I am going to be completely honest with you – before I planned my trip to Seville I knew very little about this famous Spanish city. I chose to stop in Seville because I had heard that it was popular and I figured that it would be fun to check out. The more that I planned my trip though, I began to get really excited because Seville sounded like a really cool city. Widely known as the birthplace of flamenco, Seville has a lot to offer. Like other Spanish cities that I have visited, the food is delicious, the people are kind, the buildings are charming and there are a lot of things to see. So if you are only planning a quick stop in this beautiful city, try to plan ahead so that you can make the most of your time there.
Seville is the capital of the Andalusian region of Spain, and while it is well known as the birthplace of flamenco, it is also home to an incredible gothic cathedral and for Game of Thrones fans the Royal Alcazar palace. Unfortunately while I was there all of the flamenco shows that I wanted to watch were fully booked so I had to settle for watching the flamenco street performers (in all honesty, they are really talented so it is worth stopping and watching while you are out and about). Seville is also a great base to plan a few day trips from. I took a day trip to Cordoba while in Seville as La Mezquita is something that I have been wanting to see in person for many years (but I will save that travel guide for another day).
How to Get There
I love to travel by train when in Europe, and this trip to Spain was no exception. I pre-booked all of my train tickets online before I leave for my trip (although you always have the option to purchase once you are there). The rail system in Spain is really efficient and while Spain is the fourth largest country in Europe you are able to get from city to city in a matter of hours. It’s an affordable option, and if you are fortunate enough to book first class (if it’s available), the food and drinks that are served are fabulous!
I knew that I would be spending a very busy couple of days in Seville so my criteria for a hotel was somewhere reasonably priced, safe, clean and comfortable. I managed to find just the right hotel and happily it also had a rooftop pool. I was able to find a good deal at Hotel Becquer and it was the perfect hotel to stay during my visit. It is well located in the old town of Seville and it is only a five minute walk to the cathedral and the Royal Alcazar palace. The staff is friendly and helpful and make the effort to ensure that you have a comfortable stay. While I normally prefer staying at more modern hotels when travelling, Hotel Becquer is charming, clean and safe and if I were to go back to Seville I would happily stay there again. My favourite part was definitely the pool. After a long day sightseeing in the sun, going back to the hotel to relax on the rooftop with a cool drink and a quick dip in the pool was heavenly. The views from the rooftop are also breathtaking making it easy to see why Hotel Becquer is such a popular choice.
As I only had a day and a half to see everything that I wanted to see in Seville, I did a lot of research and planning. My top three things to see in Seville are Plaza de Espana, Royal Alcazar Palace and the cathedral.
Plaza de Espana – This was the first place that I wanted to see in Seville. This historical city square is a popular attraction for people visiting Seville. Naturally I got lost on my way there and ended up taking an hour detour. Thankfully the residents of Seville are really nice and kindly pointed me in the right direction multiple times until I finally reached this site. Plaza de Espana is a photographer’s dream as this landmark is filled with gorgeous architecture, bridges, fountains and canals where you can even rent a row boat. The gardens surrounding the square are beautiful which is why it’s understandable that the walking tours here are so highly recommended. Plaza de Espana is a great place to spend an afternoon enjoying the beautiful location, the stunning architecture and maybe even boat ride if you are up for it.
All of the cathedrals that I have visited in Europe so far have been breathtaking so I was looking forward to seeing Saville’s famous cathedral. Prior to my trip, I was scrolling on Pinterest and found a blog post about the cathedral. They blogger recommend the cathedral roof tour. Needless to say, my interest was peaked. A quick Google search enabled me to pre-book the tour online before I left for my trip. This tour was great as it enabled me to see the cathedral from a new perspective. The architecture is breathtaking, the tour guide was very well informed and I spent a wonderful morning learning more about architecture and Seville’s history. I would recommend this tour to everyone but it’s important to note that you must be able to climb many flights of stairs and you definitely can’t have a fear of heights (unless you are trying to conquer it) if you plan to take this tour.
The Royal Alcazar is a royal palace that was built for the Christian king Peter of Castile. It was built on the site of an Abbadid Muslim residential fortress that was destroyed after the conquest of Seville by the Christians. The Real Alcazar is one of the oldest palaces in the world that is still in use. It’s intricate history is evident throughout the palace thru its design. The palace is absolutely breathtaking, with a predominately Moorish design, intricate details including stunning tile work and ornate features throughout. I also took the room tour while visiting the Real Alcazar – it provided really great insight to the history of the palace and the people that have lived there. The only thing is that you are not allowed to take any pictures (you have to lock your camera and phone in a locker before the start of the tour). So if you want to see what the rooms look like you will have to take the tour yourself.
It’s easy to get lost in the Royal Alcazar for hours, there is so much to see! The gardens are vast and magical, the fountains are breathtaking and the tile work is absolutely gorgeous. It’s easy to see why this palace has been used as the backdrop for such popular films and shows such as Lawrence of Arabia and more recently Game of Thrones. This is definitely a great spot to spend a few hours (if not more). I would suggest purchasing your tickets online as the lines are really long. I purchased my tickets for the room tour online – this includes access to the rest of the palace so you are free to wander around once the tour is done (and it allows you to skip the line!). A trip to the Royal Alcazar is a must when visiting Seville.
Dining solo was the one part about my trip to Seville that I found really challenging. When I first arrived I stopped by a restaurant nearby my hotel for lunch and it was delicious so I made a reservation for that night as well. I had a great evening with good food and really good service. Unfortunately things went downhill from there. Every meal after that evening was a challenge (with the exception of breakfast that I would have at a nearby cafe). I even returned to the first restaurant that I tried, only to be forgotten about and ignored. People at tables all around me arrived after me, ate between two to three leisurely courses and left while I was still waiting for my appetizer – so not a great experience. Therefore I am not comfortable providing any restaurant recommendations for Seville but I truly hope that my solo dining experiences don’t deter you from visiting this amazing city. The food itself is quite good, I enjoyed a lot of tapas – anchovies, patatas bravas, olives, etc and I was not disappointed. As I have mentioned before, solo dining can be challenging at times but it is still worth the effort.
I hope that you enjoyed my travel guide to Seville! Have you ever been? What was your favourite part? Let me know in the comments.
I hope that you have a beautiful day! XX