I have been getting quite a lot of requests & questions about Seville. Do I have any knowledge to share? I, myself have only been once and therefore I am not an authority. I can however categorically state it’s one of the MOST beautiful cities I have EVER visited. I fell hook, line and sinker in love and I will definitely be going back. We squeezed a lot into our 4 days which I’ll share with you now …
Boring bit first … the journey from the airport to the heart of Seville will take around 15 minutes and if I recall rightly it cost us approximately 25€ in a taxi. We flew from Manchester, there wasn’t much choice to be honest as flights are very limited for us northerners.
It’s HOT . In October when we visited it was freaky hot, like ‘boil in the bag’ hot. Apparently you should avoid visiting during the summer months as it’s stiffaling. Also wear comfy shoes, if you want to see everything it will involve lots of walking . The streets are narrow and cobbly in places… but dreamily beautiful .
We stayed in an Air BNB in the neighborhood of Alfalfa. It’s a great spot to base yourself. It’s a hive of narrow, bustling streets , tapas and wine bars. The apartment is situated in a residential area just off a busy little square with bars, restaurants, play area and a chemist. You can book the apartment HERE
The large upstairs terrace is a definite selling point. Great for pre-brunch, pre-walk, pre-anything drinks with relaxing views and if you are lucky a slight breeze.
We found ourselves meandering around most days with a vague idea where we were headed but still getting lost. It’s a fun lost though …and somehow we always managed to end up where we wanted to be. It just took a little longer than anticipated!
Of course you will no doubt want to visit the main sights – Royal Alcazar de Sevilla, Plaza de Espana, Cathedral de Sevilla and La Giralda. They all charge an entrance fee apart from Plaza de Espana which has free entry into the square. You will pay approx 15- 25€ to gain entry into the others . They are all must-sees, the Cathedral is spectacular. If like me a church / cathedral floats your boat you will be in your element. My only advice is to get there early to avoid the queues, the crowds and the instagrammers ! It would be advisable to pre-purchase your tickets , it works out slightly cheaper ,states an entrance time and usually means you can jump the queues.
Most places state that they are wheelchair friendly . Real Alcazar de Sevilla is absolutely stunning – it is the place they filmed some scenes for the Game of Thrones and was the one place I really wanted to venture [ massive GOT fan] … however unless the person in the wheelchair can actually walk it isn’t very friendly. There are lots of steps down into the gardens with no ramps making some areas inaccessible. Just something to bear in mind if like ours your party includes someone who uses a wheelchair.
In Seville you will NEVER be short of somewhere to eat or drink, there are bars , cafes and restaurants on every corner. We visited a handful and didn’t have a bad experience in any that I can recall. We did get a bit Tapas’ed out after a few days – I LOVE tapas however we went in all guns blazing but after a few days fried ‘everything’ gets a-bit much – hence the reason we sought out the Italian mentioned below.
La Casa del tesorero – C. Santander, 1, 41001 Sevilla is a little upmarket authentic Italian restaurant located near the Cathedral de Sevilla in the Santa Cruz area. It is steeped in history as our knowledgeable waiter informed us . It is located in the facilities of the former Royal Mint, the restaurant’s decoration has preserved the original distribution of the 16th century building. My camera had a funny , otherwise I would have gone photo crazy. Delicious interiors, delicious food. Helpful waiters . Highly recommend the pasta and the Irish coffee !
Casa de Gula , C. Álvarez Quintero, 9, 41004 Sevilla – Is the ideal spot for brunch, the food was yummy; avocado on toast kind of vibe with a fruit smoothie. The skull room upstairs that you walk through to get to the toilets is definitely worth a ganzy.
El Rinconcillo , C. Gerona, 40, 41003 Sevilla – Is the oldest tapas bar in Seville. It has been open since 1670! Unfortunately it also had the rudest waiters serving on the day we attended . We didn’t stick around for long! You may hopefully be luckier.
Taberna Manzanilla , C. Capataz Manuel Santiago, 7, 41003 Sevilla [ just around the corner from El Rinconcillo],is a great spot for a cold beer. It’s situated on a corner in a little square . I am happy to report the waiters are amongst the friendliest we came across and it appears to be a spot the locals frequent. The only little negative is the wooden chairs can be a little uncomfortable.
