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cadiz or seville

Cadiz or Seville? Which Place Has The Most Magic?

Seville and Cadiz are two wonderful cities nestled in the Andalucian region in Southern Spain. Both are relatively small when compared to other Spanish hotspots, like Barcelona or Madrid. In either, you can discover the raw passion and charm of Spain, immersing yourself in the mythical culture. So, which is best to visit, Cadiz or Seville?

Cadiz is a romantic jumble of meandering streets carving through the old city. With beautiful beaches and authentic flavors to captivate your senses, this is a fabulous place to explore. Then, we have Seville which promises to seduce tourists with a passion and intoxicating flair.

If you are looking for travel inspiration for your next Western Europe trip, then we have got you covered. From the overall vibe to the landscape you can expect, this comparison guide aims to help you decide which beautiful city to book your next vacation to. Which small city will it be, Cadiz or Seville?

Cadiz vs Seville: Overall vibe

Person riding a bike through the narrow streets of Seville
Photo by Joan Oger on Unsplash

Cadiz and Seville are both fantastic destinations in the summer months as well as the winter to enjoy a warm escape. As with every great city, it is best to walk and explore the nooks and crannies. You can spend hours taking your time to discover hidden gems and soaking up the vibe in both Seville and Cadiz.

As you can imagine, both of these destinations have a laid-back vibe that southern Spain is known and loved for. The locals are welcoming and culture is literally carved into the architecture of the old town districts.

Seville is the bigger place out of the two and is the main city of Andalucia. Cadiz is about two hours away on the coast; you will notice the influences of the ocean on daily life in Cadiz. Despite the size, the other main difference between the two is that Cadiz is a sea port and Seville is a river port.

Winner: Both

Cadiz vs Seville: Getting there

Airbus A400M landing at Seville airport
Photo by twenty20photos from Envato Elements

Seville is easy to get to. Sevilla International Airport is 25 minutes away from the city center and there are a number of budget airlines offering a direct route and daily flights from around Europe. Then, you can either hop in a taxi, rent a car, or take the bus into Seville.

Cadiz requires slightly more effort to reach. You can either fly into Seville or Jerez, the latter being the quickest option. From Jerez, there is a train or bus that takes you to Cadiz in under 1 hour.

As previously mentioned, walking around both Cadiz and Seville is the best option for getting around. The roads are often busy and difficult for tourists to navigate. For day trips, you can join guided tours in Spain that include transportation, use buses, or look at renting wheels (keep in mind our warning about the inner city traffic).

Winner: Seville

Cadiz vs Seville: Nature and landscape

Aerial view of Cadiz City - Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain
Photo by diegograndi from Envato Elements

Cadiz is almost surrounded entirely by water. The Atlantic waves crash against the old town sea walls while traditional taverns prepare the catch of the day and sun-worshippers fry themselves on the urban beaches. This little town’s landscape is the ocean which influences just about every aspect of life here.

Here you will find some of the best beaches in Spain:

  • La Caleta Beach: nestled between two old castles, known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Cádiz.
  • Santa Maria Del Mar Beach: a great safe beach for families and bodyboarding.
  • La Victoria Beach: popular with the locals with good shops nearby.

Seville, on the other hand, sits on the banks of the Guadalquivir River and is surrounded by rolling hills and National Parks. The National Park of Doñana, the Sierra Norte, and the Sierra Sur mountains surround Seville’s valley. Cadiz also shares this beautiful diverse terrain, though is slightly further away from the interior Spanish wilderness as it’s on the coast.

Winner: Cadiz

Cadiz vs Seville: Hotels

white house in spain
Photo by SkloStudio from Envato Elements

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Seville has a significantly larger amount of hotels and apartments to choose from when compared to Cadiz. After all, it is the larger city! However, what Cadiz has that Seville does not is beachfront accommodation.

Here is one of the best travel tips that most people tend to forget – if you are staying in either Cadiz or Seville for longer than a weekend in the summer months, we recommend you book somewhere with a swimming pool. The heat in the heights of summer is stifling, so having the relief of a pool is a blessing!

Cadiz’s Old Town has a good selection of luxurious places to stay within walking distance of the beach. There are four beachfront hostels as well, to suit those traveling on a shoestring budget. Planeta Cadiz Hostel is an excellent place to stay in Cadiz with an assortment of rooms to choose from.

If you choose to visit Seville, then you should look at renting an apartment. This will give you an intimate experience as you stay within the heart of the city. The Puerta Principe Luxury Apartments are superb, giving you the best views across the city rooftops.

