When I travel, I overplan. It’s genetic. It comes from a genuine place- I want to see every sight and make the most of my time in any location. But when I went to Sevilla to visit my sister, I knew this time would be a little different. She warned me of the slow service and the molasses-like pace of the city. Where else do they have the siesta- where people literally leave work in the middle of the day to go home and take a nap?! It blew me away. Yet, it forced me to reevaluate and take it all in, which ended up being a gift.
Looking for a stress-relieving trip? Sevilla may just be the remedy to your hectic mind. So sit back and picture a sunny day as I provide some tips and tricks on how to live like a true native when in Sevilla.
Meander through the Alcazar Gardens
These gorgeous gardens lay at the back of the Alcazar. They seem to stretch on forever. Follow the maze or sit on the benches and soak up the sun. Take a whiff of that orange tree smell. Keep an eye out for the peacock roaming about.
Let your imagination run wild and imagine planning military strategies or plotting royal intrigue.
Take a boat cruise down the Guadalquivir River
Let the wind blow through your hair as you lay back on a boat cruise down the river. Admire the riverside restaurants and maybe pick one out for later. Listen to (or ignore) the voice over the intercom point out buildings as you pass. This is the perfect activity for a sunny afternoon with friends.
Take an evening paseo through the Plaza de Espana
The Plaza de Espana is a great place to be at sunset. The last golden rays play off of the yellow and blue tiles in a way that makes the plaza glow. Read about each region of Spain on the specially decorated benches that line the bend. Maybe jump in a boat and lazily row under the grand bridges. Watch as the day turns to night and the lights around the plaza turn on.
Hang around Las Setas
Metropol Parasol, locally know as Las Setas, or the mushrooms, has a market in the mornings and restaurants for the evening. Enjoy a sangria as you watch the shoppers and pedestrians flow by. You can even go up onto las setas for a view of the city from above.
Wander through roman ruins at Italica
Just outside of Seville (easily accessible by bus), you will find the Roman ruins of Italica. Founded about 200 B.C., this was the hometown of two of Rome’s most famous emperors: Trajan and Hadrian. It also holds the best-preserved amphitheater- also one of the empire’s largest. Unfortunately, there is little historical information available to describe the ruins as you walk through, and absolutely none in English. Also, if you go in the heat of summer, remember to bring water as there is very little cover. But if you enjoy walking through ruins and imagining what the longest lasting empire looked like 2,200 years ago, Italica is the attraction for you.
Tapas offer the perfect way to make a meal last for hours. A group of friends laughing around a table can order one small dish at a time. Foods favored in Sevilla are paella, jamon serrano, salmorejo, and of course, anything with jamon (ham). Also enjoy some sangria or wine. They have beer but a restaurant usually only keeps one on tap, a light lager.
Cafe Con Leche
No need to wait until you’re hungry to stop at a cafe. Cafe con leche (or coffee with milk) is served everywhere, all day, every day. Enjoy one at breakfast, recharge in the afternoon, or take one after dinner.
If you can manage the effort, climb the bell tower, or La Giralda, for a spectacular view of the city. Reward yourself after all of those stairs with some gellato or a nutella crepe and more people watching.
Of course, you could fill your day running from church to museum and back to another church. You can always find a way to be busy no matter where you are in the world but in order to truly experience Sevilla, you’ve got to sit back and relax.