Several years ago, I asked several general questions regarding Semana Santa in Seville, and the responses were extremely helpful. This thread raises several questions, some narrow, some broad.
A prefatory comment is that, though I know Semana Santa and Mardi Gras are very different events, I would not recommend to first-time visitors to New Orleans over the age of 30 that they visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras--certainly not at the height of Mardi Gras season (which is the Friday before Mardi Gras through Mardi Gras Day). Yes, you can have a great time, but it will be an atypical experience with greater expense, much more traffic, and more limited access to the city's restaurants.
These are my questions:
For first-time visitors to Spain, is Semana Santa worth it? (And I will add that my wife for religious reasons is interested in Semana Santa.)
If so, is Seville clearly the best place to go? And what are the best days to go? Is the beginning of the week an arguably better experience than the end of the week? Or if one is going to go, is the Holy Thursday-Good Friday period so special that one should experience it?
Regarding Seville, does it make sense to consider buying seats in viewing stands? If so, how can they be purchased?
As far as a hotel, are there areas in Seville to avoid, and are there areas that one should strongly consider booking a hotel in?
How congested is Spain the week after Easter? Is it a week when many are on vacation and are travelling?
Thanks in advance for any information and opinions that might be offered.