5 Tips for Making the Most of the Seville Fair

November 6, 2015
spain, spain things to do
5 Tips for Making the Most of the Seville Fair

Feria is a week-long festival that takes place in cities and towns across southern Spain. In Seville, it starts two weeks after Easter, with festivities running from 12 pm to 5 am. Schools are closed, although most businesses and shops stay open.

The fairgrounds consist of a series of casetas, or wood and cloth tents, arranged in a grid pattern in a plot of land in Los Remedios, a neighborhood in the southwest corner of the city. If you plan on attending the Seville Fair, here are five tips to keep in mind.

5 Tips for Making the Most of the Seville Fair

1. Pace yourself

I would recommend stopping by the fair grounds once during the day to get the feel of the layout: go through the large temporary “gateway” that is constructed at the front of the fairgrounds every year, walk down the dusty dirt avenues lined with over 1,000 casetas, and check out the strings of decorative lights overhead. Then come back after dusk, when most of the dancing and partying will take place inside the casetas.

You can easily pick and choose how often to attend, from a couple of hours on a single night to six or seven hours per night for all six nights. For instance, I went with a group of friends on a Tuesday and partied until about 3 am, slept in until noon on Wednesday, and then went with another group on Thursday from about 8 pm right up until the 5 am closing time. This helped space out my experience and prevent burnout.

2. Either wear a traje de flamenca, or dress light for dancing

Dressing up during Feria is common, though definitely not required. This entails wearing standard formal wear for men. Meanwhile, it’s traditional for women to go to Feria wearing a carnation in their hair and a traje de flamenca (or traje de gitana), a stylized dress with multiple layers of fabric.

The outfit makes whirling through dances more enjoyable—although the fabric can be rather heavy.

If you want one for Feria, you’ll be able to find them at a local small market for as little as 50€, or at a department store for as much as 500€. Sometimes the dress will even have built-in pockets, thus freeing you from needing to carry around a purse as you stroll from tent to tent. The outfit makes whirling through dances more enjoyable—although the fabric can be rather heavy.

5 Tips for Making the Most of the Seville Fair

3. Public transportation is your friend

The city’s transport service, Tussam, expands its offerings during the Feria season to help people more easily travel to and from the fairgrounds. And after a night of partying, your feet will thank you for the chance to ride home rather than trudge back on foot.

For example, the metro runs 24 hours a day during this time. There’s also a special bus service that runs between the edge of the fairgrounds and the central bus station, Prado de San Sebastián. If you’re staying in the city long-term, you may actually find it helpful to buy a bus pass in order to link it up with the Feria bus service; otherwise, you can always purchase a single fare. There’s always the option of splurging on a taxi as well, but avoid that if you can.

4. Come with a groups, and expect a crowd

There will be large crowds at Feria any night you go. It’s also inevitable that this kind of event is always more fun to enjoy with a large group of people. The key, though, is to clearly communicate with your group members about where you’re going. If you want to all meet at the main archway, decide which section of the archway to stop by.

This type of advance planning is especially key because phone reception might be quite bad depending on your provider as I learned from frantically trying to text someone in the middle of the night after we’d gotten separated in the fairgrounds.

If someone wants to split off and go to a different caseta, plan which of the numbered tents you’ll meet and when. This type of advance planning is especially key because phone reception might be quite bad depending on your provider, as I learned from frantically trying to text someone in the middle of the night after we’d gotten separated in the fairgrounds.

5 Tips for Making the Most of the Seville Fair.

5. Stick to rebujito rather than harder alcohol, and try as many local dishes as you can

Local food and drinks are served in the casetas, including manzanilla (a local wine) and rebujito (white wine spritzer with lemon or lime). This is a great opportunity to try various local dinner dishes like pescaíto frito, cazón en adobo, garbanzos con espinacas, and more. There are also a few seasonal pastries that crop up, such as buñuelos, sticky buns that will help absorb the extra alcohol in your system.

As if that weren’t enough, various stands will pop up near during Feria season selling churros, roasted nuts (garrapiñados), dessert waffles, and snack fare—both at the edge of the fairgrounds and around the rest of the city. The extra proliferation of individual stands is one of the few aspect of Feria that spills out of Los Remedios into the rest of the city.

5 Tips for Making the Most of the Seville Fair

Related Reading

How to Navigate Seville’s Old Town

 

Have you traveled to the Seville Fair? How was you trip? Email us at editor@pinkpangea.com for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

5 Tips for Making the Most of the Seville Fair photo credits: Hannah V.

 

 

About Hannah Varadi

Hannah VaradiHannah Varadi graduated from Oberlin College in 2015 officially majoring in Comparative Literature, and unofficially in travel journalism, Spanish, and French. She has written extensively from a student’s perspective on the culture and arts of southern France and Spain, both on a personal travel blog and for the Oberlin publication Disdainful Youth. Hannah currently works as a translator in Indianapolis, but remains in Seville in spirit.

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