If your idea of the perfect holiday is immersing yourself in a wonderful new culture, through unique experiences and off the beaten track attractions, then sunny Seville should be at the top of your travel list. The beautiful Andalusian capital is not only one of Spain’s most iconic cities, but it is steeped in history too, which makes it the ideal destination for visitors looking to really get under the skin of a place.
Set on the banks of the beautiful river Guadalquivir, Seville is home to incredible architecture, the sensual art of flamenco dancing, delectable cuisine and so much more. Here are just a few of my favourite cultural highlights that will hopefully stimulate your imagination.
I believe that there’s no better way to get to know a place than on foot and therein lies the beauty of old European cities. Their winding streets are perfect for getting lost in and often that’s when you’ll discover the best local haunts. Seville is no different, and with its sensational buildings and historic monuments, there’s plenty to see.
An absolute must-see is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cathedral, which dates from the sixteenth-century. It’s an impressive structure that is ornate in its Gothic design. Make sure you take your time marvelling the twelfth-century Giralda Tower, the only remaining part of the ancient mosque that once stood on this sacred site.
Top Tip: Visitors can climb the tower and be rewarded with panoramic views of the city.
Royal Alcazar Palace
Perhaps the only structure to rival the beauty of the cathedral, this eighth-century palace is unmissable. Exhibiting a mixture of Moorish and Renaissance architecture, history-buffs are in for a treat. Some of the best parts of the building include the Patio de los Dancellas courtyard, which is surrounded by manicured gardens and tiled plinths.
Plaza de Espana
You’re likely to find yourself in this magnificent square a number of times during your visit, as it’s a lovely meeting spot. Although it was only built in 1928, the impressive moat and Moorish-influenced design perfectly complement the rest of the city’s historic aesthetic.
If you only plan one thing during your stay, make it a flamenco experience. This distinctive dance, traditional to southern Spain, is at the heart of the region’s culture and is simply unforgettable. Listed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage, the dance combines local folklore and African and Indian music. For fanatics, take yourself to the Flamenco Museum where you can delve into the history of this sensational dance.
Top Tip: Book a table at the Tablao Flamenco Los Gallos, which has been putting on live performances since the sixties!
Museums and More
As the centre of Andalusian culture, Seville is bursting with museums and galleries. Whether you’re a fine art fanatic or prefer the moderns, you’ll find something to satisfy your hunger for art.
The Museum of Fine Arts is housed in a converted monastery and boasts one of the best collections of Spanish art. After wandering around the galleries, the patio gardens provide a welcoming place for an ‘al fresco’ stroll. If sculpture and installations are more to your taste, take yourself to the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo, where you’ll find works by twentieth-century local artists.
Top Tip: One of the most unique experiences must be exploring the walkways of the Metropol Parasol – the world’s largest wooden structure! Catch the finest views and then enjoy a refreshing beverage at the rooftop bar.
Cruise the Guadalquivir
To see the city from a different perspective, enjoy a relaxing cruise along the tranquil river which is as historically important as the city itself. As a site for battle, trade and travel, you’ll be journeying on an ancient route that has many stories to tell.
After all the sightseeing and street ramblings, you’re sure to work up an appetite, and in Seville you’re never far from some delicious tapas. It might just seem like a few small plates but this culinary tradition is an institution in Spain that has spread worldwide. Treat yourself to the very best that the area has to offer with a walking tapas tour or nab yourself a table at the celebrated La Azotea which serves up scrumptious seasonal fare.
Where to Stay
Hotel Alfonso XIII – This luxury hotel is beautifully designed and is the epitome of opulence as one of Spain’s most prestigious accommodation options. Each room offers a minibar, WiFi, ensuite and there is ‘al fresco’ dining available.
Hotel Seville Center – Just a short walk from the old town, this hotel boasts a seasonal swimming pool, rooftop restaurant and summer terrace. Rooms offer air-conditioning, satellite TV and minibar.
Hotel Fernando III – Located in the Santa Cruz district, Hotel Fernando III offers free WiFi, roof terrace, swimming pool, and air-conditioned rooms. Some rooms offer balconies with beautiful city views.
How to Get There
Flights from the UK to Seville are affordable and frequent and are offered by numerous airlines. You’ll be in sunny Spain in under three hours and once you’ve landed, I suggest you have a pre-booked shuttle transfer waiting for you so that you can get your holiday started as soon as you touch down.
- UK to SVQ Flight Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
- SVQ to Seville Distance: 14 kilometres
- Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 26 minutes
About Shuttle Direct
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