These are Coolrooms’s top 10 things you have to do in Seville:
1. Admire its monuments
Did you know that Seville has three sites on the World Heritage list? The Cathedral with its bell tower, better known as the Giralda, is one of them. It’s the biggest gothic cathedral in the world and the third Christian temple after Saint Peter in Rome and Saint Paul in London.
The second site is the Real Alcázar, a true architectural gem, whose current aspect is owed mostly to the city’s Islamic past. Strolling around the gardens among the orange trees could constitute one of the most unforgettable experiences of your visit.
In third place is the Archive of the Indies, which was created at king Charles III’s command, with the aim to centralize in one place all the documents related to the administration of the Spanish colonies. However, the building dates back to Philip II’s reign.
No less remarkable and deserving of a visit are the Church of the Divine Savior, the Maestranza Bullfighting Ring, the Gold Tower or the Plaza de España.
2. Sample its gastronomy
Sevilla is proud of its tapas culture. From the more traditional ones in taurine taverns to the more innovative ones in more modern gastronomic spaces, there are tapas for every taste. As a curiosity, it’s worth mentioning that the oldest bar in Seville, El Rinconcillo, was opened in 1670.
However, that’s not all there is to Seville. Its culinary scene is full of creative spaces that elevate the traditional gastronomy to a whole new level. A clear example of that is Los Rincones del Marqués, the restaurant at the Palacio de Villapanés Hotel, which preserves the Andalusian essence while introducing flavors from other cuisines to create unique dishes.
The city has, so far, one Michelin Star restaurant, Abantal. But there are many others worth taking a look at, like El Gallinero de Sandra or Torres y García, both serving a more contemporary cuisine.
3. Fall in love with Flamenco
Flamenco is probably the purest expression of Andalusian folklore. It seems that its origins are related to the arrival of the gypsies to the countryside of Cadiz and Seville back in the 15th century. Halfway through the 19th century it became popular through the singing cafés, the first of which opened in Seville around 1885.
The restaurant Los Rincones del Marqués offers you Luna Flamenca, a dinner with a Flamenco show in our orange tree courtyard.
Moreover, the city has numerous tablaos where you can enjoy this artistic discipline, while tasting a typically Andalusian menu. El Arenal, El Patio Sevillano, Los Gallos or Pura Esencia are just some examples. Other choices for a full cultural immersion are Triana’s Flamenco Theater, the Flamenco Dance Museum or the Casa de la Memoria Cultural Center.
In addition, the Bienal Flamenco takes place every two years and it has brought together the best singers and dancers for over 20 years.
4. Contemplate its silhouette
It’s worth it to stop for a second and stare at the inimitable skyline of Seville. The rooftop at CoolRooms Palacio de Villapanés proposes a day of sunbathing and swimming with unbeatable views. For its part, Las Setas, which we’ve already mentioned before, also have a 360° viewpoint, particularly magical when night falls. In addition, they have bars and restaurants where you can prolong the experience a bit longer.
Needless to say, the Giralda regales us with one-of-a-kind views at no less than 104 meters of height. Much shorter, but just as charming awaits the Torre del Oro.
And for those who aren’t friends of heights, the panoramic views from both sides of the river and from the San Telmo bridge are a must-see.
5. Stroll around its Parks
If Andalusian cities are characterized by anything, it’s the communion between architecture and nature. In Seville, this is not only present in the famous Andalusian patios, but also in its green areas.
The most popular one is the Maria Luisa Park, next to the monumental Plaza de España. It’s been declared a Cultural Heritage Asset. The Murillo Gardens, also known as the Catalina de Ribera Gardens, conform a nice walk along the outside of the Real Alcázar. The most recent incorporation is the Magallanes Park, in the Cartuja Island. And if you find yourself walking around the La Buhaira area, it’s worth it to pay a visit to its gardens to see their Almohad palace.
6. Learn at its museums
Seville is a millenary city where different civilizations and cultures have left a mark that can now be discovered in its different museums.
