Most squares in Seville have got nice old fashioned bars, where eating and drinking is cheap. Santa Maria La Blanca is not an exception, and it is close to the gardens (Jardines del Murillo) and the beautiful building of Universidad de Sevilla.
I recommend trying as many varieties of tapas as possible, always keeping in mind, or at hand, a nice beer to chill out.
The city centre.
I recommend this website as it deals in great tours around Seville. I went to Seville during the Christmas period and although the weather wasn't great, the trip was fantastic due to the tour. For anyone thinking of visiting Seville i strongly suggest using this website.
I recently stayed at the Oasis Hostel in Seville.
While I was there, my boyfriend was woken up at 3am by someone who said the bed he was in (and paid for) was hers. Obviously, there had been a double booking (in fact there were double bookings every night we were
there). However, during this mix up, the manager had gone into his 'safe' (which is allocated to the bed) and taken out a number of his personal items (which we did not notice until the following day). My boyfriend went to ask for them back and the manager said he had
lost them - but hoped they would turn up. Unfortunately, they did not and to be honest the staff did not really take the matter very seriously; they did not seem to understand why we might be offended that the manager had gone into our ‘safe’. Also, instead of replacing or refunding the cost of his UK electric shaver for example, they suggested they buy him a significantly cheaper Spanish (i.e. incompatible) version. Finally, the manager said he
would return the cost of the items once we could
'prove' how much they cost - after we had left to go home, which left me slightly nervous. This happened over a month ago, and we have just received payment for the items ‘lost’. Not entirely satisfactory to be honest. Thought it was worth sharing…
This is a storming place to see in all its glory. When the sun beats down on you it is a wonderful and cool refuge. Once inside, you will be utterly amazed at the wonders that lie in store here.
The Golden Alter at the centre of the cathedral is something that you just cannot miss even if you tried.
Must be seen to be believed.
Both Alfalfa and Alameda are the hub of Seville´s nightlife. Alfalfa is a narrow street chock-a-block with bars and cheap tapas places. It kicks off about 11 o´clock at night and is stuffed with natives and foreigners alike. Bar Robotica is worth a view if only for the comic-book wallpaper and litre-sized drinks, and Bar Berlin is guaranteed to be open until the wee hours. Look out for the old man with a multi-coloured afro and a battered pair of rollerskates.
Alameda, despite the fact it is currently being reconstructed into what can only be described as a giant sand-pit, is still fun, lively and slightly more bohemian. In particular check out Cafe Central, one of the most popular joints, with the punters spilling out on the side walk, and the odd spontaneous flamenco clapping. The majority of punters there are local Sevillianas, and are all too happy to take the hapless foreigner under their wing, and direct them to the next venue. Don't expect to be in bed before 7 o'clock the following morning though!
Both areas are in the centre. Alfalfa is no more than 5 minutes’ walk from the cathedral, and Alameda is about 5-10 minutes’ walk north from there. Cafe Central is in the top left hand corner of the square. The subway is still in the process of being built, however any local or taxi driver would be able to point you in the right direction.
Yes, it's in all the guide books but the Alcazar is easily missed. From the outside it doesn't look anything special but inside it's magical and a lot less frantic than the Alhambra. If you visit make sure you spend some time in the gardens. If you only have an afternoon in Seville and have to choose between the Cathedral and the Alcazar then give the Cathedral a miss.
Plaza del Triunfo; tel: 954 502 323
An incredibly popular tapas bar on the edge of the Santa Cruz district, Las Coloniales is one of the best and cheapest places to eat in Seville. When you arrive you have to write your name and the number in your party on a small blackboard and your name is called when a table is free. It's located on the edge of the leafy (for Seville) Plaza Cristo de Burgos, which is handy as you have somewhere shady to sit whilst you wait. The food is uniformly good and the tapas sizes are exceptional for the price. Two people can have a decent meal with a couple of drinks for little over ten euros. One of the best things on the menu are the quail eggs and chorizo on fried bread, which is like a sausage and egg sarnie in the sun. You can't go wrong with the staples either. The Solomillo al Whisky is as good as you can get in Seville. On Sunday afternoons the plaza is full of Spanish families eating ice cream from the Heladeria across the road. Seville is full of Heladerias and though this one is probably the most expensive it's also the best.
