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WhereToGoForMyHoliday.com

The best destination comparison site!

Seville or Lisbon; a vs city comparison and travel guide

Both Seville and Lisbon are fantastic cities, but which is better for your city-break or holiday?

We understand your dilemma. There is a wealth of information about both cities, but little stating which is the better destination and more suited for your trip.
This article will provide our unbiased opinions, and hopefully help you to choose the best city to visit.

The article is divided into the following sections, and can be jumped to using the links:
• Introduction to the cities
• Scores and ratings
• Which one should I, friends, or family visit?
• When to visit and weather
• Who is the city suited for?
• The perfect 48hours (with map)
• Tourism details (where to stay? airport details?)

Introduction to Lisbon and Seville

Seville as a destination reflects that of the city’s famous dance, the flamenco; it is hot, passionate and instantly captivating. Seville boasts exceptional tourist attractions , and it’s rich cultural heritage will leave you longing for more.

Modern Seville is the interplay of its turbulent past, blending together Moorish roots and Christian influence in a city which wants to enjoy and embrace the present. Seville’s heritage is proudly displayed throughout the city, from the magnificent Alcázar palace, to the towering cathedral, mouth-watering tapas restaurants and impromptu flamenco dances.
Strangely, Seville typically lacks the appeal to the younger generation of tourists, but chance a trip and fall in love with the flare of southern Spain.

Lisbon is a progressive and liberal city, which still retains its rich seafaring history and distinctive Portuguese heritage. The city effortlessly blends history, vibrant culture and exciting nightlife into one charismatic tourist destination.

Lisbon is a city of compact variety; you can get lost in the maze of narrow streets in the Alfama district, be wowed by the grandeur of the plazas in Baixa or join the hipsters and fashionistas in the Principe Real. Close to the city are glorious sandy beaches, and Lisbon boasts one of the finest climates in Europe. This is an amazing city, which you must visit.

28 tram Lisbon

The number 28 tram passing the Se cathedral in Lisbon

waterfront Seville

The Torre del Oro once guarded the Guadalquivir river and Seville

High-level summary for Seville or Lisbon

Do you agree with us? Why not provide your own scores for Lisbon here

Summary
Which city would I go to?
Lisbon
Which one would I recommend to my parents?
Seville
Which location for my 19-year-old cousin?
Lisbon
Which for my food obsessed friend?
Lisbon
Note: The above comparison does not consider the weather, and assumes travel at the best time of year - which is detailed later in this article.

The following sections compare the two cities and considers; how long to spend in them, when to visit, and provides suggested 48hours in each city (along with an interactive map).
The final section is tourism practicalities and includes which airport to fly into, what district to be based in and how best to explore the city.

We hope that you find all of this information useful, in planning your next exciting trip!

Destination details

How long to spend each city?

Lisbon is a varied and fascinating city, which takes three days to fully explore.
Often, people like to visit Sintra as part of their stay, but at a minimum, we recommend you dedicate at least two days to the city itself.

If you are lucky enough for a longer stay, there are many enjoyable day trips; there are the palaces of Sintra, the beach resorts of Cascais or the historic towns of Obidos and Evora.

In the summer, a holiday to Lisbon can also include visiting the beautiful beaches along the Cascais or Costa Caparica coastlines. Best of all, these day trips can all be reached via the inexpensive public transport.
Related articles: 3 days in Lisbon48 hours in Lisbon

Seville is a city not to rush, but to embrace the relaxed pace of life and tapas culture.
For sightseeing, two days are sufficient to explore the entire city. It is possible to see Seville in a single day, but this involves a lot of walking at pace and this rushed approach means you miss the allure of the city.
If you visit during the summer, be aware of the extreme weather. You’ll need to take things quite a bit slower, and get going much earlier in the day when it’s a fraction cooler and less busy.

Popular day trips from Seville include the historic Cordoba and the coastal city of Cadiz. The Pueblos Blancos (White Villages) are dramatic, but a rental car (or guided tour) are needed as public transport is limited. Granada is a wonderful tourist destination, but we feel it is too far for a day trip from Seville. Combining Seville, Granada and Málaga is a great itinerary for a week long holiday.

lisbon Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge

A tourist cruise boat passing beneath the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge in Lisbon

Catedral de Sevilla

The Gothic Catedral de Sevilla

The best time of year to visit Seville is during the two festival periods of Semana Santa (held in the week before Easter) and the Feria de Abril (starting two weeks after Easter).
For a regular trip, late autumn and early spring are the best seasons, as during the long summer (June-September) the city is oppressively hot. Winter provides good value and fewer tourists but there is always the potential of rain.

