Seville, the Soul of Andalusia
On your travel to South Spain, probably you want to visit Seville, the capital of Andalusia. It’s a beautiful city full of History and things to do but, what to see exactly on a day trip? Let’s discover it.
Seville, the Soul of Andalusia
Cradle of Golden Age artists, Gate to the Americas or setting to famous operas, Seville is nowadays the capital of Andalusia and one of its more important and monumental cities. Located inland, is surrounded by Guadalquivir river, a navigable river from where all ships from Spanish Crown departed to the New World at late XVth century. Seville has lots of charms, and lives deeply Spanish traditions: if you cross the river to Triana Quarter, you will discover the cradle of flamenco dancing; at El Arenal Quarter, the bullfight ring is the main highlight and at multitude of Baroque churches and sanctuaries are hidden masterpieces from Spain’s Golden Age artists.
Being honest, you will need a minimum of three days to enjoy Seville and even in this short period of time you will not discover all it has to offer. But we know travellers want to visit as many places as possible and maybe you gave only one day to this city. That’s okay! We will suggest you best itineraries.
What to visit in Seville in one day
There are three main areas you must visit at least: Plaza de España, Barrio de Santa Cruz & Catedral.
Plaza de España (Spain’s Square): it’s a huge half-circle architecture which is “hugging” a square with a fountain and river Guadalquivir. It’s a beautiful example of Regionalism Architecture mixing modernized versions of Mudéjar and Renaissance art. It’s an iconic place not only at Seville, but around the world, mainly because was featured on 2002 movie Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.
Barrio de Santa Cruz (Saint Cross Quarter): is the ancient Jewish Quarter, a labyrinth of narrow whitewashed streets, artisan shops and cozy cafes.
Catedral (Cathedral): the highest gothic cathedral in the world, Seville’s Cathedral holds the honour of being one of Christopher Columbus’ burial places. Its bell tower, called Giralda, is the ancient Mosque’s minaret Christianized.
For all these reasons Seville’s Cathedral is a must see and because Gothic art is really rare in Andalusia. But if you think you saw a lot of Gothic Art in your life and you don’t want to wait the endless queue, just cross the square to the amazing monument we suggest you:
Reales Alcázares: it’s a palace, but a really special one. It’s really similar to the Alhambra, in Granada, but main difference is Alhambra is an Arab style palace built by Arabs. Reales Alcázares is an arab style palace built by Christians. This is something unique in Spain, and it’s called in History of Art world “Mudéjar Style”. Its Renaissance style gardens are wonderful, too. But if you’re not interested on art and you love movies, Reales Alcázares is also your monument to visit, because it has been a film setting for HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Now it’s time to discover the city a little bit more. Seville is full of shops and lovely areas, but because we know your time is precious, we will only talk about two:
Riverside and El Arenal: either if you are at Reales Alcázares or at the Cathedral, you can continue discovering Seville going to the South, looking for the river. On your way down you will pass through El Arenal Quarter, the famous neighbourhood where Bullfight Ring is located. If you love opera, you will recognize this place from Bizet’s Carmen. Near the Bullfight Ring you will find beautiful Guadalquivir Riverside where you can walk by foot and, who knows? Maybe to discover the city from on a boat trip. Don’t forget to take a picture to Torre del Oro (Golden Tower), one of Seville’s highlights.
Old town and shopping area: if you decide to go to the North to do some shopping and to taste some tapas, you can spend some free time at Seville’s old town, starting at Plaza Nueva and visiting streets like Calle Campana, Calle Sierpes and Calle Tetuán for main shopping areas. If you want to enjoy a modern monument on this centenary city, we suggest you taking a look to Las Setas de Sevilla, a huge walk-in sculpture with view point included: you will find it at the shopping area.
Time to visit Seville
It’s getting tricky. The truth is you will need a lot of time if you want to visit all this places. Depends on the mean of transport you used to get to Seville you will have between 5 and 8 hours to enjoy the city. Two places will take a lot of time: Plaza de España and Cathedral. The first one because it’s far from the city centre: about 20-30 minutes walking, and the second one because queues are long and the monument itself is big. So, if you want to visit main highlights calmed and with enough time to have lunch, our advice is to choose one monument and one part of the city centre: you must choose between visiting the Cathedral or the Reales Alcázares and visiting Riverside and El Arenal or Old town and shopping area. These are possible itineraries:
Plaza de España – Barrio de Santa Cruz – Catedral – Riverside and El Arenal
Plaza de España – Barrio de Santa Cruz – Catedral – Old town and shopping area
Plaza de España – Barrio de Santa Cruz – Reales Alcázares – Riverside and El Arenal
Plaza de España – Barrio de Santa Cruz – Reales Alcázares – Old town and shopping area
Travelling to Seville
Getting to Seville by plane: If you’re planning to spend several days at Andalusia and only one day at Sevilla, we suggest to not to fly directly to the city, because, although it has its own airport, is far from other places. Probably you can flight to other andalusian city with a more international airport, as Málaga. From there a local train called “Cercanías” will take you to main Málaga Train Station: “María Zambrano”. Once there, there are many options during the day to arrive to Seville.
Getting to Seville by train: as we mentioned previously, you can get to Seville by train. From Málaga Main Station you’ve got two options: AVANT, which is the fastest (2 hours), and more expensive and MD (3,5 hours), lower and cheapest. Anyway, today MD line has problems and customers must do transhipment by bus. Train is comfy and there are toilets inside, but the distance to city centre is not walkable, so you will need a taxi.
Getting to Seville by bus: since we offer our services from Costa del Sol, at Málaga, we can talk only about buses from this city. Taking a public bus to Seville is a good option, since will take about 2 or 3 hours to get there and Seville’s Main Bus Station is at city centre.
Getting to Seville by car: if you want to Rent a Car, driving from Málaga is a good option because will take you only about 2 hours to get to Seville. If you choose visiting Plaza de España first, your parking will be Aparcamiento Sevilla Muelle de las Delicias. If you prefer to start your visit at the city centre, best option is Aparcamientos Plaza Nueva.
Visiting Sevilla on an organized trip: we offer organized trips from Costa del Sol. Wednesdays are the chosen days for all companies to visit the city, but there are also other options like Thursdays or Fridays on high season. We offer two different trips:
Seville bus only: pick up at your hotel, scort guide and drop off at Plaza de España. You will have 5 hours free time to visit the city before you must come back to Costa del Sol (remember our recommended itinerares!)
Seville visit: pick up at your hotel, scort guide and free time at Plaza de España. After free time at this amazing place you will take the bus again to meet the local guide and start the walking visit of Santa Cruz Quarter. To finish the visit, tickets and guided visit to the Cathedral are included. After this, you will be given about two hours free time before taking the bus again to come back to Costa del Sol.
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