5 Ways to Live Like A Local in Seville
When friends first ask about what they should see and do in Seville, I start with the traditional list of the best things to do in Seville: La Giralda, the Real Alcázar, the Plaza de Toros and the Torre del Oro. All famous attractions, and deservedly so, along with the tiny criss-crossing streets of the Santa Cruz barrio, the elegant Casa de Pilatos and the leafy great expanse of the Maria Luisa Park.
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Bonus Tip: People do actually wear these polka-dot dresses in Seville
5 Ways to Live Like A Local in Seville
1) Embrace the siesta.
It’s not folklore, it’s reality. Shops and businesses close in the afternoon and children head home from school in time to have a snooze. If you’re in Seville between April and October, you’ll understand why. It’s simply too hot to even think about the possibility of doing anything else in the afternoons.
2) Watch real flamenco.
The polka-dotted posters are for tourists; the real thing takes place in bars across the city from around midnight onwards. One of my favourites is La Carbonería (18 Calle Levíes, tel: +34 95 421 4460) where you can catch both serious foot-stomping flamenco and the more light-hearted sevillana performances on most nights.
However, if you're nervous about your Spanish, the next best thing involves catching a performance at the Flamenco Museum. Set in a beautiful 18th century building amid the scent of orange trees, you can easily book a ticket on your mobile phone in your language with Get Your Guide. You can also cancel for free up to 24 hours before the performance, making it a good option if you want to keep your plans flexible.
3) Take a twist on tapas.
While Andalusian jamon is all well and good, for a few more flavours, check out Azotea for wasabi-tinged tapas and Al Alijibe for quality dishes zinging with lime and served beneath the shade of an orange tree. Don't miss salmorejo, the local version of gazpacho, either.
- For more on the subject, check out my guide on finding the best tapas in Seville over here.
- If you'd prefer a little more structure, consider taking a food tour through Seville through Get Your Guide. I haven't tried them personally, but from
Should you take a food tour?
Sure, the locals in Seville don't take them but that you shouldn't! Either work your way through my tapas guide by yourself. Or join a food tour with Get Your Guide - you can book on your phone and cancel for free up to 24 hours before. Having looked through the food tours they have on their books, I'd recommend the following as the top three options:
1) Seville Tapas Crawl - limited to 6 people, drinks included, several languages spoken including English.
2) River Tour with Tapas Tasting - limited to 12 people, one drink included. If you think you'll struggle with the heat, this makes it easier!
3) Spanish cooking class with dinner. I am a BIG fan of cooking classes! Such a great way to get to know locals and travellers alike. Plus, a tasty meal at the end.
Tapas in Seville // One of the main reasons to go!
4) Relax in the Arabic Baths or Baños Árabes.
OK, so maybe this isn’t particularly off the beaten track but locals do wander in here from time to time. A steam room, sauna and cold plunge pool all fit beneath the roof of this former viceroy’s mansion, which itself was built on the site of former Roman Baths. Convince yourself you’re here for the history, admire the mudejar ceilings...and then r-e-l-a-x.
5) Stroll Along Triana
The district of Triana stretches along the Guadalquivir River on the “wrong” side of town. From the no-nonsense covered market to the ceramic shops where artisanal plates and tiles lie forgotten in the dust, enjoy the unusual pulse of Triana, while gazing back at mainstream Seville.
That’s one of the advantages of being on the “wrong” side of town after all: you do get the best views. Sip the local tinto de verano at a riverside cafe and gaze back at those landmarks I mentioned at the start.
If you want to learn how to "live like a local," you're going to have to get used to sitting back and watching the world go by.
What tips do you have for "living like a local" in Seville?
MORE ON TRAVEL IN SEVILLE
I absolutely loved Seville. So much so, I stayed for four years!
Here's how to plan your perfect trip to Seville.
The Best Things to do in Seville - start planning here.
Where to Stay in Seville - your guide to the best places to sleep so as to make the most of your time.
What to eat in Seville - tapas is not optional, ask any sevillano!
What to buy in Seville - forget the idea of kitsch tat you'll throw away as soon as you get home. These Seville souvenirs will last.
Seville // Europe's hottest city