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48 Hours in Seville

Bursting with colour, passion, and sunshine, it’s hard not to fall head over heels for Seville; we sure do time and time again! Romans, Muslims, Jews, and Christians have all made their mark over the centuries, infusing the city with a rich blend of multi-layered history and fascinating culture. You don’t need to look far to see what we mean. Each street corner is adorned with fabulous Islamic architecture, the majestic Alcazar Palace oozes Moorish style, and you can’t miss the cathedral, which is the third-largest in the world.

But gob-smacking architecture is just the start. Self- proclaimed home of tapas, the city also boasts over 3,000 tapas bars. Here, you can feast to your stomach’s content on traditional classics or fusion tapas with a modern twist. Then there’s fiery flamenco, an experience that you mustn’t miss at our favourite authentic show!

Neither too sprawling nor too small, the city’s old town is perfect for exploring on foot. Strolling through orange tree-lined plazas and the narrow cobbled streets of the Santa Cruz quarter will take you to the major sights. Those with a little more time might also want to cross the bridge into the vibrant Triana neighbourhood, famous for its flamenco, ceramic tiles, and local market.

DAY 1

Devour Seville Food Tour

The best way to explore Seville? Through your stomach, of course. Delve into the city’s culinary traditions on this incredible four-hour walking food tour. Hunt down some of the best bites in town, get to grips with the tapas culture, and learn about the history of Seville.

It’s not just traditional tapas and tipples served in truly authentic, family-run establishments. You’ll also pop into a local convent to try specialty cakes baked by the cloistered nuns. Then, visit the market for a taste of the best ham in the world where you’ll meet an expert slicer. Lastly, explore some of the city’s best-kept secrets from stunning hidden plazas to tiny off-the-beaten-track alleyways.

From breakfast to dessert and everything in between, this tour is so much more than tasty tapas. With 8 stops along the way, you’ll be full of food, knowledge, and local insider tips by the end of it! Highly recommended.

Price: €79 per person; Includes: 8 stops, all food, and drink (enough for breakfast and lunch), local English-speaking guide, printed info sheet; Duration: 4 hours approx.

Drinks – Terraza Dona Maria

The rooftop bar at the Doña Maria Hotel was the first of its kind in Seville and may well still be the best of the bunch. Its location right opposite the cathedral makes it the perfect place to hang out in the evenings with a tasty cocktail in hand (the gin and tonics are fabulous!). Our top tip? Check what time the sun is due to set, and head up to the terraza to watch the sunset. The views over the cathedral and city skyline as night kicks in and the lights go on are magical. Service is friendly and efficient, and prices reasonable.

Calle Don Remondo 19; Open Mon to Sun 13:00 – 01:30

Dinner – La Chala

Fusion, wallet-friendly tapas served in a funky setting. La Chalá revamps traditional Spanish dishes with an exotic Latin American and Asian twist. The arepas (filled corn bread), Moroccan-inspired chicken pastry, queso ahumado (grilled smoked cheese with fruity sauce), and salteado iberico (stir-fried Iberian pork) are all divine! Be warned, it’s a tiny place that gets packed quickly so get there 10 minutes before opening to bag yourself a table.

Plaza Puerta Real 6; Open Tues to Sat 13:00-16:30 / 21:00-00:00, Sun 13:00-16:30, Closed Mon

DAY 2

Visit the Alcazar Palace

The Alcazar Palace is one of Seville’s most celebrated, and beautiful, sights that you can’t miss. Being located just opposite the Cathedral means there’s no excuse not to! Starting life as a Moorish fort back in the 11th century, the Alcazar has evolved through the ages in both style and grandeur. It now serves as the oldest Royal Palace in Europe that is still in use to this day. But that’s not its only claim to fame! It also represents one of the best examples of mudéjar (Moorish & Christian) architecture on the Iberian Peninsula, and has even been used in the hugely popular TV series Game of Thrones as the setting for the serene Water Gardens of Dorne.

Spend a few hours admiring the dazzling rooms of the various palace buildings with their fountain-filled courtyard and lavish architecture. Then, take a stroll through the manicured, palm-fringed royal gardens. It’s a veritable oasis.

Skip to the front of the queue by purchasing your tickets online (only 1€ extra), or go early in the morning to avoid the crowds. If your time is limited, you could avoid paying altogether by visiting during the final opening hour each day.