Plaza Cristo de Burgos, 19 - east of the main El Corte Ingles, just past Plaze de Encarnacion.
The best tapas on offer in Sevilla - a mixture of modern and traditional dishes, great atmosphere, great wine list and above all fantastic prices. Risotto al Tartufo, Buey a la Mostaza and Pate con Membrillo are three of the best, but it never disappoints. Be prepared to wait, but that's where the diverse wine list comes into its own...
C/ Peris Mencheta
For those of you travelling to the heart of Andalucia to sample something with a little more local flavour than an Irish pub, Bar Perejil is quintessentially Sevillano. It is owned by the former flamenco singer Pepe Perejil and photographs and mementos from his illustrious career adorn the walls. The man himself is quite a character and will often treat his customers to an impromptu burst of his still-incredible voice, particularly when accompanied by one of the many guitarists that stop by to have a casual jam Sevillanas-style. To complete the experience, go for the vino dulce or fino on tap - they go down worryingly easily but don't worry as Pepe will keep a chalk tally on the bar of how many you've had.
Plaza Padre Jerónimo de Córdoba; tel: 954 229 385
For the last 7 years I have been going, every Thursday night, and sometimes other nights too, to Las Columnas-Bodega Santa Cruz on Mateos Gago street. It is a real, authentic, traditional tapas bar. Always busy and bustling. The food is good, the staff very friendly and there's nothing better than standing at one of the tables outside and gazing up at the beautiful Giralda tower at the end of the road while sipping an ice cold beer and eating one of the many tapas available.
C/Rodrigo Caro 1
Very friendly gay bar in La Alameda. Very good ambience with a large outdoor seating area. Good beers and cocktails. Go on a Saturday night in the summer when the young Sevillians spill out into the promenade with their drinks and tapas until dawn!
La Alameda on Calle Arias Montano 3.
An Irish pub in a very Spanish townhouse, popular with locals but with quite an international feel about it (when we went the bar staff consisted of a Swede, an English girl and even an Irishman!) You can tire of the ubiquitous tapas, even in its native city, so might enjoy a more substantial bar meal (the wraps are good) washed down with a pint of Guinness or, as the name suggests a good selection of Irish malts. There’s also a pool table upstairs and a big screen, in case there’s a match you just can’t miss.
Calle Canalejas 12, between the shopping centre and the river.
Merchant's makes a refreshing change from your usual pitch black Irish pubs filled with knick-knacks and kettles on the walls. Surprisingly luminous and with a friendly, international staff, Merchant's is one of Seville's most popular bars. Offering a menu that is a joy to work your way through as well as a fine selection of ales and specialist whiskeys. Populated by interesting characters, Merchant's is an ideal choice for sporting events or a fine pint.
C/ Canalejas 12; tel: 954 214 500;
I recommend not eating oranges from trees in the city. They look nice but taste downright nasty. Rather, oranges fallen on the street can be used to play impromptu games of football with fellow alcohol fans and other scallywags. Also, the city smells great around April from the orange blossoms on the trees.
All over Centro Historico and elsewhere
Many visitors take advantage of the siesta to take photos or see more of the city while it's quiet, but don't do it. Don't wander the back streets of Santa Cruz or any place with few people during siesta (2:30-5pm). It's better to follow the Spaniard's example and use the time as it should be used: for relaxing, eating lunch, taking a nap and then heading back out at 5pm.
Cádiz is reowned throughout Andalucía for it's long sandy beach and historic sites - most notably the Cathedral, Roman amphitheatre and the Cárcel Real (Royal Prison). All of these sites can easily be seen in 1-2 hours so you can spend the rest of the day at the beach, making Cádiz a worthwhile daytrip for families with children.
Cádiz is 125km (77 miles) south of Seville. Trains leave almost every hour from Santa Justa train station. Journey is 1 hour;
There are also regular buses from the main bus station in Plaza de Armas; www.andalucia.com/travel/bus/home.htm
This is a hidden gem situated in the heart of the city and lies just behind the Cathedral on a quiet pedestrian street. The twelve rooms are a decent size and beautifully furnished with large bathrooms. You can help yourself to hot and cold drinks at any time. Meals are not provided but there are loads of great restaurants nearby. The staff are extremely helpful and friendly.
Alvarez Quintero, 52;
tel: 954 293 913
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