Moving to Seville
Are you moving to Seville? Seville is a vibrant, bustling city in the south of Spain and is the fourth largest city in the country. The climate is Mediterranean, the locals are friendly, and it has a rich cultural history. It is the capital of Andalucía, a major transport hub and is home to the regional government. The inland port is an important trade hub, 50 miles inshore from the Atlantic Ocean and is the only inland port in Spain. The friendly locals are known as sevillanas (females) and sevillanos (males).
Our free, in-depth Moving to Seville report includes info on:
• The best areas to live
• The good schools
• The average monthly rental prices
• The excellent public transport system in the city
Putting Seville on the Map
Located in the south of Spain, the city is situated on the Guadalquivir plain, with the Guadalquivir river running north to south. The river separates the majority of the city from some of its suburbs and its port, which are located on an island. It is 75 miles north of Cadiz and 127 miles north-west of Malaga. The city hosts three train stations, more than 30 bus routes running from two bus depots, a subway and light rail line, and miles of cycle lanes.
- Seville airport is located 6.2 miles north-east of the city, with a half-hourly bus running to the city centre.
- The TUSSAM bus services run from 6am until 11.30pm. The two stations, Prado de San Sebastián and Plaza de Armas, link to all areas across Seville. A number of night bus services operate from Prado de San Sebastián in the city centre.
- There is a single tramline running between Prado de San Sebastián and Plaza Nueva, a stretch of half a mile.
- The metro system is fairly new, with only three lines. It runs from 6.30am until 11pm, and until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Santa Justa Train Station is the local railway, operated by Renfe.
- Travelling by boat on the Guadalquivir River is a scenic way to travel, running from 11am until 11pm daily, every 30 minutes.
- The Sevici public cycle service is very popular in this mainly flat city. There are 250 terminals from which to rent bicyles.
- Scooters are also available to hire.
- Walking is quick and convenient in this largely pedestrianised, flat city, with everything nearby.
- The Santa Justa Train Station is Seville’s local railway station operated by Renfe.
- Seville is on Red Ciudades Ave, connecting to 17 major Spanish cities on a high-speed rail network.
- Seville was built on top of an ancient Roman town, with artefacts and ruins protected by law. Thus, the proposed massive subway interchange in Plaza de la Encarnación was scrapped immediately on the discovery of an ancient fish factory, remains of some of the houses and almost intact old mosaics.
Seville is a compact city, with its city centre encompassing two square miles, making it one of the largest on the continent. East of the city are a number of residential areas, reaching East Seville, a newer housing development. To the south are Reina Mercedes, Bami, Heliópolis, Bellavista and Los Bermejales. The Casco Antiquo, or the city centre, is peppered with micro districts, green spaces and casa-palacios, which have been converted to apartments and homes and hotels, ringed by the Ronda Histórica.
Towered over by the Giralda Tower, El Centro is the heart of the city. La Catedral de Santa María de la Sede, the 3rd largest gothic cathedral in the world, the Archivo de Indias and the Alcazar Royal Palace all form a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the pulse of this historic city. Living here means you can walk to wherever you need to go and the nightlife, work and shopping are never far away. However, if you own a car then parking is difficult to find. Rental properties are more expensive here than in other central neighbourhoods.
One of the more charming neighbourhoods, the winding cobblestone alleys, colourful houses and plenty of flamenco venues, Santa Cruz is ringed by the old city walls and borders the city centre. The downside is that it is a popular tourist area, lined with overpriced restaurants and souvenir shops. It is one of the oldest suburbs with beautiful squares and orange trees. For commuters, it is close to the Prado de San Sebastián train station, and it is wedged between the Jardines de Murillo and the Alcázar palace. Parking is problematic. However, further away from the tourist sites you’ll find peace and tranquillity, albeit at a hefty price.
Once home to the shipbuilding yards, El Arenal is now one of the more yuppie areas. Bordered by the city centre and the river, apartments and houses are small and overpriced. But if you’re looking for an exciting nightlife within walking distance, then this is the place for you. Of course, tourists love this area with the bullring, La Maestranza and an opera house sharing the same name, trendy cocktail bars and restaurants a-plenty.
Located near the central business district in Nervión, housing here is more suited for families. With extremely good transport links it is wedged between the central train stations, a shopping mall and the extremely important Sevilla Fútbol Club stadium. This huge suburb also includes the up-market La Buhaíra, with more expensive, exclusive homes. It’s close to many university faculties including those of education, travel and business. It is within walking distance of Santa Cruz and has really good shops and eateries but not as much Gothic architecture or the cobblestone streets as other areas. However, the available accommodation is lovely and broadband is faster.
Much like Sant Cruz, Triana has narrow cobbled streets but has smaller, no-so-grand houses which are slightly rundown. Along the waterfront, Triana hosts Calle Betis, famous mainly for its nightlife. But don’t let that fool you, it also has some of the provinces most expensive properties. In the northern part of Triana, El Tardón offers rentals with more economical prices.
Triana’s southern neighbour, Los Remedios has a few gin and tonic bars, but not much else in the form of nightlife. However, in April the barrio comes alive with dancing, drinking and partying for two weeks for the Feria, the April Fair. This is the city’s only area built purely residential use. This affluent area has large apartments – with lifts – and two metro stations. Mainly a family area, the downside is there are few green areas or the quaint squares that are dotted throughout the rest of the city. There is a university faculty here, so there are many students, along with cheaper student accommodation, found just to the south of República Argentina.
