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Seville (Sevilla in Spanish) is a city in Andalusia in southern Spain best known for its Moorish fort-cum-palace, the Alcázar. It also boasts the distinction of being the place where tapas were first invented.
Seville was founded over 2,000 years ago by the Romans, who were displaced from the region early in the 8th century by the Moors. The city was a part of Muslim Andalusia for several centuries before Fernando III, the King of Castille, fought the Moors and conquered Seville. A strong Moorish influence is still readily apparent in the city's culture and architecture.
Santa Cruz is the old Jewish quarter in the centre of the city. Narrow streets lead past typical restaurants and bars. Santa Cruz is also the barrio where you will find the cathedral and the Alcázar.
El Arenal is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Seville, on the banks of the Rio Guadalquivir.
On other side of the Rio Guadalquivir lies the working class barrio of Triana.
La Macarena lies north of the city centre and houses the Basalica de la Macarena. The flea market is also held there every Thursday morning.
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The Cathedral in Seville is the biggest cathedral in Spain and the third largest Christian cathedral in the world. It was built in the 15th and 16th centuries on the site of a Moorish mosque. Of this mosque only the tower called La Giralda survived. This tower once was the highest building on Earth, and is special because it doesn't have any stairs to climb, instead you can climb to the top of the tower on 34 ramps, which made it possible to get to the top riding a horse. From the top of the tower you have a nice overview over the city.
Inside the Cathedral you will find numerous chapels, paintings and gold metalwork, as well as one of the biggest altarpieces in the world. There is also a tomb for Cristobal Colon (better known as Christopher Columbus), although the remains inside the tomb are not those of Columbus. There is also a small exhibition room, where paintings and other artifacts are on display.
Next to the Cathedral, on the other side of the Plaza de Triunfo lies the Real Alcázar (Royal Castle). Inside you will find a Palace that was build in the typical Mudajar style. The Palace was build in the 14th century, but there are also older parts, as it was build on the site of a Moorish palace. Highlights are the Patio del Léon (Lions courtyard) at the entrance of the building, the Palacio de Pedro I and the Patio de las Doncellas, the Patio de la Monteria, and the beautiful gardens.
The Basalicade la Macarena is a beautiful Neo-Baroque church, with lavish decorations. It was build between 1936 and 1941, and it has the most important relique in town: the Virgin de la Esperanza Macarena. This icon is worshiped by a large group of followers. During processions she is carried around the rest of the town.
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The Torre del Oro (Golden Tower) was build in the 13th century by the Moorish rulers and had a military purpose. Later it was used to store the gold and other treasures that were taken home from the Spanish conquests in South America. It now houses a naval museum.
Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza is the bullfighting ring in the barrio El Arenal, and is located on the banks of the Rio Guadalquivir. The ring can be visited, and also houses a museum.
El Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija or The Lebrija Palace can be found in Seville’s Calle Cuna. The palace is considered the “best paved house-palace in Europe” owing to its collection of roman mosaics, which paved practically the whole of the ground floor. There is also a collection of well parapets, vases, amphora, columns and sculptures of incalculable worth. On the upper floor you can visit the residences previously inhabited by the Countess and her decedents, up to only a few years ago; extremely well preserved, they are today filled with ornaments and furniture from all over the world, priceless artwork by Van Dyke, Bruegel, Alonso Cano, amongst others, as well as collections of porcelain and glass. Opening times: Monday to Friday 10:30am-7:30pm (July and August: 09:00am-3:00pm), Saturday 10:00am-7:00pm (July and August: 10:00am-2:00pm), Sunday 10:00am-2:00pm (Jul-Aug: closed).
La Isla Magica is a modern theme park on the site of Expo 92.
