Make the most of your time in Seville with these money-saving tips...
Because you can. And eat them at Bar Comercio on Calle Lineros, because it’s the best place to eat them. It’s a famous little spot, popular with locals and tourists alike, so you might have to wait a little while to get served – but it’s worth the hassle. Not only are the churros and coffee delicious, but this really feels like a proper taste of real Seville. It’s old-school and charming and a bit rough round the edges. You’ll stuff yourself for a fiver.
As usual, we’re championing the free walking tour of Seville. It’s one to do on your first morning in the city, as you’ll get an interesting 3 hour overview of the best sights and attractions in the city, and it really helps you get your bearings too. The tours begin at Puerta de Jerez at 10:30am and end at 13:30 at Plaza de Espana (look for the purple brolly). As usual, the tours are technically free, but the guides rely on you tipping what you feel it was worth and what you can afford, so be nice and show your appreciation!
Seville’s Old Jewish Quarter is a gorgeous little neighbourhood close to the Real Alcazar and the Cathedral. It’s full of tiny little streets and orange trees, cafés, bodegas, shops, buskers and good food. It’s prime people-watching real estate, and it’s a great place to be if the day is hot and the sun is overhead – the tall buildings and narrow streets mean you can easily remain in the shade while you explore the area. There’s a fair chance you will get a little lost, but it’s a really lovely place to get lost in so don’t worry too much about that…
Ok, so this one is included in the free tour but it deserves its own proper spot on the list because it’s one of Seville’s loveliest places and you’ll definitely want to hang our here for a while. The architecture is beautiful and the surrounding park is beautiful and peaceful. Explore the 48 different alcoves that represent each of Spain’s provinces, with their intricate, beautifully colourful tiles – aside from anything they make perfect backdrops for holiday snaps…
Entrance to the Alcazar is just €9.50, and you could get lost in this place for hours on end. Dating back to the middle of the 1200s and developed by Moorish Muslim Kings, it’s a really spectacular palace. Every inch of the place is filled with intricate detail, from tiled mosaics to carvings and sculpture. The gardens are absolutely beautiful too, and the history behind the building is fascinating. It gets really busy, so it’s worth booking a ticket and time online in advance.
There is no shortage of places to eat gorgeous tapas in Seville, but if you’re on a budget it takes a little extra effort to find something that’s both affordable and delicious. Well, we’re happy to make a suggestion – you could do a lot worse than searching out the Bodega Santa Cruz (or Las Columnas as it’s known by locals), in the Old Jewish Quarter. Tapas served here are authentic, delicious and cheap (between €1.50-€2.50 per dish), and beers are around a euro each. Try the artichoke and pork stew, the fried aubergine drizzled with honey, and their ham and cheese montaditos are pretty special too.
Seville Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and took over 100 years to finish. It was built to impress, and impress it certainly does. From the wooden carvings to the elaborate tomb of Christopher Columbus, there are loads of things to see inside the cathedral – but the best part is what you can see outside it. The tower, which is part of the Cathedral but was there for a few hundred years before it, as part of a mosque, offers incredible views over the city for anyone who wants to climb its 35 inclined ramps and 17 stairs. It’s only €9 to get into both the tower and the cathedral, and it’s worth it for the view from tower alone.
You don’t have to be a fan of bullfighting to understand, and be interested in, its historical and cultural importance in Seville. The bullfighting arena and museum in the city is a fascinating place to visit that gives a thorough overview of bullfighting in the region, and you don’t have to see a fight to go there. The arena is beautiful, it’s the oldest one in Spain but it’s in great nick and remains very photogenic, so don’t forget your camera. Admission is €7, and includes a guided tour of the arena and access to the museum. The tours are available in English and Spanish, and run every 20 minutes.
The Parasol, known by locals as Las Setas (The Mushrooms), is an unusual wooden structure designed by J. H. Mayer and completed in 2011. It’s been a controversial addition to the city’s cityscape, but whatever your opinion on its aesthetic qualities, it’s worth visiting just for the views it offers over the rest of the city. Admission is just €3, and you can then exchange your entrance ticket for either a free drink in the structure’s café, or a souvenir postcard. When the Parasol was being built, there was an ancient Roman site discovered underneath which has since been turned into a museum. It’s just €2 to visit, so combine it with your Las Setas visit, and it might just turn out to be the best fiver you spend during your entire trip!
You absolutely cannot and must not go to Seville without experiencing Flamenco. There are loads of Tablaos and Peñas (places you can go to see Flamenco) in the city, but if you’re on a budget, your best bet is to go somewhere like La Carboneria, where you just pay for your beers/wine/sangria, and the actual flamenco show comes for free. It gets really crowded so it’s a good idea to get there early to find a good spot for the performance (which run hourly and begin at 9:30). Eat before you go because the food offering is quite limited. Your tenner will go quite far here; wine is around €2 a glass and Sangria is €9 for a litre jug.
Flights to Seville
- Dee Murray