14
Jun-2010

Seville

Spain   /  
  • La place d'Espagne

  • La place d'Espagne

  • Palais de l'Alcazar

  • Palais de l'Alcazar

  • La cathédrale de Séville

  • Centre-ville de Séville

  • La tour d'or

  • Les jardins du palais d'Alcazar

  • Dans les ruelles de Séville...

  • Une des nombreuses églises

  • Dans les ruelles de Séville

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Seville is the capital of Andalusia. A popular proverb says, “Who has not seen Seville has not seen many wonders“: he’s right. Although Barcelona is very trendy, Seville has much charm and cultural attractions! Moreover, you can easily spend a week in Seville without getting bored one minute. To give you an idea, we stayed six days and have not even had time to do some shopping, while shops were numerous and we love to do some shopping!

Well, we must also say that in addition to its many monuments to visit, Seville is also the city where you will find the best and cheapest tapas! And the tradition is to go from bar to bar to eat tapas, which takes time :-)

Monuments to visit in ??SEVILLE

The most imposing building is the huge cathedral of Santa Maria de la Sedea, which is also one of the largest Catholic cathedrals in the world and has been classified as World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The church was built on the site of a mosque and is dominated by an ancient minaret, the Giralda masterful with a height of 97 meters. Unfortunately, the entrance fee is € 8, but only 2 € for students under 25 years. So do not forget your card! You will find inside the tomb of Christopher Columbus, and you can climb the Giralda for a magnificent view of the city (but it’s worth of course).

Another remarkable curiosity in Seville: the garden and the Alcázar Palace. Stroll through the beautiful garden and the Alcazar Palace, whose floor is still used by the royal family of Spain. Admission is 7 € and free for students! Do not forget your camera, this is the perfect place for a new Facebook profile picture :-) Then stroll in the streets of Santa Cruz, with its narrow medieval streets, ideal to get some shadow. You will find many restaurants, but beware of the tourist traps.

You will notice an interesting building opposite the Cathedral building, it is the Archive of the Indies, home to valuable documents on the relations between Spain and the American colonies. It is within 80 million pages of documents dating from 1492 until the 19th century. Only researchers can access unfortunately, with prior approval.

To go to the magnificent Spanish square, you will pass the University of Seville. Enter it, it’s free. It was once the largest Manufacture of Tobacco in Europe, where, according to legend one of the workers was called … Carmen, the heroine of the opera of the same name. This is also where the film was shot in 2003.

The Spanish square is a huge site built for the Universal Exhibition of 1929. When we visited, it was under construction and there was no water under the bridge. Did you know? A scene from Star Wars was filmed on this site!

Other must-see monument: Casa de Pilatos, Pilate’s house. This is a sumptuous 16th century palace, decorated with many azuleros, which is open to the public. Tip: go on Tuesday afternoon, it’s free. If you go another day, only visit the ground floor (€ 5) because the floor is not worth the trouble (8 €).

You can also visit the Real Maestranza bullring, which was used for bullfighting before it became banned a few years ago. It can be visited and houses a museum about bulls and bullfighting.

If you cross the Guadalquivir River through the San Telmo Bridge, you will pass by the famous Golden Tower (Toros del Oro). Not particularly impressive, it is known for its history and legends. People says that in this tower was unloaded and stored gold from America. You can enter to visit the Naval Museum, but it’s not worth it (1 €).

On the other side of the canal, you will find the Triana neighborhood, previously the poor gypsy district, where few tourists venture area. Stroll along the canal, especially at night where there is a great atmosphere!

By cons, do not waste your time visiting the Macarena district, which has many small churches, temples or palaces but are much less impressive than the rest. Early afternoon, the area is completely dead, there was really nobody!

What you must do in Seville

  • A tapas tour! Going from bar to bar for tapas
  • Walk along the Guadalquivir river in the evening and drink a mojito in one of the many bars along the river, sitting on the low wall at the edge of the water. Young people are generally going at 10-11pm before going to pubs and clubs around 3 or 4am!
  • Spend your pre-party in a flamenco bar. We do not have particularly enjoyed our experience at La Carboneria (Calle Levies 18), but as the show changes every night, you must choose based on artists who produce and not bars … Do not imagine that you can chat over a beer during the show, you will be reprimanded by the Spanish people who listen attentively to the words of the musicians! The place has the advantage of being free. Other possibilities: Casa Anselma in the Triana district with many schools that listen to flamenco or central theater for Flamenco Festival from February to June
  • After your tapas tour, finish the evening on the Alameda de Hercules, filled with cafes, bars and nightclubs. The most popular clubs are the Fun Club, Kafka and Utopia. No need to be too well-dressed. There are more bars than nightclubs and the entrance is for free.
  • Go to the clothing store Stradivarius, a kind of typical Spanish H & M which has not yet arrived in Belgium yet, unlike Zara, Mango and Bershka! Very nice. You will find it in the shopping street, Calle Tetuan which becomes Calle Velazquez and Calle O’Donnell.

