Seville, Spain walk in Santa Cruz “Old Town”

Published by Darron Toy on


Seville is the heart and soul of Spain. You
will find in Seville all that a traveler can hope for: Pedestrian shopping streets and
quiet alleys; flower-scented gardens, an ancient palace and immense cathedral, hundreds of
historic sites; three thousand years of conflict and peace; thrilling evening entertainment;
excellent museums; great food and drink, especially the tapas; and rewarding nearby attractions
— the list goes on until you run out of time. Seville’s city center is divided in various
parts: there’s Macarena in the north; El Arenal on the west side; the central shopping
zone; and most exciting of all—Santa Cruz with the narrow pedestrian streets and lots
of shopping and eating. There are other districts or barrio in the
city after all Seville is the fourth-largest city in Spain with the metropolitan population
of about 1.5 million, but for the visitor that central area is your main destination.
Seville’s historic center is quite large—about a mile wide by 1.5 miles long, riddled with
countless little alleys and important landmarks. You can discover it on foot if you are selective
and seek out the particular attractions that most appeal to your interests. We suggest
here an organized plan for doing just that, but it’s sometimes better to push the plan
aside and just wander: certain neighborhoods, especially Santa Cruz, are perfect for the
aimless stroll, and the downtown pedestrian zone of Seville is a shopper’s paradise.
We’ll show you more of this downtown shopping area in another segment. For now we’ll focus
more on the Old Town. More visitors flock to Spain than to any other
nation in the world except France, because it has so many wonderful places to enjoy.
Among its many attractions, the golden city of Seville, in the heart of southern Spain,
in Andalucia, ranks as one of the country’s top destinations for the sheer beauty and
pleasure it offers. Three thousand years of civilization produced
a rich concentration of historic landmarks and fascinating neighborhoods which can be
easily explored on foot in the city center. Here we show big walking route, it’s a couple
of miles. It’ll take you right through the center including shopping areas, Cathedral,
Alcazar and the old quarter of Santa Cruz where we’re going to focus our attention for
this segment. So let’s take a little walking tour in Santa
Cruz. An excellent central location to start your
first walking tour is between the Cathedral and Alcazar palace in the Plaza del Triunfo.
Many of the town’s main attractions can be easily reached from this central space,
making it convenient for you to pick a direction, any direction, and go — but with such an
abundance of choices it can be a little tricky to decide where best to begin. Which way to
turn depends on your priorities and the time of day, but no matter; there will be time
in the next few days to fit everything in. Walking is always the best way to see a place
and especially when it’s so pedestrian-friendly like Seville with so many lanes that are dedicated
just to the pedestrian and other narrow lanes where you have very little traffic. You always
want to use that walker’s rule of thumb, that when you get to an intersection, look around
and see which way looks most interesting. That’s if you have the time to wander. And
it can lead you from one place to the next with great satisfaction. On the other hand
if you’re in a hurry, you want to follow a little bit more of a specific plan and stick
to it and perhaps follow a map. Be advised many of these little streets in
Santa Cruz and the little plazas have been discovered by the tourists, so depending on
when you’re here the main lanes might get a little crowded but there’s always the lovely
side lanes that you can find for a more peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. So just follow your
nose when you’re wandering around in Santa Cruz district, and we will give you some tips
here on how to navigate and what to see. Most shops and churches close for siesta from
about 1:00 – 4:00pm, so you might spend this time on a stroll in the quiet back streets
of that picturesque district, Santa Cruz. It was first created as the Jewish quarter
nearly 2,000 years ago. You’ll probably pass through this picturesque
and centrally-located square, Plaza de la Virgen de los Reyes, surrounded by the Cathedral,
Archbishop’s Palace and Encarnacion Convent, and a monumental fountain in the center, with
horse carriages patiently lined up along the edge.
It is possible to take a horse and buggy ride for an overview of the sights, with the driver
telling you about the highlights as you pass by, or join a walking tour with a local escort.
But you can very easily walk the streets of the Old Town on your own as we suggest here
and enjoy the sights for yourself. This largely pedestrian “barrio” is a
charming tangle of narrow, crooked lanes lined with beautiful homes from the 17th century,
enhanced with delicate, iron balconies, potted flowers, wooden shutters and hidden courtyards.
Among Europe’s best neighborhoods for strolling, the main part of this warren is only about
