Hostelworld Guide for Seville

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When people discuss what Spanish city you get to experience the 'real' Spain, where the streets are deserted during siesta time, Flamenco music rings through the streets at night and tapas bars abound every corner, they regularly refer to Seville. This city in the south of Spain bears all these trademarks. It's also home to one of Europe's most breathtaking cathedrals and has a Moorish royal palace right in the heart of the city centre. And as it's such a prominent university city, attracting students from all four corners of the globe, it gets into full swing every night once the sizzling sun sets.



 

 

In this Guide...      

Useful Information
After Dark
Places to Eat
Top Attractions
Budget Tips
Where to Shop






 The Essentials


 Climate


Getting There

By air: Seville has good connections to other European cities and the airport is located 12km north east of the city centre. A bus connecting the airport to the city centre departs every 30 minutes between 5.45am and 11.45pm. The journey last 30 minutes approximately and a single journey costs €2.10.

By train: Seville's main train station is Estación de Santa Justa. It has good rail connections with other parts of Spain.

By bus: Travelling to Seville by bus, you will arrive in either Estación Plaza de Armas or Estación de Autobuses Prado de San Sebastián.

Getting Around

On foot: Seville's city centre is compact and you can visit many of the city's main attractions on foot.

By tram: The newest mode of public transport in Seville, at the moment there is one line operating with more planned.

By bus: There are five bus routes which are useful for tourists in Seville - these are numbered C1-C5 and operate in a circular route.

 Useful phrases

Hello: Hola
Goodbye: Adios
Please: Por favor
Thank you: Gracias
You're welcome: De nada
Yes: Si
No: No
Of course: De acuerdo
Excuse me: Perdona
How are you?: Como estas?
Open: Abierto
Closed: Cerrado
What is your name?: Cual es tu nombre?
My name is...: Mi nombre es...
How much?: Cuanto Cuesta?
May I have the bill?: Me puede traer la cuenta?


Known as the 'frying pan of Spain', Seville experiences extremely hot summers and mild winters. The hottest months are July and August when temperatures regularly climb above 30°C. It is also extremely dry in these months with little or no rainfall. Things begin to cool down in September when it also begins to experience more rainfall.

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 Good to know...

Language: Spanish
Currency: Euro
Electricity: 220 Volts, AC/50Hz
Telephone Codes: +34 (Spain), 95 (Seville)
Emergency Codes: Ambulance 061 / Fire 080 / Police 091
Time Zone: Central European Time (GMT +1)
Central Post Office: Avenida de la Constitución 32
Main Tourist Office: Avenida de la Constitución 21-B

Embassies / Consulates

USA: +34 95 421 8751
UK: +34 95 415 5018
Canada: +34 91 423 3250*
Australia: +34 95 422 0971
South Africa: +34 91 436 3780*
Ireland: +34 95 469 0689
Germany: +34 95 423 0204
Italy: +34 91 423 3300*
New Zealand: + 34 91 523 0226*
France: +34 95 429 3200

*Embassy in Madrid

 
Hostelworld Guide for Seville www.hostelworld.com

 Cheap Eats


 After Dark


Puerta de la Carne, Santa Maria la Blanca 36, Barrio de Santa Cruz With cuttlefish, prawns, hake and more variations to choose from, this restaurant in Barrio Santa Cruz is perfect for fish lovers. The seats outside fill up quickly, proving that it's an extremely popular place to eat. If you're having difficulty choosing what type of fish you fancy, opt for 'veriado' which is a selection of all the above and more. Open daily from 8.30pm-12.30am

La Mia Tana, Calle Perez Galdos 24, Alfalfa Just seconds from the bars in Alfalfa, this pizzeria has over 30 pizzas to choose from with prices that are as easy to digest as the pizzas themselves. For those who don't feel like the Italian specialty there are a selection of pasta options on the menu as well as Mexican ones like quesadillas and burritos too. Open daily from 1pm-12.30am (until 2am Fri & Sat).

El Cordobes, Santa Maria la Blanca 18-20, Barrio de Santa Cruz With a menu that consists of both tapas and 'bocadillos' (sandwiches), El Cordobes is a great budget option. They also have a hot 'dish of the day' and you can get paella here too. Open daily from 11am-1am.

