There’s nothing greater than Holy Week, Seville’s biggest celebration of the year. Between Palm Sunday and Easter, 60 processions will take place. So many cofradías and pasos invade the streets simultaneously that you’ll need to have a look at the schedule to plan your route.
After living the Semana Santa for a few years now, I’ve asked many times to friends what the highlights are. What I mean by highlight is “where should you be to get the most of this or that procession?”.
I’m overwhelmed by the amount of different answers I still get. Thus, I decided some time ago that I just had to learn from my experience and pick my favorite moments and spots!
And that’s exactly what this is about. A selection of my best picks for each and every day of Holy Week. Seville is full of action and you’ll be glad to know where to go and what to see. Because, trust me, you won’t be able to see everything everywhere!
However, take into account that sometimes processions suffer delays or are cancelled because of the rain, so these recommendations may not be 100% accurate. Moreover, I have included different suggestions for each day, but some of them may happen at the same time – you’ll have to make a choice.
The suggestions are based on the order and times of each day according to the 2023 official information.
The Cathedral and Giralda Tower are closed to visitors in the afternoon during Semana Santa.
Secure your visit getting your skip-the-line tickets in advance! You’ll access the Cathedral, the Giralda and the Iglesia del Salvador.
Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday)
Seville residents set out early in the morning to tour the churches and see the prepared floats. Locals put on their best clothes because according to tradition, “if you don’t wear a suit on Palm Sunday, you’ll lose your hands”.
This is one of the most important days, and the beginning of Holy Week. Therefore, expect this day to be one of the most crowded ones, with lots of families, children and elders everywhere.
- La Paz is the only procesión that crosses the María Luisa Park.
- Have a look at Jesús Despojado at Plaza de la Magdalena.
- Go to the Triana Bridge to admire La Estrella.
- Walk to the Plaza de los Terceros to see how La Cena will be coming back home.
- Finally, you can watch my favorite brotherhood, La Amargura, in Santa Ángela de la Cruz.
- Alternatively, you can follow San Roque throughout the narrow Calle Caballerizas.
Holy Week Seville: Lunes Santo (Monday)
Monday is a sober day, but you can enjoy magnificent brotherhoods in the streets of Seville. From the evening onwards, the public is somewhat lower and you can comfortably experience such charismatic images as the Vera Cruz or the pasos of El Museo.
- Your route should start at the Triana Bridge, where San Gonzalo should be about to cross the Guadalquivir river.
- Head to the Plaza de la Concordia where the Vera Cruz, one of the most traditional brotherhoods and its magnificent paso, will be around.
- Then you can head to the Calle Alfonso XII to watch Las Penas.
- The exit of El Museo is one of the most special moments of the Holy Week. Seville’s magic atmosphere is unbelievable.
- Finally, you can go to the Parroquia de San Andrés to watch Santa Marta’s entrance to its home church.
Martes Santo (Tuesday)
A day of processions of great tradition and devotion in the city, such as the Dulce Nombre, full of children among its ranks, the Candelaria or the beautiful Cristo de los Estudiantes, which exits from the University.
- You can have a look at El Cerro in Plaza Nueva.
- From there, head to Cardenal Spinola, where the elegant El Dulce Nombre has just exit its home church.
- Alternatively, you can go to Las Setas and see San Benito.
- I have a predilection for the church Omnium Sanctorum which makes me enjoy particularly the exit of Los Javieres. But if you want to see the procession in a less crowded spot, go to the Alameda de Hércules.
- Watching La Candelaria crossing the Jardines de Murillo is impressive.
- From there, walk in the surroundings of the University to watch Los Estudiantes.
- Both the exit and entrance of San Esteban is spectacular. The pointed arch of San Esteban’s gothic church is so narrow that the costaleros have to carry the paso on their knees. At the exit the square is absolutely packed so you should try to see it at night, on its way back.
Holy Week Seville: Miércoles Santo (Wednesday)
The following day is a public holiday, and so on Wednesday the streets are crammed with spectators watching the processions.
- A good start is going to the Plaza de San Lorenzo to see El Buen Fin.
- From there you can see La Lanzada at the Alameda de Hércules.
- Then, head to Calle Goles to see Las Siete Palabras.
- La Sed can be seen from one of my favorite sights in Seville, the Plaza de Pilatos, where the Casa de Pilatos is located.
- From there, you should go to the Plaza San Pedro to see the entrance of the Cristo de Burgos.
- Alternatively, go to Calle Adriano to see El Baratillo returning home.
Jueves Santo (Thursday)
This is the eve of the emotional and exciting La Madrugá so it’s day with lots of people and a lively atmosphere in the streets. During the morning, women wear traditional black dress with a mantilla as a symbol of mourning.
- You can go to the wide Calle Recadero to see the exit of Los Negritos.
