Seville. Just the name alone is music to my ears! And in fact the region that this city is the capital of is easily one of the most interesting and beautiful in all of Spain. I have to admit that I’m a bit in love with this place – not just because of its stunning architecture and rich culture, but because its location lends itself well to awesome road trips. Why not head to amazing cities such as Huelva, Cordoba or even go a little further afield to Gibraltar and Malaga?
So, if you’ve never been to Seville before and you’re wandering what all the fuss is about, then join me today on a little Andalusian adventure and discover what really makes Seville so unbelievably magical! :)
As Spain’s fourth largest city, there are plenty of impressive things to see and do here. According to legend, we have the hero Hercules from Greek mythology to thank for founding Seville, making it the largest historical town centre in the country. Characterised by numerous towers, the cityscape is enchanting and there’s a real buzz from the colourful life that fills the streets.
As you know, size doesn’t matter, but I cannot deny the fact that Seville’s Old Town has something truly special about it. The small, narrow streets which meander through the city give it an incredible charm. The view looks almost like a photograph – the facades of the houses glow in the warm glow of the sunshine while courtyards and small squares create a relaxing atmosphere. Just a stroll through the streets does wonders for your mind and soul – even when the buildings let no sunlight into the alleys and they are gloomy in the shade.
The Santa Cruz district is especially popular with both the locals and tourists. Flowers decorate the rows of little white houses and trees give shade along the way. Now I’m thinking of it, it feels as though I’m right there again. Over the years the amazement hasn’t worn off and I still can’t stop raving about this place!
A taste of life in Seville
Even though you can experience first hand the typical life of the sevillanos here, it’s also worth checking out the touristic hotspots too. Honestly, you won’t be able to spend a few days in Seville without noticing the magnificent architecture. My first thought at the sight of the Santa Maria de la Sede Cathedral was how breathtaking it was. It towers high above the city and is the biggest church in all of Spain. Built in the 12th century, the building originally functioned as a mosque, but it was since declared a cathedral in the 13th century. Today’s construction was actually only built in the 15th century and has been developed over several centuries to become the 23,000 m² area which now lies at our feet. Just take a look at photos and be impressed by the magnificent facade with its many towers and decorations. And it’s not just the exterior that’s impressive – you’ll also be able to see striking details inside, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before!
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Coincidentally, the next impressive sight is more or less part of the Santa Maria de la Sede Cathedral. I’m talking about Seville’s landmark, la Giralda. Formerly a minaret, these days it’s a bell tower that proudly stands tall at 76 metres. In the past, three golden balls adorned the top. Now, a statue of the Virgin Mary at a great height decorates the bell tower.
You simply must visit the royal palace, the Alcázar of Seville. Difficult to miss, the Alcázar is on Avenida de Menéndez Pelayo. Since the 14th century, the fortress has been extended as it was passed from ruler to ruler. As a result, the architecture is particularly interesting – such a random mix of styles shows the preferences of each king. Even today, the Spanish king stays here with his family when he visits Andalusia. As you would expect, such an imposing site also has a magnificent garden. Just take a look at these stunning photos – it’s enough to make even an amateur gardener jealous.
Seville’s beauty is by no means just a matter of chance. Stunning palaces, cosy squares and an endless list of sights impress visitors. It’s best to have a small overview of everything before your holiday to Seville to make sure you get to see all the incredible architecture.
La Torre del Oro: meaning ‘golden tower‘, named so due to seafarers who used to store their treasures here, including pure gold. The twelve-sided tower by the Guadalquivir River now acts a reminder of these times.
Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza: OK, so bullfighting is a very controversial topic, there’s no denying that! But even if you refuse to see a match, you should definitely have a look at Seville’s bullfighting arena, considered to be one of the most beautiful in Spain. There are guided tours on offer for reasonable prices where you’ll be able to browse exhibits and learn more about the sport’s history and look around the arena itself.
Metropol Parasol: a huge wooden structure in Plaza de la Encanación has become one of the new landmarks of Seville. 150 metres long, 70 metres wide and 26 metres high, this unique structure provides protection from the sun and shade for food markets and open air events.
More vivacious than ever
Anyone who visits Seville will fall in love with the city not just because of the stunning buildings but even more so because of the Sevillian zest for life. To really get caught up in the easy-going and joyous mood of the locals, I recommend visiting in April during la Feria de Abril. During the fair in April, the whole town is transformed into a unique party location and there is a huge celebration suitable for both young and old. One of the main locations is the Barrio los Remedios. Here, there are various tents serving homemade tapas for you to try before you hit the dancefloor. Speaking of the dancefloor, did you know that Seville is considered the birthplace of flamenco? So prepare yourselves for the hot rhythms and join in with the sevillanos! Nearly all the women dress in the traditional flamenco outfit, which only adds to the atmosphere. They are accompanied by their men who are not afraid to turn up looking smart in a suit and tie despite the warm temperatures. Simply mingle with the locals and let that Spanish spirit take hold. :)
It’s not just in April that you can experience the people of Seville’s zest for life but throughout the whole year. The Santa Cruz district and Alameda invite you to wind down at the end of the day. Those who then want to head to a club are sure to find somewhere on Calle Betis, Calle Alfalfa, Calle Marques de Paradas or Calle Julio Cesar.
Doesn’t it just sound fabulous? If you’re interested in experiencing Seville for yourself, then I have some handy links for you below. :)
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