What to Expect During Les Falles — FAQs and 7 Tips

Here’s exactly what to expect during Les Falles, so you can make your first trip to Valencia an unforgettable one. Let’s go over the most frequently asked questions, as well as 7 recommendations I have for every tourist. Here’s everything you need to know about Les Falles festival!

What is Les Falles?

Les Falles is a festival held every year in Valencia, Spain. You’ll sometimes see it called “Las Fallas”, the Spanish translation. 

During this festival, hundreds of enormous wooden statues (called Falles) are built. They depict satirical, humorous, and socially-critical scenes from the last year’s biggest events. At the end of the festival, all of them are set on fire, celebrating the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new cycle. 

What to Expect During Les Falles

Les Falles is Valencia’s largest and most important holiday. With more than a million tourists visiting every year, the city transforms into a completely different world. 

The festival includes fireworks, art, music, and lots of parties. It’s an exciting, high-energy festival with many parts to it. 

And while Les Falles is an unforgettable holiday that many people love – it holds a few surprises that can be overwhelming for some tourists. Which means it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. 

So if you’ve never been to Valencia for Falles, here is your guide to knowing exactly what to expect. 

Big Crowds

If you’re visiting Valencia for Les Falles, you need to be prepared for dense crowds. Especially in the areas near the city center and some of the more famous monuments. 

The city can become a bit overwhelming for some people, especially if you’re not mentally prepared to handle the crowds. You’ll need lots of patience to get anywhere. And with many streets being cut off – getting around the city can be a bit complicated.

So if you are someone that gets claustrophobic very easily – make sure to keep this in mind. And even if you’re not afraid of crowds, you’ll still want to come with the mentality that you’ll need extra time to walk around the city. 

More Expensive Lodging

This is one of the tourism peeks in Valencia, so prices for accommodation will be considerably higher than normal. 

Plus, people often book their lodging up to a year in advance to get the best locations. 

If you’re planning on visiting Valencia during Les Falles, I would book your accommodation as early as possible. 

In general, you should expect to pay around €130 a night for a mid-range hotel if you book around 6 months in advance. If you book last minute, this could go up.  

This would also be for a hotel that’s not super centric, but slightly outside of the center. If you want to be in the very heart of the festival, the prices could go up to around €200 a night. Although to be completely honest – I don’t recommend this unless you’re planning on fully taking advantage of the nightlife. 

Traditional Dress

One of the most unique things about the festival is seeing so many people in traditional attire. You’ll see women wearing “Fallera” dresses and men wearing “Faller” outfits. 

The dresses are handmade with silk, colorful fabric, and meticulous designs. The men will also wear decorated outfits that are unique to Valencia. 

Constant Noise

Like it or not – the city is filled with loud noises during this 5-day festival. And also starting a couple weeks before the official dates, the city gets quite loud.  

You’ll hear firecrackers all day long, fireworks at night, and tons of music nearly 24/7. Plus, there are outdoor parties that take place until 4am every day. 

So if you’re joining in on the nighttime festivities – then you’ll have an amazing time. But if you’re planning on resting at night … 

Well, make sure you bring good ear plugs

Late-Night Partying

A big reason for the constant noise?

Late night Revetles (outdoor parties). 

These are outdoor clubs/parties that keep going until about 4am. Most neighborhoods will have at least one, so you can expect to hear one from basically anywhere in the city. 

If you can’t sleep, then just join the party. They’re free to join and drinks are usually quite inexpensive – so you might as well. 

Satirical Art

This is something that might shock newcomers. But Les Falles is all about satire and criticism. 

You’ll see lots of current events and public figures in most of the artworks. This is the very essence of the festival, so you’ll see them everywhere. 

For the most part, these satirical works come from across the political spectrum. So you’re bound to see some criticisms that you probably don’t agree with. 

The good news: All of the Falles get burnt at the end of the festival. So if there’s one that you really don’t like, you can always choose that to be the one you watch during La Cremà. 

