SD › Seville Travel
Updated: June 27, 2020
The 102 best hotels, restaurants, shops, cocktail bars, craft breweries, cafes, museums, markets, tours, neighborhoods, and things to do in Seville.
1. Hotel Alfonso XIII • El Arenal • $$$$
With its frescoed ceilings, colorful ceramic tiling, graceful Moorish arches, and grand ballroom, the old-world glamor of the 5-star Hotel Alfonso XIII is Seville’s equivalent to The Ritz in London and George V in Paris. Past guests have included royalty and the likes of Sofia Loren, Orson Welles, Hemingway, and David Beckham. Large, luxurious rooms and individually-styled suites come with carved alcoves and Moorish-style headboards. Amenities include a large pool amidst beautifully-landscaped gardens, gym, and 2 excellent restaurants. • +34 954 91 70 00
2. Hotel Las Casas de la Juderia • Barrio Santa Cruz • $$$$
Taking up 27 converted houses in Seville’s ancient Jewish quarter, this boutique hotel is a labyrinth of narrow passageways, rooms, stairwells, classic Andalusian patios, and gardens, The hotel has preserved many of the buildings’ original features such as antique furniture, wooden floors, and French windows. Apart from the rooftop pool, amenities include a luxurious mosaic-tiled spa modeled on ancient Roman baths. There’s live piano music nightly at the aptly named elegant cocktail bar on-site, Piano Bar. • +34 954 41 51 50
3. EME Catedral Hotel • Barrio Santa Cruz • $$$$
Right across the street from the cathedral, this chic hotel – a favorite with celebrities – combines thoroughly modern design and period features. The hotel comprises over a dozen converted 16th-century townhouses, and all rooms come with exposed stone walls, high-beamed ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling French windows that open up onto balconies. The rooftop plunge pool peeks right into the La Giralda bell tower; other boons include a wellness spa, hammam steam room, 3 excellent restaurants, and the trendy Santo Copas cocktail bar with a glass floor that exposes subterranean Roman ruins. • +34 954 56 00 00
4. Hotel Mercer Sevilla • Barrio Santa Cruz • $$$$
The understated façade on a quiet street in El Arenal hides a 5-star hotel inside a restored 19th-century palace. The staff greet guests with a welcome glass of cava in the magnificent light-filled atrium. A grand marble staircase takes you up to the 12 individually-styled, high-tech, and luxurious rooms with no expense spared when it comes to comfort. The on-site restaurant serves contemporary Andalusian cuisine, while the bar is known for its inventive house cocktails. • +34 954 22 30 04
5. Hotel Colón Gran Melía • Centre • $$$$
Popular with foreign dignitaries, bullfighters, and celebrities, this 5-star hotel leans towards contemporary glamor, with petal-shaped Philippe Starke armchairs beneath a giant chandelier and smart, minimalist rooms with doors painted to look like artworks by Goya and El Greco. Perks include a rooftop whirlpool tub with sunbeds, a small gym and spa, designer toiletries in bathrooms, and 3 excellent restaurants, one of which doubles as a cocktail bar. • +34 954 50 55 99
6. Triana House • Triana • $$$
This chic boutique hotel on the west side of the river comprises just 6 luxurious rooms spread over 3 floors. Each room is named after a city and individually styled by Seville’s hottest interior designer, Amaro Sanchez de Moya; expect bold graphic print fabrics and patterned marble floors. Opt for Beijing if you’re after a private outdoor terrace, or Napoli for the claw-footed tub. A smartly-attired waiter serves breakfast in your room. • +34 644 88 98 10
7. Hotel Casa 1800 Sevilla • Barrio Santa Cruz • $$$
Just steps away from the cathedral, this luxurious 3-story 19th-century mansion is a perfect blend of historic charm and 21st-century comfort: the exposed brickwork, vintage floor tiles, and fin de siècle velvet sofas are paired with flat-screen TVs and coffee makers. The enormous central patio floods the interior with light, all the Premium rooms are individually decorated, and amenities include a rooftop pool and terrace with a splendid view of La Giralda bell tower. Personalized service is one of this intimate hotel’s best features. • +34 954 56 18 00
8. Fontecruz Sevilla Seises • Barrio Santa Cruz • $$$
This chic, urban hotel blends 15th-century architecture with Pop Art, and the view of the cathedral from its trendy rooftop bar and pool is one of Seville’s best. The classic Andalusian patio of this converted Archbishop’s Palace is filled with orange trees and there’s a strong contrast between its 15th-century stone columns and arches, an excavated Roman mosaic floor, and the spacious and highly contemporary rooms, with framed black-and-white photos of Hollywood greats and stylish indigo, black, and white décor. • +34 954 22 94 95
9. Hotel Casa del Poeta • Barrio Santa Cruz • $$$
A cozy boutique hotel, Casa del Poet has preserved the original elements of a restored 17th-century mansion, from the leafy central patio with Moorish arches and a fountain centerpiece to sumptuous antique furnishings. The 14 individually decorated rooms and 3 suites are airy and bright, and there are excellent views of the cathedral from the private roof terraces. There’s a small art gallery on-site and free Andalusian guitar performances are held nightly. • +34 954 21 38 68
10. Corral Del Rey • Barrio Santa Cruz • $$$-$$$$
This intimate 17th-century palacio (mansion), with just 17 rooms, sits in the heart of Seville’s historic Barrio Santa Cruz. Each room features carved mirrors, batik headboards, and embroidered rugs against a palette of neutral tones; the Junior Suite comes with a deep soaking tub, while the Pool and Penthouse suites feature private terraces and plunge pools. The concierge organizes activities according to your interests, from sherry tasting and flamenco classes to soaring above Seville in a hot air balloon. • +34 954 22 71 16
11. Casa Romana • Centre • $$
