Lives in Madrid, Spain
Since Oct. 2010
25-34 year old female
I've lived in Spain for over seven years and pretty much visited every corner of the country. I've traveled to each of the nation's 17 different autonomous communities, and written about them along the way. Though I consider myself an expert on all things Spanish, I'm particularly passionate about anything related to the country's gastronomy.
Castles, History Museums, Gardens
Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Monuments & Statues, Lookouts
Observation Decks & Towers, Architectural Buildings
Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods
Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Educational sites, Historic Sites
Performances, Speciality Museums
Flea & Street Markets
Architectural Buildings, Art Museums
Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Sacred & Religious Sites
If you can't make it to Granada's Alhambra, Sevilla's Alcazar should definitely do the trick. It's a paradise of Mudejar architecture and tranquil palm-tree- and fountain-filled gardens. It also gains modern-day fame having served as a set for the hit TV series Game of Thrones.
Apart from having the distinction of being the third-largest church in the world, the Seville Cathedral is also home to what is believed to be the remains of Christopher Columbus. Go there to check out the showy catafalque dedicated to the explorer, or simply to appreciate the cathedral's grand size and notable Gothic style.
For the most classic view of Seville, you'll want to scale its most famous tower, the Giralda, which was originally built as a minaret in the 1100s. It's a tiring climb to the top, but the wide ramps instead of stairs make the journey a little more doable, and all the more worthwhile.
Plan to inevitably get lost in this neighborhood that is so emblematic of Seville. Formerly the city's Jewish quarter, Santa Cruz is a tangle of streets filled with yellow- and tile-trimmed buildings and dotted by tiny, orange-blossom-tree-shaded plazas.
Escape Seville's cluster of streets by heading due south to the expansive Maria Luisa Park. This botanical garden is a paradise of plants, paths, birds, fountains, monuments, and giant, shade-providing trees. It's literally a breath of fresh air in the sometimes-stifling city heat.
Created for the Ibero-American exposition in 1929, Plaza de España is the place to go to see Seville tile and ceramic goodness in all its glory. That's because the canal-cut and bridge-crossed plaza is bedecked in the vibrantly hued, locally made handiwork. Take special note of the scenes depicted along the square's perimeter, which represent provinces from across the country (hence the name "Spain Plaza").
Have you ever heard of the opera Carmen? It was inspired by the city's former Royal Tobacco Factory, which once had a women-based workforce and resided in what is now the University of Seville. Visit the school's campus to check out the architecture, reminisce about the musical, or just to enjoy the academic atmosphere. And the best part: it's free to enter.
It is believed that flamenco originated in Seville, so naturally there's no better place to get acquainted with it than here at the city's museum dedicated to the soulful art form. Its four floors reveal the history of flamenco via artifacts, exhibitions, classes and particularly via the shows.
Cross over the Guadalquivir River to one of the city's less touristy neighborhoods, Triana. This barrio, known for its eclectic mix of residents and for producing the city's famous tiles, is home to Mercado de Triana. Built atop the ruins of San Jorge Castle, the market is where you'll want to discover local gastronomy, including fresh produce, fish, meat and cheese.
Seville's Museum of Fine Arts is lauded as having one of the best art collections in Spain outside of the capital. With a reputation like that, expect to find its galleries filled with works by Spanish greats, including Murillo, Zurburán and El Greco, among other artwork and artifacts such as ceramics and furniture.
Love them or hate them, the Setas of Seville (as they are more affectionately called) have become an iconic image of the city. Scope them out from afar, or see them from up top — not a bad plan considering that entrance is rather inexpensive and even comes with a free drink.
Though the giant cathedral gets a lot of attention, it's the Basilica Macarena that truly captures Sevillanos' hearts. That's because it's home to the statue of Macarena the Virgin of Hope, the patron saint of bullfighters, and the most beloved representation of Mary in these parts. Come the city's legendary Semana Santa, the Virgin is famously escorted through the streets for the holy processions.