Holy Week in Seville, the biggest week in Spain

Holy Week in Seville is the most famous in Spain, and there's no wonder why! With more than 60 brotherhoods and approximately 100 processions, the celebration was declared an International Tourism Attraction in 1980. The occasion sees he city impregnated with the smell of incense and orange blossom and the streets packed with people waiting to catch a glimpse of their favourite saints.

In Seville, there is something special about Holy Week, which is we are inviting you to discover it for yourself. Are you in

Madrugá de Sevilla

During the Madrugá (the early hours of Holy Thursday into Good Friday), the Sevillian faithful display its full splendour. It is estimated that approximately half a million people watch some of the oldest brotherhoods and processions in Seville. What's more, it is this magical night that sees many of the most famous and prestigious brotherhoods in Seville take to the streets:

  • La Macarena: in total, 13,000 members of the brotherhood perform their penance in the early hours of Good Friday ('La Madrugá'). What's more, the brotherhood follows the longest route of the night (5.5 km), making for a total 14 hours of penance.
  • La Esperanza de Triana: with 11,100 members, it also performs its penance during La Madrugá.
  • Gran Poder: With a total of 10,700 members, this is formed by a group of brotherhoods that take to the streets in the early hours of Good Friday.


In Spain, there are two different terms for brotherhoods, cofradías and hermandades. Although they are now used interchangeably, historically they differed in that the cofradías were groups of people who shared the same trade, while brotherhoods were formed by people from different trades and social positions

Today, cofradías are religious associations that are dedicated to preparing Holy Week processions, while hermandades are a kind of subdivision of cofradías. Hermandades are formed around particular religious imagery and are responsible for its conservation and worship.

Interesting facts about Holy Week in Seville

  • Generally speaking, the darker the coat of the Nazarenes, the more serious the Brotherhood. This can also be seen in those playing musical instruments; when they walk in silence or play funeral melodies, these are considered more serious processions. 
  • The value assigned to a Brotherhood is measured depending on its tradition and the quality and age of its imagery.
  • You might see Brotherhoods inside the cathedral, although the entrance time is limited and if you leave, you will not be able to go back inside.
  • If this is your first time in Seville during Holy Week, you should know that "bullas" (or crowds of people) tend to form, so to avoid feeling claustrophobic, we recommend that you take in the processions from wider avenues rather than from the alleyways and narrow streets.

What to eat during Holy Week in Seville

If you want to experience Holy Week like a true local, then you cannot miss out on Seville's bars and pastry shops, especially those on the procession routes! Here, you can sample typical dishes of the Easter season, including cod stews or spinach with chickpeas. If you have a sweet tooth, it would be a sin not to try the delicious torrijas, made with bread and honey.

Travelling to Seville for Holy Week

If you are considering a trip to Seville to experience the spectacle of Holy Week, at Renfe we have prepared the best combinations for you to travel comfortably, quickly and sustainably.

What's more, if you intend on doing a little sightseeing as well as taking in the spectacle of Holy Week, make sure not to miss our must-sees in Seville!