Seville: for your perfect summer weekend break!
Seville, in the southern Spain, the jewel of the Andalusia region, is perfect for a short weekend summer break. It is warm and sunny and the sights are as stunning as the ambience with its elegant edifices and its colorful streets and plazas.
Seville, famous for its mix of gothic, baroque and mudejar architecture is also equally famous for flamenco dance, tapas bars, bull ring and streets lined with orange trees.
The entire area that you see to the right of the river is the old city. Each one of these small streets are prettier than the other and is best seen on foot.
You may start with a stroll through the Maria Lusa park to reach Seville’s most graceful square, the Plaza de Espana!
Bright tiles cover the entire plaza, you will also see a pretty fountain, lots of pigeons, people rowing boats in the miniature canal and small picturesque bridges …giving a most scenic panorama
Plaza de España has been the backdrop for several movies including one of my favourite series: Star Wars (Episode 1: The Phantom Menace)
The walk along the riverside will take you now to the Torre del Oro (Golden Tower)…
….it is a watchtower designed to protect the docks. Early history is that the tower was used to hide the gold from the Mayans and Incas and hence the name!
Keep along the same path to reach the Baroque styled bull-fighting ring Plaza de Toros. It is very historical and there will be bull fights as per their published calendar if you wish to see one. There is a museum for someone who is rather faint of heart and does not want to watch the actual fight… you might also see historical black and white bull-fighting photos on the wall….
Toward the right of this is the entire span of the old city….
You may start with the Lebrija palace, which is a private museum and shows how the wealthy lived in olden Seville. It is said to have a typical Andalusian facade and layout and decorated with Roman mosaic and has the biggest collection of the mosaic, many of the pieces have quite some historical significance behind its shape and layout.
The historic old city is on every tourist’s intent and justifiably so, with its narrow cobbled stoned streets flaunting colorful facades of shops, eateries and pubs.
You may walk whichever way that takes your fancy….. get a coffee and some churros before you start…
On the walk towards the Plaza de San Salvador, you will come across all these pretty neighborhoods……
Plaza de San Salvador is a very lively square ….
…with century-old eateries (see the wine drums)…
…and with the Iglesia del Salvador is in the center with its main facade overlooking the Plaza
It is here that we glimpsed a Spanish wedding when the bride drove in right at the time to the church
The church is built in a baroque styled architecture and the inside of the church was one of the grandest I have seen with its translucent dome and golden altar
The next spot on your map should be Plaza Alfafa which has a hot tapas scene …
there is the Bar Alfafa with traditional tapa and local crowd
Seville is one of the places which offers you different styles of authentic flamenco dance as this art form originated from Andalusia— the Flamenco Dance Museum and the Cultural Center are a couple of highly recommended venues
The show lasts for an hour and typically there are 4 performers — male and female dancers with voice and guitar accompaniment, the highlight is the tapping of the dancers’ shoes
After the show, a leisurely walk in this charming area is highly recommended!
The main attraction of the city is its Cathedral which some calculations place as the largest in the world in cubic measurements even pushing the St.Peter’s in Vatican to the second place. Even though this is still a subject for debate, the Cathedral is astounding in its size and area
The Cathedral is known to house the tomb of Christopher Columbus
It is a huge Gothic structure with 80 chapels inside each of them big enough to be a single church
Next to the Cathedral is the main landmark of Seville, the minaret of La Giralda…..with a bell tower which you can climb up for a magnificent view of the city
There are amazing eateries all around this area with street seating and some with lovely back gardens… here is where we tried the authentic Spanish paella
A short walk from there will take you to Plaza Venerables with its baroque style art museum (Hospital de los Venerables) and the Barrio Santa Cruz
which is the Jewish quarters well known for its centuries-old picturesque streets, flowered balconies, charming restaurants and shops and orange trees
A few turns and you will reach the Alcazar palace of Mudejar architecture, with pretty gardens and patios and which is one of the oldest palaces of Europe
A 5 minute walk from the Alcazar will take you to Plaza San Francisco which used to be the main square of Seville in the 15th century. The town hall and Bank of Spain overlooks the Plaza ….
….which is also surrounded by other colorful buildings
You might find a Spanish ATM as well in the area … which has a whole lot of options than what you normally see in an ATM
All of old city is very colorful even down to the shops - summery clothes, brightly coloured shoes, and flowery hair accessories …and more!
Though there are numerous plazas and beautiful streets….
….another one not to miss is the walk from Plaza Nueve along Avenue de la Constitucion
where you will see grand looking buildings from an architectural perspective!
While the flamenco dance is performed in Museum, Cultural center and flamenco clubs, you might also see street performances of the same
Also, do not forget to experience one of their amazing 19th century food markets, now a popular food hall with river-side seating with over a hundred dishes displayed for you to choose…
You may also visit one of the main markets in the city…
…here is a miniature version of it…
One other thing that you might wish to do is to take a tram ride through the city
…and see the Metropol Parasol which is claimed to be the largest wooden structure in the world…
Before I sign off I leave you with a couple more of visuals from the captivating old city…the romantic squares and streets lined with orange trees….
and more splashes of colors….
…including a beautiful tea specialty shop…
…and the ‘Zara’ junction…
With plenty of eateries and pubs with delicious tapas, flamenco bars and historic sights alongside colorful plazas, it is not surprising that Seville is extra popular among visitors and whoever has been here once wants to come back again!
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Algarve in Southern Portugal is just 2 hours from Seville and is a beautiful place to include in your itinerary, please find my post below!