48 Hours in Seville
Morning: Giant mushrooms & traditional breakfast
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Head to La Encarnación square in Seville’s old quarter, where you’ll find the Metropol Parasol, the world’s largest wooden structure, which is shaped like a series of gigantic mushrooms. Take the lift to the top of the honeycombed roof and walk over a winding walkway that offers stunning views of the city.
Once you’ve got an idea of the lay of the land, walk down the pedestrianised Calle Regina and order a traditional Sevillian breakfast of pan con tomate (tomato and Serrano ham on olive-drenched bread) at La Cacharreria, a hip desayunos spot.
Afternoon: Andalucían cuisine & flamenco
Image via Bares de Andalucia
After breakfast, make your way down the orange tree-lined streets towards the Flamenco Dance Museum, stopping off along the way to peek inside any richly decorated churches that take your fancy. The museum offers a fascinating insight into the world of flamenco, an important facet of Andalucían culture. Life-sized screens portray the evolution of the art form, from the earliest days when gypsies danced for pleasure on the streets, through the late night café cantantes (café singers) period, to the professional theatre performances of modern-day maestros.
Discuss your favourite palos (flamenco styles) over a selection of delicious tapas at El Rinconcillo. Opened in 1670 by the De Rueda family (who still run the tavern) this lively establishment, with its Arabic brick walls and ceramic tiles, is the oldest bar in Seville. Find a standing spot among the locals at the mahogany bar to dine on typical Andalucían-Mozarabic cuisine such as pringá croquetas (local pork stew croquettes), espinacas con garbanzos (wilted spinach and chickpeas spiced with turmeric and cumin) and carrillada de cerdo (succulent pork cheeks simmered in red wine).
Evening: Hip tapas in La Alameda
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Drop back in at the Flamenco Dance Museum to catch a live show (included in some ticket options) and then head to Seville’s trendy La Alameda district for an itinerant evening of cheerful drinks and tasty food. Start at Café Red House, where vintage local artists and a creative use of vintage furniture have turned an old industrial building into a hipster paradise of coffee, craft beer and cheap cocktails. Mano de Santo offers an unrivalled selection of mezcal-based long drinks, Bar Jota serves countless glasses of Cruzcampo beer each night, while Bulebar is renowned for its excellent sangria.
Food-wise, you can’t go wrong with the salmón ahumado al vodka (smoked salmon cured with vodka and beetroot) at the sleek No Kitchen, the carbon de bacalao (salt cod with squid ink) at Bar Antojo or the tartar de atún (tuna tartar with aioli) at the market kitchen Al Ajibe.
Morning: Fine art and churros
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Grab a cup of chocolate sauce and a plate of fresh churros from Bar El Comercio, a popular institution founded in 1904 to feed travelling businessman. Head to Arenal Market to people-watch and pick up a present for someone back home, then browse beautiful paintings by the likes of Leal, Murillo, Goya, Veláquez and “El Greco” at the Museum of Fine Arts Seville. Look out for the scary cherubs in the early, heavily religious work, but don’t miss Rafael Senet’s captivating portrait of a fisherwoman or Gonzalo Martinez’s evocative depiction of a long Sevillian summer night.
Afternoon: Lunch and landmarks
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Spend a slow afternoon dining al fresco at the wonderful Bodega Dos de Mayo. Pair crunchy anchoas en adobo (pickled anchovies fried in batter) with juicy and creamy ensalada de tomate y queso de cabra (tomato and goat cheese salad).
When the food has settled, make your way into the historic centre at a leisurely pace. Observe the Gothic Seville Cathedral, the largest in the world, and the Moorish Alcázar royal palace before taking a tour of the 12,000-seater circular Bullring, site of the famous, some would say gruesome, Seville Fair Easter bullfighting festival.
Evening: Crossing the river to Triana
Image via Culture Trip
Ride a horse-drawn carriage around the grand boulevards of Maria Luisa Park and hire a rowing boat in the canal at the Plaza de España. Numerous bridges run over the moat, embodying the four ancient kingdoms of Spain, while brilliant azulejos (painted ceramic tiles) alcoves run around the brick building’s semi-circular façade, representing each of the nation’s 48 provinces.
Stop off for one final tapas stop at the fabulous Bodeguita Casablanca, where langostinos béchamel (king prawn croquettes) and matrimonio (a marriage of fresh white and brown preserved anchovies on toast) are served within view of the cathedral’s iconic Giralda bell tower.
If you’ve got the legs for it, cross the Guadalquivir River to the soulful Triana neighbourhood that once housed Seville’s sailors, gypsies potters, flamenco dancers and bullfighters. Along the riverside Calle Betis, late bars such as Lo Nuestro, La Taberna and El Rejoneo often feature live flamenco music. Sip wine on the sidelines, or throw yourself into the action, as the Trianeros spontaneously erupt into dance.