missed.

Your stay

Here is all the information about what dates to pick for your visit to Valencia’s Fallas, the length of your stay, and when to start organising it.

When to visit

Valencia’s most famous and celebrated festival lasts a few weeks, but the most intense and noteworthy days are towards the end of Falles. This is known as the Semana Fallera or the days between the 14th and the 19th of March. This is when the fallas sculptures are finally installed all around the city.

Falla - one of many sculptures on the streets of Valencia
After the 16th, thousands of people come out day and night to see the installed fallas.

The most spectacular events, as mentioned above, are the Ofrenda de las Flores, the Nit del Foc, and the Cremà. They all take place between the 17th and the 19th, so if you’re looking for a key time window, this is it.

If you’d like to know more about the festival in Valencia and its events, you can check out our Fallas calendar.

If you want to enjoy a bit of both - Valencia during Fallas and regular Valencia - we have a suggestion for you. Plan your trip so that it includes the last (and most spectacular) days of Fallas (the 17th, 18th, and 19th, for example) as well as the following days (the 20th onwards).

How long to visit

Normally, you can get a decent look around the city in about four days - Valencia is not very large, and it is pretty easy to move around. However, during Fallas, you will definitely need more time than that.

This is partly because the city is extremely busy and it takes much longer to move around and do things. And it is also due to the fact that there are so many events to see that it’s simply impossible to visit the sights and follow the festival as well.

Of course, this depends on the dates of your trip, but if you’re including the final Fallas day as we suggested, you should account for three days dedicated to the festival and another full three to the city itself.

This could look something like this. A trip from the 14th to the 19th of March, leaving on the 20th morning, so you get to see the Cremà). Fallas would be in full swing for the entirety of your stay, but you could visit the city for the first few days and then give your full attention to the festival for the second half of your holiday.

The (in our opinion, more efficient) alternative is to come to Valencia for the Fallas grand finale (17th-19th) and stay another three days after the end of the festival (20th to 22nd of March). You’ll get to enjoy the festival craze and the city back to normality.

Cabalgata del Fuego - one of the spectacles of Fallas in Valencia
During the Cabalgada de Foc you’ll see a lot of pyrotechnic performers in grotesque or beastly costumes among the flames.

When to start booking and organising

The simple answer to this is: immediately. Falles is not a last-minute kind of holiday. Even if you’re planning for next year, now is a good time to start reserving everything. We say this because hotels get booked months ahead for Fallas. If you start looking for tickets and hotels ten days before the festival, everything is going to be booked up.

By reserving and planning early on you’ll get the most options and good prices, avoiding any unpleasant surprises.

Our recommendations

If you can reserve it early, do it. Aside from your plane ticket and accommodation, you can also book your Valencia Tourist Card, guided tours, as well as entry tickets to the sights in advance.

Budget for Fallas

Valencia is normally much less expensive than a lot of other European cities and that still holds true during Fallas. That is, for everything except accommodation.

Food, drinks, transport, and sightseeing are reasonably priced, and you can budget around €40.00 a day per person to cover these costs.

For accommodation, that is a completely different situation. There are only so many hotels a city can have, and with millions of visitors coming to the city to see Falles, rooms fill up quickly and prices soar. If you want decent prices, you need to book now.

Below, you can find the average prices per night per person for three budget types with a booking made 4 months before the Fallas festival.

Type of structure
Range Low-cost Mid-range Luxury
Type of structure Hostel B&B, 3-star hotel, small apartment 5-star hotel
Price € 30.00 - € 60.00 € 100.00 - € 150.00 € 180.00 - € 230.00

All the structures used for reference are in the city centre (Ciutat Vella). The bookings were made for 6 nights (14th-20th March), for two people.

And below are prices for the same type of structures (per person, per night), with the same specifications, made a year in advance.

Type of structure
Range Low-cost Mid-range Luxury
Type of structure Hostel B&B, 3-star hotel, small apartment 5-star hotel
Price €17.00 - € 30.00 € 45.00 - € 60.00 € 70.00 - € 150.00

As you can see, there’s quite a difference between the two, so whatever your preference, book away, immediately.

