In December, my family visited me in Spain. We had plans to spend Christmas in Seville, but catching COVID ruined those plans for me. Months after my family visited Seville without me, I finally made it!
Below, I will detail my trip, and make budget-friendly recommendations for all my fellow solo travelers:
WHERE TO STAY
Oasis Backpack-packer’s hostels are pretty well known in Europe, and for good reason. These hostels are great for meeting people, especially if you are a solo traveler. I stayed at the Palace, and I met people as soon as I entered the front door. Obviously, you can’t expect luxury at these places (I was in a mixed dorm with twelve people). However, you can look forward to a friendly atmosphere and a good time.
Price: 20 euros/night
My advice: When I went (in June) the Palace was jam packed. While it was fun to be around so many people, the pool was dirty, and there were so many people. If you want a more relaxed environment (and a clean pool!!) I would stay at the Hostel (just a few blocks away).
WHAT TO DO
If I was going to pay money to see one touristic site in Seville, this would be it. The Arabic influence and azulejos in the Alcazar are just so unique from the rest of Spain. Beautiful, picturesque, magical. The gardens on the grounds are full of wildlife, including baby peacocks!
Price: 14 euros
My Advice: Try to get tickets at the door instead of buying them online.There was barely a line when I went, and if you buy tickets online, you will have to wait longer for a specific time slot.
The Setas, are hard to miss when you’re walking the streets of Seville. For a fee, you can take an elevator to the top and get an impressive view of the city. I visited the Setas at sunset.
Price: 8 euros (prices vary depending on the time of day)
My advice: Get there early! I went about an hour before sunset, and I walked around and enjoyed the scenery a bit before people showed up. It gets crowded, so getting there early ensures you a spot along the railing to watch the sunset.
Some girls from my hostel and I went to the bar, Lo Nuestro, in search of Flamenco. We thought we would be seeing a live dancer, but we were surprised that, in fact, WE were the dancers. The bar brought in musicians, and the people in the audience danced. I think we were the only non-Spanish people in the bar, and it was exciting to watch the group of older Spanish women next to us dance their hearts out to Flamenco.
Price: 7 euros (for the copas)
My Advice: Do not pay money to see Flamenco. You should be able to find it free with the purchase of drinks/tapas. Also, arrive early if you want a seat!
Seville’s Cathedral is the largest in Spain. I have seen many a cathedral in Spain, and while the sheer size is jaw-dropping, I feel as though once you have seen one cathedral, you know what to expect from the rest.
The Giralda Tower is cool. It requires walking up 40 flights (luckily the tower has a ramp, not stairs.) However the view is a bit blocked by the bars on the windows and the massive amount of tourists.
Price: 11 euros
I would skip the Giralda and get the much less obstructed view from the Setas. I feel as though the Cathedral is a must-see, but you can also go at mass-time and avoid paying. I went to mass on a Saturday morning, and I sat in a beautiful chapel. The downside was that I couldn’t walk around the whole Cathedral.
Plaza de España & Parque de los Cisnes
Seville’s Plaza de España is the plaza of all plazas. Every town, city, and village in Spain has a Plaza de España, and Seville’s is probably the most notable. It is stunning. When I visited, the scaffolding from a Christian Dior fashion show were scattered around the plaza from the previous day, but it was still beautiful. Here, I was finally able to see some live Flamenco dancing performances. I stumbled upon the Parque de los Cisnes on my way there, and I spent my time leisurely strolling the park, watching the wildlife, and enjoying the shade.
My Advice: Visit Plaza de España when you have time to walk slowly and enjoy. It is a bit farther from the rest of the city center. Check out the flamenco performances happening there every day in the arches. There is a free military museum located in the plaza as well. Tired from all the walking? Bring a book and find a nice place to read in the park. Cool off in the shade while you watch the swans.
I hope you have the opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Seville and experience the rich Spanish culture it has to offer.