Seville’s Best Neighborhoods for Living

where should I live in Seville

So, you’ve gotten the visa, packed your bags and moved to Seville. The first order of business (after your cervecita and tapita, of course) is looking for a piso and a place to call home while you’re abroad. While living in the center of Seville can mean a long commute or blowing half of your salary on rent, it is undoubtedly one of the most liveable and lively cities in all of Spain. 

Let’s begin with the basics: Seville is a large city with an urban population of around 700,000. As the capital of Andalucía, it’s home to the regional government and a hub for transportation. Seville also boasts miles of bike lanes, enormous parks and passionate, traditional citizens.

Encompassing the left and right banks of the Guadalquivir River about 50 miles north of the Atlantic, the  river splits the old town from Triana and Los Remedios; further west is the Aljarafe plain. 

Where to Live in Seville Map

To the east lies a number of residential neighborhoods stretching to East Seville, a newer housing development. South of the center are Bami, Reina Mercedes, Heliópolis, Los Bermejales and Bellavista, as well as the buildings erected for the 1929 Iberoamerican Exposition.

Seville’s city center is one of the largest in Europe, encompassing two square miles, and is extremely walkable.

Central Seville neighborhood map

Choosing a neighborhood that’s right for you is imperative for your experience in Seville. After all, you’ll be living as a local and skipping the well-developed tourist beat. Each has its own feel and character, and not every one is right for you and your needs. Ever walk in a place where you can see yourself – or not? Here’s a guide from a seven-year vet to the most popular neighborhoods in Seville’s city center, from what to expect from housing to not-to-miss bars and barrio celebrations.

But should you choose a place to live before you make the move?

In retrospect, it probably wasn’t smart for me to pay a deposit on a house I’d never seen. I hadn’t met my roommates or staked out the nearest supermarket. While I lived in Triana happily for three years, I’d suggest renting a bed or room in or near the neighborhoods you’re interested in before making a decision about where you want to live for a year. 

If you’re hoping to lock something down before coming here, consider Spotahome. This venture pre-checks all properties, essentially cutting out those awkward conversations with landlords. You can rent entire apartments, or a single room, and have peace of mind so you can focus on exploring your barrio and meeting amigos.

Not all neighborhoods in Seville are listed on this post, and I’ve generalized some larger areas, like the Center, Macarena and Nervión. Consider more than just price or location: think about commute to work, ease of public transportation, noise and the people you’ll live with. After all, a bad living situation can make or break your experience in Spain.

And for reading Sunshine and Siestas, you can get 20% off your Spotahome fees – just use the promo code CGSS15 before December 31st, 2015!

http://www.spotahome.com/Seville

http://www.spotahome.com/Seville

El Centro

photo by Christine Medina, run on Sunshine and Siestas

Seville’s beating heart is the most centric neighborhood, El Centro. Standing high above it is the Giralda tower, the once-minaret that guards the northeast corner of the third-largest Gothic cathedral in the world. This, along with the Alcazar Royal Palace and Archivo de Indias, forms a UNESCO World Heritage Site (whose status was threatened by the controversial Torre Pelli recently).

Life buzzes in these parts, from the public meeting point in Puerta Jerez to Plaza Nueva’s Town Hall, the Triana Bridge to the cathedral.

What’s great: Because you’re in the center, you’re close to all of the wonderful things that Seville has to offer, and you can move around on foot. The shopping, the nightlife and everything in between is never too far off.

What’s not so great: Keep in mind that many apartment rentals clog apartment blocks, and that many properties are offered by inmobiliarias, or real estate agencies. This means you’ll have to forfeit a month’s rent as an agency fee. It’s also difficult to park, the supermarkets are further away, and there seem to be a lack of recycling bins.

Average price: Housing costs tend to reflect the fact that you’re smack in the center of it all, hence the apt name. Because it’s such an extensive area, you can find a shared room for 200€ a month, or you may be forking over closer to 400€. Studios can run up to 500€, and you may sacrifice space and natural sunlight.

Not to miss: having a drink at Hotel Doña María next to the Cathedral or in Plaza del Salvador, the interior patios of Salvador which was once home to a mosque, the winding Calle de Siete Revueltos, cheap and oversized tapas at Los Coloniales, the fine Museo de Bellas Artes and the art market out front on Sunday mornings, Holy Week processions, having a pastry at La Campana Confiteria, the view from Las Setas.

