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Escaping to colorful Sevilla, Spain

visit Seville Spain

Sevilla is one of the first places I ever visited in Spain, way back when circa 2004. The heart of Andalucía – it’s the typical Spain you envision. It has it all. Flamenco. Old stuff. Warm weather with hot winds that smell like orange blossoms. Honestly, it is all kinds of ridiculous.

Sevilla is bright and colorful and it’s everything I love about Spain.

When I lived in Spain, Sevilla was one of those spots I’d pass through a lot. I have such amazing memories from there. It was one of those places that made me fall in love with Spain. If you ever visit, you’ll understand. Southern Spain is the best.

I was so excited to pass through Sevilla on my trip to Spain last summer. It was the first time I would be back in years and years. I love returning to my old haunts with fresh eyes, especially after becoming a blogger.

I’ve shared some postcard shots and snippets of my favorite stories from a couple of days returning to beautiful Sevilla last June – Enjoy.

visit Seville Spain

Early morning walks around the barrio Santa Cruz

Because Sevilla is so classically beautiful, it means it’s popular. It’s like the Florence of Spain and come summer time, boom it’s busy busy busy.

I’ve never been a people person or a fan of crowds, and now after living in one of the least populated places on earth, it’s become even worse. I didn’t even try to take photos during the day around Santa Cruz, the main touristic and historic neighborhood.

But here’s a secret – if you go walk around early, there will be nobody around. 8am in Spain is like 6am in the rest of the world – it’s absolutely dead out and you’ll have the place to yourself.

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

Sneaking into the Catedral de Sevilla in before hours

On Instagram everyone asked me how I took these photos without people in them. Easy. I took them at 8am.

Are you ready for another secret? You can get into the famous cathedral before they open in the mornings while they set up for mass. Oh, and it’s free. Granted, some of the lights won’t be on and you can’t go up the Giralda Tower (that I know of) but you can get inside and ogle the amazing architecture and stare at Columbus’ tomb with nobody else around.

For some reason I can’t find any info about this online and maybe I am completely wrong and just walked in an open door and nobody noticed me. But even if that’s the case, there’s hope for you too. Good luck!

visit Seville Spain

Want to improve your photography skills? This amazing course by Elia Locardi was instrumental in getting me to where I am today!

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

Falling in love with the charming Corral del Rey

Sometime in June, I caught a cheap bus into town with Busbud and headed down to the oldest part of the city to check into my room at the Corral del Rey, one of the cutest boutique hotels I’ve ever visited.

Without a doubt one of the things the miss the most about living in Europe are all the historic buildings. We don’t have a lot of Renaissance palaces or Roman tombs down here in New Zealand, and I sure miss them.

I lived in a historic apartment in Logroño in the medieval quarter, and OMG I miss it every day. I definitely took it for granted when I was in Spain.

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

The Corral del Rey is in the most beautiful restored 17th century building a few minutes from la Giralda and cathedral in the cute Barrio Alfalfa, so just my cup of tea. I fizz over buildings like this tucked away down narrow cobbled alleys, one day I hope to own one myself to restore a la Under the Tuscan Sun.

I guess I should work on being able to afford rent first though, right? Haha.

Woah, am I really thinking about a mortgage? What is happening to me?

visit Seville Spain

I also just have to add that the Corral del Rey had one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had in Spain, which is saying something.

At least for me Spanish breakfasts usually leave something to be desired. I’m a brunch girl through and through and holy crap did I miss weekend eggs or fresh fruit muesli when I lived in Spain, as much as I love the traditional tomato bread and olive oil toast in the south.

The breakfast here was really impressive and beautifully displayed, so I had to mention it. I don’t know if you can dine in if you aren’t a guest, but it’s worth asking.

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

Sunset at the Plaza de España

Another thing I miss about living in Spain is the walkability. I loved being able to walk wherever I wanted to.

My last night in Sevilla I took a long walk towards the iconic Plaza de España. It had been a hot day and I was eager to visit this open space late in the afternoon once it began to cool down.

It looks so different from the typical patios in Spain, I was keen to return. I don’t think I had been since I visited with an ex in 2011.

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

I’m obsessed with the colorful tiles around the plaza and looking for the cities where I’ve lived:

SalamancaCórdobaLogroño

So many memories. I love (and often hate) returning to places that have a tie on my heart.

visit Seville Spain

Got any questions about my cameras? I wrote a whole post about them here!

