72hrs in Seville
There are few cities in the world that evoke the same level of sentiment as Seville. It's the centre of all things traditionally Spanish: from the flamenco music, bullfighting, to Ernest Hemingway's favourite drink, sangria. While the Sevillians (Sevillanos in Spanish) are known for their wit and sparkle, the city itself is fascinating for its exuberance. Being the 5th oldest city (VIII century B.C. by the Tartessos) and 4th largest city in Spain, there is a vast amount of discoveries still being made; from the hoard of bronze Roman coins stored in 19 amphora earthenware jars found recently during construction works to the Roman and Moorish remains discovered on site underground below the Metropol Parasol (wooden parasols).
Do visit the Cathedral of Seville. It is the third largest in the world, after St. Peter in the Vatican and St. Paul in London. It is one of the last Gothic cathedrals of Spain, showing already evidences of the Renaissance style. On its Roman base a Visi gothic temple was erected. Of this, only the fountain of the Patio de los Naranjos remains, which in turn is the legacy, together with the Giralda, of the mosque built during Arab domination. If in the area, we recommend going for a bite at the Taberna Álvaro Peregil - La Goleta, almost opposite from the cathedral. Also not to be missed is an experience at ENA by Carles Abellán, with a cuisine inspired by Barcelona and Seville blended together. It is located at luxury Hotel Alfonso XIII, which deserves to be visited. At night, do not miss the rooftop of EME Catedral Hotel. From the heights, you can enjoy rooftop fetish of the city of Seville as well as be within close distance of the cathedral.
Sevillians like to wind up the night at the famous Garlochi Bar, a back-street gem lavishly decorated in the style of the Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions, with religious statues, paintings of the Virgin, flowers, incense, candles and sometimes a bartender in a priest’s cassock. This religious theme bar is famous for the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ), which is deep red and served in a chalice.
If you suffer from cake fever, we recommend heading to Alameda de Hércules nº 17 and ordering a slice of chocolate cake at Gigante Bar. This place is so high in sugar, you may have to lay off of your sweet intake for the next couple of days. Only a couple of minutes walk from Gigante Bar, there is a much healthier option such as orange juice with avocado sandwiches, in the Corner House at Alameda de Hércules nº 31. Also the restaurant bit is called El Disparate, you may see the hotel's sign first, so don't be confused. It is through the owner that we found out a top restaurant called El Gallinero de Sandra. It is on Pasaje Esperanza Elena Caro nº 2. Expect to find meat, fish and wine specialties.
If you are into hip and new, there are three places most highly recommendable in Seville: No-Lugar The Art Company on C/ Trajano nº 16, Café Red House and our recently discovered Gallo Rojo Factoría de Creación. You can find an assortment of juices, cakes, sandwiches and other things in the company of a cool crowd and music. For a more traditional intake of sugary treats, do go to the famous La Campana on C/ Sierpes nº 1-3. If you find La Campana to be overcrowded, which is very likely, you can visit La Creme de la Creme on C/ Regina nº1 or Manu Jara on C/ Pureza nº 5 or the Triana Market.
Below we broke down our two favourite neighbourhoods and what to do in them.
There is an abundance of sites and neighbourhoods to venture off to. If you want to get to know a more local and less crowded aspect of Sevillian life, we recommend crossing the Triana bridge (also known as Isabel II bridge) to explore Triana's main market (Mercado de Triana) on Plaza del Altozano. Once the home of dockworkers and fishermen, you can get a sense of town feel here. The vendors openly speak to the clients as if they are family, with a loud wave of laughter and chatter across the more than 100 market stalls. If an outdoor picnic suits you, there is time (opens every day from 8am to 2pm, except Sundays) to stack up on goods and enjoy it somewhere around the Triana bridge.
