After a smooth Ryanair flight direct from Edinburgh, we took the bus located outside the airport terminal to the centre of Seville which took half an hour, this is an easy transfer costing 4 Euros per person. We checked in at our 4-star hotel, the Fernando III, freshened up and went to the highly rated tapas bar, La Bartola opposite the hotel for lunch.
We then walked through the Maria Luisa Park towards the beautiful Plaza de Espana which was abuzz with people, a public flamenco performance and horse and carriages. There was a wonderful atmosphere and we explored all the alcoves representing a different province of Spain, and then hired a rowing boat for 6 Euros to go along the man made canal. Dinner was another tapas bar (Peko Peko) on the same street as our hotel, which combines Peruvian flavours with Spanish.
Fernando III is conveniently located on a street filled with a combination of contemporary and traditional restaurants and cafés. Jester which is down the street receives glowing reviews, a cosy café with only outdoor seating, and lucky for us, the weather was mild enough to enjoy breakfast al fresco.
Our next stop was the Hospital de Venerables, a baroque 17th century building which was a previous residence for priests. The church with its pastel hand painted domed ceiling is extremely photogenic and there are also two small art exhibitions (one traditional and one contemporary) and classic Andalusian patios within the grounds.
We then strolled through the maze of cobbled streets towards the Mercado Lonja del Barranco, a very stylish indoor food market located besides the Guadalquivir, in which we enjoyed lunch. Afterwards, we walked along the river with a gelato in hand and took a few pictures outside the Torre del Oro.
We decided to return to the hotel to freshen up and we relaxed on the hotel’s rooftop bar and pool area before heading back out.
We went to the Metropol Parasol, a huge wooden structure in the centre of Seville which we walked past earlier in the day. There was a queue for the lift to the rooftop, which is expected being a Sunday evening, however, it wasn’t a long wait for us. The views were expansive, breathtaking and you can see the cathedral and all the little roofs of Seville. We enjoyed a later dinner like the locals, eating at 8pm at Bar Pelayo.
We escaped for a hipster café for breakfast to fuel us for a day of exploring and shopping. We chose to explore the Real Alcazar on a Monday as it is not as busy as the weekend. The Alcazar is one of Seville’s top sights, and although December is off-peak, the Alcazar still sees a lot of visitors.
The Real Alcazar is a royal palace in Seville and features elements influenced by the different cultures of the people who have passed through the city. The interiors are filled with marble and ornate tiles, Muslim arches and wall tapestries, you will also find fountains, traditional patios and a massive garden which is also home to several peacocks. The Real Alcazar is just stunning and it was also used as the filming location for Game of Thrones’ Water Gardens of Dorne.
We then had a modern tapas experience at El Pinton, which is great for something a bit different. Seville has a main shopping street which is small and lined with the usual Zara, Mango and Pull and Bear. Although Seville is not a destination for shopping, there is a shopping centre a short bus journey away from the centre. As a pick-me-up, we purchased a fresh orange juice from a stall which is a must being in a city dotted with fragrant orange trees.
To round up our last full day, we walked to the Plaza de Espana again to chase the sunset!