Colorful, passionate Seville will steal your heart from the moment you first set foot on its cobblestone streets.
The Andalusian capital’s jaw-dropping architecture, beautifully manicured avenues and warm, friendly locals will help make the city one of your new favorites! Before you go, however, there are a few helpful things to keep in mind. Remember these things to know before traveling to Seville and your trip will go off without a hitch!
1. Time of year can have an impact on your visit
Seville is absolutely glorious in the springtime—think comfortably warm temperatures, sun-drenched plazas filled with locals enjoying a drink, and flowers filling the city with color. It’s also a festive time of year, with both Holy Week and the iconic April Fair taking place in the spring months. However, this means it’s quite a popular time to visit. Be prepared for crowds and higher accommodation prices.
In the summer, temperatures skyrocket and many small businesses in the city close up shop, especially in August, as they take vacations. Fall and winter are generally milder months with less touristy crowds, making them a pleasant option for visiting.
2. Don’t plan on running errands in the afternoon
One of the most important things to know before traveling to Seville is that the siesta tradition still lives on. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone goes and takes a nap in the middle of the day—though it can be a refreshing way to beat the heat in the scorching summer months. Generally, it means that many businesses close from around 2 to 5 p.m. This allows employees to go home, rest, and enjoy a leisurely lunch with family before coming back for the afternoon.
The city doesn’t go completely silent during siesta. Bars and restaurants will stay open for locals to eat lunch, and most larger supermarkets and brand-name stores don’t close, either. However, most smaller shops still continue this tradition, so plan your errands accordingly.
3. Stick to local mealtimes
You’ll be hard-pressed to find any sevillanos eating lunch at noon. If you see any locals at a bar during that time, they’re likely still finishing their morning coffee! Lunch isn’t usually on the table until 2 p.m. at the earliest. Likewise, nobody sits down for dinner until around 9 or 10 p.m.
The local eating schedule is one of the key things to know before traveling to Seville. While many restaurants open earlier, they tend to be tourist traps (though not all of them are!) Try your best to adapt and you’ll feel practically sevillano in no time.
4. Book your Alcázar tickets online
It costs one euro more, but reserving your tickets for Seville’s famous Alcázar online in advance can save you tons of time. If you wait until you arrive to buy tickets, you’ll more than likely end up waiting in a line that stretches along two sides of the enormous building and can take hours. The palace has always been a popular tourist attraction, but its appearance in a recent season of Game of Thrones has increased visitors massively. Buying online allows you to skip the line and walk right in!
5. Seville is generally a very safe city, but stay alert
Violent crime is all but nonexistent in the Andalusian capital, and most areas of the city are perfectly safe at all hours of the day. However, petty crime such as pickpocketing does happen, especially in crowded touristy areas. In the area surrounding the cathedral, be wary of women who offer you a sprig of rosemary and offer to read your palm—they’ll ask for money as soon as they’re done. (A polite but firm “no, gracias” will usually get them to back off.)
6. Don’t forget about the neighborhood across the river!
Triana is one of Seville’s most beautiful and quintessential neighborhoods. You won’t find many tourist attractions here—what gives Triana its charm is the ease with which you can simply immerse yourself in local life. Enjoy stunning views of the city from Calle Betis along the river, stop at the market and join the locals as they shop, and enjoy tapas and a beer at one of the neighborhood’s many characteristic bars and restaurants. Living like a local has never been easier or more enjoyable!Want our insider’s guide to eating in Seville? Just add your email address in the form below!
Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.