While looking through photos of my time solo-backpacking in southern Spain/Portugal, I grew quite nostalgic about my time in the magical city of Seville and became inspired to write.
My trip to Seville was too brief in comparison to the amount of time I have spent in other parts of Spain such as, Barcelona, Madrid, and on the island of Ibiza.
Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is the most-frequented southern city. During December, much of the city is decorated for the holidays and has Christmas Markets with crafts made by local artisans, amusement rides, and miniature ice-skating rinks.
Below are some suggestions on the best things to do:
- Walk around the city and experience the many plazas. Plaza Nueva is home to Seville’s city hall and had stalls set up for the Christmas market, Feria de Artesanía Creativa. Also Plaza San Francisco is centrally located behind city hall, and is one of Seville’s oldest plazas. During December, both plazas were adorned with holiday decorations and fairy lights.
- Alcazar Castle was originally a fort in the early 900s, but became a large Moorish palace complex. On the grounds is a gorgeous garden with fountains and many pathways. HBO filmed episodes here for their series Game of Thrones. Hands down, this was my favorite spot in Seville because of the manicured gardens, stunning architecture, and detailed tile-work.
- Catedral de Sevilla is a gothic cathedral from the 1400s that is connected to La Giralda, a bell-tower with Moorish motifs and Patio de Los Naranjes. Inside the cathedral is beautiful architecture and artworks, as well as Christopher Columbus’ tomb.
- Aire Ancient Baths is touristy, but I wanted to experience the Arab bath spa. While I was tempted to splurge on their red wine bath, I ultimately chose a package that granted me access to their main baths (ice, normal, jets, and salt), the aroma therapy room, and a massage. I really enjoyed the salt bath, which was actually the least crowded. Although I went late in the evening, it was busy, primarily with couples. But I was still able to unwind and relax during my stay. While going in between baths, it’s important to hydrate and there are attendants that are willing to help with anything. I’d definitely go back again!
While in Seville, I also made a day trip to Cadiz, a coastal city with pastel-colored buildings and a gorgeous old town. Despite it being December, I enjoyed walking along the coastline and visited popular sites like, Castle of Santa Catalina, La Caleta, Baluarte de la Candelaria, and the plaza that is home to Cadiz Cathedral and Iglesia de Santa Cruz.
I’d love to return to southern Spain and explore these following areas:
- Cordoba – home to Islamic and Roman architecture, La Mexquita is a fantastic example of this, its a mosque that was transformed into a cathedral
- Grenada – a city near the Sierra Nevada Mountains and has the famous Moorish fortress, Alhambra.
- Gibraltar –
- Ronda – a city with more Roman and Moorish architecture built over an impressive gorge.