There are now more flights to Seville from UK airports than ever before, making it a popular choice for a short winter break. I’ve just returned from a 3 night break in this wonderful city and there are plenty of sights I can recommend.
When deciding on a winter break destination one option well worth considering is Seville. The temperatures are generally warm, even in the middle of winter, and there are certainly plenty of sights to see in this lovely city.
I’ve just returned from a three-night break in Seville. We travelled with a small group of friends and flew with EasyJet from Bristol. The flight took just over 2½ hours and we left behind a decidedly autumnal England and arrived in Seville to enjoy daytime temperatures of 30°C, dropping to about 15 – 20° during the evening. I had visited Seville about 5 years ago but it’s such a lovely city and there are plenty of things to do so I was keen to see it again.
The heart of Seville is easily explored on foot. The city has some impressive architecture with Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque buildings all combing to create a wonderful mixture of ages and styles. It was the former capital of the Moorish empire and also the most important Spanish port for explorers setting off for the New World in the 15th and 16th Centuries.
Seville’s historical centre lies on the eastern bank of the Guadalquivir River. We stayed in a hotel in the Triana district on the other side of the river. This district has its own strong identity. It is known for its beautiful azulejos (ceramic tiles) which were originally made in workshops here. It has some excellent shops and some very good tapas bars and riverfront restaurants along the Calle Betis looking towards the Torre del Oro across the water. We enjoyed an excellent meal in one of these, which cost far less than you would pay in a restaurant in the heart of the city, yet we were only 15 minutes away on foot and we had a stunning view of the city from our table.
The Real Alcazar or Royal Palace was one of the sights we all wanted to visit. By the time we got there the queues were very long so we decided to book entrance tickets on-line for later in the day. This meant that we were part of a group with an English-speaking guide, so we learned a lot about the history of the palace, including the stunning Moorish tiles. The upper levels of the Alcazar are still used by the Spanish royal family as their official residence in the city. After the tour inside we were left to explore the wonderful exotic palace gardens.
Before our tour of the Alcazar we walked through the Maria Luisa Park to the Plaza de España. This semi-circular brick building with a tower at each end was built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929. In front of the building, following the curve of its façade, is a 500-metre canal crossed by four bridges. All along the wall by the canal are 48 alcoves, one for each province of Spain, each with a relevant tableau and map, all designed on colourful tiles. We saw a few Spanish tourists having photographs taken of themselves with family and friends by their home province’s alcove.
It’s worth mentioning our very enjoyable boat trip on the Guadalquivir River. There was no need to pre-book the hour-long cruise. It was fascinating to see the sights of Seville from the river and to learn a little of their history (although the recorded announcements were in 5 languages which didn’t allow much time to describe each sight!).
The summer months can be extremely hot in Seville. October is still peak season and everywhere was still quite busy. The quieter winter months (November – March) offer generally pleasant temperatures and cheaper prices, giving a wealth of possibilities for a fascinating city break.