Valencia and Seville are both remarkable cities with incredible history, culture, and people! However, they are often overshadowed by Spain’s grander (and more well-known) cities of Barcelona and Madrid. If you do find yourself with the time to visit them, then you might be faced with a difficult question – Valencia or Seville?
Choosing between them may not be as easy as you think. They both have a rich history, beautiful architecture, and lots to do. But of course, if you scratch beneath the surface, one city may just come out on top!
As always, we’ve done all the legwork for you, comparing everything from prices, the weather, day trips, and more! We’re confident that by the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll have a crystal clear idea of which city you want to go to! So, let’s jump right in, shall we?
Valencia Vs Seville – The weather
Of course, the weather has GOT to be one of our comparisons. Both Valencia and Seville have what we’d consider as a Mediterranean climate, although weather-wise there are some significant differences between the two.
Valencia is on the east coast of Spain and has “mild” weather. The winters are relatively rainy and the summers are hot and sunny, however, the city can get quite windy making it feel cooler. August is the hottest month of the year and temperatures can reach highs of 88°F. January is the coldest month, with highs of 62°F and lows of 41°F.
Seville is in the southwest of Spain, roughly 65km from the Atlantic coast. The summers are extremely warm, verging on unbearable at times. It’s so hot that the city has even been nicknamed the “Frying Pan of Europe”! July is the hottest month, and temperatures can reach up to a maximum of 98°F and a minimum of 69°F – YIKES. January is the coldest month in Seville, with similar winter temperatures to Valencia. The temperature reaches highs of 62°F and lows of 42°F, so if you’re visiting in winter, make sure to pack a coat!
Winner: Valencia – we love a hot summer as much as the next person, but the scorching summer temperatures in Seville are NOT the one.
Valencia Vs Seville – The vibe
We love thinking about “the vibe” when we’re deciding where to go on vacation. Do we want a picture-perfect tourist city? Or do we want something a little more gritty and authentic? While both Valencia and Seville certainly have old-world charm, the vibe between them is slightly different.
Seville is a very popular tourist destination, are we surprised? No. it’s gorgeous. Because of that, the place feels more streamlined and catered towards tourists. The whole city (dare we say it…) is totally “Insta-worthy” and there are monuments, museums, and tourist-friendly restaurants and bars throughout its historic center. Seville also has your typical Spanish attractions, like Moorish architecture, Flamenco, bull-fighting, and more tapas bars than you’d know what to do with… Basically, it really fits the bill for a dream vacation in Spain.
On the flip side, Valencia definitely feels more authentic. The bars and restaurants were built to serve the locals, and while it’s still beautiful, the city feels less preserved in time and much more “21st century”. Naturally, the city has wonderful old buildings, but these are less concentrated than in Seville, and Valencia actually has many examples of beautiful modern architecture, like the award-winning Palacio de Congresos de Valencia or the City of The Arts and Sciences (as seen in HBO’s Westworld).
Winner: Seville – we wanna spend our vacation wandering through beautiful old buildings, and (if we’re being honest) we could eat tapas every. damn. day.
Valencia Vs Seville – Price
Spain is relatively cheap, but, if price is a huge factor when it comes to choosing Valencia or Seville, we’ve got some good news coming your way… According to budgetyourtrip.com, the cost of going on holiday in both cities is about the same! However, this is based on the average cost of hotels, meals, and transport, so if you’ve got your eye on some killer days trips (more on those later), then take the numbers we’re about to give you with a pinch of salt.
Tourists in Valencia spend around 689 EUR (755 USD) for one person over one week, or 1,378 EUR (1510 USD) for a couple. This can be broken down to roughly 37 USD each a day on meals, 16 USD each a day on local transport, and 104 USD for a hotel for two per night. In Seville, daily costs are 34 USD each on food, 16 USD each on local transport, and 101 USD a night for a hotel for two. This adds up to 693 EUR (760 USD) per week for one person or 1,385 EUR (1517 USD) for a couple.
Winner: Draw – Unsurprisingly, it’s a tie!
Valencia Vs Seville – Accommodation
We think there are great places to stay in both Valencia AND Seville, but depending on what you’re looking for, you might prefer one city’s accommodation over the other’s. We’ve already established that tourists spend the same on average on accommodation in both cities, so now, it’s a matter of style!
When it comes to choice, Seville has way more options. Both cities are around the same size but on Booking.com, Seville has 2,241 properties listed whereas Valencia only has 1,226. If you’re looking for five-star luxury, neither city will have you spoiled for choice. There are only 14 five-star hotels in Seville and 7 in Valencia. Seville does have more historical properties available though, and, surprisingly, there are some really cutting-edge properties like this one in the center of Old Town.
