Where to Stay in Seville: 9 Best Areas

Where to stay in Seville

Are you wondering where to stay in Seville? Whether you’re a first-timer in this city or seasoned veteran this is always a great question. Below I have covered the best places and locations to stay in Seville based on your interests.

Seville is most people’s idea of a typically Spanish destination, and as the capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region, it doesn’t disappoint. 

Its evocative architecture and dramatic history range from Arabic through medieval to gothic and baroque, with flamenco and fiestas still very much part of the present. 

Visit in spring for the Feria de Abril or Semana Santa (Holy Week), and avoid the heat of summer. Wander through its ancient narrow streets with their pretty white houses, but first, you need to know where to stay in Seville.

The 9 Best Areas to Stay in Seville

The compact size of the city means that wherever you stay in Sevilla, you’re not far away from its historic centre, so it’s easily reached by public transport if you decide to stay outside the centre, with buses, trains and a metro system to choose from. 

Seville is a safe place to explore with very low crime rates, but of course, as in any city with a lot of tourists and outsiders, it’s sensible to watch out for pickpockets.

All areas have a wide choice of accommodation, from hostels, modest pensiónes (B&Bs) and budget hotels, to mid-range establishments, boutique hotels and luxury four-star. Apartments are also easy to find. 

Or experience the uniquely Spanish tradition of the parador, upmarket hotels often found in converted historic buildings, or smart modern ones. Parar means to halt, stop, or stay, and you may end up doing just that.

1. Centro, the best area where to stay in Seville

Best Areas to Stay in Seville

If you stay in Seville centrally, you’ll be close to the most-visited attractions, while public gardens will be readily available to provide shade and cool tiled seats. 

It will be easy to explore its winding lanes and atmospheric squares, such as the semi-circular Plaza de Cabildo close to the cathedral and the old city wall, which holds a Sunday collectors’ market.

The best hotels are here, but those on a budget and backpackers needn’t miss out on a top location either. And if you’re restrained by cost, it’s worth knowing that many places have a time when it’s free to enter.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SEVILLA IN THE CENTRE

2. Barrio Santa Cruz, great for sightseeing

Barrio Santa Cruz, great for sightseeing in Seville

Barrio Santa Cruz was once the Jewish quarter, and is now dominated by the cathedral, Catedral de Santa María de la Sede, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s third-largest church.

It replaced a mosque in the fifteenth century, but has retained part of its Moorish tower, La Giralda – climb its sloping path for stunning views – and the beautiful Orange Tree Patio

As well as works by Goya, Murillo and others, the interior contains the tombs of explorer Christopher Columbus and King Ferdinand III, who ousted Seville’s Moorish rulers .

The most important site in the city faces the cathedral. The UNESCO-listed Royal Palace, the Real Alcázar de Sevilla, is an impressive mix of Moorish and Christian architecture known as Mudéjar. 

Originally a Moorish castle built on the site of a Roman fortress, and rebuilt in the fourteenth century, it incorporates the Arab tradition of creating cool surroundings to combat the heat of the sun. 

The complex is a paradise of water features, shady spots and exotic gardens, with buildings that include Casa de Contratación, where the Spanish monarchs received Columbus, and from where Spain’s trade with the New World was conducted.

If you need a rest from all this, head for the exotic Plaza de España, where some scenes for the Star Wars film Attack of the Clones were shot. Or explore the city’s largest park, Parque María Luisa, where you can hire a rickshaw. 

Another nearby activity that will interest the whole family is the fantastic aquarium, with its fascinating displays of marine life from sharks to jellyfish.

The centre and Barrio Santo Cruz contain several museums, a good choice of restaurants and bars, and plenty of nightlife, making Santa Cruz a convenient place to stay in Seville, with hotels of all classes, hostels, and places suitable for families. 

It’s also close to the train and bus stations. If you want to save money or to avoid the tourist trail, the city’s size makes it a realistic and economic option to take a tram, bus, metro or taxi to accommodation in the surrounding areas.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SANTA CRUZ

3. El Arenal, where to stay in Seville for foodies

El Arenal, where to stay in Seville for foodies

El Arenal sits on the east bank of the river that runs through Seville, the Guadalquivir. West of the old Jewish district, it was once the city’s port, vitally important as the only port licensed for trade with the Americas. 

Now tourists can visit the medieval Gothic-style Royal Shipyards, which also constructed galleys for use in controlling the Straits of Gibraltar. While there, don’t miss Torre del Oro, the Tower of Gold, a thirteenth-century watch tower built by the Almohad Caliphate. 

You can see Seville from a different angle by taking a boat trip along the Guadalquivir from here.

El Arenal adjoins the central area – check out Postigo del Aceite, one of the last city gates, where olive oil had to be taxed before going into the city. 

