Our Winter Escape to Seville

If you look at my previous posts, either here on or on my Instagram account, every January/February I’m complaining about the weather in the north of France. (I’m nothing if not consistent. 🤷🏻‍♀️) Which means that, every January/February, I need to made a relatively-inexpensive escape to the sunshine. This year, we chose southern Spain and the beautiful city of Seville.

Colorful architecture, trees full of bright oranges, and sunny 70 degree weather in January – I mean, what’s not to love?

I’d actually already visited Seville once before, but this was 8 years ago, and I still remember it being one of my favorite cities in Spain. So it was definitely worth another look. And it was just as beautiful as I had remembered.

The Streets of Seville

Although there are some great places to visit in Seville, you could walk the streets without spending a cent and just enjoy the beautiful architecture.

Horses waiting patiently outside of the Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral’s La Giralda, the 12th century former Muslim minaret turned Catholic bell tower. This Muslim/Catholic architectural influence (also known as Mudejar architecture) is apparent all throughout Southern Spain.
Completely in love with these doors in Seville which can lead to hidden courtyards
Torre del Oro, or the “Golden Tower”, built by the Moors to keep unwelcome guests out of Seville

Plaza de España

One of the most stunning sights of Seville is the grand Plaza de España. It was built in the early 20th century for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. We easily spent time here appreciating the architectural details of this beautiful plaza.

There is a little river that goes around the perimeter of the Plaza de España and many rent boats to row around.
So many beautiful details all around the Plaza
A flamenco group performing at the Plaza. The surrounding acoustics made the dancing sound even more dramatic (if that’s even possible).
Birds-eye view of the Plaza

Alcàzar of Seville

Okay, although you can enjoy Seville without spending a cent, one place you absolutely should spend (more than) a cent on is the Alcàzar of Seville. The Royal Alcàzars of Seville is a royal palace built in the 14th century. After the Castilian “Christians” defeated the Moors in Seville, this palace was built on the site of a former residential fortress. The Mudejar architecture (a mixture of European and Islamic styles) are beautifully evident here.

The colorful tile work all over the Alcàzar
I would love to have a door like this in my home
And maybe this one, too
Details of the Ambassadors Hall, originally built as a throne room during the reign of Al-Mu’tamid in the 11th century and later remodeled into its present form by King Peter of Castile in the 14th century
Patio de las Doncellas, or “The Courtyard of the Maidens”, so named for the myth that the Moors demanded an annual tribute of 100 virgins from the “Christian” kingdoms of Iberia
The Baths of Lady Maria de Padilla, the mistress of King Peter of Castile
And now for something a little different – the Palacio Gótico, or “Gothic Palace”, built on the Alcàzar grounds by King Alfonso in the mid-12th century before the Ambassadors Hall was renovated by the later King Peter of Castile.
The Beautiful Gardens of the Alcàzar

Las Setas De Sevilla (or the Metropol Parasol)

Standing in stark contrast to the beautiful Mudejar architecture of the rest of the city, the modern Las Setas De Sevilla sits in the middle of downtown Seville. Completed in 2011 by a German architect, it claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world. As architecture goes, I’m not a big fan, but it is a cool experience to walk about on top as it gives some pretty cool views of Seville.

Sunset from the top

The Food of Seville

Are you still with me? If so, it’s time to talk about the food. One of the best things about Seville is that, compared with other European cities, it is quite inexpensive to eat well. Here are a few of the places we went to, and really enjoyed…

Restaurante Az-Zait

So this restaurant may not technically be “inexpensive”, but if you’re looking for a “special-occasion” restaurant that won’t break the bank, Restaurante Az-Zait is definitely a wonderful experience you won’t forget. For under 40 euros, we had a delicious 6 course chef’s tasting menu. Everything was truly special, from the attentive service to the inventive presentation to the unique flavors. Highly recommend!

Torch Coffee Roasters

Living in Europe, there comes a time where you want to experience a bit of the familiar (in this case for me, a typical California coffee shop). Torch Coffee Roasters fills that itch. They take their coffee very seriously and roast their beans in house. To be honest, I’m sadly not able to drink coffee anymore, but my friends loved it. What I enjoyed was their excellent matcha latte and bacon avocado toast. Hey, you can take the girl out of California, but you can take the California out of the girl…

Bar El Comercio

There is one thing that it is absolutely necessary to experience in Spain, and that is churros. The delicious fried pieces of dough that are served up put those sugary carnival sticks anywhere else to shame. And Bar El Comercio has been doing it right since 1904. Find a table, head over to the bar, place your order and wait until this deliciousness is served up with a side of chocolate.

La Brunilda

You can get tapas anywhere in Seville, but if you want something a little more special than your average tapas place, I highly recommend La Brunilda. If possible, I highly recommend making reservations or coming right at opening, because this place isn’t too big and fills up quickly. Their tapas dishes are quite generous and once again, very inventive. This was probably our favorite tapas experience in Seville (and we were eating tapas at almost every meal!).

Until next time,

S

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