European City Breaks: Seville

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Known for its warm climate, unbeatable tapas and beautiful buildings, Seville is one of the largest cities in Spain and offers a whole host of attractions for those looking for an unforgettable break.

The epitome of all things Andalucían, Seville is steeped in the traditions of Southern Spain, which is not just limited to flamenco and bullfighting. It has something to suit everyone, hosting everything from religious festivals –like the elaborate Holy Week – to bustling nightlife and bars.

San Pablo airport is a little out of the way, lying 6 miles north of the city. To save yourself the complications of public transport and to give yourself the convenience of a personal car, you can book a car in advance from easyCar. But first, let’s see what Seville has to offer:

Seville_city_centre

Background

Seville is the fourth largest city in Spain and has always been a place of cultural importance, as the Moorish empire’s one-time capital and a port for exploratory expeditions to the New World in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Renaissance, Baroque, Roman and Moorish architecture spread throughout the city are testament to its rich and varied history. The grand Quadalquivir river also runs through the city, and on its eastern bank you’ll find the Seville Cathedral, a Unesco World Heritage Site, and what remains of the city walls, part Roman and part Moor.

There’s plenty that’s modern about the city though. In 2011 German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann completed a giant wooden structure called the Metropol Parasol, formed of six mushroom-like structures which visitors can explore – and catch the spectacular views of Seville from its highest levels.

Top 5 Things To Do

1. Seville Cathedral

As the largest of its kind in the world, this Roman Catholic cathedral really must be seen to be believed. According to local legend, clerics declared before its construction, “Let us build a church so beautiful and so grand that those who see it finished will think we are mad”. The huge, ornately decorated structure includes over thirty chapels and its dazzling altar screen is covered with almost 8,000 lbs of gold. Be sure to also see the Giralda Tower, the bell tower of the cathedral and the city’s most celebrated landmark – it predates the cathedral as the minaret of the original mosque that occupied the site in 1184.

2. Alcázar of Seville

The Alcázar was once a Moorish fort, and is now a beautiful royal palace and the oldest of its kind still in use in Europe. All kinds of architectural styles abound, from Mudejar to Gothic to Baroque as throughout the years different monarchs have contributed to the building. Make sure you explore the many courtyards and halls, and also the royal gardens, full of lush fauna, fountains and grottos. ‘Game of Thrones’ fans take note, too: the palace is due to feature in the show’s next season.

Alcazar_of_Seville3. Plaza de España

While still relatively young compared to a lot of Seville’s landmarks, the almost 500,000 square foot Plaza de España, constructed in 1928, is still quite a marvel. It was built specifically to host the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, a gigantic world fair that hosted 18 different counties; the plaza was designed to show off Spanish prosperity and culture. Today the buildings within the pavilion are mostly government occupied, though many host museums and various archaeological collections. The plaza itself is a beautiful location to even just sit and soak up some sunshine as you enjoy the spectacular view.

4. Palace of the Countess of Lebrija

A fascinating place in itself – and well worth the money at 5€ for entry – the Lebrija Palace is found in the bustling city center of Seville. Just over100 years ago the Countess of Lebrija converted the building from a little 16th century palace, owned by various noblemen and women in its time, into a home for her vast selection of precious relics. Now a museum, it’s full of exquisite Greco-Roman and Arabic artifacts, among other pieces of art and sculpture.

5. La Casa del Flamenco

For a little slice of traditional Andalucía, seeing flamenco is a must. The intimate Casa del Flamenco hosts professional and passionate performances every night, with audience seating close around the stage to really connect onlookers to the experience. Be sure to show up early to nab a front row seat.

With so much to see and do, you’ll want to cut your travel time as much as possible by renting a car for the period that you’re there. To avoid the stress of trying to find a rental car when you arrive in Seville, book your car today and you’ll be able to pick it up when you arrive.

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