Comprising 2 adjoining 18th-century palacios, this boutique hotel is dotted with reproductions of Roman statues, mosaics, and more. The 26 airy rooms are arranged around 2 whitewashed patios and decked out in soothing creams and crimson accents. The on-site restaurant blends Andalusian and Asian cuisines and the lively bar on the roof benefits from a poolside location and excellent views of the city. • +34 954 91 51 70
12. Hotel Palacio Alcázar • Barrio Santa Cruz • $$$
The 18th-century former home of American bullfighter John Fulton sits on a little plaza just around the corner from the cathedral. Inside are 12 stylish, ultra-modern rooms featuring an all-white, minimalist décor with triple-glazed windows and sound-proofed doors to ensure a peaceful stay. The roof terrace is notable both for its views of the cathedral and its bell tower and for its lovely al fresco tapas bar. • +34 954 50 21 90
13. Alcoba del Rey de Sevilla • Macarena • $$$
Somewhat off the beaten track in down-to-earth Macarena, this 15-room boutique hotel celebrates Seville’s Moorish heritage. Each room is named after a noble, poet, or philosopher from Moorish-era Seville, and the individual color schemes are accented with colorful ceramic tiles, cedar wood furniture, and plenty of mirrors. There’s a rooftop bar and terrace with a romantic hot tub nook, fringed with tumbling bougainvillea and olive trees. • +34 954 91 58 00
14. Abantal • near Barrio Santa Cruz • $$$
Near the Sevilla Santa Justa train station, at city’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, Chef Julio Fernández makes the most of seasonal produce. Diners can expect the likes of wild mushrooms with truffled egg yolk, red tuna cheek with pepper jelly, and beef sirloin with leek and goat’s cheese gratin. It’s well worth going for the 7-course tasting menu for a full experience of what Abantal has to offer. Reservations a must. • +34 954 54 00 00
15. El Asador de Aranda • Huerta de Santa Teresa • $$
A 10-minute walk from the Sevilla Santa Justa train station, this traditional Castilian restaurant is well worth seeking out. The specialty here is suckling lamb cooked in a clay oven, but it’s hard to go wrong with any of the robust, meat dishes. Popular with families and groups. • +34 954 57 81 41
16. Taberna del Alabardero • El Arenal • $$$
Housed in a beautiful 19th-century mansion, this is one of Seville’s finest upscale restaurants. The seasonal menu focuses on traditional dishes with a contemporary touch, such as crispy suckling pig with red cabbage and smoked venison loin; dress up. You can also dine in the bistro downstairs, where the atmosphere is less formal. The wine list features rare vintages from all over Spain. Bookings essential. • +34 954 50 27 21
17. Az-Zait • Feria • $$$
The interior of this Moorish-themed restaurant is Old World opulence, with a slightly less fancy, sit-down tapas area. Choose between classics such as patatas bravas (fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce) and ajoblanco (cold almond soup), and specialties such as langoustine carpaccio and seared scallops with apple puree. • +34 954 90 64 75
18. Sahumo • El Arenal • $$$
If you come to Sahumo for a full meal, then meat is the star of the show – from the tender beef entrecote and lamb with wood-grilled vegetables to presa Ibérica with mojo picón (marbled pork shoulder with spicy olive oil, garlic, and paprika sauce). Tapas tend to be a little pricier than in many other bars, but more varied and imaginative, too. • +34 954 96 33 70
19. Abades Triana • Triana • $$-$$$
Overlooking the river from the Triana side, this elegant restaurant is a favorite with local families who get dressed up and come here to celebrate a special occasion. The Mediterranean menu makes good use of local ingredients, but it’s the atmosphere that’s the winner: there are wonderful views of Seville from the patio, particularly in the evenings when the city is lit up. Business lunch menus are very good value. • +34 954 28 64 59
20. Cañabota • Centro • $$-$$$
Seafood is the name of the game at this family-run restaurant named after a rare shark. There’s a terrific sushi bar with an open kitchen and a grill in the middle of the dining room where your fish and seafood of choice is cooked in front of you. Book ahead. • +34 954 87 02 98
21. Torres y García • El Arenal • $$-$$$
This hip bistro combines industrial-rustic decor with creative ‘rustic’ cuisine (think pig trotter casserole, beef tenderloin with mash, cod gratin). The restaurant is also justifiably famous among locals for its woodfired pizzas. • +34 955 54 63 85
22. Ispal • Barrio Santa Cruz • $$$
Steeped in Sevillian culinary history, Ispal focuses on traditional Sevillian dishes with a modern twist, with a focus on locavore cuisine and seasonal ingredients. Go for green gazpacho with apple, roasted suckling pig, or vegetable rice with sweetbreads, and pair the dishes with a tipple from the carefully chosen menu of Andalusian wines. • +34 954 23 20 24
23. Tradevo Centro • Barrio Santa Cruz • $$-$$$
The most central of the 3 Tradevo restaurants, this sleek bistro blends TRA-dition with EVO-lution. There’s an emphasis on ingredient-driven dishes and sharing plates; go for grilled seabass with black pudding and artichoke, oxtail croquettes with piquillo peppers, or the chef’s take on sushi. • +34 854 80 74 24
24. Sobretablas • El Porvenir • $$-$$$
The short and sweet menu at this hot new place showcases the skills of the hotshot young chef who learned her trade at one of the world’s finest restaurants. Modern, beautifully presented dishes such as oxtail with celeriac puree, duck-studded rice, and shrimp tartar with pistachio are served in a greenery-filled space near the southern end of Parque de María Luisa. • +34 955 54 64 51
25. Cerámica Triana • Triana
A local institution for over 50 years, this is one of the best places in Seville to buy the colorful azulejos (ceramic tiles) that Seville has long been known for. Crockery, crucifixes, and decorative items available.
