PHOTO: The Real Alcazar in Seville (Photo via Facebook)
As the capital of Andalucía, Seville is a bustling port city whose historic squares and streets pay homage to its Moorish heritage, which combines Christian, Islamic and Jewish influences in a stunning display of architecture and culture.
Such iconic Spanish cultural traditions as flamenco dancing, bullfighting and the afternoon siesta are part of everyday living, and visitors to this romantic city will soon find themselves thinking, “When in Spain, do as the Sevillanos do.”
Travel Impressions is making it even easier to visit this fabled ciy with two specials, including four nights at the H10 Corregidor Boutique Hotel starting as low as $333/person. Travelers may also choose to stay four nights at the luxury Hotel Alfonso XIII, starting at $642 per person. This property, which opened in 1928, was built by King Alfonso XIII to provide his guests with the world’s most luxurious hotel. (Both stays include complimentary breakfast.)
Here are seven things to get you off on the right foot in Seville.
Real Alcazar: This striking palace was built in the 7th century but has sections that date back to the Middle Ages and exemplifies architectural styles from Baroque to Gothic. Known for an architectural design that combines Muslim and Christian artistry, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-see.
Catedral de Sevilla and La Giralda: The cathedral is the largest Gothic building in Europe and with 40 chapels is more than worthy of a visit. La Giralda, the tallest landmark in the city, is one of the few remaining structures from the original mosque that was torn down in 1402.
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Plaza de Espana. No visitor to the city should miss a stroll along the Plaza de Espana, which was built for the city’s Ibero-American Expo at the 1929 World’s Fair. Offering what is undoubtedly the best panoramas in the city, the Plaza has been the backdrop to many movies including Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.
Take in a Flamenco show: Don’t let a visit to Seville go by without taking in a flamenco show. La Carboneria is a favorite spot among locals to catch a show, whether it’s in the intimate area with its piano and fireplaces or the larger area with picnic tables and stages.
Barrio Santa Cruz: Quaint doesn’t begin to describe this 15th-century neighborhood, replete with delightful restaurants, lovely orange-tree filled gardens and squares and charming shops. Designed with the heat in mind, this neighborhood’s shady streets make it the perfect escape on a hot summer day.
Metropol Parasol: Take a stroll over to what the locals call “las setas” or “the mushrooms” and explore what is known to be the largest wooden structure in the world. Built in 2011, today it serves as home to a farmers market, archeological museum and a restaurant as well as an open-air public square. Spend $4 and take the elevator to the top and enjoy a stroll after having a complimentary drink at the Sevilla Gastropol.
Museo de Bellas Artes: This former convent dates back to the 17th-century and today is home to an impressive collection of art dating from the Middle Ages through present day, showcasing the works of Spain’s most notable artists including Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and Francisco de Zurbarán.