Seville is a major city in the Andalusian region of Spain and the birthplace of flamenco. In the 1800s, the city was considered a major destination of travel within Europe, even becoming one of the stops along the Romantic Grand Tour. Today, it remains one of the most famous Spanish cities for art, architecture and culture. Numerous festivals are held here throughout the year. It is a vibrant and thriving European city and well worth the visit.
Spring is a big season for Seville, thanks to their Feria de abril de Sevilla—a world famous fair held in Seville two weeks after Easter. It has a budget of 3,000,000 euros per year and attracts almost 5,000,000 people over the course of the entire festival. As much of the population is Catholic, there are also excellent Easter processions in the spring.
When To Visit Seville And How Long To Stay
Easter is the best time to visit Seville. This is a wonderful time in terms of the events taking place in Seville during Easter and April (the April Fair) and the weather. However, it is a fairly popular time, so there may be crowds and accommodation should be booked early to avoid disappointment. Seville has some of the hottest weather in Europe during the summertime, which most people might want to avoid.
3 days is the minimum to see and experience Seville properly, but there is enough to see for a stay of over a week.
Transportation To And Within Seville
The Seville International Airport is the closest airport to the centre of Seville. The Especial Aeropuerto bus service runs every half an hour from the outside of the arrivals hall of the airport to Seville. The service takes under 30 minutes and costs 4 euros for a ticket. If you are taking a taxi instead be aware that there is a fixed fare from the airport to the city centre (22 euros in the daytime and 24 euros at night). Some taxi drivers may try to charge tourists more by allowing the metre to run. Do not pay more than the fixed fare.
Within Seville, buses are excellent in that they service most of the city. A bus card costs 1.50 euros and can be reloaded as needed. A single trip with the bus card costs between 60 and 70 cents. Bikes are also an efficient way to travel around. The metro is another option. Tickets cost 1.30 euros within a zone or 4.50 euros within all three zones.
Seville’s Must-See Sights
Alcázar Of Seville
This is the royal palace of Christian king, Peter of Castile. Castilian Christians built the palace on the site of a Muslim fortress that was destroyed during the Christian conquest of Seville. Today, it’s a shining example of Mudéjar architecture.
Also known as The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, it’s the largest Gothic-style cathedral in the world. Construction ended in the early 16th century; up until that point, the Hagia Sophia was the world’s largest cathedral.
The Giralda is the bell tower of the Seville Cathedral. Originally, the Giralda was built not as a bell tower but as a minaret for the Great Mosque of Seville before the expulsion of Muslims from this part of Spain. Today, visitors can climb to the top for a birds-eye view of the city.
Plaza De España
Built in the 1920s, Plaza de España is a square in the Parque de Maria Luisa. It’s open to the public and a popular attraction for tourists. It boasts a mix of Spanish architectural styles, including Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival.
Parque De María Luisa
If you need an afternoon in nature, head to Parque de María Luisa. It’s a public park located along the Guadalquivir River and the city’s main green area.
Torre Del Oro
You’ll be able to spot the Torre del Oro from the top of the Giralda, and most other rooftops in Seville. This is a military watchtower built in the 13th century to control access to the city. During the Middle Ages, the tower was a prison.
Seville is famous for bullfighting, and a visit to the Maestranza is the best way to experience this popular pastime. The bullring includes a museum and can fit 12,000 people. It’s also where their yearly bullfighting festival takes place, drawing thousands of spectators from around the world.
Top Local Delicacies To Try
Rabo De Toro
Also known as oxtail, this flavorful dish is slow-cooked in red wine and vegetables.
Solomillo Al whiskey
This hearty dish consists of pork loin cooked in a whiskey sauce.
Espinacas Con Garbanzos
A smart choice for vegetarians, this is a vegetarian dish of spinach and chickpeas.
Carrillada De Cerdo
A flavorful and tender pork cheek cooked in wine sauce and served with potatoes.
Usually served as a tapa or shared plate, Iberian ham is a must-try in Seville. On a tasting or tour, a guide might serve it alongside wine or even sherry.
Must-Try Food And Drink
Whether in the mood for a hot cup of coffee or a green smoothie, Jester is a pro at both. Traditionally, breakfasts are very light in Spain, so this is your chance to chow down on larger portions like you would back home.
Located close to the Seville Cathedral and expertly decorated, Gusto is the perfect place to pull up a chair and indulge in traditional Spanish dishes. The interior is chic and modern, like something you’d see in a trendy Brooklyn bar.
Bar Agustin & Company
Tapas are very popular throughout Spain and Seville is no exception. Bar Agustin & Company always comes up with creative options, both classic dishes and a few more inventive ones, and the location is super central.
For modern Spanish cuisine, book a table at Mama Bistro. The popular hotspot is easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for, prompting some to coin it as a hidden gem in the heart of the city.
This small but often packed bar serves wine, cava and cocktails. In true Spanish style, you can also order a glass of sangria. The decor is chic yet minimal and the atmosphere friendly. Come for an aperitivo or nightcap.
For a lively night of flamenco and copious amounts of sangria, look no further than La Carbonería. Tucked away on a narrow side street, locals (and tourists in the know) get a truly authentic flamenco evening.
Visit The Tomb Of Christopher Columbus
As large as the Seville Cathedral is, it’s hard not to spot the monument to Christopher Columbus. His tomb is held by four statues of men representing the four kingdoms of Spain that existed during his lifetime: Castille, Aragon, Navara, and Leon. It was a late addition to the cathedral, and installed in 1899.
Visit The Metropol Parasol
A nice contrast to the older, historical sites of Seville, the Metropol Parasol is a modern wooden structure (the largest in the world) amidst the Old Quarter of Seville. Construction completed in 2011 and since then, it’s received much recognition.
See A Flamenco Show
Seville is the most famous Spanish city for flamenco, and luckily, there are ample opportunities to see this sultry dance in action. Casa de la Memoria is a popular pick, and they offer performances nightly. Alternatively, you can go to a bar and restaurant that includes a mini flamenco show.
A great area to shop, especially at the Mercado de Train, a market hall with food stalls and a place known for its flamenco.
This is the Jewish Quarter of Seville and one of the most picturesque and charming. It’s colorful, full of old buildings and is the center of old Seville.
As the historical center of Seville, El Arenal should not be missed. It’s located on the east bank of the Guadalquivir river and home to the Maestranza (bullfighting ring).
A town on the east bank of the Guadaira river. As it’s the most southern neighborhood in Seville, it is farther away from the main tourist attractions, offering its own unique charm.
If you you visit in Spring, you’ll learn quickly that Los Remedies is the busiest neighborhood in Seville that time of year. The wide, straight avenues (much unlike the narrow and winding streets of Santa Cruz) are packed with shops and restaurants.
Translating to ‘party’ you’re sure to have a blast in their part of town. Every Thursday, there’s a huge flea market where you pack shop everything from vintage wares to artwork.
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