A CITY THAT’S MOORISH
Ialways tell my guests that Seville is the closest to how they’d imagine a Spanish city to look … (and) it truly embodies the good life,” says Isabelle Vergara. Helping visitors sink into this enviable lifestyle, Trafalgar travel director Isabelle says she loves showing off the romantic and vibrant city where “the people are charismatic and the food is incredible”.
“The historic Santa Cruz neighbourhood is definitely the most popular with its beautiful mansions, flowered courtyards and romantic corners,” Isabelle says. “It’s a must-visit for photographers and those looking for different artisanal souvenirs. Or just sit at one of the many terraces with a glass of manzanilla (local sherry wine), una copa de sangria (glass of sangria) or una caña (a small draft beer) with some tapas and watch locals and visitors passing by.” If you’re planning to find out why Lonely Planet named Seville the No.1 city to visit in 2018, Isabelle has these expert tips:
CATHEDRAL OR ALCAZAR?
For me, both monuments are a must for historic importance and grandeur so it’s a difficult choice. However, as a first-time visitor I would see the Alcazar of Seville palace becOanuFsaecthebisOiOs okne of the three maOin FMaocoerbiOshOk email@example.comOs imn.Sapuain, all firstname.lastname@example.orgOm.au UNESCO ... and nothing like it can be found anywhere else in Europe.
A guided visit will provide lots of details you miss when visiting by yourself or even with an audio guide. A local specialist will show you where several scenes of Season 5 of Game of On Instagram Thrones were shot, as the Alcazar palace was us@edesacsatpheesWnaatpesr Dor@nees.Tcahpeersenaal
Gardens of palace is even more captivating than what you see in GOT.
WHERE TO SEE REAL FLAMENCO
The best opportunity to see the actual Flamenco artists is during the so-called Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla festival (this year, September 6-18) and the performances are held in theatres and cafes all over the city.
You can watch and listen to a good flamenco performance at one of the many renowned tablaos (small flamenco theatres) in the city any time of the year. El Arenal or Los Gallos have flamenco-only performances and at El Patio Sevillano, next to the famous bullring, the public will enjoy flamenco performance in combination with the classical Spanish dance. In Seville everyone knows how to dance Sevillanas, a folkloric dance translated as flamenco light. You can see this during the famous April Fair, La Feria de Abril. The dates vary, always two weeks after the end of the Easter week processions.
EAT LIKE A LOCAL
Don’t go to restaurants that display photos of their dishes on the menu, go to others where you see locals. My favourite tapas bars are La Hostería del Laurel in Santa Cruz where you should try the jamón ibérico de bellota o de pata negra (the famous acorn-fed cured ham from the Iberian black pig); las espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas); tortilla de patatas de la casa (Spanish potato omelet of the house); or rabo de toro (stewed oxtail).
In the same neighbourhood you can find Casa Román where they serve simple but delicious patatas aliñadas (potatoes with vinaigrette dressing), or ensalada de tomate con bonito del norte (tomato salad with tuna from the Bay of Biscay). Hungry yet?
DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT TRYING ...
A horse and carriage ride. You will see Seville from a different perspective and enjoy the city in slow motion. The ride takes you along the main monuments and also to the romantic Maria Luisa gardens. This will probably be one of your best memories of Seville.
Alcazar of Seville, a UNESCO site, is even more captivating than what you see in Game of Thrones.