BEST THINGS TO DO IN SEVILLE; A COMPLETE TRAVEL GUIDE TO VISITING SEVILLE
Seville or Sevilla in Spanish, is the fourth largest city, located in southern of Spain, famous for flamenco dancing, gothic architecture and mouthwatering tapas. This beloved European city will take you to an old time era and should definitely be on everyone’s travel itinerary. From the largest gothic cathedral in the world, to the unique Plaza with its own canals and bridges, there is plenty of things to do in Seville.
My complete guide to Sevilla includes ; Things to See in Seville, Where to Stay, How to Travel, What to Eat (VEGAN/VEGETARIAN), Best time to Visit, and some local tips on saving money.Hope you Have the best of your time in this gorgeous old town of Spain.
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How to Reach Seville?
- By Air✈️; There is only one international airport (SVQ) which is located roughly 25 minutes drive from the main city and has decent connectivity to most of the European union and within Spain. Uber operates in the city and should cost around 15-20€ (airport to city centre). Other and cheaper option is a public bus, for 4€.
- By Rail🚈 ; The main train station is Santa Justa Station. If you are coming from Madrid,train ride should take less than 3 hours and they run very often throughout the day. There is an overnight train from Barcelona and just a hour train to Córdoba.
Get Insured Before Traveling To Seville
I never ever travel abroad without a travel insurance. Really ! In case something goes wrong , you must have a travel insurance. Frankly speaking, it will be stupid to head off to a new destination without one.
I will recommend World Nomads. Simply because they are backed by reputable insurers, 24-hour assistance providers and offer travel insurance to travellers from over 140 countries.
Even if you don’t get one from World Nomads, make sure to get your travel insurance sorted before you actually start traveling.
Getting Around In Seville
Like most European cities, Seville is also best explored on foot. But there are other ways too;
- Bikes ; Sevilla can be best described with relatively flat roads but narrow cobbled streets thus they are usually jammed with traffic, making it perfect for biking. There are plenty of rentals all around the town at reasonable price. Tip; Make sure to lock your bike at all times as there is high chance of theft here.
- Metro ; Frankly not the best option, as there is only one single line and tickets are relatively expensive.
- Buses ; This is probably the best, most cost efficient and easiest option, as Sevilla has an extensive bus network covering all barrios all around the city. One way ticket( buy onboard) is 1.5€. You can also get a whole day pass for 5€ or 3 days pass for 10€.
- Taxis/Uber ; There are both local taxis (which I don’t recommend as they are relatively pricey and drivers are not very trustworthy with fare) and Uber which off course is cheaper and better option.
Where to Stay In Seville ? ( NEIGHBORHOODS )
- 1. El Centro & El Arenal ; El Centro as the word suggest is the historic city centre. Most of the tourist attractions like Cathedral, Alcazar Royal Palace, Metropol Parasol, and few more lies here. Its filled with tapas bars, streets, restaurants and tons of shopping. As you can see from the map above, its the heart of everything .
- Tip; Neighborhood is super touristy, prices for food and accommodation will be relatively high. I would personally avoid staying here but streets gets really lively specially at night, making it a fun place to spend your evenings in Seville.
- El Arenal ; Although a separate neighborhood but its adjacent to El Centro and could be considered as part of the city centre. The key attraction here is the bullring staging world’s best bullfights every spring. Just like El centro this is also an expensive district.
- 2. Santa Cruz ; This charming old jewish neighbourhood characterised by maze of narrow cobbled streets and romantic squares is one of the most iconic barrios of the city. It famously touts to have seville’s best flamenco joints (we will get into that later) and plenty of tapas bars. The neighbourhood surrounds the wall of famous Alcazar. Best thing in my opinion is to get a gelato and wander around the streets of Santa Cruz. You will get lost but its an experience in itself.
PS- If you are looking to stay at airbnb, use my code and get upto €38 off.
