Sevilla, Spain, is an exciting place to explore either solo or with a group. While there are many sites to see, the streets are not terribly winding and confusing and you will be able to wander aimlessly, finding shops, tapas restaurants, parks, castles, and more. Bring a map and a card with your hostel’s information on it just in case you get lost, but I would recommend using Sevilla as a place to relax and just explore on your own (I always need to break away from staring at maps and planning routes at times during my backpacking journeys).
Hostel: Stay at the Oasis Backpacker’s Hostel for a hostel that feels like a luxury hotel (well, one where you share a room with seven other people).
Breakfast at the Hostel (9 AM)- They have a delicious breakfast with crepes and myriad spreads (Nutella, yummmm!). It’s served on the roof so you’ll also get great views while you eat.
Visit the Alcazar Palace (10 AM)- A palace that was originally a moorish fort, this was my favorite actual site in Sevilla. While many castles and churches are pretty to look at for a bit, this one kept me enthralled the entire time, with its mudejar architecture mixed with modern influences from the years passed, the maze-like gardens, Islamic carvings, ceramic art, and the history and legends that go along with the visit (did the Moors really demand 100 virgins each year from the Christians?).
Walk by La Giralda Cathedral (12 PM)- The line will probably be long, but if are a big fan of cathedrals then go inside and spend less time wandering the parks and shops. I found it interesting to simply admire the structure from outside, as is known to be one of the most beautiful places in the Islamic world still standing. While the exact place of Christopher Columbus’s burial is still a mystery, this is supposedly thought by some to be the spot.
Explore Plaza de Espana and Maria Luisa Park (1PM)- The plaza is actually in the park, so this is like a 2-in-1 deal. The park has a Moorish feel and contains tiled fountains, ponds, palm trees (among other sorts), lush flower beds, pavilions, and, of course, benches to sit and enjoy the view from. The plaza makes a great photo opportunity as beautiful buildings form a half circle around the complex that houses mostly government buildings. A fountain in the center, as well as tiled alcoves representing the different provinces of Spain, are also worth checking out.
Wander aimlessly around the streets (2 PM)- Take a few hours to browse the shops in this town that is more lively than a quaint village but less chaotic than a bit city. There are many cobblestone streets, as well, adding to the ambiance of this culturally and historically rich region. I found it helpful to use the Avenida de la Constitution as my focus region and branch off from there. You will find tons interesting shops, art, design, horse carriages and lots of yummy tapas places, too (so stop for lunch).
Head back to the hostel for drinks near the pool and dinner (4/4:30 PM)- Mingle up at the rooftop pool and hot-tub or relax in the terrace. While you’re not supposed to drink while in the hot tub, none of the staff seemed to really have a problem with it, and my new friends and I made numerous runs to the bar downstairs to purchase pitchers of Sangria (Note: This Sangria is no joke. While some places will cheat and mix soda and wine, the bartender here took about fifteen minutes each time cutting, mixing, and blending). Play cards, have drinks, and socialize while getting a glowing Spanish tan. For about 5 Euros, the hostel staff will also cook up delicious local cuisine, including heaping plates of Paella overflowing with meat.
See a Flamenco Show (Varies depending on day and venue, usually start times are between 7-10PM)- The hostel regularly has nighttime activities and tours, some of which include Flamenco. If this doesn’t happen to fall on when you go, ask the hostel about discounted tickets. The area of Triana is known for its Flamenco, and there are countless bars where you can catch local acts. If you’re looking for something more professional (which I would recommend), check out the Museum of Flamenco Dance. Not only can you see a show for 15-23 Euro, you can also visit the museum as well as take Flamenco classes. What better way to get first hand knowledge of a culture?
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