my not-so touristy weekend in seville, spain

Updated: May 31, 2019

I must admit that I was a pretty bad tourist this past weekend in Seville, Spain. I had received many recommendations for things to do, but it was so hot and all I really felt like doing was eating/drinking in shaded/misted areas, so that's what I did!

Below you'll find a list of my top restaurant/bar choices, accommodation suggestions and some recommendations for things to do (most of which I didn't actually do).

My Favorites Places to Dine/Drink:

You really can’t go wrong just about anywhere in Seville. The small city a goldmine for foodies. I ate at many more places that I've listed, but the ones below were my favorites. I didn't eat meals so much as I grazed. I tried to limit myself to about two dishes at each place that I frequented so that I didn't fill up.

As for drinks, the verdejo, albarino and white rioja just about everywhere was divine. I did try sherry, as it's my namesake, but it was not something I'll consuming again anytime soon. Don't let the smile on my face in the photo below fool you. Sherry is not for everyone.

My absolute favorite meal was at a place called El Pinton which I'd previously been told about. Inside was an Adalusian-style courtyard (reminded me a bit of Cuba). Outside was covered by a tarp, an awning and had misting sprayers overhead. The service was great. The food was a modern twist on tapas, with pretty large portions (so don't over order). The squid linguine was particularly memorable.

El Rinconcillo, Seville's most ancient bar has been serving homestyle tapas dishes since 1670, before tapas were even a thing. It was cozy and we had to stand, but it was great!

Go to EME Catedral Hotel's 4th floor roof terrace if you want to sip expensive cocktails whilst overlooking the cathedral.

Stay:

I would suggest staying where I stayed, at Hotel Fernando III. It was located in the old town and was a close walk to everything. It was pretty inexpensive, but still clean and modern. There was a rooftop pool/bar that came in handy during siesta time (roughly 3:00-5:00 pm). I also stumbled across Hotel Alcazar, which looked very boutique-y and really nice. Since I didn't stay there, I can't vouch for the rooms, but it was also very centrally located and I'd probably give it a go next time.

Tourist Attractions:

Cathedral and Giralda Bell Tower:

I didn't have a whole lot of interest in a hot cathedral nor a hike up a tower in the heat, so I only saw this from the outside. However, I was told to go when it opened to try to avoid the masses. Tickets could be purchased online (for faster entrance), but were also available at the door. Views from the top of the tower were meant to be stunning. The tower was 30 levels up - no stairs but a constant incline.

The Royal Alcazar:

I didn’t listen to the advice of my friend and buy tickets in advance, which was a massive failure. I would have really liked to have visited, but the line was way too long and the wait was in direct sunlight, so I decided to give this a miss, but here’s what I know, based on the recommendations I received: Buy your tickets online ahead of time (€11.50) to bypass the giant queue outside. You don't have to print them; bar codes can be scanned on your phone. If you love gardens and water features, this is for you.

Plaza de Espana:

This was about a 15-20 minute walk from the old town, through the Murillo Gardens. I went nice and early in the morning to avoid the heat and the people. Around 9:30 am the tourist groups started piling in. It was free to enter and open 24/7. The beautiful open monument had a tile facade for each of Spain's major cities. Lovely architecture and definitely worth a visit!

The Bull Ring:

I did not go to this; I had no real interest. But if you do, I believe the tickets are around €9 and I think you are required to do a guided tour.

The River:

The river is a lovely walk and view, but there was very little to actually do there.

Flamenco: I went to La Carboneria for a less touristy/more authentic, easygoing flamenco experience. The venue was located several hundred feet from my hotel, which was handy. The drinks were nothing to write home about, but were inexpensive and the atmosphere was buzzing. I think it opened at 10:30pm and shows started around every 30-minutes.


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