One of the city’s most distinctive sights is that of the colourful fronts of buildings lining the Guadalquivir River in the former gypsy neighbourhood of Triana. They are best viewed from the opposite side of the river, where you can stroll on a wide pathway as you take in the vibrant colours.
There are also spectatcular riverside views to be enjoyed at night, when Seville wears an entirely different suit of colours. This photo is looking towards the historical city centre from the Triana side of the river.
Triana is also home to one of the city’s best food markets, the Mercado de Triana. Located at the end of the Triana bridge on the site of a medieval castle – part of the walls of which can be viewed inside the market – this is a vibrant and colourful nucleus of local life.
Most of Seville’s historic attractions are located on the other side of the river from Triana. The city’s elegant 18th-century bullring is one of them, and it boasts an understated and yet astonishingly beautiful facade.
During Seville’s annual April Fair, the city hosts some of the most prestigious bullfights in Spain. The ring is packed with well-dressed locals and tourists, who come to experience the intense colours and emotions of the bullfight.
Controversial as the bullfight is, its colours are are dazzling: the bright reds and pinks of the matadors’ capes and costumes contrast with the yellow of the sand, the blacks and browns of the bulls’ hides and the brilliant blue of an Andalusian sky.
The beating heart of Seville’s Feria de Abril is a vast, sanded fairground called the recinto, where around 1,000 marquees – casetas – are set up for dancing, drinking and eating every year. The local women dress in the beautiful flamenco dresses – trajes de gitanas, or ‘gypsy dresses’ – for which Andalusia is famous.
During the Feria de Abril, each caseta is uniquely decorated in its own vibrant colour scheme, which is complemented by the smart attire of the Sevillanos.
Seville’s colours are not just on display during its annual feria. The main courtyard of one of its key historical monuments, the Royal Alcazar Palace, is stunning at any time of year.
The Lion’s Gate is the Alcazar’s main entrance is also a striking sight, especially after dark, when its ancient maroon walls are softly illuminated in orange.
The Alcazar’s Dona Maria de Padilla baths are another of the Palace’s most attractive features and seem to glow in a rich orange light.
Another of the city’s key architectural gems is its gigantic cathedral, which is the largest gothic cathedral in the world. Its Giralda belltower reaches up into the deep blue skies that Seville enjoys most of the year round.
From the cathedral, it’s just a 10-minute stroll to the beautiful Plaza de España, a semi-circular building decorated with tile mosaics overlooking a moat crossed by four attractive little bridges. It was built for Seville’s hosting of the Ibero-American Fair in 1929.
Pay close attention to the intricate tile mosaics as you explore the Plaza de España, as they are some of its most aesthetically pleasing features.
Adjoining the Plaza de España is the leafy and tropical Parque Maria Luisa, Seville’s prettiest park. Take a carriage around its wide boulevards and enjoy the profusion of natural colour that surrounds you.
Santa Cruz is Seville’s oldest neighbourhood and, along with Triana, its most attractive. Just like Triana, it boasts a wealth of brightly decorated buildings, with the most popular colours being bold reds, oranges and yellows.
One of Santa Cruz’s principal attractions is the striking Metropol Parasol monument. The largest wooden structure in the world, it is known locally as Las Setas, or ‘the Mushrooms’, due its distinctively shaped canopies.
The orange trees for which Seville is famous are in abundance on the streets and squares of Santa Cruz. Their bitter fruit looks beautiful against the dark-green leaves and stark whitewashed buildings.
Elsewhere in the city, lush tropical foliage grows next to brightly blossoming trees; framed against the deep blue of a Seville sky, the mixture of colours can be breathtaking.
Always remember to look up as you explore the oldest parts of Andalusia’s enchanting capital; you’re more than like to see scenes that seem to come straight out of a fairy tale.
This is a city in which most private residences are things of great beauty; a city whose singular charm and life-affirming colours will leave you spellbound. Not for nothing is the city’s motto Sevilla – no me ha dejado; ‘Seville – it has not forsaken me.’