The recommended time to visit Lisbon is in the late spring and early autumn, when the city is sunny and warm, but without the summertime crowds.

Lisbon is subject to the pressures of over-tourism at times, most notably being incredibly crowded during the summer months in the popular tourist areas, such as the Belem district and Sintra.

Due to the increased popularity of Lisbon, it is becoming a year-round destination, however, be warned that the winter months can be wet and cool.

Our favourite time of year to visit Lisbon is during the first two weeks of June, when the whole city celebrates the Santos Populares festivals with street parties and traditional dances.

Lisbon has a wide appeal; there are cultural sights, a buzzing nightlife and a blossoming artisan scene. The city will appeal to young or old, either for a cultural trip or as a fun weekend away.

In the summer (May-Sep) the beaches make for a really good extension to your trip and are easily accessible from the city. There is little to fault Lisbon and most visitors leave with fond memories of the city.

Seville is a pleasure to visit, so long as you can either handle (or avoid) the extreme heat. This is a city for a slower paced trip, to enjoy time in the open-air cafes and to embrace the culture of Andalusia. This makes the city ideal for a break from a stressful lifestyle or hectic work schedule back at home.

The ambience typically appeals to a slightly older visitor, but to assume Seville is a mature destination would be completely wrong. There are exciting tourist attractions, a colourful nightlife and a social atmosphere. One of the appeals of Seville is that it is not a common city break and few of your friends will have been there.

Plaza de España

The Plaza de España is always a highlight of Seville

Lisbon beaches

There are beautiful beaches only a short train ride away from the centre of Lisbon

There’s a lot to squeeze in for 48 hours in Lisbon.
Below is an interactive map for what we recommend doing in a 48 hour tripto the city; day 1is highlighted in green and day 2 in yellow, with optional sights in grey.

Most tours begin in the Baixa district with its grand avenues and magnificent plazas, such as the Praça do Comércio and Rossio.

In the later part of the day, start to climb the hills into the Alfama district which is a maze of medieval streets leading up to the castle. Take in one of the viewpoints close to the castle for a romantic sunset and then ride the quaint number 28 tram as it rattles through the city.

For dinner, head into the Baixa district and then for a night out, head to Barrio Alto, with its funky bars and social scene which fills the streets.

For the second day, head to the scenic Belem district, which contains the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, and Torre de Belem, along with views across the Tejo Estuary.

For the second part of the day discover the stylish Príncipe Real and Avenida da Liberdade districts or visit the ultra-modern side of Lisbon, the Parque das Nações.

Torre de Belem Lisbon

The Torre de Belem once guarded the Tejo Estuary and Lisbon

Parque das Nações Lisbon

The Parque das Nações is the modern side to historic Lisbon

Below is an interactive map for 48 hours in Seville; day 1 is highlighted in green and day 2 in yellow, with optional sights in grey.

Start the day in the impressive Catedral de Sevilla, and climb to the top of La Giralda bell tower for a wonderful viewpoint. Surrounding the cathedral is the atmospheric Santa Cruz district, with its traditional houses and narrow cobblestone streets, which follow the old medieval layout of the city.

For the afternoon, visit the grand Plaza de España and the adjoining Parque de Maria Luisa. Towards the end of the day join a cruise along the Guadalquivir River. For dinner, head to the Triana district for an authentic Tapas meal. This district is also where flamenco dancing originated, and one of the bars may well have some impromptu dancing happening during the evening.

Real Alcázar palace seville

The gardens of the Real Alcázar palace

For the second day, start by visiting the Real Alcázar palace, the finest example of Mudéjar architecture which fuses Arabic and Christian designs. For the afternoon, head north of the historic centre and explore the popular shopping streets of Calle Sierpes. End the afternoon at the Setas De Sevilla, a massive wooden structure and great viewpoint.
In the evening, watch a flamenco performance at the La Carbonería.