Flamenco is said to have been founded in Triana. This neighbourhood saw the birth and growth of this art to the point of becoming the epic centre for flamenco during the 18th and 19th centuries. It is no coincidence, therefore, that Triana has its own style of singing and flamenco dance known as the soleá de Triana. Places such as El Mantoncillo (C / Alfarería nº 104) or Casa Anselma (C / Pagés del Corro nº 49) are references for their live flamenco shows in which the public themselves start singing and dancing. They are taverns with solera in which the true flamenco has stemmed from. Another great place is the Lola de los Reyes Tavern (C / Blas Infante, nº 6) also known in Triana for its live flamenco shows, which you can enjoy without agglomerations. If you are in this emblematic neighbourhood, you can not stop going to Betis Street, which is full of bars and terraces with a lot of atmosphere, where you will also find live flamenco venues like Lo Nuestro (C / Betis nº 31). From the Betis street you can enjoy panoramic views of the Guadalquivir river.
If you want something warm for breakfast, go to the popular Bar Santa Ana in Triana district.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN TRIANA
- Santa Ana Church - it was founded in the 13th century by Alfonso X the Wise and is the oldest Christian temple in Seville. It is the most famous parish of Triana.
- Plaza del Altozano - the houses of this square, located at the western end of the bridge of Isabel II, are curdled with fences.
- Santa Ana Ceramics - founded in 1870, is the most famous tile shop in Triana. They sell ashtrays to reproductions of ceramics from the 16th century.
Santa Cruz is perhaps the most famous and important of all the neighbourhoods. It is situated next to the San Bartolomé district and is where the old medieval Jewish quarter lies. We recommend you book your ticket online to visit the Reales Alcázares, it will cost 1€ more but you get to skip the sometimes 2 to 3 hours wait in line. The original fortification was built around the year 884 as a defence of the Norman invasion of the city. There is a palace that surrounds two courtyards of varying size which is contemporaneous with the famous Alhambra of Granada. The construction is impressive, with a Gothic palace, a Mudejar palace and other forms of architecture that were built from scarce remains. Very importantly as well, after the discovery of America, there is a House of Contracting which is symbolic of the adventurer's discoveries. It is exceptionally emotional on a summer night to attend a concert in the beautiful gardens of the Alcázar, in which the open space allows for hundreds of visitors to listen to the music.
The ancient part of the Jewish quarter is a network of sinuous, less touristy, but perhaps more authentic streets, than the previous neighbourhood, separated from it, by the street Santa Maria la Blanca and San José, emphasising inside the square and convent of the Mercedarias and the Parroquía de San Bartolomé with its slender bell tower. In the neighbourhood there are several palaces, in the Calle Verde street lies the palace house of the Padilla, which today is the symbolic and much appreciated Hotel Casas de la Judería and the palace of Miguel of Mañara, in Levies street, now home to the Culture of the Junta de Andalusia. If you happen to reach San José street, it is worth visiting the Church of San Nicolas, seat of the brotherhood of Candelaria, which processes the Holy Wednesday and in the street Santa María la Blanca, the homonym church of the XVII century, built on an old synagogue. Next to the palace to the Palace of Altamira, soothes of the delegation of culture of the Meeting of Andalusia.
Such is the magnetism of the neighbourhood of Santa Cruz that even the American writer Washington Irving (1783-1859) stayed in the area and surely afterwards he went to Granada to write his 'Tales of the Alhambra'.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN SANTA CRUZ
- Gardens of Murillo - Leaving Calle Agua you can access these leafy gardens that surround the wall of the Alcazar and extend to the ring road.
- Doña Elvira Square - A typical Andalusian square landscaped and bordered by Seville houses. Ideal for sitting and resting.
- Callejón del Agua (Water Alley) - Water was transported from the Caños de Carmona to the Reales Alcázares and this fact motivated the name of the street. Incidentally, a pottery of the Valencian sculptor Mariano Benlliure (1862-1947) recalls the stay of the American writer Washington Irving in the area, where he stayed in the early 1800s. Also...Sleepy Hollow was not inspired here.
FAVOURITE BREAKFAST SPOTS
Torch Coffee Sevilla
La Esquinita de Arfe
Café Red House
Confitería La Campana
Coq & Roll Market
Enrique Becerra Restaurante
Bodeguita la Parihuela