Nightlife in Seville

To go out, direction Alameda de Hércules: a street full of cafes, bars and nightclubs not to be missed! The most famous place to party in Seville is “Caramelo” box (Avenida Francisco Javier, 24). Every Wednesday there is a special party theme (eg “Mexican night”, “Italian night”, “German Night”, etc …) where many Erasmus go to discover new cultures and meet people from all over the world . There are also clubs Fun Club, Kafka or Utopia.

Another option to have a party is to go to “Calle Betis“, where you will find plenty of bars, pubs and discos, next to each other. Just cross “el Puente de Los Remedios” or “el Puente de Triana” and you’re there!

Plaza San Lorenzo near Alameda de Hercules is a big place with lots of small cafes and bars including “The Samaritan.”

Other well-known student clubs are Orange, Aduana, Boss, Sidharta GOA / Babilonia, and Funkclub Elefunk.

Another nice place is “Sala Obbio” (that is in Calle Trastamana, facing the Plaza de Armas Center). This is both a bar, a nightclub and a slightly alternative cinema. You pay nothing for watching movies (the cinema are Monday to Wednesday and every day of the week it is a different kind of movie). Each month a different theme is chosen. In addition, the films are shown in their original version with subtitles in Spanish. Perfect for learning Spanish!) And you meet nice people. From Thursday to Saturday, the Sala Obbio turns into bars and clubs, and drinks are very cheap (expect between € 2 and 4).

What to eat in Seville ?

First, you should know that breakfast is between 2pm and 5pm and even later and dinner is from 9pm.

Seville has many tapas restaurants which are not expensive at all! In general, 3 sizes/prices are offered: the tapa (small operation), the media ración (half ration) and ración (full ration plate in general). It is best to order tapas to taste everything. Tour the bars and do not skip the specialties of the city:

  • The salmorejo: gazpacho without cucumber and thicker, which is eaten cold with bits of boiled eggs and ham.
  • Torta de Aceite: one of the most famous specialties in the region of Seville (100 years of tradition) . These kinds of pies are made of wheat flour and olive oil, sesame seeds and anise flavors.
  • Pinchitos morunos: a typical Andalusian dish inherited from Arab cuisine. This is a bunch of pork or chicken marinated with various spices.

For other specialties of Spain, see our page on the Spanish tapas and cuisine.

Where to eat in Seville ?

Move away from the center (cathedral area, alcazar, etc …). Once the menus are no longer displayed in three languages, you can go! If the bar is full of people, very noisy and that people drink their beer while standing outside, it’s a bar where you can enter with your eyes closed! If you go to the right places, you can eat  for € 5 with 3 tapas and a drink (1,5 € the tapas!).

Here are some places tested and approved, we were advised by a friend who spent several months in Erasmus in Seville:

  • Viniera San Telmo (Paso Catalina de Ribera, 4): very very good! Maybe a little bit more expensive than the basic tapas bars but REALLY worth it! They have a map in French and English and their cheesecake is very good. You can almost pick your eyes closed. Also, good choice of wine.
  • Patio San Eloy (Calle San Eloy, not far from the Corte Ingles): obligatory passage in Seville! Very cheap tapas bar with a wide variety of montaditos (small sandwiches with ham, cheese, peppers, tuna, etc …). After having ordered the tapas, we sit at a table or on the steps recovered with mosaic at the bottom of the room. The decor is really nice, because the brewery is covered with tiles.
  • Levies Cafe (Calle San José, 15, Santa Cruz district, near Santa Maria la Blanca): This bar offers a wide selection of tapas at very cheap prices. The tapas were mostly the size of a half ration, so it’s interesting! Do not miss the patatas bravas (and solomillo al whiskey!) Or food and oli pechuga has espinacas or naranja con garbanzos. Attention on the same place there is “Levies terraza” and “levies taberna” … go to the third levies, whoever has the most rotten air (they are really the one beside the other).
  • Los coloniales (plaza cristo de burgos, 19): a little harder to find but it’s worth it to eat a lot for very cheap. We had to wait a while, but you can have a drink at the bar while waiting. Go there for the opening, to be sure: 1:30 p.m. to 8:30pm.

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