The “Semana Santa” (Holy Week before Easter) in Andalusia, and especially in Sevilla, is absolutely unique. It is hence a really busy time, and major cities are crowded, mostly with local, but also with international visitors. Beware that accommodation will be scarce, and that prices will go through the roof, especially in Sevilla, where you should be ready to dish out at least twice as much as other moments in the high season!
Book accommodations and entrance tickets for major museums and sights (especially the Alhambra in Granada, the Mezquita in Cordoba and in Sevilla both the Cathedral & the Alcazar) far in advance, the sooner the better. And plan to visit those places as early as possible, when the crowd is somewhat smaller.
Attending the major processions is surprisingly easy if you do it well. The “Carratera Official” (the spots where you can book a sit and watch all the processions in one place) is pleasant and cheap in Cordoba (12 € for a first row seat), and absurdly expensive in Sevilla (75 € to 150 € per seat depending on the evening, for a standard seat, where your odds of getting close to the Processions are dim).
The best way to observe a Procession is to choose a spot on the way between the church where the its starts and the Carratera Official, and wait there approx. 45 to 60 minutes before the procession comes by (if you come later, you might not be in the first row). And being in the middle of the crowd is an experience in itself.
Type Of Travel
We wanted to make the most of our 9 days in Andalusia, and chose a pleasant, mid-range type of travel: comfortable guesthouses centrally located, car rental for Granada & Cordoba (though we just used the car to reach each city, and then only walked), and pleasant local restaurants / tapas bars.
Itinerary & Time Of The Visit
We spent 9 days in Andalusia, and decided to focus on 3 cities: Granada (2 days), Cordoba (3 days) and Sevilla (4 days). This was a perfect itinerary, which gave us the possibility to enjoy the 3 cities and the processions of the “Semana Santa” in Cordoba & Sevilla.
|Costs per Person per Day in €||2018|
|Long Distances’ Transport||€ 19,00|
|Short Distances’ Transport||€ 5,80|
|Total Transport||€ 24,80|
|Restaurants & Food||€ 33,40|
|Drinks & Going Out||€ 7,10|
|Every Day Life||€ 0,00|
|Total Living||€ 109,00|
|Visits & Tours||€ 13,50|
|Total Tours & Activities||€ 13,50|
|Total Norway:||€ 147,30|
Guesthouses & Hotels
We chose extremely central accommodations, and this surely has a serious impact on the budget during the Semana Santa! But that was a good choice, allowing us to go back to the hotel during the day to rest or pick-up / drop some of our stuff.
|City||Hostel / Hotel Name||Type of Accommodation||Type of Room||Price per Night (€)||Evaluation (1 to 5 Stars)|
|Granada||Palacio de Santa Inés||Hotel||Double Room||106,90||***|
|Cordoba||La Llave de la Judería||Hotel||Double Room||121,60||***|
|Sevilla||Petit Palace Canalejas Sevilla||Hotel||Double Room||163,80||***|
Restaurants & Food
Andalusia simply offers amazing food, and this is a part of the trip to anywhere in Spain. We spent a lot of time in various restaurants, also to just sit and relax and rest, and sampled some fantastic Spanish Tapas. Of course, it had a price, but price / quality ration is great!
