My personal highlight: Colorful palaces, blooming orange trees and delicious fresh fried fish smell
Sevilla was one of the last Spanish Cities on my bucket list. I saved the best for the last. As you do it with your the bite of your favorite dish. A 4 da trip is the perfect amount of time you need. For the flight I recommend edelweiss air from Zurich. There was a black Friday special for 120 CHF!
The atmosphere in Seville is unique of its kind. The orange trees filling every alley with life, colorful painted walls of the houses and the serene but lively attitude of the Sevillians made me immediately feel home. People have a smile on her face and are always in a relaxed mood.
I am happy to have chosen my trip end of January, the temperature being 20 degrees and streets not full of tourists made my trip smooth and easy.
Where to sleep in Seville
Seville is small and easy to to by walk. Strolling without plan is my plan! Sometime it’s ok to spy on google maps but that’s it. You can’t get lost. My airbnb was situated in the old town, 5 minutes by walk from the cathedral of Saint Mary. It’s the perfect location to get around.
Why I absolutely recommend to use airbnb and stay at Juan’s place? When entering this house you feel thrown back to an arabic country. The neo-moorish style is adorable. Colorful, floral and so charming. The Moorish architecture is the articulated Berber–Islamic architecture of West North Africa (Morocco and west Algeria), Al-Andalus (Spain), and Al-Garb Al-Andalus (Portugal). Juan’s place offers all you need. I paid 30 Euro a night. The place is super clean, cozy and as mentioned super centrally located. My host is the best tapas tour guide! If you are lucky you got to try the hand made chocolate, since he is chocolatier. Juan revealed a how Sevillians enjoy their Tapas. I was surprised seeing them standing all the time and seldom sitting for dinner. He mentioned, Tapas you enjoy standing. You crawl from bar to bar. Every Tapas Bar has its home specialty. Since you always walk in between you get to digest perfectly what you eat!
Getting around in Seville – my favorite spots to see
1 – A stylish and architectural pearl: Plaza de España
This neo-moorish style can be found in lots of Sevilian sights. A must visit therefore is the Plaza de España designed by Aníbal González. It’s a magical place with a style that recreates de Arab constructions of 10 centuries ago and emphasizes the regions of Spain and its union with America.
How to get there: access Parque de Maria Luisa from Glorieta de los Marineros, walk inside the park through Avenida Rodriguez de Casso, than you will reach Plaza de España at the end of the road. The architectural achievements and unquestioned charm have converted this place into one of the most important symbols of Seville.
2 – Stroll into one of the most beautiful Universities feel student for a moment
The Real Fabrica de Tabacos de Sevilla was built in the 18th century and used to be the tobacco factory until the 1950s. Today here a part of Seville’s University is located. The factory was the largest industrial building of the world at the time. It took 42 years to finish it. Get your history walk and admire the huge wooden doors and the fountain in the centre of the building. Entrance is free.
The address: Calle San Fernando, 4, entrance is for free.
3 – Discover Triana where back in time Flamenco had its birth
Triana is the former Gypsy area. It sits across the Guadalquivir river away from the city’s main tourist attractions. Here is where influential flamenco artists and bullfighters of the last couple of centuries came from. This area is well-known for its lovely handmade ceramics. The walls here are plastered with old bullfighting posters and photos of flamenco artists.
A most do while you are here is the Mercado de Triana
Mercado de Triana offers the most typical choice of Spanish products. The mercado is built on the site of a medieval castle. Find a colorful cluster of fruits as oranges, local avocados, specialties as saffron or sweet and chilli pepper. Find plenty of meat, fish and cheese stalls. It’s a great place to stop for tapas and a cold beer or get your souvenirs! Here I found my Bellota ham to take back home. This ham is from free-range pigs that roam oak forests (called dehesas) that eat only acorns. The taste is nutty and sweet, earthy and floral. Whatever words you use, its flavor is unique! In Zurich you can order this fabulous ham at Luma Delikatessen.
If you are in the mood of a bocadillo Iberico, absolutely stop by at Seefeld at Casa Teresa for a traditional Iberico Sandwich!
