Seville conjures up images of raven-haired flamenco dancers, bullfights and extravagant Mudéjar architecture. A hybrid of Islamic and European traditions, this fusion is best reflected in the splendor of the Alcázar, a palace still in use by members of the Spanish royal family. Seek out Casa de Pilatos, 16th-century palace of the dukes of Medinaceli and delight in its fountains and salons. The Sevillians' passion for bullfighting is visible on a tour of the Real Maestranza bullring and its onsite museum, which houses paintings and embellished matador costumes.
Things to Do
Lose yourself in the perfumed gardens filled with orange trees in the Alcázar, and listen to the gentle trickling of water from its many fountains. Geometric Moorish tiles and intricate woodwork stretch as far back as you can see, mirrored in courtyard pools. The Catedral de Sevilla and Giralda Tower is a massive gothic structure with five naves and towering spires. Leave the crowds behind and climb up the 300-foot tower for unparalleled city views.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Flamenco shows mesmerize with clicking castanets, swirling skirts and fervent strumming of guitars at Sevillian institution La Carbonería in Barrio Santa Cruz, the Old Jewish Quarter. Seville caters to its nocturnal natives, and late-night bars thrive, especially in the Alfafa and Alameda neighborhoods. In the summer, locals congregate at bars on Calle Betis by the river in Triana to escape the heat and go clubbing at seasonal outdoor venues on Isla de la Cartuja.
Restaurants and Dining
Eat as much or as little as you want on a tapas trail around the bars tucked in Seville's winding alleys. Order dry fino sherry to go with bulbous olives and savor slivers of ham on toast. Savor to-die-for costillas a la miel (honey-coated ribs) at Bar Eslava, or the venison chorizo at the 155-year-old Casa Morales. Spanish nuns have been making confections for centuries, and at the San Leandro convent you can buy yema sweets made by the sisters.
Drift lazily around the moat of Plaza de España and gaze up at bridges with intricately painted Moorish tiles with blue, green and yellow motifs. When night falls, the plaza's graceful symmetry is bathed in a softer light. The Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes, with its box-hedged gardens and cloistered courtyards, is a welcome stop after admiring portraits by painter Diego de Velázquez. On summer evenings, join locals in their finery for a walk along Guadalquivir River's banks.
Travel page content provided by Zagat © 2013, Google.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.