Welcome to my living in Sevilla section, dedicated to those
of you who have sent me many questions about some of the
practicalities of living in the city. Some of this information
is a result of my experiences while a lot comes from others
who have emailed me some helpful tips. This section covers
some of the basics, but you'll likely find a few other sections
to be of help. I'd recommend taking a look at the money, mobiles phones, internet, move to Seville and conversions sections. This section was just launched so soon I'll be
adding some more information and links. I always welcome
input from any of you out there, especially those who have
made the move and would like to share a little of their
knowledge with the rest of us! Above is the kitchen of our
second apartment as we moved in.
One of the most difficult tasks can be finding a suitable
apartment or living situation once you arrive. You may be
looking to live on your own, with roommates, or a Spanish
family. All are possible, with different degrees of difficulty
and there are plenty of services which will help you locate
housing that's right for you and all come at a price. Note
that the summer months of June and July are good times to
search, while September and the winter months may offer less
options. Still, temporary accommodations such as a cheap hostal
may cost much less in the winter, thus making it a better
time to make the move. Some suggestions are below for sites,
classifieds and more which will help you get settled in:
While you begin your search
While maybe not ideal a cheap hostal can provide you with
affordable housing while searching for a more permanent solution.
You may also have some luck negotiating the price down in
some places if you plan to rent for a month. A few suggestions for cheaper accommodations:
Another idea which may lead to long term housing are shared flats, which you can find through other sites such as sleepngo.com (recommended) and roomates-sevilla.com,
which for a fee will help you locate a housing option according
to your needs. They offer a variety of options which can include: shared flats with other foreigners
or Spaniards, housing with families including meals or your
own apartment. Let them know how much you want to spend and
how long you'll be staying (short to long term options) and
you'll get a chance to move in right away or meet with your
possible family or flat mates before deciding to move in.
- Hostal La Montoreña(Santa
Cruz) - prices start at 20€ per night for a single
in the off-season. Some of the rooms have been recently renovated. The hostal also offers a few small studio apartments for the price of a double room in many hostals.
- Hostal Catedral(Santa
Cruz) - prices start at 25€ per night for a single
in the off-season.
- Huespedes Arguelles (c/Alhondiga) - prices start at 20€ per night for
a single in the off-season.
Hostal (c/Isaac Peral) - further from
the center but clean and modern.
- Private Youth
Hostals (Center) - recent additions include Sevilla Urbany and Oasis Hostal. There is a third on Avda Menedez Pelayo. Cheapest options are sharing rooms.
Where and how to search
Your best option when searching in Sevilla is the El
Cambalache, which publishes classifieds for just about
everything three times a week. It costs around 2€ and
can be purchased at almost any newsstand. The website gives
you listings and prices but does not provide contact information,
and it is much easier to search in the print version. You
always place an ad through the paper if you are looking for
a specific living situation. El ABC Sevilla also publishes
a weekly classified section with plenty of apartment listings.
The website Tucasa.com also has listings for Sevilla and other cities, including
house sales as well as rentals. Finally walking around town
and looking for "Se Alquila" signs with phone numbers
and start calling. We found two of our apartments in different
ways - calling off a number on a sign in the street and through
the classifieds in the ABC classified section.
What to consider in your search
Identify the area you want to live in to narrow your search.
I won’t recommend specific places as each person has
their own needs. Factors which should come into play are proximity
to where you work or study, proximity to nightlife or areas
you frequent, plus typical cost of rent. For instance, some
areas such as around the Alameda, will likely be significantly
cheaper than living in Santa Cruz. This may take some time
to decide, and if you are able to live somewhere for a few
months before you find a long term apartment this is the best.
Start looking exactly where you want to live first, then if
it becomes difficult start looking further out or in your
second choice area.
Once you see an apartment you like try a more detailed inspection
of the area. Pass by several times if you can: during the
morning, the afternoon and later at night. How much noise
is there at these times of day? Is there a bar open late at
night below next to the apartment? Is it a scene for the weekend bottelón? What type of people are walking
around in the area? Does it feel safe to you?
Identify the characteristics you want in your apartment: Do
you want a window or balcony on the street? In most cases
this means more expensive and can also mean more noise. Do
you want a bajo (ground floor) or a first or second
floor? A bajo will be less expensive but likely be
noisier, especially if on a street. Do you need air conditioning?
Heat? How many bedrooms? Separate or larger kitchen?
Make a list of everything you want and then prioritize. Write
down every detail you can think of.
When you are looking at the apartment itself make sure you
ask plenty of questions and have your list handy if possible.
