Euro City Guide: Seville
I honestly have no idea where to even begin with this post. I know I say this about multiple cities, but Sevilla truly is one of the most (if not the most) magical places I've ever visited. The city has a certain feel to it that can't really be described, it can only be felt. This was also one of my favorite trips, and one of the last times I've felt pure, simple joy in awhile. I loved it so much I ended up making the last-minute decision to stay an extra night the day my train was supposed to leave. If you visit Spain, you must go to Sevilla. It's one of Andalusia's bigger cities, and you can spend plenty of time here and never get bored. The architecture is beautiful, the people are friendly and kind, and the weather is pretty nice year-round. I visited in January and was welcomed with beautiful sunny days and one rainy morning. Sevilla truly is a special place, and I would honestly move there in a heartbeat if I could.
The city itself is compact enough to walk everywhere, but big enough to feel like you're in a real city. The streets are lively, and full of music and flamenco. I stayed in an Airbnb in the Santa Cruz neighborhood, a great location that I'd definitely recommend. Any part of the city is probably a good place to stay though, since there are sites to see, places to eat, and nightlife in just about every barrio.
The city itself, located in Andalusia, is about 2 hours from Madrid's Atocha Station on the high-speed Renfe Ave train. You can take the bus from nearby cities, which can take between 3-6 hours (I've been told) if you're coming from Madrid. They also have an international airport you can fly into, but I would recommend flying into Malaga if you're staying for a longer period of time to save some money. The city has pretty efficient public transit, as any city in Spain does, but it is also very walkable, so I never ended up using it. There is also so much to be discovered just from exploring this city by foot, it's insanely beautiful. There are so many incredible places to get lost here and live your romantic Andalusian dreams.
Sights To See
Sevilla has tons of sights, enough to take up days of your time. Depending on your priorities, this city can either be done in a weekend, or up to a week. Most of Sevilla's most popular sights are outdoors or semi-outdoors, and aren't too spaced out from each other. Honestly, just prioritise what you want to see and plan your time that way. If you want to sit down for hours and have a long, Spanish lunch followed by a siesta, which you should, try to account for that in your schedule as well.
El Museo del Flamenco. Andalusia is home to flamenco, and seeing a show while you're here is a must. This specific show was recommended to me by my Airbnb host, and it was quite good. The show was a bit more on the touristy and performative side, but it's a great introduction to flamenco. Price: 20€ with drink included.
Balcone di Rosina. This is the original Romeo & Juliet balcony! I'm unsure of this specific balcony's significance, whether it just inspired the story, was modeled after the film, or was actually filmed here. It's over by the Alcazar in a hotel. It takes a bit of a hunt to find, but it's worth it. Price: Free.
Real Alcazar de Sevilla. Another must-see while in Sevilla, this old castle is absolutely stunning. The grounds and gardens are massive and beautiful, and it's one of the most amazing things you'll see in this magical city. Spend an afternoon here, it will take you hours to see all of the elaborate rooms and gardens. Price: 11.50€.
Plaza de España. Yet another must-see while in Sevilla, this place feels as though it's quite literally out of a dream. You can ride boats through the canals here, or just spend a few hours to wander around and enjoy the atmosphere. Flamenco dancers will perform here, and you may even get an invite to a show later that night. Price: Free.
Maria Luisa Park. Right across the street from the Plaza de España, come here to wander around after your visit. Have a picnic in this giant, lush park, and enjoy the sounds of nature. It's pretty big, so take a few hours if you'd like to see the whole thing. Price: Free.
Las Setas. This iconic, mushroom-shaped building is a hallmark of Sevilla. You can admire it from the ground below, or take an elevator to the top for views out over the city while also climbing through the mushroom, which is pretty cool. Price: 5€ for the elevator.
Catedral de Sevilla. I've said this before, but if you've seen one Spanish cathedral, you can maybe pass on the others. If you have the time though, this one is a beauty! If you've been to other Spanish cathedrals I wouldn't make it a priority, but if you haven't then I definitely would. Price: 10€.
Teteria Qandil. The incredible flamenco performer I saw at the Plaza de España happened to be having a show that night, which ended up being at this small, intimate bar in a residential part of the city. This was probably the best flamenco I've seen in my entire life. You can actually feel the emotion of the performers, as you sit on a couch directly in front of the dancers. Call ahead and reserve a spot for one of their flamenco nights. Price: 10€ with a drink included.
