Seville’s prettiest neighbourhoods have it all: great historical monuments, the city’s most charming streets and squares, colourful markets and tranquil parks. Read on for our guide to five neighborhoods you have to visit during your trip in the Andalusian capital.
Triana is definitely a must seen neighborhood during your visit to Seville. This neighborhood - located on the westbank of the Guadalquivir - is easily accessible via the Puente de Isabel II, or better known as the Triana bridge, the oldest surviving iron bridge in Spain. Triana is the most traditional area of Seville when it comes to Spanish and Andalusian tradition! The district probably originated in the Roman period of Seville, in which a settlement was created on the other side of the river named after the 'Sevillan' Roman Emperor Trajan. At that time it was already the district where the potters lived.
Many residents of the district personify themselves with Triana instead of the city of Seville. Some only come across the river when they have to. This makes Triana a 'self-sufficient' neighborhood with its own gastronomy, churches and even nightlife. In neighborhoods like Triana, for example, you will come across the old-fashioned southern Spanish bar with an aluminum bar, extremely cold beer and the most local dishes. Not a romantic dinner, but really among the people!
When you cross the bridge, you immediately find yourself on the Triana market. This is an indoor market where many locals get their fresh products. Furthermore, Triana is a neighborhood that is known for its ceramics, for example, there are several traditional ceramics shops but also a ceramics museum. It's a nice neighborhood to walk through and get a view of Seville from the other side of the Guadalquivir.
Fun fact, the gypsies were traditionally iron smiths and so the legend tells that the rhythm of the flamenco dance culture originated from the anvil in Triana!
La Macarena (San Lorenzo - Feria - Alameda)
The neighborhood of Macarena district is located north of the center of Seville (within the old city walls of Seville) and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Seville with a rich history.
Colloquially, this part is sometimes called Macarena, but the actual Macarena district is located north of the city walls. Officially, this section is a convergence of the San Lorenzo and Feria neighborhoods. It is also called Alameda due to the presence of the Alameda de Hercules.
Large parts of this neighborhood remained an agricultural part. Also due to the water supply of the river, which had a basin or small lake on the spot where now Alameda de Hercules is located. It explains why the pavement of the Alameda has collapsed somewhat due to the water present in the ground.
Calle Feria is one of the more famous streets in the city, a long winding street full of one-man shops, local pubs, churches and its own fresh food market. This fresh market, less well known than Triana's, is a great place to eat.
In Macarena, you can find the Basílica de la Macarena, Puerta de la Macarena (https://atdspain.com/en/news/la-puerta-de-la-macarena) and a part of the old city wall. You are also at the right place in this neighborhood if you like vintage shopping. There are several clothing stores and bookstores, and there are also several markets every week. This district is a nice mix of locals and students, and you can spend a lot of hours here visiting churches and good food in the oldest tapas bar in the city. During our tapas tour, we'll cycle through La Macarena. You can book a tour via https://atdspain.com/en/service/new-tour-seville-bike-tour-tapas
Arenal is the district of our bicycle shop, bullring, but above all the old port of Seville. The neighborhood of El Arenal offers many tapas bars and restaurants at lunchtimes and in the evenings. Arenal was once home to Seville’s great port, Europe’s most important gateway to the Americas after Columbus’s exploration of the New World in 1492. You can learn more about this crucial phase in the Naval Museum, located just across the river from the bullring in the Torre del Oro, the Tower of Gold.
The neighborhood seems to be one of the richer ones of Seville, where everyone walks in to eat or to attend a bullfight, so the neighborhood is regularly filled with traditional bullfighting fanatics. Before and after the fighting, the bars and hotel lobbies are packed with people with a cold beer in hand. Feel free to try a bull's tail here (Rabo de Toro)! Paseo Colón Arenal also has a true entertainment area with modern lounge bars and, if you look carefully, great nightclubs! Fun fact, the city walls ran along the current back wall of our store! You can visit our store yourself or book a tour with us online via https://atdspain.com/en/service/daily-bike-tour-sevilla
Santa Cruz is arguably the largest and most famous neighborhood in the city of Seville. The Gothic Cathedral of Seville, Real Alcázar and Archivo de Indias are monuments located in this exact district. In the late Middle Ages, the Jewish Quarter was located in Santa Cruz, a neighborhood with a rich history. The Jewish community had an important place in society during the medieval Catholic era of Seville. Many prestigious Jewish families held important functions at the court of the kings of Spain for at least about 150 years. Hence the location right next to the royal palace. In Santa Cruz, there's Esteban Murillo's house, now a museum. We wrote a Dutch blog about him, among others, which you can read via https://atdspain.com/nl/news/sevilla-en-zijn-schilders At the end of the street Calle Santa Teresa, there was its church, where Murillo was later buried. However, this church was later demolished and we now know it as Plaza de Santa Cruz. Nowadays, we know that somewhere under this square must still lie the remains of the famous painter.
Throughout history, the Jewish quarter has a number of temples that have been mosques, synagogues and churches and due to further degradation of such temples and monasteries, you will find many beautiful squares flanked by the narrowest streets, each with its own dramatic legends. It's also the place where many operas and dramas were set, such as Don Juan Tenorio, the Barber of Seville and the Opera of Carmen.
Santa Cruz is a neighborhood where it's great to get lost in the small narrow streets. Everywhere you can come across something beautiful. During our walking tour, we'll walk through Santa Cruz. You can book a tour via https://atdspain.com/en/service/seville-walking-tour Do you want to know more about the Jewish quarter? We made a video which you can watch via https://youtu.be/V-xHMBsQN7E
The Alfalfa district is one of the oldest parts of the city. Even though there is little specific left in the street scene, you can certainly look for special places from the Roman era of Seville. For example, in the south of the district is the ancient temple of Marmoles, which stood along the old Cardo Maximus. We only find three pillars of the original six. Two are located at the head of Alameda square and one disappeared. Right in the middle of the district, you can find Plaza de Alfalfa, a typical square full of bars with local offerings. The Forum of the city used to be located here, and legend has it that Julius Caesar presented the head of Pompey the Younger to the people of Hispalis (yes, Julius Caesar was a familiar face in our city!). At the head of the district is the huge Metropol Parasol of Setas, this wooden structure houses excavations of old Roman houses on the outside of Hispalis. It is the largest wooden structure in the world, gives the Romans a worthy exhibition center and is the best place to view the city from above.
Alfalfa is also home to the Iglesia del Salvador, the largest church in the city after the cathedral. As the cathedral was once a large mosque, this is also the case with the Salvador church, both in Moorish and Catholic times the center of the religious population before the cathedral became that. The square in front of the Salvador church is one of the most famous places to drink a cold beer. Behind the Salvador church lies the Plaza de Pan, 'Bread Square', known to be a medieval market square. On this square there are numerous shops along the side of the Salvador church. These shops are carried by the old columns of the mosque, but many people pass by without knowing it.
The shopping streets of Seville stretch above the square of Salvador and Plaza de Pan, less big brands in these streets but many one-man businesses. Shoe stores, wedding shops and even flamenco dresses are sold. Want to know more about shopping in Seville? Then this blog might be the one for you: https://atdspain.com/en/news/shop-till-you-drop-seville
Well, now that you've read this blog, you know where to be if you are in Seville!