Seville is the capital of the southern province of Andalusia and a place I was lucky enough to call my home for three months earlier this year. After work and on my days off, I’d spend all my free time, heading out and exploring both this city and beyond. I worked for a tour company which meant at work I was looking for everything and anything going on in the city. I lived in the north of the city, which felt like a different place to the centre of the city.
When to visit-
April is home of the famous April Fair, and if you want the true Sevillano experience, you’re going to want to visit during the Feria week! The city basically shuts down for the week-long party. Semana Santa is the week leading up to Easter and again, shuts the city down with all its celebrations. If you’re lucky enough to be there during June, you’ll get to see Corpus Christi as well.
Weatherwise, you need to prepare yourself before arrival. If you’re there between June and September, pack all your shorts and t-shirts! It can get up to 40° daily! Luckily, all the houses are built for the weather – cool for the summer and keeping the heat in during winter. Don’t worry about sitting outside at restaurants – they spray water onto you, to keep you nice and cool! If you’re there in July or August, you’ll find that the city seems empty! All the locals escape the city and its heat – so all you’ll find during the daytime are tourists! Restaurants and cafes have different opening hours during these months, so be prepared to eat later as all the restaurants are open later in the cooler hours.
Where to visit-
Type ‘places to visit Seville’ into google and you’re left with some of the main tourist attractions – the Alcazár, Catedral y Giralda and the Plaza de España. But there’s more to the city than these three. When you visit the Plaza de España, turn around, and spend some time wandering through Parque Maria Luisa. The park is full of pavilions, fountains and statues. If you’re visiting Seville in the summer, look out for the Alcazárs summer music series – they open the garden up daily for a concert in the evenings. I was lucky enough to visit one night and saw a string quartet, nestled behind the garden wall, with the Giralda lit up in the background.
Las Seta’s will always be a talking point in the city. The real name for them is the ‘Metropol Parasol’ but everyone refers to them as ‘The Mushrooms’. When you buy your ticket, you get a drinks ticket! Enjoy a drink at the top, which will cost a couple of euros on top of the drinks voucher, or enjoy a free drink on the ground! If you’re after a wide selection of food and drink spots, head slightly north of the city centre to the Alameda de Hercules – it’s an open square with so many amazing restaurants and bars!
If you’re in Seville around Halloween – or any time of the year, check out the abandoned Isla de la Cartuja! The island is located on the east of the city and was home of the 1992 exposition. The site is a mixture of buildings currently used as offices, and buildings that are completely abandoned. The Museo de Bellas Artes is the main art gallery in Seville and is free for European residents! You can spend hours there looking at all the amazing artwork, and the architecture of the building.
Getting around Seville-
Seville as a whole is quite a small city, and most of it is walkable. If you’re staying close to the historical centre, walking is the best way as the streets are narrow and a maze to get through! Taxies are cheap, and you can get a bus ride for €1.40 each way. Another great option is Sevici! You can sign up for a short-term pass – €13 a week, or a long-term pass which is €35 a year. Your first 30 minutes are free, and thanks to the size of the city, you can get pretty much everywhere in half an hour of cycling.
Where to eat-
Throughout the city, there are gems of restaurants. One of the most popular chains in Seville
(and Spain) is 100 Montaditos. Cheap buckets of beer, large Tinto de Verano’s and cheap tapas and sandwiches (montaditos), it’s got to be your go-to on a Wednesday or Sunday – where all their sandwiches are 1€!
If you’re wanting a little bit more fine dining, head to the Alameda! The Alameda is home to Arte y Sabor, a beautiful restaurant, full of amazing artwork. And the best part? It serves both ‘traditional’ Spanish tapas, as well as plenty of vegan and vegetarian options! Try their tuna steak or tempura vegetables! You’re not going to regret it. Another great option is El Pasaje. Tucked down some side streets not too far from the Cathedral, El Pasaje is surprisingly cheap for its location! Whilst you’re there, try their salmon lasagne, or their espinacas y garbanzos!
Whilst you’re near Las Setas, check out Perro Chiko! Beautiful creamy croquettes, amazing vegetables and patatas bravas. It’s open super late, and the few times we went there, all the food was just as good every time. The further north you go, and the further away from the city you are, the more unique the food is! Koala was one of my favourite restaurants in the Macarena part of Seville – a beautiful family restaurant, with amazing goats cheese, asparagus fritters and patatas alioli. As you keep going north, you’ll find the widest range of Cuban and Southern American food! They’re all restaurants full of locals, which is a good sign of the food being the best!
If you’re after a traditional Andalusian breakfast, head towards the Alameda and check out Cafe Piola or Cafe Hercules – with all the crushed tomato, garlic oil and oregano you’ll want to top your toast!
Seville is the home of Flamenco. And whilst you’re there, it would be silly not to watch a show! There’s the well known Museum of Flamenco, as well as some shows hosted at restaurants and cafes. My favourite was Casa Ensembla, located north of La Setas and east of the Alameda. It’s a wonderful, family run show, located within a beautiful art space. The show only cost a few euros and it was definitely a family show – and everyone jumped on stage at the end for an impromptu dance.
Where to visit outside the city-
Thanks to the Ave trains and Alsa buses, Seville has great travel options, whether you’re after just a day trip, or a quick weekend away! Nearby is Jerez de la Frontera, a town known for its sherry, Granada and the Alhambra, Cordoba and its amazing mosque. There’s also Cadiz, on the coast with all its amazing fresh seafood for you to try! Nearby, you can find the historic town of Carmona, high up on a hill looking out over its Andalusian countryside.