This “Top things to Do in Seville, Spain” travelogue has been a long time coming, but life has happened and I haven’t had time to share much about the rest of our stops during our self-guided tour in the south of Spain. It amazes me that it’s already been six months since our trip and it still feels as though we were just there.
After our one and a half day stop in Cordoba, we continued our journey to Seville, or Sevilla as I like to call it. The train ride wasn’t all that long and if anything it was the shortest one of all. Perhaps about 30 mins give or take.
Just like anything else in Spain, Seville is a city full of history. The architecture is simply breathtaking everywhere you look. Of course, there are plenty of modern buildings and a side of the city that’s catered to the younger crowd (not that we’re old) or whoever is not there for the art and history, but we wanted to get the full experience so we rented an apartment that was right in the center and at a walking distance from the main historical sites. Our goal was to pretend or rather explore what it’d feel like if we lived there and were just another local. Our plan worked 🙂
There are plenty of attractions, but in my opinion here are the top things to in Seville, Spain:
Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza
We visited the Plaza de Toros twice by mistake. Yikes! I purchased a tour package months in advance and thought I’d read everything it included, but somehow missed the part about visiting the plaza.
So while there, we decided it’d be great if we toured the plaza too. I think the tickets were €10 per person so we were all like, it’s cheap, let’s do it and so we did. Only the day after we went on a river tour cruise, that also included other sights of the city and another walk-through tour of the Plaza de Toros (facepalm!). When we realized what’d happened we just laughed it off, because what else was there to do?
Anyway, I digress. The Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza is not a place to miss if you’re ever in Seville. If you want to attend a bullfight, we were told it is a spectacle not to miss. As much as we would’ve loved to, due to time constraints, we couldn’t make it to a fight but it is still one of the things on our bucket list. This plaza dates back to
the early to 1730, and it took them over a century to build. Can you believe? If I recall correctly, the final construction was completed in 1914. That is a rather long time. The tour guide explained the arches aren’t all the same height or width, which isn’t something you can readily tell unless you pay close attention. Then again, the plaza is so immense that its grandeur hides all its imperfections.
There is a museum inside the plaza where they keep old newspapers, paintings, and clothing from famous bullfighters. A fun fact, and this is perhaps why this place is at the top of my list, is that a famous bullfighter might very well be my ancestor. My maiden last name isn’t common and I’ve always known my dad’s side of the family is one huge tree, but its Spanish roots never crossed my mind until now. Needless to say, both my mom and my dad laughed aloud when I texted them a picture of the painting because they did not believe what I’d found.
This isn’t the best picture, but it is so grand that you can’t get it in one shot. It was closed at the time we got there so we couldn’t go inside. But oh my! Isn’t this a sight to behold?
It doesn’t matter how many pictures you take or the angle you use, its beauty will not translate into it. This is one of those places you have to visit, and stand before it for hours and admire every line, arch, door, brick, stone, you name it.
The Real Alcazar is a few steps away from it, which was, unfortunately, another place that was closed by the time we got there, but definitely one that remains on our bucket list to go back and visit.
Plaza de España (Parque de Maria Luisa)
Well, this is a story on its own. In brief, I bought a night tour with a flamenco show at La Casa de las Gitanas, through Expedia and the “tour guide” never showed. Needless to say, I was not having it and if you follow me on Twitter then you know what happened and how Expedia finally made it right, though it wasn’t their fault. But I will say to anyone looking for tours in Seville, do not book anything with Amigo Tours. Just don’t.
Anyway, since we were already at the plaza we figured we might as well make it worth our while tour guide or not, and so we rented one of the many horse carriages for €45 (that was a deal compared to the $154 I’d paid for the other tour that never was). The driver was extremely knowledgeable and gave us a tour of the plaza while narrating its history. There are several pavilions, ponds, and it seemed as though every country (I don’t know why) had a piece that represented it.
All in all, this was a much better tour than the one we’d purchased through Expedia. Oh and wait for it… remember that infamous Flamenco show we were supposed to end the night with? Well, when our impromptu tour guide dropped us off at the Cathedral, a few steps from it there was a Flamenco dancer and a guitarist performing for tips. So our night, despite the hiccups turned up quite nice.
Bar Agustin & Co
Last, you can’t go to Seville and not have their tapas. Seville is where the original tapas come from, or so I’ve been told and I believe it to be true.
After being in Spain for a few days, we’d tried the paella, their Jamon Iberico, and other delicacies, but we hadn’t found a place that spoke to us every time we wanted to eat tapas. Not until we were walking back to our apartment rental and stopped by Bar Agustin.
Was that the best food we’ve ever had? This was our first time trying tapas so we had no idea of the size portions or how to order. A very friendly waiter showed us the way to ordering tapas and I have to say our favorite one was Solomillo al Whisky. The meat melted in our mouths. This restaurant is one you’ll visit over and over again when in Seville. For emphasis, I’ll say it again. Their food is the best you’ll ever have.
So, there you have it. There were a few more places that we visited, including La Torre de Oro, but these were my highlights from our short visit there.
Stay tuned for my Marbella and Gibraltar travelogue!!!