5 reasons I love Seville

Let’s be straight. The number 1 reason I LOVE Seville, the Andalusian capital in the south of Spain, is because I met the love of my life there.

Seville has all the colors, scents and sounds you expect from a Spanish city.

Seville has all the colors, scents and sounds you expect from a Spanish city.

But apart from that, there are so many more reasons to love this city. With its flamenco, extravagant sunshine and laid-back lifestyle it exemplifies the good life Spain offers. Find here five more things that made me fall in love with this city nearly a decade ago and keeps me coming back again and again.

The Alcázar in Seville

The Alcázar in Seville

(This post is part of my trip to Spain and Portugal earlier this year. If you missed any of the previous posts, click to read about Toledo and Granada, Marbella and Mijas, and Cordoba.)

1. The combination of Islamic and Christian heritage

The Alcázar, an interesting mix of Islamic and Christian architecture

The Alcázar, an interesting mix of Islamic and Christian architecture

Like the rest of Andalusia, Seville has an interesting history of Islamic and Christian occupation, and this has resulted in a mix of architectural styles. I wrote about the several eras in which Seville flourished in an article that was published in the Arab News when I worked there. You can read it here.

2. The artists performing live on the streets at any time of day/night

Musician playing Spanish guitar on the streets of Seville.

Musician playing Spanish guitar on the streets of Seville.

Wherever you go in Seville, music sounds from the houses, patios, as well as from the many street artists that are happy to perform at any time of the day and night. This is a very lively city that sleeps late. As a visitor, but even as a resident, you never know how long it will take you to go from one place to another, because chances are you will be stopped by a band of musicians, a couple dancing flamengo, or another artist performing his act.

3. The hidden patios

Colorful patio in Seville

Colorful patio in Seville

The city’s numerous patios are a popular spot to spend hot afternoons, and once you have been to Seville you will know why. When the sun blazes the streets, these patios stay cool, making a siesta in one of them a heavenly experience. Many patios also contain a jungle of plants, palm trees or abundant flowers.

4. The tapas bars

Tapas bar in Seville

Tapas bar in Seville

When the sun sets, the city comes alive again. Sevillanos like to go out for a bite and a drink, but do so going from one place to another. Not surprisingly, the city is full of tapas bars, ranging from very local and simple places to more fancy bars targeting tourists and the upper class. Many offer a free tapa for every drink ordered, while others sell ‘raciones’ of meat, potatoes, tortilla, etc. for very reasonable prices. Going from one place to another gives you the chance to meet lots of people and walk the lively streets when the city has cooled off a bit.

5. The city keeps renewing itself

Gorgeous view of Seville from the Metropol Parasol.

Gorgeous view of Seville from the Metropol Parasol.

Since we got to know Seville back in 2005 we have returned several times, and every time we are surprised about the changes this city has made. The streets surrounding the Cathedral are now all pedestrian, tram and metro traverse the city , and an enormous building, the Metropol Parasol, now occupies La Encarnación square. While not everyone appreciates the giant mushroom, as it is often referred to, it has become a tourist attraction and offers stunning views of Seville’s numerous churches and other monumental buildings.

La Plaza de España has been renovated completely recently.

La Plaza de España has been renovated completely recently.

So here you have it – five reasons that made me fall in love with Seville. Of course there are many more, and I couldn’t even think of everything. I keep discovering things every time I return to this city of eternal splendor. Here are a few more photos I took last time I paid Seville a visit. Perhaps they can convince you to discover it yourself as well. Just make sure to book ahead, as the city can get very crowded at times, and Seville easily runs out of hotel rooms and furnished apartments.

Gardens of the Alcázar

Gardens of the Alcázar

The Alcázar

The Spanish royal family used this bath in the Alcázar to keep cool during hot summer days.

Seville's Cathedral, built on the site of the Grand Mosque. The mosque's minaret was converted into a bell tower.

Seville’s Cathedral, built on the site of the Grand Mosque. The mosque’s minaret was converted into a bell tower.

Food in Seville

Food in Seville

La Plaza de España

Detail from the Plaza de España

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