Sevilla tiene un color especial…! This caption, from the famous song written by artists Los del Río, can be seen under almost every Instagram post of Seville and completely deserved! Seville does indeed have a special colour about it that no other city can compare to. It has literally everything, the sun all year round, rich culture, an amazing cousine and layers of history. I’m lucky to have lived in this amazing city for half a year, which now allows me to give you only the best travel tips and local secrets!
1. Travel through time in the Real Alcázar de Sevilla
Seville has gone through an extraordinary historical evolution and its rulers have all occupied the Alcázar since the time of the Romans, constantly adding bits and pieces of differing styles to the complex. This UNESCO Heritage site is an absolute must see – especially for the Game of Thrones fans amongst us! (The Alcázar is the residence of House of Martell in Dorne. PS: Prince Oberyn was my favourite character and I am still very upset that he died!) The Real Alcázar is probably Seville’s most popular site and thus it is not unusual to wait 1 hour in line the enter… So as a temporary local I strongly advice you to avoid visiting the Alcázar during peak tourist periods!
Insiders tip: Are you traveling on a budget?! No problem, entrance to the Alcázar is free during the last opening hour of every Monday
Entrance fee: €9,50 (Adults) and €2 (Students) Opening times: 9:30-19:00 (Summer Time) and 9:30-17:00 (Winter Time)
2. Romantically row a boat at Plaza de España
Plaza de España is a magnificent place by it self already but the fact that you can row a boat around the complex just makes it a mind blowing experience! And if you are on a romantic city trip this is the cherry on top of the cream. Do mind the time though as they will charge you extra if you don’t return within the 30 minutes.
Fee: €5 per boat for 30 minutes
3. Indulge on delicious tapas in Mercado Lonja del Barranco
When I lived in Seville I used to visit this place almost weekly. It’s so chic, next to the Guadalquivir with good music and there is a large variety of different kinds of tapas you can try and all of them are super tasty!
Insiders tip: Want a refreshing drink? Order Tinto de Verano, a red wine mixed with sparkling lemonade and ice (see picture above). It’s Spain’s specialty and they make the best here!
4. Watch the sun set from the Metropol Parasol
The World’s largest wooden structure, famously known as Las Setas de Sevilla (The mushrooms of Seville), has an amazing 360° view of the city, giving you an unforgettable panoramic of Seville’s most famous landmarks. Mind you that the entrance is below the structure! Don’t try to find it in one of its poles like I did for 15 minutes… Its not there…
Entrance fee: €3* but this includes a free drink or tapa in one of the restaurants below! Opening times: 10:00-23:00 (Closed on Sundays)
5. Visit the tomb of Columbus in the Seville Cathedral
The Seville Cathedral is not only an amazing piece of architecture, it is also the home of the remains of the notorious Christopher Columbus… oh so they say. After his death his remains have been moved to several places and countries and although officially his last resting place is Seville, a mysterious grave was discovered in the Dominican Republic that has experts doubting what is true.
Entrance fee: €8* including admission to the Giralda tower
6. Enjoy a cocktail on Seville’s best rooftop bar
The EME Catedral Hotel has THE BEST rooftop bar in the whole city with an amazing view on the Seville Cathedral and the famous Giralda tower. It’s perfect for a romantic end of a beautiful day!
7. Open your eyes at the Spanish Inquisition museum
Seville has many incredible museums such as Museo de Bellas Artes (If you like paintings this is a 100% recommendation!) but the one that left the biggest impression on me was the Castillo San Jorge Museo in the Flamenco neighborhood Triana, built on top of the remains of the San Jorge Castle, seat of the Spanish Inquisition and a place were thousands were imprisoned for no reason. The museum it self is not mind blowing but when you read the stories of some of the victims that were tortured and brutally killed for having or being accused of having a different opinion, it makes you really appreciate your freedom right now!
The exit of the museum is right in the middle of Triana’s cute market (open 9:00-15:00 from Monday to Saturday), where you can buy all sorts of delicious foods such as truffel cheese, olives and mouth watering Jamon de Bellota. Hence, the museum and the market make a great combination!
Entrance fee: FREE Opening hours: 11:00-18:00 (Monday till Friday) and 10:00-15:00 (Saturday & Sunday)
8. Relax in ancient Roman baths
Want to relax your feet after all that walking? Go to Aire de Sevilla in the popular Santa Cruz district for a unique spa experience. I did it together with my sister and it was so amazing that we want to return to Seville just for this place! The best thing is that they only allow a limited number of people in every time slot, meaning that it is always peaceful and you can be sure to completely relax. Prices differ according to which day in the week you go but start around €35 (just the baths) up to €200 (baths + all kinds of massage treatments).
Did you go to Seville and use any of my recommendations or tips? Let me know how it was!