Seville is a city of sunshine and sangria and it is impossible not to be enamoured with the bright blue skies and vibrant character of southern Spain. It is a place deeply immersed in its regional traditions, religious festivals, flamenco and tapas. Relying strongly on tourism, visitors to Seville are invited to experience all that’s on offer, but be warned English is not widely spoken. The winding cobbled streets hide many gems: museums, craft shops and a staggering 700 churches. Follow the obvious tourist routes or grab a map and discover your own Spanish secrets.
Puratasca: This eatery in downtown Triana is satisfying the stomachs of locals and tourists alike. Casual and reasonably priced with favourites like chorizo lollipops and vegetable tempura.
Bar Alfalfa: is the ideal cheese and wine stop. A very cute corner bar with an intimate ambience – for just a few euros you can munch on a plate of Manchego and sip Spanish wine.
Eslava: The best tapas we tasted in Seville. The cafe gets very busy, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. The star dish is without doubt the pork ribs with honey, even meat avoiders can’t resist this mouth-wateringly good recipe.
Egana Oriza: finding fine dining in Andalusia’s evocative capital is something of a battle. Egana Oriza is a rare exception to the rule offering traditional, fine Spanish food. Start the meal with a glass of Cava and enjoy the airy dining room and vibrant flavours.
Dulce Regina: the cities best cookies are found here; for two euros you can pick a flavour of homemade biscuit to nibble as you wander down the cobbled streets peering in the colourful windows.
El Garlochi – a fabulously kitsch bar dedicated entirely to the iconography, smells and sounds of Semana Santa; the ubercamp El Garlochi is a true marvel. A cloud of church incense hits you as you go up the stairs, and the faces of baby Jesus and the Virgin welcome you into the velvet-walled bar. Taste the speciality cocktail, Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ).
Cigarette Factory: opera lovers will have this building at the top of their to do list. The famous site was used in Bizet’s opera Carmen as well as other operatic compositions. The building is now used as the campus for University of Seville… I can’t think of a more amazing place to study everyday!
Museo de Bellas Artes De Sevilla: This giant gallery displays an astounding collection of art. With old masters like Murillo, beautifully restored and hung high on the walls, it is an awe-inspiring experience.
Casa Anselma: When I asked where to see the best Flamenco everyone pointed me in the direction of Casa Anselma, a characterful bar in the borough of Triana which opens every night at 12am for a show of passionate dancing and singing.
Horse and carriage ride: these tours are available to pick up all over Seville, and though touristy are a fantastic way to see the city and rest your feet. Rides can be personalized so it is an opportunity to see the attractions you may have missed. A 45 minute tour will cost you 45 euros.
Parque de Maria Luisa: take a stroll round the paradisical half mile of palms and orange trees, elms and Mediterranean pines, flower beds and romantic sculptures.
Cathedral and Giralda Tower: Built in the 15th century to demonstrate the city’s growing wealth and prestige, Seville’s cathedral is the largest in Europe. Work up an appetite climbing the tower and see the whole city shimmering beneath you.
Delimbo: the concept store attached to this contemporary gallery space sells a range of creative goodies. We loved the thick brightfelt pens and the wacky Modernaked cat rings.
Antonio Garcia: this magnificent and historic shop sells authentic sombreros and jackets for bullfighters and dancers. The atmosphere is worth stopping by for, and if you want an affordable souvenir I’d recommend the gorgeous Spanish leather belts (costing around 20 euros).
Andalusian taste: for all your foodie needs this little shop is the best bet. Buy some irresistible Iberico ham and Manchego cheese to take home as gifts.
Laurel Antigüedades: a lovely little vintage shop selling old silk scarves, ornate hats and retro dresses. I bought a wonderful Toni Benitez fascinator and a simple retro cotton camisole top.
Personalised day trips can be arranged with theotherspain.galeon.com – with an English speaking guide you can see whatever you choose.