Santa Cruz

The traditional Jewish neighborhood of Seville borders the historic Center and oozes charm. That is, if you like Disneyland-like charm. The narrow alleyways are now lined with tourist shops, overpriced bars with lamentable food and hardly a native sevillano in sight. For a first-time tourist, it’s breathtaking, with its flamenco music echoing though the cobbled streets. For the rest of us, it’s to be avoided as much as possible.

What’s great: Santa Cruz is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Seville, and its squares and orange trees are beautiful. It’s sandwiched between the Alcázar palace and Jardines de Murillo, and thus close to the Prado de San Sebastián train station.

What’s not so great: Like El Centro, the novelty likely wears off when you realize that many of your neighbors are tourists and that you can’t park your car. If you look for a place a bit further from the sites, you’ll find peace and quiet, though you may have astronomical rent.

Average price: Rents here are typically not cheap. For a studio or one bedroom, expect to pay 450-700€. For a shared apartment, you’ll pay 300 – 400€.

Not to miss: chowing down a pringa sandwich at Las Columnas, Las Cruces festival in May, the Jardines de Murillo and its fountains, free entrance for students to the Alcazar and its gardens, the beautiful Virgen del Candelaria church (one of my favorites in all of Seville), having a beer at La Fesquita surrounded by photos of Christ crucified.

El Arenal

The neighborhood, named for its sandy banks on the Guadalquivir where ships were once contracted, boasts a number of gorgeous chapels, the bullring and the Torre del Oro, as well as the gintoncito crowd sipping on Gin & Tonics at seemingly every hour. Wedged in between the Center and the Guadalquivir River, the houses and apartments here tend to be cramped and overpriced, having belonged to families for years. Still, the neighborhood is lively and the taurino crowd ever-present. 

What’s great: This is the place for you if you’re too lazy to walk elsewhere and are attracted by the nightlife, which is as varied as old man bars and discos.

What’s not so great: Is it bad to say there’s nothing I don’t like?

Average price: For a studio or one bedroom, expect to pay 350-500€. For a shared apartment, you’ll pay 200 – 300€.

Not to miss: the café con leche and tostadas at La Esquina del Arfe, a bullfight at the Maestranza (or at least a view of those trajes de luxes along C/Adriano), the churros lady at the old city gate, the tranquility of Plaza  El Cabildo with its stamp stores and turnstile sweets, the 4,50€ copas at Capone.

Triana

Disclaimer: I’m 100% biased that Triana is the best place to live. Trianeros believe that the district west of the Guadalquivir should be its own mini-nation, and with good reason: everything you could ever need is here.

Once home to the Inquisition Castle (Castillo San Jorge, at the foot of the Triana Bridge) and the poor fisherman and gypsy of Seville, Triana is emblematic of Seville. Quaint homes, tile for miles and churches are Triana’s crown jewels, and it’s become a favorite among foreigners.

What’s great:  While it boasts few historic sites, Triana is all about ambiente – walk around and let it seep in, listening to the quick cadence of the feet tapping in its many flamenco schools. Some of the city’s most beloved bars, shops and even pasos are here, and the view from the river-flanked Calle Betis is gorgeous.

What’s not so great: The homes here are a bit older and a bit more rundown, though Calle Betis has some of Andalucía’s most expensive property values. It’s also difficult to park, especially when you get closer to the river.

Average price: Typically, if you opt for El Tardón or the northern section of the neighborhood, prices are more economical. For a studio or one bedroom, expect to pay 350-400€. For a shared apartment, you’ll pay 250 – 350€. Our mortgage in Barrio del León is less than we’d pay for rent across the street!

Not to miss: Calle Pureza’s temples and hole-in-the-wall bars, slurping down caracoles at Bar Ruperto (or try the fried quail), the Santa Ana festival along Calle Betis in late July, the ceramics shops on Antillano Campos, Las Golodrinas’s punto-pinchi-chipi-champi meal, the afternoon paseo that the trianeros love so dearly, typical markets at Triana and San Gonzalo.

