We had been to Seville before and enjoyed ourselves so much that we decided to make my birthday trip this year a two-centre break: Córdoba and Sevilla. In the interests of research for “Spain on a budget”, and having had an expensive year with visits to England for two weddings and my daughter’s 40th birthday, we determined to keep the costs down as much as possible. Seville is not a cheap city, however it is still possible to have an enjoyable visit there without spending a fortune.
We had a good start to our budget trip: love them or hate them, you have to admit that Ryanair have some good flight deals and we flew from Alicante to Seville for the grand total of 66.42 € for the two of us.
Our next tip is not to book a hotel in the city centre if you are on a budget. We looked at Destinia and found a 3-star hotel (Hotel Plaza Santa Lucia) that was handy for Santa Justa railway station where the airport bus stops, and which cost 110 € for two night’s bed and breakfast. There are plenty of buses around, but it didn’t take us long to walk into the historic centre of Sevilla.
Seville is a great city for tapas, however they aren’t necessarily the cheapest way to eat, especially if you are hungry! We checked out a couple of places online so we knew where we were heading to once we arrived. Just around the corner from out hotel was Café Bar Trinidad on the corner of Calle Trinidad and Calle María Auxiliador: as promised by our research the tapas were good and also cheap, which explained why so many locals were eating there. Prices are usually more reasonable in the local barrios rather than the city centre. We had a lovely evening meal for 24€ on our first night at Taberna Manzanilla on Plaza de los Terceros, sitting outside and watching the world go by. We also had a good evening meal at La Abuela on Calle San Julían although I could only manage a couple of tapas, having had a superb menú del día earlier on a day trip to Córdoba (see my next post for more details!). The bill was just over 21€ including an excellent bottle of wine.
Advance planning is also essential when sight-seeing, as some monuments are free one day a week, which is particularly annoying if you visit one on the following day and have to pay! Luckily we visited the Torre del Oro on Tuesday so entry was free, saving us the grand total of 1€ each!
Anybody between the ages of 27 and 64 doesn’t have to feel left out as the Museo de Bellas Artes is free for EU citizens, so have your passport handy, and finally nobody has to pay to go in the Archivo de Indias, which is well worth a visit. Be warned that the English pirates were the bad guys, especially Sir Francis Drake!
My best tip though is just to enjoy strolling along the narrow streets in the barrio of Santa Cruz, near the Cathedral and Real Alcázar. There are so many picturesque plazas, patios adorned with bright flowers and hidden corners to explore – and unless you are tempted into a souvenir shop or bar it won’t cost you anything.