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More insider guides for planning a trip to Seville
After a day out soaking up sunny Seville’s sights and sounds, you need to sample the after-hours vibe of the city. In spring and summer after night falls, the air is warm and the streets are buzzing, so whether you want a dive bar, chic cocktail lounge or rooftop terrace with spectacular Giralda view, the options are varied and plentiful; even in the quieter cooler months, nightlife is well worth scoping out. Cocktails are still in their infancy here, but craft beer and vermouth both abound.
This quirky bar offers a taste of Seville’s more alternative scene, on a central but quiet street near the Setas. There is flamenco on Wednesdays, as well as theatre performances, spoken word, and art exhibitions, usually on a weekend. Upstairs you’ll find a coworking space with high ceilings, thanks to the fact it was formerly a factory. This multi-functional space also brews its own beer, Zurda, and has seven other varieties on tap. Furniture is artfully mismatched leather, metal and wood – think planter’s chairs and shelves crammed with books to browse. Sit and watch the world go by through the huge plate glass windows.
Opening hours: Tue-Thur, 5pm-12am; Fri-Sat, 5pm-2am; Sunday, 5pm-10pm
Garlochi is without a doubt Seville’s most idiosyncratic drinking place. This baroque bar in the Arenal is themed around Seville’s hugely popular Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations. If you’re not here at Easter, or even if the processions of hooded penitents and religious figures aren’t your thing, it’s worth getting a taste of the theatrical ambience by stepping inside this extraordinary temple to ecclesiastical kitsch. Think mournful brass band music, swathes of gold-fringed red velvet, statues of the Virgin and Jesus, and candles. The house cocktail is Sangre de Cristo (Christ’s Blood), a sanguineous-shaded mix of sparkling wine, whisky and grenadine.
Address: Calle Boteros 26
Opening hours: Daily, 9pm-3am
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Want to try your hand at Sevillanas, the local version of flamenco, as danced at the Feria de Abril (April Fair) by tens of thousands of women in spotted frilly dresses? This is not a place to sit and chat – the live band plays and everyone dances. No high standards are expected, and the atmosphere is fun and lively, rather than competitive. You’ll be twirling alongside dance aficionados both from Seville (the name means ‘Ours’) and further afield. The preferred tipple is the classic Feria drink rebujito (manzanilla sherry with lemonade).
Contact: 00 34 658 809 003; see Facebook page
Opening times: Thur-Sat, 11pm-6am; Sunday, 10.30pm-4.30am
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An untouristy bar just a few steps from the cathedral seems like a contradiction in terms, yet this place makes no compromises. Step inside to discover gothic décor of masks from town fiestas, ghostly figurines and horned goats’ skulls, plain wooden furniture, and a special G&T menu (Puerto de Indias is the local gin). The main attraction of Sins of the World (a translation of the bar’s name) lies in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties classics played. From pop to glam rock to soul, each one is a top tune, and appreciated by a mixed, unpretentious crowd covering all ages.
Contact: 00 34 660 451 144; see Facebook page
Opening times: Mon to Sat, 10pm-3am
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La Terraza-Bar, EME Catedral
Most of the more upmarket bars in Seville can be found in its five-star hotels. This one in EME Catedral Hotel has the best cathedral views in town, being closest to the world’s biggest Gothic basilica, which is truly spectacular when floodlit at night. Scores of areas on different levels provide varying vibes and vistas (the hotel is made up of 14 separate houses), although the main bar area enjoys the prime spot for being eye-to-eye with the flying buttresses. Mixologists prepare cosmopolitans and spritz venezianos (bitters, cava, soda and orange) for a smart crowd, and DJs spin chill-out tunes from Wednesday to Saturday.
Contact: 00 34 954 560 000; emecatedralhotel.com
Opening times: Sun-Thur, 12pm-1am; Fri-Sat, 12pm-12.30am
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At the height of summer, when the air is still sweltering well after darkness has fallen, temperatures are considerably cooler down by the river. This outdoor bar, with stone floor and wood-and-canvas chairs, has a relaxed seaside feel, away from the madness of Calle Betis (the narrow entrance, tucked between Primera del Puente and Rio Grande, is easy to miss). Grab one of the tables looking out across the Guadalquivir to the Torre del Oro opposite. Tunes are 1970s to present day, and your drink of choice is a Larios gin from Malaga, with tonic.
