How to Spend the Perfect Weekend in Seville
Seville is over 2,000 years old and has 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Lonely Planet listed it as the #1 city to visit in 2018 because it has completely transformed itself from a congested city and reinvigorated its artistic heritage. It’s the birthplace of the Flamenco dance, which, thanks to its cultural significance, has made Seville a UNESCO City of Music.
It’s the ideal spot for a sunny city break so here are our top tips to make it the perfect weekend away…
What to See in Seville
Plaza de España
Seville’s Plaza de España was built for the Ibero-American Exhibition in 1929. It is a remarkable half-moon-shaped brick building built in a Renaissance/neo-Moorish style. Renting a boat and rowing its canal, adorned with 4 bridges, is the perfect way to take in the grandeur of the building. For Star Wars fans, you might recognise it as the Palace of the Kingdom of Naboo.
Maria Luisa Park
The Maria Luisa Park is Seville’s most famous park and a favourite place to relax in the shade during the hot summers. In 1893, the park, formerly a private garden, was re-imagined with romantic touches inspired by the Alhambra and the Alcázares of Seville. From fountains to inscribed tiled benches, the park is an excellent place to take a break from sightseeing, sit back and people watch.
Triana was Seville’s Gypsy quarter. It’s a maze of small, cobbled, colourful streets. Home to some of the most famous matador’s, you’ll see faded bullfighting posters adorning its buildings. Walk across the Triana Bridge, the oldest in Seville, to experience this vibrant quarter. Calle Betis, the street that runs along the waterfront, is the spot to head to in the evening with lively bars and delicious restaurants to choose.
Where to Go in Seville
Flamenco is started in the countryside surrounding Seville. The first flamenco bars opened in Seville in 1885 and the city has since been known as the birthplace of flamenco. A visit to the Museo del Baile Flamenco is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in this rich part of Seville’s culture. With interactive exhibitions, live flamenco shows and special themed evenings, it is the place to go in Seville to experience this art.
The Metropol Parasol
The Metropol Parasol, also known as The Mushrooms or ‘Las Setas’, is the largest wooden structure in the world. On the first level of the structure is the open-air plaza and on levels 2 & 3 there are panoramic terraces and walkways where you can enjoy the sweeping panoramic views of Seville. If you fancy, there’s also a tapas bar at the top.
Seville Cathedral, or Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Taking over 100 years to complete, the Cathedral is like no other you’ve seen. According to local oral tradition, they wanted to “build a church so beautiful and so grand that those who see it finished will take us for mad”. With 80 chapels, heights of 138 feet and 15 intricately detailed doors on its four facades, it’s a must-visit. Beside it, is the Giralda. In the 12th Century, it was a minaret for the Great Mosque of Seville and in the 16th Century, it was incorporated as the bell tower for the new cathedral.
Royal Alcázar Palace
The Real Alcázar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the Moorish Mudéjar style, it is still used by the Spanish royal family. Starting in the 10th Century and taking over 500 years to complete, the Palace has a mixture of styles from Gothic to Romanesque. It has enchanting courtyards, glistening golden ceiling, vibrant tiles, gorgeous gardens with aesthetically delightful orchards and dozens of rooms from throne rooms to the residence of the royal family. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you might recognise it as the Palace of the Kingdom of Dorne.
Seville is regarded as the home of tapas so it would be rude not to indulge. It has around 3,000 tapas bars, one of which has been serving tapas for nearly 400 years, El Rinconcillo or sit riverside and sample from different stands at Mercado Lonja del Barranco. Some top dishes to try are:
- Jamón Iberico de Bellota (Acorn-Fed Iberian Ham)
- Solomillo al Whisky (Pork Loin with Whisky Sauce)
- Croquetas (Ham, Cheese & Shrimp)
- Tortilla Española (Spanish Omelette)
Where to Stay in Seville
3* Plaza Santa Lucia
The 3* Plaza Santa Lucia is a great 3* option in Seville. Only a 20min walk to all the main sights, it makes for a great base to explore all Seville has to offer. Rooms are spacious with bright décor. The rooftop pool is the perfect place to cool down after a day of sightseeing and take in the views of the city.
4* NH Sevilla Plaza de Armas
The 4* NH Sevilla Plaza de Armas has a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. It is sleek and modern with a gorgeous rooftop area and a brilliant breakfast. The rooms are comfortable so you can have a restful night after a day of sightseeing. Located near the river, it’s only a short walk to the main attractions.
So, when will you visit Seville?