Barrio Santa Cruz Seville – Guide to the Jewish Quarter

Barrio Santa Cruz Seville – Guide to the Jewish Quarter

Tourist Information and Guide for Visiting the Santa Cruz neighbourhood in Seville

barrio santa cruz seville
jewish quarter seville

Barrio Santa Cruz Seville (formerly known as Seville’s Jewish Quarter) is a neighbourhood in central Seville famous for its narrow streets, cafes and tapas bars, and beautiful plazas.

With a strong historical significance, and a lively atmosphere, it’s a must-visit attraction for tourists and well worth exploring.

History of Barrio Santa Cruz Seville

The Santa Cruz area of Seville has a long and fascinating history that has contributed to the atmosphere and character of this old Jewish quarter.

Originally (back during the middle ages) Seville was home to the largest population of Jewish people in the whole of Spain. The area, commonly known as Juderia, was home to a significant portion of this population and included synagogues, Jewish markets, and residences.

However, in the 15th century, after living in relative peace for many years, the Jewish population were forced to switch to Christianity or face being killed if they did not leave the city under the Alhambra Decree.

This led to the area being abandoned for many years. Today and you can still see traces of original Jewish architecture and culture, merged with the many religious foundations that Seville was built on.

Visiting and Exploring Barrio Santa Cruz

There is honestly so much to see in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood that you could spend 3 days and not see everything.

It really does have it all, with small cafes and bars serving local traditional food, to hidden courtyards and back streets leading some of Seville’s most historic attractions.

It’s definitely one of the most beautiful parts of Seville, and paints that classic Andalusian picture of small traditional houses, with beautiful Moorish tiles, and people eating tapas in the street. You’ll definitely take your best pictures in this area.

Top Tip: If you’re looking to grab food whilst exploring the Barrio Santa Cruz area make sure you head to Calle Mateos Gago. This street is lined with a blend of traditional and modern bars/restaurants and the street leads directly to the centre of the Santa Cruz area.

The area comes alive at night, with many people coming to dine out or to enjoy some drinks, and the streets are bustling with people outside enjoying tapas and beers in the warm evenings!

My top pick for a meal in Calle Mateos Gago is La SacristĂ­a Tapas which manages to blend a traditional and local atmosphere but in a tourist friendly way. Make sure you try the Croquetas de puchero (like a stew filling) – they are amazing!

What to See in Barrio Santa Cruz

I would advise visitors to explore the streets and area themselves, getting lost in the maze of streets, and discovering the orange trees that beautifully line many bars and shops.

However, if you don’t have the time to explore leisurely, here are some of the must-visit attractions that can be found in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood:

Royal Alcazar

Probably the most famous attraction in the whole of Seville, the Royal Alcazar is must-visit palace for tourists! The Alcazar has it all – stunning architecture, beautiful gardens and an interesting history. Visit our Alcazar guide here.

Archivo de Indias

This historic building in the area is the home to valuable Spanish documents which include letters involving Christopher Columbus and his exploration across the world. Read more about the Archivo de Indias here.

santa cruz seville
sevilla santa cruz

The Murillo Gardens

The Murillo gardens, named after the famous Spanish painter BartolomĂ© Esteban Murillo are well worth a visit. The garden is immaculate with a highlight being the line of orange trees that surround the main pathway – the smell is incredible in the Spring! Read more about the Murillo Gardens here.

Seville Cathedral

Whilst technically located just outside the old Jewish Quarter, the Cathedral still plays a very prominent role in the area, and the views of the Cathedral and the famous Giralda tower can be seen from pretty much everywhere in the district.

More information on the Cathedral can be found here.

Hospital de los Venerables Seville

Originally a home for retired priests, this historic building (I’d say more a palace personally) is now dedicated to the great artist Diego Velázquez showcasing some of his classic pieces. An underrated gem in Seville worth visiting.

More information on Hospital de los Venerables here.

Tours in Barrio Santa Cruz Seville

Barrio Santa Cruz can be explored alone, and meandering the narrow streets and getting lost in this old quarter is a great way to spend an afternoon in Seville.

However, due to the strong historical significance, and hidden secrets, this experience can be enhanced with a guided tour.

I’ve been on two different tours of the Santa Cruz area, and whilst both were informative, the following tour was particularly strong, and I recommend for all visitors looking to experience the old Jewish quarter in Seville:

Barrio Santa Cruz Seville Guided Tour

This tour offered through GetYourGuide is an excellent way to discover the old Jewish quarter in Seville. The tour was ran by a knowledgeable lady named Maria who was very informative and brought the historic streets to life with anecdotes and facts – very energetic! Highly recommended!

– Learn about the history and legends of the old Jewish quarter.
– Pass by and see outside the Cathedral and Alcazar
– Tickets start from just €16 and the tour lasts 90 minutes (Book your tickets here) or use the widget below:

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Barrio Santa Cruz Seville Location and How to Get There

The Barrio Santa Cruz area is directly in the centre of Seville, meaning it is easily accessible by public transport or by walking from many city centre hotels.

The following map of Seville shows the Santa Cruz district and the many attractions within the area.

Seville Santa Cruz FAQs

Is Barrio Santa Cruz Seville safe at night?

Yes, Barrios Santa Cruz is safe in the evening, with many tapas bars and restaurants open late with a friendly atmosphere. There is a lack of light down certain streets, so please be aware at night and travel sensibly.

Where is the best place to eat in Barrio Santa Cruz Seville?

I recommend visiting the tapas bars in Calle Mateos Gago, a street that leads directly to the centre of the Jewish quarter and contains many traditional places to eat with a wide variety.

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