In Spain all the good things – from coffee to beer – are often affordable, at least by the standards of other large western European cities. The same is true for Seville; the colorful, sun-drenched city that was a bastion of Islamic rule in Spain for more than 500 years, before it fell to Spanish Christians in the 13th century. As the capital of Andalucía, Seville attracts restaurateurs, artists – and tourists. The downside is that it can be pricier than elsewhere in southern Spain.
With a bit of savvy planning, there are ways to ensure that a trip to Seville’s many palaces, museums and tempting restaurants remains affordable while experiencing the best that the city has to offer. Read on to find out how much money you’ll need each day in Seville.
Look for a place to stay outside the old town
Santa Cruz, the old Jewish quarter, and the city center are home to Seville’s most famous sites: the cathedral and the Alcázar. Escape the tourist honeypot by basing yourself in Triana, a less polished but vibrant district across the river. An apartment for two on a site like Airbnb hovers around $131 per night (the average in Seville is $217.50 per night) and is conveniently close to the delectable array of pastries on sale at Manu Jara Dulcería.
For hostel prices but without the backpacker vibe, try Room007 Salvador, a former coffee roastery near Las Setas, the Metropol Parasol. Set around an elegant colonnaded courtyard, the design is impressive, and the prices are reasonable: a private room for six is €144 (£$57), or €72 ($78.50) for a double with bunk beds. Seek out cheap accommodation that can be combined with low-cost activities. La Banda, a multi-award-winning hostel, offers paella and flamenco evenings, yoga on the rooftop, and guided tours of Seville with a stop for brunch.
Save your money by visiting the sites on Mondays
This is when many major museums and palaces offer discounted entry. Explore the Real Alcázar free of charge from 4pm or 6pm, depending on the month. Next door, the Hospital de la Caridad opens its doors for free between 3.30pm and 7.30pm on Mondays. Go straight into the small but extravagant chapel, where you’ll find murals by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and Juan de Valdés Leal, two of Spain’s most prolific painters. The hospital’s tiny but lovely jasmine-filled garden sits across the street.
Look beyond Seville’s most famous sights too, which cost less to visit. Up in the vibrant barrio of La Macarena, step into the arcaded courtyard of the ochre-colored Palacio de Las Dueñas free of charge from 4pm on Mondays. Its lushly planted garden is one of only two in Spain to be featured in “Great Gardens of the World.” As for church on Sunday, the recently restored baroque Iglesia de San Luis de los Franceses is free from 4pm. After gazing up at the elaborate frescoes, wend your way through stone passages into the crypt. During the week, students can enter for €2 ($2.20).
Walk around the city on foot
Walking through Seville’s twisting streets is by far the best, free way to explore Seville’s idiosyncratic neighborhoods. Handily, the main places to visit, Santa Cruz, La Macarena, El Arena and Triana, are bunched together meaning the city is easily navigable.
Runners might enjoy a 6 mile (10km) loop around the historic city center. Begin at the Real Alcázar, head north towards La Macarena, across the river to the lesser-visited Jardines del Guadalquivir, south through the park towards Triana and across the bridge into the old fisherman’s district of El Arenal. It is also a neat way to run off all the raciones (plates).
Explore Seville by bike
While other European cities are making their post-pandemic cities more cycle-friendly, Seville got there decades ago. Some 111 miles (180km) of bike lanes mean it is safe and easy to cycle around. The cheapest way is to hire a pick-up-drop-off city bike for half-hour to one-hour intervals. First, create an account on the Servici app, then select a seven-day plan for around €13 ($14). Ride free for the first half-hour, then pay €1 ($1.10) for the next full hour and €2 ($2.20) after that.
Plan a holiday in fall or early spring
Seville is not a year-round destination for budget travelers. The price of accommodation shoots up during the annual Feria de Abril which falls after Easter in either late April or early May. Avoid traveling during peak seasons. Instead, book a trip between September and November, or January and March, when the days are still warm and the city is less busy. For a festival atmosphere minus the unpalatable prices, coincide your trip with el día de Andalucía (the regional day) on February 28th. Discount airlines Ryanair and Easyjet fly from London to Seville from as low as £13 ($14) and £26 ($28.30) respectively.
Take the train from another Spanish city
If you are already in Spain, consider taking the train to Seville. Services between major Spanish cities are modern and you can find cheap seats if you reserve in advance. Depending on how much time you have, you could combine a few Spanish cities in one trip while only paying for one set of airfares. Trains from Malaga to Seville cost around €25 ($27) one way and take around 3 hours. Madrid to Seville is around €30 ($32) and takes two and a half hours; Cadíz to Seville costs around €18 ($20) with a journey time of 1 hour 40 minutes.