Setas De Sevilla

The Setas De Sevilla is the world’s largest wooden structure, but few know what it actually is or the point of it……

Lisbon is well set up for a holiday and is a great destination for a weekend break. The city has a lot to offer; it is safe and is comparatively inexpensive, especially when compared to other major European cities.

Lisbon is serviced by one airport, which is only 7 km from the city centre, and is connected to the metro network (€1.60 single). There are many flights to Lisbon, but there can be high demand in the summer along with the obligatory increase of prices.

For accommodation, there are the well-defined popular areas of the Alfama, Baixa and Chiado districts, with a range of hotels and rental rooms. There is a diminishing supply of low budget options, even for rental rooms, as demand is always high.

lisbon viewpoint hill

Lisbon is spread across 7 hills, which means there are many great viewpoints, and lots of hills to climb!

When exploring the city, all of the main tourist areas are centrally located and can be reached on foot,he only exception is the Belem district, to the west. There are a lot of steep hills in Lisbon, and sightseeing can be very draining in the intense summer sun.

Seville airport (SVQ) is 10km northeast from the city centre, and is connected by a regular bus service (35min €4.00). Many of the low-cost airlines focus on the coastal cities of southern Spain instead of Seville, which means the cost of flights can be surprisingly high - plus there are fewer departures. This means that demand for flights can be very high in summer (when the city is best avoided).

This high level of tourism also means that hotels tend to be more expensive than much of Spain, and it’s likely you will spend much more than you anticipated! If you are lucky enough to visit during the two festivals, book your accommodation well in advance. Seville is compact and very easy to explore on foot.

Maestranza bullring seville

The Maestranza bullring; bullfighting is an important tradition in Seville

The wow you’re going to…… factor

Lisbon is cool and fashionable, and has suddenly exploded on to the travel industry/market. If your friends have recently been, they will be raving about, but if you’re the first to visit, you’ll soon be passionately encouraging them to go in the future.


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Nightlife?

The nightlife of Lisbon is exciting, vibrant and with a pleasant mix of locals and foreigners. Lisbon specialises in stylish, intimate bars, which are found throughout the Alfama and Bairro Alto districts. At the weekend the revellers of Bairro Alto spill out on the streets, where at 2am everyone heads downhill to the nightclubs of Cais de Sodre and Pink Street, a recently transformed red light district. Lisbon nightlife has much more of a focus on socialising than drinking excessively, as the Portuguese tend not to be big drinkers but love to chat!


- Seville score 3/5

Museums and galleries?

The standout museum of Lisbon is the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, with its vast, private collection of art and antiquaries. The Portuguese national gallery and museum is the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, and has an equally varied collection. Both museums are outstanding and are rarely busy, with peaceful ambience for enjoying the art and exhibits Lisbon also has some fascinating niche museums, such as the National Tile Museum (specialising is painted Azulejo tiles) and the Museu Nacional dos Coches, with the world’s largest collection of horse-drawn carriages.


- Seville score 5/5

Foodie trip, regional cuisines and eating out
Setas De Sevilla

The Setas De Sevilla is the world’s largest wooden structure, but few know what it actually is or the point of it……

Lisbon alfama

Top 5 Lisbon, No.1:
The Alfama district, a delightful maze of medieval streets which climb from the Tejo Estuary up to the castle

The culinary experience of Lisbon is rapidly evolving and improving, gone are the days when a meal had to include bread, white rice and chips. Bacalhau (salted cold fish) is always a favourite of Lisbon, with its many different ways to serve; from Bacalhau Assado (lightly roasted) to the delicious Bacalhau à bras (potato crisps, scrambled eggs and Bacalhau). Lisbon is also famed for its café culture savouries, cakes and sweet pastries. Dinning in Lisbon is a mixed affair, there can be unexplained long waits or elusive serving staff, while other locations have attentive and enthusiastic staff. The evening meal is never rushed.
Seville score 3/5 -

Solo travel

Lisbon always attracts a lot of solo travellers, as it is a comparatively safe destination with a lot of sights and activities. There is a large freelance and digital nomad working community, who will be seen frequently working in the cafes and bars. As there are so many transient workers and solo travellers, it is common and the norm to see people eating alone. The nightlife is very social, and the city is generally safe.


- Seville score 3/5

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