Seville Favorites

I didn’t fall in love with Seville, but I also kind of did.

That’s confusing.

I mean, when I first arrived, Seville didn’t live up to the hype, and I kind of hated the cramped touristy city center, Barrio de Santa Cruz. But once I explored a bit more and got some churros in me, I felt differently.

You know those cities that you love so much that you imagine going back over and over again, or even renting an apartment and staying awhile? I didn’t feel that way about Seville. But I loved a lot of individual things about the city, which all smushed together add up to an awesome week in Seville.

I’ve even forgotten that I was really sick while I was there (why do I get sick every time I go to Spain?! Why do you hate me, immune system?!) I had a horrible cough and I completely lost my voice and had to communicate with croaking, flailing, and rubbery facial expressions.

So basically, what I’m saying is that Seville is a really great place to visit and I’m glad I did, even though my vocal cords were so swollen I couldn’t phonate.

I do think that Seville can be a little overwhelming. It’s definitely walkable, but it’s somewhat spread out, and you have to do a little research to beat the crowds to the good spots and avoid tourist traps, of which there are many. That said, some of my favorite areas we discovered just by wandering (an essential part of any trip!)

IMG_2432

So. Seville.

IMG_2577

Logistics

It’s easy to get in to the city from the airport – there’s a bus (EA) that runs several times an hour, and it only costs 4 euros (that’s 10 euros cheaper than the Rhône Express airport shuttle in Lyon!)

We stayed at Urban Sevilla which was nice, with clean double rooms, beautiful tiles, and a rooftop terrace, (we found it on Airbnb, but it wasn’t one). Next time I might have chosen somewhere further from Barrio Santa Cruz. I wish I had known about the Nomad Hostel from HostelGeeks‘ 5 star hostel list – it looks pretty cool!

Tapas & Churros

I tried the cafe across the street upon the host’s recommendation and found it overpriced and sucky. (1,60€ for a stale nutella croissant? Um, no.) But soon we started having breakfast at Bar El Comercio and it was so much fun sitting at the counter of the busy, narrow bar, eating fresh jamón serrano breakfast sandwiches with olive oil, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and coffee in those cute cups. We might have had some churros too. (And chocolate to dip them in, obvi.)

The other spot that felt So Spanish to me was the tapas bar Bodega Santa Cruz – it was crowded and loud, and we ate standing up at the counter. The tapas were fried and delicious, and they tallied up our orders in chalk on the bar in front of us as we ordered. I was worried it might suck because it’s a stone’s throw from the Giralda tower, but I loved it! (Am I an expert in Sevillian tapas? No. Do I like cheap delicious food? Yes.)

I mentioned in my first Seville post that the weather was hit and miss – some sun, some storms. I remember getting freshly-fried churros at the stand on the east side of the Puente de Isabel II that leads over the river to the Triana neighborhood, and dipping them in chocolate while running through the rain because  we couldn’t wait to eat them!

IMG_2776

Triana & Those Tiles

IMG_2754

I loved wandering around the Triana neighborhood. The tiles that Seville is famous for come from this neighborhood, so the houses have gorgeous tiling on the outside and in the entryhalls. There’s actually a museum about the history of the industry – Centro Ceramica Triana (left). There are shops with loads of pretty dishes and decorations made in Triana – great affordable gifts and souvenirs.

IMG_2442

IMG_2769

IMG_2760                           IMG_2766

IMG_2770One afternoon in Triana we got caught in a crazy rainstorm in and took refuge at a trendy tapas bar, La Bola (which the internet tells me is now closed, sad!) We sat at a table outside on the covered terrace and ate and drank until the storm passed. I don’t know if tinto de verano is considered a cool thing to drink in Spain or not, but I think it’s so refreshing. It’s basically red wine and soda or lemonade. I didn’t really care for the sangria we tried in Seville – too many spices (yes, I know that sangria comes from the south of Spain and the fruity stuff I like probably isn’t “authentic.” I like what I like.)

IMG_2773 (1)
Check out this rain! It was serious business.

Flamenco

IMG_2786Speaking of “authentic” Spanish stuff, we heard that La Carboneria was a great place to see a flamenco performance. People crowded in to get seats near the stage. I loved the dancing, hated the singing! (Is it a requirement of flamenco music that the singer’s vibrato be unbearably wide and uneven, or was it just this guy?)

Most terrifying moment of the evening: I spotted something too large to be a spider, too small to be a mouse crawling on the benches in the corner. Unfazed, my New Yorker companion informed me that it was cockroach. “Haven’t you ever seen one before?” No! The only place I want to see a cockroach is in Wall-E.

At la Carboneria, we met some French guys who were studying flamenco guitar in Seville. They tried to jam a little after the performance was over, but they were relegated to the side room, where Mr. Big Wig Flamenco warbler with vibrato like a truck, who seemed to run the place, started his own performance to drown out theirs. He was like a rooster puffing up to demonstrate male dominance, only louder. (Eye roll.)

