Seville, what to do in a weekend

“…And crazed by the horizon, 
it mixes in its wine
Don Juan’s bitterness
with Dionysius’ perfection.
Seville to wound.
Always Seville to wound!…”

García Lorca

Seville, the ‘alma latina’ of Andalusia

Seville is located on the banks of Guadalquivir River . It’ s the capital of Andalusia. Moreover,  it’s considered the artistic, cultural, financial, economic and social center of the South of Spain . The metropolitan area of Seville has a population of more than 1 million people.

Seville  has become one of the most popular choices among visitors to  Spain. It’s a cultural melting pot, its towns and villages are like mosaics and columns on which the history of Tartessians, Iberians, Arabs and Christians is written and kept alive.

This town was the most important city in the world several centuries ago. It happened , when the Spanish trading fleet would bring back the riches from the Americas up the Guadalquivir River’. Here they would be bought by European traders to spread throughout the Mediterranean and the rest of Europe.

3 Things  you should not miss in Seville 

Reminiscent of those days of splendour  you can still see the glory of Seville in :

  1. ‘The Tower of Gold’: Originally a defensive watchtower built in 1220 on the orders of Seville’s Almohad governor Abù l-Ulà, it was one of the last edifices to be built in the capital.  In 1248, the army commanded by Ferdinand III of Castile would retake the city for the Christians. Thousands of intriguing stories, legends and false rumours have circulated about this elegant twelve-sided tower.  The first of them concerns its construction, spread over five centuries and reflecting three distinct epochs in the history of Seville;
  2. ‘Old Tobacco Factory’: It’s an 18th-century stone building . Since the 1950s it has been the seat of the rectorate of the University of Seville’. Prior to that, it was, as its name indicates, a tobacco factory. It was the most prominent such institution in Europe, and a lineal descendant of Europe’s first tobacco factory, which was located nearby. It is also one of the most notable and splendid examples of industrial architecture from the era of  the Antiguo Régimen’of Spain ;
  3. ‘Tapas Bar’:  Seville  is world-renowned for its Mudéjar architecture and ‘flamenco ‘ dancing.  But activities here   must include tapas’, which is an appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine. ‘Tapas’ may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as ‘chopitos’, which are batteredfried baby squid, or patatas bravas). In some bars and restaurants in Spain and across the globe, ‘Tapas’ have evolved into a more sophisticated cuisine.

Seville. the heart of Andalusia

Seville  is a city that you could stay in for weeks and still not explore every corner.  However, the good news is that 24 hours in Seville is enough to at least give you a good taste of what there is to see and do.

Getting to Seville from the Airport is easy thanks to the ‘EA City Buses’, which let passengers get to downtown  in Plaza de Armas  with about 35 minutes. It is without a doubt the cheapest mean of transportation (€ 4,00) to reach Seville.

Taking a Seville airport taxi (around 15-20 minutes) costs approximately € 23,00. Follow my quick guide on How to Spend 24 hours in Seville,  grab your comfortable shoes, and explore one of Spain‘s most memorable cities !

7 things to do in the  Old Town of Seville

I stayed in  the City’s Old Town to explore:

