Sunny Seville is blessed with beauty history and more than its fair share of the good life. It is said that the city was founded by the Greek god Hercules which may explain its many blessings. For most of the year it basks in the sun yet this is is a place to experience rather than lie back in. Seville’s layered history cries out to be discovered whether it is its Roman ruins Moorish medieval structures and engravingscolonial bravado or its contemporary culture and city life.
Areas & Neighborhoods in Seville
The Old City - On the east bank of the Guadalquivir stand the three great monuments that define Seville: the Giralda tower the Cathedral and the Alcazar. Here the Moors ruled portions of Spain from Columbus planned his voyages of discovery from and beautiful historical architecture casts its spell over everyone who visits.
Barrio Santa Cruz - Once you have explored these head into the alleyways of the Barrio Santa Cruz to explore its whitewashed walls bedecked with colourful flowers. This was once the medieval Jewish quarter but today in truth it is the tourist quarter.
Plaza Nueva and Around - To the north of the old city is the commercial and shopping district that centres on Plaza Nueva Plaza Duque de la Victoria and the swanky pedestrianised Calle Sierpes.
Triana and the Barrio Macarena - If you want to escape the crowds head across the river to the now-gentrified working-class district of Triana or keep going to reach the characterful Barrio Macarena. Here there are many more ‘authentic’ restaurants and bars where you can hang out with locals hang out rather than other tourists.
Things to See in Seville
After the reconquest the Cathedral and Giralda were built with the express intention to impress: “a building on so magnificent a scale that posterity will believe we were mad” is the reported quote! The Almohad mosque was demolished and in its place was built the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Look out for the monuments to Columbus and climb the bell tower for commanding views of the city. The Alcazar has a history that stretches back to 8th century Roman rulers but its present form was defined by the 11th century Moorish rulers. Following the reconquest Spanish kings altered the fortifications again creating one of the best examples of Mudéjar architecture in the world.
Things to Do in Seville
Seville's fascinating museums such as the Museo Arqueológico and the Museo de Bellas Artes will provide a more detailed understanding of the city’s history. So too will a guided tour of its main sights. Seville is an important centre of flamenco music and dancing - experience the duende whilst you are here. Head out to Triana and Barriop Maracena for some off-the-beaten track restaurants cafes and bars though there are many excellent ones in the centre too. The poshest shops can be found around the Calle Sierpes but souvenir shops can be found just about everywhere. For a spot of tranquility just head down to the banks of the river with a bocadillo and a cerveza for a cheap and wonderfully enjoyable lunch.