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Are you a Seville local? Need help choosing a neighborhood.

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Are you a Seville local? Need help choosing a neighborhood.

Despite having just returned from my most recent travel adventure less than a week ago, I'm already looking forward to another getaway, this time to beautiful Spain. Here's the plan: 2 weeks to explore the southern half of the country. I'm thinking a couple of nights in Madrid, renting a car, driving south, and using Seville and Granada as my base, exploring (at the very least) Cordova and Ronda/Malaga as day trips. Do you think this is a good idea? Also, I want a more slow paced holiday where I can live like a local. Therefore, I have been checking out a few apartment rentals in Seville via VRBO. I am not familiar with the city, but the neighborhoods I'm considering include: San Vicente (near Alameda Sq), El Arenal, Historic Center (across Fine Arts Museum), and San Luis St (I don't know which neighborhood). Which is the best base for exploring all the sights of Seville? Thanks in advance and happy travels!

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1. Re: Are you a Seville local? Need help choosing a neighborhood.

All of those. Apart from the big draws, the Giralda, cathedral and the Álcazar, the sights are scattered around the centre of Seville, an eminently walk-able city.

I don´t live in Seville, by the way, so I am not a "local". I live near Ronda (see my profile) and just visit the city quite often. So you can ignore this post if you wish.

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2. Re: Are you a Seville local? Need help choosing a neighborhood.

mdavidohoh:

I frequent the area around the Fine Arts Museum and that is one of the best barrios. Walkable to everywhere.

Take the AVE from Madrid to Seville. Read Buying Renfe Tickets Online.

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3. Re: Are you a Seville local? Need help choosing a neighborhood.

I live in Triana, just over the river. It is a great local's area and only a 15 minute walk from the tourist spots in Santa Cruz.

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4. Re: Are you a Seville local? Need help choosing a neighborhood.

Using Seville and Granada as a base for your car is not such a good idea. Mainly because to get to know these cities you should try to stay inside the old areas as you indicated. For Seville this is the 'casco antiguo' and this link shows the different Barrios or neighbourhoods for just the old city.

…wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Barrios_de_Casco…

Most of the tourist sights are in the lower half of this map. In Barrios like Santa Cruz and Arenal. The central area like Alfalfa is a great location being where the shopping streets are and always plenty of bars and interest. Perhaps fewer tourists and more locals compared with the southern Barrios.

But using a car in old Seville means probably parking on the fringe of the old city and then walking into the accommodation. Parking a car in one of the public car parks will obviously cost money. Maybe €20 per day. So consider the benefits of having a car whilst you stay in Seville itself.

The same really goes for Granada because the central areas and the Albaycin are not at all car friendly.

Perhaps you can drive from Madrid and end your drive at Cordoba which does require a full day maybe an overnight ? Then having already returned the car get to Seville or Granada using the train. Preferably Seville because it is so convenient by fast train. Or if you want to take your time use the slow train - the MD Media Distancia - for a gentle approach to Seville.

From Seville after some days getting to know the city you could rent again for your exploration of Andalucia. But do try to visit Cadiz Province if you can.

Edited: 25 April 2012, 09:06
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5. Re: Are you a Seville local? Need help choosing a neighborhood.

Thank you for the wonderful advice. I was going to rent a car from Madrid, drive to Seville (about 5 nights there) and Granada (about 5 nights there). I will have plenty of time in both cities but I do want to do some day tours from Seville/Granada. It sounds like having a car may not be worth it?

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6. Re: Are you a Seville local? Need help choosing a neighborhood.

Thank you!

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7. Re: Are you a Seville local? Need help choosing a neighborhood.

I would avoid San Luis area, and all northern barrios in that useful map Cadiz_lover inserted. Not that they are dangerous or anything, but they are a bit far away from the action and there is nothing you would want to see there with your limited time (although it's a very interesting area if you had more time)

I would also consider Triana as well, as mentioned, especially anything close to the river (but avoiding Calle Betis, too noisy)

I wouldn't use a car, take train instead (esp. for Madrid-Seville and Seville-Granada). For daytrips you can take the train or buses. Maybe rent a car if you're planning a very specific route to see some small villages in one day.

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8. Re: Are you a Seville local? Need help choosing a neighborhood.

In your original post you asked this. "...and using Seville and Granada as my base, exploring (at the very least) Cordova (sic) and Ronda/Malaga as day trips. Do you think this is a good idea?"

It seems that you have 2 weeks minus the days you intend to spend in Madrid. So let´s say 12 maximum. Therefore you are going to have to make some tough decisions about where you spend your time. Let me give you an example.

Seville > Ronda = 2 hours by either bus or car. The first bus arrives in Ronda at midday.

Córdoba > Ronda = just under 2 hours (train) or just under 3 hours by car.

Granada > Ronda = 2 hr 30 min (train) or about the same by car.

Do I think that trying to visit Ronda as a day trip from any of those cities is a good idea? It is certainly feasible, but I would not find it enjoyable.

"Also, I want a more slow paced holiday where I can live like a local." If you want a slow-paced holiday, I suggest that you focus on one or two of the white villages/pueblos blancos where you will really be able to "get under the skin" of Andalucía. I live in one (see my profile) and the pace of life here is very different to that in the big cities.

Edited: 25 April 2012, 17:27
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9. Re: Are you a Seville local? Need help choosing a neighborhood.

I would not drive from Madrid to Seville. I would not have a car at all in Seville or Granada. You really don't need a car anywhere except if you have a lot of time to explore the smaller "white villages" outside of Ronda. With 2 weeks for exploring Andalucia it sounds like you have a little bit of time. I would spend 4 nights in Seville and relax and absorb it. It's that type of place. Upon leaving I might bus or train to Cadiz for a couple of nights, then rent a car and head towards Ronda stopping in some smaller towns. spend a night in Ronda then head to Malaga for a night or two. A car is manageable in Malaga but plan on spending $20 dollars a night for a parking garage. I would probably drop the car off in malaga though and bus to Granada for 2 nights. From there maybe a train to Cordoba. etc. etc.

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10. Re: Are you a Seville local? Need help choosing a neighborhood.

I think the Arenal is a great location. Totally central but not touristy, with lots of great tapas bars. Nice neighbourhood feel to it.

Agree with the others that you're better off without a car in Sevilla.

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