Seville Feria de Abril 2024: all you need to know

Tiempo de lectura: 7 minutos
A horseback rider in front of a caseta at the Seville Feria de Abril.
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Spain loves a fiesta. There are a staggering number of Spanish celebrations to choose from, but if you like to par-tay, you need to get yourself to the Seville Feria de Abril.

Sociable Sevillanos are well-known for loving a good old knees-up! And spring is the perfect time to party in this sizzling city. As the temperatures become pleasant and the delicious scent of the azahares (orange blossoms) fills the city’s streets, Seville gets in party mode.

The Seville Feria de Abril is a one-of-a-kind experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Read on to find out the what, where, when, why and how of this singularly Spanish event. Olé!

What is the Seville Feria de Abril, and why is it important?

A woman in a colourful traje de flamenca at the Seville Feria de Abril.

The Seville Feria de Abril is a week-long all-singing, all-dancing, all-drinking party! First established in 1847, it has been held annually ever since (with the exception of the coronavirus pandemic of 2020). This major cultural event brings people from all walks of life together to mark the arrival of spring.

Feria takes place in a vast recinto ferial (fairground) in the upper-class barrio of Los Remedios. It really is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

The area is divided into 15 purpose-built streets, fit to bursting with casetas (literally, small houses). These green or red-and-white striped tents come in all sizes, from enormous caverns, often owned by companies, to more modest, intimate family-owned affairs.

One criticism of the Feria de Abril, especially from a tourist’s point of view, is that most casetas are not open to all. The fair is often referred to as a thousand parties that you’re not invited to! This really is an event for locals, and to get access to most of the fun, you need to know the right people.

However, there are several public casetas that are free and open for anyone to enter. At The Explorer, we are seasoned Seville Feria de Abril pros! Our top tip is to go to the information kiosk at the entrance and pick up a map, which points out all the public casetas.

These include the casetas of Seville’s municipal districts as well as the political parties’ ones. Make your way to one or more of these, and bish bash bosh, you’ll be living it up like a local in no time!

When is the Seville Feria de Abril 2024?

To answer this question, we first need to talk about Semana Santa (aka Holy Week), a seven-day parade-filled extravaganza. They don’t do things by halves in Seville – this is the biggest, most impressive and most popular Semana Santa celebration in Spain and, arguably, the world.

Not satisfied with one world-class event, the Feria de Abril follows soon after Semana Santa. Any guesses as to which month it takes place? Most of us would assume it’s in April, right?

But, no! Don’t let the name of the fair fool you. The exact dates of the festival change every year. It always comes two weeks after Semana Santa, so while it often takes place in April, it more regularly happens at the beginning of May.

If you want to go this year, block out Sunday 14th to Saturday 20th April 2024 on your calendar! The fair officially opens on Sunday/Monday morning at midnight with a ceremony called El Alumbrao. This is when the portada (the huge front gate) is lit up.

Things to do at the Seville Feria de Abril

A fireworks display over the fairground at the Seville Feria de Abril.

There is plenty to do at the fair, but the activities du jour are the three Ds: dancing, drinking and dining.

Let’s start with dancing. Leave your tap shoes at home, because there is only one dance style you’ll need here: Sevillanas. Originating, unsurprisingly, in Seville, it involves four painfully prescribed dance steps with complicated arm and leg movements.

To do it properly, you’ll need to take a few classes beforehand. Alternatively, you can do what we do – have a few drinks and then wave your arms around a bit!

Top tip: get a cheap second-hand flamenco dress. Not only will you look like a true Sevillana, but it’ll also hide your dodgy dance moves – at least the lower half of your body!

Next: drink. And the drink of the feria? Rebujito! This Andalucian cocktail mixes manzanilla, a dry sherry, with lemonade. It typically comes in a large jug and is then poured into small cups.

The delightful, deceptively alcoholic concoction is almost exclusively drunk at the Seville Feria de Abril. Our advice: Pace yourself. Try not to put away too many of these boozy little beverages because you will be out partying until the wee hours.

Finally, dining. Don’t expect haute cuisine: traditional tapas are the order of the day. Think jamón iberico, cheese, prawns, fried fish (pescao frito) and for afters, churros and buñuelos (fried dough pastries).

Other fun Feria things to do are:

  • Check out the Calle de Infierno (Hell Street), the Feria‘s real fairground, complete with rides, games and candy floss! Great if you have kids with you.
  • Gaze at the sea of colour as thousands of women wearing trajes de flamenca (flamenco dresses) teeter past. A camera is a must!
  • Rent a horse and carriage (beware: this is a pricey option!)
  • Ooh and ahh at the spectacular fireworks display, held on the final night.

Things to do in the city of Seville during the Feria de Abril

You may be in Seville to experience the Feria, but you’ll probably want to see a bit of the city while you’re there. Unlike Semana Santa, when the streets are packed, Feria is quite a good time to check out the city as the crowds are all within the Feria fairground.

A fantastic way to get around the city and see all its main attractions is our very own hop-on hop-off bus. Seville is a tricky city to drive in, so you’ll want to skip car hire. Sit up on the top deck, enjoy the sights and hop on and off at whatever stop you like.

If you’re interested in bullfighting, a visit to the Maestranza bullring is a must. Iconic matadors have faced off against bulls for centuries in this historic building. You can see some of the most important fights and the most famous toreros during Feria.

Other highlights in Seville are:

Practical tips for the Feria de Abril

Seville can be quite warm during the day at this time of year, so pack your sunglasses, sun hat and sunscreen. However, the temperature drops at night, so make sure you bring a jacket.

Rain is also possible. Keep in mind the local saying, “En Abril, aguas mil” (April showers), and bring an umbrella!

When it comes to eating, you’ll find a wider range of options for eating and drinking in the city centre than in the Feria itself.

We’d recommend having lunch before you go, both for better-quality food and to save money. Things don’t get going in the Feria until the afternoon anyway. For dinner, you can pick something up in a caseta!

See you at the Seville Feria de Abril!

So, that’s the fantastically fun Feria de Abril in a nutshell!

Piqued your interest? Then, plan a weekend in Seville, flex your drinking and dancing muscles, buy yourself a cheap traje de flamenca and get ready to live it up at one of the world’s longest and liveliest fiestas!

Vamos a la Feria!

Frequently Asked Questions

The Seville Feria de Abril is one of the biggest festivals in Spain, and it attracts visitors from all over the world. It typically attracts 5 million visitors. Over 850,000 people go on the Friday night alone. Despite the large number of visitors, there is usually enough room for everyone to enjoy the festivities.

The Seville Feria de Abril is a free event, and tourists can access the fairgrounds without a ticket. Remember that the majority of the casetas are private; you cannot buy a ticket. You need to be invited by someone from that caseta.

There are certain areas that require tickets. To get tickets for those areas, it is best to contact the official tourism board of Seville or enquire with your hotel concierge. 

There is no specific dress code to follow, although most tend to dress smartly. It is acceptable, however, for both men and women to wear jeans and a nice top, for example.

Many women wear a flamenco-style dress with a shawl, a flower headpiece and high heels, especially if they plan to dance Sevillanas. Some men wear traditional suits with a hat. It is also customary to avoid wearing black during the feria as it is considered to be a mourning color.

It is common for locals to showcase their horses and carriages during the feria, so it’s not unusual to see horses decked out in their finest garments. You may see locals drinking sherry or rebujito, a cocktail made with sherry, lemonade, and ice.

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