Seville (Spanish: Sevilla) is the capital of Andalucia and the cultural and financial centre of southern Spain. A city of just over 700,000 inhabitants (1.6 million in the metropolitan area, making it Spain’s 4th largest city), Seville is Andalucia’s top destination, with much to offer the traveler.
The Easter Holy week, “Semana Santa”, and the Seville Fair, “La Feria de Sevilla” (also Feria de Abril, “April Fair”) are the two most well-known of Seville’s festivals. Seville is internationally renowned for the solemn but beautiful processions during Semana Santa, and the colorful and lively fair held two weeks after. During Feria families set up casetas or tents in which they spend the week dancing, drinking and socializing with their whole extended families. The women wear elaborate flamenco dresses and the men dress in their best suits. The fair grounds are set up like a type of village in which each street is named after a famous torero, or bull fighter.
How to go
Sevilla has its own airport, about 25 minutes drive from the city center. A bus service runs about every 30 minutes from just outside the Arrivals hall during most of the day (though with longer gaps between 13.00 and 16.00) and costs approx. € 3.50. Taxis are always available next to the bus stop and are now (2005) run on a fixed fare to Seville centre, just under 18 euros during the day and just under 21 euros after 22.00 and at weekends/holidays. A lot of controversy has been stirred by some taxi drivers trying to overcharge tourists, so be careful to pay no more than this if you are travelling into the city. Other destinations outside Seville obviously cost more and are calculated on the clock. Tips are NOT necessary, though 1-2 euros for a polite, helpful service is appreciated.
High-speed three-hour trains run from Madrid , slower trains are cheaper, and there’s a reasonable overnight from Barcelona .
Driving is also always an option for long distance travel in Spain, but isn’t as convenient or useful once in town.
Regular buses run to/from most major cities, departing either from the Plaza de Armas bus station near the river, or the Prado de San Sebastián station near the University/Santa Cruz.
Accommodation prices in Seville are slightly higher than the rest of Andalusia. They also change with the tourist seasons. High season is August – September, Mid – High Season is May-June. Most places have air conditioning but be sure to ask in summer, you will need it. Your room is really the place where you siesta.
* There are some amazing hotels in Sevilla like Alfonso XIII but it will cost you an arm and a leg. For a more intimate experience on a let’s say tighter budget, wander into Santa Cruz, the old Jewish Quarter and you will wonderful “pensiones” offering comfy beds and typical courtyard views.
* Las Casas de la Judería, Callejón Dos Hermanas, 7. (in Santa Cruz). A lovely old collection of houses beside a church that was once a synagogue. Very expensive (rooms start at € 150 (prices less than this probably do not include breakfast.(€ 32)). Rooms are often nothing special, apparently offers a pool. You can get a slightly smaller room elsewhere for two-thirds the price. Perhaps wander in for a look around at its court yards but if you want a special night or two, look elsewhere.
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