Some things to think about, depending on what your list may
have on it:
Does the kitchen have an oven? Many don’t. How many
burners does the stove/hob have? Does it use city gas
or does it use cylinders? In the case of gas cylinders
you will have to get refills – they deliver but
it can be inconvenient if you run out. Is it vitro cermanica?
This is a glass/cermic top which requires special cookware.
If you are bringing cookware with you make sure it is
safe to use on this surface or you will have to buy it
What size refrigerator do you have – a smaller size
with no freezer or a normal size? If you are sharing the
apartment with several people will this be a problem?
If you like to freeze meats or foods and have a freezer
only big enough to hold an ice tray it may not work for
- Kitchen furnishings: What type
of kitchen ware, plates, etc. are provided?
- Air and heat:
Is the air conditioning central or are they individual
room units? Are they where you would want them to be,
or only in the living room, or just one bedroom? Is there
heat? Many apartments don’t have heat or rely on
the little heater you hide away under the dining room/living
room table. Is it electric heat (more expensive) or gas
heat (less expensive, also less likely in Sevilla)
- Hot water heater:
What type of hot water heater does it have? If you it
heats water with city gas then you will always have hot
water. If it’s electric what size is the tank? A
smaller tank with more than 2 people can mean cold showers
for some? A smaller tank for just two people can also
mean cold showers for the second person!
What type of furniture does the apartment have? A lot
have cheap/poor quality furniture.
What type of bed(s) does it have? Very important if you
have an inflexible owner who won’t change the beds
or allow you to buy your own. You will have to sleep on
it every night, and many mattresses in rental apartments
are of poor quality.
- Your belongings:
If you have your own furniture or want to buy something
would the owner move the existing furniture? Many have
no place else to put it or simply don’t want the
hassle of moving the furniture.
does all of that ugly stuff fit into a closet or some
other place? What can you live with? We gave up one place
because we knew the large dear heads wouldn’t fit
anywhere and the quantity of really, really ugly furniture
and decorations was just too much. We would have filled
the entire second bedroom with it.
- Washing machine:
Does it have a washing machine? Almost all apartments
do and make absolutely sure yours does. It is expensive
to wash clothing at a laundromat, and there are very few
Once you are looking at the apartment take into consideration
a number of things about the building:
What are your neighbors like? Hard to tell on the first
visit but you may be able to get an idea, or simply ask
the owner/agency. Are their mainly older couples? Students?
Families with children? Loud children?
- Size of building:
How many apartments are in the building? Will you have
a lot of neighbors or just a few?
- Roof top:
Is there space on the roof to hang your laundry to dry?
Is it open to everyone or do people have assigned spaces
to hang their laundry? I always like to see the roof of
the building to see what space and views there are. Sometimes
it’s just curiosity.
Does the building have a community satellite dish so you
can subscribe to satellite television? If not can you
have your own individual dish installed?
- Location in the building:
Is the apartment close to the entrance of the building?
If so you may have more noise as people come and go.
Does the building have an elevator? If you live on a higher
floor or have to hang your laundry on the roof an elevator
is a plus. Trust me, you will tire quickly of climbing
several flights of stairs in either case.
Renting your own apartment
If you want to live more independently renting your own apartment
may be the best option. A few things to consider if you choose
Does it seem impossible to get a place if you've simply saved
up enough money but don't have a steady income? Well consider
my friend who found a one-bedroom studio in the center for
300€ per month including all utilities. He paid no deposit
and didn't provide any proof of employment or income. How
did he do this? Through a friend - social capital!
1 month's rent is normally required for an apartment,
with 2 months being common for some furnished apartments.
If you plan to move at the end of your lease (and assuming
you have no damage to the place) it's customary for the
owner to use your deposit towards your last 1 or 2 months
rent instead of refunding it to you at the end of your
For many utilities you should open a bank account for
automatic drafts. Note that most utilities, except for
some internet and cable/satellite services, will charge
you every two months.
Most apartments come furnished in Sevilla with most major
appliances included. Generally a small amount of cookware,
plates, utensils and glasses are also supplied, although
in most cases you shouldn't expect anything special -
those dollar or 20 duros stores are frequented
by landlords searching for kitchen wares.
If you use an agency or inmobilliaria to help
you find an apartment expect a finders fee, anywhere from
50-75% of a month's rent.
- Income Verification:
Be prepared for the landlord to ask for a nomina (much like a check stub from your employer), showing your
monthly income. Some may require an abal, a certified
statement from your bank which acts as a guarantee for
payment of rent. If you have enough money in the bank
or show steady income you won't need this. If you have
none you can pay a monthly fee, like insurance, to the
bank and they will issue an abal to cover you.