Hotel Dona Maria Roof Top terrace , Don Remondo, 19 Seville, Spain Definitely worth a visit. Amazing views of the cathedral, great atmosphere and very lively . They serve a good selection of drinks [at not daft prices] and have the most fun bar staff. There is lift access so ideal for wheel chair users . We only wish we had found it sooner; we discovered it on our last night which is usually the case !
We did venture to EME Cathedral Hotel roof top bar on our first evening – Calle Alemanes 27 Seville. The views are absolutely stunning but you pay for them , it will cost you around €25 /€30 per drink. It was empty when we visited and to be honest we preferred Dona Maria – it had a lot more personality.
Breakfast in one of the little coffee houses facing the cathedral is a treat, great for people watching. Considering where they are situated – very reasonably priced too.
Alternative things to do –
I highly recommend the walk from Alfalfa to Macarana ; it takes you in the opposite direction and the hustle and bustle of the area around the cathedral. You get more of an idea how the locals live. We stumbled on a tiny cafe ,nestled next door to a glorious church. You could grab a coffee for 1€ and toast laden with tomatoes drizzled in oil for not much more. I did a separate blog post HERE
Notable places to visit while in Macarena – Basilica de la Macarena – is a neo-Baroque church building dating from 1949 built in honour of the virgin Mary ‘La Virgen de la Esperanza Macarena’. Entrance is around €4 . Unfortunately we didn’t have time to call in , as usual it took longer to walk there than we anticipated [ plus a coffee stop obviously] We also had a boat trip booked in the afternoon, but it looked impressive from the exterior and by all accounts definitely worth a visit while in Seville.
Triana is the district located on the other side of the Guadalquivir River in Seville. It is accessible by the bridge ‘Puente de Isabel II‘. It is a lively, working-class neighbourhood, not as pretty but interlaced with small , often cobbled streets that lead to intimate little squares . When you find where you are going , it is worth the trip.
We were advised we would see Flamenco on every corner in Seville, but after 3 whole days we had disappointingly seen nothing. We ventured into Triana with the prospect of experiencing Flamenco for ourselves. After a mad dash and with the help of a lovely local bar owner , who escorted us there [ I don’t advise following strange men down alleys but we were desperate] we eventually got to see some !! It was raw and very emotional . You can book tickets HERE
Speaking of the river, a trip down the Guadalquivir River is a great way to spend a few hours and you get to see Seville from another angle. The breeze was most welcome too ! We booked onto a private yacht tour in the UK a few weeks before we visited Seville. It was very pleasant. We had drinks, a small selection of meats and cheese, music and a guide. We booked through this company HERE Highly recommend.
Setas de Sevilla – mushroom of Seville . This Is a large Sculptural wooden structure with an archaeological museum, rooftop walkway & viewpoint looking out over Seville. It’s a hive of activity with shops and bars surrounding it. We stumbled across this on our last day . As architecture goes it’s amazing, it kind of blew my mind a-bit. Apparently the views from the rooftop walkway are amazing but we didn’t get that far as we had to leave for the airport . It is free to walk around.
For those that love shopping there is an large and rather amazing shopping area, which includes a Sephora . Shopping on holiday is not for me, I personally can’t think of anything worse to do but if that’s your thing … you’ll be spoilt . If like me you’d rather go and have a beer somewhere and chill looking at amazing architecture [ it’s literally everywhere] , like I stated previously there’s an abundance of bars to while a way a few hours while your friends finish their shopping.
So in a nutshell that was our experience of Seville. LOVED IT. It really is a wonderful city. It had something for everyone and I doubt you could ever get bored. In fact I think we only touched the surface as there’s so much more to see and do.
Some places capture your heart and Seville is one of them. The architecture, history and general vibe is hard to beat. I’ve said it before but I think it is my spiritual home – I could quite happily live there. If you are planning to go I am sure you will have an amazing trip …
In fact can you squeeze a little one in your suitcase?