Friday, October 20, 2017


This city is amazing! If there was one city in Europe I would move to it would be Seville. It is the perfect size; it isn't a large city, but isn't too small either. The people are so friendly, the food is fantastic, and there are endless things to do. If you are lucky enough to be in Seville towards the end of April, do not miss the Feria de Abril! This happens two weeks after Easter, and runs for a week. The best description I have heard for it is that it is like being in a time warp. The city shuts down, everyone dresses in their best flamenco dresses and suits, and the streets are filled with a party. Seriously Americans, we have been doing 4th of July wrong this whole time. The Sevillians really know how to celebrate a tradition and throw a party.

Where is it: Seville is in Southern Spain, in the the Andalucia region.

Seville on the map

Getting there: Seville is another popular transportation hub, and is probably most easily accessible by train or bus if you are already in Spain. The airport is smaller so connections might be more difficult. We came from Heathrow and were surprised there wasn't a direct flight. We had to make a connection through Madrid, but hopefully the airport you are coming from will have a direct flight option. Always a good site when trying to figure out how to get somewhere is

Things to do:
Bull fighting museum: I knew before I left I didn't want to see a bullfight; however, I respected that this was a tradition in the culture and was interested in learning more about it...from afar. I wanted to know the history behind this tradition and get a feeling for what it was like. This tour was the perfect combination of that. We purchased our tickets on site, and told the cashier that we wanted the English tour. Our tour guide was fantastic, giving the tour both in Spanish and English. She would let the non-Spanish speakers quietly look around while she explained to the others, then when it was time for the English portion, we would switch. She did a fantastic job explaining the tradition, the different bullfighters, and the famous bulls. The best part was when you get to go outside and see the ring close up. It is so bright and colorful that it seems like a piece of artwork itself. The tour was approximately 20 minutes, and the cost of a ticket was 8 euros. The location is Paseo de Cristobal Colon, close to the water.
Bullring in Seville Spain
Bullring Artwork Seville

Barrio Santa Cruz and Flamenco show: Another culture experience is the Barrio Santa Cruz and seeing a flamenco show. Now a tourist area, it previously was the Jewish quarter of the city. This neighborhood has seen tough times as Jews were expelled and persecuted in the 1400s. In the 18th century the synagogue that was close by was remodeled into the now Church of Bartholomew. It is a great place to stroll and enjoy the town. As it is a tourist attraction, the restaurants are hit or miss, but there are certainly some great eats here! (see below) Also if you are interested, this is one of the best places to catch a traditional Seville flamenco show. We went to La Casa del Flamenco and really enjoyed our experience. There are only two rows of chairs, which allows you to have an up close experience. There is traditionally someone outside a few hours before a show who will give you a tour and explanation of the dances that will be performed.

Seville Flamenco ShowSeville Flamenco Show in motion

Real Alcazar and Gardens: Get ready to come with a packed lunch as it seems this site never ends! This truly could be an all day event as there is so much to see and take in. This fort was originally built in the 10th century by the Moors, as you will see their artistic influence throughout the palace. This gives you a feeling and impression of the Alhambra Palace. The site was owned by the Romans for awhile after they conquered the Moors in 712, and then officially became the Spanish palace in 1248, when Fernando III conquered the city. More construction began by the Spaniards, and is largely what we see today. This site is still used as the Royal Palace of the Spanish family, and became a World Heritage Site in 1987.

I would skip the audioguide and look up some interesting facts before visiting. The space is so large that you will start to get tired of listening to all the different checkpoints, and probably remember 10% of what you heard. It is better to walk around and just enjoy the beauty of the architecture and gardens. A general admission ticket costs 9.50 euros; however, the site is free on Monday afternoons.

Real Alcazar and Gardens in SevilleReal Alcazar and Gardens in Seville

Church of the Savior: If you haven't gotten your fill on churches, you will want to visit this one as some consider it even better than the Seville Cathedral. However, if your getting sick of religious sites this is one you can skip. This church began as many do in Spain, being built on top of a previous mosque. Works were done to change the mosque to be a Christian religious site, and was later decided to tear down the whole site and build a new. The new construction and largely what we see today was done in the 18th century. Inside you will see 14 altarpieces and a gorgeous dome.

A cool tip is you can buy a joint ticket for this site and the Seville Cathedral and save a couple of dollars. The ticket for the Cathedral, bell tower, and this Church is 8 euros, so essentially you will get the Church of the Savior for free. If you just want to visit this location, the ticket is 3 euros. The church's address is Pl. del Salvador, 41004 Sevilla, Spain.

Seville Cathedral and Giralda: Also registered a World Heritage Site in 1987, this cathedral was finished in 1507. It was built on top of the former mosque. The previous mosque was built in the 1200 century and was used by the Moors, who occupied Seville at the time. When Ferdinand III took over, one of his first orders was to change the mosque to be better situated for Christians. This included building walls to divide the space into separate chapels.  In 1401 it was decided that the whole mosque structure needed to be torn down, and a new cathedral should be built. Luckily the original minaret was kept since it was converted into a bell tower. When you are in the site, you can walk up the original slope to the top of the tower for some fantastic views.

Tickets for both the cathedral and bell tower are 8 euros, but is free with a Sevilla Card. Check out more on the Sevilla card; we found that it didn't help us save any money and it was more economical to purchase the sites separately. The location of the church is close to the Barrio Santa Cruz at Av. de la Constitucion.

