Sevilla is like a dynamite of a love affair – it sweeps you off your feet with an explosive BANG and makes you yearn for more! The warm sun, the smell of sweet oranges in the air, the food (oh the food! *drooooool*), the narrow winding alleys with the magnificent union of Mujédar and Baroque architecture lining the streets and the laid back vibes of the city is how I sum up Sevilla. There’s so much about Sevilla that surprised me – I knew people there are relaxed, but go out at 8am and their day hasn’t started, the roads are pretty much empty! Now that is what I call easy-going. Lunch can go on for hours – we didn’t realize the time fly by! So much of our time was spent eating Tapas and drinking Sangrias.
There’s so much that Sevilla has to offer for everyone – this is my MUST SEE list when you find yourself in Sevilla!
The Real Alcazar of Seville
An exquisite amalgamation of architecture from the Mujedar period to the Baroque era is what you will find whilst visiting The Real Alcazar of Sevilla. The Muslim and Christian influences are profoundly seen all around, yet so subtly interspersed! This is one of THOSE places that will NOT disappoint. There’s a little bit everywhere that’ll pique even the bored mind. The courtyards, the gardens with orange trees, the intricate detailing on the walls, the dreamy windows and not to forget the peacocks and ducks. For all us GoT fans, the Gardens of Dorne along with another scene was shot here! I highly recommend viewing the Upper Palace for an additional 4.5€ The palace can be viewed from a completely different perspective and this is where, I thought, you will see the fusion of the two worlds the best. The viewings happen every half hour from open to 13:30pm only. So this would probably be the first place to go when you enter.
INSIDER TIP: This being a UNESCO World Heritage, the lines can get long (Yes, even when it’s off season!) Either buy tickets online or come early. Also, I would recommend spending an entire day looking at ALL the sections of the palace. There’s soo much to see that some of the places can be easily missed out.*
COST: General Admission is 9.50€ and admission to the Upper Palace is an additional 4.50€ with the last batch going in at 13:30 post which it is closed.
TIMINGS: Monday-Sunday 9:30 to 17:00
Catedral de Sevilla
If you think the grandeur of the Catedral from the outside is aaah-maazing, the inside will astonish you. I’ve been thinking for over ten minutes about how best to describe the Catedral, but all I can see in my mind are flashes of extravagant carvings, massive sculptures and perfect symmetry. There are places that when captured on film don’t do justice and I also think there are places that are inexplicably grand and no amount of adjectives used can do justice. In my head, this is one such place. Right in the middle of the Catedral, is a towering structure (you will not miss it! 🙂 ), spend some time there. You will see the life of Jesus with the spotlight hitting multiple places in the structure. Even a non-believer will be in awe! The grave of (in)famous Christopher Columbus is also here. When you’re finished looking, go outside to the courtyard filled with orange trees. Just so you know, the coutryard makes for very good photo spots. Bask in the sun and smell the warm air scented like oranges and when you’ve had your fill, get ready to walk up 11 floors to the Giralda tower. Take time to imbibe the story these walls speak and the effort put in by all the artisans to make the Catedral what it is today. If you need to look around at a leisurely place, like us, you will need around 4-5 hours.
Insider Tip: Another UNESCO World Heritage site causing long lines. It’s best to get here as early as possible. Don’t come here hungry. We didn’t find a place to eat inside and we spend quite some time in here. Carry a small snack which you can eat in the courtyard.
COST: General admission is 9€ per person which includes going to the Giralda Tower.
Monday : 11:00 -15:30
Tuesday-Saturday : 11:00 – 17:00
Sunday : 14:30-18:00
From Catedral Sevilla, walk up 11 floors to the top of the Giralda Tower. If walking up 11 floors sounds daunting to you and you just want to pass up on that, let me tell you the views from the top of the tower are well worth the effort. You can see different sides to the city of Sevilla – the white houses with specks of blue(the swimming pools ofcourse! 😉 ), the lush gardens of Alcazar and top view of the Catedral itself! All in all, the climb to the top justifies the walk up! Also, you can see the Giralda Tower in all its glory from different parts of the city, all you need to do is glance upwards and you will most likely see it if you’re in downtown Sevilla!
COST: Same ticket for the Catedral as well as the tower.
TIMINGS: Summer and winter hours vary. Check here.
Plaza de España
If you want to relax and take in a breathe of the fresh orange scented Sevilla air, Plaza de España is the place to be. After a long day of sightseeing, come here just before the sun is about to set and see how beautiful the plaza looks in the warm sunlight. This massive semi-circular structure is surrounded by a moat on one side and connected to the square by bridges. The intricately designed alcoves, each representing a Spanish province, are a sight to marvel at. We spent aver an hour lazing around and relaxing. Also, for you Star Wars fans, there’s a scene (Anakin and Padmé on Planet Naboo) from The Attack of The Clones that was shot here. Insider Tip: Probably not the best idea to come here hungry as we didn’t find any places to eat at the Plaza.
Insider Tip: Do not go empty stomach!
TIMINGS: Open 24hrs
The Metropol Parasol stands out in it’s modernistic design from the rest of the architecturally significant buildings. To me – it looked a little bit like a mushroom and at times felt like I was looking into the future. It’s different is what I can say. You will either love it or hate it. It’s worth going up to the top for the views of the city. I think I’m a wee bit obsessessed with looking at cities from the top. 😉
COST: 3€ to take the elevator to the top.
TIMINGS: 10:00 – 23:00 Monday through Sunday
Torre del Oro
Once acting as a watch tower during the Muslim rule in Spain, the Torre del Oro is now a Naval Museum with the one of the best views of Sevilla. With the city on one side and Traina and the Guadalquivir river on the other, the views will not disappoint. I wasn’t particularly amused or interested with what the Museum had to offer – the views are well worth the visit though!
COST: General admission is 3€ to visit the museum and the top of the tower
Monday to Friday : 9:30 – 18:45
Saturday/Sunday : 10:30 – 18:45
On another note, we’d also like to recommend a restaurant that served some of the best tapas and sangrias we’ve had. So much so that we went back for at least a meal a day, the entire time we were there. The restaurant is called Bar Catedral and it is aaah-maazing! They have an English menu and the service is beyond polite. It’s best to get there for an early meal as it can get pretty busy during meal times.
Also, I cannot have a blog post on Spain without have a Flamenco show that must be seen. Various people have various opinions about where Flamenco is the best, but hey, I’m no expert! All I know is that I loved what I saw! I got goosebumps during some parts of the dance! It was lively, entertaining and full of oomph! We saw the show in La Casa Del Flamenco. No videos or pictures were allowed during this intimate viewing for about 30 people in this pretty little courtyard except for the very end. This is a very short video *excuse my video taking skills! I was too excited to worry about how well the video was being taken*
I thoroughly enjoyed my vacation in Sevilla! Almost everything from the weather to the people to the atmosphere was near perfection. Have bucket loads of fun when you find your self in Sevilla! Until then, adiós!