As winter city breaks go, Seville, the capital of Spain’s Andalusia region, is difficult to beat. It is a stunningly beautiful historic city with plenty of sightseeing to enjoy. Besides its architecture, Seville offers lively streets, tasty food, and friendly people. In all, an ideal escape during the cold winter months.
Seville is rightly considered one of the most beautiful cities, not only in Spain but in the whole of Europe. Full of history, several of its main sightseeing buildings are top notch.
The cathedral is the world’s largest church by volume. The remains of Christopher Columbus rest in its splendorous interior. La Giralda, the tall minaret built adjacent to the main building, dates from the times when most of Spain was under Moorish rule. The city views from its top are stunning.
El Real Alcazar is a palace in the Moorish style. Used by the Spanish kings as a residence after the expulsion of the Moors, the palace is where Columbus planned his journey to America. Its rooms and gardens are extraordinarily beautiful.
Plaza de España, and its surrounding gardens, was the site of the Spanish pavilion for the 1929 World Exhibition.
The Jewish Quarter, known locally as Barrio Santa Cruz, is the oldest part of the city. Its narrow and winding streets are full of shops and bars.
Torre del Oro, located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, is a thirteenth-century tower that now houses the local maritime museum.
Activities for everyone
Seville lives and breathes art. If its architecture is incomparable, the Museo de Bellas Artes is considered one of the best art museums in Spain, beaten only by El Prado in Madrid.
Flamenco is a must-see activity when in Andalusia. El Museo del Baile Flamenco (The Flamenco Dance Museum) is probably one of the best places to experience first hand all the passion that flamenco exudes. There are also many bars that offer flamenco shows to visitors every evening.
If you love tapas, one of the highlights of Seville is the lively bar scene. Order a sherry or a local beer on tap and indulge in Southern Spain’s gastronomy.
On the west bank of the Guadalquivir River, Barrio de Triana is worth a visit. It has traditionally been a neighbourhood of sailors and artisans, and is famous for its flamenco singers and dancers.
Explore Andalusia: Cadiz and Cordoba
Although Seville is the nicest city to visit in Southern Spain, Cadiz and Cordoba are definitely worth a visit.
Cadiz is considered Europe’s oldest city. Founded by Phoenician sailors about 3,000 years ago, it is only 90 minutes away from Seville by train. As a fairly small coastal city, a day is more than enough to explore its old quarter, visit its interesting cathedral, and walk along its beaches. The coast of the Cadiz province is one of the most beautiful in Spain. Its wild beaches are internationally famous.
The villages in the area around Cadiz are also worth considering when exploring the wider region. La ruta de los Pueblos Blancos, the White Villages Route, would take you through a stunning hilly landscape of well-preserved small villages. Grazalema, one of Spain’s most beautiful villages, is the centre of the route.
Cordoba, just 45 minutes away from Seville by fast train, is a fantastic option for a day out. La Mezquita, the mosque, was built in 786 and later converted into a church following the Christian Reconquista of Cordoba in 1236. The main mosque, with its famous coloured arches, still remains intact. It is one of the most stunning buildings you can visit in Europe.
Weather and logistics
The weather in Seville is mild, even in the winter months, with average maximum temperatures during the day of around 18C (65F), and sometimes over 20C (68F).
Seville is very well connected internationally. It has its own airport, served by easyJet, and offers plenty of accommodation options, from hotels to apartments, for all budgets. There are also fast train links from the city to Madrid, Cordoba, and Malaga.