5 Tips for How Best to Visit Seville in August
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When you tell Spaniards that you’re going to visit Seville in August, they will grimace and may try to convince you otherwise. That is what we experienced last summer as we prepared to enjoy a handful of days in this iconic, romantic city of Spain. Amalia had already been in Seville various times, in both the winter and the summer. She knows it gets hot. For Eric, it was going to be his first time there. Are we glad that we didn’t waver and still visited in August? You bet we are. We went about our trip very conscious of the heat factor and our awareness and planning paid off. We loved our visit in Seville and want to return in the future. If you’re going to visit Seville and are considering August, don’t let the heat keep you back. Just keep in mind these tips about how best to visit Seville in August, and we think you’ll actually have a pretty ‘cool’ time.
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Tip # 1 – Where to Lay Your Head When You Visit Seville in August
Above Image – The splendid lobby of Casas de la Judería.
Let’s start off right for your visit in Seville – make sure you book appropriate accommodations. Yes, you will ideally be out and about quite a bit, seeing and experiencing as much as you can. So maybe you think you won’t be in your room much…just to sleep, right? Well, even if that’s the case, this is not the time to go cheap and sacrifice something like air-conditioning.
While many accommodations in Seville have air-conditioning, you would still be surprised that there are some that don’t. Double check for this and especially with local homes if you are going the AirBnB route.
Above Image – The dining room of Casas de la Judería.
This is a great time to splurge on accommodations with a roof top pool. A good amount of hotels in Seville have them so you’ll have some great options. Whether you’re a pool-person or not, allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised at what a nice difference it can make to cool down in a lovely swimming pool when it’s so hot outside. And many times, you’ll also enjoy beautiful views of the historic architecture. For us, this was another reason why we went with a hotel rather than an apartment. Although we’re sure there are apartments that have community access to rooftop pools, that was taking ‘splurge’ beyond our budget for this trip. Another time though.
Above Images – Courtyards and views of Las Casas de la Judería.
Since this August-heat reputation seems so daunting, can prices of accommodations be lower in August? Well, it can go either way. August is also the time that all of Europe goes on vacation and Seville is a popular destination among international tourists during this time. Yet we found that there were still some price deals, particularly when you book directly with the establishment. So search for them. They’re out there.
Above Images – Courtyards and fountains of Las Casas de la Judería.
We stayed at a marvelous place that we highly recommend and would return to, Las Casas de la Judería. It is a 4-star hotel that is in the heart of the historical Jewish quarter of Seville, thus where its name also originates from. What is distinct is that the 134 wonderful rooms of varying decor and style are housed throughout 27 traditional Sevillian homes. These are adjoined via 40 picturesque patios, gardens and small passageways that are overflowing with beautiful plants and flowers. Everywhere you’re immersed in authentic Sevillian splendor: colorful hand-painted tiles, bubbling fountains, and quaint sitting areas for moments of soaking in the tranquility and beauty. You’ll be in the company of antiques, Roman statues and original furniture. There’s even an underground tunnel that connects one side of the hotel to the other and passes past their elegant Spa which is in the style of ancient Roman Baths.
Las Casas de la Judería
Above Images – The underground tunnels of Las Casas de la Judería.
Sound like a maze? Don’t worry, they provide a map during your stay and even getting a little lost to and from your room is enjoyable for discovering all its gorgeous nooks and crannies. It’s classy, romantic and charming, while also cozy and welcoming. And yes, they have air-conditioning in all their rooms and indoor public spaces, as well as a wonderful rooftop pool and bar with various areas for lounging and taking in the views of the Sevillian rooftops and towers of an ‘iglesia’ or two. Lastly and as importantly, their staff are very helpful and kind. It was a wonderful place to stay and instrumental to our visit in Seville being so enjoyable.
