Hola Seville

Apr 03, 2019
When I decided on Seville as the location of my next long weekend away, I thought oranges, bull fighting, flamenco dancing, and the worlds largest cathedral, I genuinely had no idea that Seville had such a complex and multi-layered history. From Gypsies, Arabs, Moors, Germans and Romans, the current culture, food, and dance is a melting pot of very diverse influences, and the fruit to be bared extends beyond oranges!
With a two hour flight from London, and ten degrees warmer it felt like an obvious choice for a much needed break, and change of scenery.

Seville is an entirely flat and condensed city, making it a perfect destination for a solo female city break, with ease of walking and exploring and feeling completely safe when doing so. Over the course of four days, I would have managed to see a fraction of what sunny Seville has to offer, and so I have listed the things that I most enjoyed during my trip. Having done many city breaks, the one thing I always commit to, is accepting that it is impossible to do it all within such a short space of time. My only commitment to myself, was to take in this new environment, and enjoy myself, and that I did.

Playa De Espana

As I walked up a very wide foot path approaching the Playa De Espana on the left hand side, Parque de Maria on the right, along with a sea of other tourists, I couldn’t help but wonder if the beauty of Playa De Espana would be drowned out by the hoards of other visitors. The beauty of this monument actually surpasses all expectations, and is a breath-taking art-deco fused with Spanish renaissance revival, semi-circle long stretch of buildings including museums and government buildings. The colossal size of the monument meant that the tourists resembled ants, and you are still able to capture some great pictures, without too much invasion from other tourists. As well as the architecture there are boat rides, a water fountain and street performers.

Flamenco Show

Having asked several locals to recommend the best flamenco show in the city, La Casa Del Flamenco regularly came up as one of the best in Seville. https://www.lacasadelflamencosevilla.com/ tickets are priced at 18 Euros per ticket, and the show lasts 60 minutes long without a break. There are three shows each night, and you can very easily book tickets online, with tickets emailed and downloadable to your phone. I recommend booking at least 24 hours in advance, because same day availability tends to be pretty limited. The show was passion filled, emotional, and dramatic, basically everything I expected a Flamenco show to be, because the history of Flamenco originates from a place of suffering and poverty. The venue does not allow for pictures or videos to be recorded during the performance, but at the end of the show the dancers and musicians perform a short re-enactment, for the sole purpose of photographs for the audience.

Walking Tour

Walking tours are a great way to explore new cities, and learn about the culture and history from a local tour guide. I especially love free walking tours, because you tip/pay at the end of the tour, on the basis of satisfaction and enjoyment, which incentivises the tour guide to do a great job. I covered off all of the main tourist attractions on a free walking tour arranged by my hotel, however there are many options available online, and the company that I used for my second walking tour was https://www.heartofsevilla.com/en/ . Heart of Sevilla run an array of tours across Seville, and I enjoyed “Welcome to Flamenco Tour”, which was a smaller than usual group, as free tours typically attract group sizes ranging from 15-20 people. This particular tour lasted for 2 hours, and the length tends to vary dependent upon number of sights visited and size of groups, I personally paid 10 Euros.

Food Tour

As a self proclaimed foodie, I always opt to do a food tour when abroad, because visiting great restaurant is limited to the number of meals multiplied by the number of days in the country. That combined with reviews online sometimes being flooded by people who do not necessarily have the same food expectations to my own, I take both google and trip advisor reviews with a pinch of salt. Food tours allow you to visit up to a dozen bars/restaurants in one afternoon, and tend to be heavily focussed around traditions and not necessarily the tourist hotspots.

I did a tour called ‘Tastes, Tapas and Traditions Tour’, with https://devoursevillefoodtours.com/ this tour cost 82 Euros, for a 4 hour tour visiting 8 different venues for food and drink. The group size was fairly small, a total of 7, and we wondered around the streets of Seville not only eating and drinking, but also having the cultural and historical ties explained. I describe this particular tour as a buffet, we ate a little bit of a lot, and I would not recommend this tour on the basis of not being good value for money. All of the food and drinks, tasted were very nice, however because it is very cheap to eat and drink Seville, this felt extremely overpriced. The tour guide was very nice, and enthusiastic about the information that she imparted with, but having done several food tours before, this fell short on expectations on variety and portion sizes.

The Cathedral

As you would expect for the worlds largest cathedral, it is beautiful and enormous. Like many places of worship in Seville, it was formerly a mosque and converted into a church, and so clearly visible is two styles of brick work which allows your to distinguish older parts of the building work, to the more recent Christian extension. Well worth seeing during the day, and it comes to life at night. Difficult to get in one photograph as it is really is that big. I was happy to witness this beauty at ground level, but there is an option for tours, and also to climb to the top.

Two amazing tapas restaurants

La Brunilda

This back street tapas restaurant, was fortunately for me a few minutes walk from my hotel. The tapas was great value, ranging anywhere from 3 to 7 euros, for a broad tapas variety, great food quality, and attentive yet casual service. One word of warning, expect to see a lot of pork all over restaurant menu’s in Seville, to say it is popular is an understatement and dried Iberico pork is a must try, it is absolutely delicious.

La Bartola

The food here was just divine, and this was my favourite restaurant of the trip, it basically ticked all boxes of La Brunilda, but the service and food were just that bit better.

The Real Alcazar of Sevilla

Wondering around the Alcazar, I could not fathom the fact that this was once someone’s home. An enormous grounds of regal beauty, from paintings, to grand pianos, ceiling murals and a large beautiful outdoor grounds, this former palace is a lovely space to potter around and take in all of its beauty. It cost 9.50 Euros, and I decided to purposely miss the early morning queues, which I had heard can often result in 1-2 hours queues for entry. At 3pm, I queued for 15-20 minutes, though if you wish to visit during peak times, you can always pay extra for a queue jump ticket online.

Orange Wine

There is no shortage of Orange trees when wondering around the city streets. Apparently the majority of Oranges are exported to the UK, and the Spaniards hold onto a small proportion of the oranges to produce the famous Orange wine. I liken it Port, as served in small measures its a dark, very strong, and a sweet spirit. I did not taste any orange, but it was very nice and so I had a couple. A small bar (hole in the wall style) is most famous and was the only recommended bar selling it, ‘Taberna Alvaro Peregil’, is located on a busy road full of bars and a restaurants, and you will most certainly wonder past, when roaming the streets of Seville, so worth keeping an eye out for.

Seville was everything I had hoped it would be, it was safe, great and really affordable food and drink, loads of sight seeing, great weather, and the locals did not stare at this tall black girl wearing brightly coloured clothing wondering the streets of Seville alone. Seville, you were ace! x

Seville was everything I had hoped it would be, it was safe, great and really affordable food and drink, loads of sight seeing, great weather, and the locals did not stare at this tall black girl wearing brightly coloured clothing wondering the streets of Seville alone. Seville, you were ace! x

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