Some Places Will be Closed

If you’re planning on doing some extra tourism while you’re in Valencia, make sure to check out the opening hours for everything. 

Many businesses will close during Falles and others will have reduced hours. 

This usually isn’t a problem for restaurants, but with how busy the city gets – it’s important to double-check just in case. 

7 Recommendations for Les Falles

I moved to Valencia in 2018, so I’ve been through quite a few Falles festivals myself. And considering this holiday is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in the US … 

Well, let’s just say that this is a holiday you need to experience first-hand to really understand. 

So let me go through some of my top tips for Les Falles.  

Here are 7 recommendations for tourists coming to Valencia:

1. Bring Earplugs

Unless you literally have a hearing problem – you’ll want to bring earplugs during Les Falles. 

The city gets exceptionally loud, and hotels don’t always have the best sound insulation. Even if you’re not staying in the city center, your neighborhood might have a party happening right below your window. 

Take it from me – my windows are literally vibrating until 4am. 

If you want to get some decent sleep, bring earplugs just in case. 

2. Budget a Bit Higher Than Normal

In general, Valencia is a fairly affordable city to visit. 

But Les Falles brings a huge influx of tourism, so the hospitality industry will take advantage of that. 

I’d recommend budgeting for at least €130 per night on hotels, possibly up to €200 depending on the hotel and when you book. 

There are plenty of hostels as well, but they do get booked very quickly during Les Falles. 

The good news is that the actual festivities are free. You do not need to pay to see any of the events. Although you can pay for VIP entrance tickets and rooftop events if that’s an experience you can budget for. 

3. Enjoy the Traditional Foods

Every year, Valencians are anxiously waiting for Les Falles for one big reason:

La Xocolatà. 

This is thick hot chocolate that you eat with sweet treats. You’ll see the streets filled with food stands and everyone is getting their fill of these holiday favorite. 

Here are the desserts you’ll want to try:

  • Xurros: Fried dough sprinkled with sugar (Not cinnamon!)
  • Bunyols: Fried pumpkin dough sprinkled with sugar
  • Figues Albardaes: Deep-fried & battered figs 
  • Valencianes: Baked pastries similar in texture to cupcakes
  • Coca: A Valencian poundcake

Pro Tip: If you see xurros or bunyols sold for €1 each – that’s a tourist trap! They’re traditionally sold by the dozen/half dozen and should come out to less than €1 per item. 

4. Choose Carefully Where to Stay

For Les Falles specifically, it’s important to understand where your accommodation is – and what the festival brings to that neighborhood. 

Let me give you a classic example. 

If you want to really enjoy the nightlife and be in the center of all the partying – then you should stay in Russafa

But if you want to see the art and daytime festivities, but still get a good night’s sleep – you need to avoid Russafa, La Ciutat Vella, and El Botànic. Instead, choose hotels over Airbnbs, and look for areas further away from the center. 

To be honest, the entire city is going to have lots of partying and festivities – but these will be the loudest areas. So if you choose a large hotel, you’re more likely to get some peace and quiet.  

5. Use the Public Transport

Super important: do not try to rent a car or a bike during Les Falles

Because you will not manage to get anywhere

You’re going to need to rely mostly on walking around by foot. But you can also take the public transport if you need to go further away. 

For example, I suggest taking the metro to go see L’Antiga de Campanar, one of the biggest Falles. It’s a bit further away and there is a direct metro connection with Xàtiva. 

The buses are a bit harder to use, as some streets are going to be cut off during Les Falles. So if you can, stick to walking or taking the metro as the most reliable options. 

6. Check the Event Calendar

There are tons of events happening during the entire festival. Make sure to check out my Falles Events Calendar so you don’t miss out on anything! 

From flower parades to fireworks shows, there are lots of specific activities that take place. So make sure you don’t accidentally skip an event you’d be interested in. 

Learn Some Basic Valencian

If you want to embrace Les Falles like a local – then you need to learn a bit of the local language, Valencian. 

So here are some basic phrases in Valencian (also known as Catalan) to help you navigate the festival. 

