Chances are that you have heard about Seville, the capital of Andalucía and the fourth largest city in Spain. Known for abundance of majestic buildings, hot summers and vibrancy life, Seville is a must visit.
BEFORE YOU GO
You should know that the local language is Spanish, but most people speak or at least understand English in touristy places. The local currency is euros like most countries in Europe. ATMs and banks are regular and can be found around every corner, and most shops and restaurants accept payment by card. However, be aware of the withdrawal fee some ATMs operate with.
CLIMATE AND BEST TIME TO VISIT
Seville is known for its year-round sunny weather. The weather can range between mild and scorching hot. January is typically the coldest month where the temperatures can get as low as 52F (11 c), but hotter during the day (60f/16C). The summer months of July and August are normally very hot around 95F OR 35C.
Best time to visit is generally after March, when the wet winter months are over (though if you want to see the orange trees, winter is the best time to visit). It is advised to travel before the scorching hot summer months of July and August. Most restaurants and attractions are closed or have shorter opening hours around this time, as the locals tend to escape the hot summer months. April is probably the perfect month to visit Seville because of the several festivals like the Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the Feria de Abril de Sevilla (Seville’s April Fair). The weather is also just perfect around this time, as its not too hot or “cold”.
NEIGHBORHOODS OF SEVILLE
Seville has several neighborhoods, and each has its own impressive history and character. El Centro, the main square, is probably where you’ll find most of the attractions and the easiest base to explore rest of Seville on foot or bike. The Giralda tower, and the Alcazar of Seville are some of the attractions you can find here.
Macarena is where you can get lost and find thrift shops, bookstores, bars and popup stores that will make your stay worth it. The famous Mercado de la feria market hall as well as the Basilica de la macarena are also located in this area.
La Alameda is the perfect area to stay if you are in the mood for different tapas eateries and bars. This is also where you can find most of the LGBT scene in Seville. By day you will find many families and dog walkers on the plaza, but by night the place turns into a great party street. It is also very easy to get to the center from here, as it is about 10-minute walk.
Santa Cruz, also known as the Jewish neighborhood, is where you’ll find overpriced bars, charming streets and many many tourists.
Triana, connected to Seville by a beautiful and iconic bridge, is the place to be if you prefer to just walk around and soak in the atmosphere. This neighborhood is full of life and colors, as well as having lots of cheap bars, tapas restaurants and interesting shops. By night, its perfect to sit by the river with a drink and chat with the locals.
WHERE TO STAY
For the budget minded traveler (like me) hostel dorms are readily available through Seville. The price for a dorm is around 10-20 EUR or 12-24 USD a night for a centrally-located hostel. Most hostels do offer private rooms where the average price is 30-60 EUR or 35-70 USD. Free wi-fi is available on most hostels, though the quality can differ significantly.
As for hotels, you can find double rooms for as low as 40 EUR or 45 USD a night, depending on the comfort you are looking for. Most hotels are located in El Centro, which makes them quiet convenient.
WHAT TO DO
PLAZA DE ESPANA
One of Seville’s strongest characteristics are the beautiful architectures you can find around every corner, and the magnificent Plaza de Espana is probably one of the most beautiful. The plaza is situated inside the beautiful Maria Luisa park, which is similarly impressive on its own. Once at the plaza, you can rent a boat to row, admire the architecture or simply take a stroll under the arcade. If you are lucky, you might be able to witness street performances and flamenco shows for free. For a different experience, you should try to arrive near sunset to experience the beautiful colors and atmosphere.
The metropole parasol, sometimes referred to as the mushroom by locals, is another great sight to witness on your Seville trip. The cost to enter is only 3 euro and you get a free or discounted drink at the bar when you get to the top. From the top, the view of the city is just breathtaking, more so if you get to witness the sunset, which we were able to. One huge drawback is probably the number of tourists up there. It might make it harder to enjoy the view in peace, but I wouldn’t miss it for that reason.
Seville has abundances of churches to see, but if you have to choose one, visit the 3rd largest church in the world, La Giralda. Its beautiful, full of history and offers many pieces of arts to see and admire. This church is also well known for being where Christopher Columbus is buried. The entrance fee is 2 EUR for students and 8 EUR for everyone else, though On Sunday mornings, it is free before 2.30pm. Its advised to buy your tickets online as the ticket line can be pretty long. The climb up the tower involves some steep slopes and may prove difficult for elderly or infirm people, but the view is just spectacular.
REAL ALCAZAR DE SEVILLA
This UNESCO listed palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in Spain. Once inside, admire the beautiful architecture and interior decorations. Afterwards, take a stroll through the magical gardens and soak in the atmosphere. Be sure to set apart at least three hours to just indulge this place as much as you can. If you are a student, the entry fee is 2 EUR but remember to bring your student ID as the guards can be quite stingy about this. The que at the entrance is too long and it can take up to two hours to get in, therefore it is advised to buy your tickets online to avoid this.
PARQUE DE MARIA LUISA
Head to this park if you want to escape the busier parts of Seville. Take a stroll through the park to explore the beautiful fountains, statues and flowers or just bring a good book, some music and take a deserved timeout.