- 3. Macarena ; Historically a poor neighborhood infamous for drugs and prostitution, Macarena transformed its identity in late 2000s. Now its one of the trendiest and hippy neighborhood of Seville. Its LGBTQ friendly and has a great vibe to it. Its not very far from the city centre and has plenty of budget hostels and hotels. It also has the largest remaining section of the original Moorish city wall, giving the feel of what it was like living in the Islamic Spain.
- 4. Triana ; Located on the other side of the river, historically known as working class neighborhood Triana is a former gypsy quarter but today its famous for the most influential flamenco artists and bullfighters. It is also known for lovely handmade ceramics, white washed houses, traditional family style tapas bars, and one of Seville’s best and most lively markets, the Mercado deTriana. I would really recommend staying the night here as its cheaper, away from the usual touristy chaos and you can find great value for money on food and accommodation here.
Best Time To Visit Seville
- Worst Months ; July and August. Mainly because of the temperature. It gets extremely hot during the day (temperature averaging around 50′ C) and most of the locals leave the city, so If you don’t want to burn in the sun, please avoid these months (unfortunately I visited in August and it wasn’t very pleasant to say the least lol)
- Best Months ; March to June. Weather is pleasant, less touristy so you can a get great deal in accommodation and food. Plus Seville’s two most famous celebrations Semana Santa (Holy Week) and Feria de Abril happens during these months. So along with tourist attractions there would be plenty other things to do.
How Many Days In Seville?
Ideally I will suggest 2 full days and 2 nights in Sevilla. If you can squeeze an extra day, there are numbers of day trips option from Sevilla like wonderful city of Córdoba and Carmona.
If you are short on time, you can still cover the main attraction in two full days and a night . Having said that I do feel this city definitely deserves more. There are so many hidden charms which could be explored with more leisurely days.
What to Eat ? Vegetarian & Vegan Food Guide
Despite its meat loving exterior, Seville is quite vegetarian friendly. To be honest I found it to be more open to vegan/vegetarians than Madrid. Even in local cuisine you can find lot of vegetarian tapas.
- Vegetarian Tapas ;
- Tortilla de patatas: This is Spainsh version of Omelets, making them more fluffier, with potatoes and onions. Its a beloved food and could be found anywhere in the city. I will recommend trying them at La Taberna .
- Patatas bravas: Its for sure one of the most delicious ways of having chips. Come in spicy or cheesy sauce. Its one of my favorite tapas. You can try them at Bar Salomón El rey de los pinchitos.
- Espinacas con garbanzos: Its basically spinach and chickpeas. Sounds simple but is delicious. Goes really well with any drink and could be found in most of the regular tapas bars.
Vegetarian/ Vegan friendly Restaurants
- La Chunga: This is my favorite little restaurant in Seville. Three reasons; atmosphere is very lively, mostly locals come here and the best part its real good value for money. I will recommend trying zucchini risotto and roasted vegetables. Delicious!
- Gaia Centro Ecológico: This is a 100% meat free restaurant. Delicious and healthy variety of vegan dishes and the best part ;there is also a small grocery store full of plant based products .
- Taj Mahal ; If you are sucker for Indian food like me then go to Taj Mahal. Its located in Santa Cruz, little pricey but justifies its name. Its the closest to desi cuisine you can get in Spain (I have tried at many places but this one wins lol).
What to see in Seville ?
- 1. Plaza de Espana ( Maria Luisa Park )
Plaza technically means an open square. Sevillians proudly call their plaza as the most beautiful in the entire country and I don’t differ. This Magnificent piece of architecture is located inside Maria Luisa Park. The red brick structure is painted with colorful azulejos ceramic tiles that are popular in Seville and can be found all across the city. Its one of the most instagramable spot in the town, so don’t forget to get some beautiful travel pictures here.
Cool fact ; famous hollywood movie The Dictator was shot at Plaza de Espana.
Entrance; Entrance to the Plaza and the park is free.