26. Tarico • Feria
Near La Alameda, this store is a terrific place to stock up on Andalusia’s edible goodies from small producers, such as cheeses, (mostly) Andalusian craft beer, honey, wine, and award-winning olive oil.
27. Un Gato en Bicicleta • Centro
This arty independent bookstore doubles as a gallery and a ceramics studio. The book selection is particularly strong on fashion, architecture, and cinema and you can also purchase local art, take part in ceramics classes, or just come to the adjoining café for a coffee.
28. Padilla Crespo Ala Ancha • El Arenal
Beautiful leather bags, accessories, and wide-brimmed hats sold here kit out revelers during the Feria de Avril. You can also find espadrilles, hand-painted Andalusian fans, and Panama hats here.
29. Boutique La Folie • El Arenal
This ultra-modern, minimalist boutique stocks smart clothing and one-of-a-kind accessories by local up-and-coming designers. Reasonably priced for the quality involved.
30. Flamenco y Mas • Macarena
Flamenco is a huge part of Sevillian culture and this is one of several excellent stores where you can pick a traje de gitana (flamenco dress), along with accessories such as combs, cloth flowers, shawls, and earrings. Good range of flamenco shoes also.
31. Artesanía Textil • El Arenal
Come here for hand-embroidered shawls that Sevillian ladies wear to weddings, bullfights, or even with flamenco dresses. They make terrific gifts and the price varies widely, depending on the size and whether it’s silk or rayon, and handmade or machine-made.
32. La Seta Coqueta • Centro
This concept/vintage store is all about quirky, affordable women’s fashion, with pieces that you won’t find in the high street chains. Come here for stylish streetwear and accessories.
33. Droguería del Arenal • El Arenal
It’s hard to imagine a scent more Sevillian than that of the bitter oranges that grow on thousands of trees around the city. Good thing is, you can now get it in bottled form by purchasing orange blossom perfume at this drugstore.
34. Isadora • Centro
Located in the Soho Benita area (5 shopping streets located between Las Setas de Sevilla and Plaza Alfalfa), this store is very popular with local fashionistas. Come here for shoes and accessories by local designers, plus a wealth of women’s vintage clothing.
35. Ovejas Negras • Barrio Santa Cruz
A stone’s throw from the cathedral, this contemporary tapas bar combines vibrant, punchy, pop art-y décor with interesting international flavors. Their specialties include the risottazzo (an expertly prepared mushroom risotto), tuna tartar, and some of the best gourmet burgers in town. It’s a casual, buzzy, mid-priced place.
36. Eslava • Feria
This award-winning tapas bar is a local institution. The wine selection is strong on Andalusian wines, and tapas range from Andalusian classics such as salmorejo (a thick, savory gazpacho) and fritura malagueña (Malaga-style battered, fried anchovies with a squirt of lemon) to slow-cooked egg on boletus cake with wine reduction. Great desserts, too.
37. La Azotea • Barrio Santa Cruz
This sleek and modern tapas bar is just steps away from the cathedral. Sit at the bar or outside and choose either from a changing seasonal menu of daily specials or standout favorites such as fresh seafood, steak tartar with green apple slush, and pork cheek with goat’s cheese gratin. Wash it down with a glass of sangria the size of your head.
38. Casa Morales • El Arenal
Run by the Morales family since 1850, this classic Sevillian bar is a great place for a glass of wine, house vermouth, or sherry and tapas, with customers sitting surrounded by enormous clay tinajas (jugs). A list of full-sized raciones is chalked on one of the jugs, and there’s an extensive tapas menu, ranging from charcuterie and cheese to tiny montaditos (sandwiches).
39. Casa Moreno • El Arenal
Head for tiny room at the back of this abacería (neighborhood grocery store) to reach the very local, standing-only tapas bar, decked out with bullfighting posters. Go for hot tapas – peppers stuffed with morcilla, artichokes stuffed with seafood, or fábada (hearty bean and chorizo stew) at lunchtime, and tiny montaditos (sandwiches) the rest of the day.
40. Blanca Paloma • Triana
This unpretentious, untouristy bar serves an extensive selection of wines by the glass. Grab one of the small tables if you want a sit-down meal of raciones (full-sized dishes) . Tapas such as bocadito de mejillón (mussel sandwich) and bacalao a la gallega (grilled cod with potatoes, garlic, and garbanzo beans) are available only at the bar, and you might have to be assertive and elbow your way in during peak times.
41. El Rinconcillo • Centro
Vintage tiled décor and hams hanging from the ceiling form the memorable backdrop at Seville’s oldest bar, dating back to 1670. Slow-cooked pig cheeks, cuttlefish ink rice, and salted cod with tomato are among the specialties, and there’s an impressive list of Spanish wines and sherries to wash them down with.
42. La Brunilda • El Arenal
All exposed brick and inventive menu, this place is part of the new wave of fusion, gourmet tapas bars. Perch at the bar or grab a table and order fish tiradito (Peruvian-style ceviche) with rocoto (spicy pepper) emulsion, duck confit, and scallops with black noodles to share.
