So, you’ve got one day to see Seville. While that won’t be enough time to do it justice (and trust us, you’ll definitely want to stay longer in this sultry city), it’s not totally impossible to get a taste of what Seville is all about in 24 hours. To help you make the most of your day, here’s our guide Branislav’s top recommendations for getting the most out of your whistle-stop tour of the city.
As the sun rises over Andalusia, Sevillian cafés compete to entice people with the delectable aromas of traditional Spanish breakfasts. Among the first places to open up (at 7:30am) is El Comercio, on Calle Lineros 9. This has been the breakfast of Spanish champions ever since their first churro was dipped in oil in 1904. Fill up on the best churros con chocolate (hot chocolate and crispy dough) in town, as you’ll need plenty of energy for the rest of your Seville adventure. If calorific content concerns you, ask for a typical Andalusian breakfast – a delicious crispy sandwich with cured ham, fresh tomatoes, and olive oil, accompanied by a cup of coffee and a fresh orange juice. Aaaah… always hits the spot.
Head to Seville’s Royal Palace – the Alcazar at Plaza del Triunfo. This Moorish-Christian gem is the city’s most famous tourist attraction, keeping you busy for at least two hours. Featuring exotic gardens, exuberant palaces, fish-filled ponds and absolute isolation from the rest of the world, the Alcazar has been the Sevillian home of every royal family since the 14th century (including the royals of today). These palaces even appeared in some of the Game of Thrones episodes (the Water Gardens of Dorne, seat of the House Martell) and, apparently there was no need to make many changes to the interior arrangement – it was already spot-on.
After seeing the Alcazar, head to El Salvador Square, which boasts the second largest church in the city. If you wish to join in on the fun with the locals there, grab a cold beer from one of the bars in front of the church. It’s totally OK if you can’t find a seat – the true Sevillian way to drink is standing. If you choose to visit the church, don’t let the high price of the ticket confuse you (EUR 9 at the time of writing this post) – this ticket also includes the visit to the Cathedral. So, buying your ticket here will save you the trouble of queuing in the sun at the main Cathedral’s main entrance, even if you don’t want to visit this church. Just make sure you use your ticket within 24 hours.
It’s lunchtime. And, although us Sevillians tend to eat late, there are a few bars in the area that are open at midday. On your way to our next attraction, you should head to Mamarracha restaurant at 1 Hernando Colón Street, which serves lunch from 1:00 to 4:30pm. Taste some of their mouth-watering fusion-cuisine tapas; the menu is quite compact, but everything is delicious. And if you’re more in the mood for a traditional Spanish bar experience, drop by Casa Morales; it’s just in the neighbourhood on García de Vinuesa Street and it’s open from 12:00 to 4:00pm.
On all days except Mondays, this is the best time to visit the Cathedral (with your pre-bought ticket), because you’ll get to enjoy it during the hours of siesta – it’s the least crowded period. Inside the Cathedral, you’ll see one of the finest Christian altarpieces, guilded with gold that was brought back by Spanish conquerors from the Americas. Also, look for Christopher Columbus’s tomb – an enormous stone coffin held up high by four stone kings. And if your stamina is good, climb up Giralda tower’s to the lookout point — Giralda is the tallest structure in the city centre and the panoramic views from there are worth the trip (tip: the only way to climb the tower is from within the Cathedral).
On Mondays, the Cathedral opens only from 11:00 to 3:30pm, so you can make a switch and visit the cathedral at 11am, and the Alcazar at 3pm.
Now, head back to your accommodation for a small break. Have a little siesta or a coffee, and let’s dress up for the night.
This is a good time to explore the Spanish Square (Plaza de España). Thousands of hand-crafted tiles and decorative elements shine as bright as they did in 1929 – when this massive building welcomed the Ibero-American Exposition. Make sure you have a camera with you to capture Planet Naboo’s ornamentation (yes, the Planet Naboo sequences from Star Wars were recorded here).
Getting hungry? Let’s set sail for San Jacinto – Triana’s bustling main street. Here, in the cradle of Flamenco, you can find a variety of cheap and attractive eateries for all tastes. From Italian pizzas to deep-fried tiny birds (codornices), Triana has it all. But if you just can’t wait to dig in – check out Mercado de Triana that sits right at the end of Triana’s famous bridge which hosts a number of cool bars/restaurants. Here you can try everything from authentic Andalusian specialties, to fusion cuisine. And a bit further along San Jacinto Street, you’ll find numerous popular venues with a very local vibe. If by any chance your interest was piqued by the mention of those tiny fried birds, Bar Casa Ruperto is the place to go on Santa Cecilia Avenue.
Fancy a flamenco show? If you like crowds, head to Casa Anselma bar at 49 Pagés del Corro. Just keep in mind – you never know what can happen there with the rowdy crowd. Though that’s exactly what flamenco is admired for: pure spontaneity. Tip: Be sure to order a drink or two, otherwise, the Anselma crowd might scold you (not kidding). If Casa Anselma is too much to take in, head back to Betis Street (just opposite Mercado de Triana). Located at Seville’s romantic riverfront, this particular area is famous for its flamenco clubs and night bars. Have a stroll along the river and be sure to join in on the vibrant Andalusian nightlife.