Seville is one of the best known and loved Spanish cities around the world. It is the capital of Andalusia, a region located to the southwest of Spain. Seville is located just 20 meters above the sea level and on the banks of the Guadalquivir River.
It has 688,711 inhabitants, making it the most populated city in Andalusia and the fourth in Spain after Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. Seville is also one of the largest shopping and artistic centers in southern region of Spain.
Seville’s climate is Mediterranean, with ocean influences. It varies through the year.
The average annual temperature in Seville is 18.6C, which makes this city one of the warmest in Europe. Winters are mild in Seville and January is considered to be the coldest month of the year. On the other hand, summers are very hot.
Nowadays, Seville is the main economic, industrial, commercial, financial, artistic, cultural and social center of southern Spain, and one of the most important in southern Europe.
In terms of economic development, Seville is an important industrial center of new technologies.
Another attraction that Seville offers is its exquisite food, being the tapas one of the most typical. These are a type of miniature meals that you can get everywhere. Their small sizes allows you to taste many of them with a great diversity of flavors.
Seville is a very ancient city and is full of history and cultural diversity. Throughout the years the city has been influenced by many other ancient civilizations such as Tartesios, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Muslims.
Although, each and every one of these civilizations left their own influences on the life, development, culture, architecture and many other aspects of Sevillians, Muslim architectural influence is the most striking, as it was occupied by the Moors for about 800 years.
This heritage and culture, together with the great amount of monuments, squares, gardens, churches and many other attractions, have made this city one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Seville is known to preserve the largest historic-artistic center in Europe. Through its historic center you can enjoy the view of many different styles such as Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassicism and Romanticism.
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Without further delay, let’s review some of the best things to do in Seville:
1. Plaza de España
This square is a colossal open space surrounded by a semicircular building of regionalist style. It has an area of 50,000 square meters. It is one of the most spectacular sights of the Spanish panorama with a mix of Mudejar, Gothic and Renaissance styles.
Its construction began in 1914 by the architect Anibal Gonzalez and was completed in 1928 by architect Vicente Traver. The semicircular shape of the building symbolizes the embrace of Spain to its former colonies. The building was also built facing the river, showing the path towards America.
There is also a canal which is crossed by four bridges that represent the four ancient crowns of Spain: Castilla, Leon, Aragon and Navarra.
2. Seville’s Cathedral
Declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1987, this is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and the third of the world’s largest religious centers. Its construction began in 1433 on the site that remained after the demolition of an old Aljama Mosque in Seville.
This spectacular cathedral is mostly gothic in style, but over the centuries, other constructions and decorations have been added.
For this reason, the cathedral has several types of architecture: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Academic and Neo-Gothic. The monumental complex of the cathedral is complemented by the Giralda, The Patio de los Naranjos and the Royal Chapel.
3. La Giralda
La Giralda is the name given to the bell tower of Seville’s Cathedral. It is consider an emblem of the city of Seville. With its 104 meters of height, this is the most representative tower in the city. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy the most spectacular views!
La Giralda is composed of 25 bells and each one has its own name. Its has a square central base and is surrounded by four external walls among which are the climbing ramps. On the way to the top you can find many archeological exhibitions.
Due to the large size of the tower, instead of using stairs, it was decided to build ramps, which allowed easier access to the top by horse. At its peak there is a ball called the tinaja.
On top of it lies the Giraldino, which is a bronze statue that serves as a weathervane and is the largest bronze sculpture of the European Renaissance.
4. Maria Luisa Park
This Is the most famous park in the city of Seville. It has a botanical garden which has wide variety of trees, flowering plants and many other unique species from around the world. The Maria Luisa Park also has artificial lakes, fountains and roundabouts decorated with picturesque Sevillian tiles.
At the beginning, this park was part of the gardens of the Palace of San Telmo, which belonged to the Dukes of Montpensier, but later in 1893 it was donated to the city by the Duchess Maria Luisa Fernanda of Orleans.
After several renovations, it was opened to the public on April 18, 1914. Later on, the Square of Spain and the Square of America were added to the park. Nowadays these two squares constitute some of the park’s main attractions.
Maria Luisa Park is the perfect place to spend a time of relaxation or to take a romantic walk enjoying its spectacular views.
5. Torre del Oro
Located on the left bank of the Guadalquivir River and next to the building of The Real Maestranza is the Torre del Oro. In the past, it served as a military watchtower in order to control the access to Seville through the waters of the river. Its name refers to a golden glow that it reflects on the waters of the river.
This is an Albarrana style tower and is made up of three stories. The first two stories have dodecagonal shapes and the last one is cylindrical and has a dome on top. It also served as a prison during the Middle Ages.
Currently, the tower houses the Naval Museum of Seville.
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6. Mushrooms of the Incarnation
Also known as Metropol Parasol or as the Mushrooms of Seville, these are modern wooden structures with concrete columns located in the Plaza de la Encarnacion or the Incarnation Square. The construction is relatively modern, it was finished in 2011.
The Metropol Parasol is the largest wooden structure in the world. Its construction was carried out with the aim of renewing the Incarnation Square. It was design by the German architect Jurgen Mayer.
The monument offers magnificent tours through its five stories with stops at the Mirador, the market and the Antiquarium or Archeological Museum. The tour concludes with a delicious tasting of a glass of the typical Andalusian sweet wine.
7. Isabel II Bridge
This bridge is also known as the Triana Bridge. It is a beautiful bridge which consists of three arches built of iron and stone. The bridge crosses over the Guadalquivir River joining the city of Seville to the neighborhood of Triana,
It was built between 1845 and 1852 by French engineers Gustavo Steinacher and Ferdinand Bennetot.
The bridge was declared a National Historic Monument on April 13, 1976. Its fantastic architecture stands out over the river, allowing us to enjoy one of the most marvellous views of Seville.
8. Royal Cavalry Mastery Bullring
Its Baroque-style construction began in 1749 and ended in 1881. It is one of the oldest bullfighting venues in Spain and belongs to the Royal Cavalry Mastery. It is the major site of bullfighting in the city. It is considered one of the most popular tourist attraction centers of Seville and stands among the most visited monuments.
The bullring has a capacity for 12,500 people and houses the Taurine Museum and the Toreros Chapel. The most important bullfights are held at the Fair in April and the Fair of Saint Michael in September.
9. Seville Museum of Fine Arts
Originally the building, which was built in 1594, used to house the Convent of the Order of Mercy. The museum was established later on, in 1839. It contains an art collection which ranges from the Medieval Period to the 20th Century.
In this museum you can admire exquisite pieces of art belonging to celebrities such as Murillo, Zurbaran, Valdes Leal and other representatives belonging to the School of Seville. Due to the majesty and quality of its art pieces, the museum of Fine Arts is considered the second best gallery in Spain.
10. Flamenco Dance Museum
Flamenco, the renowned and famous dance that characterizes Andalusia. Its popularity goes beyond limits! A trip to this region of Spain will never be complete without a visit to the Flamenco Dance Museum. Everyone will be enchanted with this tour.
This tour will guide you through the origins, history and evolution of this dance. They also offer live shows performed by many artists which are considered to be the best talents of Seville.
A visit to this museum is a must and it will help everyone to understand the Andalusian cultural identity.