43. Dúo Tapas • Macarena
Laid-back, ‘new school’ tapas bar in hip macarena, specializing in fusion tapas such as shrimp spring rolls, grilled Provolone cheese with chimichurri, and noodles with vegetables. Stand at the bar or book a table if you’re after a sit-down meal.
44. Bodega Santa Cruz • Barrio Santa Cruz
A beloved local institution, this old-school, standing room only tapas bar with some outdoor tables to lean on is all about traditional Andalusian bites. Come for the charcuterie, the cheese, and salmorejo (thick, savory gazpacho), along with a cold beer or glass of local wine.
Cocktail & Wine Bars
45. Séptimo Wine Bar • El Arenal
This upmarket wine bar features a menu of carefully chosen wines from Andalusia, Spain and beyond by knowledgeable owner Florian. There are some excellent fusion bites, too.
46. La Terraza de EME • Barrio Santa Cruz
The classic cocktails served at the rooftop bar at the EME Catedral hotel are on the pricey side, but the views and the ambience are worth it. Dress up for the Friday and Saturday night DJ sessions.
47. The Second Room • Barrio Santa Cruz
This thimble-sized bar near the Plaza del Triunfo specializes in an extensive range of well-crafted classic cocktails, ranging from the superlative mojitos to the strong espresso martinis. Prop up the bar or take it out onto the tiny terrace.
48. El Garlochí • Centro
The owners of this kitschy bar opted for a Semana Santa theme and decided to run with it a few miles. Come here for the signature Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) cocktail, served in the incense-scented, religious-idol-bedecked surrounds.
49. Taberna Álvaro Peregil • Barrio Santa Cruz
Serving locals vino de naranja (white wine macerated with orange peel) since 1904, this tiny, rustic bar is frequented by dedicated regulars and is mostly standing room only. There’s a good selection of Andalusian wines and you can also try the strawberry-infused fortified wine for something a bit different.
50. Vinería San Telmo • Barrio Santa Cruz
The tapas bar attached to this venerable restaurant features an extensive menu of Andalusian and Spanish wines by the glass as well as a good selection of sherries. The nibbles are carefully chosen by the owners to complement the wines.
51. Hops & Dreams • Feria
The brainchild of 2 beer-loving Sevillians, Hops & Dreams is a chilled-out spot down a little side street off La Alameda, complete with a retro arcade machine and 8 rotating beers on tap from Spain, the UK, and beyond. There are some terrific tapas here as well.
52. La Jerónima • Centro
This boho cultural space and craft beer bar doubles as a bookstore selling titles by Spanish authors, and also sells art, accessories, and clothing by independent local designers. There are 4 regularly rotating beers on tap as well as plenty more bottled options.
53. Gallo Rojo • Centro
It’s hard to pin down Gallo Rojo, self-described as a ‘Creativity Factory’. It’s an airy, modern space used as a cultural center that also serves beers from Seville’s own Abril Cervezas, an artisanal beer maker. You can also sign up for their workshops here if you want to learn how to make your own craft beer.
54. BierKraft • Feria
Pared-down industrial chic is combined with red velvet and blue leather banquettes at this stylish, American-run bar. Apart from a hundred or so bottled brews available at the attached bottleshop, there’s a healthy selection of beers on tap, including local Rio Azul, Barcelona’s Edge Brewing, and a few US breweries. Buzzy, good mix of locals and visitors.
55. Maquila Bar • Feria
Apart from super-fresh beer from their own microbrewery at the back, Seville’s first real brewpub serves a rotating range of six Spanish and international beers on tap. A firm favorite with local beer aficionados, with hipster vibes.
Don’t leave Seville without seeing a flamenco performance, Andalusia’s powerful, poignant dance form. Rooted in Roma (gypsy) and Moorish culture and combining sounds from the Levant and North Africa with Spanish folklore, flamenco became popular in Western Andalusia in the late 18th century. During flamenco’s Golden Age (1860-1910), Seville produced some of the finest dancers, and the city remains one of the best places in Spain to catch a performance. Flamenco is improvisation, intricate rhythms produced by clapping or playing castanets, and the sensual laments of singers to the accompaniment of guitar, the staccato rapping of the dancers’ heels, and the graceful turns of the dancers. In Seville, you may catch 2 types of flamenco shows: the impromptu performances in bars or peñas (private clubs), where flamenco aficionados are determined to preserve the art in its most authentic form, and tablaos (well-rehearsed flamenco shows), sometimes complete with dinner and drinks. Seville’s working-class neighborhood of Triana used to be a hotbed of flamenco and it’s still possible to come across spontaneous flamenco singing in some of its bars.
56. La Casa del Flamenco • Barrio Santa Cruz
Terrific tablaos (flamenco shows) performed inside this beautiful Sephardic Jewish mansion every night. Intimate setting, with seating flanking the stage on 3 sides.
57. Casa de la Memoria • Barrio Santa Cruz
Extremely popular nightly tablaos (flamenco shows) held inside a cultural center that’s located in the former stables of the Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija. Worth booking ahead due to demand.
58. Casa Anselma • Triana
Characterful local bar in the Triana neighborhood, with frequent live music and spontaneous flamenco performances and dancing. Things don’t get lively until after midnight.
59. Tablao El Arenal • El Arenal
The best of the venues offering flamenco shows with drinks/tapas/dinner. It’s hard to fault the music or the dancing, though it lacks the intimate feel of smaller venus. Come for the flamenco rather than the food.
