Basic and helpful information for Seville

Basic and Helpful Seville Information

Like other pages here this information is based on my experiences and what I've learned from others. From these experiences I know most of this information to be true. Depending on you and your needs it may be off just a bit. I'm happy to hear from any of you who know otherwise or have new information to add to this page. I struggled with what to include in this section and what to separate to make a section of it's own. So other basic and helpful information about Sevilla can be found in sections like transportation, maps, money, health & safety and weather. In those cases I thought the topics needed more explanation than just a few paragraphs.

Topics in this section
Someting here

Seville Tourist Office

Oficina de turismo

Tourist Office in Seville
There are many in Sevilla now. Stop by one of the locations! The tourist office in Seville really is the best place to get information once you arrive in the city. Maps, pamphlets, transportation information, exhibits and events plus a whole lot more are offered in various languages. The staff also speaks English and can help you get to where you need to go fast. Best of all the majority of information here is free of charge! Located in the city center only a block or two from the Cathedral (and on the same side of the street) is the city tourist office. Other locations, some of which are provincial offices but offer the same information, include the Sevilla Province office in the Plaza del Triunfo, the Costurero de la Reina (The Queen's sewing room - this is currently closed for renovations), the train station and the airport. The office which was once in Plaza San Francisco has moved to the Ayuntamiento in the same plaza. At this time I am not sure if it is a permament move or not.


Helpful Information & Links
Tourist Office Address
Avda. Constitución 21-B  954 22 14 04
Plaza del Triunfo 954 21 00 05
Estación Santa Justa (Train Station) 954 53 76 26
Aeropuerto San Pablo (Airport) 954 44 91 28
Paseo de las Delicias, 9 (Costurero de la Reina) 954 23 44 65
C/Arjona, 28 (Naves del Barranco) 902 194 897
Official Tourism Websites




Important update. Making phone calls to the U.S. is best using a telephone card purchased in a estanco (Tobacco Shop) or kiosco. Most used to offer a toll-free number (900 numbers are toll-free here), where you could choose your language, enter a pin number and the number you are calling. These cards had the best rates from Spain to the U.S. or other countries. Then the phone companies came along and changed the law so there would be no more toll-free numbers for these calling cards, this making it more expensive to call for consumers, and let the phone companies compete with their higher rates.

Be sure to check the expiration date for the cards - they often have a 30 day limit once you make your first call, so be sure you'll use all of your minutes before the card expires. One phone card I've seen come highly recommended is the Eurodirect phone card. It offers calls to the US, Australia and other countries for 3.7 cents per minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are no connection fees, which makes this hands down the best card you can use when calling overseas. You can find it at a number of newsstands and internet cafes in Sevilla. If you wish you can also bypass the operators and call an AT&T, MCI or Sprint operator. This option is best if you have a calling card from any of these companies, but expect those rates to be higher than what you will find with a locally purchased card. Finally, using coins at a telephone booth or calling direct from a hotel room will always be the most expensive options.

A few notes about calling: Be wary of special calling cards not from the main long-distance companies which claim you can use them from anywhere in the world. One card a relative of mine bought in Costco or Sam's advertised it could be used all over the world, but when they got here they could never get through to an operator and never were able to use the card. Also keep in mind that local calls in Spain (and most of Europe) may not be free unless the owner of the line has contracted a plan. Over the last few years phone companies have offered affordable flat rate plans for local and national calls but check before you dial using someones phoen! For landline to mobile calls: calling a mobile phone from a fixed line or pay phone will be much more expensive. For example, a call from a pay phone to a mobile phone may be about of 0,60€., while the same call to a fixed (home) line is only 0,20€, or free if you have a flat rate plan like I mentioned above.