Of course, consider that, unless you are staying in a hostel, prices for one or two people in a hotel room are the same, so it’s obviously more convenient to travel with someone. You also need to account for the fact that the two busiest nights in Valencia are the 18th-19th and the 19th-20th.

A stay in the city just for those two days for a person travelling alone averages out at higher prices per night. The prices below, indicating the cost per night, refer to a booking for one person made 4 months before Fallas.

Type of structure
Range Low-cost Mid-range Luxury
Type of structure Hostel B&B, 3-star hotel, small apartment 5-star hotel
Price € 45.00 - € 80.00 € 150.00 - € 200.00 € 250.00 - € 380.00

However, if the booking is made a year in advance, with the same parameters, the prices are much more reasonable.

Type of structure
Range Low-cost Mid-range Luxury
Type of structure Hostel B&B, 3-star hotel, small apartment 5-star hotel
Price €20.00 - € 35.00 € 60.00 - € 130.00 € 200.00 - € 300.00
Crowd gathered in the city centre of Valencia to watch Mascleta
Around one million tourists come to Valencia every year just to see the Fallas.


This is all you need to know about finding your accommodation in Valencia for your visit during Falles.

How to find a place

Accommodation in Valencia during Fallas is notoriously difficult to find. The solution to this is booking early. Early in this context does not mean a month ahead like it might in other instances, but rather, several months ahead.

The closer you get to the festival, the fewer places remain available and the more expensive they get. This really is the only remedy there is, so get searching. We know it might sound like an exaggeration, but we’re not being hyperbolic in the slightest. If you don’t book ahead, you will not be able to stay in Valencia during Fallas.

You can find and reserve your hotel, apartment or hostel here.

Types of structures available

Luckily enough, Valencia has no shortage of different structures, so there is something for every style and budget.

Your options are, in decreasing order of price, hotels (1-star, 5-star, and everything in between), apartments (both in apartment complexes and smaller, privately-owned ones), rooms for rent in private houses, and lots of hostels.

Best areas to stay

Valencia is not that big of a city, which is an advantage when you are looking for accommodation, as it means you won’t end up that far from the centre anyway.

Nevertheless, there are still more central areas than others. Anything in Ciutat Vella is in the historical centre. This includes all the district’s neighbourhoods: El Carmen, La Seu, El Mercat, Sant Francesc, and La Xerea. Anything in the Eixample area (neighbourhoods Ruzafa, Pla del Remei, Gran Vía, Colón) is also rather central and lively.

If you want to avoid too much noise - Fallas is quite loud - we suggest you avoid Plaza del Ayuntamiento and the Paseo de la Alameda. These are the places where the loudest fireworks displays are set off. Still expect to hear celebrations, firecrackers, and lots of people, regardless of your location.

If you can’t find anything in the city centre or everything left is too expensive, search for something a little further out. Valencia has a great public transport network.

As long as you are not far from a transport stop - metro, trams, and buses - you’ll be fine. If you can, search for something toward the beaches first - there are lots of buses and trams connecting the maritime district to the centre.

If you want to know more about how to get around Valencia, you can read our guide to the city’s neighbourhoods.

How to move around

Valencia’s public transport network is great, so you have nothing to fear when it comes to getting around the city. The system consists of metro and trams, public buses, and regional trains.

If you want to know more about how to get around Valencia, you can read our article on public transport.

Additionally, there is also an efficient bike-sharing system (Valenbisi), and the whole city is provided with plenty of cycling paths.

We recommend getting a weekly Valenbisi pass for your stay to move from one side of the centre to the other. However, remember to check on the app if the station where you intend to drop your bike off is closed or unavailable. That might happen because of the fallas or because of the various events during the festival.

You can learn all about how the bike-sharing system works, how to get your subscription, and how to use it in our Valenbisi article.

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