Seville, with a population of more than 700 000, is the fourth largest city in Spain and the capital of Andalusia. Legend has it that the Greek demigod Heracles founded the city by marking the point at which Julius Caesar would later build Hispalis with six pillars. After the Romans and the Vandals followed the Moors in 712, and under their rule the city experienced its most glorious period culturally and economically. However, this ended in 1248 with the Reconquista, the recapture by the Christian Spaniards. The times of the peaceful coexistence of different religions and cultures were now a thing of the past. Once Christopher Columbus reached the port of Seville in 1493 after the discovery of America, it became the pivotal point of trade with the New World, and as a result amassed immense riches until it lost its trade monopoly to Cádiz in the 18th century.
By walking through the narrow streets of the picturesque Old Town you can reach most of the sights such as the Cathedral of Seville, which is the largest Gothic church in the world. It rises from the former Moorish mosque whose minaret is now the tower of the Cathedral, the so-called Giralda, one of the town’s landmarks. The medieval royal palace Alcázar is one of the best preserved examples of Mudéjar architecture in which the designs and décor of Islamic architecture were combined with Christian architectural styles such as Gothic and Renaissance.
As Seville is also considered to be the birthplace of tapas culture, you should not miss to enjoy some tapas in one of the numerous taverns of the city.
Sevilla is located in the warmest region of Spain with very short and mild winters, extremely hot summers and a long and pleasant spring and autumn. It is not a good idea to go to Seville in July or August: visiting the sights of Seville in the heat of the day can be very exhausting and the locals will make fun of you. Also, the nightlife is rather quiet than hot-blooded during these two months when many Spaniards go on holiday and escape the city.
Because of the many warm months going out in Seville often is an open-air culture. Sometimes there is more going on in front of the bars than inside. That's especially true for the area around the park along the Alameda de Hércules, a popular hangout for having a drink and a chat with friends. There is one bar after another and basically all the bars there are at least gay-friendly and the gay bars are straight-friendly, so you'll usually find a mixed, easy-going crowd.
At the Alameda de Hércules, most of the talking and flirting happens in groups of friends. People just enjoy being with friends and open-minded strangers. If you are travelling by yourself or are up for more action, you can still move on after midnight to the bars and clubs in the nearby streets Trajano and Amor de Dios.
Annual highlights in Seville are the Holy Week (Semana Santa) in March/April, the Seville Spring Fair two weeks after Semana Santa, Seville Gay Pride (Orgullo del Sur) usually end of June, the annual international bear weekend GuadalkiBear in October/November and the gay and lesbian film festival usually in November.
If you plan to travel around Andalusia, see also our Gay Granada Guide.