Go to the Feria in Seville, or avoid it

Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 03:58 AM
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Go to the Feria in Seville, or avoid it

We are celebrating our 20th anniversary in Spain this May and I have discovered that our planned 2 nights in Seville (May 10 and 11) correspond to the Feria. The hotel prices were my first clue - it is $100 more per night for our first choice! I've been trying to figure out if we should keep our original itinerary or change it to avoid the Feria. There are many blogs that say to avoid the event because it is very crowded and a mostly private event for locals, while others say it is wonderful to see everyone dressed up and some public party tents are available.

Some background. My husband and I are in our mid 40s, have never been to Spain, are looking forward to a romantic, relaxed vacation with no kids for a change! We are not young party people anymore and not a big fan of crowds, however we love experiencing new things.

Our original Itinerary is Madrid, Seville, Granada, Barcelona - but it would be easy to flip and travel Madrid, Granada, Seville, Barcelona. We will be flying to Barcelona from either city. If we change the itinerary we will arrive in Seville the Monday after the party ends.
Will there still be great flamenco performances to attend in the city on a Monday night or will everyone be sleeping it off after the fireworks on Sunday? Also, we would be saving a decent amount of money by avoiding the Feria.

Thanks so much for your always thoughtful advice.
SkiMommy is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 04:22 AM
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Did not see the Feria in Seville but did see one in Cordoba. Luckily our hotel was on the edge of the main celebration area. It was incredibly crowded and NOISY - with bands from competing tents playing very loudly until after 4 am (nightlife in spain rarely ends before 4 or 5 am).

So - if you do go make sure your hotel is far enough away that you can sleep at night.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 05:50 AM
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The Feria/Spring fair ground is in the Remedios district on the other side of the river Guadalquivir from the center of town, and also a little south.

And you might find it great fun to go over there to experience the dance, music and festive spirit for some hours. Several public casetas/tents where everybody can enter:

Lots of the festive and typical Sevillanas music and dance during the festival, but although sevillanas has some resemblance to flamenco, the Feria is not an especially good time to visit Sevilla for flamenco. No major performances outside the normal tablaos and peñas etc as far as I know. Feria de Abril is almost all about sevillanas, not flamenco.

Every night, also on Monday after the Feria, only top of the shelf flamenco artists perform in intimate Casa de la Memória and in La Casa del Flamenco. Changing artists all the time, but they have almost all performed on the major stages and in the major flamenco festivals. These performances are popular with tourists, but it's an excellent intro to this beautiful and powerful art so important for Sevilla and Andalucía. Pastora Galván was voted best female flamenco dancer 2010 by Spanish critics, and she has danced regularly at Casa de la Memória in the past few years.

Casa de la Memória:

La Casa del Flamenco:
kimhe is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 07:12 AM
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We attended feria some years ago and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the wonderful costumes, the carriages, etc., taking lots of photos and soaking up the atmosphere. Whether you choose to pay extra for a hotel room and to attend feria is, of course, up to you, but it is a colorful experience.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 07:55 AM
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It's worth it if you are familiar with the pageantry of the feria, but the only casetas/tents you will be able to enter are the public ones, everything else is private and be invitation only.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 08:39 AM
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Our first time in Seville was during
la Semana Santa....although, it was interesting , the crowds ( in a relatively small city) made it less than
enjoyable stay.
I am glad we visited the city again in a " normal" period - very different and much more positive
danon is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 11:33 AM
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Beyond the private paries in the casetas and the women in carriages in their polka dot finery and the men on horseback in the traje andalu, there is a party atmosphere in all the bars and restaurants, and, of course, there are the big bullfights of the season. I say go; you'll have a great time.
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Old Jan 24th, 2014, 06:29 AM
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FWIW we were in Seville last year and took the short tour of the bullring. When we were one I noticed the ticket booths were still open and so ended up buy two tickets for that day's corrida. Up until that point I had no interest in a bullfight, but I'm glad we went for the spectacle and to be with the crowd. I would go again and FWIW would suggest going.

“In bull-fighting they speak of the terrain of the bull and the terrain of the bull-fighter. As long as a bull-fighter stays in his own terrain he is comparatively safe. Each time he enters into the terrain of the bull he is in great danger.” -Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

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