Los Remedios

Triana’s neighbor to the south is Los Remedios, where streets are named for Virgens. While there’s not much nightlife, save trendy gin tonic bars, the barrio is located along the city’s fairgrounds and comes alive in April, two weeks after Easter. If you’re looking for private classes, this neighborhood is where a lot of the money is (so ask up!), and the many schools and families mean there’s no shortage of alumnos.

What’s great: Huge, newer apartments with elevators, two metro stops and proximity to the fairgrounds.

What’s not so great: Los Remedios is home to many families and was built as a housing development, meaning there are few green spaces or quaint squares.

Average price: Remedios is considered posh, with wide avenues and small boutiques. The apartments are enormous and suitable for families, so don’t be surprised if you have three other roommates.

Still, there’s also a university faculty located in this area, so cheaper student housing can be found in the area just south of República Argentina. For a studio or one bedroom, expect to pay 350-500€. For a shared apartment, you’ll pay 200 – 300€.

Not to miss: Asuncion’s pedestrian shopping haven, the VIPS boasting American products on Republica Argentina, Parque de los Principes’s lush knolls, the ambience in the surrounding bars during the Feria, Colette’s French pastries.

Alameda

source: ABC online

My host mother once warned me not to go into the Alameda, convinced I’d be robbed by the neighborhood’s hippies. While dreads and guitars are Alameda staples,  the barrio is, in fact, one of the trendiest and most sought after places. By day, families commune on the plaza’s pavement park and fountains. By night, botellones gather around the hip bars and vegetarian restaurants.

What’s great: The pros are obvious: close to nightlife (and most of the city’s GLBT scene, too) and the center, and well-communicated (especially for the northern part of the city).

What’s not so great: From the center, it’s a nice ten-minute walk. This does, however, lend to litter and noise. 

Average price: For a studio or one bedroom, expect to pay 350-500€. For a shared apartment, you’ll pay 200 – 300€.

Not to miss: Viriato’s gourmet hamburger, the cute shops on nearby Calle Regina, Cafe Central on a Friday night, Teatro Alameda’s offerings, El Jueves morning flea market, the Feria market and its hidden fish restaurant. 

Macarena Sur

source: Dominó por España blog

Ever heard that famous song by Los del Río? Yep, it was named for Seville’s famous life-sized statue of the Virgen Mary, whose basilica and procession in the early hours of Holy Friday draw crowds and shout of “¡GUAPA!” Rent prices here are lower, bars more authentic and fewer tourists. The markets bustle, and the winding roads beneath plant-infested balconies are breathtaking. It’s also not uncommon to see processions or stumble upon a new boutique or pop-up bar. It’s also located just steps away from Alameda and encompasses Feria and San Julián, making it easy to get to the center, Nervión and Santa Justa.

What’s great: Apart from being close to the center and well-connected, Macarena is a barrio de verdad. It’s working class but typical, and the neighborhood is experiencing a bit of gentrification, bringing with it cool shops and restaurants.

What’s not so great: From what I’ve heard, there are some scary and not well-lit areas, and parking is nearly impossible on the small streets.

Average price: Studios and one bedrooms run about 350 – 500€, whereas a bedroom in a shared apartment are about 200 – 350€. 

Not to miss: Plaza de los Botellines, Calle Feria and its market (and the freshest Cruzcampo I’ve encountered!), numerous kebab shops for a late-night snack, the Macarena basilica and old city fortress walls.

Nervión

The city’s business center is located in Nervión, where houses are meant more for families.  Still, Nervión is well-connected to the center, airport and Triana, is sandwiched between the central train stations, and boasts a shopping mall and the Sevilla Fútbol Club stadium. This area also bumps up to La Buhaíra, which is a bit more upscale.

This area is enormous – it stretches essentially from the first to second ring road in the area due east of the center.

What’s great: Many students choose to live here because of its proximity to many university faculties, like business, education and travel. The apartments tend to be newer, larger and come unfurnished if they’re not meant to be housing for young people. Nervión has great shopping and dining and is well-connected to all other neighborhoods of Seville (and still within walking distance of Santa Cruz!).

What’s not so great: Nervión doesn’t have much by way of Gothic architecture or quaint cobblestone streets, though it more than makes up in better digs and connectivity.

Average price: Studios and one bedrooms are not common and expensive (think closer to 500€), and sharing a flat will run you between 275 and 400€.

