Post updated on March 28th, 2016 at 10:56 pm
Spain is the idea travel destination – it’s the perfect combination of everything: great weather all year round, stunning architecture, delicious (and veggie-friendly) food that’s distinctly different from the rest of Europe, and a lively social culture that prides itself on bustling nightlife and late dinners. Seville is all of this and more! The minute the rental car pulled into Seville, I knew I was going to love it – and three days later, I sure did! If you’re traveling to Seville for 2-3 days, here’s how you should split your time.
Seville is a city you have to discover by walking – first, because some of the main streets in the city center are cobblestone streets that don’t even allow vehicles! Second: you’ll miss the charm of the city if you don’t experience it by walking! Make sure to wear really comfortable shoes because those cobblestone streets start to make your feet sore after some time! It’s also a city that’s meant to be taken easy – everyone is so laidback; breakfast starts at 10am, lunch starts at 1:30pm, and dinners start around 9:30pm here. This itinerary is reflective of that – I didn’t feel like packing too much in so that I could take in the vibes of the city.
Quick facts about where to stay and when to visit at the end of this post 🙂
Walk to the main plaza (Virgen de los Reyes) and you’ll discover beautiful architecture and horse-drawn carriages. The beauty of Seville is in its Moorish influences – everywhere you see a mix of Islamic and Christian elements. We passed by many tapas bars and restaurants, and you can’t really go wrong, so pick one and have some paella, patatas bravas or croquettes (they have really good spinach croquettes in Seville).
While walking through this area, you’ll notice the stunning Seville cathedral – an absolutely gorgeous structure (more beautiful on the outside than inside, so you can skip paying the entrance fee if you’d like).
We finally made our way to the Alcázar, one of the most famous monuments in Seville – a royal palace that boasts of Islamic and Christian influences. It’s a sprawling complex, with pools, gardens and mazes. We spent a couple of hours just walking through the grounds and taking photos.
Next up was Plaza de España – probably one of my most favorite places in the entire world. I can’t explain how gorgeous this place is – it’s an open (and free!) public square with fountains, canals, bridges and unbelievably stunning architecture. I would recommend going here twice – once around sunset to see how the colors change (which is what I did on my first night in Seville), and once in the afternoon to enjoy bright sunshine. If you’re feeling ambitious, I’d recommend going for an early morning jog here.
We had a delicious breakfast at La Cacharreria, an authentic local café recommended by our hotel concierge. It might have been one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had (we went back there the next day). It’s right beside the Metropol Parasol, a really funky mushroom-shaped wooden structure, also high on tourists’ lists.
We spent the rest of the morning touring a famous bullfighting ring (Plaza de Toros), which was a really cool experience. Bullfighting season had just ended when I visited, so there were no fights happening, but you can purchase tickets in advance if you’re visiting between March-October, when fights usually happen. I’m not sure I’d have been able to watch one, even if I were there during the fight season – it sounds really violent!! But touring the ring was fascinating and informative, and I’d highly recommend taking the guided tour, which is the only way to check out the interiors.
In true laidback Seville style, after touring the ring, we just ended up strolling along the riverside across the ring. Streets in Seville are lined with little coffee carts – just ask for some “café con leche” (a latte) and sit by the riverside.
Yup. That’s how sunny it is in Seville, at the end of November.
It’s also worth strolling through Triana, a quiet neighborhood right across the river. This is a completely non-touristy neighborhood, so it’s worth a stroll if you’re looking to get off-the-beaten-path. It’s a charming part of town, with bright colored houses, flower pots hanging from balconies, and Seville’s famous orange trees! Stroll through this area in the evening as the sun sets, and then cross the bridge to come back to the center of town.
Depending on your preference, you can use the third day to do a variety of things: shopping, a day trip, or revisiting some of your favorite spots. In my opinion, the third day should just be used to relax and soak up all the sunshine. I visited Seville at the end of November, and it was warm and glowing. We went back to Plaza de España after lunch, and just napped on the benches while listening to music. It’s an entirely different experience visiting the plaza during the daytime – the sky, water and buildings take on a completely different hue!
Another option is to take a day trip to Córdoba – a beautiful Spanish village just 45 minutes from Seville by train. I stayed a night in Córdoba, and I have mixed opinions about how long to spend here. There’s only one monument here – the Mezquita (which has been both a cathedral and a mosque, over the years, and has a fascinating history) – it’s absolutely STUNNING so you shouldn’t miss it! If you visit in the fall or the winter, it’s a pretty dead town otherwise so a day trip should be okay. However, if you visit in the spring or summer, I’d highly recommend staying a night. In the spring, they have a gorgeous flower festival on and the entire town is alive with color!
This is how gorgeous the Mezquita is:
Here’s a map to help you orient yourself – we didn’t use public transport even once in Seville. Everything is very easy to walk to, so take advantage of that and soak in the city 🙂
Seville is just beautiful – I hope I’ve convinced you to make this your next travel destination 🙂 It’s in my top 3 favorite cities in Europe (Budapest and Barcelona being the other two).
When to go & where to stay: I visited Seville around Thanksgiving and the weather was beautiful, a light jacket was good enough, and it was so lively; you can definitely visit Seville year round! I stayed at the Casa Romana boutique hotel, which was just LOVELY – very helpful staff, charming little hotel, and right by the city center.
If you’ve already visited, I’d love to hear some of your favorite things to do there!