THE SEVILLE CITY GUIDE - HOW TO SPEND THREE DAYS IN THE CAPITAL OF ANDALUSIA , SOUTH OF SPAIN

2016-12-18 19.45.44.jpg
2016-12-21 12.14.26.jpg
2016-12-21 14.21.28.jpg

We were desperate to be in Europe in December but wanted to avoid the cold as much as possible. The south of Spain proved to be the perfect destination. Earlier in the year, I wrote a blog post about traveling Europe in Winter. Seville is one of those destinations you can visit in winter as it has with milder winter compared to other parts of Spain and Europe. I had my eye on this region of the world for ages and I could never get the pieces lined up to take the trip that was until a while ago when the opportunity presented itself. We flew British Airways out of London Gatwick and despite the drama of getting through security (read: I almost missed the flight); we arrived in Seville ok; took a cab to our residence for the week.

2016-12-16 12.08.53.jpg
DSC_0502.jpg
2016-12-16 13.15.28.jpg
2016-12-16 10.56.46.jpg

WHERE TO STAY. By sheer coincidence, we ended up staying at two different hotels during our stay. They were both excellent; except for the spotty internet at the first one; both had an insane view of the city and within walking distance to the Royal Alcazar palace and the Seville cathedral. We absolutely loved our time at Hotel Palacio Alcazar and Eurostar Seville.

2016-12-17 11.55.43.jpg
2016-12-19 19.47.43.jpg
2016-12-17 16.27.27.jpg
Sevilla

GETTING AROUND. Because there were three of us, we opted for taxis when the destination was not within walking distance. Cab fares split three ways was cheaper than getting a transport card. We used cabs to get to and from the airport ; to and from the train station for our day trips and once to get to/from the national museum. Almost everything else we did was within 20 to 30 minute trek of our hotels.

2016-12-17 16.31.33.jpg
2016-12-17 16.27.15.jpg

TIME OFF WORK. We planned a full week in the South of Spain from Seville to Granada. We spent 3 days in Seville and it did not feel nearly enough. If I had to do it over again I will probably plan to spend four full days in the city as I felt we rushed thing. You will need a day dedicated to the Royal Alcazar and the Cathedral. If you want to take your time, you could stretch out the Royal Alcazar to a full day; we rushed through it because we knew we were short on time and want to do and see as much as possible.

DSC_0511.jpg
DSC_0485.jpg

WHERE TO EAT. We did not have a bad meal in Seville, on our first full day, we stumbled on spot that became our default dining option when we could not agree. A note to bear in mind, meal times in this part of the world are typically later than meal times in London or the States. Once we showed up to dinner at 8:30 p.m. and were the only ones in the restaurant for about forty-five minutes. Our favorite spot for Tapas was Postiguillo and we loved every dish we ordered here. We especially enjoyed the OxTail. I grew eating OxTail in Nigeria but had a rediscovery while we were in Seville - we ordered it at every Tapas meal. Other favorites were Ovejas Negras Tapas and La Gorda de Las Setas. Curros was recommended to us but we did not get a chance to visit. Panypiu bakery was one of my favorite spots for coffee and a baked good in the morning. I recommend drinks at Hotel Alfonso XIII - the hotel was commission was the king of Spain in the 1920s and remains an iconic cultural landmark - we stopped by for tea and drinks before dinner one of the evening. I loved the vibe of this place. The Eurostar hotel rooftop bar with an excellent view, I cannot recall the quality of the drinks, but I remember the view. We also dined at La Moderna - while I did not enjoy the meal here, others in our party did, so I am including on this list due to that fact.

2016-12-21 11.29.11.jpg
2016-12-16 17.14.56.jpg
2016-12-21 15.35.55.jpg
2016-12-21 15.42.24.jpg
2016-12-21 10.38.03.jpg
2016-12-21 15.36.58.jpg
2016-12-16 17.18.19.jpg

WHAT TO DO. I have written blog posts of two of the highlights of our time in Seville - The Royal Alcazar of Seville and the Seville Cathedral - check those out here and here for details. The blog archives also contain all the details of the various days trips to Cordoba ; Granada and Carmona that we to completed during our time in Seville. If you can, I recommend spending at least forty-eight hours in Granada - our day trip was very rushed. Besides those, I recommend visiting the La Giralda, a bell tower next to the Seville Cathedral. Visit one of the many museums in the city - my personal recommendations are the museum of fine arts and Archaeological Museum. The Metropol Parasol (aka the Mushroom building) is a stunning structure that you should see if you are into that sort of thing. The Jewish quarter is a great area to explore. Besides the Jewish Quarter, I also recommend exploring Plaza Nueva outside city hall and Barrio Santa Cruz. My one regret of our trip was not visiting Plaza de Espana, do not miss it on your trip.

