Seville at Easter is quite an experience. I’m embarrassed to confess, we were completely naive and didn’t realise to what extent the Sevillians celebrate Easter. I thought they’d just be a few parades on the weekends!
We arrived quite late on the Tuesday night and had booked the Novotel for the first night before going to our Airbnb the next day.
I’m not generally a fan of big hotels but this one wasn’t bad and if you need to stay outside the ‘old city’ and are away with kids or on business, then it works well. The bedrooms are pretty bog-standard but they’ve made an effort with the communal areas to make them look a bit more characterful:
The kids loved it and it pleased the hubby as it was very good value.
If you stay in this part of town do go to the modern tapas bar Jamatelo. This was one of our best meals in Seville. The restaurant itself is nothing to look at and a little noisy but the food is great.
So, so tasty!
If you’re going to be in Seville at this time of year you need to be aware of the disruption to: traffic (a lot of roads are closed off); museums and monuments (book ahead online and check opening and closing times) and restaurants (a lot of them don’t take bookings at Easter).
My top tips would be to:
1. Be patient (allow plenty of time to get from a to b).
2. Get a decent Street map so you can bypass processions when you need to.
3. Get a Semana Santa booklet from a hotel or tourist office or go to the link at the end of this post (this shows the times of processions).
4. Find some friendly locals who can keep you up-to-date with the day’s itinerary. (Although the booklet is helpful do be aware that rain can change the timings or cancel processions.)
5. Book tickets to museums and monuments before you travel.
6. If you’re travelling with kids make sure they know what to expect as it can be quite sombre and eerie. (People in the processions do give out sweets which helps!)
It is extremely busy at Semana Santa but it is definitely an amazing thing to experience. The dedication Sevillians have to their faith and traditions is truly amazing. The sound of the marching bands, smell of the incense and incredible atmosphere are memories that will stay with us forever.
Although it is a busy time in Seville it can also work to your advantage as we did find it rather nice that there was little to no traffic in the city centre and that at certain times of the day when the processions were on, some of the places we visited were quite quiet.
For further reading about Semana Santa click here and in my next post I’ll share more about this beautiful city.
Have you been to Seville at Easter? I’d love to know what you thought.