Last week was a turning point for my month-long adventure in Seville. Sure, I’ve been singing the city’s praises pretty much since I arrived. Sunshine, warm temperatures and the Spanish lifestyle were to thank for my immediate, knee-jerk love for the city. But now that I’ve been here for a while, I’ve definitely come to the conclusion that, YES, you should visit Seville.

tapas in Seville
Tapas in Seville – always with a glass of wine or beer!

Andalusia, the southern Spanish state, is famous for its tapas, oranges and flamenco. Seville, the state’s capital, is Spain’s fourth largest city but when I visited Andalusia for the first time (in 2010) it was probably my least favorite city. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, because I did (and god knows I had a fun time!), but I just didn’t think it stood up well against Granada. This time it was different though.

Spending more than just a few days in Seville, I’ve come to really appreciate the city. It’s a big city, yes, but it still feels like a small town. My studio apartment is located in central Seville (near the very cool Alameda de Hércules) and from there, nothing is really much further than a half hour walk. Of course there are buses and bike-rentals (including a public bike-rental program!) but with the decent weather that we’ve had in Seville so far, walking was never a problem either.

So it was this last week in Seville, with my camera in hand, that I finally did some sightseeing. With temperatures reaching 21ºC I was able to get out and explore more of the city. I went to the Alcazar de Sevilla, I saw an indie music concert in a contemporary art museum and I ate a lot of food. But I also hit a breaking point with my Spanish studies. I’m not really sure how or why it happened, but at some point in my class at the Clic school last week…everything just…clicked. (Sorry for the pun!)

I must’ve reached a point where what I was learning was actually being absorbed. Three weeks of classes every day, 4 hours a day, will probably do that to you. After class on Friday I came away super-motivated and ready to speak Spanish to anyone that would listen…which in Seville isn’t hard to find. It was a good week!

But that’s not the only reason I discovered why I love Seville… Here are a bunch more. Because as my time here disappears, I can tell you one thing: I will want to come back!

7 Reasons to Visit Seville

7 Reasons I Love Seville

1. Speaking Spanish is a necessity

It should come as no surprise that my number one priority for my time in Seville has been to learn some Spanish. It was a goal I publicly set out last November and I’ve been working hard at it over the past three weeks. I couldn’t be happier that I chose to study Spanish in Seville either. In Seville, Spanish really is a necessity. Few people seem to speak English, or they’re far more hesitant to speak English, than in the other bigger Spanish cities. That alone has forced me to use Spanish in a lot of situations I normally would’ve easily fallen back on my mother-tongue.

Sunny Seville
Blue skies in Seville! I love it.

2. It really is sunny!

I don’t know if it’s some sort of marketing ploy I’ve picked up from who-knows-where, but it seems near impossible to say the word “Seville” (or Sevilla in español) without adding the word “sunny” in front of it. If it is indeed some sort of marketing that has been ingrained in my subconscious, it’s certainly not a lie! Even though there have been plenty of rainy days here, the sun always manages to pop out for a little while. But to be honest: most days have been spectacularly sunny! I love it.

3. Tapas, tapas, tapas!!

A no-brainer, really. The food in Seville is better than I thought it would be. I’ve eaten at countless tapas restaurants now. I’ve had my best meals at restaurants like Eslava, conTenedor and La Pepona but I think I’d be hard-pressed to say I had a bad meal in Seville.

Plaza de España (Seville) | http://travelsofadam.com
The Plaza de España – bizarre but beautiful

4. Bizarre architecture

I’ve already done a whole photo series on the bizarre but beautiful architecture of Plaza España but I’ve also recently discovered that there are a lot more bizarre buildings in this city. Walking along the river you can spot more than a handful of structures which just seem like they come from some alien planet. There’s even the Puente del Alamillo designed by Calatrava. I tend to find his bridges quite pretty (even if they all look the same) but sti

5. La Alameda (and I guess there’s other nightlife, too)

One thing I found pleasantly surprising about Seville is the nightlife. Now don’t get me wrong: my main focus of this study abroad trip was to study Spanish…but that doesn’t mean I didn’t make time to study Spanish at night! Cool hipster bars like La Bicicleteria are open late (after-hours) even during the week. A friend once told me that the secret to life in Spain is the fact that it’s impossible to sleep. Even during a normal week: dinners are late, drinks are later and mornings are (sort-of) early.

6. You can walk everywhere!

Even though Seville is Spain’s fourth largest city, it doesn’t really feel it. Of course in my short time here I’ve mostly stuck to the city center and the nearby neighborhoods, but it’s a very manageable city by foot. Though I suspect I’d be singing a different tune in the summertime when temperatures can be unwieldy.

Colors of Seville
At the market in the Feria – every Thursday morning until early afternoon – you’ll see plenty of colors

7. The colors

For me, Seville will always be associated with colors. On my first visit to the city in 2010 I met an Italian backpacker with a long, flowing skirt and a friendly, hippie demeanor. She spoke of attaching colors to cities and ever since then I haven’t been able to escape the thought that some cities just scream a certain color. And so for me, Seville will always be a myriad of colors, though I won’t lie: that blue, blue sky is hard to get out of my mind…

* * *

So there you have it. I’ve actually managed to fall in love with a city that isn’t historically known as a big BIG city. I never thought the day would come… And while I wrap up my final few days in Seville, I’m already looking forward to visiting again — hopefully sooner rather than later!

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35 comments

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  1. Hi Adam, great post. I’ve been to Spain twice but yet to make it to Seville. This post reminds me not to miss it next time. The great tapas alone sure make it a lot more inviting.

