Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville: The Best Guide to Where to Stay, Places to Eat and Things to do
Stunning Seville, the rhythm of Andalusia celebrate a myriad of local customs, traditions, boundless energy and the marriage of spices in their salivating dishes. There is no better place to experience the Sevillanos passion than in the heartbeat of Seville, Barrio Santa Cruz.
What to expect from this guide on Barrio Santa Cruz
Having wandered and wondered around the city for three days, exploring the thrills of the many labyrinth of alleys in the Old Jewish Quarter, in the backdrop of the flamenco dancing and the strumming of the guitar, amidst the chatter, laughter and the friendly neighbourhood vibe, I share the highly rated places to stay at Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville including the one I stayed in.
Also included in this best guide are 14 highlights of the very best things to do in this barrio Santa Cruz so you do not miss anything on the history, vibrancy and culture of this colourful city.
As the Santa Cruz neighbourhood is highly touristy, this guide offers suggestions on where to eat along with tips for enhanced experiences so you do not fall into the tourist traps.
Whether your visit is for one day, three days, a week or even longer, this best guide will help you choose where to stay at Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville, select places and things to do along with where to eat that best suits you like a breeze.
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Timeless Travel Steps BEST SIGHTSEEING TIPS FOR SEVILLE TRAVEL
1 | For an all-round experience of the sultry city, opt for a food walking tour
2 | Go for the best deal – Buy a combo ticket to visit the Royal Alcazar, Seville Cathedral + Giralda.
3 | Enjoy timeless experiences on the Guadalquivir River.
Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville – Seville City Centre / Old Town / Old Jewish Quarter
Welcome to my guide on Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville, the best guide to where to stay, eat and the very best things to do.
Barrio Santa Cruz was the Parish of the Holy Cross and is the oldest part of the city of Seville. Located within the perimeter of the Roman city walls, the first settlement dates back to the 1st century , with a large Jewish community settling here after the Reconquista in late 1248. Thereafter, followed a period of dark history encapsulating deceit, destruction and the loss of many Jewish lives.
Today, Seville City Centre or Seville’s Old Town, also known as Barrio Santa Cruz was the old Jewish Quarter of Seville. This area is the heartbeat of Seville, ideally located to public transportation (not that you will need it) and is home to the most popular tourist attractions. Seville City Centre is the area around Seville’s Gothic wonder, the breathtaking spectacle of Mudejar palace, Plaza Nueva and El Arenal.
Santa Cruz is one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods, in Seville. Encompassing white-washed houses, a labyrinth of narrow alleys of cobblestone, and charming Andalusian balconies. This is an area where you can wander for hours trying to decide which bar or restaurants to go to as each has its own appeal and warmth.
Staying anywhere in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood means you are only minutes away from the city’s historic attractions, the famous Bull Ring in Seville and dangerously close to Calle Sierpes, the heart of small business and a place where you can get anything you want. If you are looking to stay in Seville at the heart of the city, barrio Santa Cruz is the place to be.
While the Santa Cruz neighbourhood is splendid for a stay, the barrio is also one of Seville’s busiest and touristy neighbourhoods. Hence, the streets can be noisy at night if you are visiting Seville during the high season such as the summer months.
I | WHERE TO STAY IN BARRIO SANTA CRUZ
Barrio Santa Cruz boasts a splendid collection of hotels and boutique accommodations, ranging from high-end to budget finds.
i | Luxury Hotels in Barrio Santa Cruz
1 | The historic and much desired Hotel Alfonso XIII
2 | For luxury and a modern feel, stay at EME Catedral Mercer Hotel, Seville
3 | Hotel Colón Gran Meliá
Other luxury hotels to stay in Seville at Barrio Santa Cruz
ii | Mid-range hotels in Barrio Santa Cruz
1 | Hotel Casa 1800 Seville
2 | Petit Palace Marques Santa Ana
Georgina: “We stayed at Petit Palace Marques Santa Ana in Seville. Ideally located to all attractions that were on our list, and a few blocks away from the tram station. It was quiet.”
3 | Hotel Las Casas de la Judería
Other mid-range accommodations in Barrio Santa Cruz
iii | Budget accommodation at the edge of Barrio Santa Cruz
1 | Basic Hotel Puerta de Sevilla
2 | Hotel Murillo
II | WHAT TO DO IN BARRIO SANTA CRUZ
Primary attractions and places to visit in Barrio Santa Cruz are:
1 | The Royal Palace Alcázar — a palace complex and home to the most beautiful gardens, colourful ceramics and mind-blowing architecture.
3 | Iglesia Colegial del Salvador — Church of the Divine Saviour at Plaza del Salvador is the second most important church in Seville following Seville Cathedral. Built on the site of a former mosque, the Salvador Church is filled with remarkable altarpieces in solid gold. Definitely worth a visit.
