An expert travel guide to Seville

When to go . . .

Spring and autumn are the best times to visit the city, when the daytime temperatures are warm, with mild evenings. The city comes to life for Semana Santa (Holy Week) in March/April, followed by Feria two weeks later – the sherried-up, frilly-dress-and-dancing party in a fairground to the south of the city.

In summer, the afternoons and evenings are sweltering, with siestas a must and a pool for cooling dips advisable, while winter days can be cool and rainy. But the sun shines (almost) all year round, so you‘re virtually guaranteed get blue skies and amazing light.

Know before you go . . .

• Seville is a very relaxed city, but it’s good to be prepared about the dos and don’ts. The biggest difference between southern Spain and Britain is the timing of meals. Lunch doesn’t happen for most until at least 2pm – although these days some places open as early as 12.30pm – or 9.30pm for dinner (some places at 8pm). If you eat early, be prepared to eat in a quiet restaurant without locals or a buzzy atmosphere.

• In terms of dress codes, shorts are fine, though as anywhere, in smarter restaurants trousers or a skirt is more acceptable. In the Cathedral, the following clothes are not allowed: micro-shorts/hotpants, miniskirts or strapless tops (women); vest tops (men); hats such as sunhats and baseball caps; and flip-flops.

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