Twelve Seville Customs That Surprise Foreigners




If you’re planning your next visit to Seville, get ready to immerse yourself in a rich and unique culture that may surprise even the most experienced travellers. From its festivities to its daily habits, the Andalusian capital has a lot to offer. Here are eleven Sevillian customs that often surprise foreigners:


1. Semana Santa Sevillana: Devotion and Spectacle

Holy Week in Seville is one of the most impressive religious celebrations in the world. During this week, the streets are filled with processions with pasos (religious images) being carried by costaleros (bearers) while saetas (religious songs) and music bands play. It is a spectacle of faith and tradition that captivates all visitors.


2. The April Fair: Fiesta and Tradition

The April Fair is one of the most eagerly awaited festivals in Seville. For a week, the city is transformed with decorated booths, music, dancing and traditional costumes. The men wear short dresses and the women wear beautiful flamenco dresses.


3. Tapeo: More than a Meal, a Way of Life

In Seville, tapas is almost a ritual. Tapas are small portions of food served in bars and are perfect for sharing. Sevillians often go from bar to bar, trying different tapas in each one. This social act is a great way to experience the local gastronomy and enjoy the company.


4. The Lunch Break and the Siesta

In Seville, a lunch break is enjoyed at midday. This break includes the main meal of the day and, for many, a rejuvenating siesta. This custom allows Sevillians to recharge their batteries and continue with their day later in the day.


5. Mealtimes

Meal times in Seville differ markedly from those in other countries. Lunch is served between 2 and 3 p.m., while dinner may start at 9 p.m. and last until midnight. Adjusting to these times can be a challenge, but it is part of the cultural experience.


6. The Oranges of Seville

Strolling through the streets of Seville means coming across the numerous orange trees that adorn the city. In spring, these trees bloom and orange blossom fills the air with its sweet and intoxicating fragrance, creating a magical atmosphere.


7. Is Sangria Really Popular?

Although sangria is a drink known internationally as representative of Spain, in Seville it is not so common among the locals. Here, it is more common to enjoy a cold beer or a tinto de verano, a mixture of red wine and lemon soda.


8. The Presence of Children in Bars

In Seville, it is common to see children in bars until late at night. Bars are familiar spaces where friends and whole families gather to enjoy tapas and drinks. This intergenerational coexistence in a social environment is a distinctive feature of Sevillian life.


9. Coffee in a “Vaso de Caña

Coffee in Seville is traditionally served in a “vaso de caña”, a small, thin glass, rather than a mug. This custom may surprise visitors accustomed to larger cups of coffee, but it is part of the local charm.


11. Supermarkets close on Sundays

One of the customs that can take visitors by surprise is that most supermarkets are closed on Sundays. It is advisable to plan your shopping in advance or take advantage of smaller markets that may remain open.


12. The Snack

The snack is a light meal eaten mid-afternoon, around 5 or 6 o’clock. It is a time to enjoy something sweet like a bun or a sandwich, accompanied by coffee or chocolate. This habit helps to last until dinner, which is much later than in other countries.


Sevillian customs are a reflection of the city’s rich cultural heritage. From tapas to the Feria de Abril, each tradition offers a unique window into Sevillian life. Visitors who delve into these customs not only enjoy a richer experience, but also gain a greater appreciation for the history and spirit of Seville.


On your visit to Seville, don’t forget to enjoy these unique customs that make the city a special place. At our hotel, we offer you the best experience for you to discover every corner and tradition of Seville in comfort and style. We are waiting for you!


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