60. Virgen Coffee • Centro
This tiny café/microroaster was the first of its kind when it opened in Seville in 2015. Run by pioneer Pedro, it roasts 6 different types of specialty coffees sourced from around the world. Find it right near the Metropol Parasol (Las Setas de Sevilla).
61. Bar El Comercio • Centro
This tiny, tiled, family-run bar is one of the best places in town for a traditional chocolate con churros breakfast. The drinking chocolate is thick and rich, while the churros (deep-fried dough tubes) are freshly made and piping hot. This is one of Sevilla’s few ham-hung bodegas that’s versatile enough to double as a coffee bar.
62. Confitería La Campana • Centro
Serving sugary treats to Sevillians since 1885, this patisserie and café is a beloved local institution. Come here for a coffee accompanied by a nata (custard cake) or a yema (soft, crumbly, cookie-like cake wrapped around a toffee).
63. Kök Tu Cocina • Macarena
Arranged around an open kitchen, this brunch café combines retro decor (vintage phones, red gingham tablecloths) with set menus of homemade breads, cold cuts, yogurt, fresh fruit, and muesli. Vegetarians and vegans are well-catered for.
64. Torch Coffee Roasters • El Arenal
Right near the Torre del Oro, this roastery is run by 2 American sisters and is very community-focused. Come for the carefully-sourced, seasonal coffees and while away some time in this bright and airy space over brunch.
Things to Do
65. Visit the Cathedral and La Giralda bell tower
Dominating the cathedral square, Seville’s cathedral is the largest Gothic church in the world, built on the ruins of a mosque. Highlights include works by Zurbarán and Murillo in the art pavilion, the largest altarpiece ever made, and the magnificent tomb of Christopher Columbus borne by 4 kings to the right of the high altar. In the southeast corner, the Treasury displays some priceless jeweled pieces, and the sacristy next to it is decorated with intricate Plateresque silverwork. Tickets include entry to the 330ft Giralda (bell tower) that used to be the minaret; the city views from the top are wonderful. Exit through the Court of the Orange Trees.
66. Explore the Real Alcázar
The home of Moorish rulers in the 10th century, this enormous palace complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a stunning mix of Islamic and Christian elements. Don’t miss the Admiral’s Hall, where Columbus reported back to Queen Isabel about his New World discoveries. Inside the Royal Palace, highlights include the beautiful Courtyard of the Maidens with its rectangular pool, the breathtaking Moorish dome in the king’s throne room – and the Courtyard of the Dolls, with its Mudejar arches and pool. Stop by the underground pool below the palace before exploring the vast palace gardens. To skip the lines, book your visiting time slot online in advance; afternoons tend to be less busy.
67. Watch the Easter processions during Semana Santa
Easter processions are particularly spectacular in Seville. Every day during the week leading up to the Easter weekend, thousands of spectators watch the enormous, elaborately decorated pasos (floats) carried by teams of costaleros (bearers) and followed by altar boys carrying thuribles (incense burners). Behind them walk hundreds of nazarenos (penitents) belonging to different brotherhoods, dressed in long robes and conical hoods that conceal their faces, and carrying wooden crosses. The somber, silent spectacle that takes place from midnight on Good Friday is particularly eerie. The best way to enjoy the processions is to join the crowds lining the routes.
68. Attend a bullfight at La Maestranza Bullring
While bullfighting has declined in popularity across Spain, in Andalusia it remains a venerable part of Spanish culture. The 14,000-seat Maestranza – one of the oldest (1761) and most prestigious bullrings in the country – holds bullfights during Easter, on Sundays in May and June, and at the end of September. The corrida de toros – a deadly spectacle in 3 parts and featuring big-name matadors – sells out days in advance; ticket prices depend on the proximity to the sand and whether you’re in the sun or shade.
69. Climb up the Metropol Parasol (Las Setas de Sevilla)
These giant constructions on the Plaza de la Encarnación consist of a rippling, latticed wooden canopy resembling 500-foot-tall mushrooms, designed by German architect Jürgen Mayer. Apart from a traditional market hall beneath, a ramp leads down to a set of glassed-over, street-level Roman ruins and a small museum displaying Roman finds. Take an elevator up from the museum level to the top of the ‘mushrooms’, where a walkway weaves its way up and down the ‘mushroom’ tops. There are excellent 360-degree views of Seville from the top.
70. Take the kids to Isla Mágica
Popular with families, this theme park to the north-west of the Seville city center is divided into 6 areas. Agua Mágica is a water world and La Fuente de la Juventud is designed with younger children in mind. There’s also a nighttime multimedia lake show, puppet theater, various games, and several family-friendly restaurants. Adrenalin-packed rides include the Anaconda flume ride, the El Jaguar rollercoaster, and El Desafio, the freefall tower that lifts you up high above the city before dropping you 68m in less than 2 seconds.
71. Attend the Feria de Abril
The Seville April Fair runs for 6 days 2 weeks after Easter and celebrates Andalusia’s passion for sherry, fine horses, and flamenco. Every day there is an endless parade of carriages and riders that lasts until the evening, with locals partying around the clock. Originally a livestock fair in 1847, it has now become an excuse to dress up to the nines, and many women still dress up in outlandish trajes de flamenca (flamenco-style dresses). The revelry continues late into the night in the hundreds of casetas (marquee tents), fuelled with sherry spritzers.
