Seville - Things to do whilst in Seville Seville - Things to do whilst in Seville Seville - Things to do whilst in Seville
Small Hotel in Seville City


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Seville City

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Sevilla in Spanish and pronounced Ce-bee-ya (se’βiya), is the 4th largest city in Spain and one of the most romantic and lively metropolitan areas in the Iberian Peninsula.

Seville’s distinct personality is the result of many cultures that have inhabited and ruled it for over 2000 years. The renaissance and baroque architecture of the city is beautifully blended with the influences from Moorish culture which ruled Seville between 712-1248 AD and can be seen in the famous monuments and places such as Alcazar.

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Although very little of Hispalis (the Roman city), is left for us to see you can imagine how the city looked like by visiting the nearby Roman city ruins of Italica.

Following the Reconquesta by the Christian army the city’s development and growth continued unabated. King Fernando III, King of Castilla and León moved his court to the Alcázar of Seville, the former Moorish palace. A royal residence, the Alcázar was built in a Moorish lush style and the huge gothic cathedral was built during the 15th century.

The golden age of Seville was during the establishment of the Spanish Empire in the Americas. Seville to this day boasts the only inland port in Spain with Guadalquivir being navigable for 80km inland from the sea. The city was awarded the monopoly of trade within the Spanish territories in the New World with Gold and Silver poured in from the Spanish Americas. Seville minted silver and gold coins became the 1st universally accepted European currency predating the modern Euro by over 400 years.

NO8DO - ‘She has not Abandoned Me’

The official motto can be seen across the city, on important building, tourists’ attractions and even bus stops! NO8DO is omnipresent and you cannot fail to notice it as you travel across the city.

The motto is in fact a play on words, made from combining the Spanish syllables (NO and DO) and a drawing in between–the figure ‘8’. The figure represents a skein of yarn, ‘madeja’ in Spanish. When read aloud, ‘No madeja do’ sounds like ‘No me ha dejado,’ which means ‘She [Seville] has not abandoned me [King].’

Kings Alfonso X, ‘The Wise King’ was a scholar king, a poet, astronomer, astrologer, musician and linguist. When Alfonso’s son, Sancho IV of Castile, tried to make a grab for the throne from his father, the people of Seville remained loyal to their beloved ‘Wise King’. After defeating his son, King Alfonso X rewarded the fidelity of the ‘Sevillanos’ with the words that now appear on the official emblem of the city of Seville. Seville did not abandon the King so it shall be honoured forever with NO8DO ‘She has not abandoned me’.

Seville's motto - NO8DO

Places to eat in Central Seville?

In the evenings and after a days sightseeing you can simply meander to many of the restaurants and bars that make Seville such an amazing place for City Breaks. You can enjoy a drink outdoors most of the year around in one of many traditional Spanish bars, join the Sevillanos for a promenade in Jardines Reales Alcazar before dinning late Spanish style. The range of places to eat are endless including traditional Spanish Restaurants, gourmet restaurants, Mexican, Japanese, Italian, Tapas bars, and many specialty cafe bars.

Our favourite places to eat are (all within 5-10 minutes walk from our hotel):

  • Salvador Rojo: Located in the centre of Seville and is a culinary paradise where you can enjoy one of Spain's best known cookery authors. It has a terrace that is adjacent to Reales Alcazares providing fine views and convenient location.


  • Modesto: Located in el Barrio de Santa Cruz in Calle Cano y Cueto 5 and established in 1971 specialises in variety of seafood, such as clams but also try the “mixed fried modesto”. You can dine outside where you can enjoy the open air terrace throughout the year.


Places to eat in Seville

  • Becerrita: Located in the Center of town inCalle Recaredo 9, you can choose from a menu of Tapas and Raciones (larger portion of Tapas) at the bar, which is changed daily. This is traditional Andalucian cooking where you can try their famous 'Seafood salad with mayonnaise' or their special homemade Paella (lunch time only).


  • El Rinconcillo: Located in the Town Centre in Calle Gerona 42 this beautiful 1670 building was originally a tavern but now-a-days you can try classic Tapas and traditional Andalucian dishes with authentic original recipes. Specialties are the stews, seafood & variety of meet (ala blancha). Specialty dishes are Spinach with chickpeas. Average price per person €25.


  • Vineria san Telmo: Outdoor terrace just in front of the Murillo Gardens, has an interesting and varied menu with an extensive selection of wines. You can find both traditional and innovative Tapas, as well as several tasty vegetarian options. Desserts are made on the premises and are as delicious as they look. Try their specialty dishes; Tortilla de Patatas, Grilled Pork Tenderloin (Solomillo de Cerdo), Argentinean Chorizo and Chicken Wings with sweet mustard sauce with crispy potatoes. Average price per person € 20.


  • Eslava: Located in Calle Gerona in the Town Centre, Sixto, the owner joyously concocts dishes based on Andalucian & Arabic recipes. The menu changes daily, you can eat from €10 per person.


