On a short trip to Seville, stay in the historic center
The Guadalquivir river splits compact Seville into two parts - the historic city and the island neighbourhoods. The Cathedral and Alcazar are in the historic center, while the old working class Triana district is across on the other side of the river.
The Historic Center for convenience
Casco Antiguo (Historic Center) is the center of Seville. It has all the major attractions and is very walkable. You will end up spending most of your time in Seville in this part of town. Historic Center area has many accommodation options, from the luxurious to the affordable. Thus, the best choice in terms of convenience.
El Arenal for a short stay
If you are in Seville only for a night or two, El Arenal neighbourhood (part of the Casco Antiguo district) is the best neighborhood to zero in for accommodation.
The area houses all the major attractions of Seville, The Cathedral and Real Alcazar. The Plaza de Toros bullring and Calle Sierpes shopping street are literally next door. After sightseeing in the day you can head to one of the roof terrace bars with lit up views of the Giralda. If you plan to do a day trip, the Plaza de Armas bus station is here too.
My hotel picks in El Arenal
- Vincci La Rabida – This hotel is located steps from the bullring and near to nice collection of bars and restaurants. It is famous for its roof terrace and views. My favorite part is that it is a converted palace from the 1700s.
- Fontecruz Sevilla Seises – If you want something more contemporary looking with spacious rooms, then you will like this match up of a 1400’s structure meets stylish, modern décor.
Other areas to stay in Seville
Triana – One of the better districts to stay in Seville
Triana is the best of both worlds in Seville. You will love Triana for its Flamenco dens, Ceramic workshops, Spanish Inquisition history, Tapas on Calle Betis along the river, everyday churches, and throbbing local life.
And the cool thing is that it is a nice and short walk from Triana, over the bridge to the main attractions in the Historic Centre.
Hotels in Triana
- Triana House - I recommend this new place because it has built a reputation already since a year ago. The rising star designer Amaro Sánchez de Moya has done the décor for this boutique hotel. It is only 10 minutes from the Cathedral.
- Rent an apartment if you plan to be in Triana for a few days. This way you will be able to really get a taste for the local life of Seville without the throngs of tourists.
Santa Cruz is most historic
For a classic old world charm of Seville you should stay in Santa Cruz, the old Jewish quarter. Most of this area is pedestrian-only and it is highly convenient to get to the attractions. My guests recall cobblestone streets, private gardens you can peek into, and local residents lazing around in the afternoons.
The Prado de San Sebastián bus station is close by. So you can roll out of bed late before you head out on your day trip excursion. Santa Cruz is known for its boutique hotels.
My favorite Santa Cruz hotels
- Casa 1800 – This building with gently flowing fountains feels like a cool sanctuary on a hot summer's day in Seville. Perfect for a post lunch siesta before you head out again in the afternoon.
- Corral del Rey If you like restored and spacious old buildings then you should consider this palace from the 1600s. Access is via a narrow street and while the cobblestones remind you of the quiet time it was built, Corral del Rey is still very central and buzzing the moment you step out.
La Macarena – for a long stay amongst locals
If you prefer to immerse yourself in the local neighbourhood vibe rather than stay close to tourists, you will not mind walking 20 minutes to see the main attractions every morning from La Macarena.
The star attraction in this area is the La Macarena church, a favourite with residents of Seville. And Alameda de Hercules is the hotspot for bars and tapas in the evenings, till late into the night.
Hotel recommendations for La Macarena
- Casa Romana – For me the most attractive thing about Casa Romana is the rooftop bar and restaurant. The rooms are nicely done too if you don’t mind Roman reproductions as décor. There are lots of bars nearby.
- Alcoba del Rey – This is a great priced stay option in Seville. The rooms and décor remind me of the Alcazar. It is a 20 min walk from the centre of Seville but my guests find the friendly and calming atmosphere very welcoming after a day out in the sun.
La Cartuja – green, open, and far!
Students and faculty visiting for work might find this place interesting because of the conventions centre and university buildings located here. But most typical visitors skip this part of Seville despite its interesting buildings, gardens and La Isla Magica amusement park (nice visit with kids). La Cartuja also has a centre for Contemporary Arts of Andalusia.
Alfalfa is a hip area that was once the Roman Forum of Seville. The main attraction here are the ceramics of Casa de Pilatos Palace. There are also nice places to eat along with tapas bars. Stay in Hospes Las Casas Del Rey De Baeza It is a good value hotel, basic and a favourite with couples.
