Seville City - Copa Bars

© Michelle Chaplow Open air bars in the Plaza de San Francisco, Sevilla
Open air bars in the Plaza de San Francisco, Sevilla

copa bars in seville

Seville is great for going out due to the huge variety of venues in a small area. You can easily visit four or five completely different bars without walking more than ten minutes between any of them. The main areas are: Alfalfa, where Pérez Galdós gets so packed with people on Friday and Saturday nights that cars can't drive down it; Alameda, which has a more alternative scene, with lots of gay bars and clubs; and calle Betis by the river in Triana, which is wall-to-wall with venues, from quiet bars to all-night clubs.

In the summer, when the temperature is still in the 30s at night, there's a big bar scene along the river, on Calle Betis in Triana and Arjona and Torneo on the other side, as well as outdoor bars in the some of the parks. Clubbing moves to the Isla de la Cartuja, where young people throng the many seasonal outdoor venues. A cubano (double measure of spirit with mixer) will normally set you back between 4 and 5 euros, while a small glass of beer (cana) is about 1 euro. Red wine (tinto) is reliable, often Rioja, and costs about 1.50 to 2 euros a glass, while the white (blanco) is usually sweet and not to English taste.

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Friday and Saturday nights are the big ones, with people generally venturing out at about 11 or 12pm and staying out till 5am or later.

NEAR THE CATHEDRAL

Bar Tenderete
3B Rodrigo Caro
Small, narrow bar with a few tables at the back, popular with locals. Interesting décor of antique clocks and radios. Stays open very late - about the only place that does in this part of Santa Cruz. Often has spontaneous music - groups of friends with a guitar belting out some flamenco. Good fun.

Outdoor Tapas Bar

Zapata
Rodríguez Zapata, corner with Alverez Quintero
Tiny, characterful bar serving margaritas, daiquiris and tequila sunrises. Good stopping off point between tapas in Santa Cruz and Alfalfa nightlife.

Antiguedades
Argote de Molina 40
Don't be surprised to see a dismembered leg hanging from the ceiling in this bizarrely decorated bar. Located in a very old house, it has cosy ambience, friendly service and good selection of flavoured vodkas. Stand outside on a Friday night and watch the well-heeled of Seville go by on the marcha (night out).

Alfalfa

Garlochi
Boteros 26
If you haven't experienced the fascinating and bizarre spectacle that is <Semana Santa> in Seville, this is worth a visit. Decorated with all the requisite silver artefacts, Virgin effigies and ecclestiastical velvet of this much-loved religious event, it borders on the kitsch. Order a Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ), the house cocktail, sit back and absorb the high theatre that is Spanish Catholicism.

Cubanito
Ortiz de Zunega
Tiny hole-in-the-wall bar, good stopping-off point for a couple of quick chupitos (shots) 2 euros each. Try the flaming cubanito, it'll put hairs on your chest.

Berlin
Boteros
If you don't feel like going home when everyone else has, head for Berlin. It's open till 7am, always has a lively atmosphere and you're sure to meet some interesting characters. Beware, though - it's a bit of a cattle market.

Centre / Macarena

Capote
El Barranco, Arjona, by the Puente de Triana
Sit under the palms at this outdoor riverside bar, listen to the cool tunes and pretend you're at the beach - it's nearly a chiringuito (beach bar). Excellent cocktails for around 5 euros - try the caipirinha.

Cerveceria International
Gamazo 3
Hundreds of beers from all over to choose from, including the usual stellar line-up from Belgium. More expensive than the normal stuff, obviously. Also does decent prawn tapas.

Merchants Ale House
Canalejas 12
Irish bar Merchants is more chilled out than compatriot venue Flahertys (see tapas bars), but has a friendly vibe with a darts board, and pool tables and sofas upstairs. It's a popular hang-out with the English residents. Really gets going at about 1am from Thursday to Saturday.

ALAMEDA

Barroco
Corner of Fresa and Calatrava
Sophisticated décor but friendly atmosphere in this café-bar decorated like an 18th-century salon. Close to the Alameda, but with its own distinct vibe. Recommended.

Eureka
Belén
Large bar with contemporary décor and relaxed atmosphere, just off the Alameda. Occasional DJs play a good mix of dance and funk, or funky as it's known here. Bar staff can sometimes have a bit of an attitude.

PARKS

Café del Casino
Avenida Maria Luisa
A period gem, this bar next to the Teatro Lopez de Vega is handy for the Parque Maria Luisa. Its faded elegance - fabulous art deco mirrors, chandeliers, pink marble pillars - make it ideal for an afternoon tea or an evening cocktail. Delightful, shady terrace with plenty of comfortable seating.

Capitania
Prado de San Sebastian
Outdoor bar in this pleasant park, at the far end from the university. Open all year round, but summer is the time to visit - get away from hot, narrow streets of city centre, relax under the trees and belulled by the sound of water running through the Arabic-style channels.

TRIANA

Fundición
Betis 49-50
This big bar always has a lively crowd, especially at weekends. Good dance music with plenty of your favourite cheesy 80s pop classics. A good place to meet people, though not many of them will be locals!