ValencianEnglish
Bon diaHello
Moltes gràciesThank you
Em poses mitja dotzena de bunyols?Can I have a half dozen of bunyols?
Una dotzena de xurros per favorA dozen churros please
Teniu figues albardaes?Do you have battered figs?
El xocolate és de Valor?Is it Valor chocolate? (i.e. The good kind)
Un got xicotet/granA small/large cup
A quina hora obriu/tanqueu?What time do you open/close?
Es pot visitar la falla? Quant costa l’entrada?Can you visit the Falla? How much is the ticket?
AdeuGoodbye
PerdóExcuse me/Sorry

FAQs

Now, let’s go over the most frequently asked questions about Les Falles. If you have a question that isn’t on this list, send me a message here

Who Celebrates Les Falles?

Les Falles is celebrated in the province of Valencia. It’s not celebrated anywhere else in Spain. 

Why are Les Falles Important?

Les Falles holds significant cultural importance for Valencians. It celebrates new beginnings, art, and social progress. It also coincides with the celebration of Saint Joseph, Father’s Day, and the arrival of Spring. 

At an economic level, Les Falles also plays a huge role in the tourism industry, bringing in more than 1 million visitors each year. 

What Happens on Les Falles?

During the 5 days of Les Falles, the city becomes filled with art, firecrackers, and music. You’ll see parades, multi-story artworks, live bands, and fireworks.  

After 5 days of festivities, all the artwork is burnt during an activity called La Cremà. This symbolizes the end of a cycle and welcomes in a new year. 

Is it Les Falles or Las Fallas?

Les Falles is the better term. The festival gets its name from the old Valencian (Catalan) word for Torch. Las Fallas is a Spanish translation of the original name. But since the festival originated in Valencia and is almost exclusively celebrated in Valencian-speaking territories, my suggestion is to use Les Falles. 

What does Les Falles Celebrate?

Les Falles celebrates the arrival of Spring and new beginnings. The artwork created typically contains socially critical scenes, so by burning them, this signals the end of a cycle, leaving room for social progress. 

How Many Falles Are There?

As of 2024, there are just over 700 Falles that are erected in the city of Valencia. 

When Are the Falles Burnt?

The Falles are burnt on the night of March 19th, starting at around 8pm. This event is called La Cremà, and different Falles will be burnt at different times. 

Which Falles Are the Best to See?

While most of the Falles are exciting to see, there is a set called the “Special Section” that are typically the most memorable. 

So along with the Falla in the Plaça de l’Ajuntament, make sure not to miss:

  • Falla Na Jordana
  • Falla Convent de Jerusalem
  • Falla Almirall Cardarso
  • Falla Exposició 
  • Falla Cuba-Literat Azorin
  • Falla Plaça del Pilar
  • Falla Sueca-Literat Azorin
  • Falla Regne de València
  • Falla Monestir de Poblet (L’Antiga de Campanar)

What is the Mascletà and When Can I See It?

The mascletà is a pyrotechnic display that happens every day at 2pm at the Plaça de l’Ajuntament. Enormous firecrackers are set off rhythmically, creating an orchestrated beat throughout the city. 

While you can hear this from practically anywhere in the city, hearing it at the City Hall Square is an exciting, can’t-miss activity. 

What are the Ninots and Where Can I See Them?

The Ninots are one small piece of the enormous Falles monuments. Each Falla will have its own Ninot. 

These are all put on display at the Ninot Exhibition, where people will vote on their favorite. At the end of the festival, all of the Ninots are burnt – except for one, the Ninot Indultat. This pardoned Ninot is chosen by popular vote, and will then be moved to the Falles Museum. 

Do You Need a Ticket / Is Les Falles Free to See?

Les Falles is a free public festival. You can participate in all of the activities without spending a single cent. 

However, some Falles will allow you to get a VIP view for a few euros. You can also get rooftop views of the Mascletà and other events by purchasing tickets in advance. So while you don’t need to pay for anything other than food and lodging, there are paid options available. 

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