Hats off one of our favourite cities in Spain is the capital of Andalusia and the fourth largest city in Spain- Seville. We love the entire Andalusia and that’s simply because it’s beautiful, it’s cultural, people are amazing, food is delicious, it’s always warm and sunny and it’s full of history.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT
Seville is one of the sunniest city in the whole Europe so you don’t have to be worried about rain (most of the time). It is warm all year round but during summer it’s EXTREMELY hot (july and august are the hottest months with many days with over 40°C). Therefore we wouldn’t recommend visiting during summer. In our opinion the best time to visit is during the “Feria de Abril” which is one of the most vibrant cultural festivals in Europe. The exact dates vary each year but it’s always in April (the next year dates are – 18-24.04.2021). Unfortunately we visited a few days earlier and missed it but we are definitely coming back for it. The city might be quite full, rushy and chaotic during this week so keep that in mind. If you prefer to visit during more peaceful times you really can’t do wrong by visiting at any time of the year (except of summer 😀 ).
Seville is the birthplace of the famous tapas so you should try all the traditional variants right here. The food in general is very delicious here. We ate in many restaurants and they were all great. It is one of those places where it’s hard to eat “bad” as all the places are usually authentic and traditional. We can highly recommend for example “Taberna Coloniales”, “Bodeguita La Parihuela”, or “Antiguedades”. If you are looking for something specific just use Tripadvisor.
The city of Seville is 2200 years old and it was originally an Iberian town. The legend says that the founder of the city is Hercules. The city was under the Muslim rule from 711 until the end of 1248 when Spanish Christians took over it. You can see a lot of Arabic elements implemented mainly in the architecture which we found very fascinating.
WHAT TO VISIT AND WHERE TO GO?
PLAZA DE ESPAÑA
The most famous square in Seville and probably the most beautiful square we have ever seen is the Plaza de España. The size of 50,000 square metres makes it the 4th largest square in Spain. What is really special about this square is the 515 metres long canal that goes along the entire perimeter of the square, which you can travel by boat. This square is also very often called the “Venice of Spain”. It is also a place where a lot of scenes from famous movies took place, such as “Lawrence of Arabia” or Episode II of “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones”. The four beautiful bridges that cross the canal represent the ancient kingdoms of Spain. In 1929, the square hosted the inauguration of the Iberico – American Expo. Nowadays it’s home to the government offices. Local artists and dancers perform their flamenco shows here daily.
THE ROYAL ALCÁZAR OF SEVILLE (entrance – 12,50 EUR)
The Royal Alcázar of Seville is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. It is deservedly UNESCO World Heritage Site. The architecture and the interior of the palace is a mixture of Islamic and Christian art and culture. We spent almost the entire day just wandering around its beautiful gardens and pavilions. It is probably the most beautiful palace we have visited yet. You can see many signs of the different eras and a wide range of different styles. We recommend to book a ticket online as the line is always super long. It is a MUST when in Seville and we cannot wait to go back.
SEVILLE CATHEDRAL AND GIRALDA TOWER (entrance – 10 EUR)
The Cathedral of Seville is the largest Gothic temple in the world and another UNESCO World Heritage Site. The construction took more than 500 years which is a result of its mixed architectural styles. It was built on the site where a Moorish mosque once stood. In 1248, when Spanish Christians took over the city and ended the Muslim rule, they destroyed the entire mosque except of the Giralda bell tower, which was the tallest tower in the world in its days, and the Patio de los Naranjos. An interesting fact to know is that inside of the Cathedral there is the tomb of Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer who discovered America. We recommend to buy tickets online and in advance as there is a maximum number of people that can enter at the same time and spots fill up quickly. You can also book a guided tour if you would like to learn even more details.
The largest wooden structure in the world that measures 150 x 70 metres and is approximately 26 metres high. It was designed by the architect Jürgen Mayer from Germany who won the competition for a renovation of the “Plaza de la Encarnación” square. You can go on top and have an incredible view of the entire city right in front of you. The entrance to the viewing tower is 10EUR but if you go there in the evening for the sunset, which we highly recommend, we suggest you to pay 15 EUR and have the full experience including the show called “Felling Sevilla” which is something like 5D cinema. The screen of the film is curved around you so it feels like you are “really in the film” and they also use smells to enhance the story. After this short film is over you are directed back to the viewing platform which has no changed into the “Aurora show”. The entire wooden structure is lit up with lights of different colours. It was truly an amazing experience which we highly recommend!