Seville enjoys a Mediterranean climate with generally hot and dry summers and mild winters when most of the annual rainfall occurs. Still, compared to the southern coastline of Spain, temperatures are much warmer in summer and somewhat colder in winter. In winter, frost at night is rare but possible. In summer, be prepared for temperatures mostly around 35 °C, but that is the average: temperatures up to 45 °C are possible, and it is best to visit the city therefore somewhere around April/May or mid-September to early November. During the summertime, it is best to walk the streets on Seville utilizing the shaded sides of the streets, either by buildings or trees. You will notice that there is usually a way to way down most streets in the shade; however be sure you aren't walking in the established bike paths on the sidewalks (they are either green with white lines or, which is less noticeable, lined with small, evenly-spaced metal circles that have a small bike symbol on them).
Seville Airport (San Pablo Airport, interational code SVQ)) has pretty good connections to destinations outside of Spain. Iberia, Ryanair, Air Berlin and Vueling are among the airlines that operate from Seville airport.
The airport is situated to the east of the city. Seville Airport is situated on the A4 motorway (known as E05 in the International E-road network) which connects Seville with Madrid. The motorways around Seville provide relatively easy access to Jerez de la Frontera, Málaga, Cádiz, Huelva and Portugal. It is served by half-hourly buses to the centre of Seville, stopping at Santa Justa railway station and Puerta de Jerez, which take about 40 minutes. Buses run between the city and the airport from 06:15am until 11:00pm. This is the most cost-effective option because it only costs about €2.30.
There are also taxis that cost about €21 flat fee from the airport to anywhere in Seville. Do not let them charge you more. The prices are clearly marked on the door of the taxi and on posters around the airport. There are a few special fees during Semana Santa and Feria, but do not pay more than the advertised price. If they are causing problems ask at the hotel or if you speak Spanish whip out your mobile phone and threaten to speak to the police. That shuts up the taxi driver very, very quickly!
The train station in Seville is called Santa Justa and its very easy to take a taxi from the train station to your destination (generally should range from €7-15 as long the distance to your destination is not extremely far from the station). Seville is connected to Madrid via the AVE (run by Renfe), which takes you from Madrid Atocha train station to Seville Santa Justa in 2.5 hours. Córdoba can also be reached by AVE in 45 minutes. The trip from Barcelona takes about 10 hours and can be done on a sleeper train. From Seville you can travel pretty easily to Granada (approximately 3 hours), and to Jerez de la Frontera (just over an hour) and Cadiz (just under 2 hours), which can be done as daytrips.
Seville is not an easy place to navigate with a car due to the fact that many streets are one way and the street signs may be difficult for tourists to understand. Finding a parking spot can also be hard. Therefore, if you travel by car, it is recommended to book a hotel that has a parking lot that is reserved for visitors only.
Sevilla has two big bus-stations: Plaza de Armas, near the Puente de Cachorro bridge, and Prado de San Sebastian, near the Jardines de Murillo. Bus services go to many destinations in Spain and also to Portugal and cities further afield to central and western Europe. Eurolines has some international connections.
Seville is not an easy place to navigate with a car, and finding a parking spot can be hard. Besides, the city centre is small enough to walk around and is actually quicker than driving and parking etc.
The bus system is rather comprehensive and inexpensive. The metro only has one line that travels to many main locations, construction is currently underway for the other lines. It would be useful to have a metro pass in order to decrease walking time between sights.
Most sights are within walking distance of each other. Seeing the city by foot might be the best option (see also weather section about walking in the summertime).
Seville is one of the places in Spain that takes bikers seriously and actually has bike lanes, though whoever designed these must have been having an off day when he or she did some of them. Don't be surprised to find orange trees in the middle of the lane, or to suddenly find the lane being reduced to a single narrow track that you have to share with pedestrians! All part of the experience.
Having said that, Seville is a great place to cycle. It is pretty much flat and there is very little rain. The best thing about Seville is that there are little stations, run by Servici, all around Seville where you can rent bikes for €5 a week. Just go up to the pay points next to the bike stations dotted around the city and get yourself a bike. See the Sevici website for more details.
Seville is where tapas were invented and it's still a good place to take a tapas tour and try some of the traditional Andalusian dishes. A hint: if it has pictures of the food, on the menu, you are probably going to a tourist trap and will be ripped off.
