Seville’s motto is “No me ha dejado”—“It has not forsaken me”. Hinting as it does at the captivating effect this city has on all who visit it, it couldn’t be more appropriate for the Andalusian capital. Here are seven reasons why Seville should be on everyone’s bucket list.
The controversial spectacle of bullfighting is at the heart of Sevillano culture, a fact which is reflected in the First Category status of its beautiful 18th-century bullring. Though technically it shares this status with six other arenas in Spain, aficionados will tell you the only other plaza de toros to rival Seville’s in prestige is Madrid’s enormous Las Ventas. Even if you’re not prepared to experience what happens on the bright sands of the Real Maestranza (as the Seville plaza is called), a visit to this historic bullring is a must if you’re in the Andalusian capital: it houses a fascinating museum exploring the history of the spectacle, alongside a shop selling the beautifully-designed posters used to advertise bullfights. If you want to see for yourself what the impassioned debate is about, visit Seville during its great Feria de Abril, when several bullfights of the highest quality are held.
Plaza de Toros de Sevilla, 12 Paseo de Cristóbal Colón, Seville, Spain, +34 954 22 45 77
The banks of the Guadalquivir
Flowing through the middle of Seville is the distinctively-green Guadalquivir river, which is now spanned by several ornate bridges connecting the city’s two halves. Seville owes a great deal to the murky waters of the Guadalquivir; flowing out into the Atlantic through the Bay of Cádiz, it gave the city a trading monopoly with the New World after its discovery by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Riches from the Americas poured into Seville and the city became enormously wealthy and powerful as a result. On sunny weekends (and there are great deal of them here), the lush banks of this great river are crowded with locals enjoying an activity named botellón, in which they carry their own booze down to the river and enjoy spontaneous, open-aired house parties. Blending in among them and indulging in your own riverside botellón is a great way to spend an afternoon in Seville, not least because it enables you to escape the ferocious heat and big crowds of the city centre.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
There are no shortage of neighbourhoods in Andalusia where time stands to have stood still; barrios in which the homogenising trends of modernity have failed to take hold. One of the most enchanting of them all is Triana, the former gypsy quarter of Seville sitting on the other side of the river from the historic city centre. Many great flamenco artists and bullfighters have come from its attractive yellow and white-fronted houses, which are decorated with the pretty tile mosaics for which Triana is famous; indeed, as you arrive here via the Isabel II bridge, you are greeted by a statue of Juan Belmonte, the Triana-born matador said to be the greatest of the 20th century. Triana is also packed with traditional tapas bars—kitted out with the mandatory mounted bulls’ heads, bullfighting posters and pictures of a weeping Virgin Mary—offering insanely cheap drinks and snacks, meaning you can keep yourself well-refreshed whilst exploring this unforgettable neighbourhood.
Even if you usually have to be dragged to look at things like churches and cathedrals, Seville’s is likely to amaze you with its size alone: it is the largest Gothic cathedral and third largest church in the world. Construction of this sprawling Gothic complex, which houses 80 chapels and has the longest central nave in Spain, began in 1401 on the site of the city’s former mosque. Work continued for over a hundred years, and in 1507 the cathedral was finally completed, having quite spectacularly succeeded in fulfilling the design team’s original aim to make something “so beautiful and so magnificent that those who see it will think we are mad”. Its iconic Giralda bell tower was formerly the mosque’s minaret and is all that remains of the Islamic structure that preceded the cathedral.
Catedral de Sevilla, Av. de la Constitución, Seville, Spain, +34 902 09 96 92
The old Jewish quarter of Seville has not changed much over the past few centuries (like Triana) and should be one of the first areas you explore when visiting here. It was into Santa Cruz that Ferdinand III banished the city’s Jewish population when he took Seville from the Moors in 1248; and brutal though the King undoubtedly was, one can’t help feeling, wandering around this maze of colourful houses and winding, cobbled streets, that there could have been worse places in which to be confined. Discovering Santa Cruz’s secret little squares and alleyways is a great way to spend a few hours in Seville, all the more so because the area is packed with traditional tapas joints where you can sample local specialities like stewed bull’s tail and pork in whisky sauce. It’s also a great place to check out flamenco, with the superb Museo Baile Flamenco (Flamenco Dance Museum) offering a fascinating exposition of the art’s complex history and nightly shows featuring some of Andalusia’s top performers.
Museo Baile Flamenco, Calle Manuel Rojas Marcos 3, Seville, Spain, +34 954 34 03 11
Central Seville can be a confusing place to navigate, but one landmark you can always use to orientate yourself is Las Setas (The Mushrooms). This distinctive structure, built between 2005 and 2011 over Roman remains discovered during its construction, is the largest wooden monument in the world and dominates the once run-down Plaza de la Encarnación in the centre of historic Seville. On its lower level you can view the Roman remains over which its canopies tower and on top there is a walkway offering stunning panoramic views of the Andalusian capital. This is without doubt the best spot in the city to head for the sunset, when you can watch the light fade over the rooftops of Santa Cruz as you sip from the glass of fizz that’s included in the price of your ticket: the perfect finale for any visit to Seville.
Las Setas de Sevilla, Plaza de la Encarnación, Seville, Spain, +34 954 56 15 12
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.