- I love to see La Exaltación while it goes along Calle Gerona. But you’ll have a wider view at Las Setas.
- Alternatively, you can go to Plaza Nueva and admire Las Cigarreras as it enters the square from Calle Barcelona.
- From there, head to Plaza de la Magdalena to see the exit of La Quinta Angustia.
- At night, take some time around Plaza Nueva to admire El Valle coming back to its church.
- Or you can walk to the surroundings of Plaza del Salvador to watch Pasión.
La Madrugá (Friday morning)
It’s by far the most emotionally intense night, with Seville’s more revered processions continuing throughout the night.
The most renowned brotherhoods hold their procession, which begin at midnight and finish on the Friday morning. The overwhelming silence compensates for the cold of the Seville night. And you can always conclude your experience with a hot chocolate and churros.
Even though it’s really difficult to make a choice during the most important day of the Holy Week, Seville raves about…
- The exit of El Silencio because it’s breathtaking. The street lights are shut down and the candles illuminate the whole procession. But it’s really hard to get there as it’s very (very) crowded.
- The alternative I suggest is going to Calle Feria to see La Macarena in its neighborhood.
- Then, head to Plaza de la Magdalena to see El Calvario.
- From there you can go and see El Gran Poder, which is one of the most popular brotherhoods in Sevilla, around Plaza del Museo.
- Then, you can have a look at La Esperanza on her way home around Calle Adriano.
- Finally, experience the return of Los Gitanos to its neighborhood because is full of joy and devotion. Try to get a glimpse of it at Plaza Ponce de León.
Viernes Santo (Friday afternoon)
Another big day of Holy Week in Seville. This is a great day to admire some phenomenal misterios, such as El Cristo de la Buena Muerte, La Carretería or Las Tres Caídas among others.
- The exit of La Carretería is absolutely impressive because of the small size of its chapel as well as the narrow streets surrounding it.
- From there, go to the Triana Bridge, where La O should be about to cross the Guadalquivir river. It’s a must!
- Hold your breath while observing the solemnity of La Mortaja at San Juan de la Palma.
- From there, head to Plaza de Molviedro to see La Soledad.
- Then, you can’t miss El Cachorro on its way back crossing the Triana Bridge.
- Alternatively, go to Plaza de la Magdalena to see the entrance of Montserrat.
Holy Week Seville: Sábado Santo (Saturday)
Saturday is the quietest day as processions have the lowest public attendance of the entire week. It’s a sad day as it anticipates the end of Holy Week.
Take into account that in 2023 there’s a special event called Santo Entierro Grande. It involves 15 additional pasos that you can see throughout the city center, but the best areas are:
- Calle Reyes Católicos, Calle San Pablo, Plaza de la Magdalena and Calle Rioja.
- Alameda de Hércules.
- Plaza del Salvador.
- El Postigo and surrounding streets in the Arenal area.
The Santo Entierro Grande there are additional changes in the routes of the regular processions that take place on Saturday. So my recommendations for 2023 are:
- Have a look at Los Servitas at Calle de Bustos Tavera.
- Enjoy La Trinidad at Las Setas.
- Then go to Plaza de San Lorenzo to see the exit of La Soledad.
- Enjoy the Santo Entierro coming back home through the Plaza Nueva.
Domingo de Resurrección (Easter)
- Watch the exit of El Resucitado from the Iglesia de Santa Marina, its home church. Although if you don’t want to get up so early, go to Doña María Coronel.
Watch the brotherhoods in their neighborhoods
Enjoying the brotherhoods processioning through the streets near their churches is a highly recommended experience because it’s probably when they shine the most.
Gaining popularity, followers, brothers and sisters and donations helps, consequently, to have more resources for their social work of charity and, therefore, to improve the conditions of the most disadvantaged in their neighborhoods. That is why they try to give their best, especially at the exit of the temple that houses them, and the spectacle is truly admirable.
As a result, one of the highest point of a procession is when the float exits and enters the home church. Even if you’re not religious, it’s difficult not to be moved because the atmosphere is super vital and poignant.
If you want to watch a salida (when the procession comes out of the church), you need to get there about 2-3 hours in advance to secure a good spot.
This article is part of a complete tutorial on Semana Santa in Seville where you can read all the information you need to organize your experience during this magical and unique week.
Here is a complete summary of all the guide:
1. Semana Santa dates in Seville
2. What are Seville’s Holy Week processions?
3. Easter activities: daily schedule of Semana Santa processions
4. Holy Week Seville: What to see each day
5. Live Semana Santa in Seville as locals do
6. 9 tips to make the most out of Easter in Seville
7. When to visit the home churches during Easter (Seville)
8. How to survive Holy Week in Seville with children
9. Semana Santa hermandades (brotherhoods)
10. Semana Santa glossary