You know that marmalade you buy that always mentions Seville oranges? Yeah, this is that Seville, the one where the awesome oranges come from. But it’s not all fruits and orchards here in Seville, and there’s plenty more to do. Here’s our list of some fun things to do to spend your days in Seville!
1. Alcazar of Seville
The Alcazar of Seville is one of the most iconic and representative monuments in the city, the country and in fact, the entire Mediterranean region. Just what’s so great about this place? The historical evolution of the city in the last millennium is held within its walls and gardens, amalgamating influences starting from the Arabic period, late Middle Ages Mudéjar right through to the Renaissance, Baroque and the XIX century. Its declaration as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987 acknowledged the survival of cultures and civilizations as a harmonic whole where all of its key elements are balanced.
Visitors can get to know these unique surroundings either through the legendary al-Mutamid, the XI century monarch and poet from Seville, or through some of the fascinating characters that illuminated modern-day Spain around 1812. Not to mention, this is also where they filmed Dorne from Game of Thrones!
Alcazar of Seville
Address: Patio de Banderas, s/n, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
Website: Alcazar of Seville
2. Lonja de Feria Food Market
Oh wow, if you’re looking for food, look no further than Lonja de Feria! Think like a local and seek the collection of tapas stalls at the back of the fish market in Calle Feria. There will be plenty of secret yummy delights waiting for you. Things start to pick up even more once the fishmongers have packed up their wares and the historic market is transformed into a modern eatery offering sushi, rice dishes (including paella), Mexican food, oysters, salmorejos and artisan croquettes. Yummy!
For the foodie, this is a must-visit and you’ll be rewarded handsomely with food to fill you to bursting. Take a little note here: don’t stay inside for too long gawking at the infinite amount of food! Most folk tend not to loiter too long inside the market and instead position themselves outside eating, drinking and chatting animatedly. There are some high tables handy to park yourself at and if you’re lucky enough to nab one, you’ll be further rewarded with the amazing view of the stunning Algaba Palace. Get those cameras ready!
Lonja de Feria Food Market
Address: Plaza Calderón de la Barca, s/n, 41003 Sevilla, Spain
Facebook: Lonja de Feria Food Market
3. Seville Museum of Fine Arts
The Seville Museum of Fine Art is a wonderful way to find out about Spanish art and houses an amazing collection that has really come together over its history, thanks mainly to a ton of ecclesiastical items that have been sold off, private donations and public acquisitions. It has rooms aplenty where you can see brilliant works by artists such as El Greco, Pacheco, Velázquez and Alonso Cano, amongst many others, both Spanish and non-Spanish. There’s even a special room that focuses on a selection of art placed in an area dedicated to Murillo and to the Seville school of the 17th-century. When you’re here, keep your eyes peeled also for the religious paintings by Zurbarán.
Seville Museum of Fine Arts
Address: Pl. del Museo, 9, 41001 Sevilla, Spain
Website: Seville Museum of Fine Arts
4. Seville Cathedral
Seville’s official cathedral is named the Santa Maria de la Sede and is also the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The cathedral’s construction lasted over a century, from 1401 to 1506 and rumour has it that when the plans were drawn up, church elders stated: Let us build a church so beautiful and so magnificent that those who see it finished will think we are mad. And madness did happen, and these crazy elders created a real thing of beauty that’s lasted centuries and wowed gazillions.
The basilica of the cathedral occupies the site of the great Aljama mosque, built in the late 12th-century by the Almohads, the ruling Moorish dynasty, of which the only remaining parts are the Patio de Naranjas, the Puerta del Perdon (on Calle Alemanes, on the north side), and the Giralda.
Address: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
Website: Seville Cathedral
5. Seville de Opera, Arenal Market
As the fictional backdrop to countless operas, it stands to reason that Seville ought to be producing its own original operas at some point or another. So in 2012 a group of opera singers and enthusiasts decided to initiate the Sevilla de Ópera club, performing at Arenal Market in Seville. The setting in the Arenal Market is a kind of ‘Opera tablao’ with shows designed to make the music more accessible. Arenal Market itself is also great for shopping for fresh produce, and has a real authentic feel to it, being in one of the oldest locales.