    • The tapas in Seville are truly amazing – the best food I’ve had in Spain!

  2. I love Sevilla for all of the reasons you listed! It pleasantly surprised me too. I came from Granada and didn’t think I’d like it because it was a larger, more touristy city than Granada. However, I truly enjoyed Sevilla! Great to see what you’re up to, Adam! I’ve been out for quite a while lately, so it’s good to catch up on everything.

  3. Brilliant blog post! Seville looks to be such a beautiful place! Looking forward to one day visiting especially after such lovely comments about the place

  4. Pingback: Looking Back at My Month in Seville, Spain | Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog

  5. Ian

    I spent 6 days in Seville last September,fell in love with the people and city after one hour,can`t wait to return later this year.

    • Seems some people either fall in love at first sight, and others need a bit of time for it to sink it…but I guess many of us seem to fall for the city!

  6. Adam, cool tips. I arrived in Seville yesterday and you’re going to be my virtual tour guide today! I’m definitely going to check out those tapas bars and maybe some dress shopping at the market on Thursday. Amazing post – thanks for sharing.

    • Glad you’re finding it useful, Jo! Enjoy Seville :-D Jealous you’re getting to eat at some of my favorite tapas restaurants!

  7. For me, it was love at first sight. I fell in love with Seville the moment I laid my eyes on its streets lined with orange trees.

    Also, attaching colours to places – I do that all the time :-)

    • Oh I’m glad I’m not alone attaching colors to cities! And yep – the orange trees pretty much had my admiration from the moment I saw them

  8. I love Sevilla! Andalusia is one of my favorite parts of the world! :) I went there in November so I’m dying to come back in the Spring and see all the flowers blooming..esp in Cordoba.

    • Hey Karisa – funny you mention Cordoba as it’s probably one of the bigger cities of Anadalusia that I just never made it to! Guess it’s just another reason to return :)

  9. I totally agree with you re needing a bit of time to get under Seville’s skin. It’s like the city I’m from – Melbourne – which doesn’t have the big sights, but has the food and culture. Seville’s amazing for all those reasons you’ve listed above!

    • Hey Caityln, thanks for the insight, especially re: Melbourne. You’re right that it’s sometimes those cities that are lacking in sightseeing attractions that need the extra time to fall for. But once you do…. ahh!! I love those kinds of cities :)

  10. ¡Estoy feliz que te gusta Sevilla! We love it there and can’t wait to go back. It’s nice to see that Spanish is clicking for you as well…now you just have to take the same approach with German. :)

    • Gracias Ryan! And I really appreciate all your Seville tips. Not really sure how to apply this to learning German, but at least I’m pretty inspired by languages at the moment !

  11. Yes yes YES! Seville really is the perfect city for me in many ways. I’ve been jealously eyeing the weather there now, while I sit in minus degrees in Austria, surrounded by snow…imagining what it’d be like in Seville right now! I think if I had to live in Spain again right now, Seville is definitely high on my list of possible bases. Hoping to get back there soon…!

    • Glad to hear Seville would be high on your list of places to live/revisit in Spain, Sam! After my month there I’d definitely consider spending more time there in the future

  12. Sevilla is a beautiful city. I visited the city just one time, in the middle of summer (45 degrees Celsius), and I loved the vibrant atmosphere. Good restaurants, great palace and beautiful parks. Have fun!

    PS: your video made me smile a lot

    • Awww thank you Koos! That video was awful, jajaj, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. And the restaurants here are definitely hard to beat!!

  13. Rena Dunne

    I visited Sevilla for the first time in 2002 for just 2 days and fell completely in love with this wonderful city. Return visits were a must until eventually I moved there in 2006. I left last year but still love my frequent visits. You’ll be back because it’s pull is just too strong.

    • Definitely can already feel the pull, Rena. That’s great you got to live here for a few years – must’ve been an incredible experience! But….how did you deal with the hot, hot summers??

  14. Welcome to the club – of Sevilla lovers. And yes, you’re right, it is possible to walk in Sevilla, it is colourful and the Plaza de Espana is really photogenic.

    • All my favorite things! xoxo

  15. Always delighted to hear of someone else discovering the charm of this wonderful city! For those who haven’t taken on the challenge of learning the lingo like you, many more locals speak English here than used to, so it’s much easier to get by without now. Although much better with, obviously :)

    • I definitely agree with Fiona – the adoption of English has really taken off in the years I’ve lived here. And La Pepona…ofu, I went last week for the first time, how did that happen?!

      Enjoy your last moments here – I’m glad you love it!

  16. some great photos! I loved Seville but admit to being more partial to Granada…. though we did spend more time there… perhaps if I returned it would be a different story.

    • Yep, Granada was my favorite on the first trip, but the more time I spend in Seville, the more I love it. Definitely worth giving it another chance

  17. It looks wonderful and l am dying to go! I can’t wait till Ryanair starts that route again from Malta. Glad you are having a good time!!!!

    • That must be a seasonal route I guess. Hope you make it back once it starts up again soon!

  18. It’s been years since I visited Seville but your beautiful photos have taken me right back! I remember taking long walks around the city, along the river and through the narrow lanes of the old Jewish quarter. And, yes, I remember the sunshine and those vivid blue skies! This has me ready to go back :-)

    • Oh yes – Barrio de Santa Cruz (the old Jewish quarter) is a lovely neighborhood to explore! And with all the walking I’ve done, I don’t have to worry about putting on any weight because of all the tapas I’ve been eating. It’s like the city is a perfect balance

  19. I do so love the Sevilla: her people; her art and history; and her attitude to food!

    • Seems I’m not alone with those same sentiments Henry!

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