Spain – Seville
Seville took us by surprise as being one of the most charming cities we have visited in all of Europe. The cobbled streets, the calm atmosphere, the cosy tapas bars and cafès and wonderful architecture left a deep impression on us and we hope to return again soon. Below are a few of the tourist sites we visited during our time in the city along with a few recommended bars and restaurants.
Seville Cathedral was built in the 16th century and is regarded by many as the fourth-largest church in the world. Along the the Alcazar (situated just next door) it was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987. Even in the low season, queues for the cathedral, and especially for the Giralda (the 105-metre bell tower) can involve hours of waiting, so I would recommend arriving early in the morning if possible.
Royal Alcazar of Seville
This royal palace and its sprawling grounds have undergone five-hundred years of continuous construction encompassing the Mudéjar, Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque styles of architecture, leaving behind one of the most impressive palaces in all of Europe. In more recent times, the Alcazar has been used to film scenes set in Dorne in Game of Thrones in case you are wondering why some of the below photos might look familiar.
Las Setas De Sevilla / Metropol Parasol
The Metropol Parasol is a wooden platform designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer which was completed in April 2011 and claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world. The platform provides some beautiful views of Seville’s old quarter, and the wacky architecture makes for an interesting walk along the top of the platform. It certainly isn’t the most interesting of things to see in Seville, but if you have some time to kill there are worse ways to spend your time!
Plaza de España
The Plaza de España was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 when it was used to showcase Spain’s industry and technology exhibits. Each of the tiled alcoves built around the plaza represent a different province of Spain. In addition, the four bridges which cross over the complex’s moat represent the ancient kingdoms of Spain.
Recommended Bars and Restaurants
- Bar Plata – This was where we found the best churros and hot chocolate combination in Seville. There is one particularly grumpy member of staff here, but everyone else was friendly and the bar is beautifully decorated. We didn’t try the tapas, but we would highly recommend the coffee, hot chocolate and churros for a breakfast snack.
- Habanita – A relaxed, unassuming restaurant hidden down a back alley in the centre of the city. There are loads of authentic local dishes and vegetarian/vegan options to satisfy everyone. Would highly recommend.
- Los Claveles – A cosy, local tapas bar we enjoyed. They serve tapas and drinks until late.