The partially walled city of Seville, on the Guadalquivir river, dates to Roman times and is one of the prides of its region, Andalucia. It might even be older than Roman — one legend has it that the city was founded by the god Hercules. It is the fourth-largest city in Spain and still shows much architecture belonging to its Moorish period, which ended in the 15th century. Seville event venues are memorable for sophistication and beauty.
The main airport is Seville Airport (SVQ), also known as San Pablo, which is served by low-cost carriers Ryanair and Vueling, as well as by larger carriers with direct flights to such European cities as Amsterdam, London, and Paris. The airport, five miles northeast of the city center, is not the largest in Andalucia — that is Malaga, although the journey between the two is not so quick, separated as they are by mountain ranges.
Chief among convention venues in Seville is FIBES Sevilla, Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos, known in English as the Seville Conference and Exhibition Center, which has three, pillarless, 72,000-square-foot exhibition halls, three auditoriums for 423, 1,029, and 1,940 persons, respectively; and 71 meeting rooms, among other spaces.
Hotel venues in Seville are of a high standard. Choose between the 365-room Melia Sevilla, which has 24 meeting spaces for up to 2,450 persons; the 295-room Barcelo Renacimiento, which was refurbished in 2012 and has 25 meeting rooms, two atriums, and the 10,200-square-foot Gran Sevilla Convention Center; the luxurious, 151-room, Grand Dame Hotel Alfonso XIII (a Starwood property), which dates to 1928 and has nine meeting spaces; the 137-room Hotel Ribera de Triana, on the other side of the river from the city center, which has one long conference space, divisible into six rooms, that can host up to 250 persons; and the 60-room, upscale boutique hotel EME Catedral Hotel, which overlooks the city’s cathedral and has two conference rooms, one with glass floors covering 1st-century Roman ruins.
This old city has much history and culture, which can be seen in its varied events spaces, although there are some strikingly modern options. Choose between the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville, which is in a building dating to 1248 and has three courtyards, as well as many gallery spaces; Monastery of Santa Maria de las Cuevas, which houses the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo museum and has a gorgeous mix of the new and the old, much of it ideal for events; the science fiction-like Metropol Parasol, which has a cool restaurant high above the ground and five function spaces, the largest measuring 30,000 square feet; Museo del Baile Flamenco, which chronicles Spain’s famous musical genre and has eight function rooms; and beautiful Casa de Pilatos, which is considered the finest Renaissance building in the city and has magnificent tiles and art, numerous courtyards, and 10 function spaces for up to 700 persons.
Sevillian cuisine is far more than cooling gazpacho soup. Restaurants perfect for groups include Becerrita, which has private dining rooms, Andalusian cuisine and a maximum group size of 110 persons; Robles Aljarafe, which has 120 seats in its main restaurant, a tent for 150, the ability to host receptions of up to 400, and a wonderful patio for 450; Abades Triana, on the same side of the river as hotel Ribera de Triana, which has room for more than 900 diners; La Carboneria, which is in a former coal warehouse and puts on much jazz, flamenco, and art; and Altamira, a bright, Mediterranean restaurant in a genteel space that can be rented out in its entirety.