Seville is Spain’s fourth largest city, and it is the place where the cliches of Spain come to life. The city is full of matadors, flamenco dancers, tapas bars, geraniums, and strolling guitarists, and they evoke the vibrant and beautiful history of the city and country. The Andalusian region of Spain, in which Seville sits, is full of natural beauty. From sprawling coastlines and wild-life filled wetlands to snowcapped mountains and oak forests, the area is varied and beautiful. Seville is said to contain all of this beauty with a cosmopolitan city center and a creative and vivacious city life. Seville’s whitewashed houses and orange tree lined streets are sure to enchant any world traveler.
The layout of the historic center of Seville makes exploring easy, and there is more than enough to keep visitors busy in this bustling city. Here are a few of our favorites: Alcazaris a Moorish palace, and a brilliant example of the Islamic-Christian hybrid architectural style that is present in the city. The palace is full of splendid architecture and artwork and sprawling gardens full of jasmine and myrtle. Seville’s cathedral is the largest cathedral is Spain and the largest Gothic building in the world. The cathedral also contains the largest altar piece in all of Christendom, carved with more than 200 figures. To get a taste of local life, head to the Jewish Quarter. The twisting alleyways and traditional whitewashed houses add to the charm of this local barrio. The area is mostly quiet and residential, but visitors can enjoy antique shops, outdoor cafes, and the occasional gathering of young local guitar players. The Feria Market, dating from the early 18th century, is the best place to grab fresh, local produce or seafood, and to see one of the city’s oldest markets. Hit La Cantina, the market’s tapas bar, for fresh and delicious local food.
Seville’s location in the south of Spain makes it the perfect taking off point for exploring Andalusia. Just about everything in the region is doable as a day trip, and most places are reachable through public transportation. Granada is one of Spain’s most popular destinations, and once you arrive, you may decide that one day isn’t enough to see everything that the city has to offer. Visit the Alhambra fortress, and take advantage of the free tapas with your meals! Cordoba is just 45 minutes away on the high-speed AVE train. The city itself is fast paced, but the pace of the life hasn’t diminished the old-world charm. Hit Cordoba’s Mezquita to see the town’s biggest attraction. Game of Thrones fanatics can visit Osuna, where the filming of season five was done, and Santiponce is close enough to visit just for the morning. It contains some of the most complete Roman ruins found outside of Italy. For a day on the beach, head to Cadiz, which sits on the South coast of Spain. It’s arguably the most convenient day trip from Seville, and ambitious travelers can hit Jerez on the same day (they’re on the same train line.)
Seville’s history and local charm means that there are plenty of beautiful and historic places to stay in the city. Some hotels are actually former palaces, and these repurposed buildings still contain all of the beauty and grandeur of their former life. Stay in the heart of the city to give yourself easy access to all the sights and experiences that the city has to offer. El Centro is the best place for exploring the city’s winding streets and discovering a hidden tapas bar. For a quieter atmosphere, check out the El Arenal neighborhood, which sits alongside the Guadaliquivir River. Visitors can sip a cool drink while enjoying the waterfront view. If you’re looking to immerse yourself more in the Sevillano culture, venture further out of the city into areas like La Macarena, Triana, or Los Remedios.
The easiest way to travel around Seville is on foot, given that the heart of the city is rather small. Most major attractions, shops, and restaurants are within walking distance of one another. Bicycles are also a great way to explore the city, and Seville is very proud of the many bike lanes and their popular bike share program, Sevici. It’s also fairly easy to find a taxi, and the city offers a comprehensive public transportation system to get you anywhere you need to go. For day trips, hop on a high speed train out of Seville’s Estacion de Santa Justa.
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