Why we decided to go to Seville? British Airways offered a return flight ticket from London Gatwick to Seville at £60/per person and for the accommodation, we found a good deal via accorhotel.com with Novotel Seville at £132.38 (3 nights) for a double room. I always wanted to visit Andalucia since 20 years back. So, without hesitation we grabbed the deal.
What is Seville known for? Seville is a developing city in the Andalucía region, Spain. Apart of the historical buildings from the Islamic and Christian reigns, Seville is famous for the legal bullring fights and the flamenco dance. Flamenco is said to be originated from here.
Best time to Visit? Seville’s weather is fantastic any time of year, although it may be very hot at the peak of the summer with up to 36°C. It was early of March when we visited, yet the warmth of spring has already heated Seville with 24°C. For the Christians, Easter in Seville has the biggest celebration around Spain. The Holy Week starts from Thursday to Sunday and is called Semana Santa. Two weeks after Semana Santa, Feria de Abril (The Festival of April) will be celebrated to mark the beginning of the bullring fight season. During the Feria de Abril, the locals will dress up in their colorful flamenco costumes and parade along the streets of Seville towards the bull ring. I wish to come back to Seville during the Feria de Abril with my camera on!
Getting around and about The top tourist attractions in Seville are located in the center of the city and they are just walking distance to each other. Therefore it would be convenient to explore Seville by foot. We decided to go around exploring the narrow streets and communal courtyards on foot as a beautiful weather like that day was not anywhere home in London that time of year.
If you decided to save the energy, hiring a private horse-carriage would be a classy and romantic option. Otherwise, get on the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus ride and you may benefit from the informative audio guide provided onboard. You may also enjoy Seville on the river cruises sailing along River Guadalquivir.
Seville also has several neighboring towns/ cities nearby for example Ronda, Cadiz, Jerez, Cordoba, Granada & Malaga. You may include them in your visit by renting a car or use any means of public transportation. We rent a car and include a daytrip to Cordoba on Day 2 & Granada on Day 3.
Eating & Dining It’s not difficult to find a Halal restaurant in Seville. Trip advisor list some of them but really, you can find a kebab place quite easily around town. The kebab place near to Puerta Jerez metro station served good meals if you’re at the centre of Seville.
What’s in Seville? I’ve studied the places & activities to do in Seville but we did not manage to do all of them as the time we had was quite compact with only 1 and a half day. Below are the attractions in Seville:
- Flamenco Show Of course, as Seville is the origin of Flamenco, enjoy yourselves with a flamenco show. There are 2 types of flamenco shows in Seville. One is the tablao style which is more formal where a group of musicians and singer will perform in front of you. You may find quite a lot of performance houses for tablao shows in the city. For example, Casa de la Memoria. Info on the ticket booking & the performances is available online. Another type is the backroom flamenco where there is no specific group performing but instead, this is the place where the locals come and enjoy singing, playing the instruments and dancing the good old fashioned foot stomping. Casa Anselma at Calle Pages del Corro 49 is the famous place for it. Casa Anselma opens at 12.00am midnight but make sure to be there at 11.30pm.
- Maria Luisa Park & Plaza de Espana Maria Luisa Park is a large area to the south of the city centre, close to the river, with hundreds of exotic trees lining shady avenues, and historic, fairytale buildings, and Moorish fountains and pools, which had Plaza de Espana as its centerpiece. You can also explore the park by renting a bicycle or taking a horse-drawn carriage ride. Plaza de Espana is a semi-circular brick building with a canal following the curve of the building façade. Four beautiful bridges are built crossing the canal. The bridges and the pavilion are decorated with exotic touches of colored ceramics called the ‘azulejos’, mostly in blue, white and yellow. You may also enjoy the canal with a rental boat at €5 euros for 45 minutes, and the motor boat costs €9. Or otherwise, just help yourselves with plenty of benches provided within the area and chill. We were there during mid day and the sun was scorching bright so we just sat there quietly appreciating the beautiful tile works and the great architecture
- Barrio Santa Cruz Barrio Santa Cruz was a Jewish quarter in Seville long time ago. Just let yourself wander along the narrow streets and courtyards in this area. Don’t worry about getting lost. And make sure to end it with tapas at the tapas bars at Barrio Santa Cruz. It was a sweaty afternoon so we stopped for some churros before continue the walk.
- Real Alcazar The Real Alcazar is the number 1 tourist attraction in Seville. You’ll be amazed to see the Kufic Arabic and decorative motives from Almohad Islamic Dynasty being preserved and it blended harmonically into the Christian Renaissance style of architecture. I personally love the artistic touch of the Almohad period at the lower ground of King Peter I Palace, the main building of the Alcazar. It was like a lavish version of mini Nasrid Palace of Alhambra – a smaller space yet rich with arts and creativity. Take your time during the visit and do not rush your way. Imagine yourselves to be one of the royals living here once upon a time ago. Let your footsteps reach all corners of the palace. The gardens of Alcazar are very peaceful and serene. We completed the tour within 3 hours but the lady who sat beside me on the plane home said she spent 6 hours at the Real Alcazar with her family and young kids, enjoying the beautiful palace and playing at the gardens. Click here for more photos of our visit to Real Alcazar
- Seville Cathedral & La Giralda Visit the Seville Cathedral and admire the architecture of largest Gothic Cathedral. Muslim heritage of the building is acknowledged and parts of the old Mosque are kept intact. The La Giralda tower is part of the Cathedral. With your admission ticket for the Cathedral you may climb up the tower and enjoy the view of the Alcazar and the Cathedral’s Garden. There is no stairs to go up,only a ramp of inclined path winding up and around the tower.
- Metropol Parasol Metropol parasol is about 10-minutes walking from La Giralda. Besides taking photos of this unique plaza as a proof that you’ve been there, there nothing else to do around. We went there on a Monday but there’s no sign of business that day.
- Torre del Oro (The Golden Tower) This was the last significant building in Seville built by the Muslim in 1220. It was a military watch tower during Almohad reign but now it is used as a Naval Museum. It cost only €3 for the entrance fee and it’s free if you make a visit on Monday. But if you don’t intend to climb the Golden Tower, just walk around the area and enjoy it from different angles. That’s what we did. We stopped here for a rest after a long hours of walking around the city. Torre del Oro is located just next to the Guadalquivir River and would be perfect for an evening stroll. The area is close to the University of Seville so you may see many young students in their jogs or enjoying their outdoor activities in the evening.
- Bullring at Plaza del Torros La Maestranza It depends on your personal opinion of the bullfighting. You may find it to be brutal. But if you are interested in visiting the bullring without watching an actual bullfight, you may opt for a guided tour of the museum that costs you about €6.50 per entry. The bullfighting season wasn’t started yet around the time of our visit in March. It normally starts in April and ends in September.
Beware! Seville is basically a safe city. However, beware of the gypsies along the streets of Seville. They may trick you in a mob-scene to take advantage when you’re not at your full attention. You may also see them offering a sprig of Rosemary for fortune-telling. They may expect a large payment for the fortune, and if you don’t pay, they will supposedly put a curse on you. It’s best to avoid them.