72. Explore Barrio Santa Cruz
One of the most fun things to do in Seville is to spend hours and hours in the atmospheric maze of narrow streets that make up the city’s Barrio Santa Cruz. Some lanes are so narrow that you can touch both walls with your hands and the tiny plazas are dotted with orange trees and picturesque whitewashed houses. Before the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, Barrio Santa Cruz was the bustling Jewish quarter, though few signs remain of the vanished community. Highlights include Calle Agua, lined with tiled mansions drowning in flowers; Plaza Santa Cruz, where a synagogue once stood; Plaza de los Venerables with its appealing tilework; and the orange tree-studded Plaza de Doña Elvira.
73. Wander around the Parque de María Luisa
South of Barrio Santa Cruz, this vast park is a favorite with families who come here to stroll the shady paths, ride the four-person quadbikes and visit the duck ponds. Part of the park is the fountain-studded Plaza de España, built for the 1929 Spanish Exposition, with several mini-canals that you can navigate in one of the rowboats for hire. There are 2 museums at the south end of the park – one showing off some Roman finds and another showcasing traditional costume.
74. Pamper yourself at the AIRE Ancient Baths
Hung with Moorish lanterns, this centuries-old Mudéjar-style palace doubles as Seville’s most atmospheric spa. Pass through the Andaluz-style courtyard lined with orange trees and descend into the bathing complex illuminated by candlelight. Choose from a number of pools with different soaking temperatures, steam yourself in a traditional Moorish hammam, head up to the roof terrace for a soak in the hot tub, or sign up for one of many massages and facials.
Palaces and Historic Mansions
75. Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija • Centro
One of the most remarkable private houses in Seville, the 16th-century mansion of the Countess of Lebrija is renowned for her collection of antiquities, and almost the entire ground floor is paved with Roman mosaics. The majority of the rooms on the ground floor are lined with Phoenician, Roman, Greek, and Moorish artifacts – mostly ceramics but also some ancient jewelry and oil burners. Of the 2 courtyards, the central one has delicate Moorish arches, while the upstairs rooms, left unchanged since her death in 1938, give an intimate glimpse into the life of the countess.
76. Palacio de Las Dueñas • Barrio Santa Cruz
The late Duchess of Alba, who owned castles and mansions all over Spain, particularly loved this 15th-century palace. It’s been open to the public since 2016 when it was inherited by her son Carlos, the 18th Duke of Alba. Highlights include the Duchess’ collection of Semana Santa and bullfighting memorabilia, as well as the beautiful arcaded courtyard and the tranquil garden dotted with lemon trees.
77. Casa de Salinas • Barrio Santa Cruz
Like a number of other palaces in Seville, this one is privately owned and is essentially a mini-version of the Alcázar. It’s a joy to wander around; don’t miss the gorgeous painted wooden ceilings in the winter and summer drawing rooms, the rather explicit Roman mosaic, or the 16th-century patios with their impressive Mudéjar plasterwork arches.
Museums and Art Galleries
78. Museo de Bellas Artes • El Arenal
This fine arts museum features mainly Spanish art from the medieval period to the beginning of the 20th century. While there are a few works by the likes of Goya, Velázquez, and El Greco, the permanent collection is particularly strong on Spanish Masters from the 17th century – the Golden Age of Sevillian painting: Murillo, Zurbarán, and Valdés Leal. There are also numerous paintings devoted to Seville’s streetscapes and bullfighting.
79. Museo del Baile Flamenco • Barrio Santa Cruz
Created by the renowned Sevillian flamenco dancer Cristina Hoyos, this museum teaches you all about the passionate dance that’s synonymous with Andalusia. Check out the flamenco costumes, fans, shawls, and a large collection of posters depicting flamenco greats from bygone times, and don’t miss the screening room that shows performances by contemporary flamenco dancers. Nightly live performances of flamenco take place here.
80. Centro de Interpretación Judería de Sevilla • Barrio Santa Cruz
Down one of the tiny streets of Barrio Santa Cruz, this small museum inside an old Sephardic house is dedicated to Seville’s Jewish history. The neighborhood suffered a brutal pogrom in 1391 which is cataloged in the museum. Also on display are various artifacts and the museum offers guided walks of Seville’s Jewish sites. Pick up maps of Santa Cruz with formerly Jewish sites marked on them, including 3 synagogues that were converted into churches.
81. Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo • Triana
Housed inside the Cartuja monastery in Triana, this gallery showcases cutting-edge contemporary art exhibitions. There are several changing exhibitions per year showcasing photographs, sculptures, paintings, and installations primarily by Andalusian artists. The permanent collection includes large-scale sculpture and installation art by French-American artist Louise Bourgeois and pop art and abstract art by Seville-born Louis Gordillo.
82. Archivo General de las Indias • Barrio Santa Cruz
Housed inside a stunning 16th-century, former merchants’ exchange across the street from the Alcázar, the archive of the Spanish Empire houses hugely valuable historical documents that illustrate the conquest of the New World, including the diary of Christopher Columbus. Head up the grand marble staircase to the vaulted galleries to check out the antique maps of different corners of the New World and the video on Seville’s major role in the Spanish Empire.
83. Plaza de Toros & Museo Taurino • El Arenal
Even if you don’t attend a bullfight, it’s well worth visiting Seville’s venerable bullring and attached museum for a guided tour. Visitors get to see numerous etchings, lithographs, prints, paintings, and engravings of bulls and bullfighting, plus other assorted memorabilia. The most striking exhibits include the mounted heads of bulls and the trajes de luz (suits of light) worn by legendary matadors. Tours stop by the chapel where matadors pray before the corrida, before continuing out onto the sand of the arena.
