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Possible trip to Seville

Good Morning,

My husband, toddler (will be 3 at the time of trip) and myself are taking a transatlantic Disney cruise (doing it for the kiddo) that ends in Barcelona. We will disembark May 21st.

We are trying to decide where we should go from there. We’ve travelled frequently through France, Italy, Germany & the UK but now want to add Spain to our list. I like to think I’m great at researching and trip planning but Spain has always intimidated me for some reason.

We are interested in visiting Seville. After a 13 day sailing, we are looking to spend time just relaxing in a city that we can wander around for a few days. I know some will suggest a RS book that discusses Seville but I prefer advice from all different perspectives. How many days should we plan? We will be using airline miles to book our lodging (have already looked at a few places). Which district is better than others? Again, I know I can research a lot of this myself but I need a starting point (again, that odd intimidation thing). I appreciate all advice y’all have to give!

Amanda

Posted by
2488 posts

Seville is wonderful and definitely fits your criteria for a city where you can wander around easily.

Days - I mean if you just want to wander and see a few top sights you could do 3 nights, 2 full days is the shortest I’d suggest. You could easily spend a week or more, especially if you are interested in a day trip or two by train. I had 6 nights, 5 full days, planned for October 2020 which obviously didn’t happen but was a good plan! Before that I gone for 3 full days a few years ago, which was a good amount of time.

As far as district you probably want to be in the Barrio Santa Cruz or other part of the old core. Generally close to the cathedral and alcazar on the map. Some people will say this area is too “touristy” but for a first visit, where pleasant walking and exploring is the goal I think it’s the best bet. Very atmospheric and picturesque.

Posted by
939 posts

Hi Amanda, how long are you going to be in ES? If you’re disembarking in Barcelona, this is the perfect place to begin exploring. I would spend more time in Barcelona than in Sevilla. Personally, after spending a couple days in Sevilla, I don’t understand what the attraction is. I love Barcelona and Granada way more than Sevilla.
You can take an early morning (8:30a) non-stop train from Barcelona to Sevilla (5h 45m). I also recommend staying in the Barrio Santa Cruz as Mira suggests and take Rick Steves’ self-guided walking tour. A convenient day trip from Sevilla is to take a 45m direct train to Cordoba and visit the Mezquita.
I also recommend that you fly home from Madrid since it’s only a 2h 45m direct train ride away. If you can, take a direct train to Toledo (45m) and hop on the bus from the train station that will drop you off in the old town. It makes a fantastic day trip from Madrid.

Posted by
25585 posts

since you would be boarding the ship in 2 weeks is it reasonable to assume that you are talking about 2022 or 2023?

Posted by
136 posts

Mira: I think we will plan around 4 full days, 5 nights. My husband would like more time but after 3 weeks away, we might be ready to head home at that point, or at least my son will be.

Thanks Mira & Mary for the district info, I’ll start there for lodging. With this being our first time in Spain, I’m okay being in a touristy spot for the ease of getting from A to B.

Mary: we’ve considered Barcelona but I worry it’ll be too much with a toddler. Especially one so mobile. I do like your idea of flying out of Madrid. I’ll have to look at those flights once airfare opens.

Nigel: we will be going 2022 (assuming life is back to normal). I apologize for the confusion.

Posted by
3147 posts

I won’t dissuade you from Sevilla, but since your cruise ends in Barcelona, consider spending time there. One can easily spend a week there. If Sevilla is drawing you in, it has a beautiful historic center that is very walkable between the main sights. We stayed at Hotel Amadeus near the cathedral the last time we were there. The Barrio Santa Cruz neighborhood is just as good. The main sights in the historic center are the cathedral and Giralda tower, Alcazar, plaza de Espana, Maria Luisa park, Torre de Oro, bull ring, and the Triana neighborhood. As you’ve never been there before, 4 nights/3 full days would probably be sufficient to get a good feel for the city. If you wanted to take any day trips to Cordoba, Ronda, or Jerez de la Frontera for example, add a day for each day trip.

