Seville is one of Spain’s most vibrant cities, famed for its flamenco dance and elaborate Alcázar palace. With so much to see and do, it can be a challenge fitting it all in, so I’m sharing my tips on how to make the most of your time with a weekend in Seville, to help you get the most out of your trip.
A WEEKEND IN SEVILLE – WHAT TO SEE
Start your day with a visit to the famous Real Alcázar before the crowds come out in force. Unlike the Alhambra, there isn’t a complicated booking system and you can choose just to queue up on the day though it gets busy in the height of Summer.
This royal palace was built by Moorish kings and is one of the finest examples of mudéjar architecture in Spain.
It was registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1987, along with Seville’s cathedral and the Archivo de Indias building. The gardens are absolutely spectacular…
with peacocks roaming around freely…
And I could stare at the fountains all day!
The interiors are a sight for sore eyes too.
Seville’s Cathedral is close to the Alcázar. It’s full name is Catedral de Santa María de la Sede, and it’s actually the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the third largest cathedral over all.
It was completed in the early 16th century and is the burial place for Christopher Columbus. It has some interesting architectural details, including this replica of a Giraldillo statue, representing the triumph of faith.
Heading towards Maria Luisa Park, there’s an unusual monument to Christopher Columbus in the Jardines de Murillo – hence the ship!
On a sunny day, you can’t beat a stroll through Maria Luisa Park – it’s a perfect spot for some quiet time in the city, and we took part in a great DSLR photo tour here. The Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares or Museum of Arts and Traditions of Sevilla is housed in the Mudéjar Pavilion and dates from 1914.
With a bit more time in Seville, I’d have been in one of those rowing boats in a flash! Plaza de España was the site of Expo 29, and an ornately tiled masterpiece.
But it was time to head on to our next port of call, Metropol Parasol in Plaza La Encarnación. This quirky landmark has been nicknamed The Mushrooms by locals and is thought to be the largest wooden structure in the world. It was inspired by the ficus trees in the Plaza de Cristo de Burgos, as well as the vaults of the cathedral and was designed by Jürgen Mayer.
The structure comprises six parasols and was finished in 2011. It was quite controversial when it was first opened due to its unique appearance and the delays in its construction.
However, we loved it and it’s one of Seville’s best bargains. At the time of writing, you pay 3 euros to access the panoramic walkway on levels 2 and 3 but this includes a drink and even a postcard from the gift shop.
There’s a great view of the Cathedral from the top.
As the sun sets, make your way towards Puente de Isabel II, or Triana Bridge as it is known, since it leads over to the vibrant Triana neighbourhood, a favourite with locals.
Walking back along the river into the town centre, you’ll pass the Golden Tower or Torre del Oro. Dating from the 13th century, it has an unusual octagonal shape.
El Rinconcillo is the oldest restaurant in Spain, established in 1670, and a good place for an informal lunch or evening tapas.
Hijos de E. Morales is another place oozing with retro style. There are some huge stoneware barrels in the back room and its another excellent option for tapas.
Taberna del Alabardero is housed in a beautiful 19th century building and has a formal restaurant as well as a more casual café with cuisine by the students of their cookery school. We were in luck as on our visit, they were preparing for the feria, Seville’s famous (or should that be infamous 😉 festival. We were welcomed at the door with a glass of sherry and inside they’d created a caseta, a sort of indoor marquee decorated in bright colours and with traditional musicians playing.
We tucked into fresh prawns, paella and some very drinkable sangria – they even gave me a red carnation.
A great pick for an evening drink is the rooftop bar in Hotel Doña María. With comfy outdoor seating, you can drink in the sight of the Giralda Bell Tower.
Las Casas de la Juderia is a charming hotel located in the former Jewish quarter, close to the cathedral. It’s actually a collection of 27 townhouses, interconnected by a series of tranquil patios. Our suite was situated in a quiet area overlooking a picturesque courtyard.
It was quite spacious by Seville standards, with a separate lounge.
We were rather surprised by the single beds and the decor needs a bit of a refresh, but the room had all mod cons including high speed complimentary wifi.
There are some really beautiful communal areas in the hotel, like the ground floor patio.
On the first floor, there are several cosy reception rooms and a bar, although the highlight could well be the roof top terrace and pool, being renovated whilst we were there but now ready for Summer. All in all, you couldn’t ask for a better location to explore Seville, before travelling on to other Andalucian cities such as Carmona, Jaen and Ubeda. Have you ever visited “the frying pan” as Andalucia’s capital is known? It’s called that because it gets so sizzling hot in Summer time!
We benefited from a discounted rate at Las Casas de la Judeira for the purposes of this review