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

Tile love from Sevilla

I freaking love the tiles and patterns around Spain’s mudejar architecture. Swoon!

Patterns make me happy, is that weird?

Don’t answer that.

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

Getting my Game of Thrones on at the Alcazar de Sevilla

Hands up if you love Game of Thrones as much as me? Anyone? Anyone?

Well, if you are a fan of Fire and Ice, then you probably already know that the Water Gardens of Dorne were filmed in Sevilla. And not just anywhere, at the famous Alcazar (palace). Holy crap!

Oberyn Martell, where you AT?

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

The Alcazar de Sevilla is not really a hidden gem or secret. In fact it’s probably one of the most visited places in Spain. The first time I visited was back in high school and I took photos with a disposable Kodak camera, so you can probably imagine I was pretty stoked to go back with a big girl camera (and you can read all about what I’ve got in my camera bag here!).

Even though it was crowded as hell which basically just frustrated me to no end. But that’s summer in Spain for you. I spent hours taking my time to wander around the gardens which is my favorite part of the grounds.

After that I caught up with my friend Cat from Sunshine and Siestas for an afternoon of walking, tapas, beers and ice-cream. As it should be, right?

visit Seville Spain

Seriously, the Alcazar Gardens just blow me away.

And they are big enough and if you have enough time to wander around them, you will find a corner of peace and quiet. So bring a book if you can.

And maybe you’ll run into the Prince of Dorne. Fingers crossed.

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

visit Seville Spain

If I can, I love returning to places that have special moments for me, which was certainly the case with Sevilla.

Time always brings fresh eyes, so in some ways it’s like going to a new place, know what I mean?

Have you ever felt that way about a place? Have you been to Sevilla? Is it on your bucketlist?

visit Seville Spain

Many thanks to Corral del Rey for hosting me while I was in Sevilla, aand there are some affiliate links in this post (I gotta pay the bills!) – but like always I’m keeping it real, all opinions are my own. Like you could expect less from me. 

108 Responses to Escaping to colorful Sevilla, Spain

  1. Kate February 22, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

    Seville looks absolutely amazing! Hope to visit the city soon!

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:28 am #

      It’s such a neat city!

  2. Rena February 22, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

    I see, Sevilla is really a visit worth! Thanks for sharing the adorable pictures.
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:28 am #

      Thanks!

  3. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas February 22, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

    It was so great to catch up, despite the drizzle! The most wonderful part of living in Seville is just that – susnhine, a breeze, snacks and friends!

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:29 am #

      I’m so glad we got to hang!

  4. Lydia Lienhart February 22, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

    Great inspiration!
    Love the pics!

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:29 am #

      Cheers

  5. Half This World Away February 22, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

    Seville looks gorgeous!! Like you, I hate crowded places so good tip to get up and explore early! I am visiting the south of Spain in mid-April, so Seville is definitely on my list!

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:29 am #

      April is a fab month to visit southern spain before it gets too hot

  6. Liz Peterson February 22, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    Wow, Liz. You did such an incredible job covering Seville. I have a similar story. I visited Sevilla in 2011 and absolutely fell in love. I haven’t been back since, but am heading there in 1 week to relive everything that I loved so much. This was the perfect preview to get me even more excited about my trip. Your pictures do an incredible job capturing the city’s beauty and I cannot wait to try to wander into the cathedral :).

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:29 am #

      omg that’s awesome, its so good to go back to special places right?

  7. Claudia February 22, 2016 at 11:31 pm #

    I visited Sevilla in the summer of 2000 and loved it. But it was OH SO HOT there. I think one day the thermometer showed 49 degrees Celsius. It was insane. I would love to go back, perhaps when the weather is a bit milder!

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:29 am #

      yeah don’t go in July or august haha

  8. Nocktoebenaughto February 23, 2016 at 12:49 am #

    Wow. Looks beautiful. I live in bilbao. I love it but Seville holds a certain classic charm that eludes bilbao.

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:30 am #

      totally know what you mean

  9. säppä February 23, 2016 at 1:37 am #

    Patterns make me happy too! 😀 And I’m going to Sevilla next month, thanks for the tips. 🙂

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:30 am #

      have fun xx

  10. Emily February 23, 2016 at 3:05 am #

    I just love all of the details! The tiles and carvings and intricate little details make me so happy. I would love to visit Seville! And I totally love that the Alcazar was Dorne! I definitely recognize it now. Awesome!