Rabo de Toro (oxtail-stew) is a traditional Andalusian dish, although many tapas bars do not serve it. Jamon Iberico, Manchego cheese and croquetas can be found more commonly. Other classic and tasty dishes include Salmorejo (a kind of thicker version of Gazpacho), Boquerones (whitebait or small sardines, aka anchovies before they are cured), patatas bravas and carillada (pig's cheeks, but don't be squeamish - it is very tasty).
The best and the oldest bar in Seville is Rinconcillo on Calle Girona. It is a classic, and not full of tourists as you might expect.
The Oasis Hostel is a good hostel, with good kitchen facilities at the Plaza Encarnacion, if you are looking for a cheap place to stay. The hostel has dorms but also a couple of double private rooms. The staff organises activities for the guests, that you can attend, including a tapas tour, and visiting a flamenco performance in the Santa Cruz barrio.
|Pension Nuevo Pino||Calle Tarifa 6||Hostel||85|
|Bed & Breakfast Naranjo||San Roque 11||GUESTHOUSE||86|
|Casa del Buen Viaje||Calle Cristo del Buen Viaje 12--Sevilla||Guesthouse||-|
|Finca La Luz||Urbanizacion Torrepalma 164 Carmona||Guesthouse||86|
|Hostal Catedral||C/ Tintes 22||Guesthouse||77|
|Hostal Da Vinci||Avda. de la Constitucion 20||GUESTHOUSE||80|
|Hostal Dalis||Puerta Jerez 3||GUESTHOUSE||82|
|Hostal Doña Pepa||C/ Juan de Vera,20 Escalera n 1||Guesthouse||78|
|Hotel El Duque||Plaza del Duque 11||HOTEL||86|
|Hostal Florida||Avenida Menendez Pelayo 27||Guesthouse||80|
|Hostal Lis II||Olavide 5||Guesthouse||83|
|Hostal Monet||C/ Albareda, 15||Guesthouse||83|
|Hostal Museo||C/Abad Gordillo, 17||Guesthouse||86|
|Nuevo Suizo||C/Azofaifo 7||Hostel||84|
|Hostal Paco's||Pedro del Toro 7||GUESTHOUSE||78|
|Hotel Paris Sevilla||San Pedro Martir,14||HOTEL||76|
|Hostal Redes||C/Redes, 28 41002||Hostel||77|
|Hostal Roma||Gravina, 34 Sevilla||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostal Santa Catalina||Alhondiga 10- 12 41003||Guesthouse||82|
|Hostal Sierpes||Corral del Rey 22||Guesthouse||75|
|Hostal Van Gogh||Miguel de Manara 4||GUESTHOUSE||81|
|Hostal Zurbaran||Mariana de Pineda 10||Guesthouse||82|
|HostelOne Sevilla Alameda||Jesus del Gran Poder 113||Hostel||90|
|Monte Olivo Hotel||Monte Olivete 5||Hotel||80|
|Hotel Aacr Museo||Calle Pedro del Toro, 9||Hotel||84|
|Hotel Abanico||Aguilas 17||Hotel||89|
|Hotel Abril||Jeronimo Hernandez, 20||HOTEL||85|
|Hotel Don Pedro||Gerona 24||Hotel||82|
|Hotel Doña Carmela||Avenida de Jerez, 14||Hotel||84|
|Hotel Londres||San Pedro Mártir, 1||Hotel||80|
|Hotel Marengo||Calle del Enmedio 26 Castilleja de la Cuesta||Hotel||81|
|Hotel Medium Virgen de los Reyes||Av. Luis Montoto, 129||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Pasarela||Avda de la Borbolla, 11||Hotel||85|
|Hotel San Gil||Calle Parras N 28 41002||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Un Patio en Santa Cruz||Doncellas, 15||Hotel||89|
|Husa Los Seises||Segovias 6 41004||Hotel||-|
|Oasis Backpackers' Hostel Sevilla||Calle de la Compañía 1||HOSTEL||86|
|La Casa del Sol||Santas Patronas, 31||Hostel||81|
|Pension Montorena||San Clemente 12||Guesthouse||83|
|Petit Palace Sevilla Canalejas||Canalejas 2||Hotel||85|
|Petit Palace Marqués Santa Ana||Calle Jimios 9-11||Hotel||82|
|Petit Palace Santa Cruz||Pza.Ramón Ybarra Llosent, nº4 (Muñoz y Pabón,18)||Hotel||81|
