The La Macarena neighborhood of Seville is known for the basilica of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza Macarena. Along the periphery of this area, are astoundingly large old city walls, The walls span two gates, the Macarena Gate and the Córdoba gate. Stay in La Macarena to live like a local out of the hubbub of the touristy center.
Moms push babies in strollers. Soccer balls smack. Small bars/restaurants are scattered about. Tapas in the neighborhood of La Macarena are inexpensive, unpretentious, and with friendly service. Located a 15-minute walk from the heart of Seville, this area is quiet, and one gets a great intro into the comings and goings of everyday life in the city. If you aren’t in the mood to walk, it’s easy to grab a taxi or take a bus, such as the the C3/C4s.
Need a ruffled, polka dot flamenco dress? A small diversity of shops for basics are an easy walk away.
Seville is a fun city to walk and a photographers delight. Buses are efficient, and you will find the red city bus, Tussam, has 36 lines with main hubs at Puerta Jerez, Plaza del Duque, Ponce de León, and Prado de San Sebastián. There is a one-line metro, clean and safe. A city tram that pokes along but enables you to see the city, use wifi, and air conditioning. Taxis are all over the city. For a tip, round off to the nearest euro. Seville’s excellent bike system is also for tourists. The city is flat and there are over 120 kilometers of bike path along the river and throughout the city. http://www.tussam.es/ and http://www.metro-sevilla.es/en
See and Do
In the old city set off to meander. Get lost. Find your way. Take hundreds of photos of ceramic signs, madonnas, and storefronts. The Maria Luisa Park is a welcome relief from the piercing sun with plants from many countries.
Some more must sees:
Walk the lavish chambers and gardens of the Alcazar Real (Royal Palace).
Explore the Metropol Parasol, the largest wood structure in the world, which is a mall, food market, and concert venue.
Feel the haunting music of flamenco every night at the Flamenco Museum.
Stroll across the Triana Bridge to the Triana Market to see how the locals shop.
Lunch starts about 2:00pm, service can be slow. Hundreds of tapas bars beckon with tasty nibbles. Wine and tapas in Seville are inexpensive and delicious. Start at one bar/restaurant, eat and drink. Roam. Hit the next bar, sample different tapas. Continue this pattern until you can eat and drink no more. It is how the locals do it. The Spanish are friendly, noisy, and welcoming - a great way to see the city and be immersed in local culture. Try Con Tenador for a delicious dinner. Avoid the pricey bars near popular sites. http://www.contenedorcultural.com/
Bars are open late, even during the week until between 12 midnight and 3:00am. The club scene cranks up about 1 a.m. and people stagger out at 7:00or 8:00 in the morning. Here are three main areas to carouse, you will find more. Calle Betis, a street parallel to the river, has discos, tapas bars, flamenco shows. El Arenal has a young, hip crowd hanging in cocktail/tapas bars, located between the cathedral and the bullring. Alameda is a boulevard perfect for rowdy drinking. Music bars blast music until late.
Bio: Editor Nancy Todd writes at The Spain Scoop, a fun online guide to all things Spain. For more expert, local advice on travel in Spain, visit: http://www.thespainscoop.com/