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:30 am #

      I hope you get to visit one day xx

  11. solosophie February 23, 2016 at 3:56 am #

    I’m going to Sevilla later this year. AND I’M SO EXCITED! Lovely photos, as usual and I’ll definitely have to make a point of getting up early to see the sites before it gets too busy! 🙂

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:30 am #

      for sure!

  12. Julia February 23, 2016 at 5:59 am #

    Thanks for that! I worked 2 years in southern spain, cordoba and cadiz! And i absolutly fell in love with sevilla! Love your photos, it took me back! Have to visit soon again! 🙂 saludos desde austria

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:30 am #

      Thanks!

  13. Kyndal February 23, 2016 at 6:02 am #

    1) Holding my hand up as I am Fire & Ice obsessed as well
    2) ALL of your pictures are so inspiring! I want to go to all of these places
    3) I plan on going to NZ to get my LOTR on, but now I’m definitely heading to the Alcazar gardens too.

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:31 am #

      awesome wahoo!

  14. Carmen Everywhere February 23, 2016 at 6:36 am #

    Liz, not bad! I am Spanish and I think you captured the essence of Sevilla rather well. I have been there so many times ( not very far from my home) and it never loses it’s magic on me. Just look at those gorgeous buildings and on top of great weather. Where else will you find such beauty, paradise on Earth!

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:31 am #

      it’s such a magical place right??

  15. Tracey February 23, 2016 at 6:40 am #

    The town of Seville was a highlight for me on our tour across Spain, just wish we could have spent more time at Plaza de España – we literally only had 7 minutes there. The tile mosaic is mind blowing!

    • Liz February 23, 2016 at 8:31 am #

      such beautiful tiles!

  16. Jennifer February 23, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    Love your blog! These photos make me miss Spain so much! Andalusian Spain has such a fun, laid back atmosphere. I’m so glad to have had the experiences I did when I was there!

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

      It is such a rad region, right?

  17. Rachel Elizabeth February 23, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    Holy shit, those tiles are aaaamazing. So vivid!

    I’m visiting Spain in March but have limited time so sadly I’m missing the south! 🙁 🙁 Now I want to rebook a trip for NEXT March that strictly focuses on Andalusia. Orange blossom breezes sound incredible.

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

      so cool right?

  18. Kassandra February 23, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    “Flamenco. Old stuff.” hahahahahha! Great read, thanks for sharing!

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

      hahaha

  19. bertliussaza February 23, 2016 at 4:08 pm #

    wow, what an amazing Seville. The art of that architecture and the pattern of that tiles are bringing me back the memory when i visited Topkapi Palace on Istanbul ! It look gorgeous as Seville but with a different culture of art.

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

      It’s similar isn’t it?

  20. Keri February 24, 2016 at 2:47 am #

    SO excited you did a post on Sevilla! I studied abroad there and the city is absolutely beautiful!
    I also highlighted the city on my blog
    Xoxo
    Keri

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

      Nice!

  21. Mel February 24, 2016 at 4:16 am #

    This is a weird question but how do you collage your photos? Do you use an app?

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

      Picasa

  22. Keri @ Ladies what travel February 24, 2016 at 4:29 am #

    Loved Seville, hope to go back one day, it was just so beautiful and had such a relaxed vibe. Also couldn’t get enough of the fresh orange juice!

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

      SAME

  23. Traveling Rockhopper February 24, 2016 at 6:39 am #

    I didn’t know, it’s such a beautiful city!

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

      Even better in person 🙂

  24. Trevor Huxham February 24, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    Liz this post makes my heart so happy!!! Your photos are exquisite and truly capture the colorful, unique beauty that is Sevilla. I love your tip about sneaking into the cathedral before opening hours; I knew you could do that at the Mezquita-Catedral in Córdoba but I had no idea you could do that in Sevilla, too!

    And olé tú for getting up early to nab killer shots of the Giralda!

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

      hahaha thanks! I miss Andalucía! You must too for sure xx

  25. Kas Sommers February 24, 2016 at 8:16 pm #

    Seville looks beautiful. I’ve been to Spain a few times but not yet to that gorgeous place. I think I’d better add it to the list. Thanks for another inspirational article.

