If any one place comes close to rolling together everything that’s quintessentially Andalucian, it’s Seville. Here in the region’s capital and biggest city, that special Andalucian way of life is distilled into its purest and most intense form. Seville has the most passionate and portentous Semana Santa (Holy Week), the most festive and romantic annual feria (fair), the best tapas bars, the best nightlife and the most stylish people in Andalucía. It has more narrow, winding, medieval lanes and romantic, hidden plazas soaked in the scent of orange blossom than half of Andalucía’s other cities put together. It’s the home of those two bulwarks of Andalucian tradition, flamenco and bullfighting, and its heri‑tage of art and architecture (Roman, Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance, baroque) is without rival in southern Spain.
But Seville’s most developed art form is that of enjoying oneself. To be out at night among the city’s relaxed, fun-loving crowds – in the tapas bars, on the streets, in the clubs and discos – is an experience you won’t forget.
There are a couple of catches, of course: Seville is expensive. You might pay €80 here for a room that would cost €50 elsewhere, and prices go even higher during Semana Santa and the Feria de Abril (April Fair). Also bear in mind that Seville gets very hot in July and August: locals, sensibly, leave the city then.
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Best places to stay in Seville
Spain - Seville & Andalucia (Chapter)
Travels in Andalucía will deposit you in places where you can peel off the region’s checkered history in dusty layers: edgy Granada, arty Málaga, vivacious Seville, sleepy Grazalema, rugged Ronda, brassy Marbella; places that lodge in your...
Spain's flamenco renaissance
The audience in Seville’s Casa de la Guitarra is crammed in like a football crowd at a Barcelona-Real Madrid game, but it doesn’t seem to matter. All eyes are on the stage where the singer, dancer and guitarist have fused to create a wall of emotion so intense you could practically light a cigarette with it...
Best places to eat in Seville
Andalucia - Seville (Chapter)
Some cities have looks, others have personality. The sevillanos - lucky devils - get both, courtesy of their flamboyant, charismatic, ever-evolving Andalucian metropolis, a sun-soaked place of flamenco and festivals full of pasión.
Seville destination guides
Feria de Abril: a guide to Seville's glorious festival
'Typical scene from the Feria de Abril' in Seville by Tom Raftery. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike This is an excerpt from Lonely Planet's A Year of Festivals...
Best of Spain
Kick off this colourful Best of Spain tour in Madrid and let your imagination unfold on a journey through the beautiful Andalucian region. Visit the cities that reflect Spain's diverse history and culture. Experience a fiery flamenco performance in Seville and explore the mysterious maze of alleyways of the old Arab quarter in Albayzin.
Explore Spain and Portugal
Follow an enticing trail of delicious tapas, avant-garde art, architectural triumphs and centuries-old culture on this incredible tour through Spain and Portugal. Travel the scenic route from Madrid to Barcelona, visiting cosmopolitan metropolises, sleepy seaside villages, quaint towns set amid rolling green hills and atmospheric medieval citadels along the way.
Semana Santa: a guide to Holy Week in Spain and Guatemala
'Semana Santa' by marinalwang. Creative Commons Attribution In an excerpt from Lonely Planet's A Year of Festivals we look at the best ways to celebrate Semana Santa, one of the Catholic church's most significant and colourful festivals. Location: Antigua, Guatemala and Seville, Spain...