Seville is the most charming city I have visited thus far! Despite being the fourth largest city in Spain, it has the intimate feel of a tiny town. I spent three days in Seville: the perfect amount of time to explore all of the major sites with more than enough tapas and canas in between.
1. Eat the Pickled Pig Cheeks at El Rinconcillo: Opened in 1670, El Rinconcillo is virtually a landmark. Locals and tourists alike frequent this popular spot. Upon entry, you are greeted by jamon hanging from the ceiling. The restaurant itself is closed off before dinner time, but I actually enjoyed the experience of eating by the bar. The bartender, with his slicked back silver hair and black silk vest, was reminiscent of the 1920s. At under 4EUR, you can enjoy a plate of the most divine, melt in your mouth pig cheeks over a wine barrel turned table.
2. Dip your feet into the fountain of Plaza de Espana: The fountain is in the center of the Plaza, and on a sunny day, produces a magnificent rainbow. After walking around the Plaza and taking in all of the beautiful intricacies, sit down by the fountain. Look out at the Plaza. Remove your shoes. And just soak your feet in the water.
3. Hike up the Giralda Tower while in the Cathedral de Sevilla: The Cathedral is a must see with its soaring ceilings, detailed architecture, and painstakingly carved sculptures. Inside the Cathedral is the Giralda Tower. The Tower is one of the most access friendly towers I have seen. Instead of traditional, vertigo inducing spiral staircases, it contains 34 ramps. You will enjoy a breathtaking view of Seville at the top. Stay there and admire the picturesque scene until you have heard the bells ring at least once.
4. Give your body a break at Aire de Sevilla: Tucked in a remote street, I had a problem locating it even with Google Maps. Good thing I didn’t give up! I highly recommend booking a treatment in advance. I selected the water treatment with a 15 minute massage the day after exploring the Plaza de Espana, and right after the Cathedral. My feet were aching from the cobble stone roads by the time I reached Aire. Upon arrival, I was offered to add an additional 15 minute massage for 6 EUR. I gladly accepted. Aire is a traditional hammam spa with various baths and a eucalyptus steam room. The tranquil experience took two hours.
5. Find the Peacocks at the Alcazar: The Alcazar is the oldest royal palace still in use. On a hot day, the Palace can be daunting with its massive indoor and outdoor grounds. A small museum on the second floor and the ground level cafe offer air conditioned relief if the heat becomes unbearable. While the Alcazar is amazing in and of itself, the peacocks roaming the grounds really made my day! A mother and daughter peacock roamed the hedges for food, while the father made an appearance right outside the cafe.
6. Try the Shrimp Croquettes at Bar Europa: At this no frills tapas spot, the shrimp croquettes were served in a glass cup with a layer of cheese on the bottom. The cone shaped croquettes were discerning. It looked nothing like the croquettes I’ve ever had. But one bite into this airy goodness was enough for me to be converted. If I didn’t have lunch plans shortly after, I could have eaten cups upon cups. Of course, enjoy with a canas.
7. Dine overlooking the Alcazar at La Taberna del Alabardero: With less than six tables outside, reserve a table on the rooftop terrace in advance. It has an intimate and romantic feel, but there were also families enjoying a meal together when I went. The restaurant, to be quite honest, serves delicious, fresh dishes that do come a bit short of amazing. But for what the food lacks, the place makes up in its atmosphere. At night, the Alcazar is lit up and can be seen from La Taberna del Alabardero’s rooftop. It was one of the most romantic settings in Spain during my trip, and the perfect close to my storybook love affair with Seville.