six blocks in each direction, enabling you to wander freely and discover it in a couple
of hours. Santa Cruz is so magical you should return in the warm atmosphere of early evening
to appreciate the soft lighting, and settle into a quaint little tavern for dinner. Once
is just not enough for a special district like this, which also has several small hotels
that make ideal places to stay. Hidden courtyards, curved lanes, covered passages
and five-way intersections are some of the fun elements of this pedestrian puzzle of
Santa Cruz which you are now entering. It helps to have a map, which you might want
to purchase and one of the souvenir shops – get a big one if you can find it. It helps
to have a map, which you might want to purchase at one of the souvenir shops – get a big
one if you can find it. Fortunately all of the streets in the city are very well marked.
Nearly every corner has got a street name up on the building so you can easily see where
you are and get your bearings. But it’s also fun to just get lost and wander. The
main thing is to enjoy each step and keep your eyes open to absorb the beauties all
around. Of course you’ll be getting hungry and tempted
as you walk around passing these tapa bars. Seville is famous for the wonderful foods
in the bars and Bodega Santa Cruz is one of the better ones. According to Trip Advisor
it’s number 21 out of nearly 2000 restaurants in Seville. It had for example 900 reviews
and 800 of those were either excellent or very good, so you can count on this Bodega
Santa Cruz for a real atmospheric bite. You’re going to find these tapa bars are
very friendly places where everybody’s talking to each other, to the bartender, and their
protocol is simple, you just point to the food you want. And it’s very inexpensive,
typically about €2 for a dish, and the beer or wine to wash it down is equally inexpensive
and delicious. On the other hand some of the more touristic
restaurants in the Santa Cruz area might not be so good, so you’ve got to be careful
where you sit down to eat. Walking along we continue our look at this
fascinating neighborhood. Of course Trip Advisor has lots of information
about Seville, with sightseeing tips and restaurants and hotels and such, and regarding this Santa
Cruz district they’ve actually got 2,500 comments and reviews, with 95% of those either
excellent or very good, ranking this neighborhood in the top-5 things to do in their list of
360 activities in Seville. To summarize what those comments say, as you might expect, similar
to what we’ve said already, it’s is a maze of tangled lanes with plenty of restaurants
of varying quality, including some very good ones if you are careful in your selection.
And the shops are fun with decent prices but geared mostly to the tourists. Shops selling
traditional ceramics always seem to be a big hit with travellers. Come back in the evening
for a more quiet and alluring atmosphere. Like a film set, a dream for photographers
and those who enjoy the views. Bars, bars and more bars, most of them serving tapas.
Barrio Santa Cruz, is not only the primary tourist neighborhood of Seville, but also
has a dramatic history as the former Jewish quarter of the medieval city. Santa Cruz became
Seville’s old judería (Jewish quarter): when Ferdinand III of Castile conquered the city
from Muslim rule in mid-13th century, he concentrated the city’s Jewish population at that time,
which was second in size only to that of Toledo—into this one single neighborhood. And the in 1492
the Jews were expelled because of the Alhambra Decree which evicted all the Jews from Spain,
and so the neighborhood went downhill. In the 18th century, the neighborhood underwent
a major process of urban renewal, and so a lot of the buildings that we see here today
are from that time period, about 200-300 years ago. In recent decades it has been transformed
into the tourist center that we see now. The Callejón del Agua, an alley parallel
to the city walls, was once the route along which water was brought to the royal Alcázar
of Seville. It’s inevitable that you will run into some
lovely street musicians as you walk around. Scattered through the neighborhood are several
plazas including the Plaza de los Venerables, which is full of bars and terraces. The Plaza
de Santa Cruz, the namesake of the neighborhood, once the site of the Iglesia de Santa Cruz
(the Church of the Holy Cross), constructed over the ruins of a synagogue, and incorporated
the floor of that synagogue. During the Napoleonic Wars the church was demolished and the floor
remained as the site of the present plaza. The Murillo Gardens are right next to Santa
Cruz and there are several other small garden plazas within this historic area. When you
see all the kids getting out of school, walking home with their parents, you realize that
Santa Cruz is also a residential area. It’s not just for tourists. Many of the upper floors
are apartments for locals. And there are some inexpensive backpacker hotels tucked away.
After so much walking and it’s nice to sit down and relax. We’ll see more of Seville
in other segments.


