Seville: the gem of Andalucia

Seville Real Alcazar guide tapas parks things to do spain Andalucía

Seville! The next stop on our European adventures! This southern Spanish city promised a lot and delivered in spades! The food was excellent, the city streets were winding and enchanting, the plazas were lively and the architecture was enthralling. The weather.. hot! We arrived in May and were very glad we decided to visit before summer! Read on for tips, memories and moments from a lovely 5 day stay in Seville!

We loved Seville’s Architecture & History

The architecture in Seville is a wonderful melting pot of traditional European and Arabic influences. Relics of a by-gone era where the Catholic, Jewish and Arabic people lived harmoniously – perhaps something we in the modern world could learn from today.

Getting lost in the Jewish quarter with its narrow winding laneways was a delight. This labyrinth of tall buildings and winding walkways also serves to block the harsh Seville sun and keep the city’s inhabitants cool in the summer months.

Of all Seville’s grand monuments and impressive history however, its real charm it in its lively plazas – where young and old come together to enjoy beautiful food, weather and company. If only we could bottle up this atmosphere and bring it back home with us – alas in doing so its authenticity and effortlessness would undoubtedly be lost.

The Food Experience in Seville is Great Fun

Wandering between streets to enjoy tasty local dishes in a budget friendly manner? Sign us up! If you haven’t already heard us rave about our tapas tour, then have a read and watch our vlog as we ate our way through the Tapas Bars of Seville. Below are some of our highlight food and drink experiences from Seville that we think you should have on your list:

  • El Rinconcillo: one of the highlights of our trip so far, and definitely the best moment from Seville! The oldest tapas bar in Seville is a must visit! See our Tapas Tour post for more.
  • Bodega Santa Cruz: along the main street of Seville, amongst the locals and tourists alike, with great vibes and low cost! Bodega Santa Cruz was a great moment from our trip and we recommend you check it out! See our Tapas Tour post for more.
  • Almazen: We stumbled across Almazen on our first day in Seville and loved it so much we came back for coffee every day! Offering healthy brunch options at very reasonable prices this place is great if you’re not fan of the classic ‘European breakfast’ of sweet cakes and bread. The staff are also very helpful when it comes to providing local restaurant recommendations. Added Bonus: place has WIFI for customers and they are happy for you to stay and work at ‘non-peak’ times.
  • Terraza Del Eme: looking for a fancy rooftop bar with views of the Seville cathedral? This has you covered. Whilst not authentic, this has a great outdoor setting and ‘party vibes’ for those wanting to have a few drinks and let loose.
  • Virgen Coffee: Good coffee can be hard to find in Europe! Virgen Coffee delivers! The iced latte on a hot Seville day was a lifesaver. Opens 9-1pm and 4pm (the Spaniards beat by their own drum) and perfect for a late afternoon coffee (or iced coffee in our case).

Additional Considerations: okay, tapas taste great, but it can be hard to find a fresh vegetable amongst the bread wine a cheese. We love to enjoy and sample the local cuisine, however we are also health conscious, and found it hard to find options that fit with our preferences. Opting for fish dishes seem to be a somewhat ‘healthy’ alternative, while we regularly ate breakfast at home.

The Real Alcazar of Seville

Built as a royal palace for King Peter of Castile, the Alcazar of Seville has a long and turbulent history. While we were happy to wander aimlessly and take in the sights, if history is your thing it would be worthwhile paying for a guided tour or audio guide. As previously mentioned the architecture is like something we had never seen before, seamlessly blending traditional European and Arabic techniques.

The real showstopper for us however was the incredible gardens! Filled with blooming Jacaranda trees, cooling fountains, perfectly manicured lawns and Peacocks, all of which give it a sense of being an oasis in the middle of an otherwise harsh landscape. We spent over an hour wandering and sitting in these beautiful gardens. If you have a sense of deja-vu while wandering you’re not mistaken, as the Alacazar was featured as the set of Dorn on Game of Thrones.

Our top tips to get the most out of your visit: Book tickets early as the line just to get to the front of the ticket office was long by the time we arrived. It may also be worthwhile visiting earlier in the morning (General admission opens at 09:30 daily) to avoid the crowds and the heat of the day.

Our Top Seville Highlights

  1. Tapas in the city’s many plazas: particularly Plaza de la Alfalfa!
  2. Real Alcazar gardens
  3. Getting lost in the city – Free!

Other Recommendations & Considerations:

  • Gym: For those wanting to keep active like we do on holidays, check out Go Fit Seville. This gym offers casual visits for €9.30, and has 2-3 levels of gym equipment, including over 5 squat racks (Ky was happy) and an outdoor training area.
  • Accommodation: Whilst our accommodation wasn’t the best we have had on our travels, the location was perfect! We strongly encourage getting accommodation in close proximity of Seville, as it makes everything close together, and allows you to venture home in the middle of the day to get respite from the heat (trust me, you might need it). Additionally, we would highly recommend ensuring your accommodation has aircon, as the days and nights are warm. We were lucky to have a little rooftop terrace, which was a nice addition when having breakfast at home. See a few picks for accommodation below (we didn’t stay here but they look good options):
    A cute, reasonably priced, well located hotel with a rooftop pool!
    Great location and good price for where it is!
    Treat yourself in this incredible whole apartment in the city centre (note: not budget friendly)
    A luxury hotel in the heart of the city.. say less!
  • Book tickets early: Seville is a busy tourist hotspot, with this meaning attractions are often busy. If you have multiple days like us, this is ok for flexibility, however to avoid the cues, and disappointment, try to book your tickets early and online if you can. Additionally, if you are interested in booking soccer tickets for La Liga games (e.g. Sevilla or Real Betis), it is important to realize they are expensive (often above €100) and book out early. You also often can not access them without a Spanish IP address, so ask to use a local computer or use a VPN.

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Keep reading about our time in Spain! Check it out!

Take a look at our Tapas Tour of Seville by clicking the link here!

Have a look at how we went in Granada! Take a look!

Want to read about our time in France? See here!

Keen to take a look at further travel memories and advice? Take a look here!

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