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Is Seville a must?


We will be in Spain & Portugal for about 4 1/2 weeks in May 23. Flying in and out of Barcelona. This is our first trip to both countries.
So far in addition to Barcelona the itinerary is Granada/Cordoba/Seville/Lisbon/Porto/San Sebastian.
There are already so many places we have already left out of the itinerary but are we still trying to do to much? Given 4 nights in Granada and 3 in Cordoba - will the 2 cities have given us enough of the feel & history of Andalusia and could we leave Seville out of the itinerary.


Posted by
24064 posts

I wouldn't omit Seville if you're going to Cordoba and Granada. It seems to me you should have enough time--unless you've left some places off your tentative list of destinations (Madrid? Toledo? Segovia?). You could drop Granada to 3 nights if necessary and Cordoba to 2. Seville is much larger and really needs at least 4 nights.

Porto is not big; nor is San Sebastian. Do you plan to spend significant time in Douro Valley and/or in the Basque Country?

Posted by
537 posts

Agree not to miss Seville. I would also shorten Granada and Cordoba to add Seville.

Posted by
5647 posts

For a first-timer, I would much rather visit Seville than San Sebastian, which is a complete outlier in your case!
I guess you could also squeeze a night out of Córdoba and 2 nights out of Granada (so, 2 nights in each), to spend 3 nights in Seville, but that would be a bit rushed in the context of a month-long trip.

Posted by
6558 posts

I would agree that San Sebastian is a real outlier. Way away from all the other stops, no fast trains to get there, likely you are looking at bus and maybe a flight. I would stick to South of Spain and maybe Portugal.

Posted by
5197 posts

Sevilla is one of the cities I say should be visited if you’re only going to make one trip to Spain. As others have stated, it’s really up to you and what you like. If there’s nothing there of interest to you, skip it.

Posted by
47 posts

Yes. Absolutely yes!

We are in Seville right now (arrived two days ago, 1st time here). Very clean and very beautiful (and very hot weather wise now), with long and very complicated history. Without visiting Seville, you would have a very incomplete feel of Andalusia. We have 5 nights here, will go Cordoba, Granada, Ronda, and Madrid afterwards. Total 18 nights in Spain after spending 17 nights in Portugal (Porto, Douro Valley, Lisbon).

Posted by
2832 posts

There is no such thing as a "must". Is there something in Seville that you really want to see? If not, leave it out.

Posted by
2827 posts

I agree with Estimated Prophet - nowhere is a must. I loved Seville and would happily go back, but I enjoyed Granada a little more. And you are right - doing too much does nowhere justice. We can never see it all, so pick what calls to you most and enjoy!

Posted by
6383 posts

Portugal and Spain are not as "well-connected" as they may appear to you. We made separate vacation visits to each. One could also say that you are missing Santiago de Compostela. I agree that Cordoba and Granada don't need those numbers of nights. It may be helpful to start a list of daytrips, like Toledo, Avila, or El Escorial.

Why isn't Madrid on the list you presented? Even just the three (or four) big art museums are life-changing experiences. I agree that Seville is essential.

That said, I'd comment that Seville and Santiago de Campostella were places that were particularly pleasurable to just be in. Of course, everyone's travel experiences are different,

Posted by
2801 posts

Just food for thought...

May I ask how long you have planned for Barcelona? May I interest you in the region beyond Barcelona? There are many places very worthwhile visiting in this area called Catalonia, where Barcelona is the capital city, and many of them are a stone's throw away from this city.

Just a taste:

This is not to say you shouldn't visit anywhere else in those other destinations you've mentioned in your opening post... it's just that you might want to consider your options before committing days here and there, and given you're flying in and out of Barcelona... especially noting there's a lot of time wasted if you have to constantly change your "basecamp" from one place to another.

Posted by
138 posts

Is Seville a must? I've made five great trips to Spain so far, and have not yet been to Seville, so you will easily anticipate my answer. I'm not going to go into detail in a comment like this as to how I happened to overlook Seville; basically it has to getting away from tourist crowds, and the global "tourism culture" they promote, and which is usually evident in major tourist destinations even when (as during the off-season) the tourist crowds themselves are smaller.
But though I haven't been to Seville, I know about it -- from all I've heard and read, it's a fantastic city, well worth seeing if you can fit it into your itinerary without rushing, and if you don't mind a tourism presence. These conditions fulfilled, I'm sure you would not regret seeing the city. The point is that I totally reject the "must-see" mentality. I've encountered too many people on this and other forums who I presume are old enough, and intelligent enough, to make up their minds about most things, but who fret and worry about whether they really "have to" visit "must-see" places that they are not originally inclined to visit. Sad.

