Behold ¡Sevilla! (as pronounced in Spanish) or Seville!
One month from our trip to Seville, the enchanting, sunshine capital of Andalusia still lingers fondly in our hearts.
Seville is located in the downstream portion of the River Guadalquivir- before it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The harmonious blend of Roman, Islamic and Christian heritage stamps an everlasting imprint on the city, which we see manifested in the architecture, food and music; it is truly a city of passion.
It goes without question; sightseeing is imperative in Seville. There are many breath-taking landmarks to indulge yourself in, hence we have compiled our list of the top 5 sights to experience- subjectively of course, based on our personal preference.
5. Sevilla FC Fútbol Stadium (Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan)
For the sports avid, this entry will excite you. For those not too keen on sports – don’t be dismayed. It is important to understand football encapsulates this city. The city of Seville is split between two Spanish teams: Betis and Sevilla FC. As soon as we landed our cab driver reminded us of this.
Out of the two, we choose to visit the Sevilla FC stadium in Nervión, adjacent to the Plaza Mall. You are filled with a sense of appreciation when you admire the stadium’s deep red colour basking in the Sevilla Sun. Although, there is a modest capacity of circa 43,000 (Betis’ Benito Villamarín is bigger) the stadium is truly mesmerising. Further, it is brilliantly illuminated with neon red colours at night. Only a 30-minute walk from the main tourist centre, we recommend adding this to your itinerary.
Price: €10 for self-guided tour via audio app
Access: Trophy exhibits, VIP Boxes, Press & Dressing rooms, Pitch
4. Real Alcàzar of Seville
‘Real’ is Spanish for “Royal” and this is certainly befitting of the Alcàzar of Seville, built most recently in 14thcentury. It is a flawless concoction of Mudéjar, Romanesque and Renaissance architecture all derived from its historical inhabitants, something the city is vehemently proud of.
Patio de las Doncellas is the pinnacle of beauty in this Alcàzar, and the gardens are famed for representing the Water Gardens of Dorne in Game of Thrones.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must see, but perhaps only attains 4th position as we were far more beguiled by Alhambra in Granada (more in our upcoming blog post). Nevertheless, it is worthy to pre-book your tickets online for the Real Alcàzar to avoid the queues.
Price: Free admission Mondays (€1 digital processing & after set time intervals), €14.5 General Tour
Access: All floors except royal residence halls (this comes at extra fee) & gardens
*Fun-fact: Kingdom of Heaven, Game of Thrones & Lawrence of Arabia have all been filmed at the Alcàzar.
3. Setas de Sevilla
Utterly bewitching and surprisingly enticing, welcome Sevilla’s ‘avant-garde’- Setas de Sevilla. It is one of the largest wooden structures in the world prompted up by 6 large mushroom-shaped parasols; the feature it takes its name from. There is a plethora of things to do on the different levels of the structure.
Level -1 The Antiquarium Museum which contains Roman and Moorish remains discovered on-site
Level 0 Public Space for roller skating & a restaurant and food market
Level 1 Ticket Admission
Level 2 & 3 are just scintillating. These levels are the walkway on top of the parasols exposing you to panoramic views over Seville. At night there is a light aurora show, a kaleidoscope of colours illuminate Setas de Sevilla, complimenting the view of the city all so seamlessly. With the Immersive experience tickets, you also get to watch a sensory cinematic show, introducing you to the city of Seville
Situated at the bustling Plaza de la Encarnacion, this venue cannot be missed, and we recommend visiting at night
Price: Day (€5 General, €10 Immersive) / Night (€10 General, €15 Immersive)
2. Cathedral of Sevilla & Giralda Tower
Our second UNESCO world heritage site of this list: The Cathedral of Sevilla & it’s adjoining tower- La Giralda, completed in the 16th century.
The Seville Cathedral is the 4th largest in the world by area. The exterior is magnificent; the beige colour provides a stark contrast juxtaposed against the black night sky. In daylight, it’s colour perfectly glistens in the sultry atmosphere. As a cathedral built upon a prior mosque, the structures still retains its older Moorish and newer gothic architecture. La Giralda tower was previously a minaret used for the call to prayer.
The interior of the Cathedral is astonishing, it is one of the steepest naves we’ve ever seen, and the main altar is embellished with the purest gold, detailing numerous figures which each tell a sub story of Jesus’ life. Inside the church is also the location of Christopher Columbus’ tomb.
La Giralda stands over 100m tall. You can climb the 35 ramps up to the tower look-out- there are unparalleled views of all the city. Make sure you take a peep from the several windows as you wind your way up the structure; they’re a taster of what’s to come. When you’re admiring the view from the top, brace yourself for a pleasantly loud surprise.
The icing on the cake for us, was the orange tree garden before the exit. The sweet aroma of ripe and blossoming oranges was blissful along with the aesthetic views.
Price: €9-€12 (We paid €11 but this could change depending on season)
Access: Sevilla Cathedral, La Giralda & Salvador Church
*Fun-fact: The inclined ramps were built to allow ascent via horseback for the call to prayer during Moorish rule
1. Plaza de España
Simply put, the grandeur of Plaza de España can only be experienced in its pomp, when one actually visits the landmark. Upon the first glance, you are left awe-struck; it is unequivocally the best square we have ever been to in Europe, thus far.
The Plaza de España brick building was built in renaissance & neo-Moorish style for the 1929 Ibero-America Exposition. It not just a picturesque location, perfect for a photo-shoot but offers educational experience. Along the lower section of the brick building, the alcoves are adorned with Moorish-inspired azulejos, each representing one of the 52 Spanish provinces.
Beyond admiring the splendour of Plaza de España, you can indulge in activities such as rowing a pedal-boat in the moat which encircles the plaza- unfortunately, the moat was dried up on our visit for preservation purposes. Hence, we will definitely be returning to Plaza de España.
There are also many flamenco and guitar buskers serenading the square with the unique, immersive Sevilla ‘feeling’.
*Fun-fact: A scene from Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones was filmed at Plaza de España
Have we convinced you to visit Seville?
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