 A true Spanish delicacy

Los Coloniales, Plaza Crist de Burgos 19, Alfalfa Tapas bars are ten to a penny in Seville, and you'll pass by many as you walk the streets of Seville. But this one is that little bit cheaper than the rest but still offering quality tapas. Worth the extra walk. Open daily from 12.30pm-1am.

La Parrilla de Maria de Colores, Calle Perez Galdos 22, Alfalfa As Argentinean restaurants are famed for their steaks, you may be disappointed to see a lack of fillet steaks on the menu here. Steak (just not fillet) is still on the menu, as is chicken, pork, and beef. Make sure to leave some room for a pancake. Open daily from 8pm-2am.


La Carbonería, Calle Levies 18, Barrio de Santa Cruz No trip to Seville is complete without going to a Flamenco show. As many places staging it are quite touristy (and expensive), sample some Flamenco dancing in this bar where nightly performances are staged free of charge in the large area out back. Stay late and you might be treated to a more intimate performance in the front. Open nightly from 8pm-3am; Flamenco shows nightly at 10.30pm.

Catedral, Calle Cuesta del Rosario 12, El Centro While the first thing to greet you as you walk into this club is a bed, rest is the last thing you'll want to do here. Attracting a young 20-something crowd, chart tunes are what can be heard pumping from the speakers here. Open nightly from 11pm-5am; admission charge.

 Gay / Lesbian Seville

While Seville's gay scene is quieter than in some of its counterparts, there are still a number of gay bars. Hércules Mítico (Alameda de Hércules 93) is one of the city's known gay bars while El Hombre y El Oso (Calle Amor de Dios 32) is another pub also busy. On Paseo de Colón near the Triana bridge you will find many gay bars, such as Flamingo Lounge, Glassy and Isbiliyya.

Bar Antigüedades, Argote de Molina 40, Barrio de Santa Cruz It isn't often you walk into a bar to find countless parts of mannequins hanging from the ceiling while people chat away without batting an eyelid. This is what makes this bar, just seconds from the cathedral, one of the most unique in Europe. While it really gets going at weekends, it's only these dummies you will find hanging from the rafters. Open nightly from 9pm-2am.

Bar Las Teresas, Calle Santa Teresa 2, Barrio de Santa Cruz Another tapas bar, this one is just as suited to a quiet glass of wine as it is a portion of the Spanish snack. As you walk in to see the cured ham hanging from the ceiling you know this is as traditional as it gets. Open daily from 10am-5pm/6pm-12am.

Big Ben, Calle Betis 54, Triana Arguably the liveliest bar on the colourful Calle Betis just across the River Guadalquivir, this small bar has regular drinks promotions luring students and backpackers in. They even have a small stage if you feel like performing after one too many. Open nightly from 9pm-3am.


 Don't Miss


 Mark Your Calendar


Plaza de Espana, Avenida de Isabel la Catolica, Huerta de la Salud This enormous square, just south of the city centre, is the city's most breathtaking open space. Take the time out to walk around the different alcoves around the square which are dedicated to various towns and cities throughout the country. You can also visit the military museum which is on the square.

 The jewel in the crown

Seville Cathedral & La Giralda, Plaza del Triunfo, Barrio de Santa Cruz Seville's cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, is breathtaking. Built between 1402 and 1575 beside La Giraldo (bell tower), the climb to the top for the views is easier than in other cathedals due to the lack of steps. Instead you climb a series of inclines. Open Jul-Aug: Mon-Sat 9:30am-4:30pm, Sep-Jun: Mon-Sat 11am-5:30pm. Sun 2:30-6:30pm. Admission €8 (€2 students under 26).

Torre del Oro/Museo Naval, Paseo de Colón, El Arenal Originally a watchtower that marked the edge of the city, this tower is one of Seville's best-known landmarks. Today it houses the naval museum where you'll find a series of compasses, maps and more. Open Tues-Sun 10am-2pm, Sat & Sun 11am-2pm. Admission €1.

