Are you going to be in Seville during Semana Santa 2017?

During the week, the city is completely transformed, as around 1 million visitors come to celebrate. While I have never been in Seville during this week, I have heard it is quite the experience and a perfect time to come to Andalucía. While some leave Seville during the week because of crowds, I have heard it is unlike anything one has ever seen. The key is to be prepared and plan ahead.

Follow these 5 tips to ensure you are utilizing your time, soaking in the traditions, and making the most of your Semana Santa 2017.

1.Give yourself plenty of time
Planning your route ahead of time is vital, as a 10-minute walk can take almost an hour. It may be beneficial to take alternative paths to get to your destination to avoid the large crowds. The busiest areas are the ‘entradas’ and ‘salidas’ and specifically Calle Campana, Calle Sierpes, Plaza San Francisco, Adenida de la Constitución, and Plaza Virgen de los Reyes. It is also important to keep in mind the busiest days: Palm Sunday and the night of Holy Thursday when processions arrive at the Cathedral at the start of Good Friday, called La madrugá.

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Thousands of people crowding the street on Avenida de la Constitución. Photo by Emma Claire Davis.

2.Book living accommodations early
Hotels and apartments sell out fast and get booked early! Many need to find accommodations in neighboring cities. If you are still looking for somewhere to stay, Living Sevilla has availability during the week in their apartments on Calle Garcia de Vinuesa near the Cathedral and Calle Santas Patronas. Each of which are ideal locations for the week.

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3.Plan your dress accordingly
Since Semana Santa is so important to the locals, many people are well-dressed during the week. Palm Sunday and Thursday, Friday are when people dress the nicest. You do not have to wear the traditional ‘mantilla’ like some women on Thursday and Friday to mourn the death of Jesus, but don’t be afraid to dress up a bit. Although some women wear heels all day long, I recommend wearing comfortable shoes.

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The traditional ‘mantilla’ worn during the week. Photo by Entre cirios y volantes.

4.Try to avoid the center
The precessions take place in the center so this is the busiest area. I recommend staying away from here, especially since the Cathedral and Alcazar entrance is very limited. Semana Santa is a great time to explore the quieter barrios outside of the center like the parks.

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Parque Maria Luisa is one of the calmer places during the week.

5.Enjoy the traditional pastries
The most famous dessert during Semana Santa are torrijas, which is Spain’s version of French toast. Thick slices of bread are soaked and lightly fried in milk, sugar, honey, eggs, and oil. Another Semana Santa favorite are pestiños, which is dough deep fried in olive oil and glazed with sugar or honey. The most well-known bakery for these treats is Confitería La Campana.

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The traditional torrijas sold at Confitería La Campana. Photo by Confitería La Campana
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