If you’re thinking of visiting the beautiful city of Seville, one of the most popular cities in Spain, then read on as we recommend the unmissable points of interest that it has to offer. Allow us to take you on a virtual tour around ‘2018’s Best Tourist Destination of the World’, according to the prestigious Lonely Planet travel guide and also GlobaLexicon's European Operations Centre!
It’s a must-see!
Let’s begin our Seville adventure. Where should we go first?
If there is one tourist spot in Seville which you cannot miss, it is the Plaza de España.
Built between 1914 and 1929 as the main building for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, it is an architectural complex located in María Luisa Park.
As a landmark, it is a movie-maker’s paradise, as it has been used as the backdrop for famous films such as:
- Lawrence of Arabia (1962): the square represented the headquarters of the British army in Cairo.
- The Wind and the Lion (1975): starring Sean Connery, the square appears below, as the troops parade past.
- Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002): the square represents the planet Naboo.
I personally recommend walking around to fully enjoy the colourful beauty of the square and experience the various performances around the area, such as traditional flamenco dancers and musicians. You could even try your hand at rowing on the canal!
Plaza de España has been terrific! Next stop on the tour?
If Sevillians are proud of anything, apart from La Feria (which we will come to later), it is the Cathedral of Seville and La Giralda.
Santa María de la Sede Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and the third largest cathedral behind the Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1987 together with the city’s Real Alcázar and the General Archive of the Indies.
La Giralda is the name of the cathedral’s impressive bell tower. It measures 97.5 metres high (or 101 metres if you include the statue of El Giraldillo standing on top at 3.5 metres). It’s one of the most famous constructions in Europe along with Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa (55.8m) and the UK’s Big Ben (96.3m). By law, no buildings can be built taller than La Giralda in the city of Seville!
We loved the cathedral, is there another historical place we could visit?
Another spectacular place to visit is the Real Alcázar of Seville, a magnificent palace showcasing a unique mixture of Moorish and Renaissance architecture.
It is the residence of the members of the Spanish Royal Family when they visit Seville and the oldest royal palace in Europe. Just like the Plaza de España, the Álcazar has provided film crews with a camera-ready set, such as in HBO’s Game of Thrones where it featured as Dorne (2015 - 2016).
This trip is great! How about something a little different?
In stark contrast to the Álcazar, Metropol Parasol, commonly known as “The Mushrooms” (Las Setas), is a modern structure in the heart of this historical city.
Designed by Jurgen Mayer and completed in 2011, it is the largest wooden structure in the world.
In my opinion, the sunset in Seville is one of the most wonderful moments you can enjoy during your visit, and there is nothing like watching the sun lower towards the horizon from the top of one of the most emblematic places in the city.
I didn’t know Seville was so stunning! What else shouldn’t I miss?
La Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold) is almost 800 years old. Opinion is divided on the legend of how this famous landmark got its name. Some say it was due to the precious metals such as gold that had been stored there, travelling up the River Guadalquivir from the Americas. Others say that it was due to the fact that the material used in its construction shone in the sunlight, like gold.
Whatever the reason, I would absolutely recommend climbing to the top of the tower to enjoy one of the best views over the Guadalquivir River.
Our trip is coming to an end, one last stop?
The bridge of Isabel II, better known as Triana Bridge, is one of the most emblematic places for Sevillians and a must for any tourist. Countless photos have been taken of people posing with the iconic bridge behind them. Next to it, you can find the Triana Market which borders the Triana neighbourhood, where you will be able to enjoy some tapas and typical Spanish and Sevillian food. The best way to end our adventure!
When to visit? Two very special dates for the diary:
Holy Week in Seville commemorates the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ.
Between Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday, this is the biggest week in Seville - a celebration of religious and gastronomic traditions.
Tourists from all over the world visit the city to enjoy the ceremonies and customs of each hermandad (brotherhood).
La Madrugá Seville is unique in Spain. Madrugá comes from the Spanish word madrugada which means early morning. During La Madrugá each hermandad starts its procession between the dawn after Holy Thursday (the first hours of Friday), lasting until the midday of Good Friday.
Feria de Abril
The April Fair is one of the main events of the city. It is the recreational, cultural and gastronomic epitome of Seville, declared a “Festival of International Tourist Interest” by the Spanish Government. So if there is any date for tourists hoping to visit to mark in their calendar, it‘s undoubtedly the April Fair.
Regarding what to wear, a flamenco dress is essential for women, whilst men traditionally opt for a jacket and tie, especially at night. During the day there is the option of less traditional clothes, but not too casual.
Las casetas (stands) are the life of the party, the meeting point of friends, family and other visitors. Some of them are private, where only the members can enter, and others are public, where everybody is welcome! Each private caseta has its own rules and dress code; for example, our colleague Vicky Gutiérrez is a member of one private caseta in which men, from a certain time in the afternoon, can only enter if they wear tie.
Dancing Sevillanas is commonplace and above all, you cannot leave the April Fair of Seville without trying the rebujito, a famous mixture of “manzanilla” wine and soda (7 Up, Sprite, etc.) that has fast become a tradition!
We have now come to the end of our tour of Seville. We hope you enjoyed it and learnt something new about this wonderful city full of life, history, passion and colour. We look forward to seeing you soon!