Posted by
2176 posts

Mary: we’ve considered Barcelona but I worry it’ll be too much with a toddler.

How so? I would say Barcelona will be no more overwhelming than Sevilla or Madrid, all large cities. Just getting down to Sevilla will be the hassle, I would think the logical decision would be to stay in Barcelona.

For a family friendly neighborhood to stay in Barcelona, I would recommend the Gràcia area, specifically the Vila de Gràcia neighborhood. It feels very cozy and welcoming, with many young families out and about. Gràcia used be its own distinct town, before being incorporated into Barcelona in the late 19th century, so it still retains its own small town feel and charm. It is within walking distance to most of the Gaudí sites and has good access to public transportation.

Posted by
939 posts

If you wanted to take any day trips to Cordoba, Ronda, or Jerez de la Frontera for example, add a day for each day trip.

Amanda, only go to Ronda if you rent a car for the day. If you take a train, it’ll take 3h 15m and requires a connection. However, Jerez de la Frontera does offer direct train service taking 1h.

Posted by
2270 posts

In 2017, we found Seville to be a wonderful place to spend a leisurely 4 or 5 days. I'm not sure if it's bookable with airline miles, but we really liked the Hotel Becquer on Calle Reyes Catolicos, a short walk to everywhere.

https://www.hotelbecquer.com/en/

The Bar El Baratillo on Calle Adriano serves delicious and inexpensive tapas and raciones. At the time, I was surprised by the number of families in attendance, but no one seemed bothered by the toddlers who were allowed to roam under the watchful eyes of their parents.

Posted by
2488 posts

Adding my thoughts on Barcelona. It is lovely and you certainly won't go wrong staying there if you decide it is easier for you. However, to me it doesn't have the "Wow factor" of Seville. Plus, Barcelona is definitely walkable and fun, but it is a bigger city and the things you want to see are spread further apart, which necessitates taking the subway/bus/taxi/very long walk to get from some major sights to others. For example, it's something like 1.8 miles from the Cathedral (used for reference as part of the Gothic Quarter) to Sagrada Familia, and closer to 3 miles to Park Guell. Sagrada Familia to the Barceloneta Beach is around 2.5 miles. This is in no way a problem, I love Barcelona, but it is a different feel to Seville, where if you stay in the historic quarter most everything you want to see as a short term visitor is within a fairly short walk.

On the flip side, I seem to remember more playgrounds and kid-friendly parks in Barcelona. Plus the beach, although if you just got off a cruise, beach may not be a major factor.

Posted by
4662 posts

I don't think Barcelona would be a bad choice for a few days after the cruise, though Mira makes a good point about the distance between sights vs. Sevilla. I think Sevilla would be much more walkable and kid-friendly, you could see and do a lot within a short radius. Barrio Santa Cruz would be a good area to stay in. I stayed at the Amadeus and liked it but might not be as kid-friendly as somewhere else, lots of antique furniture and musical instruments in the public areas.

I'd give Sevilla three full days without day trips. With more time, Jerez and/or Cordoba would be good choices. Cordoba's Mezquita is one of my favorite sights in Europe. But probably not much interest to a three-year-old. (On the other hand the train ride would be fun.)

Trains in Spain are pretty easy, you could go straight from Barcelona to Sevilla, then back to Madrid if there are good flights from there to home. Flights from Sevilla will require a connection at a European hub.

Posted by
136 posts

Thank you everyone for the helpful advice. We are planning to head to Seville after our cruise then spend a few nights in Barcelona (it seems like we would do a disservice to the city if we didn’t) before heading home. I’ve wanted to visit Seville for years, so it’s a definite must for me. Y’all have given me a great starting point in terms of neighborhoods & what to see. Thankfully I have more than enough time to get everything planned out. I’ll be back for itinerary advice once I get a rough draft complete.

Thanks again!