Seville is a magnificent city in southern Spain often overlooked and underrated as a destination. The city is great for single and solo travelers, as the tapas culture is in full effect. Tapas are small appetizers served in bars, usually spicy and salty to encourage more drinking. Each little bar and tavern cooks their own, and each may have their own specialty. The tapas crawl means to spend an evening going from bar to bar, having tapas at each destination. This community atmosphere in many of Seville’s neighborhoods make it great for solo travelers.
Our son lived there for a month and found it a very underrated destination for travelers, meaning it’s less crowded than other tourist cities. He was a single guy and always found things to do and had no problem meeting people. The city is easily accessible via Spain’s high-speed rail network and makes a great alternative to Madrid and Barcelona, Spain’s largest cities.
When we visited our son, we stayed at the Alfonso XIII, a historic, luxury property operated by Starwood. The hotel is in the Santa Cruz quarter, a very walkable area, and we loved just talking walks around the hotel’s neighborhood. The hotel closed in May 2011 for a massive renovation and is scheduled to reopen March 14, 2012. Rates start at about $290 per night for a basic room.
Hotel Alfonso XIII
San Fernando 2, Seville, Spain
Bullring and Bullfighting Museum
Bullfighting is an important part of the Spanish culture in Seville. The ornate historic bullring is open for tours every day (except bullfight days) at 9:30 a.m., and so is the on-premises museum.
Real Masetranza De Seviile
Paseo de Colon 12, Seville, Spain
Seviile is a party city, and there are many fun neighborhoods filled with bars and pubs, perfect for solo travelers. Alfalfa has a street called Perez Galdos that is filled with tapas bars. Alameda is the dance club area; also many gay clubs are here. My son recommends the area around Calle Betis in the Triana neighborhood, right by the river.
Snacking on tapas and drinking different drinks from various bars can be a fun way to spend an evening and make new friends. The Alfalfa area is good to just walk around, and it’s possible to find good places based on how crowded they are. The more crowded, the better.
Our favorite place, and one of the best in Seville, was Oriza. It’s in a mansion built in 1929 just down the street from the Alfonso. The restaurant has several dining areas, including a more formal dining room and a very informal tapas bar, depending on your mood. The wine selection is world-class, and so is the service. It’s possible to have a $30 tapas and beer night here, and it’s also possible to have a $1,000 five-course luxury dinner.
Restaurante Egana Oriza
San Fernando 41, Seville, Spain
You can follow travel writer Ted Sherman on Twitter @travel4seniors and check out his blog travel4seniors.com.
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