Seville- The capital of the Andalucian region in the south of Spain is a favorite amongst tourists. A small town that it is, Seville or Sevilla as it is called is a colorful town with varied shades of the Spanish Culture. The same is highlighted through the food, architecture, social culture and the vibe of the town.
To start with, buy yourself a Seville City Card. This means- free unlimited city transport, free entry to museums and monuments, discounts at restaurants, souvenirs. Start by planning what to see in and all that you’d like to experience during your trip!
Barrio Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz refers to the Jewish Quarters in Seville. It is the home to many of Seville’s oldest churches. Barrio Santa Cruz is like a labyrinth full of narrow streets and old Spanish homes. When Ferdinand III od Castile had taken over this city from the Muslim rule, he concentrated the Jewish population of the city in this neighbourhood. iN 1492, after the Alhambra decree was passed and the Jews were banished from Spain, this neighborhood went downhill.
Santa Cruz is surrounded by Real Alcazar, Seville Cathedral, Jardines De Murillo, Calle Matos Gabo. Hence occupies a prime position amongst the tourist attractions of Seville.
Another magnificent sight in this city has to be the Seville Cathedral, the third largest cathedral in the world. This Roman Catholic Church boasts of some unique ornate and intense efforts put in its maintenance. Apart from it’s beauty, it’s the stories that surround this cathedral are bound to demand attention. Earlier this cathedral used to be a mosque under the Muslim rule and still has elements of the mosque, like the pillars and minarets being used in the cathedral.
The cathedral also consists of 80 chapels in it.
When Seville was hit by a massive earthquake, the dome of the cathedral fell and destroyed everything under it.
Another interesting fact of this cathedral is that it was the burial ground for explorer Christopher Columbus (who discovered the American continent).
Torre Giralda or the Giralda Tower (Bell Tower) is a 104m long tower, which was earlier the minaret of the mosque. The conversion of the minaret to the Bell Tower in the Seville Cathedral marks the triumph of Christianity as a faith over Islam.
The Seville Cathedral was named as the UNESCO World Heritage in 1987.
Real Alcazar of Seville
Remember the palace of Dorne in Game Of Thrones? That’s the Real Alcazar (Royal* Alcazar) of Seville. A beautiful palace that served as the residence of the Spanish Royals, this is now the numero uno tourist attraction in the Andalucian capital. Built in the 18th century, this castle has hints of the Moorish and the Islamic Architectural styles. There are some very fine details in ceilings and the gardens in the premise of this palace. A great start to your day while exploring Seville.
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Plaza De Espana
In 1928, Plaza De Espana was built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. This monument in the heart of Seville is a combination of the Spanish Architecture with elements of the Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival (Neo Mudejar).
Plaza de Espana is used as a government building in the present day, but it’s elaborate designs and thoughtful architectural style make it more than just a monument. This semi-circular structure showcases the four ancient kingdoms of Spain. One of it’s unique design aspects is the presence of numerous alcoves, each representing different provinces in Spain. Elements like maps, symbols, flags and other cultural identities have been imbibed in these alcoves to give you a glimpse of the Spanish country.
There is also a fountain, a museum and a balcony to get a view from the top of Plaza De Espana.
Other than these experiences, some other notable attractions in Seville include- Museo Del Baile Flamenco, Basilica De La Macarena, the Tobaco Factory, Algarvae. You can also visit the riverside with your friends for sunset.
Your experience in Spain is more likely to be full of relaxation, walking around the cobbled stone streets full of street artists and performers and shopping sprees for the local handicrafts.
If the idea of traditional Bull Fights excites you, make sure you are spending a Sunday in Seville. Locals in the Andalucian region are very passionate about this traditional sport and a contest is held every Sunday, which is attended by locals and tourists alike.
Flamenco is the traditional song-dance form of Spain (yes, the one shown in the song Senorita from the film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara), especially popular in the Andulucian region. Regular performances of this traditional performing art are conducted at various venues in Spain and are totally worth a visit to get a flavor of the local culture.
Seville is specially known for it’s flamenco performances, so this one’s an absolute must.
Streets of Sevilla are full of talented musicians. Each of them have their own rhythms, own stories and own melancholies that could easily have your attention for a while on the go. Don’t miss out on this unique experience ‘cuz these musicians aren’t what you can find over the Internet, but a matter of chance.
Many tourists also visit Sevilla for the adventure sports that this city has to offer. The cost of adventure sports and other experiences is cheaper here compared to Barcelona, Costa Brava, Valencia.
Ensure you get enough recommendations from locals- hotel/hostel staff, shopkeepers. They generally have the best suggestions, which are beyond any reference books!
Also pick your accommodation well. We were staying at the Nomad Hostel in Seville. The central location, proximity to attractions and the vibrant atmosphere of the hostel made it the perfect accommodation experience in Seville.
If you’ve been to Seville and have an experience to share that we’ve missed out on, feel free to comment below. In case of queries/help with planning your Spain trip, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org