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When you close your eyes and think of Spain, you’re probably picturing Seville: picturesque orange tree-lined streets, delicious jamón ibérico, enchanting Moorish palaces, and a flamenco bailaora in a swirling red dress. The fact is, Seville is the most rewarding city in Spain and a place you should visit at least once in your life.
Here’s all you need to know for your first time in Seville.
Seville is Spain in a nutshell. It’s the cultural and historical heart of the country. It’s the best place in all Spain to experience traditional churches, palaces, and even unexpected hidden gems. In addition to this, Seville is full of interesting museums and the cradle of flamenco, Spain’s most popular dance. Now, fútbol is sacred in Spain, but the real question here is Sevilla or Betis?
In short, Seville is the most rewarding destination in all of Spain and it should be at the top of any Spain travel itinerary. Indeed, I may be biased, but I’d go so far as to say that Seville is one of the most rewarding cities in all of Europe.
The simple answer is: As much time as possible. If you’ve got about a week or two in Spain, your first decision must be determining how many days you should spend in Seville.
No matter how much time you have in the city, have a look at my Seville itineraries, which are designed to help you make the best of your time.
I’m personally not a big fan of travel checklists and “must-see” tourism. Still, there’s no denying that Seville has a bunch of attractions that you should check out.
Here are some things I consider must-see attractions and activities in Seville: the Cathedral and the Giralda, the Alcázar, attend a flamenco show, try some delicious tapas in one of the many tapas bars scattered around Seville, admire the beauty of the Semana Santa processions or feel the party at the Feria de Abril.
If you have limited time, check out my ‘Seville in Two Days’ guide.
The best time to visit Seville is between September and January. The number of tourists is significantly lower, the lodging offer is large, and the airfares are more attractive. You can visit most of the places at a relaxing pace and room prices are at its bottom.
However, April and May are the most popular months of the year because the weather is perfect and there are lots of events going on. For obvious reasons, during these months the city is very crowded.
First comes, Semana Santa, the somber processions that punctuate the spring rains.
Only a couple of weeks after that, starts the happiest time of the year – now that the azahar has bloomed and the gold-laden Holy Week floats have been stored, Seville takes a week to celebrate horses, sherry and music at the Feria de Abril.
The season where Sunday afternoons are dedicated to the faena, may be short-lived, but if you are into bullfights, then May or the end of September may be the perfect timing!
Alternatively, you can also visit the city in October and November, after the heat of the summer has died down.
Seville has a wide range of excellent hotels, from international brands to beautiful boutique hotels.
Another good option for families and those who want their own, self-catering space is a Seville vacation rental, giving you the feel of living in your own apartment.
Finally, there are also numerous backpacker hostels and guesthouses for the budget conscious.
Seville is a relatively small city with an excellent public transport system. It’s very easy to get around.
Even if the central areas are walkable and I always recommend going on foot whenever it’s possible, it’s also nice to have some alternatives if you plan to go further away or you suddenly feel tired.
Apart from the usual bus and taxi, Seville is also a great city to explore by bicycle.
You don’t need a guide to enjoy Seville, but having a guide will add a lot of depth to your understanding of the city. A guide will also free you from having to think about the logistics of getting around and making the most efficient use of your time. Finally, a guide can help you enjoy local restaurants without any communication difficulties.
Hiring a guide for a walking tour (or even a tour on wheels!) on your first day will give you the confidence to explore on following days on your own and a guide can give you some advice about what to see later in your trip.
If you prefer a different activity…
Seville doesn’t have a major international airport, but it’s very close to Málaga’s Costa del Sol International Airport (AGP), and it’s 2.5 hours by fast express trains from Madrid’s Barajas International Airport (MAD). If you’re coming from other parts of Spain, Seville is well served by the high-speed train (AVE).
Either way, Seville is an easy destination to get to.
As the site grew, it was a natural move to create eBooks for those like you, who want to discover the city’s secrets and enjoy it as a local. Seville Traveller eBooks have been designed and written to help you maximize your time and enjoy your trip to Seville. In addition to this, since most of you travel to other exciting Spanish cities, the collection includes now other destinations.
Additionally, you can explore the charms of Southern Spain planning several day trips from Seville, or you can decide to go further away, including other destinations around the country in a longer itinerary.