SEVILLE TRAVEL GUIDE
Mid-June we took a summer trip to the South of Spain. It was a much-needed break from everyday reality, work and the drizzly weather that we were having in Scotland prior to the warmer weather arriving.
We were due to be away for just let than two weeks, starting our trip in Seville and then heading to my parents’ house close to Granada. We didn’t have great plans other than to enjoy each other’s company, eat plenty of good food and drink too much sangria.
I hadn’t been to Seville previously but had heard only good things. Everyone who had visited had told me that the city is incredibly compact, full of friendly people and that there are an abundance of places to see. Having now been I can tell you that it is exactly that. Unlike Paris, London or Barcelona, the centre of the city is quite small meaning that you can easily dot between different areas, getting lost in the historic winding streets and again, unlike many popular cities, places to eat, drink and shop are reasonably priced making it far easier to enjoy good food and shopping.
We spent four days in Seville, arriving on a Saturday just in time for the weekend buzz. By the time we left I was ready to enjoy some down-time in the countryside but can say that we will be back. Here are some of my highlights of the city.
Where to Stay
Over the past year or so we’ve been getting into booking an Airbnb when visiting a city. However, on this trip we were due to stay at my parents’ house after our time in Seville so chose to treat ourselves to a hotel. Sometimes you just want to be looked after and often that means staying in a hotel where everything is done for you.
After much, much research we booked Hotel Casas de la Juderia A very traditional hotel right at the heart of the old town, this is one of the most beautiful places I’ve stayed. Complete with original features, hidden courtyard gardens and traditional Spanish interiors, it reminded of the riads we stayed in during our trip to Morocco.
The complete hotel is quite large however each room is cornered off in its own area providing privacy and the feeling that you have the place to yourself.
There are plenty of bigger and more modern hotels on the outskirts of the city centre but I would highly recommend getting as close to the beautiful old town as possible. It’s so nice to be able to walk out the door in the morning and been at the heart of Seville life.
Where to Eat
If there’s one thing I can’t stand on trips it’s wandering for far too long trying to find somewhere to eat, only to discover upon ordering that the service is not great and the food overpriced. To avoid this situation, and any subsequent arguments that it can lead to, I booked a series of evening meals at highly recommended restaurants for each of our nights in Seville.
Whenever I read a blog or article about places to eat in Seville El Pinton was always on the list. After reading many positive reviews we chose to eat here on our first night.
Hosted in a traditional building yet with a modern design, this is a great place to enjoy good music, cocktails and a menu of contemporary dishes.
Cameron’s birthday was on our second day of the trip so we wanted to go somewhere different and special. My parents had had several great meals at Arte y Solera so we opted for there and I would honestly say that it’s the best meal we had during the whole trip.
Ask the waiter about pairing your chosen dishes with a sherry and you won’t be disappointed.
A good option for lunch or dinner, Perro Viejo is close to Metropol Parasol and serves a selection of modern tapas as well as Asian inspired dishes.
I’m not going to fib - I definitely booked this restaurant based on the interior design. Full of rattan, botanical prints and beautiful crockery, Los Corales is my idea of heaven.
The food didn’t disappoint either, and I can highly recommend the squid ink risotto.
What to Do
Seville is a city where you can easily just spend the whole day wandering and not have to do anything else, other than maybe take a dip in the hotel pool to cool off. But there are a couple of things that I recommend adding to your to-do-list.
The Royal Alcazar is not to be missed. A historic palace in the centre of the city complete with lush gardens, tourists flock here from dawn until dusk to see the incredibly architecture, array of tile designs and forest of tropical plants. But, to beat the crowds and ensure that you get the most out of the visit, book in for an early tour with a guide. You’ll be able to skip the long queues and hear stories that this wonderful place keeps.
Plaza de Espana
This may be my favourite spot in Seville. There’s nothing particular to see but just taking in the sights of the building that surrounds the square or renting a traditional rowing boat for a paddle along the short stream makes for a wonderful morning.
Afterwards, head to one of the many nearby cafes or take a stroll in the adjacent park.
We seem to have got into the habit of taking part in a wine tasting almost everywhere we go. Naturally, we booked in for a sherry and wine tasting at Mimo - a boutique tasting room part of the grand Hotel Alfonso.
If you’re into wines, or sherries, then here you’ll be able to try a generous range wines from across Spain whilst learning about their origins.
No trip to Seville is complete without a visit to El Rinconcillo, said to be the oldest bars in the city. Order a local beer or sangria, watch the waiters tally up your bill in chalk on the wooden bar and take in the sights of locals enjoying a little fiesta.