How to have a good night out in Seville

by shawn.hennessey

As is typical in Spain, nights out in Seville start late, and if you know where to look they carry on until the morning, ending with churros and chocolate down by the river

Most bars and restaurants in Seville stay open until midnight, and some bars stay open until 2 or 3 in the morning. Although some clubs and discos will have opened earlier in the evening, most don't really start hopping until after midnight or even later. Thursdays through Saturdays are the busiest, and some clubs are only open on these days. In summer especially you can spend the late evening bar hopping from terrazza to terrazza, especially on the riverside along Calle Betis in Triana, or along the Alameda de Hercules. Other "hotspots" include the Alfalfa, and the area around the Puerta Arenal.

Below I've recommended some of the best late-night bars, clubs and discos, live music venues, and, of course, some flamenco bars

Getting started

To start the evening Sevillano fashion grab a cold beer at El Tremendo near the Plaza Santa Catalina, or at Bodeguita Antigua or Los Soportales in the Plaza Salvador. These are popular with the locals and (outdoor) standing room only. For something a bit more exciting beer-wise try the Cerveceria International http://www.cerveceriainternacional.com/ in Calle Gamazo, which has a good selection of European beers.

For those looking for a more British ambience, Flaherty's Irish pub http://www.pflaherty.com/index.php?op=2 in Calle Alemanes is the place to go. Guinness and Murphy's on tap, big screen sports coverage, and English speaking staff. You can get a nice bite to eat here, too, with their curious mix of pub food and "Irish tapas". Other homes from home are Merchants Malt House http://www.merchantpub.com in Calle Canalejas, O'Neills http://www.oneills.es/eng.html opposite the San Bernardo station, The Trinity in the Hotel Inglaterra in Plaza Nueva, and Clan (a Scottish bar) in Calle Adriano. For an American style go to the Tex-Mex in Calle Placentines.

For something more upmarket, with prices to match, you can't beat the Bar San Fernando in the Alfonso XIII hotel (when the weather is warm I love stopping into the open patio for a glass of chilled cava), or cocktails at the trendy Glassy Lounge at 5, Paseo Colon. For the best mojitas and an upbeat cosy atmosphere go to Café L'Art at 17, Calle General Castaños in the Arenal.

For something more quirky, try El Garlochi, on Calle Boteros off the Alfalfa. This dimly lit celebration of all things Semana Santa is stuffed so full of religious memorabilia that it's almost more like a church than a bar.

For one of those magic moments watch the sunset over the Cathedral from the rootop bars at the Fontecruz Hotel on Calle Abades (my favourite, both for the views over the city and the neighbouring rooftops, and good service at reasonable prices), the EME on Calle Alemanes (popular with the hipster crowd), or the Doña Maria just off the Plaza Virgenes de los Reyes.

Flamenco

Flamenco basically comes in three types. The tablaos are professional performances, usually with tapas and drinks, with two shows a night. Typical are Los Gallos, in the Plaza Santa Cruz, El Arenal in Calle Rodo or Patio Sevillano on Cristobal Colon. They're enjoyable, but mostly aimed at the tourist trade.

For a more informal alternative, cross the river to Triana and visit Lo Nuestro on Calle Betis. La Anselma on Pages del Corro used to be a favourite of mine, but seems to have fallen victim to its own success and is now packed with tourists and has lost its charm. Likewise the very well-known La Carbonería in Calle Levies, which used to be the best boho flamenco venue in the centre, now sells souvenirs just inside the entrance.

Some nice one-hour flamenco shows can still be found in the centre at either La Casa de La Memoria on calle Ximenez del Enciso or Auditorio Alvarez Quintero, on the steet of the same name.

For more traditional flamenco, in a tradional setting, take a trek out to the Peña Torres Macarena at Torrijiano, 29. It's outside the old centre, so you might want to take a taxi.

Clubs and discos

One of the best disco clubs is Sala Boss http://www.salaboss.es which is at 67, Calle Betis on the Triana bank of the river, one of the most popular haunts of late-night revellers. It opens its doors around midnight and stays open until dawn. The music is commercial-house, and the clientele mostly trendy twentysomethings. Wednesday is "International Day", and there are funky parties on Thursday nights (or Friday mornings). Entrance is €8 or €10 and includes your first drink.

Groucho's http://www.grouchobar.com is centrally located in Federico Sánchez Bedoya off Avenida Constitución. It is open from 6.00pm to dawn, and the clientele are mostly in their thirties and forties. Altough entrance is free, there's a fairly strict door policy, so dress smartly. The music is normally Spanish pop in the evening, and dance-house at night, with a live flamenco evening on Thursdays.

Another club that attracts an older clientele is Elefunk at Adriano, 10, but the atmosphere here is much more relaxed and informal.

Even more upmarket is the Antique Theatro www.antiquetheatro.com, in Matematicos Rey Pastor y Castro street across the river in the Cartuja. This is probably the most famous disco in Seville and the one where you are most likely to find celebrities like footballers, bullfighters and entertainers. The disco has very good house music with international dj's, and there are VIP and private rooms. Entrance is normally free.