Plaza de Toros. This is Sevilla's old bullring, home to one of the most famous bullfighting festivals in the world. I don't believe in bullfighting as it's pretty unethical, but it's worth a visit to learn more about the country's age-old cultural tradition, and you can visit without actually going to a bullfight. You can wander the outside area, but you cannot enter without buying tickets for a tour, which run every 30 min-1 hour. I didn't have time for a tour, so I can't really say if it's worth it, but it would've been interesting to see. Price: 8€.
Torre del Oro. Right across from the Plaza de Toros is this tower with a small museum on the bottom. The museum gives an overview of Spain's naval history, and used to serve as a lookout point of protection for the city, as it's right on the river. Climb to the top for nice views of the city. Price: 3€.
There is so much good food in Sevilla!! This city was one of my favorites for eating, there were so many incredible vegetarian options. Andalusia's food has a lot of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influence, and all of the ingredients down here are fresh and locally grown (without trying to be). This is probably the best city to go on a tapas tour, wander through the streets of the old Santa Cruz neighborhood and try different things, or take some of my tried and true recommendations.
El Pinton. This nice restaurant has a garden-like setting, with beautiful architecture that reminds you of the city's Moorish influence. All mainly Spanish, I would come here and get a full meal as opposed to just a stop on a tapas tour. Try the risotto, it's some of the best I've ever had.
Jester. Small little breakfast bar in the tourist area. They have nice pastries and beautiful smoothie bowls. Outdoor seating only, so it's best for a nice day!
Bodega Belmonte. Sevilla's old Jewish Quarter is the most magical part of the city, as well as the best place to tapas-hop and find great tapas bars. I really liked this place, they had a great selection of vegetable-based Andalusian tapas, as well as all the traditional stuff. The wine was great too.
Mercado Lonja del Barranco. Right across the river from the Triana neighborhood you'll find this nice mercado with plenty of great options. Great place to stop for a drink, snack or coffee down by the river or after exploring Triana. Their olive and wine bar was great.
La Gallina Bianca. This place has some of the best Italian food I've had, and their pasta is incredible. Everything on their menu is awesome. Come here if you're craving Italian food, or even if you're not.
Gusto. This trendy breakfast spot is the best place to go for any sort of toasts and bowls. It's pretty centrally located, and is perfect before a full day of sightseeing.
Arte y Sabor. This tapas-style Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant was amazing. They cater heavily to vegans and vegetarians, but have plenty of meat options as well. They get pretty creative with their meatless dishes without using any fake meat, so I'd recommend trying those whether you're veggie or not!
Buenabuelo. Found this cute little cafe for breakfast by the hotel I booked for my extra night. It's primarily a bakery/cafe, but they had plenty of great Spanish tostadas.
Sevilla's nightlife, as expected, is super fun. There are a few different scenes here, and you can easily find your niche. You can tapas-hop into the early morning, spend it dancing to reggaeton at the club, or at a traditional flamenco bar watching amateur dancers perform while getting drunk with your new Spanish friends.
El Rinconcillo. This very old, traditional Spanish bar is a cultural experience itself. Great spot to get a feel for what Spanish bar culture is really like for locals. Come here for the ambiance and environment, and stay for the cheap drinks and delicious tapas.
Abril. This was the only club I went to while in Sevilla, which I heard was more of a lowkey Spanish spot. It was super fun and a great night. They mostly played reggaeton, and the crowd was mainly Spanish with a couple tourists or study abroad kids mixed in.
La Carboneria. This traditional flamenco bar is a very cool and unique experience. It's a fully operating bar where people go to drink and socialize, but they also have flamenco being performed onstage with live music. It was great to see flamenco in a different, more casual atmosphere.
Bar Alfalfa. This tiny bar is located in the cool Alfalfa neighborhood, where people pour into the streets at night to party. It's one of Sevilla's most famous bars, and it's a lively spot for cheap drinks and good conversation. They also have killer tapas.
Sevilla is honestly a dream, there's no other way to describe it. While there are a lot of absolutes in this post, I genuinely mean them. Sevilla is a magical place, and I hope you get to experience it like I did. Something about being in this city brings you peace, and makes you feel as though all of your problems are irrelevant. The pace of life is slower here, and the vibes are good. Make sure to add it to your Spain or Andalusia trip, or just pop down for the weekend while staying in Madrid.
For more pictures of beautiful Sevilla, check out my album on Flickr.