Ten years ago, Seville's more louche inhabitants (think ladies of the night, men in frocks, and controlled substances) inhabited the Alameda, which lies to the north of the centre. Now it's home to trendy bars, vegetarian restaurants, and those all-in-one bar-gallery-stores that were first hip in Soho, New York, about 20 years ago. You'll even find sushi and Asian-fusion restaurants here, while yoga studios abound. It's also hugely popular with families, and the playgrounds are heaving in the afternoons and evenings, late into the night in the hot summer.
The Alameda is the area surrounding the Alameda de Hercules, a broad, tree-lined avenue flanked by trees built on marshland in 1574. The impressive Roman columns at the southern end hold statues of Caesar and Hercules, possibly governor and founder of Seville, respectively. Despite its facelift, the Alameda it still has an edginess which draws trendy, alternative types, as well as a large gay community. It's a popular destination for nightlife - lots of bars and cafes with outdoor terraces, dance clubs, and a lively punk and anarchist scene.
Buildings of note in this area include the Convento Santa Clara, with its magnificent cloister, used for exhibitions - don't miss the Torre de Don Fadrique; while the Convento San Clemente, is decorated with superb frescoes and 16th-century azulejos, and sells pastries made by the nuns; it also houses an arts centre, ICAS (Instituto de las Artes y Cultura de Sevilla).