Andalusia, the southern region of Spain, has a special place in my heart for many reasons, but one of the top ones certainly has to be their hospitality and warmth. In general, the people are nice and friendly, and there’s so much to see, do & eat down there. Here’s a recap of what to do in Seville (Sevilla) with limited time.
First and foremost, hotel recs: Hotel Fernando III (nice, swanky) or Hotel Petit Palace Canalejas – really well situated in the city center, great value for your money.
Here’s what our 24 -hr trip to Sevilla looked like the day before Thanksgiving this last year… Caught a flight from BCN to Sevilla at 7am (we flew with Vueling), arrived there at 8:30am. We took a taxi to the Petit Palace Canalejas and left our bags, though we weren’t able to get into our room until after mid-day. Thanks to a handy recommendation from the hotel staff, we went straight to Doña Carmen Cafetería for breakfast.
We indulged with churros con chocolate, fresh OJ, cafés con leche, y bocadillos de jamón ibérico y tortilla. You cannot beat the prices in Andalusia when it comes to eating out! Such a steal.
Next, we walked through the city center towards towards the Real Alcázar de Sevilla (to which we bought tickets for a tour (in advance, with audio guide) at 11:30am.
The Royal Alcázar was a royal palace built for the Christian king, Peter of Castille. I’d say it’s a must see item in Sevilla – the property is breathtaking, very interesting history and mix of Christian and Muslim architecture.
After taking in all that the Alcázar has to offer (and taking 1 million photos), we made our way (walking of course) towards the Cathedral, so I could finally try one of my friend, Pilar’s, recommendations for lunch: “en la zona de la catedral hay un bar que se llama Las columnas. Os recomiendo pedir montaditos de pringá.” And indeed we did! We luckily were able to get a table at Las columnas and order several tapas, but the shining star was definitely the little sandwiches (montaditos) of pringa (like shredded pork).
With full bellies and happy hearts, we strolled onwards towards la Plaza de España – this is a great spot for photos! We came here years ago for a PRONOVIAS photo shoot and it just never disappoints. That being said, do not acknowledge the gypsies that frequent this and all other touristy areas – simply not acknowledging their offers is the best way for them to leave you alone and on your merry way.
As you can see by the sky in the above photos, we just barely missed the rain at this point, then we went back to our hotel to re-charge & get ready for the evening’s festivities… a Flamenco show at Casa de la Memoria! We went to the 7:30 – 8:30pm show, and when we arrived at the entrance of the venue at 7:10 there was already a substantial amount of people waiting in line to get in (so arrive early!!). No assigned seats, intimate Flamenco experience – I’ve gone twice now and have enjoyed it both times!
Following the show, we followed the gastronomic recommendation of Pilar again… “Cuando estéis por la zona de Las Setas, tenéis que ir a El Rinconcillo, súper típico y muy rico.” When we got to this place, the ground level area was packed with people, so we opted to dine upstairs in a more formal, quiet setting.
Their homemade Sangria was amazing, and I’ve had my fair share of Sangria. You could tell the fruit was fresh and the cinnamon sticks were a really nice touch of flavor. Food-wise, my parents got gazpacho to start and they loved it. I ordered solomillo (beef tenderloin/ sirloin steak) and it melted in your mouth.
To wrap up a great day, we returned to our hotel (Petit Palace Canalejas) and ended up having a drink on the terrace of the restaurant located directly across the street from it. It was the perfect ending to a quick trip to Sevilla!
From past trips to Sevilla (I’ve been there once with my Aunt Lori, then again with PRONOVIAS for a work trip), here are some additional tips and ideas to keep in mind:
Things to see: you should try to see the Cathedral y la giralda (must buy tickets in advance to actually enter / go up to the top). The second photo is the view of Sevilla from the top of La Giralda.
Other top things to see/do: Walk around the barrio Santa Cruz, Las setas de Sevilla, la iglesia del salvador, puente de Triana (Triana bridge), walk down la calle Betis.
Where to eat: Bodeguita Fabiola – tapas (chicarrones). In general in Andalusia, make sure to try good jamón ibérico, pescaditos fritos, croquettes & fresh shrimp & other seafood. You will not regret it!
Lastly, if you’re in Sevilla, don’t forget that it’s really easy once there to hop around to other wonderful destinations in southern Spain, including but not limited to: Cordoba, Granada, Málaga, Cadiz, Sanlucar de Barameda, Jerez, and Tarifa. You can easily drive to these places from Sevilla or look into train or bus options. The world is your oyster!