84. Hospital de los Venerables Sacredotes • Barrio Santa Cruz
This 17th-century former hospital turned art museum features a painting gallery dedicated to Diego Velásquez, one of Spain’s greatest painters and one of Seville’s most famous sons. Notable works by other artists include The Penitent St Peter by Murillo and Friar Peter of Oña by Zurbarán. The Baroque church, attached to the hospital, is well worth a look for the trompe l’oeil and the frescoes by Valdés Leal.
85. Torre del Oro • El Arenal
Overlooking the Guadalquivir River, this 13th-century military tower was once part of the city’s fortifications and marked the starting and ending point for all the shipping to the New World. It was named the Gold Tower because it was temporarily used to store the gold plundered from the Maya and Inca empires. Inside there’s a naval museum; highlights include scale models of all 3 of Columbus’ ships. Climb to the top for excellent views of the city and the river. River cruises depart from next to the tower.
86. Hospital de la Caridad • El Arenal
This historical hospital for the poor was founded in the 17th century by the playboy nobleman Don Miguel de Mañara. The entrance leads into the courtyard with Tuscan columns, beautiful Delft tilework from the Netherlands, and marble fountain sculptures from Genoa, Italy. Don’t miss Mañara’s former workspace, complete with his sword and death mask. The highlight is the Baroque chapel, decorated with powerful paintings on the theme of mortality by Valdés Leal.
87. Centro Cerámica Triana • Triana
The Seville neighborhood of Triana was long-renowned for its ceramics industry and the colorful tilework that you see all over the city and across Andalusia. This engaging museum shows you exactly how the tilework was produced, as well as delving into the rich history of Triana and its people.
Food and Flea Markets
88. Mercado Historio del Jueves • Feria
Every Thursday morning, Calle Feria turns into Seville’s best flea market, with 125 stalls selling everything from flamenco costumes and antiques to toys, stamps, musical instruments, and assorted bric-a-brac. There’s been a market on this site for centuries.
89. Mercado de Feria • Feria
Also on Calle Feria, the oldest market in Seville is a terrific place to try local culinary specialties. Pass through the narrow hallways and stop for beer and tapas as you make the rounds. It’s open from around 12.30 pm until 6 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays, and until midnight on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Closed Mondays.
90. Mercadillo del Duque la Magdalena • El Arenal
One of Seville’s biggest flea markets, this “hippie market” takes over Plaza del Duque for most of the week (closed Monday and Tuesday). Come here for leather goods, used clothing, and one-of-a-kind accessories made by local artisans.
91. Mercadillos de la Alameda de Hércules • Feria
On the second Saturday of every month, the northern end of the Alameda heaves with stalls selling organic local produce (cheese, olive oil, seasonal fruits and vegetables). On the second Sunday of the month, the Gran Soho Alameda takes over, with everything from artwork and accessories to candy and clothes.
92. Mercado de la Encarnación • Centro
This terrific produce market beneath the Metropol Parasol (giant wooden mushrooms) is your best bet in central Seville for edible goods.
93. Mercado de Triana • Triana
Built over the ruins of a castle, this beautiful produce market decorated with fine Triana tilework is a great place to purchase fruits, vegetables, and spices, and also to slurp a few oysters, sip a craft beer, and grab some light bites at the tapas stands. Open daily.
Barrio Santa Cruz is the heart of Seville, centered around the cathedral. Its maze of winding streets is home to excellent, varied dining, several worthwhile museums, and much of the city’s nightlife. This is where you’ll find the widest range of accommodations in the city, from numerous boutique hotels, including 4 and 5-star options, to excellent budget hotels. Easy to walk around, and it’s best not to drive here, since many of the streets are one-way and very narrow.
Best Stuff: La Catedral & Giralda (Seville’s iconic cathedral and bell tower) • Real Alcázar (UNESCO-listed palace complex and gardens) • Archivo General de las Indias (stunning archive of Spain’s conquest of the New World) • Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija (beautiful mansion cum museum) • Centro de Interpretación de Judería de Sevilla (museum of Jewish history) • Museo del Baile Flamenco (museum dedicated to all things flamenco) • Casa de la Memoria (flamenco shows) • La Casa del Flamenco (terrific flamenco tablaos in Sephardic mansion) • Ispal (traditional Sevillian dishes with a modern twist) • Tradevo Centro (contemporary bistro serving ingredient-driven dishes) • Ovejas Negras (tapas with an international twist) • La Azotea (award-winning, fusion tapas) • Bodega Santa Cruz (old-school tapas bar) • Vinería San Telmo (great selection of Andalusian wines by the glass) • The Second Room (tiny cocktail bar).
95. El Arenal
Just to the west of Barrio Santa Cruz is El Arenal, Seville’s former port area that borders the river. This neighborhood is where you’ll find some of Seville’s most striking historical buildings as well as the bull ring. Many of the city’s main attractions are minutes away on foot and accommodations here include a few mid-range and budget options.
Best Stuff: La Maestranza & Museo de Toros (Seville’s venerable bullring and attached museum) • Museo de Bellas Artes (fine arts museum) • Torre del Oro (nautical museum) • Hospital de la Caridad (historic hospital and museum) • Tablao El Arenal (flamenco shows) • Torres y García (trendy rustic-style restaurant) • Casa Morales (old-school tapas bar with giant clay jugs) • Sahumo (meat-centric restaurant with attached tapas bar) • Taberna del Alabardero (Andalusian fine dining) • Casa Moreno (old-school, very ‘local’ tapas bar) • La Brunilda (fusion, gourmet tapas).
