A Weekend Break in Seville
Feel the Passion of Andalucía’s Steamy Capital
Thanks to the abundance of affordable flights to some of the greatest cities in Europe, it’s now possible to hang up the 9-5 on a Friday, pack a bag and jet off to places we’ve been itching to see for ages and in some cases, be back at your work on Monday.
If a cheeky city break is on the cards and you’re feeling the need to immerse yourself in a passionate, colourful culture for a couple of days then Seville is where you should go.
I will tell you now that I may use the word passion more than once throughout this blog and I make no excuse for this. Fiery passion reeks from every corner of this steamy city, the clack clack of castanets, the hypnotic sound of tickling fountains and the smells that fill the air; spicy tapas and the scent of orange trees. For me, it’s what sums up Seville. Passion. It’s the beating heart and the lifeblood of the people and the place.
Ok, moving on…so you’re here for a weekend and you have two choices. You can either cram in loads of stuff and experience a rushed, whirlwind glimpse of the Andalucian capital, or you can opt to see a few of the highlights of Seville, tick some ‘must see’ boxes but still have time to relax and simply soak up the sights and sounds of the city.
I suggest the latter.
City breaks are generally busy and hurried affairs but you still need some down time too. You don’t need to turn it into a sprint just to say you’ve seen everything. You can’t say you’ve ‘done’ Seville in 48 hours, or anywhere else for that matter. Besides, you’ll want to leave some things to go back for. Not that you need an excuse to return to this vibrant, beautiful city.
Top Things to Do in Seville
Probably, the first thing you’ll notice when you arrive in Seville is its dazzling architecture and there’s no shortage of impressive sights to ooh and ahh over. However, you’re not here to look at buildings all weekend but you should try and fit these four into your schedule: –
This place of worship is just awesome…and massive. It is the largest Gothic church in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rumour has it that when the plans were being drawn up, church elders at the time declared “Let us build a structure so beautiful and so magnificent that those who see it finished will think we’re mad”
Fine sentiments indeed. I don’t think they were mad but it is both beautiful and magnificent.
The bell tower of the Cathedral, arguably one of the most emblematic structures in Seville, is a fusion of Renaissance style, Gothic and Moorish architecture – a fine example of Spain’s history and cultural blend. If you have a head for heights, be sure to climb to the top and you’ll be rewarded with wonderful views across the city. Worth the effort even if you are a bit puffed out. Wear comfy shoes.
Seville’s breath-taking palace complex is within walking distance of the Cathedral and La Giralda so you can easily fit all three into one day, or even an afternoon.
You will be spell-bound by the dazzling architecture of the palace and the peace of the gardens. This is truly beautiful place to visit.
Another magical spot on Seville’s ‘must see’ trail is the spectacular Plaza Espana which sits in Maria Luisa Park. This lavish structure was built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929 (it’s pretty new by comparison) and it was deservedly the expo’s glorious centrepiece.
Made up of pavilions and towers and surrounded by a moat which connects to the fountain by footbridges, it’s a lovely place to spend an hour or two. You can get here on foot from the Santa Cruz area in about 20 minutes.
Barrio Santa Cruz
This is where you can really feel the vibe of Seville and its people even if there are usually quite a lot of tourists around. Lose yourself in the maze of quaint, narrow streets of white washed houses, tiled benches and leafy patios as you soak up the atmosphere and rhythm of the neighbourhood. This is a great place to stop for some tapas, washed down with a nice cold beer or a glass of sangria.
Have I saved the best until last? No trip to Seville would be complete without experiencing a huge part of Spanish culture. This passionate expression of Andalucian folklore will have your toes tapping as you watch the moody, hypnotic performances from flamenco dancers and musicians. Flamenco music is something that stirs me regardless of where in the world I hear it – perhaps what I’m feeling is duende. If you’re not familiar with this word, now might be a good time to introduce you to the term. Duende, as I understand it, has no literal translation but aims to describe the heightened state of emotion and passion that takes over when flamenco music and dance awakens your soul. A kind of ecstasy if you will. Ole!
Will you find it on your trip to Seville? I hope so.
Try and check out one or two of these good flamenco venues El Patio Sevillano,
Where to stay
Chances are you’ve already picked out a hotel for your trip but if you need some help, here are some suggestions for hotels in Seville…
You might find you have time to fit in more attractions in Seville or you could end up taking one or two of them and exploring them more deeply, giving them more attention and less of a cursory glance which is something we’re all guilty of with only a day or two in a new city. Either way, Seville has a heart and soul that is almost indescribable and something you need to experience for yourself.
Go on; let it stir your passion as you embrace the colours and romance of this amazing city.
I love travel. I’ve been fascinated by other countries and cultures since my first foreign trip in 1985 and I’ve had serious wanderlust ever since.I also love to write about where I’ve been and tripsology lets me indulge that passion. I’m thrilled to be a regular contributor and editor. When I’m not writing I also run my own PR and publicity company.