We visited Seville Summer last year but figured it would make for a good blog now as many of you may be looking for somewhere to go this Summer as it may possibly have been our favourite city break to date.
The flights were pricey but the frankly ridiculous £37 per night hotel made up for it as well as the promise of cheap drink and food.
An early flight from Dublin with Ryanair, we landed and headed straight for the Airport Bus directly outside arrivals which for only €4 each took us straight into the city centre. From there it was a short taxi ride to our hotel which was just outside the centre of Seville. Normally we like to be fairly central to have a base we can drop back into but the large swimming pool at the Al-Andalus Palace tempted us to stay a little further out as we were looking for a more chilled stay with the option to spend the day by the pool.
Seville is a city steeped in historical beauty and culture. A mix of traditional Spanish architecture and Moroccan flare, the cathedrals, gardens and palaces are genuinely unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. If you’re into architecture (or building porn as I like to call it) this is the place for you. It’s also the place for you if you like good food, good beer and plenty to see and do.
The Sights of Seville
Seville has more to offer than many cities – it is a true feast for the eyes. We started at the Metropol Parasol – a stark contrast to the surrounding buildings, it looks like a giant mushroom overlooking the city. For a €3 entry fee you will take a short elevator to the top and walk around the entirely wooden structure with views of the entire of Seville – I recommend you visit at sunset, there are also plenty of bars and restaurants surrounding it for dinner.
One of the main sights in Seville is The Plaza De Espana – a semi circular classically Spanish ‘town square’ so to speak. It’s absolutely breathtaking. There’s a beautiful fountain in the centre and a river flowing around the square under four bridges and around the beautiful Moorish style tiles and pavilions. You will spend hours wandering around admiring the architecture and people watching.
Cathedral Square is in the heart of Seville and here you will find The Seville Cathedral which you can visit inside for a small fee and Real Alcazar. Now this is where you want to be.
If you’re not already aware I am a massive Game of Thrones fan and Real Alcazar is the filming set for Dorne. It’s quite possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been in my life. Carve out time for it, you will want to spend all day in the breathtaking gardens, among beautiful water features and regal peacocks. Oh and sometimes the Spanish Royal family still live there.
Barrio Santa Cruz isn’t a what but a where – streets upon streets seeped in history (and wine), it’s the perfect area to get lost and have a wander. Bring your money as well, there are plenty of small craft shops brimming with unique wares.
Seville has an excellent public transport system with frequent buses and many stops in and around town. We stayed at the Al-Andalus Palace Hotel where at the end of the road there was a bus stop with frequent clean, new and air conditioned buses (less frequent on Sundays) that cost around €1 a journey. Taxis in Seville are white and display a green light when free. They are regulated with a meter and journeys are usually around €4-8 depending on how far you need to go.
Food and Drink
Tapas, tapas and more tapas – the streets of Seville are full of small bars and restaurants serving wonderful Spanish beer and…of course… tapas. It’s worth noting that whilst we enjoyed an array of cured meats that there was a lot of vegetarian options. It’s good fun to have a few plates and a drink in each bar – a kind of bar hopping picnic so to speak. I recommend visiting a rooftop bar in the evenings and enjoying the beautiful scenes of the Cathedral de Sevilla and its colony of bats flocking around and around it’s bell tower. Try the Hotel Dona Maria, it has perfect views and a romantic, laid back atmosphere.
Tips for your visit to Seville
- Heat – be warned, Seville is seriously warm in the Summer – we visited in July and to be honest, found the 35-37 degree heat quite difficult to walk around in, frequently running from shade to shade. I’d recommend going Spring or Autumn time to be comfortable. Otherwise – pack sunscreen and water when you leave the hotel!
- Don’t be afraid to try the public transport – it’s clean, reliable and very cheap
- Whilst there are plenty of boutique hotels in the centre of Seville, try staying just outside for cheaper rates and the luxury of a pool which is especially welcome in the Summer months!
- Book well in advance. Flights are at a premium as they’re not particularly frequent so airlines tend to charge a little more when they can.
- Buy your tickets for Real Alcazar in advance – we had to stand (without shade) for over half an hour to get in