To the north of Barrio Santa Cruz and El Arenal is Centro, the central part of town that sits between Plaza Nueva to the south and Plaza de la Encarnación to the north. Shopping streets and fashion chains abound here, and there are numerous restaurants and bars as well the city’s top art museum. Accommodations include boutique hotels, several 5-star and business hotels, and various budget options.
Best Stuff: Metropol Parasol (giant wooden mushrooms with Roman ruins below) • Museo del Baile Flamenco (museum dedicated to all things flamenco) • Cañabota (seafood restaurant and sushi bar) • El Rinconcillo (Seville’s oldest bar, classic Andalusian tapas), El Garlochí (kitschy Semana Santa bar, great cocktails) • Bar El Comercio (good for churros con chocolate and tapas) • Virgen Coffee (Seville’s original micro-roastery) • Confitería La Campaña (terrific patisserie and café) • Bodeguita Blanco Cerillo (unpretentious tapas bar, popular with locals).
Sitting between Centro and Macarena in the historical city center, Feria is a buzzy neighborhood made up of a cluster of streets around the main artery of Calle Feria, home to vintage clothing boutiques plus Seville’s biggest and best flea market on Thursdays. Bisecting the neighborhood is the Alameda de Hércules, the wide boulevard lined with numerous bars. There are several mid-range hotels on the outer fringes of Feria.
Best Stuff: Az-Zait (Moorish-themed restaurant with smart tapas bar) • Eslava (award-winning tapas bar serving Andalusian bites with a twist) • Hops & Dreams (craft beers from Spain and beyond) • BierKraft (huge selection of beers, industrial-chic bar) • Maquila Bar (Seville’s first brewpub) • Mercado Historio del Jueves (Seville’s biggest flea market, held on Thursdays) • Mercado de Feria (huge number of gourmet food stalls).
Bordering Feria to the north is Macarena, the northeastern part of Seville’s old city. Formerly one of the city’s poorest area, Macarena is becoming gentrified and attracting young professionals. With several clusters of tapas bars, it has a quieter, more residential feel than Barrio Santa Cruz, and there are several tiny plazas and appealing churches to discover. Accommodations include numerous mid-range, self-catering options as well as several hotels.
Best Stuff: Basilica de la Macarena (impressive church with a venerated religious image) • Muralla almohade de Sevilla (preserved section of centuries-old city wall built by the Moors) • Real Monasterio de San Clemente (venerable 16th-century monastery) • Kök Tu Cocina (great brunch restaurant with vegetarian options) • Dúo Tapas (‘new-school’ tapas bar serving fusion tapas) • Antojo (smart bistro with fusion tapas bar attached).
Across the river from El Arenal is the up-and-coming neighborhood of Triana, renowned for its distinctive character. Flamenco was born here, and to date it has a lively nightlife and a buzzy tapas bar scene, though Triana is a longish walk from Seville’s main attractions. Accommodations here consist of several high-end and boutique hotels, short-term apartment rentals, and a few budget hotels.
Best Stuff: Centro Cerámica Triana (museum dedicated to the making of ceramic tiles) • Real Parroquia de Santa Ana (historic church with a beautiful interior) • Abades Triana Restaurante (fine dining by the river) • Blanca Paloma (classic neighborhood tapas bar) • Victoria 8 (tapas from seasonal ingredients; no menu) • Goiko Grill (gourmet burgers) • Casa Remesal (old-school tapas bar, classic Andalusian bites, and tipples) • Casa Anselma (frequent live music, impromptu flamenco) • Casa Ruperto (retro, no-frills bar, outdoor tables for drinkers).
100. Isla de La Cartuja
North of Triana is La Cartuja, whose defining features are a monastery with a contemporary art museum, Seville’s popular theme park and pavilions left over from Expo 92. This is a quiet neighborhood, with very few hotels on the periphery and practically no dining options to speak of, though the tapas bars of Triana and Macarena are both within walking distance.
Best Stuff: Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo (contemporary art museum in old monastery grounds) • Isla Mágica (popular theme park) • Pabellón de la Navegación (exhibition center dedicated to the history of navigation).
101. Los Remedios
South of Triana is Los Remedios, a purpose-built residential district with apartment blocks and fashion boutiques lining wide, straight avenues. Apart from several mid-range hotels, there are numerous self-catering options as well. Seville’s short metro line connects Los Remedios to Barrio Santa Cruz.
Best Stuff: El Parque de los Principes (beautifully landscaped park) • Real de la Feria (fairground space near the river where the Feria de Avril takes place) • Sloppy Joe’s (American-style diner) • Tijuana Tex Mex (buzzy Tex-Mex restaurant) • La Queseria (popular neighborhood pub with decent cocktails).
102. Distrito Sur
The South District extends south of the historic city center (Barrio Santa Cruz, El Arenal, Centro) and comprises the vast Parque María Luisa and the elegant architecture and fountains of the Plaza de España, built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. The adjacent leafy streets are mostly residential, though there are several worthwhile restaurants here, plus a couple of mid-range hotels.
Best Stuff: Parque María Luisa (vast landscaped park) • Plaza de España • Museo Arqueológico de Sevilla (archaeological museum featuring Roman finds) • Museo de Artes y Costumbres (folk art museum) • Acuario de Sevilla (aquarium with shark tank and touch pool) • Sobretablas (contemporary Spanish cuisine from star chef) • Plato Plató (creative tapas menu, grilled meats) • Casa Joaquín Márquez (refined Andalusian cuisine) • El Pellizco (good, inexpensive beer selection, young crowd, foosball) • El Espigón (1960s ambience, great seafood dishes, and Andalusian specialties).
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