Helpful Information & Links

Toll-free numbers for US operators:

AT&T: 900-99-00-11
Sprint: 900-99-00-13
MCI: 900-99-00-14



The mail system is much improved since I lived here in 1993, but I still expect delays when receiving a package from the U.S. or the U. K.. Airmail packages tend to take anywhere from 7-21 days, while surface mail can be, at times, the equivalent of throwing your package in a dumpster down the street. Recently I have received my packages in 2-3 months, but I did lose two I sent to the U.S. as well as one I sent to Seville some years ago. At times I have received a letter in 5 days, while another letter sent from the same location at the same time arrived 2 weeks later. As well, at least once a month my weekly magazine fails to arrive during a given week but generally turns up the following week. Most often anything other than surface will arrive in a reasonable amount of time. Recent changes have now eliminated regular surface mail, so this helps in not losing a package, but makes it more expensive to mail. When receiving packages by U.S. Airmail be prepared to pay a nominal handling fee when you go to pick it up at correos. Smaller packages may arrive directly to your house while larger ones will always require pick up. Bring an ID to prove who you are and be prepared to pick up the package at one of the smaller neighborhood offices, which will hopefully be closer to you than the main one. Services such as UPS or DHL will deliver the package to your door, although expect those shipping fees to be much higher and expect to pay a duty on some shipments

The main post office is located in the heart of the center on Avda. Constitución, just across from the Archivo de Indias. Once you enter you need to take a number from one of the machines depending on what service you need (pick-up, mail, etc.) Then keep an eye on the screen until they call your number. The screen will reference your number plus the the number of the window you need to go to (no worries, it's fairly easy). There are several stations located where you can fill out slips for various types of mailings (packages, registered and urgent letters, etc.) as well as a machine or two right at the entrance where you can purchase stamps and envelopes for mailings. Note you can always purchase stamps for letters and post cards at the local tobacco shop, or estanco.

When shipping something urgent from Spain to the U.S. or another country I recommend using UPS, if only from my brief experiences in mailing documents. My last mailing cost about 32 Euros to get one set of documents to the U.S. in two days. I shipped this using the local Mailboxes, Etc. office on calle Jesus del Gran Poder. All of the tracking information was sent to my email address where I received updates on the shipment including final delivery. It arrived on time (48 hours) and I was fairly pleased with the service. I have heard Fedex is not recommended to use because they contract out their services to another company in Spain. This may be the case, but I have never used Fedex so cannot speak from experience. The Spanish mail system, Correos, also offers a rapid delivery service, but I just don't trust them yet to get it there as quickly as UPS.

Finally it's worth mentioning that Correos has entered the 21st century with it's new locutorio in the main office on Avda. Constitución. You can now surf the internet or place a long distance call at very reasonable rates at the locutorio, located just through the doors to your left before you enter the main room. They are generally open all day until about 10 or 11pm. A call to the U.S. using their service comes out at 0,06€ per minute, especially competitive now that there is a 0,12€ surcharge on all calling card calls made from a public phone.

Laundry and dry cleaning

Lavar ropa y Lavanderias

Getting your laundry done while on the road can be a pain. If you live in the city in a shared or private flat then chances are you have a washing machine. In almost all cases of your own apartment do not expect a dryer - not in the land of extreme heat in the summer. In the summer months your laundry may dry on the roof in just a couple of hours, which makes doing multiple loads in a day possible. Take a few pieces of advice from me when doing your laundry on your own: 1) do use fabric softener and still expect your clothes to be a bit stiff. I think this is mainly due to the water, but I won't claim to know exactly. 2) beware of the sun and fading clothes with colors, especially in the summer but also during other seasons. And I am not talking about over a number of washings, but literally from one day in the sun. When in doubt turn your clothes inside out, which helps. 3) if you live in a building you may have a specific place to hang your laundry or it may be a free-for-all, where it's first come first serve. In the latter case make sure you don't take up all of the space with several loads of wash and make sure you take your stuff down in a reasonable amount of time after it's dry so others can use the space as well.

