27 Mar A guide to seeing Andalucia. Part 1
It is raining outside. It is raining so hard that from my window i can’t see more than 30 meters away.
Streets are flooded, my article on Milan started and my mind runs back to Andalucia.
From the moment I posted the first photo I started getting questions. Did you liked it? What did you visit? Was it expensive? How did you managed without a car?
So starting today I will start writing about the places that impressed me in Andalucia. Each place that made me smile and take extra pictures. Each place that pops in my mind when I think of Andalucia.
As you probably know by now I have visited quite a few places so my to see guides will also include links to my tapas articles, details about transport and prices for the things I visited.
And my posts will contain my favorite pictures from all locations.
Better not keep you waiting so let us start in…
After visiting Barcelona for the third time I never thought another city will have such a big impact on me.
But then Seville popped on my map and I was hooked from the moment i set foot in.
I flew from Bucharest to Malaga with Wizzair and from the airport I took a train to Malaga train station.
From the start I must tell you that i used this amazing site and app, Loco2, for all my trips. The train ticket from the Malaga Airport to Maria Zambrano(Malaga’s train station) costed a few euros and the line was direct and fast. The train ticket to Seville costed 43.60 euro and i have bought in online from Loco2 before reaching Spain.
From the train station in Seville I took a taxi to the Hotel and that costed me about 10-11 euro.
I could have taken a bus, then a cheaper train and walked or waited for the bus in Seville but I was already awake for about 16/17 hours and it was about 22:30 hours so I just wanted to reach my bed and sleep so I could start fresh the next day.
You can easily do this low cost according to the times of the flight to Malaga but I chose the fastest way to reach Seville(not the cheapest I must agree to that) but I was in Seville in 1:55 hours so that was all that mattered to me.
I spent four amazing days in Seville, I saw amazing places, I ate delicious meals and fell in love with the city.
What I will do bellow is only tell you about my must see’s places. The places that impressed me the most so if you had, by bad luck, only one day in Seville this is what I would suggest.
Start your visit with the…
• Real Alcazar de Sevilla
Do you enjoy beautiful buildings? Large gardens? Amazing colors? Palmtrees? Fountains?
You’re in luck because the Alcazar from Seville has them all.
This is a pretty large complex and I would suggest going there first thing in the morning.
The reasoning is simple. Other paid, important attractions open up later so you will have some time to enjoy the Alcazar in peace, hopefully with fewer tourists as well.
5.50 euro for the ticket and I must honestly say that it is too cheap comparing to what you will see inside and the amazing photos you can take if you are passionate about photography.
Tickets can be bought online and you should watch out for their Monday offer when the entrance is free from what I remember.
Even though I am a fast walker I managed to stay inside the Alcazar for quite some time, fascinated by how beautiful the buildings colors were blending with the green from the trees and the plants.
This place is beautifully kept, and all inside deserves a visit. Here you have a map of the complex and I am serious when I say you should visit this place for 1:00-2:00 hours depending on how fast you move to enjoy all it has to offer.
The palaces, the patio, the gardens, all are wonderful works of art and you will not feel sorry for spending time in this amazing complex.
After finishing the visit you will come out, walk for a few metres and you can reach the…
• Seville Cathedral
From the start let me tell you that this place is amazing. I rank it way higher than Notre Dame from Paris and above the Milan Duomo as well.
As usual Mondays are free(with some conditions) and the ticket price for the Cathedral is 9 euro. You can buy the tickets from here and I would strongly advise the following. Buy the first option. Cathedral, Giralda and Salvador ticket priced at 9 euros.
Not only you will get to see the cathedral but you will also gain access to two more amazing places. The Giralda tower, right next to the cathedral and the Salvador Church which is about 500-550 meters away from the Cathedral.
Try to pick 11:00(the opening hour) as your time visit. When you reach the Cathedral there will be two lines. One for internet tickets(print them at home or at the hotel before going to the Cathedral) and one for people standing in line to buy tickets. The really huge line is for people without electronic tickets so do yourself a favor and buy yours before getting there.
I managed to be the second person inside the Cathedral and had some time to admire its beauty in silence before people starting coming in.
Regarding the Cathedral all I can say is WOW. I was used to English, French, Italian churches but the churches I saw in Spain are a different kind. They are really grand. Checking them, walking inside, seeing the paintings, frescoes, the statues, the elaborate works of art you can understand why Spain was such a big empire with an amazing history behind it.