I recommend the area of the Cathedral, the Alameda, Triana, El Salvador or La Macarena. Seville is not large and any of these areas is convenient.
If you have a medium budget to stay in Seville, there are many pensions and reasonable hostels in the city center. You do not need to go to the periphery of Seville to be economical.
Some mid range places I suggest are Pensión Nuevo Pino and Hostal B & B Naranjo. For hotels try Madrid de Sevilla, Hotel Murillo, Ayre de Sevilla, and Exe Sevilla Palmera.
If you want to make purchases during your stay I recommend the shopping center "Nervión". It has lots of shops and restaurants, and a very large cinema.
If you are young at heart and looking for budget accommodation in Seville, you cannot go wrong with Sevilla Kitsch Hostel Art. The hostel is superbly located in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, very close to cathedral and Alcazar. The hostel sports excellent art all executed by students, thanks to hostel's active collaboration with local universities and art schools.
For class and grandeur
If budget is not a limitation, you must stay at least for a night at The Alfonso XIII. The hotel is an easily recognized landmark of Seville. The hotel was commissioned by the King of Spain to play host to international dignitaries during the 1929 Exhibition. Even if you so not want to stay at the hotel, do visit the building. Ironically, the hotel’s restaurant Ena is known more for its Catalan dishes than Andalucian cuisine. My favorite though is the "American Bar".
If you are happy with some more sedate but hit historic with tinge of history, try the boutique hotel, Hotel Palacio de Villapanés, which is housed in a carefully converted eighteenth century Moorish palace.
If you are like me and a convert to the sharing economy, then you should first exhaust all choices at Airbnb. I had booked a fabulous accommodation right in the city centre. Before booking, I did make some friendly inquiries about the building and location with friendly staff at Seville Tapas tour.
If you are Ok to stay away from Seville and are in Seville for more than 4 days, then you must stay at Suryalila Retreat Centre, which is about an hour’s drive from Seville. It is not a regular hotel but a yoga retreat housed in a working olive farm. The setting is extraordinary and the vegetarian food served is outstanding.
Having said all of above, I will go on to say that you can pretty much stay anywhere in Seville because it is a small city with good public transport. It does not cost a lot at all to travel within Seville; bus rides are a flat rate anywhere within the city limits.
There are also options to cycle around Seville using Sevici the bike sharing service. Seville has a metro but as a visitor you will rarely need to use it because you will have so many other ways to get around.
Seville is a compact city on the banks of River Guadalquivir River, which divides the city into two halves: Sevilla and Triana. The two are connected by the iconic bridge of Isabel II (Puente de Triana). Most of the attractions are in the historic quarter of Seville making it an ideal base for tourists while Triana with its lively bars and cheap accommodation options is the prefered neighbourhood for long stay backpackers.
Plaza Nueva (downtown Seville)
If you are staying for less than 3 days, it makes sense to stay at the city centre. Plaza Nueva is downtown seville, close to important attractions, shopping districts and transit hubs.
If you stay near Plaza Nueva, you can walk to Cathedral and Alcazar and take the tram or bus to Parque Maria Luisa, Rio beach and Triana. There are many tapas bars and sit-down restaurants clustered around Plaza Nueva. The neighbourhood where the Cathedral and Real Alcazar are situated is called Barrio Santa Cruz, easily one of the most beautiful neighbourhood in Seville with narrow and maze-like streets. The streets are so narrow that taxi's don't reach all of Santa Cruz.
Arenal quarter, located between the central Plaza Nueva and the River, is another excellent area to stay. It is convenient and less touristy.
If you want a truly local experience, stay at Triana neighbourhood. Just like the historic center of Seville, Triana is also full of cobbled streets, but the ambiance and vibe is completely different.
Personally, I love Triana as I feel it is lot more authentic than Seville. Calle Betis, running parallel to the river, is the most popular street. You will find plenty of cheap hostels and apartments in streets around Calle Betis. Thanks to innumerable bars on Calle Betis, the area gets noisy on weekends. If you like partying all night and savour local vibe, Triana might be a better neighbourhood for you to consider.
If you like to be away from the tourists and planning on a long stay in Seville, then La Macarena is a good options as it has a very residential, local vibe. If you are in Seville for a day or two, La Macarena is not convenient. It would take you almost 30 minutes to get to the Cathedral.
You should look at short term apartments