The Voyage: 48 Hours in Seville, Spain

October 4, 2017

Seville is the kind of city that will take your breath away. Known the world over for its dramatic Mudéjar architecture, Andalusia’s capital is a popular cultural backdrop, making appearances in operas such as Carmen and movies including Lawrence Of Arabia—and, this month, in our October journal.

Rich in history, the 2,200-year-old city served as the epicenter for the Golden Age of arts and literature and has played host to many a free spirit—including Ferdinand Magellan, whose trip around the globe began in Seville’s port. Today, the city remains as vibrant as ever with a bustling arts scene, can’t-miss flamenco, and tapas we’re still dreaming about.

In short, Seville is well worth a visit. Here are our favorite ways to spend a weekend, from mornings at the cathedral to nights on the town.

Day One

8am: A Walk in the Park
Start your day with some café con leche, then pay a visit to Maria Luisa Park, an expanse of monuments, gardens, duck ponds, and peaceful walking paths that spans the city’s Guadalquivir River. While you’re out, stop by the Alcázar of Seville. Originally developed as a fort in 913, it’s the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe.

2pm: Lunch at Hotel Alfonso XIII
Commissioned by the King of Spain to host international VIPs, this historic hotel has maintained its hot spot status since opening in 1929. Expect top-notch service in an elegant, Andalusian-style courtyard, along with a menu featuring Spanish classics and a comprehensive wine list. Opt for a bottle—with this kind of people watching, you’ll want to stay a while.

4pm: Afternoon Arts
Carve out at least an hour to take in the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville. This favorite for Spanish visual arts includes works from the medieval period through the early 20th century by notable Seville-based artists including Murillo, Valdés Leal, and Zurbarán.

7pm: Sunset Stroll
Catch the sunset on the Triana Bridge, then take a walk through the neighborhood of Triana, a charming nook known for its flamenco dancers and pottery workshops. Architecture buffs will want to swing by the Church of Santa Ana, a 13th-century cathedral known for its distinct Gothic-Mudéjar style.

9pm: Late-Night Tapas
A typical evening in Seville kicks off around 9pm and usually starts with tapas. Check out Ovejas Negras, a go-to for authentic small plates. The table waits may be long, but the patatas bravas and lamb sweetbreads are worth it.

Day Two

8am: Tour the Cathedral
Begin your day with a visit to the jaw-dropping Seville Cathedral, the world’s largest Gothic church. Legend has it that 15th-century Seville authorities set out to shock visitors with the size and opulence of the building, and they didn’t disappoint. While you’re there, get in your cardio by climbing the Giralda, the cathedral’s famous bell tower.

11am: Peruse the Plazas
Take in the city at some of its most bustling gathering spots: Plaza de San Francisco and Plaza del Salvador, both within five minutes by foot. Then walk north to Plaza de la Encarnación, where Metropol Parasol, one of the city’s most prominent landmarks, will greet you. Inspired by the vaults of the Seville Cathedral and the fig trees in Plaza de Cristo de Burgos, the structure’s funky, eye-catching shape has earned it a memorable nickname: “Incarnación’s Mushrooms.”

2pm: Lunch at Uno de Delicias
Come for the stunning décor, stay for the decadent ham croquettes, house-made tortillas, and other Spanish classics. Not that we have to tell you, but don’t forget the sangria—it’s one of their specialties.

5pm: Relax at the Plaza
Instagram alert: as the sun sets, a warm orange glow comes over the bricks of the Plaza de España. Built in 1928, the pavilion has served as a filming location for movies including Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars.

9pm: Dinner with a View
A favorite among locals, Mariatrifulca is known for its impressive eats and views alike. Score a seat on the riverside terrace—or better yet, the rooftop—and begin working your way through the menu of small plates.

11pm: Flamenco!
A trip to Seville isn’t complete without witnessing what the city does best: dancing. Find out firsthand with a visit to any of the town’s many authentic flamenco bars, from the popular La Carbonería to under-the-radar gem Casa Anselma.

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