Seville or Granda? – Where To Go

Seville or Granda? – Where To Go
Image by Sharon Mollerus via Flickr

“Should I go to Seville or Granada?” It’s a question we all ask ourselves when planning a trip to Andalusia. I get asked this quite a bit, so I thought, why not help you out with a little comparison?

Both Seville and Granada are part of my 7-day itinerary in Southern Spain. These cities are among my all-time favorite destinations. (I guess that’s why I blog about them!)

These cities are absolute must-visit gems in Southern Europe. With their UNESCO-recognized unique attractions, they lure travelers in with promises of tasty tapas and fabulous flamenco shows.

Both Seville and Granada have international airports with direct flights from Madrid and Barcelona. The Aeropuerto de Sevilla also get direct flights from London, Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Rome and Vienna.

But, let’s be real, at first glance, deciding between Seville and Granada can be a bit of a head-scratcher. Don’t worry; I’m here to make it as easy as savoring a delicious plate of tapas!

key takeaways

  • Seville and Granada are both incredibly beautiful cities. You can easily visit both during the same trip. It takes about 2.5 hours to travel by train from one to the other.
  • Explore Seville for its rich history, vibrant culture, museums, monuments, shopping, restaurants, and nightlife.
  • Go to Granada to enjoy breathtaking views, scenic landscapes, and, of course, the Alhambra.
  • Both cities are perfect for a honeymoon, but Granada is even more romantic.
  • Seville tourist season: March-June, September-October.
  • Granada tourist season: May-June, September-October. (Granada can be quite cold in the winter compared with cities like Seville or Valencia. Seville has also more to do in the winter months.)
plaza de espana seville, granada or seville
Image by aschaf via Flickr
Seville or Granda? – Where To Go
Image by aschaf via Flickr

Should I go to Seville or Granada?

Seville is all about pure Andalusian culture. Its Casco Antiguo (the old town) is extensive, fantastic, and like nowhere else in the country. Granada is a beautiful city that still strongly shows its time as a medieval Arab stronghold. The views of the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada are truly incredible.

Short answer

  • If you only have a weekend or are on a romantic getaway, choose Granada.
  • For 3 to 5 days, go to Seville.
  • If you have more than 5 days, visit both, but spend more time in Seville.

Long answer

It really depends on what you’re looking for and what you enjoy doing while traveling. Seville and Granada are very different but also go well together. Since they’re quite close, it makes sense to visit both in one trip.

  • Go to Seville for its history, culture, museums, monuments, spring fair, festival, shopping, restaurants, and nightlife.
  • Go to Granada for incredible views, landscapes, the Easter procession, hiking, skiing and, of course, the Alhambra.
Seville or Granda
Image by aschaf via Flickr
alhambra, granada
Image by Juan Rubiano via Flickr

Seville vs Granada – Summary

Seville

  • For the quintessential Andalusian experience.
  • There are lots of different sights to suit every taste.
  • It’s a perfect base in Andalusia to explore the region.
  • There are lots of remarkable luxury hotels.
  • It’s just 2 1/2 hours by train from Madrid.
  • There are many direct flights from all over Europe.
  • You’ll find many tours, day trips, and activities.
  • If you want to spend more time in the same city.
  • Whether you’re visiting in the summer or winter.
  • There are numerous child-friendly attractions, and everything is doable on foot.
  • There are many great restaurants and food tours.
Seville or Granda? – Where To Go seville or granada

Best Tours in Seville : A Curated List of My Favorite Tours in the City

seville cathedral
Inside the Cathedral of Seville, Image by Víctor Angel Utrilla via Flickr
christopher colombus tomb in seville
Inside the Cathedral of Seville, Image by ctj71081 via Flickr

Granada

  • The majestic Alhambra.
  • Dramatic views of the Sierra Nevada.
  • A romantic medieval city, smaller than Seville.
  • Beautiful historic hotels.
  • 3 1/4 hours by train from Madrid.
  • Many direct flights from Paris and all over Spain.
  • There’s a lot of climbing up and down hills.
  • Fewer tours, day trips, or activities.
  • You get free tapas with your drinks.
  • Very family-friendly, but few kid-oriented attractions.
  • If you want to see a flamenco show in a cave, great affordable hotels are surprisingly easy to find.
Seville or Granda? – Where To Go seville or granada

