We plan to be in Seville next year during Holy Week - probably Thur-Fri. We have a daughter that we often must push in a wheelchair. While I am quite interested in seeing the festivities, I am wondering if it might be a bit much considering the wheelchair and the fact that we want to visit the major tourist sights as well. Access, I presume, may be a problem. Finally, I have read that attending the processions in less than formal attire is frowned upon (but who wants to pack a suit on vacation?). Perhaps it is best to rearrange the trip to skip the Andalucian area until after Holy Week. Thoughts?
I strongly doubt any procession inhibited access to any sights the one and only time I was in Seville for Semana Santa. They do not close and would be up in arms over loss of revenue.
'less than formal attire is frowned upon' - nonsense. Disrespectful dress would be by me. Will you be wearing your mankini?
I'm afraid we don't have much specific experience on either issue. I have separately forwarded you one person's notes on other Spanish cities. I think going during Holy Week would be a special opportunity, and would not bring anything resembling a suit. Chinos and a sport shirt sound plenty dressy to me.
Thanks for the info. I look forward to receiving the other notes. Mike
I've been in Sevilla during Holy week and it is mobbed-I don't know how navigating a wheelchair would be. Except for church services-all the tourist attractions are open. There is no special attire, so many people are tourists that while some Spaniards may dress up, I mostly saw casualwear on people-so leave the suit at home.
The only other caveat is that hotel prices double during that week, starting on Palm Sunday.
Having said that, I had a great time and if you have patience and don't mind the crowds, it's a once in a lifetime experience.
Thanks for the information - I really appreciate it. You are certainly correct about the hotel prices - wow!
My best time was Holy Thursday in Zaragosa - truly amazing experience, one of the greatest anywhere, ever. We didn't plan it but our hotel was adjacent to one of the procession routes. They have 26 organizations, all march on Thursday, so they have two routes and go at a rate of about one every hour or so all night.
Our room was on the 2nd (3rd by American counting) floor and had a balcony overlooking the processions. Fortunately, it also had good enough insulation that after 2 am we could choose to stay in bed without too much noise.
I'm thinking if you could find something similar, it would be ideal. Your daughter could get to the balcony easily from your room and have a clear view of all the activity.
We paid about 90 euro for an absolutely wonderful room, one of the nicest places we stayed in while in Spain. It was a little difficult to get to because the roads my GPS wanted to take were closed for processions. The grocery stores were closed so we paid 17 euro for a bottle of wine from room service (tipped three and they were thrilled) and shared it while watching processions from above. Later we visited a bar across the street that was full of both audience and participants.
Seville is more famous to tourists, so it's likely to be considerably more expensive.
I was in Seville this past year on Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday. There were 2 MILLION PEOPLE there! It was absolutely mobbed! Very difficult to see the processions without being really pushy, but yes I was able to see them. To be honest, I thought watching them on television was better. I would never go to Seville during Semana Santa again. No, you do not have to be dressed up. All I had was a dressy tee shirt and pants that were calf length, by no means dressy. It was no problem. Yes, people are all dressed up, but they live there. Access is a problem, handicapped access is not very well accomplished in Europe, make sure you inquire wherever you are making reservations about steps, lifts (elevators) etc.
Many places close this week for the holiday. Access to the church is limited. Surprisingly, on Easter Sunday a lot of the people had left and you could get in places you couldn't even reach the day or two before. I got stuck trying to cross a street and ended up in the middle of a procession. You really have to push your way through the crowds. Take the time to search the internet and you will see images of the "scene" in Seville during Semana Santa. Unbelieveable!
I was also in Cordoba the same week, and I liked seeing the processions there better. Not so many people. If your goal is to see the processions, they are just as nice in Cordoba without 2 million people.