After finishing your tour with the Cathedral step out and walk inside the…
I won’t write all the details and the history behind the tower but I will say this. The long walk up(yes…no elevator) is totally worth it.
However long the walk is in here there are no steps so that makes it easier. The inclining ramps all the way up to the top of the tower are wide so you won’t be getting claustrophobic on the way up.
You will have an amazing view of Seville due to the fact that the tower is 100 meters up and has been the tallest structure in Seville for many years.
Due to its location you can see all the old neighborhoods and see how the city is organised.
The visit is included in the ticket as I said above(if you selected that particular ticket) and it would be a shame not to see Seville from above.
After descending the tower you have two options. I will detail first the option linked to the Seville Cathedral then I will point out the other option and let you chose the order in which to see them.
• Iglesia de El Salvador
Before entering this place I felt that nothing can really amaze me anymore. I seen churches in many countries, cathedrals, Duomo so I felt I was prepared.
Iglesia de El Salvador is unique. I never saw anything like it in my life and I seriously doubt I will again.
As you probably saw on my website I never take photos inside churches. But here I simply had to do it.
The monumental work, the carvings, the gold, the huge amount of work and talent left me in awe.
To make it even better, inside the Iglesia there were the carts used for the Semana Santa processions(a few of them) and I got to admire the delicate and intricate works on those carts from a close range too.
Even if you are not a believer, even if you don’t enjoy visiting churches this one is simply spectacular and it is already included on your 9 euro ticket so go ahead and try it.
After this visit you can retrace your steps or you can see the next thing after exiting Giralda, before moving to the Iglesia.
The next place I loved in Seville is…
• The Jewish quarter(La Juderia)
Small colored houses? Check. Twisting alleys? Check. Orange trees and palmtrees? Check.
You will love it here.
I visited this area two times. One later in the afternoon and one time in the morning. My morning visit was simply great due to the fact that no tourists had arrived yet and I was able to take as many photos as I wanted from all the angles that I wanted.
If you’re pressed by time or just want to see Seville in a day you can go here anytime but if you’re spending two whole days in this beautiful city I would start one day with the Alcazar and the other with the Jewish quarter.
Yes they are only a few meters away and you can squeeze them fast one after the other but if you love clear photos, no people in them or just want to see peaceful empty streets, come in the morning.
The advantage, if coming later in the day, is that all the shops are opened, restaurants are welcoming both tourists and locals and the place feels so much more alive.
If you’re hungry by any chance after all this walking there are a few good restaurants in the Cathedral area and you can check my experiences with them here.
From the Jewish Quarter your steps can take you to…
• Plaza de Espana
I think this place is one of the most photographed places in Seville. Even before reaching the city I looked on the internet, on maps, on books and there it was.
And rightfully deserved.
This place is a place of beauty. The construction, the water, the peaceful athmosphere all build to a lovely places that you should try to see if reaching Seville.
Due to the fact that it was Semana Santa and the first day of processions(I think) the little boats that run on the water were closed so I couldn’t row close to the buildings and study them from close range.
Even so this place is superb, beautifully constructed and the colors are so alive…
There is no ticket here but as you might have guessed it can get a bit crowded. Don’t be upset. If you have a little patience you will get a good place from which you can study the magnificent architecture.
There you have it. Six places that you should visit when in Seville if you are pressed on time.
However I would suggest you make more time for Seville. This is the kind of city that you will love walking on. The streets, the colored buildings, so many places to stop and eat, Seville offers beautiful things for all kinds of travelers.
If you weren’t pressed on time I would suggest heading over to the Macarena walls and visiting the Basilica de la Macarena. Another stunning piece of work that you will enjoy for sure.
You could also visit the Puente de Isabel II or head over for a quick stroll in Triana, maybe Seville’s proudest neighborhood.
Also I did not know if to bring this up here because of the mixed feelings people might get but this is a guide to the city after all so…
• Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Sevilla
Whether you like it or not bull fighting is part of the Spanish culture. And Seville still has large bull fights a few times each year.
Since I visited the Maestranza on a Monday I entered for free, took my ticket, got out and waited for the designated hour to get in.
A guide walks with you on a half an hour tour of what is one of the most famous bullfighting rings in Spain, telling you stories about matadors and bulls, showing you the museum and letting you enjoy the view of the arena.
I won’t stress much on this subject but even if I don’t enjoy bullfighting I went visiting this place because it gave me an even better knowledge, understanding of the traditions and history of Spain.
Seville is done for now but join me in the next parts and read about many more places in this beautiful part of Spain.