What to do in Sevilla
What can’t you do in Sevilla? There is something for everyone: historical monuments that shine in their architectural grandeur, traditional festivals that will whisk you away to another world, delicious traditional Spanish food and the most unique relaxation experience at AIRE Ancient Baths Sevilla.
Visit its historical and architectural heritage
All of Sevilla seems pay homage to the city’s rich historical and architectural heritage. Everywhere you look, you’ll see beautifully crafted monuments that interweave the Moorish and Catholic styles which are so deeply rooted in the city’s history.
Identified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the 16th-century Cathedral of Sevilla is certainly at the top of the list of places to visit. It is thought to be the third-largest church in the world, with 80 different chapels and the largest Gothic church. It is where Christopher Columbus, his son Diego, Ferdinand III of Castile, Alfonso the Wise and Peter the Cruel are buried.
While you’re there, check out the Giralda, the bell tower right next to the Cathedral. It was originally built by the Muslims during the reign of the Almohad Dynasty as the minaret for the Great Mosque. The Catholics later added a Renaissance-style flair to it after the expulsion of the Muslims, leaving an interesting fusion of cultures that can be appreciated today. The climb to the top is long, but there are archaeological exhibits along the way and the view from the top makes the effort worthwhile.
The Real Alcázar, also recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is a Mudéjar-style palace complex built under the reign of Peter the Cruel during the 14th century. It is the oldest royal palace in Europe still in use today. You’ll be able to tour its luxurious, lush-green courtyards and enjoy a marvelous view from the top of the Grutesco Gallery.
The Plaza de España, which sits on the edge of the Maria Luisa Park, is another must-see. It is an enchanting semi-circular plaza bordered by a canal. It was originally built for the Ibero-American Exposition in 1929 and stands as a typical example of Regionalism Architecture, blending Art Deco, Neo-Mudéjar and Renaissance Revival architectural styles.
Enjoy the folklore of the city
Quite possibly the most popular way to enjoy Sevilla’s folklore is to catch one of its traditional festivals, like the Feria de Abril. This festival is held in Los Remedios, just southwest of Sevilla, over the course of five consecutive days every year in April. People dress up in traditional costumes, like those typical polka-dot flamenco dresses that come to mind when thinking of Spanish culture, and eat and dance all night. Early in the evenings, they have activities for kids, such as horseback rides and fair attractions.
Sevilla’s Holy Week processions will also give you a glimpse into a tradition deeply rooted in the city’s history. Since the 16th century, Sevilla has been hosting 58 processions with over 50,000 participants. From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, you will be able to observe a number of brotherhoods somberly marching down the streets in traditional robes, carrying large statues on their shoulders and singing traditional acapella flamenco songs called “saetas”.
There is arguably nothing more Spanish than flamenco. Immerse yourself in Sevilla’s folklore by attending a flamenco show while you’re there. Many restaurants host tablaos in the evenings, complete with flamenco dancers, live musicians and delicious Spanish food. Tablao El Arenal, for example, which is right by the Cathedral, holds two 90-minute performances at night and offers a choice of tapas or a complete dinner with the show.
Indulge in the gastronomy
Speaking of food, you cannot leave Sevilla without indulging in its delicious gastronomy. The city is famous for the tapas bars that wind around the charming, narrow, European-style streets circling the Cathedral. Hop from bar to bar, trying each one’s specialty. The choices are endless: tortilla española (potato omelette), ham croquettes, manchego cheese, patatas bravas (potatoes topped with a spicy sauce), cured ham, fried calamari, etc. Forget about your diet for a few days and indulge in some traditional Spanish food.
Plan an afternoon to relax in AIRE
While traveling is fun, it can also be exhausting, so make sure to book an afternoon of blissful relaxation at AIRE Ancient Baths Sevilla. AIRE Ancient Baths offers the most unique mind-body healing experience you will find, tapping into the restorative powers of the ancient tradition of thermal baths. Get a massage and/or facial, book an aromatherapy treatment or just destress while you sit blissfully by candlelight. AIRE has six locations all over the world, one of them in Sevilla, so make sure you stop by while you’re in town. Its building is a restored Mudéjar-style palace displaying more than five centuries of Andalusian history. A beautiful historical landmark in its own right, this palace will whisk you away to another time and place, letting you unwind while you soak in the history of Sevilla.