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Seville Travel Guide
Get Your Bearings in SevilleWhere to Stay
Seville can be an expensive city to stay in depending on where you want to be. Hotels closer to the Casco Antiguo, the city center, charge premiums since they are near the Cathedral or Plaza Nueva. If you’re willing to be more adventurous, consider Maria Luisa Park, an upscale neighborhood known for its 3,500 trees, monuments, numerous ponds and fountains. Buses have frequent service to downtown. Then again, you can always stay in a historic castle since Spain has several paradors throughout the country, including in Seville.
Caution: Book early if you plan to travel during Semana Santa or the Feria de Abril (April Fair) as hotels book fast.
Hot Tips: Many hotels welcome four-legged friends, so be sure to ask in advance if you want to bring your pet with you.
What to Eat
Sevillanos love to enjoy their meals and don’t like to be rushed. They eat throughout the day, and around 8:00 pm they head to tapas bars. A fino or Manzanilla sherry usually accompanies the small, bite-sized dishes. Dinner at restaurants start around 10:30 pm. Andalusian cooking tends to be specific to its region and Seville doesn't disappoint with its gazpacho.
Caution: Many menus are in Spanish only. Come with a translation book so you don't ask your waiter for a kiss instead of a glass of wine (besos vs vasos).
Things to See
Many of the attractions in Seville center around history and architecture. Start in the Santa Cruz Quarter to see its central cross which features the finest examples of wrought-iron work in Seville. Also, visit the Cathedral of St Mary, one of the most famous in the world not only for its gothic and baroque design, but also because it is the third largest cathedral in the world. The Seville Cathedral is Christopher Columbus´ burial site. Alcazar, Giralda Tower and Plaza de Espana all feature historical and architectural details not to be missed.
Hot Tips: Don't forget to head to Triana across the river, a vibrant old quarter historically the centre of azulejo, or glazed-tile production.
Places to Party
Seville’s nightlife scene is centered around friends. Most nightclubs only open their doors from Thursday to Sunday, and while their doors open around 9 pm, the party doesn’t get started until past midnight and lasts past sunrise. Boss has a reputation that attracts local celebrities. Head to Café de la Prensa where you’ll find a mix of artists and creative types for good drinks and excellent conversation. For a taste of flamenco, check out Los Gallos Flamenco Show with shows on nightly.
Hot Tips: Many clubs close between 5 am and 7 am, so make sure you get a siesta before going out.
Where to Shop
Seville’s charm can be found in its shopping. The city is blessed with smaller, artisan shops as well as the larger department or chain stores. Local merchants can be found tucked away in corners with great deals and original products. From cobblers to small shops (as small as 10 square feet), visitors will enjoy traversing the winding streets right off the main shopping streets, Sierpes and Tetuan (which are parallel). The streets begin at Plaza Nueva/Plaza San Francisco where the "Ayuntamiento" (Town Hall) is located and head toward Avenida Constitución to the Cathedral.
Caution: Stores are typically open from 9:30 am-2 pm in the mornings and then open again in the afternoon from 5-8 pm, so plan your shopping time accordingly.
Best Local Souvenir: Ceramic tiles, especially Mediterranean blue and white.
Ready for Your Dream Vacation?
The south of Spain's prized jewel, Seville is the capital of Andalusia and a city with a rich 2,500-year-old history. Seville is romantic, known for dramatic bullfights, exciting festivals, and flamenco music that plays long into the night. For Expo 92, the city underwent an extensive revitalization that improved the overall infrastructure without sacrificing Old World charm. Visitors can wander quaint streets lined with terrace cafés serving tapas and sherry. At night, partygoers can participate in la marcha (marching), hopping from bar to bar in the Santa Cruz area. For sightseers, Seville offers magnificent monuments, most notably La Giralda Tower, the 15th-century La Catedral, and the Moorish-style Alcázar palace. Each spring, the city also puts on two grand festivals: Semana Santa, the week before Easter, and April Feria, the last week of April.