Seville is the artistic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It’s a city full of architecture, history, and vibrant life. The city has some famous churches, winding streets, and great flamenco dancers. This is also a big university town and is extremely popular with people studying abroad. I love this city’s architecture and youthful vibe. It’s not one of my favorite cities in the country but I would never skip it and would always return to visit if given the chance! It’s a solid destination.
Hostel prices – Hostel dorms average 10-20 EUR a night for a centrally-located hostel, with prices increasing in the summer months. Private rooms are about 30-60 EUR for a double room. Free WiFi is standard at all the hostels and free breakfast is available and a handful throughout the city. Camping options around the city are quite limited, though there is one campsite within bus range. It has basic camping facilities as well as a pool, and prices start around 5 EUR (electricity, for example, costs extra).
Budget hotel prices – You can find a good twin/double hotel room for 40-70 EUR in Seville, with prices being slightly higher during the summer months. Many are located right next to Seville’s famous cathedral, making them convenient budget options. Airbnb is also available in the city, with shared accommodation costing around 22 EUR per night. If you want an entire apartment or home to yourself, expect to pay closer to 80 EUR per night.
Average cost of food – Expect to get a decent meal for 15-18 EUR including a drink.Cheap fast food (think McDonald’s) will cost around 7 EUR per meal. If buying groceries, a week’s worth of food will cost you between 25-40 EUR. If you plan on drinking and want to save yourself some money, buy your own alcohol. Domestic beer and wine can be bought for about 50% less than at bars/restaurants. For local foods and fresh produce, check out the Triana market (just keep in mind it’s closed on Sunday’s).
Transportation – The orange or red painted city buses cost 1.30 EUR per journey. If you buy a Bonobus pass it costs 6.40 EUR for 10 rides, saving you almost 7 EUR. Definitely get the pass if you will be using the bus often! Getting to and from the airport is rather straightforward, with one-way bus tickets costing 4 EUR. When it comes to exploring the city center, however, walking is a great option. Renting a bike is also a great way to get around, with daily rental prices costing only 1-2 EUR per hour (after paying a 12.30 EUR registration fee).
Suggested daily budget – 40 EUR / 42 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!)
Money Saving Tips
- Visit the Seville Cathedral for free – On Sunday morning, it’s free until 2:30pm. Get there early to avoid the crowds.
- Get the Bonobus pass – If you plan on using the bus often, get this pass. If you use 10 rides you will save almost 7 EUR — enough to buy yourself some more wine!
- Couchsurf – There are plenty of hosts in the city, so this is a great way to save yourself a few euros. Not only will you save money, but you’ll be able to connect with the local scene in a much greater capacity. Just be sure to request early during the busy summer months.
- Buy your own alcohol – While drinks are hardly expensive at bars and restaurants in Seville (and Spain as a whole), you’ll save yourself a lot of money if you buy your own beer and wine.
- Get a Hola Hostel card – Hola Hostels is a network of hostels predominantly in South and Central America, though they now have locations in Europe, too. They offer 10% off to their members, as well as other local discounts for food and activities. Joining is free, and their hostels are also committed to environmentally sustainable practices.
Top Things to See and Do in Seville
- Tour Casa de Pilatos – Built in 1500 AD, this palace is the center of tourism in Seville. It also houses a collection of 16th and 19th century paintings, and across from the palace you can find sculptures of Greek mythological figures. Admission is 6-8 EUR, depending on how much of the palace you want to explore.
- Visit the Iglesia de San Isidoro – Take a walking tour of this 14th century church. The artwork and architecture of Jimenez Bonilla and the temple’s intricate design is worth the trip alone. Admission is 5 EUR and includes a guide.
- Explore Parque de Maria Luisa – This park offers the opportunity for a wonderful day filled with gardens, patios and sculptures. You can do a guided tour of the grounds if you want. It’s a great way to escape the busier parts of Seville.
- Check out Plaza de Espana – Plaza de Espana is filled with government offices, statues, and opportunities to learn about some of Seville’s history. There are murals and paintings here that depict the various regions of Spain.
- Take a bike tour – Depending on how fancy you want the tour to be, you can spend 20-35 EUR for a three-hour guided tour of Seville. Keep the bike for the rest of the day and continue exploring on your own. You can also rent a municipal bike for 1-2 EUR per hour (after you pay a 12.30 EUR registration fee, which covers one week of rentals).
- Visit the Cathedral of Sevilla – Walk inside the cathedral to view its impressive architecture and intricate design. It is also where Christopher Columbus is buried. The bell tower also offers a panoramic view of the city.
- Walk through the historic Jewish Quarter – This area of town is located around the old Cathedral. (Ironic!) It is filled with small winding streets and is generally regarded as the most charming part of the city, but it is also fairly touristy. You’ll find a lot of crowds here but you can still escape them by trying to get lost in this maze of streets.
- Visit Europe’s oldest residential palace – The Alcázar is the oldest residential palace in Europe that is still in use. It serves as a royal residence when the monarchs of Spain come to visit Seville. The palace is a beautiful example of Moorish architecture, and is a recognized UNESCO site. Admission is 9.50 EUR for adults, and 2 EUR for students and seniors.
- Explore El Monasterio la Cartuja – This monastery is also known as the Monastery of Santa Maria de las Cuevas. It was founded as a Franciscan monastery in the 15th century, and now houses a collection of contemporary and ceramic art.
- Learn about Spain’s colonial history – The General Archives of the Indies is a 16th century building that contains an incredibly valuable collection of documents and artifacts related to Spain’s colonization of the New World. Highlights include the personal diary of Columbus and the Treaty of Tordesillas, which divided the New World between Spain and Portugal. Admission is free.
- Visit the Flamenco Museum – Flamenco music and dance is such an important aspect of southern Spanish culture, and the Flamenco Museum in Seville is a great way to learn more about it. The museum features many intricately-designed flamenco dresses, among other material objects and information. Admission is 10 EUR for adults, 8 EUR for students.
- Admire fine art – The Museo de Bellas Artes is the fine arts museum in the city, and houses a collection that dates back to the Gothic period. The museum lies in the Macarena neighborhood, and only costs 1.50 EUR to enter, or free if you’re an EU citizen.