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Twelve memorable things to do on a short visit to Seville

Great local wine, fantastic traditional tapas, and a wealth of artistic and cultural activities to enjoy, there's plenty you can fit in during a two or three day visit to Andalusia's majestic capital.

Twelve memorable things to do on a short visit to Seville
Taking a relaxing boat ride around the incredible Plaza de España, just one of the ways to have fun in Seville. Photo: Shai Pal/Unsplash
 
From the largest Gothic cathedral in the world to taking in an authentic flamenco show, here’s the lowdown of 12 essential experiences to have in Seville.

1. Marvel at the Cathedral

No trip to Seville would be complete without a visit to the city’s iconic Cathedral. Officially the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the sheer size of the building alone makes it worth exploring. Once inside, you can appreciate the detail and intricacy of the decoration, with no corner left unadorned. Also, don’t miss out on the chance to head up the Giralda tower, which was the minaret from when the building was originally a mosque. From the top, you can take in some incredible views of Seville – not to be missed!

View from the Giralda tower. Photo: Tom Podmore/Unspalsh

2. Lose yourself in the Barrio de Santa Cruz

With a huge selection of beautifully decorated, narrow streets, the Barrio de Santa Cruz is the perfect place to explore while visiting Seville. Originally the Jewish Quarter of the city, the area’s maze-like structure makes it tricky to maneuver, but don’t let that stop you. There are amazing squares, such as Plaza de Doña Elvira, to discover and beautiful, hidden corners of Seville to enjoy.

An Andalusian patio in ‘el barrio de Santa Cruz’. Photo: Jl FilpoC/Wikipedia CC BY 4.0

3. Experience the passion and artistry of an authentic flamenco show

As the home of flamenco, Andalucia is the perfect place to experience a traditional, authentic show. However, with such a huge amount of shows available in Seville, and a number of them admittedly geared towards tourists, you have to ensure you choose carefully when deciding on the best place to go. Casa del Flamenco provides a comprehensive overview of flamenco culture with their hour-long shows in a historic, Andalusian patio. With some of Spain’s most accomplished artists performing each night, you’ll not soon forget your Seville flamenco experience.


Flamenco – The passion and power of an authentic flamenco show will stay with you long after you leave Seville. Photo: Devour Tours

4. Savour some of Seville’s best traditional tapas

After a huge surge in the popularity of modern tapas in Seville, there is no shortage of gourmet places to eat. However, while these places certainly provide good food, there is something truly special about stepping into an authentic, off-the-beaten-track tavern to eat among locals. One of our favorite spots is Casa Morales, where you can enjoy everything from spinach and chickpeas to slow-cooked pork cheek, as well as all the thinly sliced cured meats you can handle.

Spinach and chickpeas – Espinacas con garbanzos is one of many typical tapas in Seville that show off the city’s Moorish heritage. Photo: Devour Tours

5. Explore the Moorish history of Seville at the Alcazar Palace

If you are an architecture or history buff, or just appreciate a stroll through some beautiful surroundings, the Real Alcázar is an unmissable stop on your Seville visit. Located just opposite the Cathedral, this Moorish fort which evolved into a Royal Palace is one of the best examples of mudéjar (Moorish & Christian) architecture on the Iberian Peninsula. For fans of TV series Game of Thrones, you may even find some of the Alcázar familiar as this is one of a number of places in Seville where scenes from the show were filmed!

Real Alcazar – From unique architecture to intricate tiles to a stunning collection of gardens—Seville’s Real Alcazar Palace has it all. Photo: Akshay Nanavati/Unsplash

6. Enjoy Seville’s modern side at the Metropol Parasol

Although Seville is a very historic city, it still has a modern side for you to enjoy. The best example of modern architecture in the city is the Metropol Parasol, also known as“Las Setas.”This mushroom-shaped monument is actually the largest wooden structure in the world and caused quite a stir when erected, given its unusual shape and style. However, locals have warmed to it and with carefully excavated Roman ruins to explore underneath and an amazing viewpoint—the best panoramic view of Seville—on top. 

The uniquely beautiful Las Setas monument doubles as one of our favorite spots to enjoy a stunning city view.  Photo: Joan Oger/Unsplash

7. Sip some iconic local wines

It may be surprising, given it’s a far cry from the sickly sweet drink often thought of when someone mentions sherry, but it’s actually the bone dry manzanilla that is the most popular sherry wine among locals in Seville! You can’t visit the city without trying some, and the authentic atmosphere at Bar Las Teresas makes it a great place to enjoy it, especially when paired with some delicious jamón Ibérico. Not into dry wines? Why not try another Sevillano specialty wine—vino de naranja! The deliciously sweet orange wine has been available at Taberna Álvaro Peregil since Álvaro’s great grandfather introduced it to the city in 1904.

Sherry and Ham – Two things you simply must try when visiting Seville—bone-dry manzanilla sherry and thinly sliced acorn-fed Iberian ham. Photo: Devour Spain

8. Take in the Seville sun at Plaza de España

There are a number of architectural marvels in Seville to enjoy, but none compare to the beauty of the city’s iconic Plaza de España. Built in the lead up to the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 in the city, the intricate detail of the tilework on this enormous pavilion have made it hugely popular with locals and visitors alike. When visiting the square, don’t miss out on the stunning Maria Luisa park located alongside it, the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city center.

