A Little History of Seville
The city of Seville dates to the 2nd century B.C. when it was an Iberian town. It was not until the year 711 A.D. that the city really flourished under the Muslim people. Today visitors can see many aspects of Muslim architecture within the older buildings. In 1248, the Muslims lost their power to Spanish Christians, and many of the Moorish and Jewish people were driven out of Seville. During Ferdinand III’s rule, Seville’s economy fell, and it was not until 1503 and the discovery of the Americas that trade started bringing more wealth to the area. The city would go through many ups and downs in the next hundred years, but today the city is back to being a prosperous tourist destination. Visitors can still find and experience so much history at each corner of the city. Below are some of the top things to do in Seville, Spain today.
Top Things to Do in Seville
The Seville Alcazar
The Real Alcazar of Seville, Spain was first constructed in the 11th century as a Muslim fortress to protect the city. In 1248, much of it was changed to fit the new Christian monarch’s style and beliefs. Today, visitors can witness remnants of Islamic, Gothic, Romanesque, and Renaissance elements. Those visiting will need a few hours to walk through each of the rooms and the massive gardens of the estate.
Seville Cathedral and La Giralda Tower
The Seville Cathedral is the fourth largest church in the world and is known for the resting place of Christopher Columbus. Construction was started in 1401 and was not finished until the 16th century. Today, visitors can explore the intricate details of the interior and exterior of the Gothic cathedral. Walking up to the top of the Giralda, which is the bell tower that stands over 340 feet heigh, should absolutely be on your must-see list. From the observation deck, visitors can get a 360 degree view of the city. It is one of the best ways to soak it all in at once.
Plaza de España
This plaza is within the Maria Luisa Park and was the focal point of the Ibero-America Exposition in 1929. It was designed by the architect Anibal Gonzalez and construction was started in 1914. Star Wars fans might recognize it as one of the settings in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Today, it is a great place for visitors to stroll around or grab a romantic gondola ride in the small pond at the front of the structure.
Barrio Santa Cruz Neighborhood
Once the Jewish Quarters, Santa Cruz is known as the oldest neighborhood in Seville. The small cobblestone streets are now home to many shops and restaurants. Visitors can get lost in the maze of narrow streets or plop down at one of the local restaurants to enjoy tapas, drinks, and people watching.
Experience a Flamenco Show
When visiting Andalusia, guests do not want to miss a traditional Flamenco show. These shows combine culture, costume, dance, and music. What more could you ask for?
Maria Luisa Park
Originally the gardens of the Palace of San Telmo, the park was donated to the public in 1893. Today, guests can stroll around in the park to view some of the monuments or people watch in one of the small cafes.
What are the Best Seville Tours with City Experience?
Seville Tapas, Taverns, and History Tour
The Seville Tapas, Taverns, and History Tour takes guests throughout the city tasting some of the best tapas from the bars that the locals frequent. On this tour, guests will taste more than ten bites and five drinks from four different restaurants. As the Seville tour guide takes you through the old city, they will talk about the history of the buildings and locations. Guests will learn about the Seville Cathedral and other historical spots around the neighborhood. Some of the food served will include traditional tapas like Manchego cheese, montaditos, pork belly, Spanish olives, plus a few surprises. The drinks will also be traditional liquors to Andalusia, like vermouth and manzanilla sherry. This tour is great for those wanting to experience the Spanish food and learn about the local history.
Seville Tapas and Flamenco Tour
The Seville Tapas and Flamenco Tour has guests learning about the Spanish culture while also getting a taste of the traditional Spanish food. The tour starts off with meeting your personal tour guide at an abaceria, which is part shop and part bar. Here guests will have a taste of some of Spain’s cured meats and their famous sweet vermouth. After, the Seville tour will head to one of the oldest bars in the city, dating back almost 150 years, and try the famous Iberian ham. Also at this bar, the tour guide will share the history of flamenco. The next stop is to the 15th century building where guests will witness an authentic flamenco show. Last, the Seville tour will stop off in one last place for a sit-down meal to eat Spanish tapas and discuss the flamenco show. This tour is a fantastic way to learn about the culture, food, and art of Spain.
Tastes, Tapas, and Traditions of Seville Food Tour
Those foodies wanting a bit more variety on their tour will enjoy the Tastes, Tapas, and Traditions of Seville Food Tour. This Seville food tour will have a local guide taking guests to seven different bars and restaurants and trying over eight different foods. Guests will be able to shop like a local as they explore a Seville food market and taste some of the local produce. In addition, guests will try Iberian ham, deep-fried churros, bakery delights, fried dogfish, and many other traditional Spanish food. The local tour guide will share some history about Seville and its Moorish architecture as the tour travels throughout the city.
How Many Days Does It Take to Visit Seville?
To see everything that Seville has to offer, visitors are going to want to experience the city for a few days. A long weekend of three to four days is perfect in this city. Guests can stay in the center of the old city and walk to many of the main attractions.