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Seville or Barcelona for Family

We are a family of 4 (2 daughters age 11 and 13) looking to go to either Seville or Barcelona for a last minute trip in November or December. We plan on renting an apartment in either city. Our girls will go to one or two museums but would prefer local boutique shopping (as opposed to chains), trying local cuisine and simply walking/exploring small neighborhoods. Any suggestions/recommendations?

Posted by
6395 posts

I'd pick Seville over Barcelona: weather is likely to be better, and the city is easier to manage. Safer, too.

Posted by
7895 posts

We went to Madrid, Granada and Barcelona. Really enjoyed them all.

We stayed in an apartment about a mile west of La Familia Sagrada adjacent to a metro station. Even spent one day at the zoo and the close by beach. It was a very enjoyable big city experience.

I had been putting off visiting inland Spain for years. But we found travel in Spain to be very inexpensive and easy place to travel through. And we found the Spanish people to be extremely beautiful and very nice.

Posted by
2147 posts

Nobody would deny that Sevilla is a better city than Barcelona

Really, Nick‽

Posted by
1895 posts

Although I loved Sevilla, for children I think Barcelona wins, much more to see and do.

Posted by
3739 posts

For a family I'd actually pick Sevilla over Barcelona (even though I'm from Barcelona). I have to agree with balso, I think the general ambiance in Sevilla is much more family friendly, cleaner, and safer than in Barcelona, especially these days.

Posted by
273 posts

Seville is the better choice for a family, less likely the kids or the husband and wife will be victims of pick pockets in the over rated Ramblas area and the old town of Barcelona. Barcelona gets a lot cruise ship stop tourists also, which annoys androids like me. Also, Seville has some nice day trip options; you can day trip to Cadiz from Seville and spend time near the beach their or day trip to white hill towns or Cordoba (the Alcazar there is an underated experience; it has a nice garden and it is not as over run as the one in Seville).

Posted by
15477 posts

For weather, go to Here's Sevilla for November 2021. You can see daily conditions for most any city for any month for the last 10 years. For these two, note humidity (if it's cold, humidity makes it feel colder) and wind - both can be more in Barcelona.

Since there aren't a lot of tourist crowds in November, Barcelona is likely to be more safe than in high season. Wearing coats discourages picking real pockets. Backpacks can be alluring - don't keep valuables in them. They're fine for water bottles, snacks, etc. Not so much for electronics. Keep phones and such in inner pockets. I've been to Barcelona 3 times in off-season and even in crowds, no problems. December will have more tourists for Christmas season. Check what's going on - there may be special things you want to see in one or the other. Not knowing your flight options, I would just say it's probably easier to fly R/T Barcelona and more options. Sevilla has a small airport, so you'd have to change planes somewhere in Europe - or fly R/T Madrid and train 3 hours to Sevilla.

Aside from logistics, I do think Barcelona is a better choice. There are so many more options for sights and experiences. Check out the official TI website.

Posted by
1495 posts

Ah, wish I had your problem of needing to choose.
First, when it comes to safety concerns my request of folks is are they speaking from personal experience or being a megaphone for what they have read, heard or are choosing to believe? We have been to Barcelona on multiple occasions, seasons during the past 22 years. Yep, we have witnessed the impacts of the rising velocity of tourism in this wonderful city (in 2010 even caught a pickpocket with HER hand in my front pocket), but I am loathe to paint with a broad brush regarding safety.
Second, the earlier in November the better for either destination.
Third, cold and wet? We prefer Barcelona for the greater range of menu offering interior based activities to step out of the elements.
We are speaking of two totally different cultures and essentially two different countries. You really cannot go wrong with either.
Recommendation: these darn kids are so computer savvy we suggest handing your question to them and asking for their research to help define a solution.


Posted by
273 posts

I have never been pick pocketed in Barcelona because most humans are too intimidated to mess with droids like me but I have seen them most active there. It is true.

Posted by
9866 posts

Barcelona, unfortunately, is used as a party city by a lot of young people from other parts of Europe.

Posted by
169 posts

Seville is a lovely small city with a lot of good shopping. It's very easy to get around in and charming. We went with our family for a January trip and loved it. I highly recommend!

Posted by
2877 posts

I think we're comparing pears and apples here, IMHO.

I can give Jessica a million reasons why Barcelona is a perfect destination to visit with teens, but they have nothing to do with what Seville can or can't offer.

Posted by
186 posts

Agree these are two totally different cities. We visited both in December/January last year. (NB- At the time we were living in Valencia, so it wasn't too big an expedition.) It is not high tourist season, so there are fewer crowds at either. As noted, Sevilla will be colder. Barcelona has all the Gaudi stuff (though I prefer the work of Domenech I Montaner - do not miss his Palau de la Musica, buy tickets in advance), but is much larger than Sevilla. Partly because of the younger crowd and arty scene, there will be more boutique shops in certain areas, but there are also all the big chains and high fashion labels. Both may have some Christmas markets up by the time of your visit (in Barcelona we found an entire market devoted to the charming Catalan "caganer" - use your preferred search engine). Actually, the Xmas lights/decorations were better in Sevilla IMHO. While Sevilla is more walkable, the Barcelona metro is excellent and, while there has been in increase of petty theft like pickpockets, we have never had a problem. As for food, I think the tapas of Seville are better. (And go to Valencia for real paella - all the tourist places sell you "rice with stuff" and call it paella.)