The April Fair in Seville or otherwise known as “The Feria” is one of the most loved festivities in the capital along with Easter Holy Week. This event is a save-the-date for locals and Andalusia at large. In fact, during this week the center of the city seems to relocate itself to the neighborhood of the Remedies, next to the Guadalquivir, which is where this party takes place. If you have decided that 2019 is going to be the year for Seville Fair celebrations, let Innhostels give you a few tips to prepare you before even setting foot in the hostel. Lets go!
When is Seville’s April Fair aka “The Feria”?
The April Fair is declared a Festival of International Tourist Interest and begins two weeks after the end of Easter Holy Week. Which means this year 2019 April Fair will actually be held from May 4th to 11th, because Easter Holy Week was late this year; this is third time that the event hasn’t taken place in the month of April (the same happened in 2011 and 2014). Its 7 days long, from Saturday to Saturday. The first day is always celebrated by the grand opening of fair which takes place in the evening. It is known as the night of “alumbrao” (to light up) whereby the turning on of the lights illuminates the whole fairground and open-air-venue. The lighting is truly spectacular, bringing everything alive and igniting that party spirit.
The first Saturday is also known as “pescaíto frito” (fried fish) due to the fact the “casetas” (the temporary shacks that sell food and drink) traditionally offer a variety of fried fish that see many party-goers enjoying an evening of dining and socializing with friends and family. The local holidays for this festival this year will be on the Wednesday.
What is there to do in Seville during the April Fair?
The is only one plan for the “Feria” (April Fair) and its universal: let your hair down and just have some fun! In the fairground you will find more than 1,000 shacks. They come in all shapes and sizes and each uniquely decorated as a home from home for Sevillians and their guests. From green-and-reddish-white striped canvas to lace curtains and wooden tables and chairs; a quaint and quintessentially Andalusian touch that you can’t help but fall in love with. And whilst most of these shacks are private, there’s always a chance of making friends with somebody to gain that “VIP” access to a private shack.
Most of these shacks have live flamenco music and “Sevillanas” (a version of Spanish dancing that is danced in partners and has a set routine). If you have no idea how to dance Sevillanas don’t panic, the spanish love sharing their culture and watching others people getting involved. You can either improvise from your neighbouring dance partner or some locals will even encourage you to follow their steps. It’s all about enjoying yourself.
Another Feria classic is “Rebujito”, a cocktail jug of lemonade, lime and local white wine Sherry either Manzanilla o Fino. Its refreshing and goes down effortlessly. So our advice is whilst its appears on taste to be an innocent soft drink, the alcoholic content is deceptive quickly catching up with you. Steady yourself if don’t fancy a heady next morning! Alternatively do as the locals do and a have a bite to eat between each drink to soak up the excess; spanish omelette or Iberian ham go down well.
To end the day, it is tradition to have donuts and churros (long donuts) with chocolate. Head over to the “Patio de las Buñoleras”, to the left of the Portada Real, and try the best donuts in Seville. The icing on the cake to your Sevillan Fair experience.
Bullfighting in the Maestranza
Whilst the art of bullfighting might not be for everyone, to this day it is still a popular and noble sport enjoyed by many in Spain. The April Fair in Seville is a great opportunity to see some the greatest figures in contemporary bullfighting today. It is a grand social event whereby the famous bullfighters meet at the Teatro de la Maestranza. In 2019 you will be able to watch household names such as Morante, El Juli, Rafael Serna, Jose Maria Manzanares, Roca Rey, Castella or Perera. You can either buy a full ticket to attend all the fights or just per afternoon of bullfighting.
The price ranges from 7 euros to see the “Novilladas” (young bull fighting) in the higher tiers or up to 174 euros to sit front row at the “Corrida de Toros” (experienced bullfighting).
Tips for the April Fair in Seville
The April Fair is held in the neighborhood of Los Remedios, a short way from the historic center. The City Council reinforces its fleet of buses at this time so you can easy arrive by public transport and it’s advisable seeing as the whole population of the city relocates to this areas temporary. Once on site, you can check the site map to find both public or private shacks. As we mentioned you’ll need an invitation for the private ones. This will be the second consecutive year in which there will be a tourist shack on Calle Pascual Márquez, 225, which will have staff from the Tourism Consortium offering information in English, German, and French. There you’re find a lot of music and rebujitos, as well as reservations for dinners and lunches which take into account the special schedules of tourists.
What shall I wear to the April Fair?
So for men don’t worry about wearing a suit or the classic horseback attire, stick to what most people do, just being “well-dressed” and “presentable”. So light shirt, smart trousers and a blazer and comfortable but formal shoes, as there is a lot of walking, but no flip-flops or trainers. For women, the ideal is to go with a flamenco dress. They sell and rent these in many stores in Seville although the closer the date, the higher their prices. Another option is elegant and formal clothes, so as not to clash with the locals. The Fair is smart and elegant fair, so informal won’t cut it, you’re going to need to your best clothes with you during this holiday. Remember ladies, smart but comfortable shoes.
Where to stay at the April fair in Seville?
If you have already decided to come to Seville for the Feria, book your accommodation in the center of the city with Innhostels. You have the option of staying in single, shared rooms or apartments. It’s up to you!
Inn Hostels Sevilla
Our accommodation is located in the neighborhood of Santa Cruz, smack bang in the historic center of the city. Thanks to excellent public transport: bicycle, tram or bus, this area is easily connected with other neighborhoods in Seville. We have shared rooms or private rooms with ensuites. Both options include free breakfast.
Apartamentos en Sevilla
We have apartments for 4 or 6 people. All are equipped with everything you need to make you feel at home, such as air conditioning, towels, kitchen, bathroom accessories, clothes rack, etc. All our staff live in Seville and are available to give advice on what you can do at the Seville April Fair 2019 .