Tip: Join a guided tour of Seville Cathedral and /or the Royal Alcazar.
4 | Casa de Pilatos — besides the Alcázar, there is more insanely beautiful architecture in this well-preserved 16th century palace.
5 | Archivo de Indias — the General Archive of the Indies along with the Alcázar and Seville Cathedral are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1987.
6 | Plaza Nueva — this is the central square in Seville and has a statue of King Ferdinand III of Castile. Everyone goes here! 🙂
7 | Jardines de Murillo — a serene park with a monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus.
8 | Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes — this building was a hospital for the priests in the 17th century. The most attractive part is the church with exquisite frescoes.
9 | Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija — Palace of Lebrija is another architecturally fascinating palace. Home to a beautiful collection of colourful mosaics ranging from ancient Greece to Roman times. An unmissable experience.
10 | Plaza del Cabildo — a lovely quiet semi-circular square to just enjoy… except on a Sunday when it is not so quiet. Stamp Collectors market takes place from very early in the morning till about lunchtime.
11 | Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza
Plaza de Toros de Sevilla is an emblematic monument of Seville. Built in the 18th century, the bullfighting arena is the most important in Spain and can accommodate 13,000 spectators. Bullfighting takes place throughout the year but there are some days when the arena is open to the public for a visit. There is a museum that tells the story of the arena’s evolution and the bullfighting scene.
Georgina: I do not support bullfighting and would never pay to watch a live bullfighting event. I respect those who do as each is to our own. As many of you may already know, I love history and I always visit monuments and landmarks that tells a story of a nation’s culture. I visited this monument to learn of its story and to see for myself what an incredible arena it is. It is an incredible arena indeed!
12 | Experience the spirit and passion of Flamenco
When walking around Santa Cruz, you are sure to bump into an impromptu flamenco performance. These are pretty good to watch, in return for a small tip. Watch a short video below:
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13 | Walk around Barrio Santa Cruz
… explore the winding and narrow alleyways unhurriedly – the mysterious cobblestone paths are both romantic and intoxicating with its bright, bold colours along with the white-washed walls. The architecture is delightful showcasing a varied of cultures with a unifying trait – conquest, and so many conquests! You can see that the Romans were here, the Visigoths, the Moors, the Castilians and the Spanish Empire.
While exploring the labyrinth of barrio Santa Cruz, go also in search of Calle de los Besos (Street of Kisses) – the narrowest street in the city.
Georgina: We were out late on both nights and it was kinda nice to see the Cathedral glow against the night skies, with not many people around.
14 | Horse-drawn carriage ride
This appeared to be a popular activity among tourists but we did not participate in this activity. If you wish to, learn more about a horse-drawn carriage ride and what it entails here.
III | WHERE & WHAT TO EAT IN BARRIO SANTA CRUZ
Santa Cruz neighbourhood is a great place to try any and all of Seville authentic food — seafood, tapas and drinks.
While Vineria San Telmo is highly recommended and rightly so for their exquisite dishes, Lobo López is a restaurant I would return to in a hearbeat for its natural and relaxed feel. Both were excellent.
Vineria San Telmo — Paseo Catalina de Ribera, 4 41004 Sevilla
Lobo López — C. Rosario, 15, 41001 Seville, Spain
For traditional tapas, try Casa Morales > Garcia Vinuesa 11, Seville. Two minutes from Seville Cathedral.
While Seville’s most popular eating spots serve tapas and cañas, you must not leave town without trying Seville’s Spanish ham! This is no ordinary lunch meat ham bought off the shelf, for sure. Once you try, you will want to try again.
The traditional ham is the celebrated Jamón Ibérico — Iberian ham, cured to perfection over years at a time. For the best in Central Seville, go to Flores Gourmet.
Flores Gourmet: Calle San Pablo 24 | Centro, 41001 Seville, Spain
More travel inspiration? You may like the following:
IV | HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR VISIT TO SANTA CRUZ, SEVILLE
Seville is a small city and compact. The best way to explore the city is by foot. I can assure you, public transport is not needed at all when visiting the barrio Santa Cruz and all you need is a good pair of walking shoes.
However, if you do wish to experience the public transport in Seville, the Tram (Metro Centro) is the best option. It is a 1.4 kilometre line that runs through the centre of Seville. The Centro Tram line connects Plaza Nueva to Seville Cathedral, with stops at Archivo de Indias, Puerta de Jerez, San Sebastian and San Bernardo.
While exploring the city centre independently is encouraged and easily done, your visit to Seville is significantly enhanced if you join a guided tour. A knowledgeable guide who knows exactly where to take you for the best tapas, best dining, best bodegas, best Jamón Ibérico and for the best stories ever told.
You may want to consider the following tours when in Seville:
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