Bestiarío  at Zaragoza 33, just off the Plaza Nueva,  is one of Seville's longest running clubs, though it's more laid back and aimed at an over-30s crowd.

Poseidon, in Marqués de Paradas, is regarded as Seville's premier gay club, camp glam and complete with drag acts and the like. Gloss, not far away in Julio Cesar Street near Triana Bridge, is also a predominantly gay bar, but by no means exclusively so. The doors open at 8 o'clock, and you can dance the night away at differently themed parties on different nights of the week.

Santuario (Cuesta del Rosario 12) has recently taken over the old Catedral Club space, and seems to be just as popular. 

Live Music

If live music is more your thing, there are some good venues dotted around Seville, but be warned, you're not going to get to bed early. Some of my favourites are Fun Club at Alameda 86 for rock and electric, El Perro Andaluz, a recently renovated bar at Bustos Tavera 11 by Santa Catalina which is a favoured spot for actors and artists, and Sala Malandar at Torneo 43, down by the river, for an eclectic and progressive mix of styles.

More expert advice on Seville

For suggestions on where to stay in Seville, see my Seville Hotels – Award winning expert hotel reviews, from cheap to luxury hotels in Seville page.

Read my overview on Seville nightlife.

shawn.hennessey

Originally from Canada, I have been living and working in Seville, Spain since 1993. Aside from running several of my own blogs about Sevilla and doing freelance travel & food writing - I've had articles published in National Geographic, Slow Travel Europe and Travel Intelligence - I also manage social media for restaurants and wineries and do amazing tapas tours. http://azahar-sevilla.com/sevilletapas/tapas-tours

Before Seville I lived in Winnipeg, Toronto, Bristol (UK), and Salamanca, in that order. I am never quite sure how to answer the question "why did you come to Spain?" other than to say I had been looking for my real home all my life and - for reasons I still can't explain - thought I would find it here. I knew the first day I arrived in Spain that I was finally home and that feeling has never left me.  

I love the craziness of Semana Santa even though I'm not religious. I love that Sevillanos take their holidays seriously and think nothing of shutting down for a month in August or during Christmas holidays. And I love that people here take time for each other and don't worry about schedules too much, even if this means having to wait all day for the plumber to show up. It's give and take. It has heart. The first place I take a visitor from out of town is out for tapas. Then I help them "get lost" in the labyrinth of twisty streets in the Barrio Santa Cruz and point out one of my favourite things - that they even tile the underside of the balconies. The architecture here is exquisite and breathtaking.

My Sevilla

Where I always grab a coffee: My favourite place for a coffee is the Horno San Buenaventura on the Avenida de la Constitución. Not only do they make the best coffee in town, but also the best breakfasts, with a wide assortment of breads for toasting and lots of different toppings, as well as pastries that you can choose from the display counter. My favourite place to sit is at the bar so I can chat to the bar staff and make sure Paco makes my toast with "extra cariño". 

My favourite stroll: People live in the streets here. I love sitting in my apartment with the balcony doors flung wide open and listening to the "hum" of the people standing outside the bars having tapas and chatting, but when I'm in the mood for a stroll I prefer to just wander the streets and see where I end up.

Books for inspiration: The Seville Communion by Arturo Perez Reverte takes you through the winding streets of Sevilla with this intellectual thriller. It's great fun to read this after you've been here as the city is one of the main characters and you will recognise many of the places mentioned. 

Where to be seen this summer:  The newly opened Fontecruz Sevilla Hotel has the most fabulous rooftop bar with several different levels and a variety of seating, from comfortable tables and chairs to small sofas with low tables in front of them, as well as (my favourite) long sofa beds with cushions where you can take off your shoes and put your feet up as you enjoy your drink and the view. Oh yes, the view is of the splendid Cathedral and Giralda tower. Not to be missed.

The most breathtaking view: Has to be from the top of the Giralda Tower. You can see all of Seville from there.

The best spot for some peace and quiet: The Maria Luisa Park is an oasis of calm near the centre of town, across from the Plaza de España. It is so large you can always find a secluded spot with a lovely tiled bench to read or have a quiet chat. 

Shopaholics beware:  The two main shopping streets in central Seville (Sierpes and Tetuan) have probably the most shoe shops that I have ever seen in one single area. And if you are a lover of electronic gadgets then FNAC on Avenida de la Constitución will prove very hard to resist.

City soundtrack: I know it isn't a Spanish tune, but that old song by the Rascals called It's A Beautiful Morning seems to fit Sevilla so well, especially as summer mornings here are always the best time of the day. 

Don't leave without: Enjoying the tapas. Seville is reputedly the birthplace of tapas and you can find such a variety of food and locations, from tiny ancient bars serving basic traditional fare to trendy gastrobars offering innovative tapas and extensive wine lists. My Sevilla Tapas blog lists a lot of my favourite tapas bars and restaurants.