I set my sights on Seville, Spain for a few reasons. 1 – I wanted to fragment my Spain trip with at least two places – the first being Barcelona, and 2 – Everyone spoke highly of this charming area of Spain which really encompassed what one typically thinks of when they think of Spanish culture. Charming area is an understatement, if you ask me. You can walk across Seville in 30 minutes, making any use of cars or taxis quite unnecessary. The streets are lined with orange trees or the sounds of Spanish guitar. The whole town shuts down for siesta yet the streets stay busy late into the night (and morning). I fell in love with this area of Spain, and I think you will too. Here are 6 things you must see and do in Sevilla!
Plazas and Architecture
You do not need to try to see nice architecture. In Seville, you are completely emerged in it. That is one reason why I preferred Seville over Barcelona (although don’t get me wrong, I still loved Barcelona). I loved how Seville was so small and you could walk to everything. It felt so authentic to wander down the extremely narrow alleyways and just gaze in awe at all the beautiful buildings. I also found it easier to navigate. Plazas are helpful for that – our airbnb (highly recommend for Seville) was just off a plaza so it was impossible to get lose. The Plaza de Espana above was quite expansive and while there was some construction while we were there, it was still worth seeing.
The Cathedral is another must-see, although we did not go inside. It’s HUGE and seems to be a central touristy area, with horse-drawn carriages waiting to give rides.
The Metropol Parasol, seen above, is a neat attraction to see for both architecture and amazing city views. It costs about 3 euro to enter it and you get a free drink and a postcard. Very worth the cost, in my opinion. I know a lot of people say this structure is out-of-place in Seville, but I quite enjoyed it.
Where Barcelona lacked in shopping, Seville made up for. I was in heaven! There were a ton of stores we don’t have here in Winnipeg (like Zara of course) and many small boutiques. I would suggest you just head out and walk, shopping til’ you drop! There are some specific areas that sell pottery and ceramics a bit out of the center. And did I mention the flea market? I didn’t get a photo of it (way too hectic) but it was definitely a highlight. The Mercadillo de los Jueves flea market takes place in the Calle Feria area on Thursday mornings. We wandered up and down the rows of merchants, eyeing up oddities and checking out jewelry. You can really find anything from crosses to Star Wars figurines. Fair warning, this market is not cheap and they don’t barter!
Across the bridge is a unique area called Triana. Indeed, people from Triana often say, “I am not from Seville,” even though it is just steps away. It was a rainy day so umbrellas were needed, and we didn’t get to spend quite as much time outside as we would have liked. Our first stop was into a modern market just before the bridge. It was really neat to see and we were both wishing we hadn’t already eaten lunch because there was tons to try! Go hungry. Triana is also known for some awesome ceramic shops, and it was here that I picked up some stunning pieces for my family. We walked along the river before returning across the bridge to find some kind of small cultural festival – but that’s a story for another day!
The cuisine in Seville is completely different than Barcelona, and they tend to do more fried foods I noticed. No complaining from me! There of course are the normal tourist traps along the main path (and pro tip: on the food tour in Barcelona, we were told that if you ever order paella from a restaurant and it takes less than 20-30 min, it is probably not made in house), but I highly recommend doing some research on food spots because there are some gems. The first photo today is from Duo Tapas, which was my favourite meal in Seville. They specialize in modern tapas that range from 2-3 euro, the perfect price. It’s very loud inside so try to get a seat outside.
In case you didn’t know, scenes from Game of Throne’s Dorne was filmed in these very gardens. So naturally, I was pretending to be a Dornish princess as I wandered through an incredible array of palace rooms, courtyards and gardens. Everyone will tell you this is a MUST-SEE in Seville and I would certainly agree! Students get a discount, so be sure to bring your student ID if you have one.
La Carboneria is a bit of a hidden gem that has grown in popularity recently. If you’re interested in seeing flamenco dancing and are on a bit of a budget, this spot is your best bet – it’s free! We were told to go find it during the day so that it would be easier to do so at night. It’s in the middle of a more residential area so it can be hard to spot. Once you do find it, you will be drawn into it’s electric energy. We only saw male flamenco dancers which was quite the experience. Drinks are cheap, and no photos are allowed. I almost got in trouble for that one!