Sevilla (or Seville, as we English speakers call it) is located in the heart of Andalucía, Spain, and this vibrant city is rich in culture, history and architectural beauty. Sevilla blends the old world with the new, and there’s no doubt that this city has a unique heartbeat you can’t find in any other city in Spain. Sevilla is a city of flamenco, tapas and bullfighting, and I was curious to experience all of the energy and excitement that Sevilla had to offer. So when I found myself in the south of Spain with a few extra days to spare, I made a spur-of-the-moment travel decision and headed to Sevilla.
When it comes to traveling, I love being flexible with my plans and experiencing a new destination like a local, which is exactly what I tried to do in Sevilla. Thanks to HotelTonight, I always know that I can stay flexible with my travel plans, since HotelTonight makes it so easy to book great last-minute hotels in cities around the world. Within minutes on HotelTonight’s website, I had booked a fantastic last-minute hotel in Sevilla, and I was ready to start exploring this beautiful Spanish city like a local.
If you’re looking for charm and character in Sevilla, you’ll certainly find it in the Barrio de Santa Cruz. This medieval neighborhood is comprised of narrow, winding streets and cobblestone lanes, and here you’ll find peaceful courtyards and quaint cafes. As I wandered the streets of Barrio Santa Cruz, I stumbled upon pretty gardens, idyllic squares and even old synagogues, as this neighborhood was the Jewish quarter while Sevilla was under Moorish rule. Be warned, though–once you visit this charming neighborhood, you may be tempted to spend the entire duration of your trip here. I had to tear myself away so that I could explore more of the city. Luckily, I was staying at a hotel in the heart of the Barrio Santa Cruz, so I knew I would return later that day.
There are so many historical sights in Sevilla it’s almost hard to choose which ones to visit when you’re only in the city for a few days. Regardless of how long you’re in Sevilla, you shouldn’t miss the Real Alcàzar. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was built by Moorish rulers in the 10th century, and centuries later it is now one of the most visited spots in Sevilla. Strolling through the old, beautiful rooms and gardens, I was blown away by the exquisite Islamic architecture and peaceful, lush gardens.
After a somewhat spiritual experience at the Real Alcàzar, I decided to head to a less touristy area of Sevilla– the Barrio de Triana. Located across the river from most of Sevilla’s main attractions, the historic neighborhood of Triana has its own vibe. Similar to Santa Cruz, Triana features cobblestone streets and pretty squares, but when you walk through this neighborhood you will notice far more locals and far less tourists. After wandering the streets of Triana, I took a stroll along the river and soaked in the beautiful views of the historic city across the river.
In the center of the city is the Parque de María Luisa, which is a beautiful green space that features exotic trees, historic buildings, and incredible architecture. This is the perfect place to find a bit of shade, relax, and just observe all of the locals going about their daily lives in Sevilla. This park is also home to the Plaza de España, a stunning complex built for the world fair in 1929. Make sure to bring your camera with you to the Parque de María Luisa and Plaza de España, as there are plenty of photo opportunities you won’t want to miss here.
During my time in Sevilla, I popped into numerous tapas bars, sipped on some refreshing tinto de verano on warm afternoons, indulged in siestas, and most importantly, embraced the Sevilla way of life. This gorgeous, historic city is full of attractions and sights you won’t want to miss, but my absolute favorite part of Sevilla was enjoying the leisurely, laidback lifestyle of the locals. Life seems to move slower in Sevilla, and while it took me a moment to adjust to this unhurried pace, I eventually was able to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life.
I left Sevilla feeling relaxed, inspired and already eager to return to the city again. Next time I’m in Spain, I’ll be sure to pop over to Sevilla so that I can revisit some of my favorite spots and enjoy that leisurely way of life again. Since I know that I can always find great last-minute hotels on HotelTonight, I am never afraid of making spontaneous changes to my travel plans.