10 Things to Know About Feria de Abril of Seville
Anyone lucky enough to be in Seville can't miss this!
When you think of places to visit in Spain surely Seville comes into your plan. Crossed by the Guadalquivir River, the city enjoys a splendid architecture mix with Moorish and Baroque buildings standing alongside eachother.
Its historical heritage is spectacular! The Cathedral with the Giralda Tower, the Alcazar, the Golden Tower and Plaza España are some of the main spots that make the character of the city so special.
A trip to Seville isn’t complete without attending la Feria de Abril. This is probably the most important event of the year that every Sevillian awaits with impatience. As its name says, the Feria de Abril normally occurs during the month of April. However, for the first time this year, the event will take place between 5th and 12th May due to general elections.
We advise you stay in one of our premium holiday apartments during your trip in Seville. Situated in central locations in the city and close to the Feria site, they’ll provide the maximum comfort for you to rest properly in a luxury environment.
Postigo de la Feria on ChicRoom Barcelona
When in Seville it’s better to know some Spanish if you want to fully enjoy this experience. Therefore, we’re going to present you the 10 best things to know about Feria de Sevilla in its original version. Don’t worry, we’ll also include their translations in English.
1- History of Feria de Abril of Seville
Well, the Spanish lesson hasn’t started yet but it’s crucial to know the fair's history before moving on. The origin of the Feria dates back from the 19th century. Two entrepreneurs, Narciso Bonaplata and José María de Ybarra from Catalonia and the Basque Country respectively, proposed the Council to celebrate a farming and ranching fair. The first Feria was inaugurated in 1847 and was a great success straight away.
Feria de Abril in 1895
Step by step the event became more of a social event and its celebration was only interrupted during the Civil War. It is now celebrated every year, one or two weeks after Easter. Its usual outdoor venue is called Real de la Feria, and for the week that it is celebrated, the streets will be filled with large stands adorned with lanterns and horsemen and horse-drawn carriages circulating for the 500,000 visitors that come daily.
Various typical elements are associated with the Feria de Abril and we’re going to present them now.
2- La Portada (The Front Gate of the Feria)
Whether you are walking or arriving by carriage, you must pass through the portada to access the Feria’s area. Very colourful and illuminated by lights during the night, it is a warm invitation to every one willing to participate in the celebration. It is different every year and represents a monument of Seville. This year it is a tribute to the Royal Pavillion that was built in 1929 for the Ibero-American Exhibition.
3- El Alumbrado (The Illumination)
This is one of the key moments of the Feria. Celebrating the beginning and the end of the event, you shouldn’t miss the illumination of the portada and the Real with hundreds of lightbulbs. On the last day fireworks mark the end of the Feria.
4- Traje de Gitana (Gypsy Dress)
If you want to really feel part of the party, you must dress like the locals.
The outfit for the ladies is probably the most iconic item of the Feria. The traje de Gitana consists of a tight dress usually very colourful and with frills and furbelows at the bottom. Women also wear a carnation in tied hair, a pair of earrings or a Manila shawl. As for men, the suits are more simple and are the same as those worn by cattle breeders of the past.
It’s not a reference to the person here but a musical genre created and danced in Seville. It is similar to flamenco but we reckon that the following video describes it better than words.
If you like to dance, just observe what people do and try to imitate them. Surely someone will be glad to teach you some easy steps so you can join in.
6- Casetas (Stands)
The Real de la Feria attracts more than 1,000 casetas. Some of them are private and you will need an invitation to get in. However, those which belongs to the Council are free to access for visitors.
With white and green/red stripes, every caseta is similar from the outside. They are closed by curtains and the pediment on top is made of wood. If you want to see sevillana, you definitely have to enter one of them. You’ll also be able to eat and drink succulent food and beverages, and party all through the day and night.
The casetas occupy 450,000 m2 of the Feria site and create a sort of mini village. Each street has the name of a famous Sevillian torrero (bull fighter). You will find public casetas in Calle Pascual Marquez.
7- La Noche del Pescaíto (The Night of the Fish)
The next point is obviously about food and drink. As we made a reference about them earlier we couldn’t miss them off our list.
The Noche del Pescaíto occurs in the dawn of the first Sunday. Traditionally, people eat dishes of fish, hence the name.
Various other types of tapas are also part of the menu such as tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette), jamón ibérico (cured ham) or queso (cheese). For lunch, you usually find all sorts of guisos (stews) and for a sweet snack, you could eat the typical churros con chocolate (churros with melted chocolate) and buñuelos (small doughnuts).
Every good meal has to be accompanied by good drinks and as Spain has a long tradition of fine gastronomy it’s not difficult to find some. You can find the usual cervezas (beers) and vinos (wines), however, you can’t leave the Feria without trying el rebujito, a type of white wine with lemonade or soda water. Trust us it’s very savoury, refreshing… and treacherous as you wouldn’t taste the alcohol.
8- La Calle del Infierno (The Street of Hell)
Although it has a scary name, it’s no more, no less a fun fair! Not a very appealing name, right? But don’t worry, it’s very safe. With more than 100 rides, it becomes the most important temporary theme park in Spain. Apparently, the name comes from the noise of the cacharritos or rides at the fair.
We suggest you to go there before you copiously eat. Just in case…
9- Corrida (Bull Fighting)
This kind of show has been part of the event since the beginning. Some of the most famous bull fighters entertain the afternoon crowds with this popular Spanish tradition.
10- Paseo de Caballos (Horse Promenade)
If you want to follow the tradition 100%, we suggest you arrive in a cart pulled by horses. Not only is it more eco-friendly than a car, it’s also the only vehicle that can run within the area of the Feria.
To sum up everything watch this video for a quick insight of the Feria!
How to Get There
You have to head to the following address: Calle Juan Belmonte, 38, 41011 Sevilla. Various buses and metros could take you there. The easier option would be to go by taxi but it’s also better to book one in advance as it’s a busy day.
Where to Stay
On your trip to Seville and the Feria de Abril, we recommend you stay somewhere that is beautiful and central to make the most of your stay. At ChicRoom Barcelona we have a wide selection of luxury holiday apartments in Seville catering to all tastes, from modern to classic. Click here to see what we have to offer.
Puerta de San Fernando on ChicRoom Barcelona