Site of a Roman acropolis, capital of the Moorish empire, focal point of the Spanish Renaissance, and guardian of traditional Andalusian culture, the charming and romantic Seville (pop. 700,000) never disappoints. Flamenco, tapas, and bullfighting are at their best here, and Seville’s cathedral is among the most impressive in Spain. But it’s the city’s infectious, vivacious spirit that defines it, and fittingly, the local Semana Santa and Feria de Abril celebrations are among the most extravagant in all of Europe.
Flights: All flights arrive at Aeropuerto San Pablo (SVQ; s954 44 90 00), 12km out of town on Ctra. Madrid. A taxi ride to the town center costs about â‚¬13. Los Amarillos (954 98 91 84) runs a bus to the airport from outside the Hotel Alfonso XIII at the Pta. Jerez (1-2 per hr. 6:15am-llpm, â‚¬2.30).
Trains: Estacion Santa Justa (954 41 41 11), on Av. Kansas City. Near PI. Nueva is the RENFE office, C. Zaragoza 29 (954 54 02 02). Open M-F 9am-l:15pm and 4-7pm. AVE trains run to Cordoba (45min. 18-20 per day, â‚¬15-17) and Madrid (2V2hr. 18-20 per day, â‚¬62). Talgo trains run to: Barcelona (12hr. 3 per day, â‚¬53); Cadiz (2hr. 7-12 per day, â‚¬8.10); Cordoba (lVihr. 6 per day, â‚¬8); Granada (3hr. 5 per day, â‚¬17); Malaga (2â˜2hr. 4-7 per day, â‚¬14); Valencia (8Vihr. 4 per day, â‚¬36).
Buses: The old bus station at Prado de San Sebastian, C. Manuel Vazquez Sagastizabal (954 41 71 11), mainly serves Andalucia:
Transportes Alsina Graells (s-954 41 88 11). To: Cordoba (2hr. 10-12 per day, â‚¬9); Granada (3hr. 10 per day, â‚¬16); Malaga (3hr. 11 per day, C13).
Transportes Comes (954 41 68 58). To Cadiz (Vihr. 14 per day 7am-10pm, â‚¬9.40) and Jerez de la Frontera (l’ihr. 9-10 per day 9am-10pm, â‚¬5.70).
Los Amarillos (954 98 91 84). To Atcos de la Frontera (2hrâž 8am and 4:30pm, â‚¬6.40) and Marbella (3hr. 3 per day 8am-8pm, â‚¬14).
Linesur (954 98 82 20). To Jerez de la Frontera (l’ihr. 8-12 per day 6am-9pm, â‚¬5.40), with connections to Algeciras (5hr. 7 per day 6:30am-9pm, â‚¬14).
Public Transportation: TUSSAM (900 71 01 71), the city bus network. Most lines run every lOmin. (6am-l 1:15pm) and converge on PI. Nueva, PI. Encarnacion, or in front of the cathedral. Night service departs from PI. Nueva (every hr. midnight-2am). Fare â‚¬1, bonobus (10 rides) â‚¬4.50. Particularly useful are C3 and C4, which circle the center, and 34, which hits the youth hostel, university, cathedral, and PI. Nueva.
Taxis: TeieTaxi (954 62 22 22). Radio Taxi ( 954 58 00 00). Base rate â‚¬2.20, Su 25% surcharge. Extra charge for luggage and night taxis.
Car Rental: Hertz, at the airport (954 25 42 98) or train station (954 53 39 14). General info and reservations 902 40 24 05. 21+. From â‚¬53 per day. Open daily 8am-midnight. AmExMCV. ATA, C. Almirante Lobo 2 (954 22 09 58). 21+. Manual shift only. From â‚¬36 per day plus tax. Open M-F 9am-2pm and 4:30-8:30pm, Sa 9am-2pm. MCV.
Moped Rental: Alkimoto, C. Fernando Tirado 5 (954 58 49 27). â‚¬21 per day. Open M-F 9am-l:30pm and 5-8pm.
ORIENTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION
The Rio Guadalquivir flows roughly north to south through the city. Most of the touristed areas of Seville, including the Barrio de Santa Cruz and El Arenal, are on the east bank. The Barrio de Triana, the Barrio de Santa Cecilia, Los Remedios, and the Expo ’92 fairgrounds occupy the west bank. The cathedral, next to Barrio de Santa Cruz, is Seville’s centerpiece. If you’re disoriented, look for the conspicuous Giralda (the minaret-turned-bell-tower). Avenida de la Consti-tucion, home of the tourist office, runs alongside the cathedral. El Centro, a busy commercial pedestrian zone, lies north of the cathedral, starting where Av. Constitucion hits Plaza Nueva, site of the Ayuntamiento. Calle Tetuan, a popular street for shopping, runs northward from PI. Nueva through El Centro.
Tourist Offices: Centro de Informacion de Sevilla, Po. de las Delicias 9 (954 23 44 65; www.turismo.sevilla.org), near the university and the river. The main office for Seville. English spoken. Maps, info on flamenco and hostels. Open M-F 8am-7pm. Tur-ismo Andaluz, S.A. Av. Constitucion 21B (954 22 14 04; fax 22 97 53), 1 block from the cathedral. Info on all of Andalucia. English spoken. Open M-F 9am-7pm, Sa 10am-2pm and 3-7pm, Su 10am-2pm. Info booths at the train station and PI. Nueva.
Currency Exchange: Santander Central Hispano, C. la Campana 19 (902 24 24 24). Open M-F 8:30am-2pm, Sa 8:30am-lpm.
American Express: PI. Nueva 7 (954 21 16 17). Open M-F 9:30am-l:30pm and 4:30-7:30pm, Sa lOam-lpm.
Luggage Storage: At Pr. San Sebastian bus station (â‚¬1 per bag per day; open 6:30am-10pm) and the train station (â‚¬3 per day).
Bi-Gay-Lesbian Resources: COLEGA (Colectiva de Lesbianas y Gays de Andalucia) (954 50 13 77; www.colegaweb.net). PI. Encarnacion 23, 2nd fl. Look for the sign in the window; the door is not marked. Open M-F 10am-2pm.
Laundromat: Lavanderia Auto-servicio, C. Castelar 2 (954 21 05 35). Wash and dry â‚¬6. Open M-Sa 9:30am-l:30pm and 5-8:30pm.
Emergency: Medical: 061. Police: Po. Concordia (local 092; national 091).
Medical Assistance: Red Cross (913 35 45 45). Ambulatorio Esperanza Macarena (954 42 01 05). Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena (954 24 81 81), Av. Dr. Fedriani. English spoken.
Internet Access: Seville Internet Center, C. Almirantazgo 2, 2nd fl. across from the cathedral. â‚¬3 per hr. â‚¬1.80 per hr. with prepaid cards. Open M-F 9am-10pm, Sa-Su 10am-10pm. CiberBoston, C. San Fernando 23. â‚¬2 per hr.; Sa special â‚¬1 per hr. Open M-F 9am-lam, Sa-Su noon-midnight. The Email Place, C. Sierpes 54. â‚¬2.20 per hr. Open June-Sept. M-F lOam-lOpm, Sa-Sa noon-9pm; Oct.-May M-F lOam-llpm, Sa-Su noon-9pm.
Post Office: Av. Constitucion 32 (954 21 64 76), opposite the cathedral. Lista de Correos and fax. Open M-F 8:30am-8:30pm, Sa 9:30am-2pm. Postal Code: 41080.