TORRE DEL ORO (entrance – 3 EUR)
Torre del Oro which means “The Golden Tower” was built in the 12th century as a defensive tower that protected the city from invasions by the Guadalquivir river. It is 36m tall and nowadays it’s one of the Seville’s iconic landmarks. You can pay the entrance of 3 EUR to go on top and look at the view of the river.
MARÍA LUISA PARK
The most famous and in our opinion the most beautiful park in Seville is the Park of María Luisa, just around the corner of Plaza de España and along the Guadalquivir river. This beautiful park full of dense trees and flowers is a perfect place for a walk, bike ride or a picnic, especially during hot days when you just want to escape the city heat and spend time in the nature.
SANTA CRUZ QUARTER
Santa Cruz Quarter is the former jewish quarter. In the past, Seville was the city with the largest jewish community in Spain. Nowadays it is full of bars, restaurants and many shops. The Cathedral of Seville with the Giralda tower and The Royal Alcázar of Seville are also located in this historic quarter.
The beautiful and colourful Triana district, full of restaurants and bars is located just across the Guadalquivir river. Most of the bars and restaurants are along the river so you can have lunch or dinner with an amazing view. The Triana food market is also a great place to eat something good and cheap.
PLAZA DE TOROS
The Plaza de Toros de Sevilla is the largest and the most important arena for bullfighting in Spain. The biggest bullfighting festival takes place here during the week of “Feria de Abril”.
DO NOT MISS A FLAMENCO SHOW!
You will see local flamenco dancers dancing all over the city, especially on Plaza de España, but you should still definitely book a ticket to see the real flamenco show. There are a lot of them around the city but probably the best ones are Tablao Flamenco Pura Esencia, Teatro Flamenco Triana and El Palazio Andaluz.
If you have more time you can also visit Acuario de Sevilla (with 400 different marine species and more than 7,000 specimens), House of Salinas family (beautiful house built in a combination of Renaissance, Gothic and Mudejar styles) and Casa del Pilatos (16th century palace).
AIRE ANCIENT BATHS
If you have a little bit more time and you enjoy visiting wellness & SPA centres, we highly recommend you to visit the Aire Ancient Baths. We had such a great time relaxing here in the evening. You can choose between many various packages depending on what you would like to experience. We went for “Relax as a couple + 45min massage” which was very suitable for us. It cost us 170 EUR for a couple however it was discounted at the time of our booking and a normal price is 205 EUR. We booked it at 7pm and the entire experience lasted 120min. It was a perfect way to end our day and relax ourselves before going to bed. There are many different baths you can try out. For example hot, warm and cold pool or our favourite salt water floating pool. It was our first time ever we experienced floating in the salty water. There was an ancient relaxing music playing underwater which was such a unique experience! It reminded us of the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire scene where he had to put the golden egg under the water in order to hear it sing :). Another pool that left us speechless was the open rooftop pool with a view of the Giralda tower! It was something incredible that I won’t forget until the rest of my life. Just the two of us sitting in the warm pool at night sipping our welcome drink while looking at the shining Giralda tower in the dark.
They also have another locations around Spain and some in London, Copenhagen, Chicago and New York.
You can book your AIRE ancient baths experience and see all the locations here: https://beaire.com/en/aire-ancient-baths-sevilla
DAY TRIPS FROM SEVILLE
If you would like to see more of Andalusia, you can take a day trip or simply extend your holiday by travelling to:
Cádiz – 1h20min
Ronda – 1h40min
Córdoba – 1h45min
Málaga – 2h20min
Marbella – 2h40min
Granada – 2h45min
Check our Córdoba travel guide: http://borntotraveldiaries.com/cordoba-travel-guide/
We hope this blog post was helpful to you and you are gonna have a lovely time when visiting Seville. For more pictures and videos check our instagram feed from April 2019 and the story highlight (Sevilla). If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment bellow or contact us via email or even better via Instagram @borntotraveldiaries Thank you for your time and stay tuned for our next diary page 🙂 .