Real Alcazar, Patio de Banderas, Barrio de Santa Cruz Dating back to the 14th century, Seville's palaces in the centre of the city are amazing examples of Moorish architecture. Strolling through the grounds is a must-do in Seville, as is exploring the palace gardens. Open 9.30am-7pm Mon-Sat (Sun 5pm). Admission €7.

Isla Mágica, Pabellón de España, Isla de la Cartuja Seville's very own theme park is full of rollercoasters and more, suiting those who prefer the more modern attraction. Open daily from 11am-midnight but times vary. Admission €29.


January - Parade of the Three Wise Men Taking place at sunset on the 5th of January, children in particular love this festival thanks to the Three Wise Men who arrive in a glistening carraige, giving out toys and sweets to the city's children.

February/March - Carnival Seville's carnival is held just before the beginning of Lent every year and sees parades, dances and sometimes a 'carnival queen' contest take place.

March/April - Semana Santa Semana Santa (Holy Week) is one of Seville's (and Andalucia's) most spectacular festivals. Beginning on Palm Sunday and running until Good Friday, the city sees processions and more.

April - Feria de Abril Another huge festival, this one takes place two weeks after Semana Santa. There are events staged around the city, with the climax being a huge fireworks display that lights up the Sevillian sky.

June - Corpus Christi Every June on the feast of Corpus Christi (11th June) the city's balconies are covered with flowers and locals eat 'churros' - sweet strips of batter.

September - Feria de San Miguel While this festival surrounds bullfighting which may not be to everyone's liking, there are other festivities staged also, such as traditional flamenco performances and more.

September/October - Seville Flamenco Biennial While it isn't staged every year, there's no getting away from the fact that when it does take place it is the largest flamenco dancing festival in the world.

November - International Jazz Festival Staged in both Seville and Granada, this annual jazz festival annually attracts the world's largest jazz acts from both home and abroad.

December - Nochebuena & Navidad Illuminating lights light up Seville's streets for the period leading up to Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) and Navidad (Christmas Day). Stalls sell roasted chestnuts and nativity scenes are set up throughout the city too.

December - Nochevieja In front of Seville's 'Ayuntamiento' (city hall) is where thousands gather each year on New Year's Eve to ring in the new year. As the twelve bells ring, the tradition is to eat a grape with each bell!

 
Hostelworld Guide for Seville www.hostelworld.com

 Neighbourhood Watch


 Retail Therapy


El Arenal Situated on the east side of Seville's River Guadalquivir, this was once a port in the city. A great way to explore it is by walking down the banks of the river, and as you go down you'll pass by the city's bullring and 'Torre del Oro'. All this while watching tourists sail up and down the river in cruise boats. If you want to see the city from the river but from a different perspective you can rent out pedal boats on the banks.

Barrio de Santa Cruz Arguably Seville's most charming neighbourhood, Barrio de Santa Cruz is the city's old Jewish quarter. Here you will find a charming mix of houses, churches, tapas bars, restaurants and shops. Small enough to walk around in a few hours, it's hard to get lost in it thanks to the cathedral which dominates this part of the city.

 Heyyyyyyyy...

La Macarena Yes, this is the Spanish neighbourhood that inspired a novelty song released back in 1996 by 'Los del Rio' that VH1 named 'Greatest One-Hit Wonder of All Time'. It is in this part of Seville that you will encounter the best preserved remaining portion of the city walls (pictured above). Other points of interest here are the Virgen de la Macarena statue in the Basilica de la Macarena and the area's market.

Triana Just across the River Guadalquivir from cental Seville, Triana, like La Macarena, is a residential and mainly working class part of town. It has been said in the past that this is where Flamenco music originated. Those visiting Seville will make the journey for one reason - to go bar hopping along Calle Betis on the banks of the river.

El Centro Seville's city centre is a maze of pedestrianised streets that attract some of the best-known retail brands in the world along with lesser-known ones also. Among them are cafés, bars and churches too.


Calle de Velazquez, El Centro One of Seville's premier shopping strips, this pedestrianised street in the centre of the city is home to some of the world's best-known brands. This includes Footlocker, Mango, H&M, Berksha, Pimkee, Bodyshop and Zara (there are two of them in fact). If you've got money to burn and want to treat yourself to something in Seville, this is where to do go.

