Everything You Need To Know About Shopping In Seville
The southwestern Iberian city of Seville is a Spanish city on most people's travel bucket list. Over two million tourists visit the Seville province annually, of which Seville is the capital and the largest city in southern Spain. People come for the flamenco dancing, the everpresent sun, the history, and to get lost in the orange groves. The picturesque Guadalquivir River and stunning architecture don't hurt either.
The Seville city center is loaded with worthwhile attractions like the Seville Cathedral, the Alcazar of Seville (a.k.a. the Royal Palace), and the Plaza de Espana. Aside from touring these monumental attractions, Seville tourists are rewarded with some of the best restaurants, bars, and shopping around. The city is vibrant, which translates into exciting nightlife and some of the tastiest food. But, if you really want to spend some cash, you simply must hit up the many boutiques, malls, and shopping streets that call Seville home. You'll find everything from antiques to art spread around the city, and best of all, the wares are quite affordable, but if you want luxury, they have that too.
Exploring Seville's city center in search of historic features and some retail therapy can get chaotic since the actual footprint of the area is small. Make sure you're not carrying more than you need to by dropping off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Seville so you can navigate the streets easily and carry new purchases rather than suitcases.
To help guide you through the Seville shopping experience, here is a list of some of the can't-miss shopping spots:
El Corte Inglés
A trip to Seville isn't complete without visiting the iconic giant Spanish department store called El Corte Inglés. The name translates to The English Court and this grocery and department store is full of men's and women's fashion, sporting goods, housewares, and much more. They feature a mix of European and North American brands like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Michael Kors. There are three El Corte Inglés locations in town, and the most convenient is likely the store adjacent to the Plaza del Duque. The chain stores have generous opening hours, typically from 10 am to 10 pm, whereas many other retail outlets in Spain, especially the smaller ones, usually close for a few hours at midday for siesta.
Tourists should head to El Corte Inglés for easy shopping in Seville with a similar experience to a big department store in North America or the UK. If you haven't packed properly for your trip, this is the perfect place to supplement your wardrobe quickly, and the air conditioning is a definite plus.
Centro Commercial Plaza de Armas
The most central of Seville's shopping malls is the Centro Commerical Plaza de Armas located close to the river and the bus station. The contents of the mall are what most would consider Americanized with a McDonald's and other American food options along with a large grocery store chain called Mercadona on the bottom floor. The small shops are good for a few souvenirs, and the parking is plentiful. This mall is a great base from which to explore the city, especially if you are traveling by car.
Whether you're into shopping at Plaza de Armas or not, a trip here may not be wasted. The actual mall is a converted train station with impressive architecture and intricate windows. From a practical perspective, there are bathrooms and air conditioning, so the spot definitely has merit. It's also a short walk to the stunning Plaza del Museo where the Fine Arts Museum anchors the square. If you are exploring around Plaza del Museo on a Sunday, the art market is a showcase for paintings and other creations from local artists.
Flea Market @ Calle Feria
The area around Calle Feria is a great place to shop like a local. The street is lined with useful stores and great restaurants for tapas or even some of the best street food in Seville. Aside from the retailers of everyday items, the reason to come to Calle Feria is for the flea market. This is one of the best open-air markets in Seville and it's open for various hours every day but Monday. The busiest days are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and the market is open until 1 AM in Plaza Calderon de la Barca. Set beside the picturesque Omium Santorum Church, this market is a Spanish gem. On Thursday mornings, head to Calle Feria if you're a fan of antiques and other vintage bric-a-brac, and you're bound to discover a unique souvenir.
Plaza de la Encarnación Market
If you're looking for a local market with flair, the Mercado de la Encarnacion is it. The modern roof of the covered market is easily recognizable from the mushroom-like structures that will protect you from the rain and hot sun. The roof and supports are a contemporary sculpture that will have you reaching for your phone to take a few pics. Inside the market, you'll find a colorful local food market with fresh items including meat, seafood, and produce as well as items that are sealed for you to take home. If you're into cooking or planning to prepare some of your own meals while you're in town, this place is a must. It's about as far away from a department store as you can get.
Plaza del Duque Market
A five minute walk will get you from the Mercado de la Encarnacion to the Plaza del Duque Market. It's very close to the central El Corte Inglés which occupies four buildings in the Plaza de la Magdalena in case you want to combine visits. The market is open all day on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and is affectionately known as the hippie market. This is the perfect spot to shop for unique items like sculptures, intricate scarves, carved wooden boxes, and handmade jewelry. The square itself is a photo-worthy place with a checkered tile floor, a central monument, and palm trees. After a tour around the stalls, there are nearby pizza and Mediterranean restaurants to help you replenish your energy. There are a few other stores worth visiting on the adjacent Calle Tajano and Calle Alfonso XII.