The oldest legacy can be found at the Archaeological Museum (temporarily closed due to renovations). At the Antiquarium you will find an archaeological site from the Roman era, discovered when the Metropol Parasol (best-known as Las Setas or the Mushrooms) was built. Especially relevant for their artistic value are the Museum of Fine Arts, which houses works from Spanish painters such as Murillo, Zurbarán or Goya, and the Andalusian Center for Contemporary Art.
For something a bit different, Sevilla has its Arts and Popular Traditions Museum, the Navigation Pavilion and the Naval Museum Torre del Oro.
7. Visit its palaces
Seville experienced such splendor during the Renaissance that it was dubbed Nova Roma. From this time are preserved several house-palaces around the city, whose visit is mandatory for anyone spending a few days in Seville.
The Casa de Pilatos combines the Italian Renaissance style with the Spanish Mudejar. The coffered ceilings and the porticoed patio are some of its best assets. The Palacio de las Dueñas mixes Gothic and Mudejar in patios and gardens that will take your breath away. Besides, its art and furniture collection have an important historical and artistic value. The Lebrija Palace Museum stands out with its impressive collection of Roman mosaics, which has earned it the title of “the best-paved house-palace in Europe”. In the Casa de Salinas, Gothic, Renaissance and Mudejar find the perfect harmony. For its part, the Hospital of Charity constitutes a peak Spanish Baroque artistic ensemble. The access courtyard and the paintings inside, from artists the size of Zurbarán or Valdés Leal, are its top features.
8. Discover its handicrafts
The most traditional products in the Sevillian craft world are, without a doubt, ceramics, guitars and flamenco apparel.
Triana was the birthplace of pottery in the Islamic period and from there it has been adapted to the tastes of each era to our days. This is made patent in both buildings’ façades and interiors citywide. In fact, the Triana Ceramics Center, built over the old Santa Ana factory, is an exhibition and interpretative center, that organizes guided visits. It won’t be hard to find stores to buy some local handcrafted ceramic products in the city center.
In turn, Flamenco fashion is intimately bound to Sevilla’s lifestyle. Did you know that the flamenca dress is the only regional costume that evolves along with fashion trends? This way, it’s possible to purchase dresses, shawls, fans, combs and other accessories in the most traditional to the most avant-garde style.
For those looking for a different type of fashion, more international and trendier, Seville’s city center is full of boutiques with brands like Loewe, Tous or Roberto Verino. Curiously enough, there’s also a big concentration of bridal stores. We can easily imagine that celebrating a wedding in Seville would be a dream come true.
9. Enjoy its opera
Opera is in love with Seville. Our city has served as scenario or inspiration to around a hundred opera plays: The barber of Seville by Rossini, The marriage of Figaro by Mozart, Carmen by Bizet… In fact, Don Giovanni by Mozart is inspired in Don Juan’s myth, that archetypical Spanish character, who appeared for the first time in Tirso de Molina’s play The trickster of Seville and the stone guest from 1630.
These days, the Maestranza Theater is the ideal place in Seville to enjoy this genre, as well as other music and dance shows. Every 25th of October they celebrate World Opera Day with activities and especial events.
10. Get lost in its streets
The song said it best: “Sevilla tiene un color especial” or Seville has a special color. And the best way to discover it is by exploring its neighborhoods. The Macarena quarter impacts us with its striking yellow arch and the whitewashed façade of its Basilica. Triana awaits us with its promenade along the river, its iconic bridge and its colorful streets and chapels. Also, it’s possible to take a panoramic cruise along the Guadalquivir to enjoy a different perspective of the city.
Traipsing around the streets of the old Jewish quarter in the Santa Cruz neighborhood, we will find some magical spots: little squares, alleyways, courtyards and some privileged views of the Giralda. Finally, don’t miss out of the Alameda de Hércules, one of the icons of the city, and the neighborhoods of San Lorenzo and San Vicente, characterized by the reddish, yellow and white façades of its churches and houses.