Seville is Spain’s most romantic city: the scent of orange blossoms enraptures as horse carriages clip clop past you. This ancient city is said to have been founded by Hercules, and its tumultuous history of Romans, Visigoths and Moors have left their stamp on Seville culture and architecture.
The fourth largest city in Spain, Seville is also the king of tapas, flamenco and the laid-back mañana mañana attitude. It’s noted for its vibrant culture, beautiful architecture and warm climate. Dissected by the Guaalquivir River, old meets new in the city of 700,000 inhabitants. Seville boasts a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de las Indias, and has played host to the IberoAmerican Exposition twice in the last century. Visitors cannot miss its tapas culture or taking in an evening of flamenco while staying.
As the de facto political, economic and cultural capital of the Autonomous Region of Andalusia, Seville is also a great hub for other trips in the area, too. While most businesses choose Madrid and Barcelona for their Spain- and Portugal-based businesses, Seville is looking forward to the future and taking initiative to become more business-friendly. Still, the economic crisis has crippled Spain, and Andalusia in particular, and regulations for foreigners have been tightened.
And who can’t beat a city whose food, drink and merry-making are a bargain compared to other hubs?
Information for visitors
There are many consulates located in Seville – from Anglo countries to further-off destinations like Turkey, Mexico and many South American countries. Spain is a member of the EU and thus part of the Schengen Agreement, so its border laws are the same as other countries under the same umbrella: Visitors who wish to stay for less than 90 days who are not part of the Schengen agreement will not need any type of special permission for entry, though overstaying that amount of time could spell trouble. Those wishing to work on a non-Schengen passport will have to obtain special permission from their home government and Spain. All visitors must present a valid passport, save those within the EU, who need only a valid ID card.
Vaccinations are not required for visitors.
TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT
Seville is an ancient city, and despite its local government’s push for modernity. If an old dog can’t learn new tricks, Seville is no exception to the rule. The city is flat and best seen by walking, anyway.
Taxis, usually white with a diagonal yellow stripe, are a convenient but costly way to get around the city. Expect to pay about 23€ form the airport to the city centre, and regular trips cost a minimum of 2€. There is a surcharge after midnight, at the weekend and during festivals. For your safety and belongings, ask for a receipt, in which the taxis license number will appear. This can be used to track the trip.
The city also operates a short metro and light rail system, which are helpful during peak traffic times, though busy. Cost is 1,40€ for a single ride, plus 1€ for the reusable plastic card.
Buses are the most convenient way to move around Seville with over 40 lines that frequent stops every 15-20 minutes on weekdays and Saturdays. One trip will cost 1,40€, and you must have exact change after 21h.
Sevici, a bike share program launched in 2007, is a wonderful way to see Seville during your leisure time. The city maintains nearly 80km of bike lanes, denoted by green lanes, and the cost is a mere 5€ for a weeklong rental, plus a refundable 150€ deposit. You can sign up at any of the hundreds of kiosks around the city.
SAFETY and emergency services
Seville is an extremely safe city, and the country of Spain enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in Europe. Recently, demonstrations against government cuts and the austerity issue have got quite a bit of press, though Seville’s most common crime against visitors is petty theft or an exaggeration of prices.
Networking: See who is networking in Seville now
Read the doing business in Spain guide.