With sunshine and oranges, flamenco and fresh mixed tapas, a weekend in Seville is a great antidote to cold, grey UK skies.
Highlights of a Cheap Weekend in Seville
Walk Along the River
Start at the Torre del Oro – Seville’s unmissable former watchtower, prison and gunpowder store – and turn right for a free walk along the river. On this side of the riverbank, cafés serve salmorejo, the Andalusian version of the refreshing soup gazpacho. Head back up the steps to visit the bullring – Spain’s notorious Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza. Don’t worry, if even the though of a bullfight makes you feel sick you can visit the museum to try to get a glimmer of understanding into this very popular pastime. Walk a little further to reach the strikingly modern Puente Alamillo bridge.
This narrow maze of white washed walls, fluttering flamenco dresses and intimate tapas bars is one of my favourite places to wander around. Coffee is cheap (and strong) but the food around here can be disappointing. Enjoy the people watching and the décor with a drink and then head somewhere else for food. (I absolutely love Taberna Coloniales on 36 Fernandez y Gonzalez, although be prepared to queue…)
La Giralda and the Cathedral
This beautiful architectural complex forms the heart of Seville. The tower (La Giralda) was originally a minaret – only being converted to a cathedral spire after the conquest of the Catholic monarchs.
Entry into the cathedral museum is not cheap (currently 7 euros – but FREE on Sundays) but the long climb to the top of the tower gives great views across the city. Dusk is the best time to visit this area – the cathedral’s carved stone walls glow and horse-drawn carriages wait by the orange trees and old-fashioned street lamps.
Oooh…if you haven’t had the chance to visit the much larger, world-renowned Alhambra Palace in Granada (2 hours away) then this should whet your appetite. The Real Alcázar is a palace with fountains, reflective pools, gardens and intricate tiled walls and ceilings. It’s cool inside – although the entrance fee is not that cheap (around 7 euros for adults.)
Plaza de España & Parque María Luisa
Totally free to stroll around – and totally extravagant and enjoyable. The curving, tiled buildings on the Plaza España were built for the 1929 Expo in Seville – as an opportunity to showcase Spain’s wealth to the world. Bad timing, really, since the Wall Street Crash that same year heralded the onset of the Great Depression, somewhat raining on the parade.
The buildings today are free to wander around – and impressive in their scope. You can also buy fans and watch impromptu flamenco performances on the steps. The María Luisa park offers shade (I know I keep coming back to this – but for most of the year Seville is HOT!), ice cream and cycle paths.
That’s an introduction to a cheap weekend in Seville.
Seville is one of my favourite cities, though, so expect plenty more on this exciting city soon…