When to fly
There's never a bad time to book flights to Seville, the capital of Andalusia and one of Spain’s most beautiful cities, but springtime, when the scent of orange blossom hangs heavy on the air, might just be the best time.
If you are hoping to immerse yourself in some of the festivities of Seville, April can be the perfect time to book flights. Semana Santa (Easter Week) hosts an extraordinary procession of masked people and carnival floats. Although this is a religious festival, there are also lots of celebrations, with people travelling from across the country to experience the event. April also hosts the annual Seville April Fair. This is a great time to see traditional Andalusian culture, with flamenco dancing and parties aplenty. If you are flying to Seville for a festival, make your reservations in advance, as prices can rise.
Winter (December to February) is cooler but not freezing, with temperatures usually between 5 and 16 degrees. There is also an increase in rainfall during both autumn and winter, which can see heavy showers and thunderstorms. Due to the weather, these seasons are less popular times to visit, so the city is less crowded. Flights tend to be slightly cheaper and you may be able to get better hotel rates. Bear in mind that autumn can still be a lovely time to visit the city as sometimes the temperature can stay mild and warm throughout the month.
Great weather, fascinating history and enchanting scenery are just some of the countless reasons to book flights to Seville. After an afternoon siesta, you’ll also want to sample the thriving nightlife of open-air bars and flamenco in places like Isla Cartuja, Triana and Plaza Alfalfa.
The city’s old town and Jewish quarter are absolutely charming, with beautiful parks to walk through and coach and horses for those who just want to sit and marvel at it all. The Real Alcázar nearby was originally a Moorish fort, but is now a royal palace with stunning baths, courtyards, fountains and gardens. The Torre Del Oro near the San Telmo Bridge and the Giralda minaret are other examples of Moorish architecture that you’ll want to visit.
Seville’s cathedral is enormous, on par with St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London. Construction for the church began in 1401 when a group of religious fanatics decided to build a church so glorious that “those who come after us will take us for madmen.” The Almohad mosque originally occupied the site, but the mosque was torn down to make room for the cathedral. The minaret, built in 1198, remains open for tourists to climb. The huge Gothic church took more than a century to complete and is a must-see sight in Seville. The interior contains 44 chapels, gilded panels, intricately carved altarpieces and mahogany choir stalls built from recycled Austrian railway cars. There is also a tomb dedicated to Christopher Columbus, but it is controversial whether or not his remains actually rest there.
Given its popularity, it's worth searching for cheap flights to Seville as early as possible. Another option is to look for cheap flights to Malaga and take a train or bus from there.
Seville has a subtropical Mediterranean climate, which is characterised by dry, hot summers and mild, wet winters. The city experiences temperatures of around 21 degrees Celsius or warmer for more than half the year. July and August are the hottest months, with an average high temperature of 36 degrees. If you would rather explore the city without the searing heat, spring can be a good time to visit, as it is slightly cooler but still moderate and warm. As the weather is lovely throughout the majority of the year most tourists visit from April all the way till November.
Getting around Seville
Set out to explore the city on foot. Seville is a walkable city, but it also has a very dependable network of buses and trains. The metro system started running in 2007. If you’re going to use the bus and metro often, buy a bonobús pass, available at newsstands and tobacco shops, to save money.
Getting from the airport to the city
San Pablo Airport (SVQ) (website: www.aena.es) is 6 miles (10km) from the city centre. There is a regular local bus taking visitors from the airport to the city. The journey takes around 30 minutes. Taxis and car rental are also available.
Seville insider information
- In the 14th century, Alfonso X and Pedro I, the Christian kings, employed Moorish craftsmen to build the Alcazar palace. Highlights are the Puerta del Leon, Patio de las Doncellas, Hall of Kings and the gardens. Just outside the walled defences is the Torre de Oro, a 13th-century tower, which houses the maritime museum.
- The Museo de Bellas Artes is housed in a former mercy convent and boasts a great collection of Sevillian art from the Gothic period to the 20th century from artists such as El Greco, Pacheco, Velázquez and Alonso Cano.
- Plaza de España was built for the 1929 Ibero-Americano World's Fair. Architecturally, it draws from the Renaissance as well as from the city of Seville (exposed brick, wrought iron and ceramics). Film trivia: it was used for one of the scenes in Episode II of George Lucas’s Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
- La Real Maestranza, the bullring, dates from the 1760s. There is a museum under the bullring.
- The Queens Sewing Room looks as though it should be in a fairytale. The pink and yellow striped hexagonal building has small corner towers. This is where María de las Mercedes came to cure her ill health and spend time sewing with her ladies-in-waiting.