Seville Cathedral and Giralda
Entrance to Cathedral in Seville

Plaza de Espana and Parque de Maria Luisa: The Plaza de Espana is a place you can go with little to no historical knowledge and enjoy just as much as the rest of the folks there. So if you are getting a little tired of packing your brain with knowledge, take a break and visit this park and plaza. The park originated first in 1911 to be a public park for all to enjoy. The plaza was built in 1928 for the World's Fair that was a year later. The purpose was to be a showcase for historical moments throughout Spain, hence the name. When walking around you will see tiles that have events and dates. Some fun facts are that several movies have been filmed here, including Star Wars, Lawrence of Arabia, and The Dictator. The plaza is located at Av de Isabel la Catolica, and make sure you enjoy a walk throughout the different sections of the park.

Plaza de Espana pool

Metropol Parasol: This site could be another great break from historical data if you are in the need. This wooden structure was built in 2011 with some controversy. You will notice that it has a very modern look, which was not accepted by most of the locals. While construction was in process, the workers found ruins below that are believed to be back from the Moorish and Roman reign. This stopped construction and permits and other necessary paperwork was needed to complete the building. You can visit the ruins below, but the main highlight is going up the elevator to take in the views of the city. You will walk along ramps throughout the structure to see for miles. I would suggest visiting during "happy hour," as your elevator ticket includes a free drink at the top, where you can sit and enjoy the sun setting over the city.

View from Metropol Parasol
View from Metropol Parasol

Plaza Nueva: We have heard a lot about King Ferdinand III, who took over the city of Seville in 1248. Well if you want to meet him, make sure you visit Plaza Nueva. This area once was the site for a convent that was occupied from 1270 - 1840. Now a plaza, there is the town hall, the Hotel Inglaterra, and a statue of King Ferdinand III. This plaza is used for peaceful protests outside the townhall and for dances. It is a fun place to visit and people watch. You don't have to spend a lot of time here, and once you've had your fill, venture off for some of the best tapas bars. (see below)

Triana: Triana is a neighborhood right across the Isabel II bridge over the Guadalquivir River. It is known for its great food, fun farmers market, and fantastic pottery shops. You can go for more historical sites and monuments as there are many; however, I found Triana as a breath of fresh air where I can go experience the Seville culture. Make sure you got to the Mercado de Triana and graze from vendor to vendor picking out your favorite food. Then explore the streets right over the Isabel II bridge, popping in to look at all the pottery. I found the prices to be very reasonable here, and it is a great place to get souvenirs for yourself or others. If you have the energy and capacity for more history, look into going to the Moorish Revival Chapel, Church of Santa Ana, and Spanish Inquisition museum.

Bridge to Triana
Porches in Triana

Feria de Abril: I cannot say enough how much I love the Fair in Seville. It was truly a once in lifetime experience that I think back on weekly. It begins two weeks after the Holy Week (Easter), and runs for a week. It begins with a parade of the must beautiful carriages taking people in traditional dress throughout the streets to the bullring. At the fairgrounds there are rows of casetas, which are tents for families and friends. You have to be invited inside, but once you are you can partake in the dancing, drinking of the traditional drink rebuijto, and laughter. The whole time, there are carriages and horses riding around the fairground taking in the different parties. This is a grand way of showing off your dress and wealth (as these are very expensive to rent), but this is quickly forgotten once you are on one. We were lucky enough to be invited on, and the view and experience of being in a carriage is amazing. Once you have had our fill of casetas, you can venture further back in the fairgrounds for rides and traditional fair food. Once you are done, head back to party late into the night and repeat all over again the next day. Several businesses are closed during this time so you might want to be in Seville a little before or after to be able to enjoy the full experience of the city.
Horses in Feria de AbrilFlamenco Dresses at Feria

Flamenco Dance Museum: If you are in love with flamenco and the dresses as much as me, this is a must see. Shows are available here as well, and allows the opportunity to see some famous performers. Check out the website for more details on the upcoming performances. The museum itself offers an interactive experience that brings together the dance, singing, and guitar and allows a deeper understanding of the art. To visit the museum is 10 euros, but to both visit the museum and see a show is 24 euros. If you are already considering doing both this might be the best package for you!

Must Eat:
  • La Corona: tapas bar near Plaza Nueva
  • Becerrita: tapas bar near Plaza Nueva
  • Mamarracha: tapas bar near Plaza Nueva
  • Bodega Santa Cruz: in Barrio Santa Cruz, great for tapas and a fun experience!
  • Pepe Hillo: close to the bullring and known by locals for having the best ox tail, a Seville delicacy
Suggested Stay: The Hotel Inglaterra is mentioned above and is an over 100 year old, 4 star hotel. If you are looking for that authentic experience, this could be it for you! However, Seville is a larger city and has plenty of AirBNB options that are great if you are travelling with groups. Seville


  1. Your pictures are awesome! If I make it back to Seville, I'm adding a bunch of stuff from this post to my itinerary.

    1. Thank you so much! I hope you do make it back to Seville; it is such a wonderful city.

  2. I'd love to go back to this area of Spain. Seville is so beautiful :) Great photos!

    1. I would move to Seville in a heartbeat! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Poor Bulls :( I've never been to Seville, but I wanted to go on a little vacation in February and I'll definitely consider Seville as an option! The pictures and descriptions are so colorful and welcoming :) Thank you for sharing! :)

    1. I know, I do feel bad for the bulls! The museum tour only covers the history and traditions; it isn't graphic, but I can understand not wanting to support it. Some of the people I was traveling with opted to go to the actual fight, and my husband and I went to the bar to watch soccer/football instead! I would be a mess if I went!

  4. Nice blog, thx for the info. I’ll go to Sevilla in 2 weeks (4 days)

    1. Thanks Bruno! I hope you have a great time in Sevilla! Let me know how your trip goes :)

  5. Thank you for your great pictures! I am bound for Spain soon, and this helps to know more about Seville. I was in Spain im the 80's, but we didnt get to go to Sevile because the summer was too hot that year. I regret that we didnt get there.