Picture a city where you feel at home the second that you arrive. Where pedestrianised streets turn into bustling plazas and the very purpose of your day is constructed around what you are going to eat and drink next. Welcome to Seville, a city where each corner is lined with a sleek row of orange trees; a subtle beauty compared to the architectural grandeur of the Catedral de Sevilla and the elegant Plaza de Espana.
Here, the conversation never stops and a drink with friends is accompanied by a slow trickle of tapas plates, before the sit-down meal later in the evening. Start your day with a strong coffee, with a few crispy churros and a side of chocolate for dipping; finish with a glass of tart Rioja. It’s a different pace of life here in Seville. A man strums on his guitar by an open balcony serenading the narrow street below and a group of children play football in a courtyard, darting in between those dining outside the tapas bars. Later in the evening a couple sketch the cathedral under the yellow glow of a lampshade and the clock strikes. Seville is small but it’s a city of secrets. You may walk the same streets but you’ll discover something new every time
My Top Picks for Seville
It’s impossible to come to Seville and not indulge in Tapas. From Mid-Morning onwards, you’ll pass locals and tourists alike tucking into plates of fried cuttlefish, creamy potato croquettes, and boards of Iberian cheeses, all washed down with something to drink. There are countless tapas bars in the city but if you just have time for one, head to El Rinconcello. It’s the oldest tapas bar in Seville (and supposedly in Spain) and to this day, it’s one of the most authentic. Meals are eaten standing, around tall round tables perched opposite the bar. It’s a buzzing place so expect to queue to get in, however, once you do, the plates start to come within minutes.
What’s a city break without a good rooftop bar? For the best atmosphere and for a great view of the Setas de Sevilla (also known as the mushroom) head to the top of the Hotel Casa de Indias by Intur. It’s a great spot to enjoy a cocktail and to pass the time before dinner- many restaurants don’t open until late.
Now, on to Seville’s best-kept secret. Every night at the La Carboneria you can watch authentic flamenco accompanied by live music, and all you have to do is turn up and buy a drink. Unlike the touristy ticketed shows, crowds pack into this venue, standing and sitting wherever they can find room. It’s a bustling venue and one of the best places to spend an evening in the city.
No morning in Seville is complete without a plate of hot sweet churros. These long Spanish donuts are served out of traditional cafes and you’ll see businessmen, families, and tourists tucking into plates of these dripped in chocolate. Many say that Bar El Comerico is home to the best churros in Seville, and I have to say I agree. Founded in 1904, this bustling, narrow cafeteria is deceptively large and often has a queue out the door in the mornings, but it’s worth the wait. Once inside, you can watch the churros being lightly fried in a large pan of oil, before being chopped up with scissors and sent out to the tables, golden and gleaming.
There are countless coffee shops in Seville where you can enjoy a strong espresso alongside a light bite to eat. However, if it’s specialty coffee that you’re after then head to Virgen Coffee, a hole-in-the-wall next to the Setas de Sevilla. Although it’s takeaway only, this coffee bar is worth a visit as it’s one of the few coffee roasters in the city. What’s more, they have a delicious range of single-origin and filter coffees on offer which makes a nice change from the European-style coffees served elsewhere.
You only need a few days to see the best that Seville has to offer and although small, it’s easy to fall in love with. Wander the backstreets, stroll by the river, and order Tapas blindly off the Spanish menu because whatever you get will most likely be delicious. Then, if all else fails, grab a book and pull out a chair outside of one of the cafeterias; That’s how days are done in Seville.