Being a languages student, as an obligatory part of my degree I spent 6 months living in Seville and 6 months living in Brazil (which I will do a separate post about). It was January of 2017 when I first arrived in Seville, with a couple of suitcases, no where to live and no idea where to start. I had a marketing internship lined up but I wouldn’t be starting for a few weeks, I arrived early so as to find a place to live.
My boyfriend and I stayed in a hostel for a week until we both found separate places to live (we were both on the same course but didn’t want to live together as we thought we wouldn’t get the most of the experience living together and just speaking English), it was cold, not nearly as cold as England but colder than I had expected Seville to be. My favourite thing about the city was the orange trees, they were everywhere, the whole city smelled of oranges it was amazing. Come March time when the oranges started falling, I’m not even joking there were oranges everywhere, on the roads, in the river, mind you they didn’t look as pretty all squished on the ground but they smelled even better!
I found somewhere to live pretty quickly, it was a lovely 3 bedroom apartment right in the centre, shared with two other female students, and about 100 metres away from where I would be working. Another thing I loved about Seville was the rooftops, every building had access to the roof where you could get a great view of the city, I often sunbathed on the roof of my apartment complex, and there would always be people hanging their washing up to dry.
I loved the shops in the city centre, there were things like Bershka, Zara and Pull and Bear where I could thankfully go shopping all the time, also everywhere was always super clean, the roads would get washed every single night! Another thing I only noticed when my dad pointed it out when he came to visit was that everyone is so well dressed there, and it’s true, I realised that I had never seen anybody wearing a tracksuit or dirty clothes. Around March time, the shops start filling with colourful flamenco dresses in preparation for La Feria in May. My friends and I would often go into El Corte Inglés and try on dozens of dresses that we knew full well we were not going to buy, they cost around £200 each, but I understand that it’s traditional to spend a lot of money on a nice flamenco dress.
Another great thing about Seville and I guess Spain in general is that you’ll never go hungry, there was at least one tapas bar on every street, where you could simply get a plate of patatas bravas for a few euros and a Tinto de Verano (a cheaper version of Sangria) or a caña de cerveza for less than a euro! A caña is a small glass of draught beer (usually Cruzcampo or Estrella), the reason they’re so small is because of how hot the city gets in the summer, so it means your drinks don’t get too warm. If you visit Seville, you’ll also notice the very thin streets that don’t allow much sunlight, I’m the sort of person who loves natural light in my house, but it’s virtually impossible in Seville because of the high temperatures in summer, you literally need your house to not be in direct sunlight or it’ll be virtually unbearable. You might think I’m exaggerating but it reached 50 degrees celsius while I was there, the city would be like a ghost town when it was like this, everyone would lock themselves indoors and if you didn’t have air conditioning well then you were f*****.
♥ La Catedral – the cathedral is so beautiful, it’s worth visiting just for a walk around the outside because it really is spectacular and it’s easy to get to as it’s right in the centre.
♥ La Alameda de Hércules – if you’re looking for somewhere to eat or drink this is the place, there are endless places to choose from
♥ Visit Huelva or Cadiz for the day – they are both seaside towns and are really quick to get to, both taking just about under an hour to get to.
♥ If you’re around for the Feria in May, be prepared for a week of drinking, chaos and fun.
♥ Visit Las Setas (or Metropol Parasol) right in the centre – literally meaning ‘the mushrooms’, Las Setas is the largest wooden structure in Europe, you pay about 3 euros to go up to the top where you get a free drink and you can get a fantastic view of the city.
♥ Plaza de España – my absolute favourite place in the world and a true gem in the city is the Parque de Maria Luisa where the Plaza de España sits. The park is beautiful, full of pretty fountains, people on horseback, a place where you can feed the pigeons, and you can also go for a row in the lake. I also went to a club night in the park and it was awesome! The buildings in the Plaza are designed so intricately and beautifully it really is a must see and I feel so lucky to have lived right next to it.
♥ Real Alcazar – a stunning UNESCO listed palace complex surrounded by some well kept gardens and the odd peacock. This is a great place to go for a few hours, and it’s free entry on Mondays at 4pm if my memory serves correctly.
♥ My favourite place to eat and drink was a place called Levies, I will forever be recommending this place to anyone who visits Seville, it’s cheap, the food is great and you can spend hours eating tapas and drowning in Tinto de Verano.
♥ Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo – this historical monastery turned contemporary art museum is a cool place to visit if you’re stuck for things to do. It’s free and slightly out of the way if you’re walking but it makes for some great Insta shots!
♥ Triana – Triana is an enchanting neighbourhood and a former gypsy quarter on the other side of the beautiful Guadalquivir river, there’s an abundance of tapas bars and decorated houses. I spent most of my time here because it’s definitely the most sociable spot in the city.
♥ La Giralda – it’s only about euro to go up to the top, it’s not the most interesting place I must admit but the view from the top is worth the small entry fee.
♥ And lastly, if you’re visiting in April, you might witness some of Holy Week or Semana Santa, now do not be afraid, although their outfits are unfortunately a striking resemblance to that of the K.K.K, they dress like this because this is what old roman catholic priests used to wear so you can rest assured there is no connection between the two traditions. During Holy Week hundreds of people old and young take part in daily processions in which they carry statues of Jesus Christ through the streets wearing these garments and holding giant candles. Sometimes the processions can last up to 16 hours, imagine that!
Seville is hands down one of my favourite cities in the world, I’d love to live there again one day and I really hope I get the chance. It’s a lively, vibrant place full of culture and history and lovely people.