I’m not entirely sure why we put Seville on our Spain itinerary. I think quite a few blogs talked about spending 2-3 days there so we added it for a difference from the usual big cities we were visiting.
However, after I discovered my Game of Thrones palace mistake, I was grateful we were going to the right palace in Seville – Alcazar.
So really we had no expectations of Seville when we got there. We were staying in a lovely apartment that we had all to ourselves in a pretty dense suburban area that reminded us so much of India that it took us the whole afternoon to get our bearings.
Since we got into the city by noon, we were pretty hungry and set out in search of food. Our host kindly recommended a bunch of options around the neighbourhood but as soon as we took a walk around, we realised we were in the middle of suburbia and with our non-existent Spanish skills, ordering anything would be somewhat of a challenge.
Thankfully, the lovely people on this blog had posted a list and explanation of things you must eat in Seville and I took screenshots of all of it. On our short walk we came across a sandwiches and meat shop and walked in because we were so hungry.
Out came my list and I read through the board and figured out what we wanted. What you must know about ordering in Seville is there’s a method to the madness. To get someone’s attention you shout out your order.
At home we usually wait to get someone’s attention so this was strange for us. I waited patiently for a few minutes until a kind server at the other end yelled chica chica. It took me a minute to figure that he was talking to me and I suddenly remembered I’d read a blog about this so I quickly consulted my list again and practically screamed my order at him. 2 minutes later, we were sitting with beers and the most yummy sandwiches I have ever had. We loved it so much we had seconds and then tried the pringa (sandwich made with leftovers of pork stew).
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the city, taking pictures, soaking in the atmosphere.
Seville is a pretty small city so you can walk everywhere. It has little laneways and a more grungy vibe compared to Madrid and Barcelona but it’s lovely to explore.
I don’t know if it was the feeling of being lost or the strange resemblance to small towns in India (just the hustle and bustle, not anything else), that without really intending to, we fell in love with the city.
On our second day, we headed to the Alcazar (where GoT was actually shot). Short lines, easy ticketing and 10 minutes later we were in. If you visit the Alhambra before Alcazar, you’ll see how strongly the Alcazar is inspired by Alhambra. It’s also only half the size but just as beautiful. We took our time exploring the various rooms, grounds and all the pretty doors.
The Devour blog also talked about an amazing cervesaria close to Alcazar. So come lunch time, we weaved through the lovely small lanes and found ourselves at Bodegas Santa Cruz.
After consulting my trusty list of Seville must-eats, I got into position to shout my order at the staff behind the counter. We had the carrillada (slow cooked cheek – either pork or beef), montaditos (small sandwiches) and Cruzcampo – what Sevillanos will tell you is the world’s best beer.
We continued exploring Seville on foot the rest of the day, stopping to take photos, sitting by the fountain and really just enjoying the weather and day.
Late afternoon, we headed to the top of Las Setas (the mushrooms). Officially known as the Metropol Parasol, this German-designed wood building near La Encarnación Square may look cool but to Sevillanos the aptly-nicknamed Mushrooms are an eyesore.
A short walk from the heart of Seville’s old town is Plaza de España. Built in 1928, Plaza de España now houses government offices. We walked around the plaza, inspecting all the beautiful, ornate mosaic tiles, and just amazed by how beautiful the area was.
Dinner was at a lovely little fusion restaurant. Much like everywhere else we visited in Spain, people pour into the streets, laughing, eating, drinking, chatting and late into the night too. And it’s not just young people. It’s all kinds, families with kids, couples, friends. It’s just amazing to watch.
We left Seville very surprised and very much in love with this city, it’s food and its people. With most other city guides, I’ve talked about visiting the iconic attractions and the food, but in Seville, the attractions were a small part of the story. This city just had a vibe, an energy that made us want to spend more time there – walking, eating and admiring the attractions.
Make a stop in Seville. You won’t regret it.