|City||Restaurant Name||Type of Meal||Type of Restaurant||Price Food (€)||Evaluation (1 to 5 Stars)|
|Granada||Cafe Bib Rambla||Breakfast||Restaurant||6,80||****|
|Cordoba||La Uva Taberna||Breakfast||Tapas Bar||8,25||****|
|Sevilla||Bodeguita Sierpes||Breakfast||Tapas Bar||5,65||****|
|Sevilla||Restaurante Azabache||Breakfast||Tapas Bar||9,50||*****|
|Sevilla||Spala Hosteleria||Breakfast||Tapas Bar||9,90||****|
|Granada||Restaurante Carmela||Lunch||Tapas Bar||19,40||****|
|Cordoba||La Furgoneta||Lunch||Tapas Bar||14,15||****|
|Cordoba||La Alqueria taberna||Lunch||Tapas Bar||18,25||*****|
|Cordoba||La Alqueria taberna||Lunch||Tapas Bar||21,95||*****|
|Carmona||Bar Goya||Lunch||Tapas Bar||19,35||*****|
|Sevilla||Casa Tomate||Lunch||Tapas Bar||12,65||***|
|Sevilla||Bar Carmela||Lunch||Tapas Bar||13,80||****|
|Sevilla||Muelle Triana||Lunch||Tapas Bar||12,50||***|
|Granada||Taberna El Aviso||Diner||Tapas Bar||19,15||****|
|Granada||Bodegas Castaneda||Diner||Tapas Bar||8,35||**|
|Cordoba||Taberna Salinas||Diner||Tapas Bar||15,60||***|
|Sevilla||La Brunilda||Diner||Tapas Bar||11,35||*****|
|Sevilla||Bodega Dos de Mayo||Diner||Tapas Bar||15,50||*****|
|Sevilla||Taberna Alambique||Diner||Tapas Bar||14,20||***|
Drinks & Going Out
Beer and wine is cheap and good in Spain / in Andalusia. And yes, we really enjoyed it…
|City||Bar Name||Type of Drink||Type of Bar||Price (€)||Evaluation (1 to 5 Stars)|
|Granada||Taberna El Aviso||Beer||Tapas Bar||2,20||****|
|Granada||Bodegas Castaneda||Beer||Tapas Bar||2,00||**|
|Cordoba||Taberna El patri||Beer||Bar||2,40||***|
|Cordoba||No. 10 Taberna||Beer||Bar||2,25||***|
|Sevilla||Bar Carmela||Beer||Tapas Bar||1,80||****|
|Sevilla||Bodega Dos de Mayo||Beer||Tapas Bar||1,55||*****|
|Sevilla||Muelle Triana||Beer||Tapas Bar||1,50||***|
|Sevilla||Taberna Alambique||Beer||Tapas Bar||1,80||****|
|Granada||Restaurante Carmela||Wine||Tapas Bar||3,20||****|
|Granada||Taberna El Aviso||Wine||Tapas Bar||3,00||****|
|Granada||Bodegas Castaneda||Wine||Tapas Bar||2,70||**|
|Cordoba||La Furgoneta||Wine||Tapas Bar||2,80||****|
|Cordoba||Taberna Salinas||Wine||Tapas Bar||2,75||***|
|Cordoba||La Alqueria Taberna||Wine||Tapas Bar||2,75||****|
|Cordoba||No. 10 Taberna||Wine||Bar||2,00||***|
|Carmona||Bar Goya||Wine||Tapas Bar||2,20||****|
|Sevilla||La Brunilda||Wine||Tapas Bar||2,90||****|
|Sevilla||Casa Tomate||Wine||Tapas Bar||2,50||***|
|Sevilla||Bar Carmela||Wine||Tapas Bar||2,90||****|
|Sevilla||Bodega Dos de Mayo||Wine||Tapas Bar||2,75||*****|
|Sevilla||Muelle Triana||Wine||Tapas Bar||3,00||**|
|Sevilla||Taberna Alambique||Wine||Tapas Bar||2,60||****|
We chose the comfortable way: renting a car at the airport to drive between major cities. True, this had a price, but was so convenient! Beware that parking during the Semana Santa can be really challenging in the city center of Granada & Cordoba (we dropped our car upon returning to Sevilla).
You can of course do everything on public transport for far less money if budget is an important matter…
Tours & Activities
Each city has a program of the processions during the Semana Santa, explaining where it starts, when, what itinerary it will follow and offering information about the “Hermanedad” organizing the procession. You can find it at the Tourist Information or at all major guesthouses.
Attending the processions is free of charge if you stay on the street, and a seat in the “Carratera Official” is easy to secure early morning for the same evening and cheap at least in Cordoba. It is extremely expensive in Sevilla, though.
Major tourist attractions are pricey, and you should book your tickets online weeks, if not months in advance for the main highlights (especially the Alhambra in Granada, the Mezquita in Cordoba and in Sevilla both the Cathedral & the Alcazar).
Splurge At Reasonable Costs?
Prices for hotels go through the roof during the Semana Santa, so all extras will come at a significant cost! We chose to be really centrally located, and this was expensive, but pleasant.
Food is amazing in Spain, and you should treat yourself with some fine Tapas at some point. And the good news is: this is not necessarily expensive!
Experiencing the Semana Santa will be expensive, but if you are ready to be far less central, you can save a significant amount of money on hotels.
Basically, if you travel on a budget, you can significantly reduce costs. But the Semana Santa will be an expensive time to visit Andalusia, no matter what you do!