Spain quickly became one of my favorite countries after my trip to Sevilla and Barcelona. My time in Seville (or “Sevilla” to the Spaniards) was an incredibly pleasant surprise for me. I didn’t know much about the city before I went, but it is a beautiful city, and I cant wait to return. Seville is located in southern Spain near Gibraltar, making it a great city to add to a trip to northern Morocco or Portugal. My friends and I went to Seville in March for a few days, bookending our trip to Tangier and Chefchaouen (which you can read about here: Reasons You Can’t Miss Chefchaouen on Your Trip to Morocco). The weather was lovely in March- it was crisp in the mornings and at night but warm enough for short sleeves and shorts during the day.
My friends and I stayed at La Banda Hostel, and I could not recommend this place enough if you’re looking for a cheap, clean, and fun place to stay in Seville. Our room was comfortable and cute, but the main attraction of this hostel is the rooftop bar. The rooftop bar has a beautiful view of the skyline of the city, and the bar serves delicious, cheap cocktails! We started every night at the bar enjoying the ambiance before heading to dinner. The hostel is on a quiet street, but it’s easily within walking distance to all the most popular attractions in Seville.
There is so much to do in Sevilla. These are the top attractions in Seville according to my experience:
The Alcazar and the adjoining gardens are stunning, and their Moorish style is a refreshing change from the traditional chateaus and medieval fortresses I had visited on my tour of Europe. I would absolutely recommend spending a few hours here walking around if you visit this city! The architecture reminded me of Alhambra, and there is so much beautiful tile work and orate carving to see. This old castle is a must-see! I even came across a peacock roaming the gardens!
The Plaza de Espana is another stunning building in Seville, built for the Ibero-American Exposition in 1929. This is one of the most architecturally unique buildings I’ve seen. There are alcoves evenly spaced around the Plaza featuring tributes to the different regions of Andalusia, so I recommend walking around and checking out all the artwork. The world’s fair that this plaza was built for featured a number of countries including Portugal, the US, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Cuba, and more. The world’s fair was supposedly meant to strengthen ties between Spain and countries it affected through colonization. Each country had a pavilion in Maria Luisa Park (which is next to the Plaza), and most of these buildings are still there today! I loved how these buildings were built to represent their countries like a real-life Epcot. If you like world’s fairs, or if you’re an Epcot-lover like me, I recommend finding a tour to take you around this park to explain the significance of the buildings in the exposition.
The Seville Cathedral is another landmark of the city. I highly recommend going up the tower (wear comfortable shoes!) to get a great view of the city! From the top, you can see other landmarks of Seville like the old bull ring!
The Metropol Parasol is a wooden structure in Seville that you can go on top of for views of the city! The structure itself is very interesting to look at because of its unique design, so even if you don’t go up, it’s worth visiting. If you do go up, a drink from the rooftop terrance is included in the price of the ticket, so you can enjoy a glass of wine while looking out over the city!
Other landmarks in Seville include: Plaza Nueva, the Toro del Oro, and the Maestranza (an old bull ring).
If you’d like a glimpse of the flamenco that Sevilla is so famous for, I’d recommend going to the Carboneria. This is a bare bones bar that has authentic flamenco with live music at night, and it’s free, so definitely check it out if you have the chance.
I wish I could remember the names of the restaurants I visited, but after searching and searching online I’ve come up empty-handed. When visiting Seville, make sure to eat plenty of paella – no American version I’ve had since compares. On the advice of our hostel, we tried some very small, local restaurants for tapas and sangria, and we were not disappointed. One night, we met a group of former bull fighters (now in their 70s) who proudly showed us photos from their glory days, and even though we couldn’t understand a word they said, we talked about how interesting their story was for days after.
Although Seville is often overlooked in favor of larger Spanish cities like Barcelona and Madrid, this beautiful city is full of history and culture. Let me know if you’ve been to Seville and fell in love with this city like I did!