6 Things to See in Sevilla

I decided to continue my travel series started last month with things to see in Lyon when you’re short on time and castles you should visit in France. This week I wanted to continue my travel series with another amazing European city – Sevilla (or Seville if you want to translate it in English). Located in the south of Spain, Sevilla is the capital of the Andalusia region. While it may not compare in fame with the much bigger Barcelona, or even Madrid, Sevilla is a beautiful city famous for flamenco dancing. We stayed right in the center, near Plaza de Espagna. Wherever you choose to stay, you should know that Sevilla is not a very big city. We walked every where, but public transportation is available.

Plaza de Espagna

It is a biggest square in Sevilla and a very beautiful one. It is situated in the Maria Luisa Park and it was built in 1928. The park is Sevilla’s greenest area. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to explore the entire park, but if you do, take the time to walk through the whole park. You won’t regret it.

Plaza de Espagna consists mostly of governmental buildings. By its walls, you can see various tiled alcoves and each represents a different region of Spain. If the photos (see below) aren’t enough to make you want to visit, I’ll also tell you Plaza de Espagna was used as a filming ground for productions like Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, The Dictator and Simply Red’s song Something got me started.

Sevilla
Maria Luisa Park
Sevilla
Plaza de Espagna
Sevilla
Plaza de Espagna
Sevilla
Plaza de Espagna
Sevilla
Plaza de Espagna

Giralda

The Giralda is another famous attraction in Sevilla – it is the tower of Sevilla’s Cathedral and if you manage to climb all the way to the top, it offers quite the view of the city. The total height of the tower is 104.1 meters (342 ft). That’s some serious leg workout! I’m not gonna tell you all about it’s history, cause I’m not good at talking about historic places. Considering building the tower begun in 1184 and was completed in 1198, you can imagine it has a rich history. You should also know that it was originally built as a minaret for a mosque.

While you’re there, take the time to visit the entire Cathedral of Sevilla as well. It is all included in the same ticket, so why miss it? If you want to know more about the Giralda and the cathedral, how to get there and how to plan your visit, you can find it directly on the official website.

Sevilla
Inside the Giralda (miniature of the Cathedral of Sevilla)
Sevilla
Giralda Tower

Casa de Pilatos

Pilates’ House is probably the best Andalusian Palace in Spain. When I visited it was not included in any tours, so many people missed it altogether. I’ll be honest, it’s something I didn’t understand then and I still don’t get it now, writing this. On the bright side, you can visit it easily as it is not very crowded. The style is Gothic Mudejar combined with Renaissance innovations. You can visit the lower part on your own, however, the upper part can only be visited in a guided tour. The Chapel of Flagellation is amazing and even the gardens look like a work of art.

Sevilla
Casa de Pilatos - Gardens
Sevilla
Casa de Pilatos

Torre del Oro

Torre del Oro, or the Tower of Gold as it translates to English is another place packed with Spanish history. It also offers a pretty nice view of the city. Probably not as spectacular as the Giralda, since it’s not that high, but still totally worth it. It is an old military tower, used to control access to the city via the river. A part of it was damaged during the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. In 1868 during the Revolution its decorative facing was demolished by the revolutionaries. Now the Tower of Gold is also the Maritime Museum of Sevilla. We stayed about an hour. The tour itself doesn’t take more than 30 minutes, but those pictures won’t take themselves!

Sevilla
Torre del Oro

Maestranza

Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla is a bullring with a capacity of 12,000 people (!!) There are still real bullfights happening hear (corrida). We were not in the bullfighting season, so all we could do was admire the bullring. We also had a guided tour who told us a lot of the behind the scenes of bullfighting shows and their history. It’s definitely something you shouldn’t miss because it’s so specific to Spain. The bullfighting season goes from March or April until September, so you might get lucky and be able to see a real one. We visited in the first week of March and the season had not yet started.

Sevilla

Alcazar of Sevilla

Last, but definitely not the least interesting, I’m nominating the Alcazar Palace. You should know from the very beginning your bag will be checked and you have to go through a metal detector before entering the Palace. Why? Because the King of Spain occasionally spends time here, so high security is a must. On their official website you can find the visiting hours and the prices and also take a virtual 360 tour.

Sevilla
Alcazar - Gardens
Sevilla

Other thoughts on Sevilla

Tapas! Eat all the tapas. For me, anyway, they were something new as I live in an area where Spanish food is rare to nonexistent.

Do not forget about the siesta hours! Spanish people take their siesta hours very seriously. Even shops and many cafes will be closed from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. You might be lucky to find a few restaurants open, but they’ll have reduces personnel and serve just a handful of things (no real meals). So try to have lunch in their normal lunch hours, or you’ll have to wait till dinner to get a proper meal.

One aspect I didn’t really like was how little English was spoken. And I’m not talking about random people on the street that I stopped to ask for directions. I’m talking about people in restaurants in touristic areas and even museum employees. We asked a question in English and they responded in Spanish. I speak a couple of words in Spanish but sometimes it wasn’t enough to understand. If they’d see you really don’t get it they’d try some English, but conversations were never easy to say the least.

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6 things to see in Sevilla, Spain

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