Seville‘s motto is “no me ha dejado” – “it has not forsaken me”. Indeed, a visit to this enchanting city will stay in your memory for a long time after leaving, especially if you take a reminder back home with you. From the ceramic workshops of Triana to the city’s stately, historic bullring, these are the best places to buy souvenirs in the Andalusian capital.
Ceramic shops in Triana
A ceramic artefact from the charming gypsy neighbourhood of Triana is one of the most distinctive souvenirs that can be brought home from a visit to Seville. This quarter has long been famous for its beautiful ceramic products and its pretty mosaics, the latter of which decorate many building façades and bar walls in this part of town. As expected, then, a plethora of workshops and outlets sell pots, plates, vases and ornaments in the traditional Triana style, but particularly good is Ceramica Ruiz, at the northern end of Calle San Jorge, one of the neighbourhood’s principal streets.
Among the many delights of Seville’s gorgeous former gypsy quarter is its covered market. This joyful cacophony of fruit, vegetable and meat stalls is a great place to pick up high-quality cured meats to take back home. It was built on the site of an old castle – one wall of which still remains – and given the Andalusian flair for turning even the most mundane tasks into social occasions, it is also home to a number of superb little tapas bars. This market is an established fixture on the tourist map, yet it is still where the more discerning of Triana’s locals do their daily fruit and veg shop, making it a perfect spot for people watching as well as souvenir shopping.
Bullfighting aficionados will attest that the only other plaza de toros to rival Seville’s in prestige is Madrid’s enormous Las Ventas. When souvenir shopping in the Andalusian capital, a visit to this historic and elegant bullring is a must, even if you’re opposed to what occurs on its bright sands; it houses a fascinating museum exploring the history of the spectacle alongside a shop selling the beautifully designed posters used to advertise bullfights. These make for great mementos of a visit to Seville – the city regarded throughout Spain as the true home of its most controversial spectacle.
Every Sunday morning at 7:30am – when the last of Saturday’s revellers are thinking of calling it a night – the trendy Alameda de Hercules hosts one of Seville’s most interesting arts and crafts markets, making it a great place to pick up a unique souvenir. In addition to paintings and sculptures by local artists, the Alameda market also offers a huge range of trinkets and antiques that will make for a much more interesting gift than the tacky, mass-produced items available in the main tourist shops. The Alameda itself is a lovely place to spend a Sunday morning and is lined with some of the Andalusian capital’s best tapas restaurants. Also good for original and well-made keepsakes is the Mercado de Artesanos Del Postigo near the Seville Cathedral.
Nothing says that ‘I’ve been to Seville’ with as much verve and style as one of the stunning flamenco dresses, or trajes gitanas (gypsy dresses), worn by women during the city’s annual Feria de Abril. Along with bullfighting, flamenco is a huge part of Sevillian culture: shops selling the world-famous trajes and their accessories are scattered throughout the city; given that a quality item will set you back a least a couple of hundred euros, though, it’s more of a serious purchase than a fun memento or gift. More affordable and just as attractive is a pair of flamenco shoes, a lovely shawl typically worn with the traje or the flower pins women decorate their hair with for the feria. Flamenco y Mas offers the full range of flamenco paraphernalia in the city centre.
Wine and sherry are important parts of gastronomic culture in Seville, a city where every local is an expert on why the local varieties are far superior to those produced elsewhere in Andalusia. A liquid souvenir of one of the local reds or whites, the city’s signature fortified orange wine or its beloved Manzanilla sherry is a great token to remember a visit to the Andalusian capital. Any decent supermarket sells local wines, but for a touch of class, head to the Corte Inglés department store for a bigger (and more expensive) selection or to the delightful Lama La Uva, where the staff are only too happy to help you choose something special.