Visiting Sevilla in spring couldn’t be a better timing…
Temperatures are slowly starting to rise, the sun is caressing our faces and it’time to go more South to discover new destinations … like the beautiful Kingdom of the Oranges in the middle of Andalusia – Sevilla!
It might sound silly to call it the Kingdom of Oranges, but the first thing that enchants any human being that sets foot here, are definetely the orange trees. No matter if it’s winter or summer, the charming trees and the sidewalks full of oranges blow this instant cosy atmosphere in your soul.
Orange here, orange there… oranges everywhere! No street can be worth calling a street in Sevilla, if here are no oranges in it, honestly. Sadly, the oranges aren’t edible – they are bitter, but this does make them the perfect ingredient for a local marmelade. Mmmmmm…
Sevilla is one of the cities where there are just too many things to visit as a tourist, but as always there are a few things that cannot be missed. Most impressive is the Andalusian architecture, which is a mix of the traditional Spanish style, bejeweled with Moorish influences.
The Alcázar – the Royal Palace of Seville – is definetely the first thing on that list. You could easily wander around its buildings and gardens for hours – so reserve at least 2-3 hours to soak up the beauty of its mosaics, ornamented walls and gardens. Chase the peacocks in the garden, just sit on a bench to think about the purpose of life, and last but not least – enjoy the sun.
If you are a fan of spa and relaxation, then Aire de Sevilla is one of the places you cannot miss. These wonderful ancient Arab bath houses have been reformed into a modern spa with many different baths – cold, hot, jacuzzi, salt, … My all-time favourite is the salty bath in the basement, where you can let yourself float and relax to the maximum. The soft sound of the music that is reaching you under water is almost magical and transports you to a parallel world.
Tickets start from 28 Euro for a normal visit, and extra’s like massages and treatments can be added on. Not a cheap visit, you might say, but definetely more than worth it in terms of relaxation and beauty.
Take a walk along the river, and surely cross the bridge to the other side of the Guadalquivir river – called Triana. Especially in the weekends, this neighborhood is full of life. Triana is more than just a neighborhood to its inhabitants, and this is felt by the instant change of atmosphere once you cross te river. The people here consider themselves way different from the “sevillanos”, and even name themselves “trianeros”. Triana is known for its specific flamenco culture, pottery, and they even have their own festivals.
People come here for many reasons: to grab a drink accompanied by some tapas or have lunch, to sell their fresh caught load of shrimps – or to buy a paper cone of these little delights, artists come to sell their work, street performers adorn the streets with their art, … It is an experience on its own, and afterwards you can enjoy a long walk along the river, and walk allthe way up ’till Plaza de Espana, which is another mighty monument that should not be missing on your to-do list.
Apart from the beautiful mix of Art-Deco and Moorish architecture – Plaza de Espana was even used as the location in one of the Star Wars movies – it is just a pleasure for the eyes, as is the Maria Luisa park that lies just next to it. If you’re in a really cheesy mood, you can even rent a little boat to paddle around the Plaza’s main building – not that there is a lot to paddle, but still… 🙂
Take a walk in the very city center, and admire the Cathedral (even if you don’t go inside, this building is massive and leaves an impression), the Giralda tower and the City Hall – these are the most popular touristic attractions.
About the last one… Obviously, flamenco is an element that is inseparable with Sevilla, and even entire Andalusia. Here, it depends what you prefer – street art, or a big show. If you’re looking to see flamenco on the street – be it guitar, dancing, singing, … – you should head to the exactly this City Hall (Ayuntamiento) or the surroundings of the Alcazar, and you will surely bump into artists performing on the street. Flamenco is flowing through this city’s and its inhabitants’ veins, so you will see many performers of different qualities, but surely with a lot of authenticity.
On the other hand, if you rather watch a complete show – the Museum of Flamenco is a good place for that, a ticket for the show is 20 Euro, and a combination of entrance for the museum and the show is 24 Euro.
If you fancy to go for a drink at night, the typical neighbourhood with the bars and dance cafés is Plaza de Alameda. Here you can find many different kinds of bars and places to do a little dance, but don’t expect nothing too fancy. Since Seville is sunny and warm most of the year, most of the places have a rather small interior and a big standing terrace where people enjoy their drinks.
I visited Seville in February, and even though the temperatures were quite fresh (around 10ºC), you can feel this city’s warm hearth. I surely would not mind spending some more time here in the hot summe, soaking up the sounds of strumming guitar and the smell of the oranges.
Where to eat?
If you are even a little bit common with the typical “tapas” term in Spain, you must also know that tapas originally come from… Andalusia! Therefore, there is no better place on earth to enjoy this delicious little plates of belly happiness.
Tapas used to be the little plates that were used to cover your glass of beer or wine to protect it from insects who’d want to share your drink and other things that don’t belong there, and traditionally were small portions of deliciouness of all kinds. Typical ones are cold portions of local ham or cheese, patatas bravas (potatoes with a special double garlic and spicy sauce), croquettes, gambas with garlic, baked chorizo sausages, grilled vegetables and much more.
One of the most traditional places in Sevilla, recommended by many locals and praised by tourists, is Los Coloniales. Big portions, fresh ingredients and a happy tummy afterwards are a guarantee! We tried the garlic gambas, some patatas bravas, stuffed aubergines, the chicken with almond sauce, and some more… It was without doubt the best traditional tapas meal we had in Sevilla!If you like Asian food and sushi, try also Los Palillos. They serve a fusion of typical Spanish and Asian tapas, and even some special sushi recipes. The place is rather small, but has a cosy terrace as well, and the service is excellent.
Where to stay?
I stayed at friends during my trip, but checking on the accomodation in Sevilla through different channels, I can tell you that AirBnb definetely gives you a way better value for your money than hotels.
If you haven’t signed up yet for AirBnb, you can do so here 🙂
How to get there?
Thank Ryanair for the cheap flight toward the Orange county! We paid around 85 Euros per person for tickets departing from Barcelona, since we didn’t have any flexibility in dates, but it could have been way cheaper.
Check out skyscanner.com – flights from Barcelona and Brussels are easily found starting from 60 Euro, from Paris starting from 70 Euro,… As always – the more flexible you are in dates, the better the price can get!
From the airport you can easily get into the city center by a special Airportbus for just 4 Euros, so no need to spend money on expensive taxi’s.
Hope you’ll have the chance to discover this wonderful city as well!