If you are traveling around or simply need to get extra laundry done you can take them to a lavanderia in town. Rather than the coin operated machines you may see in the U.S. you will pay someone there and you can either wash it by yourself or have them do it for you. Typical prices for wash, dry and folding of one load are anywhere from 6-10€. Many places will also iron clothing for a fee. For dry cleaning head to a tintorería: El Corte Inglés in Plaza Duque offers a decent service and at a good price, too.


Helpful Information & Links
Lavandería y Tintorería Roma c/ Federico Sanchez Bedoya, 18 (Arenal)
Lavandería Robledo c/ Castelar, 2 (Arenal)



The three major Spanish newspapers here are El País, ABC and El Mundo. One note and something you have to hate about El País - you must be a paid subscriber to read the paper online. This makes no sense whatsoever to me and while it's a good paper this policy is just plain stupid. There are local editions of each of the above national papers, as well as local papers such as El Diario de Sevilla. A free paper called 20 Minutes can be found at cafes and bars, or in the early morning you may see people handing them out in the center. Metro is 20 Minutos competition and they generally hand them out in the same places in the center. If you're looking for news from home or other countries foreign newspapers and magazines can be found here at some kioscos or newsstands in the center of the city. The International Herald Tribune, now run exclusively by the New York Times, is offered daily except Sunday. The Tribune also include's a small 8 page version of El País in English. USA Today also offers an international version of the paper. Finally, a smaller version of Newsweek is available at some newsstands as well. One newsstand near the Cathedral (next door to Flaherty's Irish Pub) tends to offer all three on a regular basis. Of course in the age of the Internet you can always head to a cyber cafe and read up on everything you need. If you are searching for press from England, Germany and France you shouldn't have a problem finding the major newspapers.

Two other publications are great resources for either classifieds or entertainment, dining and cultural events. Both are in Spanish, however. El Giraldillo is a monthly pub which covers dining, music, conferences, sports, movies, exhibitions, courses/study options as well as a few other random listings. A wide range of classified advertising, including apartments and housing, can be found in el Cambalache.

Metro - Spanish language, daily (except weekends) free, ad-supported newspaper which can be found in various locations. In the morning this is passed out in several locations around the center of the city.

20 Minutos - Spanish language, daily (except weekends), free, ad-supported newspaper which is simialr to Metro. This can also be found around the city in the same locations as Metro.

Qué - Spanish language, the newest arrival to the daily, free, ad supported newspapers. Follows the same distribution method as Metro and 20 Minutos.

Casco Antiguo - Spanish language, free newspaper which can be found in bars and tourist offices covering news in the city center, such as renovations, new projects, art and exhibits, conferences and more.

El Giraldillo - Spanish Language monthly magazine which covers all of the arts - music, theatre, exhibits, movies, festivals and more. Also has a large listing of classes and private schools, restaurants, trips and other local businesses. This is free at thr tourist office and some bars/restaurants. Sometimes necessary to buy at other lcations.

Cambalache - Spanish language, 2-3 times weekly, classified ads, most known for their apartment and roomate wanted/needed listings. All other types of classifieds as well. Can be purchased at newsstands.

Welcome Olé- free tourist magazine in English and Spanish available in hotels and the tourist office. Includes descriptions of the main sites, a few monthly and seasonal events plus a map.

The Tourist - free tourist magazine in English and Spanish available in hotels and at times the tourist office. Similar to Welcome Olé, and my one big problem is their tourist information which tells you that it is customary to tip 10% at hotels, restaurants and taxis. Tell this to just about any sevillano and watch them laugh.


Helpful Information & Links

web:List of every newspaper in Spain

Prices and Tipping

Precios y propinas

Below are some sample prices for random things you may want to buy, eat, read or do while here. Not here are prices for museums and tourist attractions. I will soon add those to my list.