24 Comments

laksambal · October 24, 2015 at 7:14 am

LOL of course they had to show a group of Asians when they mentioned how touristy the main pedestrian streets are

O Ay · October 26, 2015 at 11:49 am

THANKS FOR ARABS

Lucia 030 · October 28, 2015 at 6:06 pm

yo vivo en sevilla <3

Joanne Moonflower · December 17, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Thank you for your videos…..

D 101 D !! · March 31, 2016 at 6:26 pm

That was a good video, informative too, well done.

Wilma2511 · May 27, 2016 at 1:15 pm

This Street musician is Pablo Gamboa

KevinPDX1 · June 13, 2016 at 2:26 pm

I was wondering how safe the old town streets are? I've heard Seville is really bad when it comes to pickpockets.

Tasmar · January 8, 2017 at 6:12 pm

those narrow alleys seem to get very congested and come to a standstill and then you cant move.

Saul Diaz Diaz. · April 1, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Seville is Magic!!

Atman Atman · April 26, 2017 at 11:06 pm

Architectural of Spain is Arabic Base wish is beautiful

Anna Podder · August 27, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Great as always 👏

The Travel Vlogger · October 3, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Very Nice 🙂

Leonora Tirazona · October 17, 2017 at 7:16 am

Been here in this lovely place…got a chance to dance Flamenco with a real Flamenco dancer…wonderful memories

Karpuffel Toffer · December 9, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Santa Cruz and Triana were my 2 barrios were i spend most of my time in Seville. Love this city.

Jana Ja · January 7, 2018 at 7:07 am

Highly instructive. Thank you very much. In 10 days I´ll go to Sevilla and I´m going to follow your advice.

Fran cordero · April 3, 2018 at 2:24 pm

Qué bien!!yo vivo ahí 😀

Manolo G · May 6, 2018 at 7:22 pm

He, He….. in Seville the map is tricky. It´s true that the district of "Macarena" is on the north (minute 0:50), but, on the map, the north is on the left, the top of the map is the east.

Juan Manuel Casellas · June 11, 2018 at 8:17 pm

There is olll town part of de town what enythin sows in Sevilla. It is incredible the Santa Cruz old town is very smoll.

Stgfre · July 17, 2018 at 5:20 pm

I like to visit the land of my ancestors, la madre patria. Viva Espana, viva La Reconquista

Maria Fernandez · August 12, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Están deacuerdo conmigo que el idioma Inglés suena terrible..?

Donna Woodford · April 18, 2019 at 2:36 am

Hay demasiado turistas.

Bob Gil · May 6, 2019 at 11:52 pm

Shopping and eating I am ready to go.

shlomi david · May 12, 2019 at 3:32 pm

mexic y espana hermanos

Juan García · September 2, 2019 at 9:21 pm

Enough of stereotypes and nonsense. Seville will never be the soul and heart of Spain, although it has a prominent role. The Authentic heart and soul of Spain is the north, there began the reconquest, there is the oldest prehistoric art in the world, and much more, so much history cannot be summarized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *