How to Spend 24 Hours in Seville
Best City in 2018
Crowned Lonely Planet’s ‘best city to travel to in 2018’ we were keen to explore Seville for ourselves. As Spain’s fourth largest city and the largest city in Andalusia, it’s here where some of Spain’s most famous icons live in harmony, past and present. From the dramatic Gothic architecture, to the art of flamenco dancing and bull fighting, passion runs deep in the people’s blood here.
Almost all UK airports fly direct to Seville airport, with a relatively short flight. This can often be more expensive than flying to the likes of Malaga, however you can get good deals by monitoring flights. If you choose to fly to Malaga first, consider hiring a car and driving the route around Andalusia like we did. Direct from Malaga, it’s around a two hour drive to Seville. However, I highly recommend stopping along the way at Ronda, Gibraltar and Cadiz making your way along the coast and further inland towards Seville.
Attractions in Seville
Seville captures its energy in a fusion of colours all over the city. Everything from the bright mustard houses, to orange trees hanging on every corner against the backdrop of a picture-perfect blue sky. Soak in the atmosphere hanging outside of a neighborhood bar and chat with the locals over tapas and good wine. With plenty of things to do here, here’s some of the best bits we squeezed into just 24 hours in Seville…
The Royal Alcázar
One of the most visited complexes in the world, the Alcázar displays a beautiful historical evolution of the city of Seville. With its expansive gardens and highly ornate interiors, the Alcázar’s influences showcase the best of the late Middle Ages through to the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
The lines for entering the Alcázar can reach incredible lengths, especially at peak season. They limit visitor numbers throughout the day so be sure to go early morning to avoid waiting in long queues, especially at the hottest points of the day.
For Game of Thrones fans, the Alcázar doubles up as the filming location for the Water Gardens of Dorne. Roam through the gardens as if you’re part of House Martell and see if you can pick out some of its most famous filming locations.
With the construction lasting over a century, the wait was worth it to see the finished Cathedral in Seville. As the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, it was built over the remains of what was previously the city’s main mosque. With highlights including the Giralda, the bell tower, which incorporates the original mosque’s minaret, along with the tomb of Christopher Columbus.
As with the Alcázar, queues form very quickly to gain access, however the waiting time is definitely fast moving. Your ticket will also include costs to enter the Giralda bell tower, offering amazing rooftop views across Seville.
Plaza de España
At 50,000 square metres, the Plaza de España is one of the most unique plaza’s in Spain and the world. With four bridges crossing over the canal, they represent the ancient kingdoms of Spain. The towers of the plaza can be seen from all over Seville, with 49 Spanish provinces being represented in the form of tiles. The Plaza de España is incredibly beautiful and a perfect location to take in the views by boat on the canal. Take a ride to rest your feet for a while and enjoy the famous Seville sunshine.
The main tourist neighbourhood of Seville and the former Jewish quarter of the medieval city. It’s here you’ll find all of the main tourist attractions of Seville, including the Cathedral and Alcázar. Be sure to stop by Casa de Pilatos, one of Santa Cruz’s hidden treasures; a 16th century mansion with stunning gardens enough to match that of the Alcázar.
Bar El Comercio
Whilst visiting the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, a place not to be missed is Bar El Comercio, serving up the most amazing fresh churros daily. Enjoy them with a mug of Spanish chocolate for dipping, the most indulgent treat that I could definitely get used to! Founded in 1904, passed down through the same family for generations, the interiors here are a Pinterest-worthy dream. Plenty of cafes and bars serve churros and chocolate, but none like Bar El Comercio.
In the mix between old and new lies the Metropol Parasol. Known locally by the locals as ‘Las Setas’ (the mushrooms) due to the unique shape of the structure, it offers some of the best views across Seville. Standing at 30m high, it claims to be the world’s largest wooden structure. For the best photo opportunities, with the least people around, head there early morning to beat the crowds, or for an evening session for sunset.
Where to Stay
Becoming increasingly popular, Seville has no shortage of hotels or places to stay. There are hundreds of apartment opportunities to stay more authentically like the locals, either within the city centre or on the outskirts. For a more traditional approach, we looked towards hotels to accomodate our use of a car, not advisable for driving around the main city centre as a lost tourist!
Silken Al-Andalus Palace
As we were driving around Andalusia, the Silken Al-Andalus Palace hotel in Seville was perfect for us, providing underground parking and just a ten minute drive from the centre. It’s well connected with frequent busses outside, ideal for exploring. Having a pool to soak our aching feet in after a long day’s exploring was a big bonus here too!
Hotel Boutique Casa de Colón
Less than just 50 yards from the Cathedral, a stay here is truly in the heart of the city. Offering a shuttle service from the airport, it’s perfect for travellers without a car. Stay in a part of Seville’s history as part of an old colonial building, with perfectly preserved tiles and pillars, this hotel is a real architectural beauty. With much more just on your doorstep to explore in Seville, what are you waiting for?