Being more residential than the centre, it would be a pleasant and peaceful place to stay in Seville, where visitors can jog, walk or cycle along the riverside, or join activities on the water itself. 

There are great local tapas bars, taverns and traditional restaurants for recharging batteries after this exertion, and for enjoying the night-time entertainment. 

Accommodation ranges from hostels and budget to four-star, and includes apartments.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SEVILLA IN ARENAL

4. Macarena, where to stay in Seville on a budget

 La Macarena, where to stay in Seville on a budget

Situated to the north of the city centre, La Macarena was once a poor district, but it now has a buzz that is all its own. 

Attracting a creative crowd, its independent shops offer second-hand books, vintage clothing, and a market hall selling traditional food, while tapas bars keep the scene lively late into the night.

The local Basilica of Santa María de la Esperanza Macarena is the starting point for one of Spain’s biggest Good Friday processions, with its beautiful wooden statue dating from the seventeenth century, and a museum that highlights Seville’s Holy Week activities. 

Holy Week is huge in Spain, and a traditional city like Seville is an ideal place to observe it, or to take part.

Other sights to look out for include parts of the old walls, the sixteenth-century Hospital de las Cinco Llagas, and the Torre de los Perdigones, the remains of a nineteenth-century foundry that now houses a large camera obscura. 

Seville’s oldest marketplace, the picturesque Mercado de la Feria in an eighteenth-century building with traditional food stalls, is an essential stop, too.

This is a great area for backpackers looking for cheap places to stay in Seville, but is a good find for anyone on a budget, with hostels and apartments added to the usual mix of hotels.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN MACARENA

Read also: Where to stay in Malaga, where to stay in Granada, where to stay in Cordoba, where to stay in Costa del Sol, where to stay in Madrid

5. Alameda, best neighborhood in Seville for nightlife

Alameda, best neighborhood in Seville for nightlife

La Alameda de Hércules is a public space consisting of a square with greenery and fountains. Originally created as gardens in the northern part of the city’s Casco Antiguo, between the Guadalquivir and La Macarena, it was Europe’s oldest public park.

In the nineteenth century, it was a rendezvous for upper-class Sevillanos, but then, like Macarena, it became down-at-heel and best-avoided. Today, it’s a hip, bohemian sector of the city, with shops for vintage goods, crafts, books and anything quirky. 

Catch an art show or some flamenco at the former monastery of Espacio Santa Clara in neighbouring San Vicente. Embrace the night at music venues, tapas bars, clubs and gay bars, most of which are grouped around the plaza.

The square’s southern end is marked by two Roman columns taken from the ruins of the Roman temple of Mármoles street, thought to be dedicated to Hercules. 

At the other end, the chapel of Nuestra Señora del Carmen y Cruz del Rodeo is of interest to readers of Spanish literature and Don Juan, being the site of the convent where Doña Inés was said to have lived.

This is a lively place to stay in Seville, with accommodation of all types in the vicinity, including a hotel in the square itself.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SEVILLE IN ALAMEDA

6. La Cartuja, quiet area

La Cartuja, quiet area to stay in Seville

La Cartuja was an island on the Guadalquivir river until Seville hosted Expo ’92, when it was merged with the west bank by bridge to expand the exhibition site, which celebrated the five-hundredth anniversary of the first voyage to the Americas. 

It takes its name from the fifteenth-century Monasterio de la Cartuja de Santa María de Las Cuevas, which was converted to a ceramics factory, and is now a base for contemporary Andalusian art shows. 

Visit the chapter house, crypt and chapel, explore the remaining Expo pavilions, and gaze up at the Cajasol tower, the tallest structure in Andalusia.

A research complex and university buildings join theatres, concert halls and clubs, together with the theme park Isla Mágica, a sports stadium, golf course, and the Jardín Americano botanical gardens. 

Hire a bike for a day to reach this unique destination, or make this your base when you stay in Seville.

Urbanisation has seen residential zones spring up here, giving La Cartuja a quieter feel, with a short choice of holiday homes, rentals and apartments, and a few hotels.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SEVILLE IN CARTUJA

7. Triana, where to stay in Seville for a local vibe

Triana, where to stay in Seville for a local vibe

To the south of La Cartuja and also on the west bank of the river, the Roman settlement of Triana was also once separated from the city. 

Although its first bridge was constructed in 1171, it only consisted of wooden planks laid across thirteen boats, and was the only one for around seven centuries; it now has a choice of bridges. 

Trianeros, as locals are known, see their neighbourhood as different from other parts of Seville. Traditions such as ceramics, flamenco and festivals continue to flourish today, making vital contributions to the city’s cultural reputation.

Drop by the food hall of Mercado de Triana for stalls, small restaurants, and much more, or head to Calle Betis by the river for restaurants, live flamenco and memorable views of the Guadalquivir, the Torre del Oro and the Giralda. 

