Sevilla

23 Sep

SevillaPlaza

On a dreary Seattle day, I escape to memories of Sevilla.

Watercolor corridors, geometric plazas, the smell of orange trees, hamhocks in windows, the distant clap-clack of the Flamenco …

Never been? I have one word for you: GO. Here’s what you need to know.

Casasa de Juderia SevillaWhere to Stay

Las Casas de La Juderia. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a wonderland onto itself in the heart of Seville’s charming old quarter.

Formed by a connected mish-mash of gorgeous old Andalusian houses (thus “Las Casas”) you can happily get lost in the myriad of courtyards, balconies, and hallways. Sunbathe by the rooftop pool (surrounded Sevilla’s charming upper half) or take a dip a dip back in time in the underground spa. There’s even a happy hour pianist in its central open-air living room, which doubles as a cozy bar to unwind and plot your next adventure.

Plus, most of the city’s key monuments are only a short walk away. Speaking of which …

Top 3 to See

  1. Royal Alcázar of Seville: This vast and impressive Moorish-style palace is second only to Alhambra in history, gardens, and grandeur.
  2. Cathedral: It’s enormous, first of all, and near exploding with artistic touches. Plus, Columbus is buried here. (Or at least, this is one of the places.)
  3. The Giralda bell tower: Walk up the many ramps to the top, amazed that the guard’s horses used to climb this tower, too. Take in the spectacular view of the massive church grounds below.

FlamencoI’d also recommend a flamenco show, though the guide books will tell you the only authentic flamenco would be an impromptu local gypsy outburst of dance on the street. Given the likelihood of that, a show is still a fascinating example of this wonderfully odd, passionate, and fascinating dramatic form of music. Just ask your concierge for one she’d recommend. She’ll likely steer you clear of the cheesier offerings. Ours did, and we were quite happy with our show at Tablao El Arenal.

How to Get Around

In the old quarter, the streets are dizzyingly narrow and tangled, with most of them limited to pedestrians only. So leave it to the experts. Hire cabs, catch a bus to the one of the many beautiful towns a short daytrip away, take a boat ride, or best of all: WALK. That’s really the best way to see the charming corridors of Carmen yore.

RoblesWhen to Go

Beat the crowds and the heat by going before or after the typical tourist season of June through August. We went in late September, and it was perfect: laid back, warm, sunny, and friendly.

Where to Eat

Hands down, Robles Tapas Bar. That said, nearly every place we ate in Sevilla was amazing, but the dinner I had at Robles was the best I’ve ever had. It’s a stunning evening walk from Las Casas de La Juderia, too.

What to Buy

  • For the kids: flamenco clackers. (We also use a pair as an ornament on our holiday tree.)
  • For the home: a decorative tile or two.
  • For the foodie: marmalade, sherry, or olives.
  • For the ladies: exquisite fans and light, decorative shawls.
  • For the music lover: a Flamenco CD or book.

Did I miss anything? Leave your question or traveler tip in the comments below.

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6 Responses to “Sevilla”

  1. Roger September 23, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    I’ve never been, but after reading this, I think Katrin and I will need to plan a stop there one of these days.

  2. Ned Steele September 24, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    Las Casas De La Juderia is a magnificent 4-star hotel ideally situated in the charming “La Juderia” or Santa Cruz neighbourhood – one of the most traditional areas of Seville. The Cathedral and its Giralda tower is only 4 minutes walk away, as is the Plaza Nueva and Sierpes Street, making it the perfect base for visitors who want to stay right in the heart of this culturally rich city. The hotel is a beautifully restored stately home with an impressive central courtyard and reflects the stunning andalusian architecture that Seville is famous for. The rooms are spacious, comfortable, elegantly furnished with parquet flooring and andalusian tiling in the en suites, and come with air-conditioning, a personal safe, mini-bar, telephone and satellite TV. Other impressive facilities include car-parking, a concierge service, an elegant piano bar and an outdoor swimming pool. Las Casas de la Juderia offers a delicious buffet breakfast in the delightful ‘Salon De Los Espejos’ dining room, and guests also have the option of savouring the finest in Meditteranean and International cuisine in the hotel’s restaurant. During the warm summer months guests can dine outside in the Sevillian sunshine on the exquisite outdoor terrace. Visitors to Las Casas de la Juderia are sure to enjoy a relaxing and luxurious stay at this top-class hotel.

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