Due to COVID-19 and the strict isolation and distancing rules the UK government has enforced in the last few weeks, I find myself at home, with more time to write! The catch is, we are not permitted to travel or leave our homes for more than one form of exercise per day…luckily, I went to Seville in early April of 2019 and had completely forgotten to share my experience, until now – something to write about, yay!
So, this time last year, my friend and I had just touched down in the beautiful Spanish city of Seville. Spain is a place I love to return to time and time again, and Seville will be no exception. Even in the rain, (unfortunately it rained on and off throughout our stay) it was a magical place that completely captivated me.
A blend of old rustic buildings and quaint cobbled streets, creating this amazing medieval feel. With trendy up-market shops, plenty of trees, flowers and greenery along every calle, it was like stepping into my perfect world.
I loved how it seemed less touched by tourists than other Spanish cities I’ve visited, an observation solidified by the fact it was quite difficult to find someone who spoke adequate English! Certainly, I had to rely on what I remembered of my Spanish A-Level – which wasn’t much but it got us by!
So where did we go and what did we see…?
Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija
Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija was a place that we stumbled upon more than anticipated visiting. However, we were glad that we did. A palace museum full of beautiful rooms, mosaics and architecture, it really is a lovely place to visit. Cost of entry as at April 2019 was €12 which included a short tour. Allowing for tour time and wandering, you need no more than 1.5 hours to achieve the full experience.
Flamenco show at Museo del Baile Flamenco
With Andalusia being the birth place of Flamenco dancing, and Seville, the Andalusian capital, I was keen to see a Flamenco show during our stay. And loving to immerse myself in the cultures of the places I visit, as well as a fan and one-time dancer myself, this was a must-do for me.
My interest and love of watching Flamenco dancing began on a college trip to Valencia when one night, our teacher took us to an intimate Flamenco show in a bar hidden down a Valencian back alley. It was all very exciting, and the dancing, atmosphere, attitude and passion of the performers was like nothing I had ever seen before.
Before our trip, I had conducted some research to find ‘the best Flamenco show in Seville’ – El Museo del Baile Flamenco was frequently recommended and had great reviews. Booking your ticket in advance is essential here as shows sell-out fast. We booked ours in person, where we managed to squeeze into the following night’s later performance. At the time of booking we toured the small museum. The museum is basic but informative, and a good way to pass an hour.
As for the show itself, I would highly recommend. The performers were accompanied by musicians on stage, where they danced, stamped and shrieked along to the live music. The atmosphere was incredible and the passion and talent, overwhelming. There is a short interval where you can go to the toilet and buy refreshments from the bar.
Make sure to get there early, or expect a large queue to get in. There are no seat numbers so it is pretty much a free-for-all. Another reason to get there early and bag a good seat!
Catedral de Sevilla y La Giralda
The cathedral and bell tower are really quite astonishing. Surrounded by beautiful buildings, shops, restaurants and a cobbled street, the cathedral is at the centre of this wonderful world.
There is no doubt that you have to go inside the cathedral. The enormity of it, the walls, and how far away the ceiling looks! It’s truly an amazing sight – both inside and out. And like us, you may even see some monks walking through, which is also not something I see everyday!
This was the highlight for me. It’s hard to put into words how incredible Real Alcázar de Sevilla is. An UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Game of Thrones set are just two modest achievements this beautiful palace has under its belt.
There is so much to explore here, from the impressive buildings to the magnificent gardens – it’s a paradise that you could easily lose yourself in for hours.
As a result, tourists from around the world flock here and queues can be very long. So be sure to book ahead online so you find yourself in the smaller of the two!!
You can also choose to do tours or simply explore the palace as you wish.
Museo de Bellas Artes
A really beautiful and quite large museum with many incredible works of art inside. The museum is situated around a garden courtyard. For art lovers, it would be easy to spend many hours here observing and contemplating the masterpieces within.
There is also free entry for EU citizens with ID – we showed our passports. An added bonus!
Plaza de España
This was the second highlight of the trip for me. You really feel as though you have stepped back in time and into a painting! So picturesque and again, a place you could admire for hours.
You can take a horse and cart ride or hire a small boat to really immerse yourself in the atmosphere and experience of Plaza de España – a grand and beautiful finale to our wonderful trip to Sevilla!
Recommendations and tips
- We visited quite a few different food establishments on our trip but there are two that really stood out to me. Number 1 was a cafe/bakery located right opposite our Airbnb which served delicious fresh pastries, muffins, cookies and baguettes. Found on Calle San Pablo 3 with a huge glass window situated brilliantly to view all that the cafe has to offer, we returned a number of times. It’s not very big inside so you may struggle to get a table but you can also opt for takeaway.
- On the Saturday, we really wanted to splash out and treat ourselves to a nice meal. We found Senza – a cocktail bar and Italian restaurant. The manager spoke some English and was very accommodating, managing to squeeze us in that evening. The food was divine and the decor a jungle/garden-type haven – with fake grass on the ceiling! Overall, a very lovely and relaxing meal, definitely worth splashing out a little extra money for.
- On our last day in Seville, our flight wasn’t until late afternoon and we needed to check out of our Airbnb in the morning. We left our suitcases at Bellhop – a secure place for luggage storage at the cost of €5 per large case – prices vary depending on luggage size. They were very efficient and we felt our cases were in safe hands, enabling us to enjoy the rest of our last day.
- On our return drive to the airport, our Airbnb host booked a company called ‘LooLoo Taxis’. Our driver text us once he had arrived at the pick-up location, and was prompt and helpful. Furthermore, despite not knowing much English, he tried chatting with us and sounded genuinely interested in our trip and what we had enjoyed. Would definitely recommend this company if you are in need of transport in Seville.
- Finally, if you are not Spanish speaking and are not going with a tour guide or someone who is, definitely take a Spanish phrase book or dictionary! As mentioned, we came across many people in restaurants and just generally that spoke very limited English so knowing just a little Spanish or having something to refer to will help you immensely 🙂