What Approx. Price
Tapa 1,60 - 4 €
Cheap Meal 5 - 7 € 
Better Meal 10 - 20 € 
Beer 1 - 2 €
Soda/Refresco 1 - 2 €
Cocktail 4 - 6 €
Coffee 1 - 1.50 €
Whole roast chicken 6 - 8 €
Pizza 7 - 10 €
Bus (1 trip) 1,10€ 
Bónobus (10 trip pass) 6€
Month pass (unlimited) 35€
Taxi 4 - 8 €
Taxi to/from Airport 19 - 22 €
Local Phone Call (booth) 0,25 €
Herald-Tribune (US Newspaper) 2 €
ABC, El Pais (Spanish Newspaper) 1 €
Movie ticket 6 - 7 €
Movie rental 2 - 3 €
Haircut  10 - 30 € 

As for tipping leave a few Euros at a very nice restaurant, and leave a little more if you have a bigger group. In general you don't tip here for meals or drinks. You don't tip taxi drivers either, but rounding off the change sometimes is nice. Contrary to what one of The Tourist magazines (hint, hint) says about tipping in Sevilla, it is not customary to leave 10% for every meal, cab ride, hotel or bar. In general reward someone for doing something nice, providing good service or going out of their way, but these folks aren't expecting a large tip since they don't work for below minimum wage as is the case in the U.S. and other countries. Not much more to add other than I am happy not doing the math - estimating 15% plus tax - every time I eat out.

Useful Phone Numbers

Teléfonos útiles

Most of these I hope you'll never need to know. Others can be quite helpful in the right situation.

Who/What telephone
Emergency (as in 911) 112
National Police 091
Municipal/Local Police 092
Fire (Bomberos) 080
Red Cross (Cruz Roja) 954 35 14 00
Farmacia de Guardia 902 52 21 11
Santa Justa (Train Station) 954 54 02 02
Plaza de Armas (Bus Station) 954 90 80 40
Prado (Bus Station) 954 90 77 37
Tussam (City Bus) 954 55 72 00
Tussam Lost Objects 954 42 04 03
Radio Taxi 954 67 55 55
Tele Taxi 954 62 22 22
American Express (Credit Card)
915 72 03 03
Master Card (Credit Card)
900 97 12 31
Visa (Credit Card)
900 97 44 45

Holidays and Festivals

Días Festivos

Listed below are the dates of national and regional holidays which fall on fixed dates. Expect banks and other government offices to be closed. Beware of other holidays which create puentes, or long weekends. These can make finding a good hotel room a difficult process. Aside from Semana Santa and Feria you can almost always show up and find something, but your choices may be less than ideal in terms of location and/or comfort. And be prepared to walk around for a few hours if there is some special event going on. Also note that for some holidays that fall on a weekend, the date of business closings may be on a Friday or Monday, so be sure to study the calendar to anticipate closings which are around the dates below.

Observed Date
New Year's Day January 1
Kings (Reyes) January 6
Dia de Andalucia February 28
Maundy Thursday April 8
May Day May 1
Assumption Day August 15
Columbus Day October 12
All Saints Day November 1
Constitution Day December 6
Immaculate Conception December 8
Christmas Day December 25

Listed below are the dates of Semana Santa, Feria de Abril and Corpus through 2010. Note that the Feria de Abril dates are always tentative until they are confirmed around the beginning of December the year before. In most cases Feria de Abril falls 2 weeks after Semana Santa, although it is rare for the Feria to go into May, so sometimes (as was the case with 2006) they are closer together.

Observed Semana Santa Feria de Abril Corpus Christi
2008 16 - 23 March 8 - 13 April 22 June
2009 5 - 12 April 28 April - 3 May 11 June
2010 28 March - 4 April 20 - 25 April 6 June
2011 17 - 24 April 3 - 8 May 26 June
2012 1 - 8 April 24 - 29 April 10 June
2013 24 - 31 March 16 - 21 April 2 June
2014 13 - 20 April 29 April - 4 May 22 June



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Editor: Jeff Spielvogel
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