The jewel in the crown of the Andalusian capital, the Alcazar alone is worth venturing to Seville for. Ornate architecture greets you as you enter, with archways and carved walls portraying the palace’s Islamic origins. They lead to palm-tree lined gardens, complete with rectangular fountains and hedge mazes.
Gorgeousness surrounds you as you lose yourself in this palace which dates back to the 10th century. It’s also been a filming location for Game of Thrones- how much more magical and exotic can you get than that?
Depending on the time of year, get there early to beat the heat. The afternoon sun is stifling in the warmer months, and the Alcazar is mostly outdoors or open air.
Seville Cathedral was the biggest cathedral in the world when it was built in the 16th century, and it is still awe-inspiring in its sheer scope. Detailed door carvings welcome you as you walk into the longest cathedral hallway in Spain. From here treasures await, such as the alleged tomb of Christopher Columbus, a grand carved wooden mural of Christ’s life and the iconic Giralda bell tower.
The cathedral and Giralda have varying opening times for visitors, so check ahead for the day you wish to visit.
Built for the 1929 World’s Fair, The Plaza de España needs to be seen to truly capture its grandness. The panoramic pavilion comprises a unique blend of Renaissance, Baroque and Art-Deco architecture that represents Seville’s past and history.
Orange trees and lamplights border a moat, and the walls of the plaza comprise of tiled scenes depicting events of Spanish folklore. Truly a feast for the eyes.
The adjoining Parque de Maria Luisa is well worth a look, with its sprawling avenues, fountains and gardens.
The Barrio de Santa Cruz neighbourhood is full of ceramic tiled taverns complete with swinging jamóns above the bar, and faded bullfighting and flamenco posters on the walls. Stop in at one for some tapas and a drink. Dining is typically in a cobblestoned courtyard, or simply standing at the bar or at an upturned barrel.
Plates can range from anything such as fried fish and cold vegetable soup to shaved aged ham and octopus salad. All are best enjoyed with a chilled Cruzcampo beer or the local drink of red wine and lemonade with ice.
The Spanish are notorious for their unconventional dining times. As a result, you probably won’t find anywhere open between 4 and 8pm, apart from low quality offerings catering to the tourist crowd.
Further reading- Sunshine and Siestas is a blog about Seville and Southern Spain by an American expat. It is full of handy guides about living and working in Spain, and things to do in and around Seville.