Andalusia is a tropical paradise of swaying palms, incredible food and of course, flamenco, but that’s not all this Spanish suntrap has to offer. Writer, Lydia Swinscoe discovers the prettiest sights and best places to visit in Seville.
A is for art
…As well as some awesome galleries – check out the Museo Bellas Artes de Sevilla for some real Spanish masters. There’s also some pretty cool street art around, keep your eyes peeled to find gems like these (above and below)…
B is for Bullfights
This is not something to take part in. [Note: FashCatherine does not support bull fighting] But if you’re interested in architecture, the actual bullring with its baroque facade, dates back to 1762 and really is beautiful. Daily-guided tours of the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza start every 20 minutes.
C is for climate
Seville is one of the warmest cities in Europe with a subtropical Mediterranean climate. Spring and autumn are the perfect times to visit as summer can get scorching hot.
D is for deserted parks
These are everywhere. Grab a blanket and a book and head to one of the perfectly manicured spaces for some afternoon sun. Each one filled with bougainvillea, palm trees and pretty pathways.
E is for espresso
Sevillians love their coffee. Do it like the locals with a café con leche at breakfast and an espresso or cortado at midday. Everywhere you turn there are cute coffee shops with tables and chairs outside.
F is for flamenco
It’s got to be one of the most passionate forms of dance; the stomping, the swirling, the melodious music and oh boy, those dresses! Andalucía is the home of flamenco, so a stop at the Museo del Baile Flamenco is a must.
G is for Giralda Tower
Climb to the top of this bell tower (below) for stunning panoramic views of the whole city.
H is for Holy Week
Known as ‘Semana Santa de Sevilla’, this huge festival happens in the week leading up to Easter every year. It’s great to see the processions of hooded, robed figures winding through the streets. Grab a program to find out timings and routes before you head out and don’t forget to book accommodation well in advance.
I is for Italica
Once an important center of Roman culture, this well preserved Roman city (picture below) is an awe inspiring place to visit. It’s close proximity to Seville (just 9km), makes it the ideal place to while away a few hours, taking in the ancient mosaics and Amphitheatre. Hire a bicycle from Seville to make the trip solo or join a guided tour with Seville Bike Escape, promoters of ‘slow tourism’.
J is for jamón
Food lovers get excited: jamón (the Spanish word for ham) is abundant in Seville. Practically every restaurant serves different types of jamón and practically all of it will blow your mind. Don’t miss the jamón ibérico, cured ham made from black Iberian pigs fed mainly on acorns, it’s pure heaven. Taberna Águilas is a great little local joint for a plate of jamón and a local beer.
K is for kick-off
Cheer on Sevilla FC at the local football stadium; Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. It’s a 30-minute walk or short ride from Nervión and Gran Plaza metro stations. Buy your tickets from the stadium gates in the weeks leading up to the match or online to save time. Depending on match schedules, and if timed right, you could even see Ronaldo or Messi play.
L is for La Alameda
If you’re travelling on a budget, Airbnb is the perfect solution. Rent a quirky apartment in the La Alameda area from the local owners or host – this part of the city has a great alternative atmosphere and some ace cafes and restaurants.
M is for Moorish architecture
Many buildings in Seville are Moorish in design, the arched passageways and tile work of the royal palace, Alcázar, below, is seriously photogenic.
N is for Nightlife
Based in an industrial estate, Sala X is a cool place for live music, DJ’s and dancing. Open Thursday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s, check out their website for a list of who’s playing.
O is for Olive oil
Visit a boutique olive oil mill just 30 minutes outside of Seville to pick up some incredible hand picked extra virgin olive oil and learn all about the process of making it, from the tree to the bottle.
P is for Plaza de España
This square has been described as one of the most beautiful in Spain. Take a stroll, hire a rowing boat or try a ride in a horse and carriage.
Q is for Quinto
This is the name of the small 20cl bottles of beer, perfect for sipping as the sun is going down. It’s popular to buy five of these bottles in a bucket with ice for around three euros. Look out for brands Cruzcampo and Alhambra, and share with friends.
R is for religious buildings
The cathedral of Seville; Santa María de la Sede, is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and is recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. As well as being absolutely stunning, there is also a gorgeous patio of orange trees and Christopher Columbus’ tomb is kept here too.
S is for sculpture
One of the coolest sculptures in Seville is the wooden Metrapol Parasol in La Encarnación Square, below. Designed by German architect Jürgen Meyer, it looks like giant mushrooms have sprung up out of the concrete, you can also get a pretty good view of the city from the top.
T is for tapas
These are little dishes, that mean you can try a little bit of everything. Try Vega 10 in Triana for their avocado and anchovies on toast, mango and tuna tartare and rare beef on potato dauphinoise.
U is for UK flights
Flights from the UK to Seville are numerous and can be super cheap if flying from London. Try British Airways, Iberia, Ryanair or easyJet for some great deals if booking in advance.
V is for Veláquez
Diago Veláquez was born in Seville and became one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden Age. Some of his work can be seen in the Museo Bellas Artes de Sevilla.
W is for water park
Refresh from the summer heat at Aquopolis Sevilla, a fab water park with pools, slides and waterfalls that children will love. Open daily from midday.
X is for Xmas markets
Around Christmas, the city puts up bright lights, fun decorations and huge trees, proving that Seville really is the perfect year round destination. The Christmas market sees small wooden huts popping up in Plaza Nueva selling all sorts of amazing Andalusian toys, ceramics and jewellery, perfect for presents.
Y is for yoga
If you’re missing your daily stretch, there is an abundance of great yoga studios dotted all over Seville, each offering types of yoga, from Vinyasa to Kundalini and Hatha plus many more. The bright and fun O Yoga is also a teacher-training centre. www.oyoga.eu
Z if for zzzz…
Get some sleep at the place to stay in central Seville; Corral Del Rey. Tucked away down a narrow cobbled street just minutes from the main attractions of the city is this luxury boutique hotel. Set in a restored 17th-century house, the rooms have been wonderfully decorated to make the most of the original features. Breakfast is delicious and there’s even a cute plunge pool on the roof…