Best time ; Go early morning to avoid heaps of tourists or in the evening around 5-7pm when the whole plaza comes to life with street artists, flamenco dancers and performers.
TIP ; Be very careful with your belongings. This city is infamous for pickpocketing and thefts. ( A friend’s bag was stolen from here, PS. always be aware and have an extra eye for this)
The impressive and lush green Maria Luisia Park surrounds the plaza and its good place to take a stroll and give your feet some rest from all the walking you will probably do.
- 2. The Royal Palace of Alcázar ;
Its a palace built for Christian king on the sites of muslim residential fortress and is the most visited place in Seville. Another top instagram worthy location in Spain, it should be a must visit while in Seville. The palace itself has two floors, upper-level of which is still used by royal family as a residence.
Cool Fact ; This palace is hollywood’s royalty. Lawrence of Arabia, Reds, 1492: The Conquest of Paradise, and Kingdom of Heaven and many other films were filmed here. And yes you Game of thrones fan, remember those scenes of water gardens of drone from season 5? Well they were shot here.
Entrance ; 12.5€ .
Tip; They only allow 750 visitors at a time. Thus line to the entrance can be really long and exhausting. I strongly recommend buying the tickets online.
- 3. CATHEDRAL AND LA GIRALDA
Seville’s cathedral is the largest gothic cathedral and the third largest church in the world. It is also the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. So won’t be wrong to say that this is the most prominent tourist attraction of Sevilla.
Cathedral also has a a tower called La Giralda which is a former minaret. If you don’t mind climbing 28 floors, go to the top of the tower for stunning views of the city.
Entrance; 9€ ( for both the cathedral and the tower)
Tip; Entrance is free on Mondays from 4;30- 6;30pm ( but do book your spot online as it gets filled pretty quick)
- 4. Tobacco Factory ;
- Today’s university of Sevilla but formerly the largest tobacco factory in the world. In 18th century it produced almost 75% of Europe tobacco. Its an off beaten thing to include in your itinerary but the entrance is free and lies in the city centre. If you have an extra time pop in to the building and have a look. Its quite interesting.
- 5. METROPOL PARASOL
Locals call it “the mushroom” ( probably because of the shape) , its a wooden, waffle like structure made in 2011, located above the La Encarnación square in the center of Seville. Go there for excellent views of the city and sunset.
Tip; There is a small restaurant at the top and if you buy a drink, you won’t have to pay an entrance fee.
- 6. FLAMENCO
Any trip to Spain is incomplete without authentic flamenco experience and there ain’t a better town to enjoy true flamenco than Sevilla. I went to 4 different types of flamenco shows and loved all of them but the one that stood out was at La Carboneria (Calle Céspedes, 21A, 41004 Sevilla, Spain). Its popular among the locals so you know its good. There is no admission fee but you will need to buy a drink (so worth it) .
Advice; Since Flamenco is popular among tourists, making it a huge tourist trap. Don’t pay extravagant fee for flamenco. Check with locals for suggestions or go for the one I mentioned. I promise, you will have a great time.
If you visit Plaza de Espana in the evening, (5-7pm) you will most likely find street flamenco performers. I am not exaggerating if I say it was the best flamenco I saw. My mind was blown by the intensity and passion of those dancers.
The performance is free but they rely heavily on your tips( please pay them well, they so deserve it) .
- 7. Biking Tours
As I mentioned earlier, Sevilla is extremely bike friendly and also it is super fun to bike around the narrow cobbled streets of this mesmerising town. If you are looking for a guided tour, why not do it on bikes? There are many companies offering such tours, you can get more information online. I booked mine through get your guide and totally loved it. You can book the same here.
Checkout my recommendations on best travel apps to help you save time and money.
So now you are all set ! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR ? Hop on the plane and start exploring this magnificent small old town of Spain.
If you have any travel related queries don’t hesitate to write them to me or leave a comment down below. I read all of them haha ….
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