Calle Sierpes and Calle Tetuan
Seville's central shopping district is the area around the two main shopping streets called Calle Sierpes and Calle Tetuan. They run parallel to each other and the side streets are also full of treasures. For souvenirs, the streets boast options for jewelry, ceramics, and various knick-knacks from gift stores. The tourist shops carry photo-worthy arts and crafts and the ceramics are particularly colorful. Prefer your souvenirs of the more wearable variety? The streets have tons of clothing boutiques and shoe stores as well. Start your shopping in Seville at Plaza Nueva where you should also visit the impressive Town Hall. Make your way to the other end of the streets and the Plaza del Duque location of El Corte Inglés.
While this may not be part of the main shopping district, the neighborhood of Triana is certainly worth a visit. It's across the river and the Triana market sells prepared and fresh foods with a few souvenir shops thrown in for good measure. The lower level of the indoor bazaar houses the remains of the Castle of San Jorge and the onsite museum will keep the shopping averse entertained. The market is right by the Triana bridge and aside from the market, the area has many shops that sell ceramics to entice you to the other side of Seville. Calle San Jorge is especially interesting for unique finds and a typical Spanish ceramic gift is a wonderful way to commemorate your trip to southern Spain. If you happen to need it, there are a few mom-and-pop small hardware stores here too.
The mall called Nervión Plaza is accessible from the main shopping district on foot in about 15 minutes. The atmosphere here is likely the most similar to the American mall experience than any other option on this list. They have the customary McDonald's and a TGI Friday's along with a typical North American food court feel. The plaza even has a 20-screen movie theater to complete the package. As for the stores, they are similar to the ones in the center of town, but sometimes it's easier to shop in an air-conditioned mall than on the hot Seville streets, even for the same stores.
Nervión Plaza is home to another of the El Corte Inglés locations. This is a great one-stop-shop for all your shopping needs. Many travelers may think that it's silly to go to a US-like mall when visiting Spain, but for some, especially those who have been traveling a while, it can be a welcome break from all the newness. If this isn't for you, stay in the main shopping district and experience the local feel of the city center shops. There's something for everyone who wants to shop in Seville.
For fans of higher-end goods, a visit to Plaza Nueva past the Cathedral but south of the Plaza del Duque. Plaza Nueva takes up one side of the Town Hall and the other side is where you'll find the Plaza San Francisco. The area is home to various clothing stores with recognizable brands as well as lesser-known Spanish and European ones. You'll also find the large sporting goods store Decathlon close by and there is a tram stop adjacent to the square confirming how easy it is to get around Seville. Head here to browse places like Carolina Herrera and Max Mara, and both the Plaza Nueva and the Plaza San Francisco are attractions in their own rights. The luxury leather goods and fabulous perfumes of LOEWE are also recommended here.
The district of Alameda is a worthy stop on your Seville shopping expedition. Head to Calle Amor de Dios and Calle Tajano for some excellent locally owned store selection. The local shops, some run by local artists, offer everything from jewelry at Templo Sevilla to a gourmet foods store to women's clothing stores. You can also find vintage and second-hand stores here, and the best way to browse is to wander. Check out the various side streets and you just might find interesting shops that are lesser-known to tourists. The Wabisabi Shop & Gallery is a particular favorite in this trendy neighborhood. It offers upcycled furniture, vintage-style dresses, and even puts on fashion shows and poetry readings.
La Alameda square is also worth a stop if you're in the area. It was built in 1574 and is otherwise known as La Alameda de Hercules. This garden square was popular with promenading folks and is lined with rows of poplar trees.
The shopping in Seville certainly runs the gamut with everything from smaller service-oriented stores to high-end luxury boutiques to Spanish department stores. You can find vintage goods at flea markets, shop like a true American at an air-conditioned mall, or wander the streets of the main shopping district to find your own perfect store.
Before you get to town plan your route and clear your credit cards. That way you can have a mini shopping spree without wasting time going to shopping areas that don't suit your preferences.
As you meander from mall to boutique to market, make sure to stop and admire the various sights around town. The Cathedral, the countless picturesque squares, and the informative museums will keep you busy long after your shopping budget runs out.