Not to miss: n’Ice Cream cake and ice cream shop, the Cruzcampo factory, El Cafetal’s live music on weekends, Nervión Plaza Mall and original version films, Parque La Buhaíra’s summer concert series.

new house

I lived in a shared flat in Triana for three years before moving to Cerro de Águila to live rent-free with the Novio. We bought a house in Triana last summer, and while I love having a place to park and going everywhere on foot. Still, I really miss my places in Cerro – my dry cleaner, David at the cervecería, my neighbors. Where you live in Seville is really about feeling and making the street your living room!

Where are you planning on living, or live already? What do you like (or not) about it? What is your rent like?

Read more:  Five Strange Things You’ll Find in Your Spanish Flat | I Bought a House! | What They Don’t Tell You About Finding an Apartment in Spain

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living among pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she wrangles babies at an English Language Academy and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

Comments

  1. Here’s a vote for Triana. I loved living there. However, the Alameda is very cool, especially for young adults. In truth, you can find everything you need regardless in every neighborhood.

  2. Alameda all the way… Who doesn’t love finding a flamenco dress for 15€ during the barrio’s “mercadillo” on Thursdays! I miss how you can leave your flat without calling anyone and still happen to run into about 40 people you know on your way to your favorite bar. Plus Piola has the best tostadas… or maybe Hercules by the fresh food market… I don’t know! It’s all so good!!!! And you can’t beat my 180€/mes rent!

  3. Great summary of the most popular neighborhoods. When I visit Seville, I stay in an apartment in el monasterio san Clemente in the barqueta area. Love it. Only a 15 minute walk to the center, 10 minutes to the Alameda, typically Sevillano with few tourists, and cheap. Love the peaceful atmosphere of the convent, waking up to the chiming of bells. For me, there’s no better place.

  4. So true about n’Ice Cream! That was the first thing our host dad told us to do when we arrived!!

  5. ugh I want to live in ANY ONE of those neighborhoods (well, except for Nervión, never liked it there) but the one I live in. Macarena Norte SUCKS! I have lived many years in Triana and when I left, said I would never go back, but it’s now on my short list of places to potentially make home. I also did a short stint in the Arenal and LOVED it.

  6. viva triana y ole .. viva mi barrio del arte :) my bias is right there contigo, guapa.

  7. QUE VIVA EL GINTONCITONEO Y OLÉ

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      I love that La C is your name!! I’m going to the opening of a new bar in your hood next week…tipo flamenco y taurino. Will bring back the report!

  8. I lived in La Alameda briefly and then just around the corner from the Museo de Bellas Artes. Not sure which neighborhood that is considered, but it was great!

  9. Sunshine and Siestas says:

    Great feedback, guys. I think that the right neighborhood for you depends greatly on what you want out of it and how you are, personally. I loved that Triana was close enough to the center, but still seemed like I could get wrapped up in the Spansh musings of my dry cleaners. I miss living there all the time and feel my barrio has little character. If only, Kelly and Jeremy, we’d all lived there together! La Grande nightly, for sure!

  10. I tried to find bits of Jewish history in Barrio Santa Cruz; it turned out to be a little bit of hit and miss. However, one of the highlights was sitting in a café in one of the less-trodded alleys, and listening to two women chat about their respective children and their grandchildren. My Spanish is poor, but as with most languages, context is everything.

  11. Hey Cat! It’s Matt in Granada. Like your blog! Oh yeah, and I’d like a vintage postcard too ;)

  12. I’m doing research for my upcoming trip to Sevilla, and this has been one helpful post! Thanks for laying out such a clear idea of the barrios and their individual characters.
    Cassandra recently posted..The lowdown on Year ThreeMy Profile

  13. I completely agree that Triana is the best place to live in Seville. Though I’ve never lived in another neighborhood in the city, my three years here have been amazing, and I wouldn’t live anywhere else. Specifically, el Barrio León, which is like a mini pueblo in Triana, is an amazing place to call home. When you do eventually move to Triana, Cat, I will welcome you with abrazos abiertos!

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      I lived in Triana for three years, off of Manuel Arellano. Truly the best little barrio!! I would move back in a heartbeat, but Kike’s qualm is the lack of parking.

  14. ‘Twas nice to see a detailed list of some of the best places there. I find it kind of aggravating that you purposely left out your ‘hood altogether, though. Unless you hate it, and I doubt that. Ah well, not my site! Haha.

    Thanks for another great article.
    Ryan at Jets Like Taxis recently posted..A Regional Tradition: Making Rakija in Mojdež, MontenegroMy Profile

  15. you must live near the Alcampo (spanish walmart)! I lived right near there and the slums were very close. Tres Mil Viviendas or something like that. Hated it. Woke up to different “nomads” sleeping in the park in front of our building daily, on a mattress none the less. Love Sevilla though.

    • oh yeah, i forgot about having to watch my step, jumping over different syringes and used condoms on the way to the gym. no fun, trust me. the locals were very nice though, just the homeless drunks/drug addicts ruin it

      • Sunshine and Siestas says:

        I do, in fact, live there, in Barriada Hispalis. There’s literally no comercios, save the Chinese driving school. I don’t think I’ve ever met another guiri who dares live in Las Tres Mil – they say not even cops go there!

  16. Yeah, we had an apartment for free for 1 year. Right in front of the Alcampo. Couldn’t turn down free rent. Next time we move back again, I would rather pay any amount of rent than to have to live there again. Mostly just old people who do not understand why “guiri’s” live there and then of course the “tres mil” drifters who just roam around the area littering, drinking and blasting music from their cars. Rather annoying.

  17. Barriada Hispalis? So you definitely know the gym I am talking about. Right behind the soccer field and next to the “russian/romanian” strip club or whatever it is. lol

    Gym was small and people were nice but the area that you have to go through to get there was nasty old industrial places.

    There is a good restaurant on the corner though, I forget the name but they have like 2 others in seville. The have a good broschetta (sp?) or meat on a skewer. Went there all the time.

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Boo, you’re talking about El Perol. All of them are closed but the one in Triana, sadly. That was our churros place!

      And, really, I only live here because the law tells me to, and my boyfriend cooks for me!

  18. El Perol! That was the place. That really sucks that it is closed. Good people and good food. Wow, there must really be nowhere to go now in that area. El Perol was about it.

    On a side note, my wife and I may be moving back at the end of this summer. She is a spaniard so I have no visa issues. Are things as bad as they are saying, economy wise, in Sevilla? Or are the news outlets just dramatizing the situation? If El Perol is now closed then I would imagine things are pretty bad, seeing how it was a famous place to go around that area.

    In other words, are we crazy for thinking about moving back at this time?

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      I think it depends on what you are both looking to do. Drop me an email, and we can discuss! sunshineandsiestas @ gmail.com

      • Thanks for the info!!!

        I will definitely let you know if we decide to move to sevilla!!

        Enjoy la feria 2013:)

      • Sunshine and Siestas says:

        Please do – first cervecita on me! As for enjoying Feria….I always do!

  19. Right, reading this, I’m either going to choose Triana or Alameda. I am a student though (erasmus)… So just curious, price/vibe wise, would Alameda be more student friendly?

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Triana is much more traditional (and my pick!), but Alameda is definitely great for students and the prices are often right. Let me know what you decide!

  20. This post is SO useful – I have read it like 100 times since finding out I will be an auxiliar in Seville. Eyeing up Triana and Alameda, but who knows where I will end up.

    I was wondering what you think the best way of actually finding a room is? Through websites or? Apologies if you have answered this elsewhere already. Any tips appreciated :)

  21. This is such a great idea for a post. Whenever I’m in a new city that I love, I imagine myself living there and wonder where is a good place to live because it’s probably not the areas that I’m spending the most time in. I found this fascinating!

    • Thanks, Liz! I imagined you guys stayed around the center of town, which is always a great choice when you’re visiting.

  22. Wow this is very comprehensive and well laid out. Seville is such an amazing city, I would love to stay for an extended time frame down the road.
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  23. This is the definition of a useful article. I can imagine the grin I’d have upon finding it, if I were planning to move to Seville!
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  24. We can see what you love about Triana. As we were really taken by this barrio on our last visit. Now we need to return to explore the other ones.
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  25. Even though I don’t plan on moving to Seville any time soon, this is still really useful for where to rent an apartment for a short stay.

  26. Thanks for creating such a helpful guide to the best neighborhoods in Seville.
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