|Residencia Fernando Villalón||Paraje de Paterna s/n||Hostel||81|
|Feetup Samay Hostel Sevilla||Menendez Pelayo 13||HOSTEL||87|
|San Francisco Hostal||C/ Gonzalez de Leon, 4||Guesthouse||88|
|Sevilla Home||Marques de Paradas, 28||Apartment||78|
|Sevilla Inn Backpackers||Calle Angeles 11||Hostel||88|
|Urbany Hostel Sevilla||Doña Maria Coronel, 12 - Sevilla||HOSTEL||82|
|Seville Picasso Backpacker||C/ San Gregorio, 1||Hostel||82|
|The Garden Backpacker||Santiago 19||Hostel||92|
|Traveler's Inn Seville||Augusto Plasencia 5||Hostel||90|
|Triana Backpackers||Rodrigo de Triana 69, Seville||Hostel||86|
|YH Giralda||Abades N°30||GUESTHOUSE||88|
|Huerta La Cansina||Camino San Agustin||Guesthouse||-|
|Sevillas Center Apartments||Calle Feria, 4||APARTMENT||83|
|Hostal Lis *||C/ Escarpin No 10||GUESTHOUSE||82|
|Pension Bienvenido||Archeros 14||Guesthouse||74|
|Eurostars Gran Hotel Solúcar||Carretera Nacional Sevilla Huelva A-472||Hotel||86|
|Hotel Sevilla Congresos||Avda. Alcalde Luis Uruñuela s/n||Hotel||-|
|Exe Isla Cartuja||Estadio Olimpico Puerta G (formerly Isla Cartuja)||Hotel||84|
|Eurostars Regina||San Vicente 97||Hotel||88|
|Hotel Un Patio Al Sur||Calle Fernán Caballero 7||Hotel||84|
|Hotel Las Casas de La Juderia||Calle Santa María la Blanca 5||Hotel||-|
|Hacienda Olontigi||Ventorro, 23||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostal Casa Sol y Luna||Perez Galdos 1-A||Guesthouse||-|
|The Living Roof||C/Dos de Mayo 16||Hostel||89|
|La Caja Habitada||C/ Credito 20||Hostel||87|
|Hostal Generalife||Fernan Caballero, 4||Guesthouse||82|
|Oasis Backpackers' Palace Sevilla||C/ Almirante Ulloa, 1||Hostel||88|
|Metropolis Sevilla Hostel & Suites||C/Bajeles 20||APARTMENT||87|
|HOTEL SEVILLA PALMERA||C/ Cardenal Ilundain, 28||Hotel||-|
|The Spot Central Hostel||C/Adriano, 6||Hostel||88|
|Sevilla District One Hostel||Calle Angostillo, 6||HOSTEL||91|
|R. S. Ana Alojamientos de Verano||C/ Gravina, 22||GUESTHOUSE||83|
|Apartamentos Suites Santa Cruz||Pimienta, 4||Apartment||-|
|Hostal San Lorenzo||C/ Juan Rabadan 28||Hotel||79|
|Pension Alameda||Alameda de Hercules 31||Guesthouse||82|
|Casa Alfareria59||Calle Alfareria 59||Guesthouse||84|
|The Architect Hostel||Calle Joaquin Guichot 8 1 Planta||HOSTEL||90|
|Hostal Giraldilla||Calle Gravina 23 41001||GUESTHOUSE||83|
|Trotamundos Hostel||Bailen 12||HOSTEL||87|
|Albergue Inturjoven Sevilla||Isaac Peral, 2||HOSTEL||81|
|Sevilla's Center Apartments||Calle Aposentadores, 5||Apartment||82|
|Cathedral House Sevilla||Calle Arfe 36||HOSTEL||84|
|Feeling Sevilla Hostel||c/ Imaginero Castillo Lastrucci, 8||HOSTEL||83|
|Banos de la Reina Mora Sevilla||Miguel Cid, 25 Martinez Montas 10||HOTEL||-|
|Albergue Inturjoven Constantina||Avenida del Doctor Larrauri s/n Constantina||HOSTEL||-|
|Backpackers Sevilla Center||Plaza de la Encarnación, 29||HOSTEL||83|
|Hostal Jentoft||C/ Benidorm 2||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Sevilla City Rooms||Riquelme Quiros 17, 1º D||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Pension Virgen de la Luz||c/ Virgen de la Luz, 18||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Palacio Alcazar||Plaza de la Alianza, 11||Hotel||-|
|Samay Rooms Sevilla||Plaza Curtidores n5 Floor 2 Door A||Apartment||-|