Tip #2 – How to Get Around When You Visit Seville in August
Above Image – One of the exits/entrances of the Alcazar. Note the carriage, which is not a main mode of transportation, but iconic for experiencing Seville. Make sure to enjoy one of these famed carriage rides that Seville is known for.
Walking in Seville is essential to truly experiencing its charm and history. While you need to be more aware of the heat in August, don’t let it be an excuse for not walking to get around and enjoy the sites. Here’s how and what to keep in mind.
Above Image – Details of one of the entrances and/or exits to the Alcázar.
Plan your times and distances for when it’s not the hottest time of the day, which is the afternoon. Take plenty of drinking water with you when you go out and double check the opening hours of places you want to visit. Many museums and shops may be closed during the lunch and siesta hours, which is about 1pm to 5pm or 6pm. And don’t forget that on Sundays, practically everything is closed and those sites open have reduced hours. Further below we’ll return to this traditional aspect of the culture. Knowing about it is essential for enjoying Sevilla and handling the heat.
Above Image – Views of some of the architectural details of Seville’s famous Cathedral.
Break up longer distances by using Seville’s public transportation, whether it be the buses or their modern metro system. This is composed of air-conditioned light-rail trains and costs start at only 1.35€ for one-way in one zone and then various more options from there. There are also day passes and round-trip tickets, either of which can be refilled and reused at ticket machines in the stations.
Riding bicycles is also a lovely and easy thing to do in Seville. Yet during August, we recommend you not rely on it as your main mode of transportation. Instead plan bike rides for specific experiences and either early in the morning or around sunset. Along the renown Guadalquivir River are lovely bike paths which also give you great views of the famous bridges and the Triana neighborhood. For even more shade, make sure to ride throughout the Parque de Maria Luisa, famous for its Plaza de America. Next to this is also the Museum of Popular Arts, the Archeological Museum and the Royal Pavilion, so you’ll have plenty to see by cruising around here.
Above Image – The impressive Parque de Maria Luisa and its Plaza de America.
Above Image – The stone-paved paths alongside the Guadalquivir River, with a view of the Torre del Oro.
And then there’s renting a car. We recommend that once in Sevilla you do not drive. Parking is difficult to find and driving in the city, especially its historical center, is quite stressful. Maybe you’re driving to Sevilla from somewhere else, in which case check with accommodations about whether they provide parking and make sure to go with a place that does. Be aware though that chances are, the parking will cost.
If a car is what you would prefer to take, budget for getting taxis. Their quite good in Sevilla and air-conditioned. After all, aren’t you on vacation? Let someone else drive you around.
Tip #3 – When You Visit Seville in August, Walk Like a Sevillian
Above Image – No, we don’t mean walk around in the nude.
When walking in Seville, you will really get to know Seville, but especially if you walk like a Sevillian. You’ll discover how the historic center was constructed specifically to stay cool in the heat of summer. Especially in the historic center, streets, alleyways and walkways, were designed to provide as much shade as possible, thus why they are so narrow. Let yourself stroll down these maze-like paths and spontaneously take unexpected turns for exploring more. Wider pedestrian boulevards, such as the popular shopping area Calle Sierpes, create shade with white tarps high overhead that extend across from one side to the other. These shades have become iconic to Seville in the summer.
On that same shopping street, and in various other stores, you can find and purchase a traditional Sevillian fan and you’ll see that they’re beautiful and practical. Those little things will give some relief and while looking great.
Above Image – We enjoyed fantastic Vermouth and tapas at ‘El Bar Comercio‘. A great authentic place that has a lot of history, gorgeous tiles, and great ‘churros con chocolate’ as well.
What better way to experience Seville than to ‘taste’ around. When out walking, take breaks in the covered terraces of cafes that have those lovely, cool misters. It will also give you an excuse for trying more of the local drinks. If you think that Sangria is one of those, think again. If you want to feel more like a local sip on these most popular drinks in Seville: Manzanilla, Vino de Naranja, Vermouth (our personal favorite anywhere in Spain), or Tinto de Verano. There are more of course, like their local favorite beer Cruz Campo, and their historically-known sherries. Local craft beers are also becoming more popular.
