In the heart of Andalusia, its capital Sevilla is one of the most precious jewels. Founded by the Greek half god Heracles, a Roman city until 712 and the arrival of the Moors, then Christian with the Reconquest in 1248, Sevilla is a historic city with a strong culture and tasty Mediterranean cuisine. A city of southern Spain where life is sweet. And then, Sevillans are ultra sexy, especially when they put on their traditional costumes at the Feria de Abril. A little macho too, but that is part of their charm. The gay establishments are concentrated in the gay district of La Alameda which is very busy even if gay are not many. The city is actually open and tolerant... a gorgeous journey in the Andalusian country ¡ Viva Sevilla!
When to go?
Located in the south of Spain, the weather is good almost all year round. As Spring starts, terraces start to get busy and festivals get prepared. The big Feria de Abril which takes place every year two weeks before Easter is an opportunity to see the whole Sevillan folklore there. More than 22000 lights are lit and the traditional costumes are worn proudly to dance Sevilla dances. The Holy Week is particularly celebrated with different processions. With fall it is the best season because summer is often too hot (always above 35°C), the locals go on vacations and the sea is far away. Al-Andalus Pride organises a pride march (marcha del orgullo) in June and Guadalki Bear organises its international bears gathering in October.
What you need to see
Sevilla is very rich in historical monuments, including its fifteenth century cathedral which is the largest in Spain and its 98 metres high Giralda tower which is the symbol of the city. This Giralda is the ancient minaret of the mosque on which the cathedral was built. The medieval royal palace of the Alcazar is part of the must-sees and you could spend hours in its exotic gardens where some plants were brought back by the first conquistadores in the new world. Its Mudéjar architecture combines Muslim and Christian architectures, the Gothic and Renaissance. You will admire monumental Plaza de España and its earthenware, Torre Del Oro along the Guadalquivir river then you will lose yourself in the streets of Juderia, the old jewish quarter. Our favourite is Casa de Pilatos, an old small Andalusian palace with a very romantic garden. There is much to see at the corners of all streets.
What to do
Going to a flamenco show is a must: singing, guitar, and dance rhythmed by the beats of feet and hands! It is the soul of Sevillans which you will be able to feel all year round. And then, corrida is also part of the Andalusian culture. Plaza de Toros and its bullring in the El Arenal district facing the Guadalquivir are its epicentre. The bullfighting season starts at Easter and ends after Feria de Abril, then there is the September feria. The museum is interesting whether you are into bullfighting or not.
Tapas were invented in Sevilla and you can find them with all the tables! The Sevillan cuisine is typically Mediterranean with a strong Arabic influence. Meals are served after usual hours with diners that do not start before 9.00 PM. It is always possible to have small bocadillos (mini sandwiches) to wait for diner, accompanied by chatos, small glasses of local wine or beer.
On the gay friendly side, try the Bobo (Calle Amor de Dios 47) with its good local cuisine, El Bosque Animado (Calle Arias Montano 5) for its tapas, but also Emperador Trajano (Calle Trajano 10) or Café Ciudad Condal (Alameda de Hércules 94) for its terrace.
An intense nightlife whether in Triana, the flamenco popular and flamenco district or in Macarena around Alameda Hercules the square, the gay neighbourhood. There, establishments are all gay friendly and gay establishments are open to straights. Groups of friends chat, drink, laugh a lot and welcome tourists into their groups easily. Since the weather is nice and warm most of the year, meetings happen frequently in terrace. And since we are in Spain, you will need to take a nap after noon to spend the night out. Cafés and bars are open up to 1 or 2:00 a.m and nightclubs get busy after that time.
On restaurants’ side, there is El Bosque Animado (Calle Arias Montano 5) which is part of the unmissables on Alameda Hercules. The gay friendly 1987 Bar (Alameda de Hercules 93) plays mostly 1980s music. There is Hercules Mitico (Alameda de Hercules 93), Ben Bendito Café (Calle Trajano 43) is pleasant, Noveccento (Rue Julio Cesar 10) is quite lesbian with very good music. After midnight, rue Trajano and Amor de Dios get busy. Itaca (Rue Amor de Dios 31) is the busiest of the city with a nightclub part where a mixed gay and lesbian crowd danses and a more virile part with a backroom. Shows every Wednesday and Thursday at midnight. Isbiliyya (Paseo de Colón 2) which was one of the trendy places of the city is unfortunately closed down. Club-wise, there is also Obbio Club (Calle Trastámara 29) near Plaza de Armas in the historic centre which is gay friendly.
Bears and their admirers gather at El Hombre y el Oso (32 Calle Amor de Dios) or at Men to Men (Calle Trajano 38) which are very friendly. There is also Bohémia Bar (Calle Amor de Dios 44) and its Sunday evening show at 8.PM or El Barón Rampante (Rue Arias Montano 3).
Where to sleep
No specifically gay hotel or guesthouse in the city but the friendly hotels in the gay district like the very charming Dona Lola (Calle Amor de Dios 19), La Sacristia de Santa Ana (Alameda de Hércules, 22) or Itaca Sevilla (Santillana 5). Also good rooms for rent at individuals’ place on Mister BnB.
Cádiz and its charming walled old city is 1h30 from Sevilla. Its El Chato beach on the road to San Fernando is naturist and Cantor beach is a cruising place after the straight part of the nudist beach. There is also Cordoba inland, Malaga on the seaside or beautiful Grenada. A whole tour can be done in Andalusia, it is a really interesting region.
A stay in Sevilla is not difficult to organize. A direct flight for the international airport, then an accommodation and you’re all set. No need for a car unless you want to take a trip outside the city. Passion Tours has offered visits for 7 years for LGBT in French, English, German, Japanese, Italian and Spanish of course.