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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 10 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

After all the solemnity of Holy Week (Semana Santa), Seville lets its hair down for a week-long party – Feria de Abril.

It starts on a Monday, with a fish feast and the midnight illumination of the thousands of lights of the gate to the Real de la Feria fairgrounds on the far bank of the Guadalquivir. Here over a thousand striped tents, (the casetas), are set up, for socializing, tapas, rebujito (sherry with lemon soda) and dancing sevillanas, the local flamenco.

The streets are decorated with thousands of lanterns; nearly everyone is dressed in traditional costume, the women in long, ruffle-fringed traje de gitana (flamenco dresses) with flowers or lace mantillas in their hair; and the nearby funfair in Calle del Infierno reverberates with screams of laughter.

In the afternoon watch the paseo de caballos, the spectacular parade of Seville high society in traditional traje corto (riding dress) – wide-brimmed hats, short jackets, tight trousers, boots and hats. The horses are just as exquisitely-groomed horses with ornate, often flower-covered bridles.

It all ends on Sunday at midnight with an explosion of fireworks over the Guadalquivir.

Don’t miss

Stick around until midnight on Monday for the illuminations of the gate and for the firework extravaganza on Sunday.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 6+
Frequency: annually
When: April
Duration: One week

Getting there & doing it

From the centre, catch buses C1, C2 or 41 that run 24 hours a day to the fairgrounds during Feria.

Much of the fun takes place in casetas, temporary venues set up by businesses, organizations, and private groups for eating, drinking, music and dancing. Most casetas are private but there are also seven large public ones (there is a map at the entrance) including one especially for foreign visitors, open noon to 3am, with a multilingual staff.

You don’t need tickets, unless you want to go to a bullfight, but they are sold out months in advance.

Because of high prices and crowds and long queues at the large public casetas, it’s a good idea to eat before you go. The weekends are the most crowded; arrive early then to get a good view and photos of the paseo de caballos.

When to do it

The fair goes on day and night, and for most visitors, a day is often enough to get a good taste of the fiesta. The parade of horses and costumes is the highlight (the best time is 2pm). The party atmosphere starts at 9pm, when everyone heads back to the fairgrounds after the bullfight, with plenty of sherry, tapas, music and dancing until the early hours.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Hotel Alfonso XIII

Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Enjoy Seville in regal style at this grand hotel built by a king, a 10-minute walk from the Cathedral.

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Hotel Casa 1800

Seville, Andalusia, Spain

A romantic, evocative, little luxury hotel in an early 19th-century townhouse near Seville’s cathedral, with a panoramic rooftop pool.

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EME Catedral Hotel

Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Super central luxury hotel with the best roof terrace cocktail bar in Seville and matchless views of the Cathedral.

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Hotel Casa del Poeta

Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Boutique luxury and charm await in this evocative 17th-century mansion, in pole position near Seville’s Cathedral, restaurants and bars.

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Andalusia, Spain

A big dazzling region, packed with fascinating cities, beautiful landscapes and beaches, colourful fiestas and oodles of sunshine.

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Andalusia, Spain

Extravagant and sensuous, Spain’s fourth city entices with brilliant monuments, gardens, tapas bars, flamenco shows and full-on nightlife.

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