*did you see my parents up there in Casa de Pilatos? aren't they adorable??
To stay: the beauty of Seville is that everything is super close. I've stayed at Hospes las Casas el Rey de Baeza, which is a perfectly charming boutique hotel in the old part of town. I've also stayed at the Hotel Alfonso XIII, which is luxurious and historic. If you don't get a chance to stay at the Alfonso, at least make a point to have a brunch there (they have jazz brunch every Sunday) or sit in the courtyard for a drink or coffee.
To eat: So eating in Spain is funny. The food is literally so good, and the ingredients are some of the best in the world, but it's kinda difficult to navigate. There is a huge risk of finding tourist traps, especially in a city like Seville. You kind of have to know where to look and what's typical for certain regions. To get a crash course on eating in Seville, we did the most sensible thing: took a tour. You can definitely navigate the eating on your own, but we knew we would have to educate people for the wedding, so taking a tour seemed like the best and quickest way we could learn how to eat (the right way) so everyone could have the best eating experiences possible. Devour Food Tours was seriously awesome, and I often refer back to their website for restaurant recommendations in Spain, and all of the recommendations have been top-notch.
conTenedor: Our favorite meal in Seville. Organic, fresh and well-sourced ingredients with a frequently changing menu. The atmosphere is also jovial with great service, so it's hard not to have a good time.
La Bulla: Also so good. Taking care to have the best ingredients in a slightly more casual atmosphere than conTenedor.
Freiduria Puerta de la Carne: Fried seafood is such a thing in Seville. We saw lines out the door just about everyday before we decided to eat some of our own! Be sure to grab lots of lemon wedges and snag a seat outside.
You can also tapear by hopping to various bars and trying their bites of food. If the place is crowded, that's a good thing. Be sure to take a look around and see what people are ordering to see what looks good to you. After one tapa, move onto the next place!
For must-try dishes, I'm not even going to try to list them. I'll just refer you to the Devour Tours website here.
To shop: La Lina 1960 has some seriously gorgeous traditional flamenco digs and accessories. The shop was opened by the shop owner's mother, who even dressed Grace Kelly! Everything is handmade and of the utmost quality.
Arjé has super stylish vintage and new home decor. We only picked up some coffee cups here (space and weight was limited), but there's so much more!
To do: Walk the streets. Seriously, just walk and get lost. Otherwise:
- It may sound cheesy, but see a flamenco show. You might get lucky and spot one at a random bar. If you don't want to leave it to chance you can see a tablao. My favorite one is Tablao Los Gallos.
- I think this goes without saying, but go to the Real Alcazar.
- Visit the Casa de Pilatos. It's absolutely gorgeous.
- Go to the Plaza de España
Overall, just take it easy. Andalucia is notably slower than much of the rest of Spain, so enjoy the siesta, take in the atmosphere, and let yourself fall in love. Watch out for more posts coming soon! I can't wait to tell you about Beirut.