Seville de Opera, Arenal Market
Address: Calle Pastor y Landero 8, Dentro del Mercado del Arenal, 41001 Seville, Spain
Website: Seville de Opera, Arenal Market
6. Casa de la Memoria (Flamenco)
Want a real taste of Seville? Then you must check out the local flamenco scene. For Casa de la Memoria, it’s neither a tablao (choreographed flamenco show) nor a private peña (club, usually of flamenco aficionados), instead this cultural centre offers what is certainly the most intimate and authentic nightly flamenco shows in Seville. It’s accommodated in the old stables of the Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija. Drinks in hand, prepare to be wowed.
Casa de la Memoria (Flamenco)
Address: Calle Cuna, 6, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
Website: Casa de la Memoria (in Spanish)
7. CaixaForum Sevilla
This one is definitely for the hipsters amongst you. CaixaForum Sevilla is a new underground (literally) cultural centre which opened very recently in March 2017 on Isla de la Cartuja and is home to two temporary modern/contemporary art exhibitions (one inaugural show featured Cindy Sherman and Jean-Michel Basquiat), with integrated children’s activities; concerts, movies, discussions and conferences; and family workshops.
In the gift shop you’ll find art, design and architecture books, unusual gifts, and creative toys and games. CaixaForum also has a restaurant with a large outdoor terrace, but only has a set menu – no tapas. Nonetheless, come here for a slice of alternative culture and underground art, sowing the seeds of rebellion.
Address: Camino de los Descubrimientos & Calle Jerónimo de Aguilar, 41092 Sevilla, Spain
Website: CaixaForum Sevilla (in Spanish)
8. Basílica de La Macarena
Eyyy Macarena! Basilica de La Macarena is the home of Seville’s most revered Virgin and will give you a hint of the religious fervor inspired by Semana Santa. The Virgen de la Esperanza Macarena (Macarena Virgin of Hope) is a magnificent statue adorned with a golden crown, lavish vestments and five diamond-and-emerald brooches and was donated to the basilica by famous 20th-century matador Joselito El Gallo. Watch in awe as it stands in splendor behind the main altarpiece. The church also contains a recently refurbished museum with some of the most fascinating religious iconography.
Basílica de La Macarena
Address: Calle Bécquer, 1-3, 41002 Sevilla, Spain
9. Plaza de Espana
Plaza de Espana is a massive building in Seville, second only to the cathedral and admited for its sheer scale and grandeur. Whether you love it or hate it, this is one thing you shouldn’t miss when visiting the city. Plaza de Espana was built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929 (Expo 29), along with many of the pavilions you can see in and around the Parque Maria Luisa, and is basically an overblown love affair with architecture. Be marveled or be grossed out by its opulence; it’s sure to leave an impression in any case. Also, a shooting location for Star Wars!!!
Plaza de Espana
Address: Av de Isabel la Católica, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
10. Barrio Santa Cruz
Come to Barrio Santa Cruz to get a taste of the real parts of Seville. The Barrio Santa Cruz, or neighborhood or parish of the Holy Cross, is in the oldest part of the city of Seville. Because of this history, its location alongside the Alcazar, Cathedral and old city wall, and of course because of the intrinsic charm, beauty and atmosphere of the area, the Santa Cruz is a mecca for tourists, who come here in large numbers in search of “the real Seville”, or even “the real Spain”, inspiring dark romance and of course, has its own Jewish Quarter.
Despite the influx of tourists, which can get a little crazy on weekends, there’s something inherently charming about it, and it remains a part of Seville that is rife with character and a must-visit no matter what.
Barrio Santa Cruz
Address: Santa Cruz, Seville, Spain
11. Torre Giralda
The Giralda is one of the most iconic parts of Seville, and has remained the tallest building in the city for over 800 years, dominating the skyline. Originally built in 1195 as the minaret of the Aljama mosque, it is now the bell tower of the cathedral, and is recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The name Giralda means “she who turns” - girar is to turn in Spanish, after the weather vane on top of the tower, a statue representing faith called El Giraldillo. The Giralda is a bell tower, so if you’re in the area, expect to hear the chimes ring out through Seville, and the incredible sight to behold.
Address: Plaza Virgen de los Reyes. 41002 Sevilla, Spain
Website: Torre Giralda
Beyond tasty marmalade and oranges, come to Seville to see the place that inspired hit operas such as the Barber of Seville and what is basically the desert kingdom of Dorne from Game of Thrones. Cool stuff, brimming with culture and of course, tasty food, there’s so much to unearth in sunny Seville!
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