Solo in Seville: a weekend in Spain’s sassiest
Seville is one of the most distinctive cities I’ve ever visited. There is something about it that will captivate you, and it’s ideal for solo travellers. It’s not just beautiful like Barcelona, or characterful like Madrid, it’s something else, and the best word I’ve found to describe it is sassy.
sassy / adjective / lively, bold, and full of spirit; cheeky.
Flamenco dancers full of spirit can be found performing on squares, bold colours and architecture hit you at every turn, bars spill out their lively crowds onto the street, and cheeky bartenders carve perfectly cured Jamón ibérico. This city is the definition of sassy, and a weekend in Seville will never quite feel enough.
The other noticeable thing about Seville is how photogenic it is. The old colourful facades clash with modern architecture such as the Metropol Parasol, and behind small doors lie beautiful hidden courtyards. This is a city that is as sexy as it is sassy, and as a photographer, it was a real dream to visit. So much so, that on my return visit I booked a Photo Tour Seville, as I thought this amazing backdrop would be great for some portrait photos and perhaps even make me look like I hadn’t eaten all the tapas.
I was wrong on the latter part, mainly because I have eaten ALL the tapas, but it is a great city to photograph and be photographed in. My excellent photo guide, Juanfran, not only snapped away as we toured the Santa Cruz Jewish Neighbourhood but also showed me some hidden gems and shared some facts that I had missed on my first and second visit.
You might notice there are actually some photos of me in this post, and not my usual crappy selfies, those were all taken by Juanfran on the photo tour. I also imagine it would be a romantic place to propose and enjoy an engagement photo shoot if you are not solo travelling in Seville.
Top things to do in Seville
I’m so lucky that Seville is one of the nearest city’s to visit from where I live in Portugal, and has been a few times, here are some suggestions of how to spend a weekend in Seville. While the city is pretty walkable, you’ll also want to embrace the Spanish pace of life, and maybe even a siesta, so don’t plan to do everything.
Also, be sure to book some of the key attractions in advance. Some can even be reserved on your mobile on the day, so you don’t have to join the vast ques, but others, such as the Alcázar, you should certainly book in advance. Also keep in mind that as with much of Spain, certain attractions may be closed on all, or sometime between Saturday – Monday, and afternoon closures can also occur.
Santa Cruz, The Jewish Neighbourhood
The centrepiece of the city, at least for tourists, Santa Cruz is home to some of the key tourist attractions and most lavish architecture in the city.
But beyond that, as I discovered with Juanfran, there are a maze of little alleys, cute gardens, and quaint restaurants to explore here and as soon as you step away from the main squares, you’ll feel like you are in a different city. Orange trees mix with gift shops and the tapas bars here are a treat, so be sure to venture off from the main attractions and enjoy this beautiful side of the city.
Royal Alcázar of Seville
The Royal Palace is a must-visit in Seville and one you should ensure to book tickets for in advance.
The large and opulent building consists of various rooms and a large garden with free roaming peacocks, and you’ll need to spend a few hours here to really appreciate it. The site was once a Muslim fortress, but after the Christian conquest, the Palace was erected here.
A worthy UNESCO heritage site, the architecture here will take you through the ages, having been inspired by Arabic, Baroque and Renaissance styles.
Plaza de España
Made famous over the years in some famous films, such as Star Wars, the Plaza de España is one of the most iconic images of Seville.
Free to wander around and enjoy, the vast plaza was actually built for an expo, but due to the impressive architecture has become a famed symbol. You’ll often find flamenco dancers here performing for tips, and the ornate tiles around the square are beautiful and deserve a close inspection. You can also hire boats on the little lake/river, though it seemed like a tight squeeze and not so fun, so I didn’t personally see the attraction in doing so.