|Residencia La Cartuja||Glorieta Beatriz Manchon s/n||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel El Ancla||Plaza de los Pescadores, 1 Alcalá del Río Seville||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Palace Sevilla||Plaza de la Encarnación, 17||HOTEL||-|
|Casa Imperial||Imperial 29||HOTEL||-|
|Apartamentos Puerta del Sur||Calle El Compás s/n||APARTMENT||-|
|Hostal Callejon del Agua||C/ Corral del Rey, 23||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Simon||C/Garcia de Vinuesa 19. CP||HOTEL||-|
|Confortel Puerta de Triana||C/Reyes Católicos 5||Hotel||-|
|Grand Luxe Hostel||Don Remondo 7||HOSTEL||-|
|Patio de la Cartuja||c/ Lumbreras, 8 y 10||APARTMENT||-|
|Hostal Union Sevilla||Tarifa 4||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Goya||C/ Mateos Gago 31||HOTEL||-|
|Pension Bailen||Calle Bailen 75||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Alcantara||Ximenez de Enciso, 28Sevilla 41004||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Pension RioSol||Marques de Paradas 25 Sevilla 41001||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hosteria del Laurel||Plaza de los Venerables nº 5||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Dona Manuela, Casa Modesto||Paseo Catalina de Ribera 2||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Baco||Plaza Ponce de Leon 15 Sevilla||HOTEL||-|
|Hostal Nuevo Pino||Calle Tarifa 6 41002 Seville||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hostal Arenal||Pastor y Landero 21||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hostal Plaza Santa Cruz||Calle Santa Teresa, 15||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hostal Trajano||Trajano, 3||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Soho Boutique Hostel||Calle Sales y Ferre 18||HOSTEL||-|
|Domaseville||Calle Matachica 23 Alcala de guadaira||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Casa Rural Hoyo Bautista||Ctra Pedrera Finca Hoyo Bautista s/n||GUESTHOUSE||-|
Many cafes offer free Wifi (pronounced in Spain: "WeeFee"), however be prepared for it to be out of commission or for you to need to make a purchase or so per hour to continue use. Some hotels and hostels also offer free wifi. There are also internet cafes spread throughout the city.
When you arrive in Seville, there are several places you can pick up an unlocked phone, or "movil libre". You may also bring your own phone if it is unlocked and has quadband capabilities. There are several companies that offer good prepaid phone options, including: Orange, Movistar, Vodafone, etc. They tend to have shops scattered everywhere throughout the city so they won't be too difficult to find. If you want to do it all in one place, you could venture over to El Corte Inglés, which is a large department store that tends to be convenient but also slightly more expensive than other shops.
See also International Telephone Calls
If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times can vary and the main post office usually is open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Look for the "Estanco" sign, which indicates the presence of a tobacco shop.
Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78.
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Ask krystenj08 a question about Seville
I am living in Seville as a study abroad student until late December; therefore, I may be able to answer questions that other travelers or visitors have.
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