  1. ‘The cobbled streets of  barrio Santa Cruz’ :  It is the most picturesque and delightful part of the city. It looks like Parisian boulevards, and It’s full of beautiful old palaces and churches. The area is bordered by : Calles Mateas Gago, Santa Maria La Blanca, San José’, the Jardines de Murillo‘  and the ‘Alcázar’ . It’s s one of the best ways to pass a long morning or afternoon in the Andalusian capital. And don’t worry if you get lost, because it’s a rite of passage for the first-time visitor to Seville to become happily disoriented in ‘Santa Cruz’ !
  2. ‘The Cathedral’:  It was conceived on the site of a former mosque during the city’s reconquest. Builders and city planners wanted to make it so grandiose that they’d be taken for madmen. Mad or not, your visit to Seville will start with the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world;
  3. ‘The tomb of Christopher Columbus’: No matter what history might eventually make of Christopher Columbus, he is certainly the (non-religious) person who most affected the history of the world.  Although evidence mounts that other Europeans reached the Americas before Columbus, he was the one who brought back the news to Europe and sparked New World colonization. His tomb is in the Cathedral of Seville’  ;
  4. ‘The Giralda Tower’: The monument’s confluence of different architectural styles is a reflection of the cultures that have risen and fallen in Seville. The result, eclectic and remarkable, is fascinating. Originally a minaret for Seville’s primary mosque, the first section of theGiralda’  was built in the Almohad Style by architects Ahmad Ibn Basso and Ali de Gomara. In 1356, the four bronze spheres that had crowned the tower fell to the ground and were destroyed. The bell tower is in Renaissance Style and was designed by in the 16th century. At the peak of the bell tower, at 104 metres high, a special weather vane can be seen: El Giraldillo’, another symbol of Seville;
  5. The Alcázar Palace’: The Spanish word alcázar comes from the Arabic ‘al qasr’, meaning ‘castle’. Throughout its history, the magnificent structure saw use as both a fortress and a palace. The earliest known use of the site was for a Visigoth basilica. The Moors promptly destroyed it after arriving in Seville in 712. In its place, they built a military fortress, the remains of which can still be seen in some parts of the surviving Alcázar’ today. By the 12th century, the Christian Reconquest’ was in full swing across the Iberian Peninsula. After King Fernando III recaptured Seville from the Moorish rulers in 1248, he converted the existing Alcázar’ structure into a Christian palace. Over the next few centuries, the ruling Christian monarchs were continuously renovating and adding onto the site, transforming it into the splendid royal residence we know today;
  6. ‘The Plaza de Spana’: This great building is Seville‘s most impressive after the Cathedral’, for its sheer scale and grandeur. It is a semi-circular brick building, Renaissance/Neo-Moorish in style, with a tower at either end . In front of the building, following the curve of its façade, is a 500-meter canal crossed by four bridges, and in the center of it all is the Plaza’ itself. You can rent small boats to row in the canal – thePlaza ‘ is known as ‘the Venice of Seville’. A major tourist attraction, it is the finishing point of horse-and-carriage rides. The Plaza’  is situated inside Maria Luisa Park, next to ‘Avenida Isabella La Catolica’. This is a pedestrianized avenue with ice-cream sellers and bike rental stands – this is the best way to reach the park, entering near the Teatro Lope de Vega’ and Fabrica de Tabaco’. You also can reach the park from the Prado de San Sebastián’ (served by metro, bus and tram) on one side, or the river on the other;
  7. ‘The Old   Triana Market’: As I walked away from the center of Seville over the Triana Bridge’, and across the Guadalquivir River, I decided to get energy in the 150 year Old Triana Market’ to go on with my adventure!  There are lots of food & wine vendors that sell their product here.  It’s a perfect place to stock up on food for a great ‘tapas’ lunch, like the one I  had at Loli Cerveria’. I can’t forget my Sevillian Menù: mushrooms filled with a homemade mayonnaise, fried octopus with sweet and sour piquant pepper sorbet , fresh tomato salad with tuna and swordfish  and a of course a glass of  the top Spanish white wine  ‘Verdejo’ . In the lower part of the market are the remains of the Castle of San Jorge’, the seat of the Inquisitional Court’. The barrio of Triana is less touristy than the center of Seville. This area was once the home of dockworkers and fishermen.

3 Tips for living ‘la marcha‘, that is the nightlife in Seville! 

Seville is famous for its vibrant ‘la marcha’, which is  the nightlife. It  extends until dawn and beyond, and cannot fail to impress in comparison with major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. In Seville there’s a wide choice of nightlife for all ages, including jazz/music/night/flamenco clubs,cabarets,music halls, etc.

In winter the bars in the center of  Seville  and other spots offer the best places to keep warm and follow ‘la marcha’. It’s common to begin with a beer or two and maybe a ‘tapa’, then head to a ‘Bar de Copasas the night goes on. Those still wishing to continue often hit a discoteca to dance  until 6 or 7 am.

We’re all different when it comes to what we want for nightlife, so I’ve tried to offer some spots to enjoy the nightlife in Seville.

  1. Dinner at Casa Robles’ : It’s an intimate, cosy and comfortable restaurant in the heart of Seville. It serves delicious meat or fish menus,  and it also boasts an excellent wine list. I had  fish crudités, and a ‘Cod à la Brás’, made from shreds of salted cod , onions and thinly chopped (matchstick-sized) fried potatoes, all bound with scrambled eggs;
  2. Seville‘s night view  atEME Hotel’s Roof Garden’: it’s the best rooftop bars in Seville for the creative cocktails and stunning view. Here  your  Sevillian night  turns into an unforgettable memory with its sophisticated atmosphere and its direct view over the Cathedral’ and the Giralda’ ;
  3. A typical Sevillian bar at El Mariscal’ : a dancing night at this small bar hidden away in a narrow romantic street of Calle Mariscal’ in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood. A very lovely place and perfect to end your stay in Seville .


‘Hasta pronto’ , Seville

Seville  is the city that captured my heart quickly. I fell in love with its narrow streets, its tiny bars, and its stunning beauty. I greatly admire the devotion of the locals to their city. They’re obsessed (and rightfully so) with its festivals, climate and cuisine.

Seville  has a lot to offer during your city trip. Enjoy the beautiful attractions and sightseeing of Seville , the warm weather, the delicious tapas, long nights, ancient culture, temperament and flamenco dance.  I have to say that in the midst of my love affair with Seville , I left! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to Seville soon.

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