48 Hours in Seville on Budget

With plenty of seriously beautiful streets like this, it’s impossible to resist Seville. 

The moment I stepped out of Plaza de las Armas station to catch a bus to my hostel, I instinctively knew that Seville was right for me. Unlike the grim Cordoba, Seville was gloriously sunny and warm. Watching the city go about its business from the bus’ windows, I couldn’t help but chuckle because it was just so lovely and relaxing. In fact, so much so that I couldn’t be bothered when I missed my bus stop and thus had to walk up and down the avenue to find my hostel for about 20 minutes.

Seville is the capital and the largest city in the Andalusian autonomous community. Like other cities in Andalusia, the history of Seville is tumultuous with a fair share of wars and conflicts. But that makes for a fascinating read and the utterly enchanting contemporary Seville where the influences of Muslim and Christianity as well as old and new architecture happily co-exist.

Here’s the thing, though: no amount of history can sugarcoat the fact that Seville is an expensive city for shoestring travelers, which I happen to be one. It’s very commercialized. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that tourism makes up the biggest chunk of the city’s income, although we all have to give credit to its government for being able to commercialize without selling out.

Fret not, though. I’m here to tell you that Seville is still immensely enjoyable even when you’re on a tight budget. Below are several things I did while in Seville that were either free of charge or quite affordable. You can do the same with satisfaction guaranteed 😉

1. Wandering aimlessly in the Old Town. Cost: 000.

There’s no doubt that Seville, like many other cities in Europe, is best explored on foot because the city, or at least its most important parts such as the Old Town, is quite compact. While I can’t promise you that wandering around the Old Town will give you the most authentic Seville experience, I can promise that you will get to absorb so much colors, shapes and smell along the way that you can’t help but feel happy and inspired.

Don’t these graffiti artworks put a smile on your face?

Smurf, why so sad? Don’t you know that you’re in the Disneyland of Spain?

Whoever did this to the rolling door deserves a pat on the back.

A lesson in color combination #1 (Santa Cruz neighborhood)

A lesson in color combination #2 (Santa Cruz neighborhood)

A lesson in color combination #3 (Patio de Banderas)

Flower balconies are everywhere in Europe. Charming and cost-effective to sweep people from far-flung places off their feet.

Due to time and (mostly) budget constraints, I didn’t get to go inside Seville Cathedral. So this is all I’ve got: the tower of Seville Cathedral from afar, flanked by ubiquitous orange trees. 

The ‘Adriática’ building is beautiful for sure. But I find it slightly cheesy at the same time.

I didn’t want to be sneaky, so I did ask her permission for some photos. 

And this really reminds me of Asia.

According to Matthias in Barcelona, another name for churros con chocolate is cholesterol. LOL. 

Undoubtedly the most beautiful bench I have ever seen!

So atmospheric at dusk, right? 

Right.

2. Marveling at Plaza de España. Cost: 000.

I have realized that I don’t have an affinity for plazas (or squares in English). I rarely went to Times Square when I lived in New York. When I was in Rome, I probably spent 3 minutes each at Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Navona. And when I was in Lisbon (posts are coming, by the way), I wasn’t that into Rossio Square either.

But by the time I left Plaza de España, I was so glad that I had chosen to visit. Its architecture truly is marvelous. I highly recommend you guys go upstairs for the view and some quiet time to soak it all in. 

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3. Spending an afternoon in El Arenal neighborhood. Cost: 000.

El Arenal is another neighborhood in the historical centre of Seville. Though being just a stone’s throw away from the perpetually crowded Santa Cruz, El Arenal feels conspicuously less chaotic and more real. Notable attractions in the hood include: Torre del Oro, La Real Maestranza (see below), and Atarazanas Reales de Sevilla. From what I heard, El Arenal is the place to be if you’re the nightlife type.

I feel like orange and red are two signature colors of Seville or any other Andalusian city for that matter.

One sun-drenched winter afternoon in El Arenal. No complaint.

Based on what I read, apartment buildings in El Arenal are easy on the eyes but not easy to live in. They’re expensive and cramped.

If you want to visit Seville undisturbed, do so on weekends during off-season.

Does this have anything to do with popularity? 

4. Enjoying the inspirational view from Metropol Parasol. Cost: 3 euros.

Metropol Parasol is a really peculiar structure in and of itself, but it gets even more peculiar considering that it’s put in the middle of Seville next to all the old-world buildings. It feels completely out of place. However, don’t let that deter you from paying a visit. Reason #1: It’s supposedly the largest wooden structure in the world. Reason #2: The panoramic views of Seville from the top of the structure are absolutely breath-taking. Reason #3: A free drink is included in the ticket, which is real nice.

Metropol Parasol has such a futuristic feel to it.

Believe it or not, I was shaking pretty violently when taking all these photos because height terrifies me.

See, I’m not lying. The views are gorgeous. 

The shape of the building is like a mushroom…

To me, it looks more like waffles. Ha!

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