Seville, the capital of the Andalucía region in Spain, is famous for flamenco dancing and it’s beautiful Moorish architecture. The sunny city was also the location of my most recent adventure.
Packing my wheelie case I jetted for a mid week break for some winter sunshine in the city that Lonely Planet named the top city to visit back in 2018, and I was not disappointed.
Like previous adventures I booked this trip in the Lastminute.com sale, selecting the Catalonia Giralda Hotel as my base. The small, yet modern hotel, was located just a short ten minute walk from the main tourist area therefore I imagine a lot quieter than most.
Over the course of two days, I managed to pack in a number of the main sites, eat my fair share of Tapas and enjoy a number of Sangrias! When in Rome, as they say!
I had a number of highlights during my visit!
Sevilla Cathedral & La Giralda
Sevilla Cathedral is the third largest church in the world, the worlds largest Gothic church and has been registered as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1987. The impressive building occupies the site of a mosque that was built in the late 12th century. Normally, I don’t pay to enter cathedrals as I find that, other than the stained class, the outside is much more impressive to look at.
That said, I wanted to not only climb the 34 ramps to the top of La Giralda, it’s bell tower, but I also was very interested in the roof top tour you can book to admire the structure and sloping roofs from the best vantage point.
For only €16 you can complete all three – exploring the inner cathedral and bell tour, followed by a booked time slot for an hour and a half on the roofs with a knowledgeable guide. By far the best views of the city!
The Alcázar of Seville is the royal palace within the city. The UNESCO listed palace is still in use by the Spanish Royal family today. A standard ticket at €11 provides you general entry to the palace, but paying a little extra will grant you access to the chambers and state rooms on the upper floors.
The most famously photographed features of the palace has to be the Patio de las Doncellas (the Patio of the Maidens) and Patio del Yeso (the Patio of Plaster).
The majority of the palace complex is built in a Mudejar style, which was often used for non-Islamic Moorish buildings.
It is recommended to spend a good couple of hours here, wondering the courtyards and gardens, admiring the stunningly carved ceilings and colourful tilings throughout.
If visiting during peak seasons it is advised to prebook your tickets to avoid lengthy queues in the blistering heat. Luckily, being both off peak and relatively cool compared to the summer months – my wait was just ten minutes.
Plaza de Espana
The southern area of the city is dominated by the leafy Parque Maria Luisa, where you will find the extravaganza that is Plaza de Espana. No trip to Seville would be complete without visiting this magnificent monument built for the Ibero-American Exposition around 100 years ago.
The impressive plaza is created in a semi-circle, with a canal and curved palace. Here you can take a stroll around the plaza, admiring the architecture that is dominated with colourful tile work throughout, hire a boat to row along the canal or take in the street performers that offer entertainment in the form of music and flamenco dancing.
Despite the beauty and atmosphere of this attraction, the locals state it has two issues. Firstly – there is no shade, which can be a problem in the fierce heat. Secondly – there is no bar to enjoy a drink. Therefore they prefer Plaza de America just a short distance, which offers both these missing elements.
Las Setas del Encarnación (incarnations mushroom) is located in the old quarter of Seville. The wooden structure is one of the newest additions to the city completed in 2011 and claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world.
Here you can pay €5, to explore the upper levels for a unique view over the city. Although I visited at lunch time, it is said that the views around sunset are particularly spectacular.
Santa Cruz & Triana
The Santa Cruz & Triana districts of the city were wonderful to explore at a leisurely pace.
Dominated by narrow cobbled streets, colourful buildings and orange trees both areas were vibrant and energetic.
I enjoyed a number of hours between visiting the main attractions just wondering down random streets, window shopping and taking in pit stops at Tapas bars.
The two days in Seville was a wonder, a great escape from the dreary wintery English weather. Had more time been available I would have liked to venture further outside the main city centre to see what else this beautiful region had to offer.