Watch out for the Antigua Universidad de Mareantes, which trained sailors about to set off for the New World.

Visit the museum of the Centro de la Cerámica Triana, previously the Santa Ana pottery works, and support local industry at the surrounding crafts shops. Calle Alfarería is named after its historic pottery workshops, and has some beautifully-decorated patios.

Waiting below the market are the remains of the Castle of San Jorge. Erected by the Visigoths over a thousand years ago, it came under Spanish control after the city’s conquest in 1248, and as well becoming a prison, it was also used during the Spanish Inquisition. 

Ironically, it is now called the Centro Temático de la Tolerancia, or Thematic Centre of Tolerance. and small exhibitions reflect its past use.

Seville’s first Christian church, Iglesia de Santa Ana, was constructed outside the city walls in the thirteenth century, and boasts a fine altarpiece with paintings by Pedro de Campaña. The Parish Church of Santa Ana with its Capilla de los Marineros (Sailors’ Chapel) is worth a look, in this city with such important maritime history.

If you can stand the heat of July, the six-day Velá de Santa Ana is not to be missed, with sporting and cultural activities, and a river race and competition. In the cooler time of Easter, witness Semana Santa in Triana. 

Holy Week is an important period throughout Spain, with each church and parish parading its statues through the streets, and Seville is no exception.

Accommodation in and around Triana ranges from luxury to budget, with self-catering a popular option. If you would prefer a traditional area for your stay in Seville, but want somewhere with a lively atmosphere, Triana is for you.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN TRIANA

8. Los Remedios, the place to stay in Seville during the Feria de Abril

Los Remedios, the place to stay in Seville during the Feria de Abril

Los Remedios, south of Triana, sits on a fork in the river, and is connected to the city by a bridge. Mostly residential, it’s quite an affluent suburb, but undergoes a transformation for the Feria de Abril or April Fair in late spring.

The custom evolved from the old cattle markets that happened everywhere in southern Spain, with Seville adding a celebratory cattle fair in April 1847, and refreshment stalls ten years later. 

By the middle of the twentieth century, the fair was purely a party with no sales, taking place around two weeks after Semana Santa. Soon after that, the site moved to Los Remedios to allow for a very necessary expansion.

The hub of the fair is known as El Real after the coin paid to the drivers who once transported people to the site. Over a thousand stalls sit beneath pretty lanterns, with music ever-present (as it always is in Seville). 

Although some of these stalls belong to private organisations or families, and are off-limits to the general public, those run by free associations will welcome you (although naturally, they reach capacity quickly).

Enter by the Porta, and don’t miss the Calle del Infierno, which lives up to its Spanish name of the street of hell, but in a fun way. In the Paseo de Caballos, brightly-decorated horse-drawn carriages parade, with the main spectacle ending in the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza.

To really enter into the spirit of the Feria, female visitors can rent or buy a traje de flamenca. This traditional rural costume consists of a frilly dress topped by a shawl, with a flower in the hair, and locals indulge themselves fully with this excuse for dressing-up. 

Feet are meant for dancing, so shoe heels are low. No doubt men can find a suitable outfit, too. Now you must show it all off!

If you want to stay in Seville for the fair, it makes sense to stay nearby. This prestigious event does mean higher prices at some of the hotels, but there are plenty of other options, such as holiday rentals, and hostels. 

Rooms here do fill up fast, but it’s within easy reach of other districts, and there are plenty of ways to get to the fair.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SEVILLE IN LOS REMEDIOS

9. Santa Justa – Nervion, affordable accommodation

Santa Justa - Nervion, affordable accommodation

Nervión is Seville’s business and commercial sector, so it makes sense for the railway station to be located here, in the north-east of the city. Santa Justa, the third most-used train station in Spain, opened in 1991 in preparation for Expo 92. 

It has excellent facilities and easy access for anyone who needs it, and also serves local and regional stations. It’s a kilometre away from the nearest metro station of Nervión, but that is easily and cheaply reached by bus or taxi. Airport buses also stop here.

It’s also the home of Sevilla Football Club, and the Nervión Plaza Shopping Centre, while sights of interest include the fourteenth-century Templete de la Cruz del Campo, a medieval shrine known locally as ‘el Humilladero’, the now-disused Cruzcampo brewery, the ruins of La Ranilla prison, and some more modern buildings.

Nervión itself is quite a trendy neighbourhood, with new eateries blending with more traditional ones. The job opportunities of the commercial district, together with the good transport links needed for this, make it a desirable place to live. 

With its office workers, football fans and shoppers, it has a good choice of places to eat, and being near the railway, there are plenty of lower-priced hotels and hostels, if you want to stay in Seville, but be near transport links.

The wide choice of accommodation options in Seville will please everyone from backpackers to families and couples. 

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SANTA JUSTA – NERVION

Photo: Shutterstock

Leave a comment