Where Valencia has the upper hand (kind of by default), is the availability of beachfront properties. The city is by the ocean and has nice white sand beaches that are easily reachable from its center! There are just under 100 beachfront properties for rent, some of which have incredible sea views!
Winner: Seville – we can’t really fault Seville for not having beach properties (since it’s not by the beach), but we can appreciate the mix of super modern AND historical properties available smack bang in the city center!
Valencia Vs Seville – Things to do
Both cities are so JAM packed with fun things to do that if you wanted to, you could spend the entire day and night exploring the streets, visiting museums, and eating delicious food, of course! You’ll find incredible historical sites in each city, such as the Royal Alcazar of Seville and the Seville Cathedral in (we’ll give you three guesses…) Seville! Or in Valencia, there’s the Valencia Cathedral and Casco Historico.
In terms of museums, Seville’s Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts) is a highlight of the city, and one of the country’s biggest museums of fine art. It has works by El Grece, Murillo, and Velazquez, and if you’re not too into your art history, the building itself is a work of art inside and out, so it’s well worth a look! In contrast, the City of the Arts and Sciences is Valencia’s must-see museum complex, its futuristic structures are really something to behold, and inside, it houses the Principle Felipe Science Museum, Oceanografic (the largest aquarium in Europe), and other various art, science, and technology exhibits.
Some other top things to do are learning about (and possibly watching) some bullfighting in Seville as well as checking out a traditional Flamenco show. Plaza de Toros de Sevilla is the most important bullfighting ring in Spain, and in April it hosts the largest bullfighting festival in the world. If you’re not into that (very understandable), but still want to learn about the history, the Museo Taurino inside the ring is a top museum where you can learn all about it. In Valencia, people love hitting up the city beaches and hunting around for the best Paella (which originated in the area). Malvarossa is a good neighborhood to start, or better yet, ask a local where their favorite Paella joint is!
Winner: Seville – while we LOVE the modern attractions in Valencia, experiencing authentic Flamenco dancing and the city’s incredible Moorish architecture pushes it into the lead (just).
Valencia Vs Seville – Nightlife
When you think about partying the night away in Spain, your mind hardly jumps to Valencia or Seville! But, they both have a lot to offer in terms of nightlife, and Seville actually has quite a reputation for having some of the country’s best nights out!
One thing you have to know about partying in Seville is that most people don’t hit the clubs until 1 in the morning. What does this mean? It means you can expect to be dancing away until as late (or early?) as 6 or 7am. That’s right, it is NOT for the faint-hearted. Head to Alameda de Hercules for a delicious late dinner before you begin your night out, and for some of the city’s most popular gay bars and clubs! Alfalfa, a super historic part of the city, is popular with university students, so this is where to go for budget-friendly drinks and a young, international crowd.
Valencia’s party hub is also found in an older part of the city. El Carmen is where it’s AT, and you’ll find great bars and nightclubs packed into the neighborhood’s narrow streets! In the summer, the port and Malvarrosa Beach are the best places for a night of drinking, dancing, and eating! You’ll find people packed onto the rooftop bars or terraces enjoying the sunset views and the cool sea breeze!
Winner: Draw – Seville party-goers may be more hardcore, but ending the night drunk dancing on the beach? Sounds pretty good to us!
Valencia Vs Seville – Day trips
If you’re planning on visiting Valencia or Seville for more than a couple of days, then you may be wondering about what the best day trips are! Day trips are the one, they’re the perfect way to explore a country all while coming back to the same cozy bed every night. There are some amazing day trips from both Valencia and Seville, so choosing a winner could be difficult.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, then taking a trip to L’Albufera Natural Park from Valencia is (quite literally) a breath of fresh air. The park’s main attractions are the lake, wildlife, and the baller Paella. Remember when we said Paella came from the Valencia region?? Well, this is the exact place! If you’re holidaying with your boo, hire a boat to take you on the lake during sunset for some serious romance. Another incredible day trip is to Morella, a medieval town with a hilltop castle. The town has been declared as one of the country’s most beautiful towns, so you simply HAVE to check it out.
A trip to Ronda and the white towns is an absolutely iconic day trip from Seville. You might even recognize its breathtaking stone bridge and the quaint white village on top! For foodies, Carmona is a must-visit. The town is beautiful for starters, with ancient castles, churches, and ruins, but best of all, the old town is full of restaurants serving classic tapas and traditional food from the region!
Winner: Draw – It’s another tie! Picturesque towns and gorgeous natural parks, how could we ever choose?!
Valencia Vs Seville – The final verdict
After much deliberation, we have to declare that when it comes to Valencia or Seville… Seville is our winner! Yes, it may be a touristy city, but that’s exactly why we love it. Going to Spain is all about learning about Spanish history and culture after all, and in Seville, doing that is a walk in the park. Sure, it may be scorching in the summer, but, hey, that’s what spring and fall are for!