If you’re anything like me, you’ll instantly fall in love with Seville the moment you walk through the cobbled streets of Barrio Santa Cruz. The capital of Spain’s Andalusia region, Seville is a hub of Spanish culture and most importantly, food. But it’ll also satisfy your history and Game of Thrones filming locations cravings (trust me, there are plenty), and once you’re finished exploring for the day, a bustling nightlife is waiting for you.
And if that isn’t enough to make you pack your suitcase, book a ticket and fly to Spain immediate then buckle up because I’m about to convince you.
1. It’s a history nerd’s paradise
Ever since I watched a documentary on Spanish history my friends have been telling me to spare them from the fun facts. Now after being in Spain for the first time I can definitely see that you could make a million documentaries on the country and never get bored. Definitely visit the 16th Century Sevilla Catedral, the largest gothic church in the world, for a dose of history right in front of you. The Giralda tower is worth the climb, you can gaze down at the picturesque narrow streets of Barrio Santa Cruz, my favourite part of the city and spot the Bullfighting Arena.
2. The Alcazar
If you’re staying in Barrio Santa Cruz with its winding streets and tapas bars overflowing with people, the Alcazar is just a short walk away. Book your tickets online in advance to skip the queue and be awed by the gardens and gorgeous interior without having to wait. It was built by Spanish Christian kings in the style of the Moorish architecture that came before. But you’ll probably recognise the stunning gardens as the water gardens of Sunspear, the capital of Dorne in Game of Thrones. I think I squealed way too often as I walked around the gardens of not only an awesome historic site but also a filming location of my favourite show ever, looking just as it did on my TV but with less major character death.
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3. It’s a foodie’s heaven
I can’t even begin to describe how good the food in Seville is. Tapas bars are everywhere, one of my favourites being Bodega Santa Cruz in the heart of Barrio Santa Cruz. If you’re a fan of pork definitely try flamenquines, cheese and ham or pork rolled into a breadcrumb coated, deep fried roll of unhealthy heaven. These are all best washed down with some Spanish beer or tinto de verano and eaten late at night when the tapas bars are pumping.
4. It’s fantastic for your instagram feed
The thing about Seville is it’s just so damn photogenic. The narrow streets of Barrio Santa Cruz, the food pictures to give all your friends back home some serious envy, the greenery of the parks particularly in Spring and Summer and of course, Plaza de España. Built for the Ibero-American Exposition in 1929 it mixes different styles of Spanish architecture to create a beautiful plaza inside Parque de María Luisa which was used in Star Wars Episode II. The only advice I can give you is don’t go on a 37 degree day because you will need around four ice creams to revive yourself afterwards.
5. It’s a gateway to Andalusia
As the capital of Andalusia, Seville is a perfect point to base yourself for visiting some other awesome cities in the region. Granada and it’s jaw dropping Alhambra, the Moorish palace, is a three-hour bus ride away. In the summer months when it’s far too hot in Seville and you need a beach break, Cadiz is about an hour and a half by bus and is the perfect spot to relax by the beach. Even Portugal’s Algarve is only about four hours drive and I cannot recommend stopping off in Lagos highly enough to swim, kayak and party to your heart’s content.