5 Absolute must do’s in Seville
Today’s post is written by Terry and Maura of TravelKiwis
Terry and Maura are House Sitting Travellers who have left behind the corporate life at the age of 50 to search for a lifestyle of travel and location independent living. They have been to 51 countries and experienced many wonderful travel destinations in Oceania, Asia, Europe, USA, and UK. They hope to inspire you to realise you can travel often, stay longer and experience more when you travel.
Seville is one of our favourite cities to visit in Spain.
We love Seville for its vibrancy, its beauty and its expansive Spanish history.
Seville made its wealth in medieval times as a trading port. With river access to the sea from the Guadalquivir River, Seville provided protection for trading ships, allowing the city to prosper.
Within the city centre, you will find 3 UNESCO sites to learn more about how Seville developed.
Seville is the Capital of Andalusia.
In 1987, three buildings in Seville were named as UNESCO sites.
- Real (Royal) Alcazar of Seville
- Seville Cathedral
- Archive of the Indies
If you only have 48 hours in Seville, we recommend booking tours to see these fabulous buildings. Not only will you be impressed with the architecture, but also with their incredible history.
And of course, you must experience the best of Flamenco while in Seville, along with tasting some of the many flavours of tapas.
How to Enjoy the Best of Seville
Getting around the city is easily done on foot, so pack a good pair of walking shoes.
And walking is a lovely way to experience and to see so much more. With most of the must-see places near each other, you can combine a walk with a stop for great coffee or a glass of sherry wine.
And when is the best time to go to Seville?
If hot Sun and high temperatures are not your ideal climate, then April and May, or September and October are temperate months to visit. The weather is still warm, but pleasant enough to walk and enjoy your Seville stay.
June, July and August are the hottest months with temperatures at times exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.
For more information, Seville’s Tourism Office is the place to start.
Book a Tour of Real Alcazar of Seville
If you are only in Seville for 24 hours, then the one must-see place to visit is the Real Alcazar of Seville. And not just because it was featured in the Game of Thrones.
The Alcazar of Seville is a Royal Residence and has been for over 1,000 years.
So why visit?
The Real Alcazar showcases an interior of Moorish and Gothic architecture which will have your jaw dropping. Just the number of beautiful tiles decorating the interior rooms is stunning.
And of course, to learn the history of the Palace and the historical events which took place within some of its many rooms. Not only are the tiles for decoration, but also in some rooms, they tell a story of a historical event.
One of our favourite rooms was the Maps Room where Christopher Columbus met to discuss the voyages of discovery. The walls are covered with various Coats of Arms.
A tour of Real Alcazar will take well over an hour with a guide, leaving you time at the end of the tour to enjoy the Gardens and find the Baths of Lady Maria de Padilla. The baths were initially built as a garden to escape the heat of the Spanish sun.
Visit the magnificent Seville Cathedral
When planning your Seville itinerary, make sure you add a visit to the third largest cathedral in the world. It is also the resting place of Christopher Columbus, making the Seville Cathedral a must-see when in Seville.
The Seville Cathedral was made a UNESCO site in 1987 and dates to 1517, even though some of the interiors of the cathedral was only finished in the 20th century. And with 80 chapels, there is a lot to see inside.
But what makes the visit within the cathedral special, is knowing the cathedral was constructed over the Grand Mosque built in 1198.
Visit the Giralda Bell Tower
As you are nearby, why not visit La Giralda Bell Tower, originally built as the Marionet of the Great Mosque. Those men assigned to give the Call to Prayer for the Moors living in Seville would ride donkeys up to the top of the 104-metre tower.
Just be warned, be prepared for a climb.
Inside the General Archives of the Indies
In this wonderful Spanish Renaissance building, you will find the historical documents of Spain’s interests and trading history in the Americas and the Philippines.
The archives were commissioned by King Charles III in 1875, to be stored in which was once the merchant’s exchange building. It was here, trade was discussed when built in 1646.
To think, Christopher Columbus thought he had discovered India, when in fact it was the Americas.
The archives will also reveal the history of the Conquistadors, professional soldiers who travelled further than the Americas to secure lands for Spain. Hernan Cortes is famous for the downfall of the Aztec Empire of Mexico.
You can read more of this period of history at National Geographic – Conquistadors Lost Ships.
Walk the Santa Cruz Quarter
One of the things to do in Seville is to walk the medieval quarter known as Santa Cruz.
The quarter is famous for its houses along cobblestoned narrow streets where Christians, Jews and Muslims once lived together in peace during the reign of King Fernando III.
You will also find lots of small restaurants offering some of the best Tapas to try.
In the evening, find one of the small plazas hidden around the quarter to enjoy a local beer or wine with delicious tapas in the early evening.
An Evening of True Flamenco
To experience Flamenco is to get a true and authentic feel of Spain.
Within the city of Seville, there are several places to enjoy traditional flamenco with folklore music dating back to 1774 with its origins from the region of Andalusia.
Flamenco is an art form.
It was originally folklore singing but over time it has added guitar and dancing. The music will have you enthralled as you are taken back to medieval times when Flamenco singing was an outlet for those oppressed.
Flamenco is a nightly traditional not to be missed when in Seville.
Seville offers the traveller a unique look into the past of the cultures that has formed the city.
With influences from the Moors, the Arabs, Gypsies, Jews and Christians, Seville is the city to put on your bucket list of travel destinations. If you only have 3 days to explore Seville then you need to check out Mark and Paul’s article 3 days in Seville Itinerary