Cooking Traditional Sevillian dishes at Mercado de Triana
Inside the market is the Cooking School Taller Andaluz de Cocina. They offer daily hands-on Spanish and Andalusian cooking classes, food market tours and Sherry wine tasting. If you are up to cooking absolutely try their Cooking class. That is where I learnt about Sevilla’s cuisine. We cooked two traditional Seville Tapas: Spinach with chickpeas, the Salmorejo tomato soup and the Paella Valenciana, that is the most traditional Spanish Paella.
Course costs: 55 Euro for 3 courses incl. Market tour (total 3 hours)
The address: Mercado de Triana, 6 Calle San Jorge, Seville, Spain
My favorite dish: Spanish spinach and chickpeas (espinacas con garbanzos)
After having tried them in the oldest Tapas Bar in Seville (since 1670) called El Rinconcillo I was absolutely motivated to learn how to prepare them by myself! It’s the must-try Andalusian dish and so easy to make at home, too.
This is what you need: (For 6 people)
900g (30 oz) fresh spinach, 150 g (5-6 oz.) chickpeas, 1 medium size onion, 2-3 garlic cloves, 5-6 spoons tomato puree, cumin, salt, sherry vinegar, olive oil and 1-2 slices stale white bread.
How to prepare it
- Boil the spinach for ca. 15 min
- Roast the garlic until it is golden – on low heat to caramelize it
- Roast the bread by using the same oil, it will taste fantastically garlic-icious
- Use a mortar to mash the bread, add the garlic, a pinch of cumin and salt
- fry the chopped onion with a pinch of salt until it is caramelized.
- Add 5-6 tablespoons crushed tomatoes/tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes
- Add the boiled spinach with some of the spinach water
- Add the bread paste, a pinch of salt, cumin to taste and a teaspoon of sherry vinegar
- Stir in the chickpeas, mix well and cook until the liquid reduces
- Taste and add salt or more cumin if you like
What else to discover…
Alameda de Hercules district – much history and bit Boheamian
This area is where on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon you find all locals having a coffee, beer or wine talking to each other or dancing on the street. It’s a lovely and lively neighborhood to discover. The alley was originally fully surrounded by Alamo trees, that give the place part of its name “Alameda“. On the center-side of the Alameda you find two giant Roman pillars. One of which bears a statue of Hércules, who according to the legends, was the founder of Seville! Who else can be on the pillar than Jiulius Ceesar. The district has a certain Bohemian air, which cannot be found in other areas of Seville.
My secret hint for tapas here is Antigua abaceria de San Lorenzo. Get the probably most tender and aromatic artichokes of Seville spiced up with some tasty Iberico ham pieces. I ended up drinking the super delicious broth in the bowl. I also had best Tempranillo wine.
The address: Calle Teodosio, 53, 41002 Sevilla, Spanien
Plaza major – Metropol Parasol – Admire the city from above
If you are in the mood to get the whole picture of Seville you need to get up here. The Parasol is a wooden building that was completed 2011 from a German architect Jürgen Mayer. It has dimensions of 150 by 70 metres and an approximate height of 26 metres. It has the shape of a giant mushroom. Some say it is the largest wooden structure in the world. The building is popularly known as Las Setas de la Encarnación (Incarnation’s mushrooms). Get to the top with an elevator from Plaza Major for 3 Euro entrance and enjoy the spectacular view over the city. That is where you recognize how many beautiful church towers Seville has.
The address: Pl. de la Encarnación, s/n, 41003 Sevilla open 10am – 10.30pm Sun – Thu, to 11pm Fri & Sat
Where to go for a healthy breakfast all hand made
The coffee shop called Filo offers great fresh salads, bagels and excellent bread and croissants. I had a bowl of müesli with delicious dried and fresh fruits and home made granola. The shop is cozy , be lucky to gather your spot since it is always very full. I recommend to stop here!
The address: Calle Hernando Colon, 19, Sevilla
Where to get specialty coffee in Seville
Stop at Torch Coffee! I found this spot through a online coffee guide. It’s located right by the Guadalquivir river on your way to the Triana Market. Torch Coffee Roasters are part of a cooperative that has its roots in the US and puts great emphasis on connecting people and building a community in the coffee business. The coffee shop offers great space to relax after your city tour or perfect start to zip on your flat white before any tourist program.
The address: aseo de las Delicias, 3 , 41001, Sevilla open Mon to Fri 9am – 8pm, Sat & Sun 10 am – 8 pm
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