By Jared Vishno, (@jaredvishno)
Seville (Sevilla) is one of the largest cities in Spain and nestled in the southwest province of Andalusia. With stunning architecture, flavors, and culture, it’s one of Spain’s most unique old-world towns. Known as the frying pan of Europe, temperatures can soar well above 100 degrees, offering some of the hottest weather on the continent. But, the good news is that there are plenty of shaded areas to cool off along the Guadalquivir, a river that meanders through the middle of the city. Let’s dive into the home of the flamenco, tapas, and bullfights. ¡Vamos!
Location: Andalucia, Spain
Population: 1.95 million
GOOD EATS🍽: El Pinton
In Seville, it’s all about the tapas, and if you’re looking for some of the best in the city, El Pinton is the spot. Located right next La Giralda (the gorgeous bell tower attached to the city’s ancient cathedral), El Pinton offers a modern twist on classic Spanish dishes. Go with a group, and order everything. The tapas style means that you can taste it all, and it won’t break the bank. La tortilla de papas is a Sevillan classic, and El Pinton absolutely kills this dish. The steak dish is also off the charts. Top off dinner with a few glasses of fresh sangria and walk down the street to see the beautiful golden glow of La Giralda at night. Note that the Spanish eat their meals really late, so if you want an authentic experience shoot for a 9:30-10pm reservation time.
VIBE CHECK🕺💃: La Terraza Bar at Hotel Doña Maria
Seville is known for its incredible weather, and everyone knows that great weather = rooftop bars. Located on top of the Hotel Doña Maria, La Terraza Bar is the perfect place to get your night started and knock back some cold cervezas and take in insane views of La Giralda. Refreshing house cocktails are always an option, or you can drink like a local and take down a few Cruzcampos, the unofficial beer of Andalusia. Don’t be surprised if your Cruzcampo is served in a tiny glass bottle; this is done on purpose because the extreme heat quickly warms the beer when it’s sitting out. This means that no one will bat an eye at your fifth trip to the bar within 30 minutes of sitting down.
MUNCHIES🥧😎 : Kukuchurro
Seville may be a tapas town, but it also knows how to deliver on the dessert side. Churros are a Spanish tradition, and no one does churros con chocolate like Kukuchurro. Unlike American churros that you get at a football game, these are light, fluffy, and packed with flavor. The chocolate has the consistency of a hot chocolate, and combined with these sticks of sugary goodness, they’re one of the best desserts anywhere on the planet. Share a cup with friends, or if your post-sangria sweet tooth really kicks in, take down a whole container by yourself.
TAKING A WALK🌲🍄: Plaza de España/Parque María Luisa, Real Alcázar
The Plaza de España is the crown jewel of Seville, and located adjacent to the massive Parque María Luisa. The plaza has been converted into the planet Naboo for Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, and the royal palace for Aladeen in Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator. Spend an hour rowing a small boat through the plaza’s moat, or cool off in the mist of the central fountain. When you're finished head over to the Parque María Luisa. Winding paths lead to dozens of pools, sculptures, and endless places to relax in the shade. Bring a bottle of rioja wine, some manchego, and it’s the perfect spot for a Spanish picnic.
The Real Alcazár is the old royal palace, and home to some of the most incredible gardens in the city. Game of Thrones fans will recognize the Alcázar as Dorne, the fictional southern province known for great weather and wine. A small entrance fee is required to check out the palace, but it’s worth every euro. Old-world artifacts and artwork lines the inside of the building, and the architecture pays homage to the various cultures that have left their mark on the city.
THE ARTS🎨⚽: Museo de Baile Flamenco, Sevilla FC
Flamenco is a traditional Andalusian art form that began in the late 1700s, combining high energy dancing with guitar and vocals. The Museo de Baile Flamenco is an awesome spot to watch local performers in action, and it’s situated in el Centro, the heart of the city. The men dress in suits and the female dancers wear traditional flamenco dresses, boasting vibrant colors and patterns. The spirit of flamenco can be seen throughout Seville, and watching a live performance is the perfect way to indulge in authentic Spanish culture.
In Spain, soccer is a way of life, and because it’s known as the beautiful game, we’ll count it as art for the sake of this post. Sevilla FC is one of Seville’s two La Liga soccer teams (the other being Real Betis). Sevilla is always a top contender in the first Spanish division, and features highly rated talent on their roster like Diego Carlos and Lucas Ocampos. Check out a game at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, but make sure you learn the team chants before you go. If you really want to experience one of Spain’s craziest sports environments, get a ticket for the Seville Derby, where in-town rivals Sevilla FC and Real Betis square off in one of soccer’s oldest rivalries. The first match between the two clubs was played in 1915, and in the past 105 years, the rivalry has only grown stronger. It has divided families, ruined friendships, and the first question asked of any newcomer is “¿Sevilla o Betis?”
BONUS🤩: La Feria
The Seville Fair, or La Feria de Abril de Sevilla, is one of the biggest festivals in the world. Held during one week in early April, the city begins preparing for this event months in advance. A massive lot in the Los Remedios neighborhood is transformed into a city of tents. Over 1,000 tents, or casetas, are constructed in the area, and each one is essentially its own party, featuring a dance floor, band, kitchen, and bar. Everyone dresses to the nines, with women donning flamenco dresses and men flaunting their best suit and tie. The dancing starts at 10pm, and most Feria-goers end up stumbling home sometime around sunrise the following morning. Each year, La Feria hosts over 5,000,000 visitors. Remember that typically, Seville has a population of less than 2 million people. If you get tired of dancing Flamenco and drinking rebujitos, you can go for a ride in a horse drawn carriage, or check out some of the rides at the adjacent amusement park. You better have a strong stomach though, because the pirate swing does not care how many drinks you’ve had that night. It’s incredible to witness this city within a city, and there’s truly no other event like it. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your dancing shoes, book your ticket, and see for yourself everything this amazing Spanish city has to offer.