a city view from seville cathedral

Granada or Seville: Which City Is Best To Visit?

Granada and Seville, two of the most popular Andalusian destinations, are home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, beautiful parks, exquisite cuisine and a vibrant atmosphere.

Choosing between these two cities is difficult because both have fantastic things to do and see and are rich in culture. La Alhambra in Granada is a must-see attraction in Spain whilst Seville Cathedral is one of a kind.

If you can’t make up your mind about visiting Granada or Seville, in this blog I’m going to compare key aspects such as attractions, accommodations, transport and overall prices so you can choose the best destination for you.

travel comparison between seville and granada

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Granada or Seville? A travel comparison between these two cities

Attractions

Granada

inside the alhambra in granada

Granada is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzin (also written Albaicin). It’s a fantastic place if you love learning about the extensive history behind the city of Granada and discovering impressive and unique architectural buildings.

The Alhambra is definitely one of the main reasons why you should visit Granada. Exploring this Moorish palace and fortress complex is an experience. You can spend hours and hours admiring the detailed Moorish architecture found in arches and rooftops, the marbled statues and the breathtaking views of the city.

If you plan to visit Alhambra, it’s very important you book your tickets in advance. This is one of the most visited historic buildings in Spain, and it does get busy. You can book your tickets here.

Even if you aren’t into history, there are other fantastic things to do in Granada, such as going on a tapas tour, wandering the beautiful cobblestone streets like Carrera del Darro or attending a live flamenco show.

📌Do you want to explore the city centre with a local guide? Then check out these free walking tours in Granada.

Seville

plaza de espana in seville spain

Seville is the capital of Andalucia, and it’s the capital for a reason. Its beautiful buildings, charming atmosphere and locals definitely make it a destination to include on your Spain bucket list.

The city’s main attractions include Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower, Plaza de España and Real Alcazar of Seville palace.

Seville Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral in Spain and the world which makes it an unmissable historic building to visit. It was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. If you visit it, you can climb the Giralda Tower where you can enjoy impressive views of the city.

However, Plaza de España doesn’t fall behind other historic buildings. This beautiful square is surrounded by benches built with beautiful tiles, bridges and a canal where you can hire a boat. Every tiled bench represents a Spanish city, and you’ll probably see national tourists taking a photo on its city bench.

If you love visiting palaces and Moorish architecture, Royal Alcázar of Seville won’t disappoint you.

In addition to these main attractions, you can do many other things in this Andalusian city, and this is why I recommend staying at least 2 days in Seville. From visiting the vibrant neighbourhood of Triana and going up to Setas de Sevilla viewpoint to enjoy the sunset to going on a river cruise.

📌 The cathedral is a very popular attraction, so it’s important to book your tickets in advance. Book your tickets to Seville Cathedral and Giralda here.

Which city has better attractions? This is a difficult question because both cities have some of the most beautiful and important historic buildings in Andalucia.

If you’re passionate about history and Moorish architecture, head to Granada. This is a great city to go back in time to the Muslim period in Southern Spain.

If you want a bigger variety of attractions and activities, go to Seville. You can explore historic buildings, experience flamenco culture, go on a river cruise, visit a theme park and much more. There are many reasons to visit Seville.

Food

Granada

Granada is the best Spanish destination to eat tapas. Not only are they delicious but generous and affordable too.

When you go to a tapa bar in Granada, you pay for a soft or alcoholic drink, and you are given a free tapa to go with your drink! Most bars will bring you any tapa – from a piece of tortilla to croquettes or Russian salad. However, some bars have a board with a few tapas for you to choose from.

Calle Navas and the Granada Town Hall area are popular places to visit several tapas bars. However, it’s also a good idea to book a food tour with a local guide to try many of the delicious Andalusian tapas in Granada.

But if you’re wondering what are the traditional dishes in Granada, here is a list:

  • Remojón granadino. A refreshing salad that contains cod, orange, black olives, hard-boiled eggs, and onions.
  • Habas con jamón. Sautée broad beans with garlic and Serrano ham.
  • Plato alpujarreño. A hearty dish made with potatoes, serrano ham, black pudding, sausage and fried eggs.
  • Piononos. Delicious spongy cakes with custard and syrup.

Seville

Similar to Granada, Seville is another fantastic destination to try authentic Andalusian dishes and tapas.

Although the food prices can be slightly higher than in other Andalusian cities, Seville is still a very affordable destination in comparison with other big cities in Spain.

