The summer adventures of Sophie, a British blogger from Wiltshire, and her daughter Saskia in that sultry beauty of a place called Spain. Sophie’s previous guest post for me was on Bruges.
Seville in August is an experience; it is boiling hot (daily temperatures often reach upto the 40s), full of history and it comes alive at night for Tapas and Flamenco. We visited for a long weekend and we fell in love with this stunning city and its fiery and friendly people. Don’t be put off by your drive from the airport…..just wait and Seville will work her charm!
We booked an apartment – as we are a family of four – which was in the Jewish Quarter of old Seville where all the shops were and had air conditioning. This worked well for us and gave us the flexibility that we were after. It was a 10-minute stroll to the cathedral and a 20-minute walk to the Plaza de Espana. There are loads of places to stay in Seville but if I were to go again in the summer months, I would look for a hotel with a rooftop pool such as this one.
There are so many things to do in Seville! These are my top 6 things for you.
- The Cathedral
This is a MUST and if you only have one or two days I insist that you go! It is the most beautiful cathedral I have ever visited and needs to be seen with your own eyes to be believed. It is a UNESCO World heritage site and it was completed in the early 16th century. The Giralda Bell Tower was once part of the city mosque which is even older. It is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. It is immense. The ornate carvings and gold work are something to behold; all the wealth of old Spain sits in this place!
There are many tombs here but my favourite was the tomb of Christopher Columbus.
- The Real Alcazar (palace of Seville)
The palace is one of the most beautiful in Spain and Moorish in design. The upper levels are still used once every three years or so by the present Spanish royal family. It is another UNESCO World Heritage site. As we waited to go in, a lovely lady called Isabel offered to be our guide, so we jumped at the chance to learn more and jump the queues. It was the best 10 Euros we spent as she was a resident of Seville and told us all about the history of this fascinating place. The palace has been used in many movies and TV shows; the most recent was in Game of Thrones. I came away though with the fact that under the rule of Alfonso X in the 1250’s, Christians, Jews and Muslims all lived together in peace and this is shown in the symbols around the palace that intermingle with each other.
The gardens are equally stunning and are worthy of a visit. We stayed here for many hours and you really need at least half a day to see everything.
- Plaza de Espana
Built in 1928 for the World Fair of 1929 to showcase Science and Technology they are now government buildings.
Take a horse and cart to explore Maria Luisa park which surrounds the Plaza. Spot parrots that fly above your head or relax amongst the cool trees. There is a lot to see here and many other points of interest such as The Museum of Arts and Traditions is worth a visit if you have time. Or just relax and enjoy a drink at one of the local bars or cafes.
4. The Metropol Parasol
The Metropol Parasol is the largest wooden structure in the world and gives a great view of the city as you can climb to the top for 3 Euros and even get a free drink! Roman relics were discovered during construction and these have been preserved in the underground Antiquarium museum. We visited in the daytime but apparently is beautiful at night as it is lit up.
- Maestranza (the bullring)
Whatever your feelings about bullfighting, the bull ring is worth a visit. There is a tour which includes some of the bullfighting costumes and art work.
- Tapas and Flamenco
There are numerous Tapas bars and cafes throughout the city but the place to go is the district of Triana. This is a 20-minute walk across the Isabel bridge from Old Seville. Here, under the mist that is pumped out to keep you cool, you can sample wonderful food. Don’t go too early though as Seville is the place for a siesta between 2pm and 8pm. Many of the bars play Spanish guitar music and offer Flamenco. Well, Triana is the birthplace of Flamenco!