Winner: Seville

Cadiz vs Seville: Food

Triana district of Seville, market
Photo by Lothar Boris Piltz on Unsplash

Any trip to Spain promises a fantastic journey for your tastebuds through the iconic food culture. Both Seville and Cadiz have a vast range of restaurants and dining experiences that vary in price. You can keep costs down by eating street food from markets and vendors, or you can enjoy fine dining in highly rated establishments.

Seafood, sherry, and southern Spanish cuisine, both Cadiz and Seville promise incredible flavors and gastronomical delights.

In Cadiz, you will savor the classic tastes of the Med with a slight influence of neighboring Morocco infused in local dishes. Fresh seafood is king in this ocean port town. While in Seville, it’s all about the tapas. Evening tapeo (tapas bar crawl and food tour) is a tradition that is central to much social life in the city.

Both destinations offer incredible seafood and tapas bars. Seville just has more variety and options due to being the larger city.

Winner: Seville

Cadiz vs Seville: Nightlife

Young lady in dress dancing flamenco on scene in luxury oriental room decorated by mosaic
Photo by ADDICTIVE_STOCK from Envato Elements

Flamenco clubs keep the intimacy and intensity in Seville year-round. But it doesn’t stop there. The nightlife scene in Seville is famous across Europe. There are many nightclubs that are open until the early hours so you can keep dancing until the sun comes up. While Seville is a great party city, it isn’t all-consuming. Most of the clubs and bars are located in the Triana neighborhood close to the river.

Cadiz, on the other hand, is set to a much slower pace. Most of the popular nightlife spots are around the ancient El Pópulo neighborhood and the beachfront promenade, stretching from La Caleta beach to Cortadura beach. These spots are vibrant and lively during the high season, however, it quietens down after this period.

For the best party scenes in Spain, you need to head to Barcelona, Madrid, or Ibiza. But out of the Cadiz or Seville, it is Seville that wins this round.

Winner: Seville

Cadiz vs Seville: Things to do

Cordoba at sunrise with Old Roman Bridge and Calahorra Tower - Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain
Photo by diegograndi from Envato Elements

Besides exploring tapas and enjoying a food tour, both Seville and Cadiz have great things to do and make your vacation one to remember. Even though Cadiz is a small city, there is still plenty to see and do. And as for Seville, it’s no secret as to why this is one of the most popular places to visit in Spain.

From lively and busy beaches to ancient architecture, Cadiz offers many wonders, including the famous Roman Theatre and Tavira Tower. The white sands and calm turquoise waters of Caleta Beach are great for swimming and loved by locals and tourists alike. Fishing boats moor across the bay and the beach is nestled between two castles, San Sebastian Castle and Santa Catalina Castle, both of which are worth visiting.

However, it is the orange-scented courtyards and stunning Mudéjar architecture of Seville that steals the show. Seville is a dream come true. Here are just some of the things you can do in Seville:

  • Visit the Alcázar Palace and the famous Seville Cathedral
  • Visit the Tomb of Christopher Columbus
  • Take a guided tour on the Hop-on Hop-Off Bus
  • See a Flamenco show
  • Day trip to Cordoba and the white villages
  • Marvel at the Palacio de las Dueñas
  • Sevilla Museum of Fine Arts
  • Explore Mercado Central, Seville’s center of street markets

You can also easily do a day trip to Cadiz from Seville. The train ride is around 2 hours each way which is manageable if you want to visit both destinations.

Winner: Seville

Cadiz vs Seville: Price

A man holding a handful of euro notes
Photo by Christian Dubovan on Unsplash

Every traveler is different. However, Seville is generally cheaper than the coastal city. On average, you can expect to have daily costs of around €99 in Seville, whereas Cadiz averages around €122.

Here is how Cadiz compares to Seville on price in more detail:

Cadizper daySeville
€122Average daily cost€99
€61Accomodation€45
€24Buses and taxis€14
€36Food€30
€22Activities €23
€23Alcohol€8

Winner: Seville

Which is better to visit, Cadiz or Seville?

Placa de esapana, Seville, Spain
Photo by shaipal from Unsplash

When it comes to choosing between Cadiz and Seville, there is a clear winner. From beautiful accommodation to great restaurants, Seville is the best place for your next trip. It really is no secret as to why so many people love this magical city.

You can still experience Cadiz, the ancient port town, and beautiful beaches from Seville. Sure, it’s a long day trip, but it is doable. Regardless of whether you decide to do this or not, your first visit to the south of Spain should definitely be to Seville!