Posted by
1253 posts

Although no place is really a "must" to see because it really depends on the individual, I personally think you should include Seville in your itinerary of Andalucia. I personally don't think Granada and Cordoba would give you "enough of the feel & history of Andalusia", and I wouldn't omit Seville. Granada, Cordoba, and Seville are very different cities visually and architecturally. I think you will really round out your trip by visiting all 3 cities. All 3 have a different vibe and feel to them. Cordoba and Granada are quieter in the evenings while Seville is more bustling. And in Seville, you have the Alcazar, which IMO is stunning! I rank it very close to the Alhambra. And you have the Seville Cathedral, Casa di Pilatos, the exquisite Plaza de Espagna, interesting Triana neighborhood, the market in Triana, the Mercado Barranca, Barrio Santa Cruz. Take a carriage ride; see a flamenco show. Visit Sevilla!!!

I personally don't think 6 destinations in 4.5 weeks is too much. We spent 15 nights on our trip which included 6 destinations, all in Spain (Andalusia, Madrid, and Toledo).

How many nights are you currently spending in Seville? You could shorten Granada to 3 nights and Cordoba to 2 nights and add those nights to Seville. Seville is larger and has more sights to see than Cordoba and Granada.

Posted by
1253 posts

have you made your airline reservations yet? Why are you flying in and out of Barcelona? Could you do an open-jaw (multi-city) such as fly into Barcelona and home from Lisbon? Saves time in backtracking.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks everyone for all your information.
Seville is back in the itinerary!
Might explore returning home from Madrid rather than Barcelona so we can include Toledo.
I love the planning & researching for holidays, it’s is nearly as good as the trip itself.
Happy Travelling!

Posted by
4964 posts

I've been visiting Spain for many years, primarily Andalucia, and have never been to Seville. It's just not a place that holds any particular interest for me. I do intend on visiting San Sebastian because of the culinary scene and was due to go before Covid ruined my plans.

Everyone has different views so one person's must see is another's pass.

Posted by
767 posts

The comment above about lack of transportation connections between Spain and Portugal deserves some looking into on your part. We began a trip a few years ago in Barcelona and ended in Lisbon. We purchased our train passes before departing the US and it made the trip through Spain easy and convenient. We traveled from Barcelona to Zaragoza [which we enjoyed very much], then to Madrid, then to Seville. We planned a day trip from Madrid to Toledo, but were ill that day. All the stops were great. We flew from Seville to Lisbon as other alternatives would have been time consuming and cumbersome. The Prado and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum were both spectacular and these, alone, are worthy of including Madrid in your itinerary.

The train was a great way to get from city to city. We tend to travel light, one small wheeled bag each, so there was no luggage problem with the trains. You might consider flying from Barcelona to Porto then travel south to Lisbon, a short flight to Seville and then take the train back to Barcelona.

Posted by
133 posts

Interesting that Madrid was not on your list at first, and now it is. 4-1/2 weeks (a month and a day) seems like a lot, until you start to actually block out the trip, day by day and destination by destination. Travel days allow you breakfast in once place and dinner in another - and perhaps not much in-between depending whether you fly, go by train, or drive.

Just for grins ...

ARR: Barcelona
4 nights (3 days) in Barcelona
4 nights (3 days) Madrid
3 nights (2 days) Granada (I know, this is one day less than you mention)
3 nights (2 days) Cordoba
3 nights (2 days) Sevilla (Cordoba to Sevilla is pretty easy, so this is not a day where you lose much)
4 nights (3 days) Lisboa
3 nights (2 days) Porto
2 nights (1 day) San Sebastian
NEXT MORNING: Back to Madrid or Barcelona for one night, then fly home

27 nights or 28 days of traveling in Europe, 30 days when you include the flights to and from Europe, of which only 18 full days are spent in any one place. 10 days are partially or largely spent getting from one place to another on the Iberian Peninsula, plus two more getting there and getting back home. Of course, you can add in 1 or 2 more days into the itinerary above to get to 4-1/2 weeks. Sounds like a good trip. No "white towns" in Andalucia, but you could add that in, perhaps. If you are driving in Andalucia, that could be fairly easy, for example by detouring on your way from Cordoba to Sevilla. Or just add that extra day and night in Granada back to the plan. Or, you could add in a day and a night in Toledo on your way from Madrid to Andalucia.

Still, the travel day consideration is food for thought. The only ones who can answer if that is too much are you and your companion.