Contact: 00 34 610 727 755; see Facebook page
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 5pm-2am; Sunday, 4pm-1am
Although it’s only open late at weekends, this small bar is worth mentioning for its delightful atmosphere and the best value cocktails in Seville. It’s open all day from breakfast (try one of the great fresh juices), and perfectly placed between the Setas (traditional centre) and Calle Feria (hipster barrio). It also has a magical night-time feel, with the exposed brick walls gently illuminated by flickering candlelight. Caipirinhas and mojitos are absurdly well-priced (€3/£2.50), and good too. Being small, tables inside full up quickly, but you can also sit outside to soak up the Calle Regina hipster vibe.
Contact: 00 34 954 212 166; facebook.com/lacacharreria
Opening hours: Mon-Thur, 8.30am-10pm; Friday, 8.30am-3am; Saturday, 9am-3am; Sunday, 10am-9pm
Unlike many copa bars in Seville (for drinks as opposed to tapas), this one caters to an older crowd and so doesn’t play deafeningly loud music – just good jazz and pop classics. It offers a casual yet grown-up feel, with a wooden bar and floor and more than 40 gins, as well as a dry ice machine for that dramatic flourish. Aromatic Gin Mare from Catalonia, with rosemary, basil and olive, and coriander, pepper and cardamom-spiced Ophir, are both favourites. The walls are lined with modern art and prints, and it’s popular as an after-dinner stop-off.
Contact: 00 34 671 237 882; lagintoneriasevilla.com
Opening times: Daily, 4pm-2am
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Terraza Rooftop Bar, The Corner House
Seville’s most stylish roof terrace bar is found high up above the tree-lined Alameda de Hercules, wrapped around three sides of the roof (with shade at the front overlooking the avenue). It catches the evening breeze beautifully. The décor is deliciously relaxed, with beanbags, turquoise Acapulco-style chairs, custom-made tables, wooden decking and a pretty pergola covered with climbing plants. Nearby neighbours mean that there’s no music, but the ambience makes up for this. For vermouth lovers, the barman makes a mean negroni. If you get hungry, the ground-floor restaurant of this low-key chic guesthouse, El Disparate, has superb salads.
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Fizz Bar, Mercer Hotel
This is definitely the most sophisticated bar in Seville, in terms of décor and beverages – and probably the priciest too. It’s located in the ultra-luxe Mercer Hotel, in the Arenal district. Elegant purple and moss-coloured velvet chairs accommodate the perfect posteriors of Seville’s most glamorous. Signature cocktails are creative, using homemade sprays and aromatic extras, as well as sherry: Back to Cask has aged rum, fino, apple and lemon juices, and beer. There’s also an impressive selection of gins, whiskies and rums, and the soundtrack is smooth jazz and soul. The only downside is it can lack atmosphere.
Contact: 00 34 954 223 004; mercersevilla.com
Opening times: Daily, 4pm-11pm
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T de Triana
The main drag for late-night copa bars is Calle Betis in Triana, which runs along by the river. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s abuzz till the small hours. Somewhat less frenetic is this tapas-and-copas bar with traditional décor – think earthenware bowls and straight-backed wooden chairs – where you can watch excellent live flamenco in an intimate space on Wednesdays in spring and summer on Friday and Sunday nights. Order the Agua de Sevilla (cava, rum, brandy, orange juice and cream); on non-flamenco nights, grab a table outside, along the pavement next to the river, with splendid views across to the city.
Contact: 00 34 654 331 015; flamenco tickets: 00 34 654 111 508; facebook.com/tdetriana
Opening times: May to September, Mon-Fri, 6.30pm-1am; Sat and Sun, 1pm-2am. October to April, Wed-Sun, 6.30pm-1am (times may vary according to the weather)