Seville Travel, Spain

Plaza de Espana, Seville Guide

Plaza de España in Seville, Sevilla.

Why Seville Travel?

The Spanish coast has mutated into a hideous mish-mash of foreign owned skyscrapers, so the heart of España has retreated to inland Andalusia (Andalucia) Spain’s most southerly region, and the largest, liveliest, prettiest, most interesting city in Andalusia is unquestionably the capital, Seville (Sevilla in Spanish).
Want to see the glory of Spain? Check la vida de Sevilla. Moorish? Definitely!

Seville weather

Best: March-June, September-November, when temperatures range from pleasant to quite hot. March average temperatures are 8C- 21C (46F-70F), June averages 17C-31C (62F-88F). Note the superb Easter festival of Semana Santa and April’s colourful Feria de Sevilla, (Feria de Abril).
Avoid: July-August, when there is extreme heat (ranging from lows of 20C (68F) to highs of 35C+ (95F+) and no beach, though the nearby Costa de la Luz has the best beaches in Spain! December is the wettest month, though at 95mm that’s not exactly torrential.

Main Attractions

The hub of the large and lovely old town is the Cathedral (built over a Moorish mosque in the 15thC and full of religious treasures) and attached intricate Giralda tower that used to be the mosque’s minaret. The number one attraction for tourists, however, is the Real Alcazar, a fantastically ornate palace hundreds of years old or the similar but smaller Casa de Pilatos if you can’t be bothered with the Alcazar queues.

Lovely walks around the old Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz, full of tapas bars, picturesque alleys, glimpses of secret gardens and many grand buildings.

Then there are promenades along the River Guadalquivir, buzzing with cafes and social action in the evening, with sights aplenty.

And when you’ve done with walking, hop into a horse cab (discuss the price first) and trot off to more sights in the north, headed by the spectacular Plaza de España.

Alternatively cruise by water bus up the river.

In particular look out for Moorish architecture, bullfighting (most Sunday evenings April – Oct), Flamenco dance/song (originally Andalusian), and Andalusian cuisine.

Short Trips out of Seville

Not exactly short, but if you are willing to drive a bit on excellent roads, two or three hours will get you to:

• other famous Andalusian cities such as Cordoba and Granada

Doñana National Park (wildlife, including flamingoes in winter)

• rock-top Ronda and fortified hilltop towns known as the Pueblos Blancos

Malaga for great tapas but modest sights, Cadiz for terrific old town and beaches, and Jerez (home of Sherry)

Gibraltar

• various Costa de la Luz beach resorts

• sensational windsurfing on the south, Atlantic coast at Tarifa.

Seville Festivals

Festivals
February-April, Holy Week (Semana Santa) hundreds of pointy-head parades through the night.
April Fair (La Feria de Abril), perhaps the city’s best party – traditional dress, parades, dancing and wild parties.

For some precise dates or more information see: European Festivals or Arts Festivals.

Arts/Culture

Museums/Galleries: Second only to The Prado in Madrid, Seville’s Museo de Bellas Artes is a gorgeous old convent housing one of the best art collections in Spain.

Archivo de Indias displays documents about the conquest of the Americas.
And don’t miss 2 exquisitely crafted buildings and their contents – Casa de Pilatos and Hospital de los Venerables (All in Santa Cruz area).

Flamenco: a traditional Andalusian gypsy art, many flamenco clubs (tablaos), are in Santa Cruz – and not just for tourists. Try to get to Teatro Lope de Vega for big name flamenco stars.

Food
Andalusian cuisine differs from the rest of Spain due to the enduring Arab influence, using spices such as cumin, paprika and saffron, rice, cured hams, sauces made with sherry, and lots of olives and citrus fruit.

Gazpacho, a chilled raw vegetable soup, originated in Andalusia, as did Tapas – varied small dishes to go with drinks (grilled sardines is a favourite), often enough to replace dinner, which is good because the city lacks outstanding restaurants.

The Santa Cruz area has many Tapas bars and atmospheric little restaurants, as has the opposite bank of the river (many outdoors).

Shopping
Seville is not a great shopping city, but the pedestrianized Calle de las Sierpes and around there have good traditional shops, as well as the essential souvenir tat.