If you want to try traditional dishes that originated specifically in Seville, make sure to add the following dishes to your list:

  • Montadito de pringá. A small sandwich that is usually made with beef, chicken, lard and chorizo.
  • Espinacas con garbanzos. Spinach and chickpea stew.
  • Rabo de toro. Oxtail stew.
  • Carne con tomate. Pork or Beef in tomato sauce.
tortillitas de camarones

Which city has better food? Granada! This is a tight answer because you’ll find the most traditional Andalusian dishes in both cities, and their cuisine is very similar.

However, Granada is well-known for being the tapas paradise. It’s actually the best place to enjoy tapas in Andalucia.

Accommodation

Granada

There are plenty of accommodation options in Granada. Whether you want to stay at a unique and luxurious hotel or in a cosy apartment, the options are endless.

Having said that, if you’re travelling to Granada on a budget, it’s important to know how to choose your accommodation. There are very cheap deals, which look good in photos, but may not live up to your expectations.

If you are unsure about where to stay, here are my top recommendations for Granada.

Hotel recommendations in Granada:

📍 Luxury: Hotel Palacio de Santa Paula

📍 Mid-range: Palacete 1620, Premium Suites

📍 Budget: Pension Boutique Gomerez Gallegos

hotel room at one shot seville
Double room at Hotel One Shot Palacio Conde de Torrejón 09, Seville

Seville

Similar to Granada, Seville is home to many hotels, hostels and apartments to choose from. Accommodation in Seville tends to be slightly more expensive than in Granada, however, you can find hotels for all types of budgets too.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Seville, these are my top recommendations.

Hotel recommendations in Seville:

📍 Luxury: Hotel Alfonso XIII

📍 Mid-range: Hotel One Shot Palacio Conde de Torrejón 09 (I have personally stayed at this hotel, and I enjoyed my stay. Close to Setas de Sevilla, this hotel has modern rooms with comfortable beds, and a rooftop pool to enjoy in the summer months)

📍 Budget: Hotel Patio de las Cruces

Which city has better accommodation? If you’re looking for slightly cheaper accommodation, Granada is your option, however, if you want to stay at an upscale hotel, Seville has more luxurious and unique hotels.

Transport

Granada

Granada is a walkable city, especially if you plan to explore the city centre. Most attractions aren’t far from each other, and you’ll discover beautiful streets, boutique shops and restaurants by walking in Granada city centre.

You don’t need a car or public transport to move to Granada most time. However, if you want to explore outside the city centre, you have plenty of options. The bus and the tram are the cheaper options, but you can always take a taxi too.

In addition to these, Granada also has the Granada City Tour train. This hop-on hop-off train takes you to all the main attractions in the city, including the Alhambra. It’s a great way to move around the city if you’re in Granada for a day, and it’s only 9 euros.

horse carriage in maria luisa park seville

Seville

Moving around Seville’s city centre is easy but it isn’t as walkable as other Andalusian cities. Not all the historical sites and monuments are close to each other, so you need to walk longer to get from one to another. For example, Setas de Sevilla is about 30 minutes walk from Plaza de España.

The bus is the best public transport to take in Seville because it takes you almost anywhere in the city. Not only is it good, but it’s cheap too. A single ticket is €1,40.

The tram is another good option, but only if you plan to explore the city centre. It doesn’t go to Seville’s neighbourhoods and only has 7 stops.

When I visited Seville, I mainly walked because I love discovering new things on the way to the main attractions. I also used Uber. It was fairly cheap and I was a bit tired because of the heat.

Taxis, like Uber, are a good option if you need a quick drop-off somewhere, but only during non-peak hours (you don’t want to be stuck in traffic in Seville!).

Which city has better transport? Seville. According to numbers and Spanish surveys, Seville is slightly better than Granada, but the results are very close.

In terms of walking around the city, Granada is better than Seville.

Weather

Granada

Granada or Seville: Which City Is Best To Visit? Granada or Seville: Which City Is Best To Visit?

The weather in Granada is hot, arid and sunny in the summer months. The average maximum temperature is 35º degrees (95ºF) and the minimum is 17º degrees (62.6ºF), and the hottest month is July.

My top advice is to avoid travelling to Granada in summer because the heat can be very challenging, especially when you’re sightseeing. Instead of visiting Granada, head to Almuñecar or Nerja.

The best times to visit Granada are spring and autumn because temperatures are pleasant and mostly sunny, and there are fewer tourists.

Winter is a good option if you don’t mind cooler temperatures. The maximum temperature is 13º degrees (55.4ºF) and the minimum temperature is 0º degrees (32ºF). If you visit Granada in winter, head to Sierra Nevada, one of the best places to see snow in Spain.