El Jueves Market, Calle Feria, La Macarena Seville's oldest flea market can be found just north of 'El Centro' on Calle Feria. Held every Thursday morning, while you might not find that much to make you part with your hard-earned Euro, you may pick up something or other. Open Thursdays from 8am-1pm/2pm.

El Cortes Ingles, Plaza Duque De La Victoria 8, El Centro One of many found in various locations throughout central Seville (most of them are in 'El Centro'), El Cortes Ingles is the Spanish department store found in all major cities. In them they sell everything from CDs to kitchen utensils to clothes to books, while the top floor is usually where you'll find the store's café. Open Mon-Sat 10am-10pm.

 Trains, planes and automobiles

Plaza de Armas Shopping Centre, El Centro Found just minutes from the banks of the River Guadalquivir, this shopping centre is housed in an old train station. Hanging from the roof is a model airplane, making it one of Spain's more unique shopping centres. Here you'll find clothes shops, cafés and the 'Buddha Bar'. Open daily from 10am-6pm (shops)/close (bar).

Calle Rioja, El Centro Another of downtown Seville's pedestrianised shopping streets, this one is smaller and stores are aimed at the more affluent natives of the city. This is thanks to designer stores such as Massimo Dutti and other well-known names.


 Budget Tips


 A Day in Seville...


Chill out in Seville's Parque de Maria If you want to relax for a couple of hours away from the sunshine under a tree, Parque de Maria across from Plaza de Espana is the perfect place. Here over 3,000 trees shade walkways, fountains and more.

 On your bike

Rent a bike for a few hours At different locations throughout Seville you will see red bicycles available for renting. If you think you may want to avail of one of these bikes, this is how it works - you buy a short-term subscription for €5 using your credit card. Then to rent a bike for 0-30 minutes is free, to rent one for between 30mins-90mins is €1, and then every hour after that is €2. Not a lot to pay if you want to see a lot of the city in a short space of time.

Visit Museo Historica Militar on Plaza de Espana If watching the Matrix wasn't enough to make you go and buy lots of guns, a visit to this war museum just might. Located on two floors, it's packed with toy soldiers, old army uniforms, guns, canons and grenades used over years among other things. A good exucse to get away from the sun if nothing else. Open Mon-Fri from 9am-2pm, Sat 10am-2pm; admission free.

Visit Seville's churches Like in many European cities, many of Seville's most beautiful buildings are its churches, which are also free to enter. This includes Basilica de Jesus del Gran Poder (Plaza de San Lorenzo) and Basilica de la Macarena (Calle Becquer), both north of the city centre.

See two top attractions for free Two of Seville's top attractions are free one day a week. The first of these is Seville Cathedral which is free on Sundays when mass is held. The second is Torre del Oro which is free on Tuesdays. Plan your visit round then to save some euro.


Begin your day in the city at its best known square - Plaza de Espana. Walk from alcove to alcove before exploring the military museum on the square.

Journey into the centre of the city to visit Seville's cathedral, the third largest cathedral in Europe and the largest Gothic cathedral in the world.

Go for lunch in Los Coloniales on Plaza Crist de Burgos in Alfalfa. Of the countless tapas bars in Seville, this is one of the cheapest (but the tapas is still good!)

After your lunch digests make your way back to Barrio del Santa Cruz to walk through Seville's ancient Moorish palace Real Alcazar (below).

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Upon leaving the Alcazar chill out for a few hours and stroll the streets of Seville's city centre, going down Calle Rioja, Calle de Velazquez and more.

Go for an early evening beer or glass of wine in Bar de las Terasas, another of Seville's best-known tapas bars.

Located beside each other on Calle Perez Galdos are two restaurants - one does pizza, the other does steak. Grab your tea before going out for the night.

'La Carbonería' on Calle Levies in Barrio de Santa Cruz puts on free Flamenco shows nightly at 10.30pm. Check out a performance of the traditional Spanish dance.

Finish the night off bar hopping along Calle Betis across the river in Triana. Check out 'Big Ben', 'La Cartula', 'Alambique' and 'Fundicion '.

 
Hostelworld Guide for Seville www.hostelworld.com