As the mythical song says, “Seville has a special colour”, and it shines brighter during the Seville Fair in April when tradition pervades every corner of the city with dance, music, gastronomy, folklore and good humour.
From the 15th to 22nd of April, Seville will dress up with Chinese lanterns, flounces and flamenco outfits to celebrate not only the local holiday but also one of the main annual events in the city, alongside Holy Week. City-dwellers abandon their everyday obligations for a few days to live to the rhythm of the traditional sevillanas music, between the fairground, the Maestranza bullring and the Calle del Infierno.
The alumbrao, or the switching on of thousands of bulbs that light up all the streets of the fair will signal the start of the fair on Sunday 30th April; fireworks will bring the fair to a close on midnight of the last day.
Marquees and attractions in the fairground
During these days, life in the city moves to the more than 10,000,000 m2 of the fair, which are mainly occupied by the fairground, where more than a thousand marquees are spread out across twenty blocks and 15 streets.
While young people and adults dance, drink, and eat, there is also room for children in the 300,000 m2 of Calle del Infierno, the part of the fair where attractions are set up beside different activities and restauration stands.
The essence of the fair is also its gastronomy: fried fish, ham, cheese, chickpeas with cod, cold cuts and salmorejo (tomato and bread purée) are just a few of the tapas that the guests can savour between sips of manzanilla dry sherry, rebujitos (sherry and lemonade) and beer.
The fair in 24 hours
The fair only lasts one week but the idea is to make the most of every minute. To ensure you don’t miss anything, here are a few suggestions.
Although the fair doesn’t get going until 3pm, you can still enjoy the attractions during the morning and then go and have a drink and a bite to eat in the marquees —remember that the majority of them have restricted access. Between manzanillas and rebujitos, watch the colourful show of horses and carriages and, if a bullfighting fan, go to the Maestranza.
The fairground really begins to liven up in the evening; flamenco and sevillanas groups occupy the marquees, and the party goes on until the early hours of the morning.
When the party finishes up, it is important to have chosen accommodation in a location that suits different needs. The 2 Silken hotels in the city are available to visitors: while in La Casa de los Mercaderes by Silken guests will enjoy a central location, close to the Cathedral, in Al-Andalus they can enjoy a 4-star hotel with swimming pool, perfect for relaxing in the south of the city.
What began in 1847 as a livestock fair with trade purposes, at the suggestion of a Catalan man and a Basque man, has over time become established as the traditional event that best represents Seville. Each year, the fair rings in the spring in Seville, and Silken Hotels wants to invite you to enjoy it!