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

      For sure put it on the list!

  26. Izy berry February 25, 2016 at 6:34 pm #

    Spain is incredible lovely people and food

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:13 pm #

      true story!

  27. Victoria@ The British Berliner February 25, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

    ‘Love your post Liz and the photographs! Wow!

    I’ve been to Spain many times but I’ve never been to Seville but wait! Guess what? My family and I are travelling to both Spain and Portugal over the Easter period! We’re flying into Madrid and flying out of Porto (Portugal) and one of our destinations is Seville!

    We’ll be staying with an American blogger friend and her Italian husband so we’ll really get an expat-local view of what Seville is all about. I can’t wait!

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

      OMG that’s such a good time to visit!

  28. Anna February 25, 2016 at 11:52 pm #

    What an amazing post. I visited Sevilla myself about a decade ago, and this is … so much better than I remember! Like an enhanced virtual reality experience 🙂

    What time of year was this? Looks very green and spring-ish….

    • Liz February 26, 2016 at 11:41 am #

      It was early summer around June

  29. Ron February 27, 2016 at 6:05 am #

    Never been to Spain but have a long term investment there in Banco Santander, S.A. (settle down no rant allowed). I can only judge Spanish cities from photo’s and they appear to be very clean and well manicured, Of course most photo’s only show the good side of a subject unless the photographer is tying to make a contrary point. I’m impressed by the architecture it doesn’t look as old as it is and art work is visually appealing.

    My cousin just e-mailed me from Wellington.NZ. She there with her husband Zane they spent a lot time in New Zealand filming the Hobbit movies years ago he was one of the producers. She thinks NZ is beautiful.

  30. Steve February 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

    Ever since I was in Sevilla, it’s become my goal to retire to Spain when I’m old.

    • Liz February 27, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

      What a great place to retire to!

  31. Farhan February 29, 2016 at 6:01 am #

    Great article. Is it expensive to visit Spain? I am working on a budget of $2000 – do you think it would be sufficient for 10 days – two cities in Spain?

  32. Bruno B @ Geeky Explorer February 29, 2016 at 8:01 am #

    OK I HAVE to go to Sevilla. Being based here in Barcelona it’s a shame I haven’t been there yet. The mix of arabic motifs and spanish culture is enough to deserve a visit!

    • Liz February 29, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

      it’s a very unique place!

  33. Beth February 29, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    What a dazzling place … can’t wait to visit it on my travels!

    • Liz February 29, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

      put it on the list!

  34. Maggie March 1, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

    Stunning Pictures of Seville Spain and amazing review about Seville. Thanks for sharing your experience It looks like an amazing place to visit.

    • Liz March 2, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

      It is thanks!

  35. Lauren Walker March 3, 2016 at 8:50 am #

    Gahhhh too much beauty in one post, I can’t take it!
    *frantically emails auxiliar program to change 1st choice to Andalucía*

    • Liz March 6, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

      hahaha

  36. Robbie March 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

    Incredible architecture. That place where you stayed looks perfect. I could definitely see myself there 🙂

    • Liz March 6, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

      It’s beautiful isn’t it?

  37. Lorial Roballo March 4, 2016 at 1:20 am #

    I LOVE Sevilla! It’s my favorite “big city” in Spain. I currently live in Burgos, CyL and I’m moving to Galicia next year but Sevilla definitely has my heart! Cool post.

    • Liz March 6, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

      It’s definitely one of those places

  38. Francesca March 4, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    I visited Seville for the first time last September and fell so damn hard for the place. Sadly we only got one full day there because our bus got messed up (guys, do not trust Spanish bus timetables. They lie) and I wanted to cry when we had to leave!

    • Liz March 6, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

      they SO LIE!!

  39. Izy berry March 7, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

    Liz Spain is beautiful the culture is lovely

    • Liz March 14, 2016 at 6:45 am #

      Thanks!

  40. Jesse Richheimer @ Green Global Travel March 8, 2016 at 12:47 am #

    It definitely is on my bucket list! I didn’t really know/hear/see much about Sevilla before reading this article, but it seems like such a beautiful and historic city in Spain! I’d love to visit the Alcazar de Sevilla and watch the sunset at the Plaza de Espana. In the future when I get to Europe I’d love to check out this great city!