Where to Stay in Granada : Best Hotels and Neighborhoods

granada or seville, albaicin
Image by aschaf via Flickr
Seville or Granda
Image by Phil Blackburn via Flickr

Seville vs Granada

  • Seville is full of charm, but Granada steals the show with its unrivaled landscapes, panoramas, evening skies, and beauty. For truly breathtaking photos, Granada is the clear winner.
  • For a honeymoon or a romantic getaway, Granada is the best choice—This city just sings with romance!
  • Granada has the beautiful Nasrid Palaces and extensive Generalife gardens. It’s one of the most impressive examples of Medieval Arab architecture worldwide. There’s no monument in Seville that quite compares. But Seville has many more things to see: the Real Alcazar, the Plaza de España, the Cathedral of Seville, just to name a few.
  • Seville has a lot to offer with exciting day trips to charming Pueblos Blancos, tapas crawls, mosaic workshops, delightful wine tasting, and leisurely boat tours on the Guadalquivir River. Granada, on the other hand, charms with its beautiful scenery, narrow alleys, and picturesque Miradors. But when it comes to things to see and do, Seville has a bit more to offer. Granada does have the Alpujarras region, home to some of the most authentic white villages in Andalusia, perfect for exploring on a day trip.
  • Both Seville and Granada have airports. Both cities have direct flights connecting them to Madrid and multiple destinations in northern and western Europe.
  • Seville and Granada don’t have direct flights from the US. If you’re coming from outside Europe, you’ll need to make a stop somewhere in Europe to catch a flight to the south of Spain.
  • Granada is quite calm in winter. The city gets a little bit colder, and it’s not rare to have some snow in the region. That said, the Sierra Nevada (which is, by the way, Europe’s southernmost ski resort) is always a popular spot with outdoor lovers. Seville, on the other hand, gets more off-season travelers and is never as quiet as Granada. There’s always something going on in Seville, whether it’s the blooming of the orange blossoms, the Semana Santa, or the Feria de Abril.
  • Both cities are about a 3-hour train ride from Madrid. The fast train from Barcelona gets you to Seville in 5 hours. Even though Granada is closer, it usually takes about 6 hours to get there from the Costa Brava.
streets of seville, seville vs granada
Seville, Image by aschaf via Flickr
Mirador de San Nicolás
Granada, Image by aschaf via Flickr

The weather in Seville and Granada

Seville gets a bit hotter in summer, while Granada has slightly cooler winters. The best weather for both cities is in late spring (May-June) and early autumn (September-October).

Because Seville is much larger than Granada, there’s more to do throughout the year. You could almost say Seville is a good destination at any time. But be aware of the summer heat in Seville and make sure your accommodation has a pool. The tourist season in Seville is from March to June and the months of September and October.

Given that most visitors come to Granada for the Alhambra, exploring the city outside the warmer months doesn’t give the full experience. The Generalife gardens really are at their best when the flowers are in bloom. The tourist season in Granada is in the months of May, June, September, and October.

Visiting Both Seville and Granada

Seville and Granada are so different that visiting both is a great idea, especially if it’s your first time in Spain. The two cities complement each other well, and they are just 2.5 hours apart by train, making it easy to travel between them.

The most popular way to travel between Seville and Granada is by train. In summer, there are multiple daily high-speed trains that run from Seville to Granada and then back from Granada to Seville. The train stops along the way in the charming city of Antequera.

Seville or Granda? – Where To Go seville or granada

Where to stay in Seville : Best Hotels and Neighborhoods

casa de pilatos
Casa de Pilatos in Seville, Image by aschaf via Flickr
granada cathedral, granada vs seville
Granada Cathedral, Image by Paul VanDerWerf via Flickr

Day Trip to Seville or Granada

If you want to explore both cities, spend at least a few nights in each. Visiting for just a few hours in the afternoon won’t let you fully appreciate their highlights.

While it’s possible to do a day trip from Seville to the Alhambra and see everything in Granada in under 8 hours, I wouldn’t suggest it for every traveler.

Granada is much better enjoyed if you spend at least a night there. But in some cases, whether you’re trying to maximize your trip or doing on a road trip through the Cadiz province, it can be acceptable.

Seville or Granda? – Where To Go seville or granada

Day trip to Granada from Seville : How to Spend 1 Day in Granada