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Seville Spain

Seville (Sevilla) is the capital of Andalucia, 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 has much to offer the traveller.

According to legend, Seville was founded by Hercules. It was known as Hispalis under the Romans, and Ishbiliya (أشبيليّة) during the Moorish occupation. The high point in its history was following the discovery of America.

The city is situated on the banks of the smooth, slow Guadalquivir River, which divides the city into two halves: Sevilla and Triana. The river head is located much further West, and its basin is very large. The river mouth is located in Sanlúcar de Barrameda and crosses the Doñana National Park (one of the most important wetlands in Europe, breeding ground to many species of birds). The Guadalquivir (known as Betis by the Romans and as Betik Wahd-Al-Khabir by the Arabs) has had a major impact in the history of the city. The location of Sevilla is roughly coincident with the point where the Guadalquivir stops being useful for navigation. It is at this point that the cereal producing region of the Guadalquivir Valley starts, and Sevilla has acted as a sea-port for commerce of agricultural goods produced further West. Intense trade existed in the area from Roman times, continued under Muslim rule, and exploded as Seville monopolized the new trade with the Americas. As the monopoly was broken ([Cádiz] largely took Seville's place), the city entered a period of relative decline.

Seville has played host to two international exhibitions - the Ibero-American Exhibition in 1929 and the International Exposition in 1992.

Inhabitants of the city are known as Sevillanos.


Visitors to Seville should consider purchasing a Sevilla Card , designed to aid city exploration and conserve precious travel funds. The card includes free admission to most Seville museums and monuments, unlimited use of public transportation (TUSSAM Buslines, NB: only for Cards with Public Transport), a guided visit of the Real Alcazar of Seville, unlimited use of sightseeing buses, boat rides on the Guadalquivir River and admission to the Isla Mágica Theme Park. The card also allows access to significant discounts in shops, restaurants, shows and leisure centres for adults and children. The Sevilla card is accompanied by a guide and city map.

The Sevilla card comes in three denominations of 1, 2 or 3 days’ duration in blocks of 24 hours from the time of first activation when inserted into the electronic validation terminal of the suppliers associated with the Sevilla Card Programme (be careful not to activate too soon).

Prices: 1 day €50 (with transport €53), 2 days €60 (with transport €66), 3 days €65 (with transport €72). The 2 and 3 day options attract a discount of €3 per card when purchased on the website.

The Sevilla Card can be purchased by the following means: Online ; by telephone +34 91 600 21 21 / 902 088 908; and, once in Seville, at tourism offices, the airport, the train station, travel agencies and through national and international tour operators (check the website for addresses).

If you are simply interested in using the local buses , you can get either pay the €1.10 single fare price or you can purchase a bonobus, a 10 trip travel card. Bonobuses are found at most kiosks and tabacarias (tobacco shops)--George Mills 16:09, 4 October 2008 (EDT)--George Mills 16:09, 4 October 2008 (EDT)--George Mills 16:09, 4 October 2008 (EDT). Regular times are kept until around 11:30PM, after which night buses run, with different routes, on the hour until 2AM.


  • Semana Santa — The sombre Easter week processions feature thousands of people and go on all week, a spectacular display of conspicuous Catholicism.
  • Feria de abril — A release after the somberness of Semana Santa. To say this is a huge party is an understatement. Most if not all of Seville takes a weeks holiday and they plan for the Fair months in advance. The fair is close to the river and covers a huge area and contains hundereds of private and public "casettas" which are laid out to form streets. Casettas are small marquees and you can only get into the private ones if invited.The public ones are alrge but just as much fun. The day is naturally split in two and between noon and 8pm the streets of the fair throng with horses as riders and carriages strut their stuff dressed in traditional Spanish robes. After 8 the streets are cleared and "Calle Enferno" comes to life. This must be one of the best funfairs in Europe and I can testify to having seen it happen that it takes weeks to assemble and pack up. The Fair is one of the best festivals in Spain and appeals to everything thats great about Spain - Traditional dress,Flamenco dancing, guitars, Fino, great tapas and men, women and children who dance with gusto and eat and drink the day and night away.
  • Go out — The nightlife of Seville is fantastic, no other European city has so many bars per inhabitant than Seville. In summer go to Isla Cartuja and find out why the Spanish night doesn't stop before 7AM. There you can find plenty of open-air discoteques. Other nightlife spots include Calle Betis in Triana, La Alamede de Hércules, and Plaza Alfalfa.
  • Flamenco — Flamenco is in fact very popular at the moment in Spain and is not just for tourists, however finding the right place is hard (unless you ask a local). El Arenal is one place to consider. The Cultural Centre (C/ Ximénez de Enciso, 28 Santa Cruz, 954 56 06 70) is a good spot to see real flamenco, performances are daily at 9PM, it costs €22, €10 for students and Sevillians, €6 for kids (4 to 10). La Carbaneria located in the twisty alleyways in front of the Cathedral offers free Flamenco shows nightly at 11 p.m.
  • Football — Sevilla has two football teams, Sevilla FC and Real Betis. At the Sevilla FC stadium next to Plaza Nervion you can regularly catch the last 5 minutes of a game for free.
  • Private Guided Tours by Antonio Doblas, 34-616253798, . This professional tour guide offers guided tours for groups and individual travellers to the most important monuments, bike tours, tapas and wines tours, sightseeing by horse carriage, cruise along the Guadalquivir River and Sevillian ranch tours.
  • Seville Walking Tours, 902 158 226, 616 501 100, . Fascinating and integral to the enjoyment of a city are all the little bits and stories that audioguides don't provide. The guide is fascinating and truly interested in what she does, if she doesn't know something she will take it upon her to figure it out. Entry to buildings is not included, consider combining the tour with a Seville tourist card. Reductions are available for taking various combinations of these tours.
    • City Tour, M-Sa, meets at 10:30AM (in front of the statue in Plaza Nueva). Fee €10.
    • Cathedral Tour, M, W, F, meets at 1PM (in the Plaza del Triunfo). Fee €6.
    • Alcazar Tour, Tu, Th, Sa, meets at 1PM (in the Plaza del Triunfo). Fee €6.
  • Horse drawn carriage rides found near the cathedral take you to the nearby park and other sites of interest. For the sake of the animals, try to avoid / discourage the use of carriage rides in the heat of the day in summer.
  • Entrance to the Bull Fighting Arena, SevilleAttend a Bull Fight at the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza — Not for the squeamish or those with convictions on animal welfare! Failing that, a visit to the arena and the attached museum of bull-fighting (€5) is well worth the time. It is the biggest and most grand bull arena in Spain due to the origination of bull fighting in Sevilla.
  • Wander through an open-air market. Vendors in many parts of the city sell on the streets, but on Sunday, when everything else is closed, a few spots really fill up. One market is located behind the Alcampo shopping center at Ronda del Tamarguillo on Avenida de la Paz (Bus lines 30, 36 from Prado de San Sebastian), but it is easily outdone by a large flea market, selling clothes, furniture, trash, books, shoes, CDs, food, tools, and probably everything else just northwest of Triana near Avenida Carlos III (off of the left-hand side of most tourist maps).
  • Rent a bike in María Luisa Park, or along the city with Sevici . Seville is in the process of building many bike paths, one pleasant route covers most of the East bank of the river.
  • Climb to the top of the Cerro de Carambolo for a view of the whole city. The hill is outside of the town but can be reached on the M-170, M-171, and M-173 from the Plaza de Armas bus station.
  • Cruises, an hour in duration, leave from beneath the Torre de Oro and travel a circuit on the Guadalquivir river.
All List of Seville Hotels


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