    • Liz March 14, 2016 at 6:45 am #

      Thanks!

  41. Sandhya (Sandy) March 8, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Lovely pictures. Such a pretty city really. I will be traveling there early May and wanted to ask you a few questions about stay, travel etc. Just started planning & I know am heading there bang in the middle of the tourist season :-/.

    Saw that you’d been around Spain so much that you’re the best person to guide me. Gonna drop you a mail. Enjoyed reading this post and hope to read more. Sandy

    • Liz March 14, 2016 at 6:46 am #

      You’re going to love it!

  42. Scott Preiss March 12, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    Climb the tower of La Giralda , one of the world’s largest cathedrals and only a 10-minute walk from the hotel

    • Liz March 14, 2016 at 7:11 am #

      yes it is! It’s a great spot!

  43. Kelly March 15, 2016 at 3:06 pm #

    Wow, so many stunning photos! I will have to add it to my list!

    xx Kelly

    • Liz March 16, 2016 at 5:22 am #

      Thank you 🙂

  44. Farebucket March 15, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

    absolutely amazing spot and one of my favorite city

    • Liz March 16, 2016 at 5:22 am #

      Sevilla rocks!

  45. David March 19, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

    Love Sevilla, we rented a apartment last year for three weeks. So much to see in the great city. Nice photos.

    • Liz March 21, 2016 at 5:42 am #

      Wow that’s a great way to get to know the city!

  46. Maggie March 22, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

    Beautiful Pictures!! it seems like you had a great time at Seville. Wish I’d visit Spain soon..

    • Liz March 22, 2016 at 10:22 pm #

      Thanks!

  47. Glen March 22, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

    It just looks like such an idyllic city. It seems like the sort of place where I could just wander around for days. Lovely.

    • Liz March 22, 2016 at 10:22 pm #

      That’s exactly it!

  48. Snow Holidays March 25, 2016 at 12:41 am #

    Beautiful pics .

    • Liz March 28, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

      Thanks!

  49. Katy April 3, 2016 at 2:57 am #

    I was just in Sevilla in February for the first time and I loved it! The bright colors, slower paced life and amazing views were awesome. Looking at your pictures brought me right back!

    • Liz April 5, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

      Cheers

  50. Jagabond April 5, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    Sevilla is one of my favorite cities in Europe. I caught a Flamenco show there that was simply wonderful. Great pics as usual…your Spain blogs helped me plan my last road trip there, so thanks!

    • Liz April 5, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

      Thanks!

  51. Barry O'Leary April 15, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    Hey Liz,

    Great post. I’ve been here for 10 years and still love it, moved out the centre though as was getting on my goat a bit. Great to hear you had a good time.

    Barry

    • Liz April 15, 2016 at 5:05 pm #

      Loved it made me miss Spain a lot

  52. Rachel April 20, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

    I’ve visited Andalucía three times in the last year (I’ve fallen in love with this region), but sadly only spent a day in Seville. What I DID see though – and the best ice cream place ever – means I will be back!

    • Liz April 23, 2016 at 11:45 am #

      Oh which one was it?

  53. Andrew May 10, 2016 at 7:53 pm #

    Fantastic post Liz, great hearing your take on beautiful Sevilla. Love your blog and the great tips you give.

    • Liz May 11, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

      Thanks!

  54. Salvatore June 2, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

    Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy your own city, right?

    I’ve gotten into the habit of having a month between trips now. I might go a little out of the city (they’re a bit smaller here in England) but not much. It’s actually quite a relaxing process to see my friends, do a few of the usual things and work from my iMac for a while. The itchy feet come back, but it’s nice to be grounded for a little while. I’d like to think that it makes you appreciate being away more too.

  55. Chirag Goyanka July 8, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    Great pics & blog overall – keep up the good work.

    my wife & me are planning to travel there end of july – no other time period that fits our schedule.
    Is it too hot, i mean is it unbearable?

    We were thinking about doing few nights in Seville & few in Malaga and visiting Ronda, Granada while in Malaga.
    Would appreciate any insights/suggestions
    thanks

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Escaping to colorful Sevilla, Spain | SortStyle.com - February 22, 2016

    […] By Liz […]

  2. smashingplaces - June 2, 2016

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