Sample Andalucían food and drinks for cheap
Beer is cheaper than bottled water in some of Seville’s bars. If you’re happy to stand at the bar, a caña (small beer) in Bodega Santa Cruz costs €1.40 ($1.50). Cruzcampo, a light, local brew, is the least expensive. Tapas such as croquetas (fried balls stuffed with melted ham, cheese or mushroom) and pavías de bacalao (fingers of cod in fluffy batter) tend to cost around €2.50 to €5 ($2.70 to $5.50) per dish; raciones are bigger and more expensive. Polish off affordable, tasty tapas in Casa de La Moneda, a charming eatery housed in Seville’s former royal mint. In Triana, the aioli-stuffed mushrooms at Las Golondrinas are a must.
Cervecería 100 Montaditos is another wonderfully budget-friendly spot. You can choose from one hundred bite-sized montaditos (mini sandwiches) for just €1 ($1.10) on Wednesdays and Sundays. Don’t be put off by the fact it’s a chain – students flock here in the evenings.
Fill up at breakfast
Spanish desayuno (breakfast) is delicious, cheap and served in most of the cafes that fringe Seville’s pretty plazas. Try Plaza Alameda de Hércules, where an al-fresco breakfast of café con leche, freshly squeezed orange juice and a couple of slices of pan con tomate – grilled bread rubbed with a tangy mix of Andalucían olive oil, salt and fresh tomato – should set you back around €4 to €5 ($4.30 to $5.50). Coffee snobs might prefer the specialty brews at Delatribu, a quirky little coffee bar in the barrio Santa Cruz that sells award-winning coffee from €2 ($2.20). Polish it off with an olive oil torta from the Inés Rosales shop nearby. You can buy six of these sea salt-flecked biscuits for €2.55 ($2.80).
Grab a beer in an old Arab bath, without paying entry
It is possible to see the final vestiges of al-Andalus, the Islamic caliphate that used to rule Seville, without paying full-whack. Indulging in the full Arab spa bath experience will set you back a pretty penny. Instead head to Cervercería Giralda, a tapas bar built around an ancient hammam that dates back to the 12th century. The owners discovered the centuries-old Baño Árabe while conducting renovations during the pandemic in 2021. Enjoy a cerveza beneath the geometric designs of one of the best-preserved Islamic baths on the Iberian peninsula.
Feel the spirit of flamenco in a bar
Wrist-swiveling flamenco is a must-see on most travelers’ bucket lists, but it is rarely free – the performers need to earn a living. Students tend to fork out around €15 ($16.35) for a show; other lower-priced tickets include €12 ($13) for the Thursday evening performances that have returned to the Fundación Cajasol, a majestic 16th-century villa. Otherwise, look to bars with a flamenco atmosphere and casual live acts. La Carbonería, an old coal factory with an electric ambiance, is free to enter and you pay just for your copa (drink). As performances unfold, clap out flamenco’s staccato rhythms and utter a well-timed “olé” along with the locals.
Visit public gardens to see ancient sites
Find spots for low-key activities such as reading and yoga, that you can do yourself and free of charge. Many of the parks in Seville, from the spectacular Parque María Luísa to the orange-blossom-filled Jardines del Guadalquivir, are more than just grass. Around date palms, a restored Islamic pool and a Moorish palace that dates back to the 11th century, there’s no better spot than the Jardines de la Buhaira to read The shadows of the pomegranate tree by Ali Tariq. One of five books in the “Islam Quintet”, the novel evokes the fall of Granada, another important Muslim stronghold in al-Andalus, to the Spanish Christians.
Daily costs in Seville
- Hostel room: from €18 ($20) for a dormitory
- Basic room for two: from €60 ($65) night
- Self-catering apartment (including Airbnb): average nightly prices range from €60 ($65) for a private room to €200 ($217) for the whole place.
- Coffee: €1.50-2 ($1.60-2.20) for a cafe con leche on a terrace, to €2-4 ($2.20-$4.30) for cappuccino or V60 pour-over coffee at Delatribu, a specialty coffee shop.
- Sandwich: €4 ($4.30) for montaditos with jamón at Los Alcalareños.
- Dinner for two: from €30 ($32). Typical Andalucían tapas tend to start around €2.50 ($2.70) each.
- Beer: from €1.60 ($1.70) for a caña of local beer Cruzcampo, to upwards of €5 ($5.45) for a pint of local craft beer at Maquila Bar
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