You’ll surely find tons of blog posts and articles on Seville Feria de Abril. Unfortunately, all of them avoid an essential piece of advice – a guide on how best to experience this particular (and very exclusive) event.
Of the 1,050 casetas (tents) that you’ll find at the Feria, less than 20 are public. The rest are private casetas where you need to be a member to enter it (or know someone who is and lets you in).
So that’s what I’m here for. Because when I moved to Seville nobody told how to do it. So I had to learn the hard way…
Follow my expert advice, and live the Seville Feria de Abril as locals do.
The Feria is also the perfect time to go to a bullfight. Whether you’re a bullfighting connoisseur or you’ve never been before, during the Feria the Maestranza bullring welcomes renowned bullfighters for some of the season’s most anticipated fights.
How to go to/from the Seville Feria de Abril
By foot: The best option is to reach the Ferial on foot, especially from the city center. Put on your most comfortable shoes and start walking!
Bus: That would be my second option, particularly if you live or are staying in the city center. The C1, C2, 5, 6 and 41 all go to the Recinto Ferial and operate 24 hours a day. Expect these buses to be very crowded and to have to wait for the next one if the one arriving is full. There’s also a shuttle bus that goes from the Prado bus station to the entrance of the Seville Fair, it’s called especial Prado-Feria.
Metro: Take Line 1 and get down at either at Plaza de Cuba station or at Parque de los Principes station. From there, you’ll have to walk for 5-10 minutes approximately.
Car: Parking near the Feria is impossible even if you have a micro-car. If you still want to give it a try, leave it at the Charco de la Pava car park, and catch the shuttle bus to the entrance.
Taxi: I’ve already mentioned my deep affection for taxi drivers and how difficult it is to get a cab in Seville. I’m afraid that this trend reaches its peak during the Feria and it’s almost impossible to find one. On top of it, these pirates hike their fares to exorbitant levels so forget about it.
Horse drawn carriage: Trendy and luxurious, it’s definitely one of the most romantic things you can do in Seville…
How can you experience the Seville Feria de Abril?
Unlike other town fairs, in Seville the majority of the casetas (fair tents) are private. Families, businesses, and social groups pay dues throughout the year to be able to have the privilege of their own caseta come the Feria. Waiting lists are long for new groups, and a lot of times getting what you want is all about who you know.
So what do you do if you don’t know a member of a caseta?
1. Go to the information stand next to the Portada
There you can pick up a map, and ask for some tips and advice. Then, start exploring!
2. Take lots of pictures
If you’re a photographer you absolutely must go to the Seville Feria de Abril.
It’s a photographer’s paradise, as flamenco dressed women takes to the streets of already photogenic Seville, and the fair itself is a gorgeous backdrop for anyone to snap away.
So don’t be afraid of taking your camera with you and capture all the beauty you see around you. And don’t be afraid of shooting people, they won’t feel bothered and in most cases they’ll be even flattered and will pose for you.
3. Admire the picturesque paseo de caballos
This grand parade is a true must-see during the April Fair when spectacular horses draw carriages that are more like masterpieces than a way of transport.
The paseo de caballos takes place along the streets of the Real during the whole Fair, starting at noon and ending at 20:00.
4. Go to a public caseta
Going to a public caseta is your only chance to have a glimpse of what actually happens in a private caseta. There you can order some typical food and drink and, of course, dancing sevillanas.
Public casetas are open to everyone, including one especially aimed at tourists, with multi-lingual staff (located on Calle Pascual Márquez, 225).
So it’s better to know where these public casetas are.
5. Have fun at the Calle del Infierno
The Calle del Infierno is the area that accommodates the theme park with all the rides of the Seville April Fair.
Here you can find a wide range of fun attractions that will make you feel like a child in wonderland! So it’s a great place to have fun and take your kids too if you happen to travel with them.
Among the rides, you should definitely get on the Ferris wheel (noria in Spanish) to contemplate the stunning views of Seville and the Feria from the top. You’ll be amazed and have the opportunity to take unique pictures!
Visit the Calle del Infierno at daylight. Don’t go at night, as it a favorite place for pickpockets.
What do people wear for the Seville Feria de Abril?
During the day you’ll see a mixture of people wearing traditional and formal clothing.
During the night however, people dress differently. The dressing code is the one you would follow to go to a party (e.g. a wedding or the opera) so expect to see men wearing suits and ties and women long dresses, high heels and lots of make up.
What should you wear?
Now that you know when and where the Feria is, it’s time to decide what to wear!
In my opinion, you have 3 options:
- Casual. If you intend to spend a relaxed day, walking around the Ferial, taking pictures of the paseo de caballos and discovering the atmosphere, my recommendation is to wear comfortable clothes. I still wouldn’t wear a totally casual outfit though, you’ll definitely stand out as many people dress up. Try to avoid shorts, sandals and sneakers.
- Dress up. If you’re invited to a private caseta you’re requested to wear formal clothes – men in suit and tie and women with a dress and hills. Sevillanos have a very high standard towards physical appearance and formal dressing.
- Traditional. If you’re spending an extended period of time in Spain, want to embrace the local culture, or don’t have a tight budget, then why not go traditional?
Nevertheless, you don’t need to wear one to feel like a true Sevillana at the Feria – many women do not wear these dresses as they could become uncomfortable after many hours.
In this case, my best tips on what to wear for the Seville Fair would be a flowy dress (if the weather allows you to do so), smart trousers with a blouse, or even a skirt. Remember that you should wear whatever you feel more yourself with! If the weather cools down, bring a blazer or any sort of jacket to go with your outfit.
You could also wear a flower in your hair if want to blend it and give a traditional touch to your outfit. You can buy synthetic flowers at any shop in the city center.
It’s easier for men to fit in, you should at least wear a button-up shirt and chino-type trousers, rather than jeans or shorts and a T-shirt.
Women’s dress code
Spanish women love to dress up, especially when it comes to the Feria!
During the day, women at the Seville Fair usually wear the traditional dress, which is called traje de gitana (typical flamenco style dress). Most of them get their dress made to order.
These dresses at Feria are colorful and stylish, and women usually embellish them with flowers, jewels and mantoncillos (a small embroidered scarf to cover your shoulders).
During the night they dress up wearing elegant dresses, or a nice pair of trousers and a blouse – and high hills of course!
Men’s dress code
Those simply attending casetas tend to wear either suits, or sports jackets with smart slacks.
The horsemen or men riding carriages at the Seville Feria de Abril wear what’s called a traje de corto, with cropped jacket, high-waisted tight trousers, boots, a hat called cordobés.
This article is part of a complete tutorial about the Feria de Abril (Seville’s festival) where you can read all the information you need to make the most out of your experience.
Here is a complete summary of all the guide:
1. What is the Seville fair (Feria de Abril)?
2. Seville April Fair dates and calendar of events (2023)
3. Live the Seville Feria de Abril as locals do
4. 9 insider’s tips to enjoy la Feria de Abril, Seville’s colorful fair
5. Fair of Seville’s amusement park: la Calle del Infierno
6. Seville Spring Fair: glossary of terms