This is one of the trendiest neighbourhoods and along alongisde hippies and dreadlocks, one will find families communing on the pavement park and amongst the fountains. Upside is the proximity to the city centre and to nightlife, downside is the noise and the litter.
This cool, trendy and affluent suburb is the best area to stay if a vibey atmosphere is what you are after, but still central, historical and gorgeous. Close to the shopping district, and Plaza del Salvador, which is Seville’s most famous beer garden. Outdoor street parties, known as botellon, is what Alfalfa is famous for, along with Soho Benita, a trendy shopping centre.
Yep – This is what the song and dance was named for. Bustling markets with winding roads, overlooked by flower-filled balconies, add to the ambience, while rental prices are lower and there are fewer tourists. It is a typical working-class area but is undergoing gentrification, resulting in the emergence of up-market restaurants and trendy shops. It is close to public transport for commuters, which is a good thing as parking is nigh-on impossible.
In contrast to the other areas, Bellavista, meaning beautiful views, is the most southern and separate neighbourhood in the city. With a sizeable population, it has many newer housing complexes, constructed around a historical core. It is almost completely a commuter community, with TUSSAM bus routes providing public transport.
Who Lives and Works in Seville?
With an urban population of around 700,000, this inland port is a trade hub for the south of Spain, famous for its industrial and technological centre and, along with gorgeous weather, Seville is ideal for working expats. With the largest GDP in the province, accounting for a quarter of Andalusia’s total GDP, it is the most populated area in southern Spain. The outlying smaller villages have agriculture as their dominant industry. Depending on the service and industry sectors, especially financial services, technology, trade and tourism, the inland port is important for import and exports across the region. Tourism continues to grow, with the city’s cultural heritage appealing to an increasing number of visitors. Moreover, the city is an industrial and technological hub. The Parque Tecnológico y Aeronáutico Aeropolis (aerospace) and Parque Tecnológico Sevilla Científico Tecnopolis (tech research) are both major centres.
The Best Bits
The birthplace of the flamenco, this super safe city with a very low crime rate and fabulous climate, home of the Sevillana dresses, the Feria and white horses, is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain.
- The old town – two square miles of gorgeous historical UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- The Metropol parasol, which was initially criticised for being too modern, is an integral part of the city. The six massive wooden parasols, with a honeycombed mushroom cap, may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it really makes a statement.
- An ancient city, legend has it that Seville was founded by Hercules and was called Hispalis under Roman rule and Isbiliya under the Moors.
- Calle Betis is renowned for its vibrant nightlife. Bars line the waterfront, discotheques stay open late, and Lo Nuestro is a must for flamenco music performances.
- Plaza de España was built in 1928 and has a spooky, almost eerie feel to it. It houses the government and is surrounded by a moat, and displays the most beautiful mosaic tiles and Moorish architecture.
- Jamon bellota – bellota means acorn – is cured ham from acorn-fed black pigs.
- With a tumultuous history, Seville itself is almost a museum, a living museum of architecture and traditional culture. However, it does host a number of museums including Real Alcazar, a medieval Islamic palace displaying Spanish Christian and Moorish architecture; the Casa de la Guitarra, with its collection of exquisite Spanish guitars, puts on a sublime performance of flamenco guitar playing with singers and dancers; the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museo del Baile Flamenco.
- A host of theatres, the larger ones are Teatro Central, Teatro Alameda, Teatro Lope de Vega, Teatro Maestranza and Estadio Olimpico de la Cartuja.
- Seville is home to many small independent and artisan stores, aside from the big chain stores. Two of the main shopping streets, Calle Sierpes and Tetuan, cater for every kind of shop you could possibly need.
- A nun of the Order of Charity, Sister Ursula, is said to stalk the passages of the Andalucian parliament in Seville, which was formerly a hospital with a strange name, the Hospital of the Five Wounds.
- The magnificent cathedral contains the tomb of Christopher Columbus, or maybe it could contain the remains of his brother? Confusion still reigns, the remains were moved a number of times, between Spain and Cuba, through the centuries.
Bringing the Kids
- The Spanish public education system is free of fees. Lessons are conducted in Spanish.
- Private schools are an option and are preferable for kids not fluent in Spanish. For example, the Yago School offers bilingual education and claims exceptional results.
- There are a few international schools in Seville, all well regarded. Places in these schools are in high demand, so apply in good time to secure a place.
- Seville has three public universities, the International University of Andalusia, the University of Seville and the Pablo de Olavide University. The University of Seville was originally founded as the Colegio Santa María de Jesús in 1505. 1994 saw the launch of the international university, offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
- There are also a number of language schools.
Relocating to Seville
Good schools, a thriving economy, sunny skies, lovely areas with a variety of accommodation choices and green spaces – Seville is an outstanding location for expats. The friendly locals will make you feel welcome, while the historical city offers an education in Spanish culture. The city’s strengths in maritime, tourism, technology and financial services bodes well for relocated personnel. Many local and international financial service organisations and banks are represented in the city.
However, care must be taken that all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Rental applications and lease agreements are likely to be in Spanish. Using the services of a relocation expert will guide you through all the processes, including spousal support, lease negotiations and enrolling the kids in school.
Average Monthly Rent - Seville
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in city centre||€564.29|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) outside of centre||€405.33|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in city centre||€936.67|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside of centre||€653.12|