Seville

view from setas de sevilla

The weather in Seville is very hot and arid from June to September. The average maximum temperature is 36º degrees (96.8ºF), but it feels like 40 or more, and the minimum is 20º degrees (68ºF), and the hottest month is July.

Sightseeing in Seville is very difficult in summer because of the extreme heat. You’ll spend more time indoors or in the hotel swimming pool than anywhere else. Therefore, don’t travel to Seville in the summer!

The best times to visit Seville are spring and late autumn because the weather is sunny, not too warm, and not too cold, and there are fewer tourists, except Easter.

Winter is a good time to visit Seville too. The maximum temperature is 20º degrees (68ºF) and the minimum temperature is 6º degrees (42.8ºF).

Which city has better weather? Seville. Excluding summer because it’s too hot, Seville has beautiful sunny days and pleasant temperatures the rest of the year. Whereas Granada can get a bit cold in winter, however, if you love colder temperatures, you’ll prefer to visit Granada.

Parties and nightlife

Granada

Granada is one of the best Andalusian cities to have a night out with friends. There’s always a lively, vibrant and young atmosphere in Granada.

The University of Granada is recognised as a good university in Spain, and it attracts many students from different parts of the country. This is why you’ll see many parties and events going on not only on the weekend but on weekdays too.

Seville

Sevillanos know how to host a party too. However, the atmosphere is a bit different than the one in Granada. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t find good clubs and discos to go out with friends.

What I personally like about Seville is their traditional events and parties, because it’s true that there aren’t better parties in Andalusia than the ones in Seville.

A clear example of this is the famous Feria de Abril. This is Seville’s fair that takes place in the city for 7 days at the end of April or the beginning of May.

During these 7 days, you can expect locals to wear flamenco dresses, enjoy live flamenco music, drink rebujito (a traditional drink made with white wine and Sprite) and much more.

Which city has better parties and nightlife? If you’re looking for the best nightlife, head to Granada. If you’re more interested in traditional parties and events, Seville is your place.

Airport

Granada

Federico García Lorca Granada Airport (GRX) is only a 20 minute drive from Granada. It’s a modern airport with all the facilities you need. However, most flights are national rather than international.

This is why when you travel to Granada from outside Spain, you’re likely to fly to Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP), a much bigger airport with many international flights. From Malaga Airport, you can find many rental cars to travel to Granada.

Seville

Seville Airport (SVQ), also called San Pablo Airport, is the sixth busiest airport in Spain, and it welcomes many international flights, especially from European destinations.

The airport is 15 minutes from the city centre of Seville if we don’t take into consideration traffic.

Which city has a better airport? Seville. Seville Airport is bigger and welcomes more international flights.


Conclusion of Granada or Seville comparison

Choosing between Granada and Seville isn’t easy because both are fantastic destinations to visit in Spain with lots of things to see and do. However, Seville has more to offer than Granada, and it’s the winning destination for me.

If you’re staying in Andalucia longer than 3 days, you can squeeze both cities in 3 days. If so, spend 2 days in Seville and 1 day in Granada. The car journey from Seville to Granada is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. However, you can also take the train or bus which takes a bit longer.

Andalucia has plenty of beautiful destinations, and if you have time, a Southern Spain road trip is the best way to discover Seville, Granada and other incredible cities like Malaga and Cadiz or unique whitewashed towns.

Do you have any questions about Granada or Seville? Email me or send me a DM on Instagram. I’d be very happy to help you.

Safe adventures!

Cristina xx

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Frequently asked questions about Granada vs Seville

Is Seville better than Granada?

It’s difficult to decide between Seville and Granada. Both destinations have incredible historical buildings, delicious food and a lively atmosphere.

This is a matter of personal preferences. For example, you may like Seville more than Granada because there are more activities and attractions, but Granada’s attractions are unique, so these may make it your favourite city.

Is Granada cheaper than Seville?

Granada and Seville have very similar prices, and therefore, Granada isn’t cheaper than Seville.

As a traveller, you’ll probably spend the same amount of money in both cities. Despite Seville being the capital, you sometimes find cheaper prices at restaurants than in Granada.

If you’re looking at moving to one of these cities, the rent in Granada is cheaper than in Seville.

Can you do Granada as a day trip from Seville?

Yes, it’s possible to do a day trip from Granada to Seville. Both cities are well-connected. You can drive, take the train or bus, or if you don’t want to deal with the logistics of transportation, book a day tour. The average journey either by car or public transport is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

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