So you are planning on visiting Sevilla during Feria de Abril but know nothing about it – no need to fear – here are tips from one (well-informed) tourist to another.
Dancing, drinking, eating, connecting. Light, color, sunshine, people (everywhere). Feria de Abril, or April Fair, is a yearly event in Sevilla that occurs two weeks after Semana Santa, or Holy Week. This has been taking place since 1846 so, naturally, this is a very important part of life for the people of Sevilla and has been for generations.
The city is alive with tourists and locals alike. People are dressed up in their finest flamenco attire and riding side-saddle or in beautiful carriages all through town.
To get the full experience, it is crucial that you put all hesitation aside and indulge yourself in the culture of Feria de Abril. Do not be afraid to dress up in flamenco attire or try to dance a Sevillana step.
The first order of business is to find an outfit. If you are like me and are not looking to spend an arm and a leg on a flamenco dress or suit, there are plenty of options.
Traditionally, men wear a traje corto. This consists of a short jacket, tight slacks, a hat and boots. However, you will typically see most men wearing a normal business suit which could potentially spare you some extra cash if you already own one.
If Sevilla were to have its own fashion week, this week would be it. There are thousands of beautiful dresses to admire as you walk around the city, each one different from the next. Women wear a flamenco dress, mantón (Spanish shawl), flower in their hair and colorful jewelry.
Cheap flamenco attire is basically an oxymoron – it is hard to come by. But after scouring the city for the most reasonably priced dresses and accessories, I found the best options. I purchased my dress from a store called Garbo in Los Remedios, the neighborhood where Feria de Abril takes place.
There are also affordable options with a lot more choices in accessories in the city center. Calle del Puente y Pellon, Calle Lineros and Calle Francos are lined with stores selling flamenco garb.
After you find the perfect outfit, it is time to learn the dance. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials on how to dance the Sevillana step. It is better to be prepared because you never know when a Spaniard might start dancing with you as you are walking through the fair.
Now that you look and act the part, it is time to head to where all the action happens. Los Remedios is the neighborhood where all the “casetas” or tents are set up.
The streets of this neighborhood are lined with casetas. Most are privately owned by a family, group of friends or a business. But there are a few that are open to the public. Stop by a public caseta to socialize, dance and have a rebujito, the traditional Feria drink made of sherry and lemon-lime soda.
End your night by riding some of the rides at the carnival just west of the casetas and indulging in the fair food.
While you might not get much sleep during the week of Feria de Abril, you will definitely leave with some of the best memories.