What You Need To Know

Seville is the capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region and a hotbed for flamenco dance, especially in the Triana neighborhood. The city is known for its ornate Alcázar castle complex, built during the Moorish Almohad dynasty, and its 18th-century Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza bullring. The massive Gothic cathedral is the site of Christopher Columbus’s tomb and a famous minaret turned belltower, the Giralda.
Seville occupies the valley of the Guadalquivir river. The river, with 60 navigable kilometres, was an important harbour during the Spanish conquest of the American continent. Silver and gold from the New World arrived to Sevilla through the river and were distributed throughout the country from here.

Area: 54.05 mi²
Population:696,676 (2014)

Currency

  • Euro is the official currency of Spain, The Euro is the official currency of Spain, and of most European Union member states, excluding the UK and the Czech Republic, among others. The Euro, symbolized by a “€,” has been in public circulation since January, 2002. The peseta, the former official currency of Spain, is no longer accepted, however, you may see that some price tags in Spain give the price both in Euro and in pesetas, to help those who still think in terms of pesetas.There are 8 different Euro coin denominations and 7 different Euro bill denominations in circulation. Coins are denominated in 2 and 1 Euro, then 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. Each member state decorated their own coins, but all coins are interchangeable within the countries. Bills are denominated in 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 and they vary in color and size.
  • In Spain all banks use the same daily-established rate for currency exchange. However, as commission rates vary considerably between banks (typically between €3 and €6), the ICS recommends that students exchange their money at those banks with lower commission rates. Regardless of where one exchanges money, a valid passport (not a photocopy of it) must be presented as identification.
  • The best way to dispose of money while you are in Seville is to own an ATM card. Major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere thoughout Spain. Of all credit cards, VISA and American Express card are the most widely recognized.

Weather

Seville enjoys a pleasant Mediterranean climate and is one of the warmest cities in Europe, with an average temperature throughout the year of 18ºC. Winters are mild, January being the coldest month with temperatures ranging between 4ºC and 13 ºC.

Summers are quite hot in Seville, especially during July and August when temperatures reach 37ºC, and even 40ºC in certain days. Rainfall happens mainly between October and April, December is likely to be the month with more rain.

Language

The official language of Spain is Castilian (Castellano); however, it is important to keep in mind that Castilian is not the only language spoken in Spain. There are a number of different languages and dialects that are spoken throughout the various regions of Spain, four of which are co-official languages (Catalan, Basque, Galician, and Valencian).

Health and security

  • Don’t be afraid to go to the doctor in case you feel that you are in need of it, as the Spanish health care system is very good.
    If you need to see a doctor you should visit a Centro de Salud (public health care center) or doctors belonging to the public health care system .
    For visiting the hospital you need a referral from a doctor. In case of emergency you can go directly to the ‘ambulatorio’ at the hospital.Pharmacies also offer valuable advices and have a good coverage of Over-the-Counter medicines. Each district has farmacías de guardia (duty pharmacies), the pharmacy is always announced on the doors of other pharmacies.
    The European Health Insurance Card (for EU citizens only) entitles you medical treatment on the same terms as the Spanish citizens in the public health care sector. In Spain the health care is usually free, but you will still need to pay for medications.Besides the European Health Insurance Card we advice you to get an insurance for covering other expenses. Make sure that the card is valid for the period of your stay.
    Non-EU citizens should get an insurance that covers all possible medical care and other possible scenarios – as emergency flight back home in case of accidents. Always check with your insurance company what medical care they cover.
    There are no specifically recommended vaccinations for visiting Spain, but make sure you have the basic vaccinations recommended in your country. Please contact the health care in your country for more information.
  • Foreigners seem to be the targets of choice for pickpockets and thieves, who operate in hotel lobbies, restaurants, public transit systems, airports, and other areas frequented by tourists. Most notably, tourists have reported baggage stolen while checking in or out of hotels, checking in at the airport, or while hailing a taxi. Similarly, victims report being approached by individuals holding maps and asking for directions. While the victim is distracted, an accomplice picks the victim’s pockets or purse, removing cash, credit cards, passports, and other valuables. Other diversion techniques include dropping coins or keys near the victim or “inadvertently” spilling something on the victim and offering to clean it up. Some thieves pose as plainclothes police, flashing what appears to be a badge with credentials. The victim is asked to surrender identification to the “police” while one of the alleged police officers relieves the victim of valuables. Tourists should consider any stop by a non-uniformed officer suspicious, and a uniformed officer should be sought before submitting to any request for identification or questioning. This is usually sufficient to dissuade the perpetrators.

DON’T

  • Don’t withdraw a lot of money from an ATM at night. If you need to take money out at night have a friend accompany you or just be aware of who is around you when make the transaction. Choose a location on a main street with a lot of light.
  • Don’t carry your passport with you at all times. Do take it with you if you need to exchange money. Carry a copy of it with you in your wallet when not exchanging money. When using a credit card almost all establishments will accept a driver’s license or other form of ID in place of a passport.

DO

  • The Plaza del Cabildo is probably the only circled-square (plaza) in Seville. It is just 2 minutes away from the Cathedral but many miss it because you need to enter through a passage at the Avenida de la Constitución. Look for the entrace while you walk towards the Cathedral.
    The action takes place on Sundays, when people from everywhere gather to sell, buy and exchange collectors (stamps, coins, stickers). Even if you cannot make it on a Sunday, the detour will be worthwhile.
  • visit Convento de San Leandro, The convent is famous for the yemas (sweet made with egg yolk and sugar) the nuns sell there. It was built in the 17th century and, apart from the magnificent retablo mayor (altarpiece) it has two lateral retablos made by Martinez Montañés.
    He was a Spanish sculptor (1568-1649) and he is considered one of the masters of the Sevillian school. These two masterpieces seem to be alive and any museum would charge you a fortune to let you admire them.
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