While Barcelona and Madrid tend to steal the show when it comes to tourist hot-spots in Spain, Seville has its own special charm, complete with quaint winding alleyways, classic plazas and authentic tapas bars. Although it has held on to many of the traditions that other Spanish cities have abandoned, such as bullfighting and traditional flamenco, this southerly city is anything but small with its population of over 1,508,000.
Most people who visit Seville plan to see the historical sites, such as the world’s largest cathedral or the Tomb of Christopher Columbus. These sites are certainly worth a visit, but let’s face it, after a day of sightseeing, you’ll probably be ready to skip the tourist traps and see another side of the city.
Of course, in order to experience Seville like a local, you need to know where to go, which is why I’ve lined up some of the best things for you to do, eat and see in Seville, without feeling like too much of a “gringo.”
Getting a true taste of any city always involves food, so knowing where to go for a quick bite or a hearty meal should be high on your list of priorities. Whether you’re in the city center or lost in a narrow alley by the river, a tapas bar will never be far away, seeing as Seville is known as Spain’s tapas capital. The following two places are definitely winners if you’re in the mood for something authentically Sevillian.
Located in the Triana neighbourhood on Calle Betis is this little gem of a bar. It’s loved by the locals for its wide selection of tapas, from fried fish and shrimp omelet to lamb chops and fresh olives.
The city center is home to Seville’s oldest bar and restaurant, El Rinconcillo. This distinctive establishment was built in 1670, and aside from undergoing a major renovation in 1898, it is still largely the same as when it was constructed. Along with a mouth-watering selection of tapas, you will find a number of other typical Spanish dishes on the menu, along with an extensive wine list featuring everything from Rioja to sangria.
Once you have satisfied your appetite, it’s time to step out and explore the city. Whether you are an avid shopper or just want to relax, Seville has plenty of activities to keep you busy.
El Jueves Market
For anyone who loves collecting antiques or accumulating old junk, this is the place to go. El Jueves market is Seville’s oldest market, located east of Alamada de Hercules. It’s the American equivalent of a flea market and the British version of a car boot sale. However, unlike flea markets and yard sales, some of this stuff is actually worth something. Get ready to polish up your bargaining skills and do some hunting. The market is open only on Thursdays, and even if you aren’t looking for old appliances or antique furniture, it presents the perfect people-watching opportunity.
Casa de la Memoria de al-Andalus
You wouldn’t want to go home without having witnessed some genuine flamenco and this particular flamenco tablao on Calle Ximinez de Encisco is probably as good as it gets. You can catch a show every night, but make sure you book your tickets beforehand as it seats only 100 people and tends to fill up pretty quickly.
Avenida 5 Cines
If you’re feeling brave and think your Spanish is up to par you can visit this cinema to catch an original foreign language film. There are three showings a day and it may be the perfect way to spend an hour or two while getting an insight into another culture.
Seville nightlife is anything but boring and this city actually has the most bars per person in the whole country, so you certainly won’t lack for choice.
Although this bar is still relatively new, it has quickly gained in popularity both with the local youths and tourists. Bar Ego is a curious mixture between a bar, music venue and art gallery, and you‘ll even find clothes for sale.
Sala Fun Club
Despite its terribly cheesy name, this is actually one of Seville’s most popular live music venues, with music styles ranging from indie and rock to heavy metal. Sala Fun Club caters to all types and you can choose to chill in the lounge or do your thing on the dance floor.
Aileen Pablo is part of the team behind Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading providers of online TAFE courses equivalent and TESOL courses. When not working, Aileen blogs about travel, lifestyle, and beauty tips. She is also often invited as a speaker in Personality Development Seminars in the Philippines.