The ornate details of Seville’s Plaza de España are not to be missed. Photo: Alessandra Easterthere/Unsplash

9. Admire Seville’s amazing skyline

With so many beautiful buildings dotted throughout the city of Seville, it’s only natural there would be plenty of places with an amazing view in the city. And what better way to take in the Sevillano skyline than with a drink in hand? Head up to the rooftop terrace of the Hotel Doña María for an amazing view of the cathedral, especially striking at sunset!


Photo: sepavone/Depositphotos

10. Venture over the river to Triana             

While there are plenty of things to do in the center of the city, a trip to Seville isn’t complete without crossing the bridge to visit the Triana neighborhood. Known for its bullfighters, vibrant flamenco scene and delicious tapas, there is a sense of pride unique to the area and the people who call Triana home. Also, Triana is the perfect place to buy some beautiful ceramics, a great souvenir to take home from Seville.

Fishermen relax next to the Guadalquivir, with Triana neighbourhood in the background. Photo: 5888244/Pixabay

11. Wander through a local food market

Visiting a local food market is a great way to experience local foodie culture for yourself. At Seville’s food markets, you don’t just buy top quality, fresh produce, you can also step into one of the bars in the market and enjoy authentic tapas made from the market’s finest ingredients. A visit to the Mercado de la Feria, Seville’s oldest food market, gives you the perfect combination of both sides of market culture in the city.

Triana’s market is the perfect place to buy and eat some delicious local produce. Photo: Lothar Boris Piltz/Unsplash

12. Discover the artistic heritage of Seville

Birthplace of artists such as Velázquez, Murillo and Zurbarán, it’s not surprising that Seville boasts one of the most significant art collections in all of Spain. These amazing pieces can be found inside the Fine Arts Museum, a stunning building complete with a typical Andalusian patio. 

This article was written by Devour Tours , a company founded by Spanish food lovers as a way to connect hungry travellers with the local, family-run businesses that make amazing food. Devour Tours offers award-winning, fun and delicious food tours and tapas tours in San Sebastián, Seville, Barcelona and Madrid.

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TRAVEL: Tourists in Spain will also be eligible for free train tickets

In welcome news for tourists and travellers in Spain, holidaymakers will be eligible to take advantage of Spain's 100% discounts on train travel later in the year.

TRAVEL: Tourists in Spain will also be eligible for free train tickets

Tourists will be eligible for Spain’s free train ticket scheme that will be phased in later on this year, as confirmed to the Spanish press by sources in Spain’s Ministry of Transport this week.

“If a foreign tourist is a frequent user of the [train] network, he can make use of this subscription. If they want to complete the trips, they will not be asked for any type of card,” the source said.

Additionally, in further news of particular interest for British and American travellers, no differentiation will be made between tourists nor between EU and non-EU nationals for the discounts. Free train travel will be available to all tourists, regardless of where they’re from.

It is hoped that the free train travel will entice more visitors to Spain and continue the sector’s post-pandemic recovery, which for the first six months of the year exceeded pre-pandemic (2019) levels by 1.1 percent, according to figures from the association of Spanish tourism companies, Exceltur.

Tourism experts expect Spain to surpass the number of foreign visitors in the last four months of 2019 – over 20 million tourists – despite upwards inflationary pressures on the cost of flights and accommodation.

But like everything in life, there are terms and conditions. You won’t be able to waltz on any train in Spain for free, and it isn’t year-round.

When?

This eye-catching travel discount will be available from September 1st to December 31st 2022, during which multi-journey train tickets on the trains outlined below will be free.

Free train travel

The 100 percent discount scheme, which will cost public coffers a reported €200 million, will only be valid on certain lines and comes amid a series of measures put in place by the government to try and ease the pain of rising inflation and prices, but also to lower pressures on fuel following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and ensuing energy crisis. 

READ ALSO: How much can you save on public transport in Spain with the new state discount?

“The government will subsidise 100 percent of the public service of commuter trains operated by Renfe. We hope that the autonomous communities can complement this enormous effort made by the Spanish government,” Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said when announcing the scheme in the Spanish Congress.

But which trains will be free, when, and how can you take advantage of them?

Which trains are free?

Unfortunately, the Spanish government has not given everyone in Spain free train travel on every route and on every type of train.

There are rules.

Simply put, local and commuter trains will be free. Cercanías, Rodalies (Catalonia), and Media Distance (local and medium-distance journeys) will be 100 percent free of charge.

The policy is aimed at encouraging the use of trains as opposed to other fossil fuel intensive forms of transport, and it’s valid for journeys up to 300km.

That in mind, trips on long-distance or high-speed trains, such as AVE and Alvia, are not included in the plan.

Neither will the routes in Avlo, the low-cost AVE option established in 2021, nor the medium and high-speed Avants.

Avlo and Avants will instead have a 50 percent discount on the original price, as outlined by the government in June.

READ ALSO: Spain to offer free train trips: when, where and how?

The Spanish government are yet to announce in detail how exactly the discounts will work, or how to apply for them.

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