Everything You Need To Know About Visiting Seville
With so much to see, you can simply wander round the relatively compact centre, admiring the Moorish architecture and influences, starting at the Casa de Pilatos before heading to Torre del Pro. The Alcazar is the oldest occupied royal palace in Europe, built by Muslim craftsmen in the 14th century for Peter the Cruel (yes, really), with its subterranean baths built for his mistress Maria (who allegedly liked to walk naked through the palace to bathe). Endless mosaics, serene gardens and stunning water features mean you can wander here for hours.
For a more modern take on Seville head to Las Setas where Jurgen Mayer’s towering wooden mushroom-shaped parasols dominate the landscape. There’s a lift which will take you up to a curved walkway for 360-degree views of the city’s skyline dominated by the cathedral: the gothic marvel rates amongst the largest churches in the world and you can climb its bell tower, the Giralda Tower, which stands at over 100 metres high, and don’t miss Columbus’ tomb surrounded by orange trees in the cathedral grounds.
Wander though the Barrio de la Cruz, Seville’s old Jewish Quarter with its narrow lanes and fountain-filled secret courtyards, or head to Alameda, the city’s trendiest neighbourhood, packed with cafés, bars and vintage shops. Triana, across the river, is famous for its ceramics and flamenco. La Milonga is a tablao, an intimate flamenco bar where the 50-minute shows are performed for a maximum of 35 guests and Fridays are reserved solely for female performers. The more spacious Bar Lola de los Reyes is another great place to find authentic flamenco, where you’ll find a mix of locals and tourists enjoying the electric atmosphere.
To the south of the city, the famous Maria Luisa Park was formerly the private gardens of the Palace of San Telmo and was donated to the city in 1893, and it’s where you’ll find the Plaża de Espana. Built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 it’s a fascinating mix of Baroque, Renaissance and Moorish Revival architecture, and the two pavilions are now home to museums.
El Rinconcillo is the oldest bar in Seville, dating back to 1670. Downstairs enjoy tapas at the ancient mahogany bar whilst upstairs is the restaurant with its flamboyant picture windows so common in Seville. Although a tourist haunt, it’s still well worth a visit here if just to have the apron-clad waiters chalk your bill on the counter top the traditional way. Bodeguita Romero is a traditional family-run tapas bar, and the terrace at Duo Tapas is perfect for a leisurely lunch, whilst inside the busy Feria Market, Condende is renowned for its delicious pastries. For the ultimate sundowner with a view head to Terrazzo Atalaya, a circular bar on the 37th Floor of Torre Sevilla high above the river.
Where to Stay
In the quieter San Lorenzo neighbourhood is the 17th century Palacio Bucarelli. A Baroque jewel still lived in by the 14th generation of the same family, you can take a tour of the art and antique-filled interiors but it is also a hotel with several beautiful rooms to rent, including the penthouse with rooftop pool. palaciobucarelli.com
The Hotel Alfonso XIII was built to host dignitaries during the 1929 Exposition and remains an iconic landmark in the historic quarter of Santa Cruz. The elegant facade hides 126 rooms and 22 suites and there’s an outdoor pool, pretty gardens, and the Restaurant San Fernando in the hotel’s inner courtyard serves Spanish classics with a modern twist. marriott.com
Down on the waterfront the Hotel Vincci La Rabida is a relaxed space with suites overlooking La Giralda, a popular tapas restaurant and rooftop bar. en.vinccilarabida.com