April is an ideal time of year to visit Spain because the weather is warm and sunny but not too hot to enjoy the many outdoor activities that cities across the country have to offer.
Among the annual events and tradition in Spain, Easter week, or Semana Santa, is one of the largest celebrations of the year in cities across Spain, most notably in Seville and Malaga. Barcelona, on the other hand, always celebrates its Sant Jordi Festival, which is similar to Valentine's Day, on April 23 while Madrid's bullfighting starts after Holy Week each year.
Here's a look at some of the most popular events and sights for visitors to see on their trip to Spain during the month of April. As a note for 2018, Easter Sunday, which marks the end of Semana Santa, falls on April 1, so you'll only have one day in April this year to catch those traditions.
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While Semana Santa is the biggest event that will take place in Seville this April, the Feria de Abril—which usually begins two weeks after Holy Week—is also a popular event for the city.
Seville's version of Easter during Semana Santa is perhaps the most lavish in the country, with magnificent floats parading through the city in daily processionals and awe-inspiring performances. Events culminate with Easter Sunday processionals to the city's central cathedral and an Easter Mass.
The Feria de Abril (Spring Fair) takes place from April 15 to 21, 2018, and features a daily parade at midday to the La Real Maestranza, the central bullring where bullfighters and breeders meet. This cultural festival celebrates the prominent families of Seville, groups of friends, political parties, trade associations, and clubs through individually decorated marquee tents called casetas temporarily constructed on the fair's grounds.
Aside from these events, you'll also want to visit Barrio... Santa Cruz, one of Seville's most beautiful and historic neighborhoods. Plan to climb Giralda Tower, once a minaret of a mosque that now forms part of the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. You can also check out the Alcazar, which has been made (even more) famous by its appearance in the HBO series "Game of Thrones."
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The southern coastal region (and city) of Málaga is also known for its Semana Santa celebrations, but you can also expect some smaller music, food, and literary events in April as well. Primarily, though, April is a better time for exploring the local attractions of this region.
If you're up for climbing its 200 steps, Malaga's cathedral provides panoramic views of the city and the coast. Additionally, La Termica, a Modernista building that has served as an orphanage and military hospital, is a fantastic concert and exhibition center that hosts weekly antiques' markets every first Sunday of the month.
Visitors to Malaga will definitely want to put the Museo Picasso Malaga, a museum dedicated to the works of Pablo Picasso, on the itinerary. There are more than 200 of the prolific painter's works in its permanent collection, including paintings of his children and family.
If you're looking to get away from the city, Paseo de Malaga, a tree-lined park with exotic plants... in its gardens provides a quiet respite. Malaga also serves as a great jumping off point for visitors who want to visit other nearby locales.
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There is a great variety of things to do in Madrid, Spain's capital, during the month of April. The Festimad Music Festival holds nightly concerts for two weeks, featuring hip-hop, rock, and pop acts, while the Ellas Crean celebrates women in the arts during a five-week series of events starting on March 1 each year.
For a truly authentic Madrid experience, you should visit the Reina Sofia museum to view Picasso's massive painting Guernica or check out the Malasaña area of town for a taste of Madrid's nightlife; for some of the best tapas in Spain, visit the 100-year-old restaurant, Casa Labra.
If you're looking for an unusual religious experience, visit the Convento de las Descalzas, a former royal residence that's now a convent and a museum. One of the exhibits includes pieces of wood believed to be from Jesus' crucifix.
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April 23 is the date of the Sant Jordi Festival, a hybrid event similar to Valentine's Day. Otherwise known as St George, the man whom this festival celebrates is the patron saint of England and the patron saint of Catalonia (as well as a dozen other countries and regions in the world).
April 23 also happens to be the date that both Cervantes and Shakespeare died, which is commemorated in the festival as well. Other events in April include the La Passio performance of the Passion of Christ in nearby Esparraguera as well as the Salon del Comic and the Mostra de Cinema Llatinoamericà de Lleida in nearby Lleida.
Barcelona also features some of the most stunning architecture in the country and a number of historic attractions you won't want to miss. No trip to Barcelona would not be complete without a visit to some of Gaudi's signature buildings, including the Church of the Sacred Family.