AOK Guide to Seville, Spain

AOK Guide to Seville, Spain, featuring blogger Amanda's OK at the Plaza de Espana

Hola, amigos! I finally got to take the most long-awaited vacation of my life....our five year anniversary trip turned six and a half year anniversary trip finally happened a year and a half later than originally planned (thank you, pandemic)! I honestly expected this trip to get postponed again so I didn't do the usual amount of planning and prepping and itinerary making as I normally do before a big European vacation but ya know what? I kinda liked it. I was worried that "winging it" would be stressful, but we were able to take every day as it came and really live in the moment. I waited until the absolute last possible minute to pick out restaurants, buy tickets to attractions and figure out what to do each day (so not like me) so not everything we did was a win, but I wanted to share the things that we loved and would recommend! 

We started our trip flying from OKC > DFW > Madrid and immediately jumped on a train to Seville in Andalusia (Southern Spain) - it was a little under three hour train ride. We stayed in Seville for several days, took a day trip to Cordoba, and then eventually traveled to Lisbon and Madrid (blog posts coming soon). Seville was such a cool place! It was full of history, winding streets, colorful buildings and all the tapas your heart could desire. The ambiance of Seville was unlike any other European city I've been to. There is a lot of Moorish and Islamic influence in Andalusia since it is so close to Africa, so (as I told my mom), it was more of a Princess Jasmine vibe instead of a Cinderella/Aurora/Belle vibe haha. 

OKC blogger Amanda Martin visits Seville, Spain with her husband
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Travel Tips for Visiting Seville

  • Ignore the Spanish ladies trying to hand you rosemary outside popular attractions, they are pick pockets! Always keep your purse attached to you, especially when eating on patios next to a busy street. 
  • No rental car needed unless you plan to travel to multiple Andalusian towns. We were able to walk almost everywhere and called an Uber / caught a cab the few times it was too far to walk. 
  • Cabs often have areas where they park and wait in groups - that way you don't have to hail a cab on the street! Keep an eye out and make mental notes of where they are all congregated. 
  • Pack an umbrella! Seville is close to the coast and we experienced several unexpected afternoon beach storms rolling through. 
  • Wear your best walking shoes. You will walk a LOT and the streets are often slippery and uneven cobblestones. I wore these leather Chacos almost every day and LOVED them! 

sunset over Seville, Spain

What to Do in Seville, Spain

  • Visit the Royal Alcazar of Seville - this is an incredible royal palace built for Christian King Peter of Castile. The architecture and style was unlike any palace I have ever visited. Due to the history of the region, the palace has a blend of Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, Islamic and Baroque styles. The interior is beautiful, but the gardens were truly breathtaking! So much so that it is the filming location for "Dorne" in Game of Thrones. We purchased a skip the line ticket online - it wasn't really needed due to lack of crowds from covid but I'm sure it will be necessary again one day. 
  • See the Seville Cathedral - this is debatably the fourth largest church in the world and the largest Gothic style church. It started out as a Mosque and was eventually transformed to a Catholic church. You could really see the original Islamic details shining through the architecture. 
  • Go to the Plaza de Espana - aka the planet of Naboo, where they filmed part of Star Wars Episode II! This palace is HUGE and so cool to see, pictures don't do it justice! 
  • Take pictures at the Metropol Parasol - one of the world's largest wooden structures!
  • Walk by the Torre del Oro (an old military watch tower on the river) and the Pirate Ship replica just down the river from it
  • Attend a Flamenco Show - Flamenco is said to have originated here! Unfortunately we were too jet lagged to stay up and go to a Flamenco show (most of them didn't start until 9 or 10 pm). I'm sad we didn't make it to one! 
  • Take a day trip to Cordoba - I HIGHLY recommend taking a day trip to Cordoba...or road tripping to any of the surrounding Andalusian towns! Cordoba was only about an hour away via train and was just as historic and awe-inspiring as Seville with winding streets and flowers hanging everywhere. It also had a really cool Mosque turned cathedral, the Mezquita, and a bridge there was another filming location for Game of Thrones. A must! 

OKC based travel blogger @AmandasOK visits the Real Alcazar of Seville
The Royal Alcazar of Seville | Shop this outfit here

Amanda Martin of Amanda's OK Blog visits the Seville Cathedral in Spain
The Seville Cathedral

Amanda's OK Blog visits Cordoba, Spain
A Day in Cordoba & The Mezquita

@amandasok at the Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain
The Plaza de Espana | Shop this outfit here

Snapshots of sights in Seville, Spain from @amandasok travels
Metropol Parasol | Torre del Oro | Shop this outfit here

What to Eat & Drink in Seville, Spain

Seville is known for its tapas scene! Tapas are little plates (basically appetizers) that are served with a drink. I love the overall idea, but I don't recommend making an entire meal out of tapas because they are very heavy and rich for such little bites! There are a ton of tapas tours you can go on, or you can make your own tapas tour and hop from place to place on a bar crawl. Most places have menus posted outside that you can read before sitting down. La Calle Mateos Gago is a picturesque little street lined with tapas bars and restaurants and would be a great place to do this! 

Pro tip: if you visit Seville, you MUST try their orange wine, vino de naranja, it is like a sweet orange port and makes a perfect night cap! It's available at most grocery stores and at some of the tapas bar (we got it at Taberna Alvaro Peregil on la Calle Mateos Gago).

Here are a few of the restaurants we enjoyed and would recommend:

  • Bar El Comercio - this is little restaurant is said to have the best churros and chocolate in Seville
  • Parceria Cafe - a yummy breakfast/brunch spot with amazing coffee and banana bread ... and an English menu! 
  • El Pasaje Tapas - this was right next to where we stayed and it was one of my favorite meals! The ceviche is amazing and it was by far the best sangria of the trip
  • Perro Viejo - this is a bit more of a nice dinner spot as opposed to the average tapas bar
  • Bodeguita Antonio Romero Origen - this spot has authentic Andalusian fare - they had amazing Iberico ham that they sliced right behind the counter
  • Patio San Eloy - a follower told me I had to stop by here and try a montadito - it was one of my favorite meals in Spain

where to eat and drink in Seville, Spain

@amandasok travel blog shares her favorite restaurants from Seville, Spain

Amanda's OK shares her favorite meals from Seville, Spain
Patio San Eloy | Parceria Cafe

Where to Stay in Seville, Spain

We stayed a few blocks from the Cathedral in this AirBNB - it was perfectly located within walking distance to everything and it had the BEST rooftop terrace that overlooked the heart of the city. It was one of the best AirBNBs I've ever stayed in! 10/10 recommend. 

where to stay in Seville, Spain

Visiting Seville was really awesome and I don't want to talk bad about it or sound unappreciative of the trip, but I do want to mention that it was the most difficult language barrier I've ever experienced. I've been to France and Italy (I speak zero French or Italian) and have always been able to get by. I know WAY more Spanish than I do French or Italian....I took several years of Spanish in school + I Duolingo'd daily for months prior to our trip and I still had the most difficult time communicating. I know it is a different dialect of Spanish, but I tried to speak in Spanish and always apologized for not speaking well and the Spaniards just didn't care. They were not mean exactly, but they were also not helpful or kind or understanding. I wondered if it was because Southern Spain isn't as touristy and they just didn't know any English, or if they just didn't have the time of day for non-Spanish speakers? Not sure, but it made things quite difficult and took away from our overall experience. It was a good reminder to always be kind to foreigners in your own country!

And there you have it! Seville in a nutshell. Be sure to check back for my guides to Lisbon and Madrid, coming soon. 

Thanks for reading and happy travels! 

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