Sevilla, to the rhythm of Flamenco
There are two weathers in Sevilla. Nice, and unbearable. For some odd reason the city decided that the most important event in the city would take place during that unbearable period, where humidity and heat take over and one must dress to impress (and suffer). For that reason, I not only went to the Feria de Abril in May but also in December, to enjoy a nicer weather (12-17 degrees celsius).
The Feria was beautiful. Don't get me wrong - I have no objections besides weather. But then again, this blog would not reflect my reality if I didn't have complaints here and there. The event takes place usually two weeks after Easter (also a big big holiday in Seville). It is a moment where the whole city moves towards a specific area designed to host all Sevillanos and Sevillanas for a days and nights full of dancing, eating and drinking. More tips below!
The city during the months of November and December however, is different. It is more calm, the weather is great to walk around and enjoy the different museums, restaurants and small gorgeous streets all around the city. Walking by the river, or even kayaking are possible, so if you want to escape the winter for more friendly weather, visit Sevilla.
Word of advice: Do Not Eat The Oranges From The Trees
The orange trees were brought to Sevilla long ago by the Chinese, and then the Muslims who controlled the area for some time were the ones that made the orange trees a significant feature of the landscape in cities of Andalucía. These oranges are not particularly edible, since they are very bitter, and therefore only used to produce jams and marmalades. Sevilla is the city with more orange trees in the world, and also the greater exporter of the product to places like England, because they love this kind of jam with their toast (for some odd reason).
Places to See:
Feria de Abril: If you want to visit the city at one of its finest moments (again, not weatherwise), come to the Feria. The city looks beautiful as do the blooming trees. A few things of advice however, the space where the Feria is located is not very close to the city center, so explore well where to stay beforehand. Taxis and Ubers during this time are scarce, and since its humid, walking is not the most pleasant thing to do for an extended period of time. The other thing you must do is dress well. Sevillanos are KNOWN for their amazing style and they go all out during this time of year. Men: Wear business casual clothes and good shoes. Women: Browse Instagram or look at this kind of articles. The different Casetas are for each of the neighborhoods, and unless you know a local you will not be allowed in, so try to get to know someone, even if its the friend of your distant ex-girlfriend's brother-in-law. There are public casetas which you can access, but it's much more fun when you are in a local caseta.
Setas de Sevilla: Located in the Plaza de la Encarnación, this structure is also known as the Mushrooms of the Incarnation as it consists of six large mushrooms. The Setas are completely made out of wood, and have two elevators that can be used to access a wonderful viewpoint. There is a market which you can access on the bottom floor, and some restaurants around the plaza.
Plaza de España: Built in 1929, it receives thousands of tourists per year. The building has a bench for each of the Provinces of Spain, however it is missing two (there should be 50). Many movies have been filmed here and you can sit around for some time enjoying the different Azulejos and art pieces in the Plaza.
Real Alcazar: The building went through many reconstructions, and got taken over by the Arabs in 713. One of the Palaces was built during the same time as the Alhambra of Granada and therefore has some resemblance. After that, when Sevilla was taken back by the Spanish, more Palaces and spaces were built. Also, Game of Thrones was filmed here, sooooo VISIT IT! I recommend you buy tickets online so that the entrance line is shorter.
Catedral de Sevilla & La Giralda: This Gothic Cathedral was completed at the beginning of the 16th century. As many Cathedrals in the south of Spain, this one is built over a mosque. One of the highlights is the bell tower called the Giralda which holds the tomb of Christopher Columbus and a beautiful altar in the Capilla Mayor. The Cathedral's exit is one of the only remaining elements from the original mosque, called the Puerta del Perdón. In Lonely Planet you can find more information on the architecture.
Guadalquivir River: If you're into running, you should check out this post. You should also note that this river has a great view from both sides, and it's nice for an afternoon stroll. On the southern part, make sure to visit any of the bars/tapas places where you can sit by the river and see the sunset. You can also rent some kayaks and get in the water!
Things to Do:
Flamenco Show: You are in Sevilla, you are in the south of Spain... Not seeing a Flamenco show (streets show don't count), is like not listening to Fado in Lisbon. You MUST go to a show, and see the passion, in the music and dancing. If you want to learn more of its history, read this article. A great place I recommend out of personal experience is Tablao El Arenal, but you can find many other options!
Go Tapas Bar Hopping: There are many many tapas bars in Seville, as everywhere in Spain obviously... And many you will find near the Cathedral. I recommend you follow the groups.