Seville City Guide
Seville is located in the beautiful Spanish province of Andalucia. It is the capital of the region and also the largest city in Andalucia. Seville sits along the Guadalquivir river which runs all the way from the gulf of Cadiz. Situated about 70 km inland from the nearest body of water, the Atlantic, and about 130 km from the Mediterranean, Seville sits in a subtropical Mediterranean climate which means it has long, dry summers and wetter winters.
Why visit Seville?
Flamenco, traditional ceramic tiles, and Game of Thrones settings are just a few of the reasons to get Seville on your radar. Moorish influence coming up from north Africa dominates much of the architecture you’ll see in the city including the Alcazar palace, the place which gave life to the kingdom of Dorne. The famous Spanish dance was born and perfected amongst the caves of Seville where you can still see any one of the numerous shows put on today.
Best time to visitAs with much of sweltering Spain, the best time to pay your visits to Seville is either spring or autumn. It’s best to avoid the dog days of summer when temperatures can climb past 40°c (which is over 100°f). In springtime, the orange blossoms come to life and the gardens of the Alcazar are truly spectacular. May and June provide a much more comfortable temperature between 25ºC and 30ºC (77ºF and 86ºF). Fall brings those same temperatures back and is just as perfect in the city.
Top things to see and do
- Flamenco: The intense emotion, the fiery gaze, the passionate step. A flamenco show is an experience not to be missed. Ask around for the most authentic one. Or prowl the streets looking for a free, impromptu performance at one of the bars.
- The Royal Alcazar: The lavish palace of Seville, built by the Moors, the Alcazar is simply divine. The gardens go on for forever and the tiles are marvelous. Go on a tour of the Royal apartments too, while you are there.
- Plaza de España: A large square design for the Ibero-American exposition of 1929 is controversial in its appearance, but spectacular all the same. A part of the larger Maria Luisa Park, a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. Go on a carriage tour from Plaza Espana
- Seville Cathedral: A beautiful Roman Catholic cathedral which houses the remains of Christopher Columbus and also has a climbable bell tower with superb city views. Take the remarkable and surprisingly less known Cubiertas Roof Tour.
- Metropol Parasol: Another controversial piece of architecture, this wooden structure was built by a German. You can enter and have a drink and see the views up top. Also visit the Roman remains in the basement.
- Triana: The working class, often overlooked district across the river and the historic centre. Go for the real textures of today’s Seville. VIsit the Inquisition Museum, the markets, the churches, and ceramic factories before you settle down for an evening of tapas by the riverside.
- Plaza de Toros: Photogenic bullring, must be visited for pictures against the yellow, red, and white background. Has a nice museum too, and street side sellers of bullfighting souvenirs.
- “Noches de Sevilla” in a typical Moorish hamam
- Seville is a melting pot of of Moorish, Jewish, and Christian culture. You can take part of it back home in form of unique souvenirs from Seville
Where to stay in Seville
The historic centre of Seville, Santa Cruz, is pedestrian-friendly and walkable to the main attractions. Touristy and central, it is good for getting lost and finding tiny plazas all around, and for small bars. Close to the Royal Alcazar, Cathedral of Seville and tram lines.
Alternative districts of Seville are good for live music, ethnic restaurants, cafes, tapas bars, lively nightlife, and locals-watching. Many locations are close to the Metropol Parasol and the river.More : Where to stay
Getting around in Seville
It is easy to slow-walk your way around the wonders of Seville Seville despite the network of 3 metro lines, a plethora of bus lines and a single tram line. If you really need public transport, there are single tickets, and multi day passes. But tickets do not cross over different modes of transport on the same trip.More : Essential information
Day trips from Seville
Public transport connections are smooth and fast. Throughout the region you will see jaw dropping Moorish architecture, stop at seaside chiringuitos, pass through white villages stuck in time, and discover new things about Spain.More : Day trips ideas
What to eat and drink in Seville
Tapas originated in Seville so there is good reason to make sure you devote an evening to discover its roots and various avatars. All over you will see the influence of Arab spices and ingredients in the daily food of the city and region.
- Secreto Iberico : The secret of pork, considered the best, most succulent cut of pork, usually barbequed. Where: Los Coloniales
- Espinacas con Garbanzos : It comes from the Moors and the Jews and is now a traditional dish of spinach and chickpeas. Where: El Rinconcillo
- Serranito de Lomo: The local sandwich of seared pork loin and a green pepper. Where: En La Espero Te Esquina
- Anis Seco: Aniseed liquor, drunk in the morning to get you going. It’s strong!
- Tinto de Verano: If you’re a wine snob you may find the concept of red wine mixed with sparkling lemonade horrid but come the roasting summer days of Andalucia, you’ll love it.
- Tapas: Of course! Anywhere and everywhere! Sherry: Gets its name from nearby Jerez, part of the Sherry triangle of Andalucia. In Seville also have the dry Manzanilla white wine.
Planning a Seville visit as a family
It is easy to plan a family visit to Seville. While there are not as many kid focused attractions like the Isla Magica, the pace at the main sights of Seville is family friendly and laid back, much like a small town where you can linger and kids can run around.
Many hotels are in narrow, winding streets which are usually car free so quite safe for kids to run free in. Most eating places have casual seating, with an excellent child-friendly choices on the menu.
Visiting Seville as a couple
Rooftop bars and pool in central Seville hotels are a favourite with couples at all stages of life. Nighttime Seville, all lit up, is a memorable experience to take back with you. Arab baths and cosy dining options provide enough date night opportunities.