For a city break over a long weekend in early spring, Seville is the perfect choice. We eagerly headed to Seville to soaked up some sunshine and see as much as possible. We visited the palaces and gardens, stopping for tapas here and there over three glorious sangria-filled days. In this Seville travel guide, I’ve outlined things to do, the best tapas bars, where to stay and what to wear in this sunny Spanish city.
Things to do in Seville
Plaza de España is completely free and a must-dos in Seville. This plaza was built in 1929 with Moorish influence and has incredibly detailed tile work throughout. Also note the different Spanish cities represented on top of each bench.
The Parque de María Luisa is also right next door.
Most cities in Spain like to sleep in, close for siesta and eat very late (even more than the Italian culture I am used to living in Naples). I really admire these priorities, but it would be nice if the Seville Cathedral had longer opening hours. The cathedral doesn’t open until 11am (2:30pm on Sundays) and closes early. We walked by on Saturday around 11am and there was a long dense line, but when we went back around 3 pm there was no line at all (book ahead).
I would have happily waited in a line though to see this stunning cathedral and climb to the top of the tower. There’s actually no stairs to get to the top; it’s all a steep slant and makes it a breeze. From here, you’ll also get unique views of the Real Alcázar.
Real Alcázar of Seville – This beautiful Moorish royal palace and Game of Thrones film location is absolutely stunning. Buy your tickets online ahead of time and skip the line. Even though you have to select a time and slots are limited, it was completely worth it to not wait in line for a single minute.
We actually bought the ticket for the upper royal apartment. However, the fine print in Spanish said we had to be at the actual apartment entrance at the selected time slot. We didn’t know, so we spent an hour looking at the rest of the palace before heading to the upper apartments. I was gutted to find them closed and the ticket counter woman to be extremely rude.
So, TIP: if you spend extra for the upper apartment ticket, you have to be AT THE UPSTAIRS APARTMENT entrance at THAT time (it’s not like the general admission ticket). Go ahead and just translate that whole damn terms and conditions. Clearly, I’m still not over this.
Metropol Parasol– I didn’t go up to the top and I’m regretting that now. The entire structure is made of wood and I bet there’s some pretty amazing views from the top.
Where to Stay in Seville
Hotel Casa de Colón is a boutique hotel located just steps away from main attractions and amazing tapas bars. It’s moderately priced with a charming courtyard, tastefully decorated rooms and a nice rooftop patio.
Breakfast is not included, but when you can get churros and chocolate down the street for a few euros, what’s there to complain about?
Speaking of churros…
Where to Eat in Seville
Bar El Comerico is the spot for churros and chocolate. We visited in the morning before our flight for the doughy treat, coffee and their freshly squeeze orange juice.
El Rinconcillo and Bodega Santa Cruz seemed like the most authentic and local tapas bars. We actually went to El Rinconillo twice. You could easily walk by without seeing inside, but it’s packed with locals having tapas and socializing.
Bar Alfalfa and La Bartola are also solid options.
I saw a picture of El Pintón on Pinterest ages ago, pinned it and never thought I’d actually make it there. The ambiance is just as extraordinary in person, with high quality cuisine, cocktails and service to match. Be sure to make a reservation.
We also loved the bright and airy Mercado Lonja del Barranco near the river. It’s a similar concept to the market in Lisbon with food stalls serving sweets, sangria and other Spanish specialties. I was eager to get to the stand with tortilla española. It’s a simple dish of potatoes and eggs, but it’s my favorite Spanish food.
What to Wear in Seville
In early spring, Seville was still a little chilly in the mornings, but the fog burned off by the afternoon. We were lucky to have mostly sun-filled days. In the off season you’d need a light coat, but in the summer you’d still be hot in sandals and sundress! Even when it was cold, Seville is still a city of color. Pops of saffron yellow and oranges are everywhere. And as the city of the flamenco, you can’t help but be in inspired to put on some ruffles.
To head home, we opted to take a taxi to the airport. There are public transportation options, but we decided to save time. Taxis run about 20 to 25 euros from the city center to the airport.