Seville is one of our new favourite cities. We were only supposed to stop for one night on our way to Gibraltar but it turned into two, and we could happily have stayed longer. It’s a city best explored on foot, so we found a car park (no easy feat) close to our guest house and set out to investigate.
Highlights from our trip two days in Seville:
Seville Cathedral and the Giralda
Tempting as it was to head out to the tapas bars, we thought we ought to see some of the local sites first. We could see the top of Seville Cathedral from the rooftop of our guesthouse. Seville Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the world or the largest Baroque cathedral in the world, depending on what guidebook you read. The belltower known as the Giralda was once the tallest building in the city. Built in 1165, it was initially a minaret of the Aljama mosque that stood on that spot during the Moorish times.
Plaza da España
This huge building located in Maria Luisa Park was initially built for the Ibero-American Expo in 1929. Decorated with Sevillian azulejos (painted tiles) showcasing highlights of the different provinces in Spain. Its semi-circular building is edged by a canal filled with rowing boats and pedalos. Very touristy but fun to visit and it’s free.
Free flamenco performances took place here, easy to find from the sounds of stomping feet and the shouts of ‘olé!’
This is the first barrio most tourists visit as it’s very close to the cathedral. It’s beautiful, filled with winding cobbled streets and charming houses and plenty of tapas bars and restaurants. But very touristy, a little bit more expensive than other barrios and not a local in site.
For more local bars, just keep walking a little further, when you see a tapas bar filled with locals, that’s where the excellent tapas will be.
We were enjoying lunch in the Tirana area, located just across the river when we heard that we weren’t needed to be at our housesit in Gibraltar until the next day. So having already checked out of our guesthouse, we booked ourselves into an apartment just a few minutes from our lunch spot. We then spent a lovely afternoon exploring all the backstreets of our new barrio. This side of the river had many pretty churches and a fabulous food market Mercado de Triana where we bought terrific cheese, olive treats and fruit.
Nice breakfast spot
Great place for healthy breakfasts, strong coffee and fresh juices is Filo, just 20 metres from the Cathedral on Calle de Hernando Colon.
Our Favourite Tapas in Seville
Too many lovely historic tapa bars to choose from and some amazing tapas. There were a lot of great tapas places on Calle San Jacinto and on Calle Hernando Colon. Our favourite tapas was the espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas). The spinach is mixed with two ingredients, cumin and chickpeas that were introduced to Spain when the Moors invaded in 711 AD. Jonathan particularly liked to eat the Caracoles.
Fun place to Watch Flamenco
There are loads of places to watch flamenco in Seville, but we were looking for something a little more authentic than the overpriced shows that cater for tourists, although we have heard that the nightly performances held at the Museo de Flamenco are good, but they sell out fast.
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We ended up at the La Carboneria, located in Calle Levies, Santa Cruz. A nice mix of locals and tourists. The tapas were very average, but the drinks were cheap, and we watched a really cool Flamenco guitarist, singer and male flamenco dancer.
We really loved our short time in Seville, so much to see and not enough time to see it all. We will be back!