Sevilla (Seville in English) is and will always be considered one of the most popular and exciting places in Spain. Being the capital of Andalusia, Seville is the fourth biggest city in the country and attracts over 2 million tourists each year. Check out this map of Seville that will give you an idea of the irregular layout of this historic city.
Located in the South of Spain, the torrid Seville weather also makes this the hottest city in all of Europe. Indeed, temperatures in the summer can easily reach 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) which is the reason why locals usually leave the city during that period. Because of the extremely hot weather in Seville, try to avoid going in July or August. The best times to go are April to June and September to November.
Ever thought of visiting Sevilla? Let us take you on a virtual trip to this exciting place and give you a quick overview that will surely help you make up your mind.
Top attractions in Seville:
1. The Giralda: If you go to Seville, make sure to visit this amazing minaret which is the number one attraction in the city. It is indeed one of the most important architectural monuments of the Islamic era and is actually part of the cathedral which was built in 1172. Since 1987, the Giralda has been included on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.
2. El Barrio de Santa Cruz (the Jewish Quarter): The Jewish Quarter is usually considered to be the most beautiful part of the city due to its narrow streets and its typical white houses. It is located in the historical heart of the city and is therefore close to all the famous monuments. This barrio was the former Jewish neighborhood of Seville and is a really great place to enjoy some tapas while sitting at a café’s terrace.
3. The Alcazár of Seville: Although not as famous as the Giralda, this palace built in 844 by the Caliphate of Córdoba is definitely worth visiting. Make sure to see all the patios decorated with azulejos (Moorish-inspired tiles), in particular the Patio de las Doncellas, and take a look at the amazing Islamic architecture.
4. The Tower of Gold (Torre de Oro): The Torre del Oro is a military tower built in the 13th century in order to control access to the city from the Guadalquivir river. There are a lot of legends regarding the origin of its name but most likely this name is derived from the coating made of straw and mortar whose golden hues reflected on the river. Nowadays, the tower houses a naval museum which you can visit before going upstairs to take a look at the amazing view over the Guadalquivir river.
5. The Plaza de España: If you go to Seville, do not miss this fabulous public square located inside the Maria Luisa Park (Parque de María Luisa): it is really representative of Spanish architecture.
Of course, these attractions are not the only thing that makes Seville the perfect destination for your vacation. There are plenty of activities you can do in the city. Here are some events you should not miss:
1. Semana Santa in Seville (Seville’s Holy Week): This is one of the most famous events of Seville. Celebrated during Easter time, this religious tradition can attract up to 1 million people each year. You can attend one of the sixty processions scheduled during the week and enjoy an important part of Spanish culture.
2. The Seville Feria (Feria de Abril): Taking place two weeks after Holy Week, Seville’s April Fair is another traditional Spanish event you need to experience. The main activities are flamenco, horse processions and bullfighting and the locals celebrate around the clock inside the colourful casetas tents. During Seville’s April Fair, you can indeed attend the most important bullfights of the year taking place at Seville’s famous historic bullring, la Maestranza.
Last, but not least, let’s talk about an important topic: accommodation in Seville. You may indeed wonder what are the best options in terms of accommodation. Here are some tips that can be useful:
1. Book your hotels in Seville far in advance: Seville is a really popular tourist destination, even more so during Semana Santa.
2. Consider staying at an hostal in Seville, an hostal is a simpler and much less expensive version of a hotel and will provide you with basic, clean accommodation.
3. Book something that is not too far from the city centre: moving around the city can be difficult, especially during peak seasons.
4. Sharing an apartment in Seville with other people may be the cheapest solution: check out websites, such as www.couchsurfing.com, www. www.bewelcome.org, www.easypiso.com (Spanish only).
Seville is a very lively city that has everything to make your vacation perfect! Stop hesitating and start exploring this Spanish jewel.
For articles about other Spanish destinations check out our article collections:
Have a look at our 2010 trip to Asturias in northern Spain
Read our travel reports from our 2010 trip to Madrid
Enjoy our articles from our 2009 trip to Mallorca
Have a peak at our 2004 trip to Barcelona and Ibiza
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