travel

Seville travel guide

Plaza de Espana

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I visited Seville! I had high hopes of writing this travel guide as soon as I got home, but as usual, life got in the way. I chose Seville as my hen do destination and it was pretty much perfect. I didn’t want anywhere too ‘clubby’, expensive or cliched. I was looking for somewhere warm for a few days in June with plenty to explore; Seville ticked off everything on my list and more. 

Seville is the perfect Andalusian city break and ideal if you’re looking for somewhere rich in history and stunning architecture. Only a few hours from the UK by plane, it’s an ideal spot for soaking up some sunshine for a few days or a long weekend.

Take a look at my Seville travel tips below to find out where to stay, what to do and when to visit. 


When to go

Avoid the summer months, it’s hotter than the centre of the earth (only a slight exaggeration…). June was very hot, almost 40 degrees some days, which made it difficult to properly explore the length and breadth of the city. I’m quite an active city go-er, I like to pack in as much as I can, which is hard to do when it’s so hot.

The summer also brought high levels of humidity, which I think was more of a struggle than the heat itself. Best time to go? I would say visit during spring March – May (although this can often be quite a busy time of year) or September – November for mild to warm weather. 


How long to visit

Seville is one of those places you could go for a couple of nights away, a long weekend or even a week if you wanted to use it as a base to explore the rest of Andalusia. My recommendation would be 3-4 nights, as you’ll have plenty of time to properly relax and explore the city. 

The city is definitely bigger than I thought it would be, with some parts taking 30-40 minutes to walk to depending on your location. If you don’t want to be running from place to place and you prefer a slightly more leisurely (but still active) holiday, a long weekend is your best bet.


What to know

Seville oranges | Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay 

Restaurants don’t open until around 8pm/9pm. My advice would be to stick to their mealtimes, having a later breakfast and a later lunch, which makes it easier to wait until 9pm for some dinner! The restaurants that do open early than 8pm are often tourist-traps, so be warned. I noticed that many locals had bigger lunchtime meals and then tapas with drinks in the evening, perfect!

The siesta lives on! Seville often shuts down in the afternoon, 2pm-5pm, so many local businesses, shops and restaurants will close during this time. It’s worth noting that the city doesn’t come to a total standstill as some bars, restaurants and larger supermarkets do stay open all day. 

Try a bit of Spanish! Even if you can only master the basics, your attempt will pay off with the locals and it adds to the sense of adventure. Here are some basic Spanish phrases to get you started.

Seville has plenty of public transport, but if you’re able and comfortable with walking, I would recommend exploring on foot as much as you can. As always with taxis, try and agree a price before you get in to avoid any expensive surprises. 

Seville airport is only 20 minutes from the city, making it an ideal place to fly to. In the UK, several airlines fly direct to Seville. We flew with Easyjet from Gatwick and they receive top marks from me. 

The climate is a lot warmer than the coast of Spain as Seville is inland. Temperatures are known for getting in to the mid-high 40 degrees Celsius and the humidity does get very high over summer. 


Where to stay

Image by Yanko Peyankov from Pixabay 

We stayed in Alameda de Hercules, which was a nice little area. It has a slightly trendier *hipster* vibe (sorry, I hate that word too) and because of that, has a lot of little bars, cafes and restaurants. It’s situated slightly out of the main city centre down some narrow cobbled streets, but it’s still within a 20-30 minute walk of the main hotspots. The area was fairly lively, which was perfect for my hen do, and we stumbled across Pride which was a fun atmosphere! 

If you’re looking for late night bars, trendy cafes and lively evenings, I would recommend staying in Alameda. Our Airbnb was perfect for our group, very modern, air-conditioned and it had a shared pool too, which was much needed! I’ve embedded our apartment below (this is not a sponsored post, by the way. I’m just very happy to recommend decent places I’ve stayed).

If you’re looking for somewhere closer to the city, try staying around the Santa Cruz area, close to the more quaint and authentic streets of Seville but also much closer to the city centre. We had originally looked at staying at Hotel Alfonso XIII close to the Plaza de Espana and the Real Alcazar. El Arenal is also a nice area and slap bang in the middle of the attractions, making it an ideal spot if you only have a few days to explore (although you might have to sacrifice the peace and quiet for this central location).


What to do/see 

Alcazar arches in Seville
Real Alcazar | Image by USA-Reiseblogger from Pixabay 

Flamenco

This is an absolute must, regardless of whether you’re an avid Strictly Come Dancing viewer or not! Seville is the birthplace of Flamenco and the shows are really something else. I’m not the biggest dance fan, but it was an incredible experience to watch a live performance. I would highly recommend La Casa del Flamenco for a smaller and more intimate performance – we were lucky enough to get front row seats and a perfect view of the stage. They get booked up quickly so I would advise booking at least the day before if not further in advance. 

Plaza de Espana

One of the famous historical Andalusian landmarks, with it’s ornate ceramic tiling and impressive water fountain. The architecture is stunning and it’s well worth a walk around and you can also take boat rides along the surrounding lakes. The nearby parks, including the pretty Parque de Maria Luisa, are also beautiful and worth an explore as you head out of the Plaza de Espana. 

Real Alcazar

A few minutes from Plaza de Espana is the Real Alcazar, a stunning Moorish royal palace. I’m so gutted we missed this as both the palace and the grounds look amazing. It’s well-known for it’s fountain-filled gardens, stunning architecture and ornate arches. 

Shopping area

Seville has a really decent shopping area, with well-known names such as Zara, H&M, Mango and Sephora, as well as independent boutiques. It has a really nice layout and is worth a visit if you like a bit of retail therapy. Head for Calle O’Donnell and Calle Velaquez. 

There’s so much to see and do in Seville, including boat trips along the river, paddle boarding tours, cathedrals, monasteries and museums, as well as exploring further afield if you have a few days to spare. Granada is around 2.5 hours from Seville. Ronda, the mountaintop city, is less than a 2 hour drive. The quaint coastal town of Cadiz is less than 1.5 hours from Seville. (Cadiz was recommended to us by some of the locals but unfortunately we didn’t have time to go!)


Hope this travel guide has been useful! Let me know if you plan on visiting Seville, if you have any questions about the city or anywhere else you would recommend. 

See more of my photos on Instagram by searching the hashtag #seekingsundaytravels or have a read of my previous travel guides for inspiration.

Katie x

P.S. You might notice I’ve used some stock photos in this post, this is because I didn’t take my camera to Seville (and I was a sweaty mess for most of it so forgot to take as many photos as usual!) The copyright-free stock images are free for commercial use and all linked and credited to their rightful owners πŸ™‚