  • Infanta: Located near the Bull Ring & the Cathedral and with more than 25 years of experience in Andalucian cuisine offering a fusion of traditional recipes and new trends. High quality food washed down with some of the best wines on offer. Their specialty is Rice with beef, ham and chorizo (similar to Paella). Average price per person €30 from the menu or €20 from Tapas list.


  • Bodeguita Antonio Romero: Located just across the Plaza de Toros with an electric atmosphere on bull-fight days. There has been a Tavern here Since 1821 which probably explains the wide variety of wines on offer. You can try the best Montaditos in Seville or try their famous El Piripi. Average price per person €25.


  • Casa Robles: Is near the Cathedral offering tradional Andalucian cuisine. Average price per person is 25€ but you can have Tapas for less.


Places to Visit in Seville

Santa Cruz is the primary tourist neighbourhood of Seville, Spain, and the former Jewish quarter of the medieval city. Santa Cruz is bordered by the Jardines de Murillo, the Real Alcázar, Calle Mateas Gago, and Calle Santa Maria La Blanca/San José. The neighbourhood is the location of many of Seville's oldest churches and is home to the Cathedral of Seville, including the converted minaret of the old Moorish mosque Giralda.

Alcázares Reales de Sevilla (Royal Palace of Seville). Alcázar is dreived from the Arabic ‘al-qasr’, meaning ‘palace’. The Almohades built the original palace around 1100AD when it was known as Al-Muwarak. The palace is one of the best remaining examples of mudéjar architecture. Subsequent monarchs have added their own marks to the Alcázar. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence and are administered by the Patrimonio Nacional.

Alcazar, Seville, Spain
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The Plaza de España – This is the most easily recognised building and probably the image that most people have of Seville. In 1929 Seville hosted the Spanish-American Exhibition and numerous buildings were constructed for the exhibition in Maria Luisa Park, among them the Plaza designed by Aníbal González. Aníbal created the most famous of Moorish Revival architectural masterpiece. Plaza de España showcased Spain’s industry and technology exhibits. Celebrating the Spanish nation there are many tiled alcoves with each representing a different provinces of Spain.

The Plaza is built in a huge half-circle surrounded by highly decorated buildings and is accessible over the moat by numerous bridges. Today the plaza is used as Government buildings, including El Ayuntamiento (Town Hall). A popular way to view the building is by renting out a rowing boat and drifting around the moat.

Palaza de Spania - Seville, Spain
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Torre del Oro (Gold Tower) - The tower was a military watchtower built in the Moors during the Almohad dynasty to oversee and control access to Seville via the Guadalquivir river.

Constructed in the 13th century, the tower served as a prison during the Middle Ages and as a secure enclosure for the protection of Gold and Silver brought by the Spanish fleet from the Americas colonies (hence the tower's name).

The tower is divided into three levels, with the third and uppermost being circular in shape and added in 1760. This tower has a lesser known half sister: La Torre de la Plata, an octagonal tower.

Toro del Oro, Gold Tower, Seville, Spain
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La Giralda (The Cathedral Bell Tower) – After the Reconquesta the Cathedral was built on the former site of the city's mosque. The Giralda was originally the city’s mosque minaret but was converted into a bell tower and integrated into the new Cathedral. The Giralda is the city's most famous symbol and measures 105 meters in height. The tower's interior was built with ramps rather than stairs, to allow the 'Muezzin' to ride on horseback to the top. Muezzin is the person that calls Muslims to prayers from the minaret and getting up and down the tower 5-times a day was not a task taken lightly! The tower is topped with a statue, known locally as El Giraldillo representing Faith.

Catedral de Santa María de la Sede (The Cathedral) - This is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. The interior has the longest nave in Spain with the central nave rising to a height of 42 metres and is lavishly decorated, with a large quantity of gold evident. One of the outstanding features of the cathedral is various scenes depicting life of Christ. The altarpiece was the lifetime work of a single craftsman, Pierre Dancart.

In 1401 the Seville’s leaders decided to build a new place of worship as the ancient Muslim mosque was in a bad state of repairs following the 1356 earthquake. The cathedral was built to demonstrate Seville's wealth, as it had become a major trading centre especially with the Gold and Silver from the Americas colonies.

The Cathedral and Giralda Tower, Seville, Spain
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Itálica –Located north of the modern day Santiponce, 9 km NW of Seville was founded in 206 BC by the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus in order to settle Roman soldiers wounded in the Battle of Ilipa, where the Carthaginian army was defeated during the Second Punic War. The name Italica bound the colonia to their Italian origins.

Italica was the birthplace of Roman emperor Trajan. Emperor Hadrian added temples, including a Trajaneum and rebuilt public buildings. Italica’s amphitheatre seated 25,000 spectators and was the third largest in the Roman Empire. The city's Roman population at the time is estimated to have been only 8000.

A shift of the Guadalquivir River bed, probably due to silt build up that followed removal of the forest cover left Italica isolated and literarily high and dry. As no modern city was built over Italica there is an unusually well-preserved Roman city with treasures on display in the Museo Arqueologico of Seville including the famous marble colossus of Trajan.

Italica, Seville, Spain
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