9.50 per person; Open daily 09:30 – 17:00 Closed 25th December, 1st – 6th January and on Good Friday

Visit the Seville Cathedral

The third-largest church in the world (sneaking in just behind St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and Brazil’s Basilica of the National Shire of our Lady of Aparecida), it’s no wonder that Seville’s immense cathedral took 100 years to construct! Completed in 1502, the gothic cathedral’s most iconic feature is probably its soaring bell tower, la giralda, which served as a minaret during the 12th century for the great Almohad Mosque that used to stand there under Muslim rule.

Admire the architectural grandeur from the outside and the inside, check out the monumental tomb of Christopher Colombus, whose remains were brought here from Cuba in 1898 (although some say the bones belong to the explorer’s son who was buried with him!), then climb the 34 ramparts to the top of ‘la giralda’ for spectacular views across Seville.

Our insider tip? Head to Plaza del Salvador first, and buy a combined ticket for San Salvador Church and Seville Cathedral. Not only is the ticket the same price as buying entrance for the cathedral on its own but it also allows you to skip the queues! Then, why not stop by Bar El Commercio to refuel with chocolate con churros before you wander down to the cathedral?

Avenida de la Constitución; 9 per person; Open Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 – 17:00, Sunday 14:30 – 18:00

Lunch – La Brunilda

Tiny but wildly popular, La Brunilda dishes up exceptional looking and tasting modern tapas without the hefty price tag. Don’t miss the duck confit, the grilled pork shoulder with sweet potatoes, and the seared scallops with butifarra (white sausage) and cauliflower pureé. This tapas joint doesn’t take bookings so aim to get there at least 10 minutes before opening. You may have to join a queue and put your name on the list for a table if you can’t get in straight away.

Galera 5; Open Tues to Sat 13:00-16:00 / 20:30-23:30; Sun 13:00-16:00, Closed Mon

Arabic Baths

After a hard day of sightseeing, an afternoon unwinding in Aire de Sevilla’s sumptuous Arabic baths is just the ticket! Treat yourself to a good long soak in the hot, cold (and salty) candlelit pools or have a steam in the ancient hammam room. For optimal health benefits try jumping back and forth from super hot to freezing cold! There are 15 – 60 minute massages you can sign up to but we personally prefer just chilling out in the baths for a couple of hours. Must be booked and paid for in advance.

Price: from €31 per person; Duration: 2 hours approx.

La Casa del Flamenco

Experience the passion, power and flair of flamenco at a soul-stirring evening performance. Expect world-class dancers, enchanting singing, and the melodic strings of the guitar within the typical patio setting of a fabulous 15th-century building. While there are multiple venues offering flamenco shows across Seville our choice offers a more intimate, authentic experience. No amplification or microphones are used, just the raw, natural quality of voice, guitar, and the stamping of heels. An hour of pure exhilaration! Must be booked and paid for in advance.

Price: €18 per person Duration: 1 hour

Dinner – Mechela

Focusing on high-quality, carefully crafted and beautifully presented dishes, Mechela serves up modern versions of Andalucian classics. All the dishes are delicious but hats off to the vegetable lasagna, crispy prawn served on ajo blanco soup, and the decadent chocolate cake. The intimate, contemporary environment compliments the food perfectly but as there are only six tables we highly recommend booking over email in advance. Service can be on the slow side.

Calle Bailen 34; Open Tues to Sun 13:45-15:45, Mon to Sat 20:30–23:45

Drinks – Bar Garlochi

Eccentric, surreal, and utterly one of a kind, we challenge you to stumble across a quirkier watering hole than Bar Garlochí! Filled from floor to ceiling with religious paraphernalia, chock full of more weeping virgins than you can wave a crucifix at, and scented with frankincense, you’d be forgiven for believing you’ve fallen into Semana Santa (Holy Week). Try the house specialty, ‘sangria de cristo’ (nearly the blood of Christ), or an ‘agua de Sevilla’ cocktail with pineapple juice, cava, whisky, and Cointreau. Service is a bit dodgy but this is certainly an experience you’ll never forget. Go later in the evening.

Calle de los Boteros 26; Open daily 21:00-03:00, Sun till 12:00

Interested in visiting Seville? Then please have a look at our fabulous experiences in Spain, both of which include 2 nights in the beautiful and vibrant city.

Written by Marion Poerio

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