- Visit the Alcázar
- Go for a carriage ride
- Climb the giralda
- Drinks at Hotel Doña Maria
Sevilla is another stop that you must make if you are traveling the South. It is both the capital of the Sevilla province and of the community of Andalucia. Like Cordoba, it captures the essence of Spain with its white and yellow buildings, bright colored flowers and warm zesty culture. It is a city to get lost in (and in fact, I doubt you will have much of a choice considering its windy streets are nearly impossible to navigate). Come prepared to walk the cobbled streets and to enjoy the warm Sevilla weather.
A brief history
The over 2,000 year old city was originally under the control of the Romans, but in 712 was taken over by the Moors until the falling of the Christian King Fernando III in 1248. You can see Muslim and Renaissance influence well preserved throughout the city. At one time, Sevilla was the gate to America as ships going to and from could only use its port – causing Sevilla to be a very wealthy city. In the 18th century though, Cadiz became a port as well and therefore Sevilla went into economic decline.
What to see
The gothic-style cathedral in Sevilla, built in the 15th century, captures the heart and romance of the city. It is well worth a visit inside and even more worth it to scale the ramps inside in the giralda (or tower) in order to see a full view of the city from above.
A must not miss view of the cathedral is at night from a nearby terrace at the Hotel Doña Maria. If you are in Sevilla for a night, you MUST get drinks at this terrace which has a stunning view of the tower and cathedral. Just pass through the reception of the Hotel and head to the top floor. You won’t regret it.
Another important stop is the Alcázar, also built in the 15th century, which sits right next to the cathedral. Built as a royal residence, it’s like a mini-Alhambra, with its Arabic architecture and abundance of fountains. From the outside it may not seem like much, but I promise that a treasure awaits you behind its walls.
For some reason, I’ve taken to going on carriage rides in Sevilla. I suppose because the Plaza de España seemed a bit of a distance, so an enchanting carriage ride has always seemed like a romantic way to see the city in a tranquil manner. If you’re interested, then you certainly won’t miss the carriages sitting out in front of the cathedral. A ride should cost you around 40 euros.
Where to eat
A great place to eat during the summer is a restaurant called Rio Grande, which sits right on the Guadalquivir River. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the summer weather with a view of the city across the water.
Other cities in Andalucia
Experiences from my blog