Tip #4 – Now That You’re Walking Like a Sevillian, You May As Well Live Like a Sevillian
There’s various reasons why the Sevillian culture is what it is, and one of those is for dealing with the intense heat of summer. It’s what Spanish culture in general is renown and envied for; a laid-back rhythm of life that flows according to the seasons, family, food, and relaxation. So now that you’re already walking like a Sevillian, go ahead and adopt the culture and live like one. Where do you start? Well for one, become a night owl and enjoy the evenings. The city is cooler at night and takes on a rich glow from old-world street lamps and spotlighted historical sites.
Start your days off with relaxed mornings, which maybe for you means sleeping in or taking more time to savor breakfast. Then once you’ve headed out and seen a site or two, get a drink like coffee or tea and have a little snack if you feel like it. This is not ‘second breakfasts’, but more like a drink break a lot of Spaniards take as a morning work break. A lot of times you’ll see the older men getting together during this time to have a coffee and sip on Vermouth, Anise, or maybe a brandy. For workers, this is usually when they do have breakfast and earlier, first thing in the morning they have simply coffee or tea.
By around 1ish / 1:30pm restaurants will start to be open for lunch. A very typical window of time for this biggest meal of the day lasts between 2pm and 4pm, and sometimes even until 5pm. With all that food in your stomach, it’s time for food comatose, so make it back to your hotel and enjoy a nice siesta in that air-conditioned room. Once your rested, you can head back out to enjoy more sites or maybe you opt to take a dip in that rooftop pool.
Like the rest of Spain, dinner in Seville also starts later at night, lasting between 9ish and midnight. A lot of places seem to open around 8pm, but they’ll really come to life around 9:30ish/10pm. What’s great about Seville and one of our favorite things, are the portions of the food in restaurants. They have ‘tapa’, ‘media racione’ and ‘racione’, going from small to medium to biggest. But the distinct thing is that they have these various portions for practically everything on their menu. You can try meats and more entree-type dishes even as a tapa, which is great for tasting more, whether you’re with travel companions or a solo-traveler. It can also help you eat lighter, which is better late at night and especially when it’s hot out.
Above Image – Salmorejo is the one that has diced hard-boiled egg and ham bits on top.
Speaking of the Sevillian gastronomy, indulge in renown local foods that are ideal for the summer season. Gazpacho and Salmorejo are two tomato-based soups served cold. They’re healthy and refreshing. Are they the same? Nope. They have some distinct differences, so enjoy them both. Many times you can find creative renditions, like watermelon or cherry Gazpacho.
Tip #5 – Other things to keep in mind about Seville in August
Some restaurants and local businesses will be closed during part of August or have reduced hours. If there’s a particular one you’re wanting to check out, make sure and look up their hours for August.
There are still local concert series that go on, one which is especially great, the ‘Nights in the Gardens of the Real Alcázar’. These sell out fast though so we recommend getting tickets online in advance.
Above Image – Setas de Seville (also known as Metropol Parasol) is one of Seville’s popular sites of modern architecture.
The most iconic sites of Seville are the most popular and require tickets for entering. In August they quickly sell out days before, so make sure to book online in advance. Or be prepared to wait in line (which can be crazy hot cause it’s outside in the sun), and risk the chance that you still can’t get tickets.
Visit Seville in August or Any Month
Seville is a remarkable place and can still be great to visit even in August. Just be prepared, both with your planning and mentally. And if any kind of heat is not your thing anyways, then opt for another time of the year. But no matter what, make sure you make it to Seville. It’s one of those exquisite places that is essential to experiencing and knowing Spain.
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Written by Amalia & Eric
Founders & Producers of Move to Traveling
We’re Amalia and Eric – a traveling couple who are living a traveling lifestyle. Do you love to travel? Perfect! Come along…