Soñando Sunday: Sevilla
- Sevilla is reachable by all sort of transport, with buses typically being the cheapest and flights typically being the most expensive. However, prices vary greatly depending on where you are traveling from, so definitely investigate your options. From big airports like Madrid and Barcelona, you can find some flights as low as 20€!
Recommended time of year to visit and length of visit: The city gets incredibly hot in the summer so it’s advisable to visit a bit before or after (think May or October) for weather that will feel like full-on-summer without the unbearable dry heat. 3-4 days is a good amount of time to get to know the city at an enjoyable pace.
Note: Visiting the city during Semana Santa (Easter week) means that you will see the city at one of its favorite times of the year, but it will also be really crowded. Decide if you want to see the festivities (and perhaps only the festivities and lots of people) before you book during the holiday.
Fun Fact: Walking around the city, you are sure to notice many emblems that read NO8DO, which is the motto of Sevilla. NO8DO is said to stand for “no me ha dejado” or “Sevilla has not abandoned me,” which is a phrase coined by King Alfonso X when the city supported him despite his son trying to overthrow him. You can find this motto everywhere―from the manhole covers to the Giralda.
Top three must-sees:
1. La Giralda and Catedral: Like many places in Spain, the Cathedral of Sevilla is an example of the ever-changing reigns the country has undergone. La Giralda is a bell tower that was originally part of a mosque that stood in the present-day cathedral’s place but was destroyed to erect the Catholic place of worship instead. You can find great views of the city from the top of the Giralda, which is only accessible by foot although it used to be climbed by guards on horseback!
2. Plaza de España: Located in the Parque de Maria Luisa, this is one of the coolest plazas I have ever visited! It is formed in a semi-circle to represent an extended hug to the Americas (it was constructed for the Ibero-American Exposition in 1929) and consists of an ongoing tiled wall across the entire structure, each section dedicated to a different province of Spain. Great fun for someone who has visited many or is looking for ideas of where to go next!
3. Las Setas: Formally titled “Metropol Parasol,” this huge wooden structure is probably the most modern aspect of the city and therefore offers a great contrast with the historic mix of architecture you will find elsewhere. For just 4€ you can go up INTO the 'umbrellas' (as it was intended to look like) or 'mushrooms' (what everyone seems to actually consider it) and get a unique perspective on the city.
One thing to eat: Serranito sandwich
While you can sample so much of Andalusian cuisine by ordering tapas, another option is to go for the serranito, a very popular sandwich in this city. It is traditionally made with grilled meat—either chicken (pollo) or pork (lomo)—jamón ibérico, a fried green pepper, sliced tomato, and sauce. It is considered a treat, often eaten on-the-go or at fairs.