2016-12-21 10.42.13.jpg
2016-12-21 10.55.47.jpg
2016-12-17 16.08.15.jpg
2016-12-17 16.00.21.jpg
2016-12-16 11.24.58.jpg
2016-12-17 11.53.38.jpg
2016-12-16 15.00.38.jpg
2016-12-17 15.55.43.jpg
2016-12-16 12.54.45.jpg
2016-12-21 14.21.00.jpg
2016-12-16 14.25.10.jpg



THE BEST VIEW IN SEVILLE AND WHY THE SEVILLE CATHEDRAL SHOULD BE ON YOUR BUCKETLIST

Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral

I did not intend to dedicate an entire post to our time at the Cathedral, but as I edited the photos for the city guide to Seville post, I knew I had to give our time at the Cathedral its own spot in this corner of the internet. The Cathedral is just a few feet from the Royal Alcazar, right in the city center; and it towers over the entire city.

2016-12-16 14.26.14.jpg
Seville Cathedral

 If you have seen other European cathedrals then you might think you know what to expect here but I can assure you - the cathedrals in the South of Spain are nothing like you have ever seen and the Seville Cathedral is in a class all by itself. In part, for its size and gorgeous exteriors but also for the seemingly over the top gold interiors and with a massive gold back drop at one end of the interior that will leave you in awe.

Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
2016-12-16 14.45.13.jpg
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral

As breathtaking as those are, it is the tower atatched to the Cathedral that made this one of our favorite parts of Seville. I cannot believe we debated skipping on climbing the tower. The trek up is not the worse one my out of shape self has ever done, but I will advise taking a bottle of water with you and pacing yourself - you will be rewarded for your effort. Even before we made it to the viewing platform - we knew we had made the right decision to climb the bell tower. On the trek up, we caught glimpses of what awaited us at the top and that was motivation to push on; we arrived at the bells first and then the colorful rooftops appeared before us. We were left speechless. We just looked at it each other and laughed loudly that we almost missed this. Then,  I proceeded to take over 250 pictures from every angle possible.

Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
2016-12-16 15.01.03.jpg
2016-12-16 15.05.39.jpg
Seville Cathedral

We were surrounded by people but it still felt incredibly peaceful up there viewing the city below. We had spent the morning at the Royal Alcazar and thought there was nothing else in Seville to top out time there - who knew. There was nothing else on the calendar so we were not rushed to escape the beautiful before us. My growling stomach was however not on board and we regrefully had to pull ourselves away to get nourishment. We followed the crowds out through the cathedral lawn which was equally beautiful. We exited through the gates from the lawn and rows of orange trees to join the rest of the tourist crowd exploring the city center.

Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral

A DAY AT THE ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE // SEVILLE, SPAIN

ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE

As soon as we decided to spend our winter vacation in the Andalusia region of Spain with a base camp in Seville. I immediately started planning the trip to the Royal Alcazar. We were lucky to get a hotel in the heart of the downtown area and just a few yards from the gate of the lion entrance to the palace. 

ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE

Sevilla and a lot of Andalusian region of Spain benefit from the combination of the Moorish; Mediterranean and European influences which are evident in its architecture and makes this part of Spain one of the most romantic; vibrant and beautiful places I have ever visited. The attention to detail of the palace space cannot be described in words - every tile; every ceiling; even the garden layout takes your breath away and in all the spaces we visited in this region, the Royal Alcazar stands in a class all by itself.

ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE

From the Puerta de Leon (Gate of the lion entrance), it was evident this was not going to be like any other historical site we have visited. The site of the palace was previously a Roman settlement that was used by the Visigoths as a fortress at some point and later conquered by the Arab who transformed the space. Many additions and renovations later, we get to enjoy the spectacular space. 

ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE

A few tips to keep in mind if you are planning a trip: go early because it is one of the top spots in Sevilla and it gets packed at certain times; plan to spend a couple of hours to get the most out of the visit;  take cash because when we visited we could not pay the entrance fee with cards; have a snack and water handy - there is a lot of ground to cover and you don't want to miss out on anything because you get peckish; wear comfortable shoes and be camera ready (every corner - even the ceiling) is photograph worthy. 

ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE

It was a challenge to put down my camera to enjoy the moment. I wanted to capture every detail of what made me fall in love with space. There is so much to see and experience so my one plea to you is to explore every turn and space that is open - you will not be disappointed. In every space you walk through - don't forget to look up because the ceiling work in this place is breathtaking ; make sure to explore the garden and the grounds - the main water feature has a simple elegance that I cannot describe; the garden layout with peacocks roaming the maze is something out of a storybook. Don't miss out on the top floors, the tiled stairways along will captivate you and the views from the top floors of the grounds and gardens should not be missed and the top floor spaces hold more wonder. 

ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
2016-12-16 12.20.36.jpg
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE
ROYAL ALCAZAR OF SEVILLE