Annoying things in Spain, Culture Shock

5 reasons not to live in a city centre

5 years is an eternity to live in the heart of any city, but it’s only since moving slightly out the main centre of Sevilla I wonder how I ever lived there for so long.

Sevilla Cathdral1
View round the back of my old place
Photo by Marco Markovich

Don’t get me wrong, when we first moved to within one minute from the Cathedral, some of the prettiest squares in Sevilla, liveliest places to go out for a beer, and close enough to stumble home after sinking a few pints after watching the premiership footy in an Irish bar, it was great. However, over time, living so deep in the centre made me, and my wife, feel claustrophobic and agitated. I grew to hate Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons when the whole of Sevilla seemed to walk down our street making a racket. I became tired of waking up at 3 a.m. because drunken louts were screaming and shouting below (perhaps karma for my crazy antics when I was a young lad). The fact that we were living in a two-bedroom box flat with only about 30 minutes direct light a day and no window in the kitchen or bathroom definitely didn’t help either.

We’ve only moved a bare 15 minute walk away (which I did about 30 times while moving our gear over), but it feels like we’re in a different city. It makes such a difference to live in a flat with more space and get woken up by natural light and not having to fumble for my mobile to check the time. I feel at peace now and a lot happier, especially after we sorted out the deposit with our stingy landlady.

If you’re thinking of moving abroad and wondering what it’s like to live right in the heart of a city, then here are a few reasons to stay away.

Living in a box, living is a funny black box..
Photo by tramp


I’ve lived in London, Quito, Sydney and Bangkok, and never used to have a problem with claustrophobia. I used to love the hustle and bustle of getting the tube in London, going for a run round the Opera House in the evenings after work, and appreciated the advantages of being able to pop back home for some food and a beer during Sevilla’s manic festival, Semana Santa. Continue reading “5 reasons not to live in a city centre”