Seville is one of the most beautiful cities I have seen to date. The amazing architecture has Islamic influence and visibly stands out as the distinguishing factor in the city. Locals are quick to make friends and are extremely proud of their city and country. Don't miss the Giralda, Museo de Bellas Artes, Semana Santa with its beautiful processions during Holy Week and Feria a few weeks after, when families spend the week dancing, drinking and socializing within their own casetas.
Cervecerķa Giralda, Spain
Seville 41004, Spain
Tel: 34 954 228 250
There's some stiff competition among Seville's tapas bars, and Cerveceria Giralda is one of the best. Take a pavement table, order a glass of sherry and a tapa (we recommend skate with seafood sauce, and pork sirloin in whisky), and watch the Giralda take on an orange glow as the sun dips. This is a great spot to witness the parade of people on a tapas-bar crawl along Mateas Gago. If there are no tables outside, the interioran old Arab bathhouse with a vaulted stone ceilingis almost as atmospheric.
Open daily from 9 am to midnight.
See + Do
Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza, Spain
Tel: 34 954 224 577
Bizet's Carmen met her fate in the red-and-yellow Real Maestranza bullring, where a statue of her now stands. This elegant ring, flanked by stables and a chapel, is one of the oldest and most beautiful in Spainbuilding began in 1730. You can also visit a museum containing paintings, cloaks, and tributes to bullfighting celebrities. (If you hanker to see an actual bullfight, note that few are held in summer.)
Open daily 9:302 and 37 (9:303 on bullfight days).
See + Do
Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla, Spain
Tel: 34 95 478 6482
This museum houses one of the world's best collections of Spanish art, particularly from the medieval and Renaissance eras. Highlights include stunning works by El Greco, as well as tender Murillo Virgins and macabre biblical scenes by 17th-century artist Juan de Valdés Leal. The collection is housed in a charming 17th-century convent.
Open Tues 2:308:30, WedSat 98:30, Sun 92:30; closed Mon.
See + Do
Catedral de Sevilla and Giralda Tower, Spain
Tel: 34 954 214 971
Its 15th-century builders said, "Let us create such a building that future generations will take us for lunatics." Today, Seville's cathedral is Europe's third-largest church, a Gothic pile topped by spires, towers, and a delicate network of buttresses. Inside, you'll find Columbus's tomb; works by Goya, Murillo, and Zurbarán; and a display of skulls. La Giralda is the single remaining minaret of the 12th-century mosque on which the cathedral was built. Climb the 300-foot tower's ramp for a superb city view.
Open MonSat 112:30 and 34, Sun 2:306; JulAug 9:303:30.
See + Do
Tel: 34 954 502 323
First built in A.D. 913, this fortress was expanded and rebuilt countless times by successive Muslim rulers. In the 14th century, Catholic kings took it over and further embellished it. The Alcázar is a succession of courtyards, tiled arbors, enclosed gardens, and halls with lacy stucco friezes adorned with Arabic inscriptions. The Spanish royal family still uses it as their pad on visits to Seville (making it the oldest royal residence in Europe still in use).