* Writing this post is going to be a challenge… How to explain Feria de Abril to someone who has never been there or doesn’t have a Spanish background? Ok, we’ll try!
This Monday starts one of the best weeks of the year in Seville: it’s Feria! Do you know that lots of people think that all the women in the South of Spain dress like a flamenca, and there are horses and toreros everywhere, and everyone drinks and dances and sings all day long? Well, that’s only true this week!!!
What started as a livestock fair has turned into a week of casetas, rebujito, sevillanas and jamón. And yes, if you want to visit the Feria, you better learn these words! And you should also follow the advice of my lovely wife who being a Sevillian herself has prepared a nice list of tips for guiris (that means you, foreigners) who want to make the most of this fun and great week.
The Feria starts this Monday, Lunes del pescaíto, at midnight, with the alumbrao, that is, when all the lights are finally on. Watching how the portada lights up is quite exciting.
The portada is the main door that gives you access to the fairground. It usually represents one of the most important monuments of Seville and it changes every year. This year’s theme is Plaza de España. The alumbrao is the moment when the party begins.
Anyway, during the day you could have a look at the casetas (the tents that are temporarily built on the fairground) before the Feria begins. The casetas are beautifully decorated, they have a bar, a dance floor, and some places to seat, eat and drink. Attention! The casetas are mostly private, so you won’t be able to enter unless you are a member or you get an invitation. There are some public casetas, though.
Best days to visit the Feria are Wednesday and Thursday. The best time to visit is daytime, you will get to see the Paseo de caballos, a parade of carriage and riders. The horses are just amazing, they look even better than people. And talking about looks…
Dress code: please, don’t embarrass yourself. Not everyone can pull off a flamenca gown, not to mention a traje corto. It’s better to add a nice touch with your accessories. Let the costumes for Halloween. And don’t even think about wearing heels, choose wedges instead. In the city center you will find thousand of wedges of every colour possible that are comfortable and appropriate for the Feria. Look for the shops in Córdoba street.
Everyone wants to look their best during these days, so dress a little bit up, put your make up on and go to the hairdresser for a nice blow dry. Seville hairdressers have very convenient prices and they always do a good job.
What to eat and drink: learn this word: Rebujito. That’s what you should drink. Chilled Manzanilla wine mixed with Seven Up or Sprite. Be careful because you’ll drink it easily and you might end up believing you are Camarón de la Isla. You should ask for a jar. If you’d like to drink just Manzanilla, ask for a bottle. And well, you’re going to eat gooooood. Don’t be fooled by the small kitchens of the casetas, they can do wonders. To eat: potato omelete, fried peppers, montadito de lomo (little loin sandwiches), pescaíto frito (fried fish) and, of course, jamón! The best way to finish a day at the Feria is with buñuelos (sweet fritters) and a hot chocolate.
Kids: if you are travelling with kids, take them to the rides in Infierno street. And buy them cotton candy! Let them stay up late on Sunday to watch the fireworks, the perfect ending for this fantastic week.
Prices could be high, depending on the casetas that you visit.
Be careful with pickpockets! Also avoid little streets at nights, drunk people love a fight.
Use public transport to get to the fairground. Buses and taxis are the best option.
PS: not everyone is in Coachella this week! ;)
Images via Behance