Sightseeing

As for the sights, we skipped the Giralda tower and bull fighting (no regrets there) but landmarks we did visit were spectacular.

I walked to the colorfully tiled Plaza de España on my first afternoon, and it was really dazzling. It’s free (my favorite!) and really a sight to behold. Tiles depict different regions of Spain, and you can climb up to the second level balcony to view the Plaza from above.

IMG_2680

IMG_2489IMG_2466

IMG_2514IMG_2450IMG_2491

IMG_2537IMG_2683

Across the street is the lush green Parque de Maria Luisa, which I enjoyed strolling through to get a little shade. There are orange trees just chilling. NBD.

IMG_2572

Alcazar is not as famous as the Alhambra in Grenada, but for me it was absolutely worth the entrance fee and the wait in line.

IMG_2857

IMG_2817IMG_2834IMG_2815

I don’t know if Metropol Parasol is a Seville must-see, but it has a beautiful view of the city with signs designating prominent towers in the skyline, and it’s only a few euros. I felt a little like I was on a futuristic space craft. Or… something.

IMG_2970IMG_3019

Calle Regina, a little street behind metropol Parasol, was my favorite random discovery. It was lined with cute cafes and boutiques and 1€ cookies, still warm. Honestly, just strolling down this street is one of my best memories from Seville.

Travel Resources

If you’re planning on visiting Seville, local girl Cat of Sunshine and Siestas shares ideas for maximizing your time in Seville and getting off the beaten path, and EuroCheapo has tips for visiting Seville on a budget. I also pin travel articles like crazy, so you can usually find a lot of articles for anywhere I’ve been or am planning to go on my travel board. I even have a board just for Spain:

More about traveling in Spain

IMG_2439

P.S. Check out my Postcard from Seville.

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Seville Favorites

  1. Fantastic photos of Seville – I love the tiles and the architecture – simply amazing! Oh and that photo of the rain – that’s raining buckets!! Thanks for sharing, cheers. #farawayfiles

  2. I had a strange experience with Seville. I had always wanted to go but it disappointed me a bit. I foolishly went in August and it was genuinely 50 degrees; the few locals remaining were cranky as hell and there were hordes of tourists everywhere. Visually it wasn’t as gorgeous as I expected in real life. It’s cramped like you say and a bit overwhelming. I much preferred Granada and Cordoba. And out of season is definitely best. Your post does make it look lovely though! #FarawayFiles

    1. Oof, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere in 50 degree heat!!!! That sounds hellish! Yes, it didn’t quite live up to the hype for me since so many people say they absolutely fell in love with it, but it was still nice and very beautiful. I would LOVE to go to Granada though!

  3. Wow! Seville and Granada are on our 2017 bucket lists so this was super helpful. I didn’t know that this gem was in Seville (I’ve only ever read about the food). The pictures are BEAUTIFUL. #farawayfiles

  4. I have such a crush on those moorish tiles. I’m a minimalist in most things but looking at your photos makes me want to retile my house in blue, white and yellow tiles. So looking forward to visiting Seville one day. I have major wanderlust! Thanks for sharing with us on #farawayfiles

    1. I was in awe of all the beautiful tiles in ordinary places in Seville (and in Lisbon too for that matter). Their local history is so interesting too! But I’m also partial to minimalist home decor (not that I’ve ever had a proper home to decorate, but I make up for it on Pinterest.)

  5. I’m sorry you were so unlucky with the weather, Catherine. I went in May and it was warm and sunny (but not too warm) and the city was beautiful – the Plaza de Espana and the Alcazar in particular. I also love discovering a city by wandering its streets and wish I’d been able to spend more time wandering in the lovely Triana neighbourhood. I did love the market there though! Thanks so much for sharing with us on #FarawayFiles

    1. May sounds like the perfect time to go! We picked April because we thought it was sure to be good weather, but alas! It was still at least 20 degrees most of the time, we didn’t suffer too much. We walked through the market a little too early in the day I think, but I did read that it was a neighborhood highlight!

  6. We were in Seville in November and it was the perfect time to see the city. Great weather for sightseeing and not too many crowds. I really loved the city and I agree, the Plaza de Espana and Alcazar were just beautiful.
    I haven’t been to Cordoba or Granada but now I’ve had a taste of Seville, I’d love to explore more places in Andalucia.
    #farawayfiles

    1. I didn’t have strong feelings about Madrid the first time I went (I think it was pretty rainy, if I remember correctly) but the second time it charmed me. I love when I visit a new city and I can just see myself living there or returning over and over, but for others, once is enough. Enjoy your time in Oregon (if you’re still there!)

Be awesome, leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s