Continuing from my last post exploring Seville, we move on to my must-see sights – it’s a hefty one I warn you, so grab yourself a cup of tea and get comfortable!
First on the list is the Real Alcazar De Sevilla, with rooms tiled beautifully from top to bottom, carved ceilings and arched doorways, breathtaking atriums and endless gardens, I can guarantee you will be blown away. Every corner we were astounded by something new. The Palace is the historical home of Spain's royal family and also doubles as the location for Dorne in Game of Thrones (yes more Game of Thrones...!). Peacocks wandering the paths lined with fragrant flowers, and a whole forest of monstera, i'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking!
Next up was Casa De Pilatos. We actually had the place to ourselves for a while, and if you want to get pictures of Seville's wonderful tiles, Casa De Pilatos has them in abundance! Entry is 10 euros and feels very much like a mini-Alcazar!
Next is the Plaza De Espana, a piece of art in itself, the structure unfolds to a wide tiled arch surrounding a fountain in the centre, though it is a tourist hot spot, it is so huge that it doesn't feel too crowded. Each tiled alcove displays intricate tiles displaying different provinces of spain.
We returned a few days later and rented a rowing boat and after a few near crashes into the side, we got the hang of the oars and passed under the beautifully tiled bridges.
Next to the Plaza De Espana is Parque de Maria Luisa, a fairly shaded oasis to escape the heat with fountains and another beautiful series of tiled areas, it’s a lovely spot to take some lunch or just sit and rest from a busy day of sight-seeing. When visiting the Plaza De Espana one evening we heard the sound of a brass band so we followed the music that took us through the Parque de Maria Luisa and we discovered a huge crowed of teenagers all playing different brass instruments, I’m not sure what the reason was for the huge late night gathering but we thoroughly enjoyed the epic sound echoing through the trees.
A couple of shops to look out for whilst on your travels through the centre are Sombreros Maquedano, which is a traditional hat shop with a beautiful exterior, and Libreria Boteros, a lovely little book shop.
Across the Canal de Alfonso, we went in search of the Centro Cerámica Triana. Triana is a bit of a hub for all things ceramic and the museum did not disappoint. With an amazing building design, it was great to learn more about the history of tile making in Seville and the pottery processes.
Outside of the Centro Cerámica Triana is an Aladdin's cave, Ceramica Triana, with rows of wonderful pottery (and a very effective fan that we did stand in front of for a good while!). We bought a few tiles as souvenirs and looking at them displayed in our home always takes me back to those ceramic heavenly streets.
I had read about the Centro Andaluz de arte contemporaneo and wanted to see one art installation in particular, Alicia, by Christina Lucas (pictured below) of a gigantic figure looking out of a window. Now I thought this area was walkable, and we did indeed walk it, however in the sweltering heat I almost had a heat stroked partner on my hands so I probably would advise catching the bus if you travel during summer. It is quite off the beaten track, but en-route we did see some fabulous street art which made the walk worth it in my eyes (and almost in Dave's ... !). Once a monastery, Monasterio de la Cartuja, then a ceramics factory, it is now a museum for modern art with some bizzare but wonderful permanent exhibitions. Temporary exhibitions, concerts and workshops are also held at the museum.
Back into the main centre of Seville, the Metropol Parasol, also known as 'The Mushroom' is a huge wooden structure consisting of six parasols and has brilliant views over the city. The architecture is juxtaposed against the old buildings surrounding it and a fabulous landmark to visit, costing only a couple of euros or free if you live in Seville.
I think you know by now we are a couple of Game of Thrones geeks, so we went in search of the Royal Shipyards which were used as a location. However these were not open to the public, instead I took a sneaky picture through a gate!
Opposite the Shipyards, we came across El Postigo, where you can find Sevillian crafts for all your souvenir needs.
Another little market we stumbled upon was within the El Areneal area, lured in by the stunning architecture of the surrounding building.
We had read about, Hospital de los Venerables, a popular tourist spot in the centre but hadn't actually planned to visit, but when passing, it happened to be free that day to enter so we thought why not, and thank goodness we did! A baroque 17th century building which served as a hospice for ageing priests. I particularly loved the bright courtyard, surrounded by circular steps covered in plants. I am glad we didn't miss out on seeing this beautiful place.
Most visitors to the city stay within the centre, but if you venture out into the less known areas of Alameda and Macarena you will find a mix of independent shops, street art, and cultural hubs. It is also home to the Palacio de Los Marqueses de la algaba, with a dreamy patio, central fountain, towering palm trees and more of those beautiful tiles - its a lovely place to escape the crowds and also entry is free (!).
A five minute walk away is Rompemoldes, which unfortunately wasn't open when we tried to visit, but I wanted to give it a mention as it looks to be a fabulous bright space where artists live and work. There are shops and studios surrounding a plant filled patio and it is worth checking whether it is open when you visit!
And finally, you cannot visit Seville without experiencing a Flamenco show. We took the advice from our Airbnb host and chose to book tickets at the Museo Del Baile Flamenco, and we were blown away by the performance. An hour of intense passionate dancing, energetic hand clapping and foot stomping, to the sounds of guitar and beautiful voices within an intimate setting, it was the perfect Flamenco introduction!
One extra thing to mention is that Seville is one of the hottest parts in Spain and is absolutely boiling, so keep hydrated and top up the sun cream! We visited in early September and it was around 33-35 degrees. We welcomed the afternoon Siestas and normally returned to our apartment around this time to cool ourselves down and grab a bite to eat.