Sevilla Things to Do Tips by fairy_dust
Sevilla Things to Do: 991 reviews and 1,885 photos
Triana across the river
The Triana district is across the river, and the people who live there have such a strong pride for their neighbourhood that some say that it's like a town of its own rather than just a district in Seville. Historically, it was the gypsy/working-class neighbourhood (though it's much more modern and expensive to live in now), and many famous bullfighters, singers, and flamenco dancers are from Triana. The neighbourhood itself is colourful and great for an afternoon stroll.
There are a lot of beautiful churches, as well as cafes, flamenco bars, shops, etc. The Triana bridge is one of the most famous icons of Sevilla, and I think the area by the river (Calle Betis) is one of the most beautiful parts of Seville.
Directions: right bank of the Guadalquivir
If you're looking for a free flamenco show, La Carboneria is a good place to go. The show usually starts at around 10 or 11 pm and though most of the tourists leave when the show is over, the locals often stick around and jam. Before midnight, the place is very crowded and noisy (the flamenco artists often have to go "ssshhhhh" loudly to get the crowds to pay attention), and the crowd is mostly tourists. But late at night, the locals take over.
I usually preferred the late-night jam sessions, you never know what to expect and this flamenco is considered more "pure" than the tablaos and shows. It's improvised, random, and people just play/sing/dance as they feel inspired. Sometimes, I'd see a group of young guys knocking out a flamenco beat on a wooden table and singing - you'll never see that in a tablao. Whenever the music was particularly good, I'd get up and dance, and even the gitanos would compliment me.
Address: Calle Levies
Directions: The red door on Calle Levies. You'll probably see a gitano (gypsy) man outside acting as a bouncer.
If you want to see a flamenco show, Casa Carmen is a good place to go. Though I myself prefer Casa de la Memoria, this one is worth seeing too. I went to see one show there, and it was a little bigger than Casa de la Memoria but still small and intimate. No two shows are the same - every night has different artists. We had to reserve tickets in advance because it sells out quickly. You can also order a drink there, but it can be expensive.
Plaza by day
This is truly a beauty - made of tiles, mosaic, etc, it's colourful in the daytime and glows golden at night. I was most impressed by the benches - decorated to represent every province in Spain, and the tile bridges. Unfortunately, there was not water under them (don't know why, in every postcard I've seen, there was!) but they were quite beautiful.
Address: Parque de María Luisa
Directions: East bank of the Guadalquivir, south of the Cathedral
This is a huge park close to the Plaza de Espana, and filled with trees, hills, fountains, statues, gazebos, etc. It's a great place to chill out and relax. Also, sometimes there are markets and events going on there - I went to a Medieval-themed market in the park.
The Alameda is a big street with a pedestrian area in the middle, and lots of bars and restaurants lining it. The police station is also there. When I was in Seville, there was construction work so it didn't look as nice as it normally does, but in the evening that area is quite popular with the punk/goth/alternative crowd. I was told that it used to be the seedy part of town and there was a lot of prostitution going on there, but apparently it's been cleaned up.
Night time in the Barrio Santa Cruz
This is one of the most touristy parts of Seville, but it's definitely worth a visit. It's the old part of town, with a lot of narrow winding cobblestone streets, ancient buildings, beautiful churches, etc. There are also a lot of restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops here. My favorite flamenco bar - La Carboneria - is in the Barrio Santa Cruz. My favorite flamenco show venue - Casa de la Memoria - is there too. It's a very charming neighbourhood, even if it seems like a maze sometimes! (definitely bring a map - it's easy to get lost here!)
Directions: From the Alcazar main entrance make a right turn. Right at Plaza de la Alianza, start exploring
Felipe Mato and Luna
If you want to see a flamenco show, there are many possibilities, but I highly recommend the shows at Casa de la Memoria. They have a different show every night and it's always worth seeing. Mostly young artists (guitarist, singer, dancers) and many of them are well-known in the flamenco community - teachers, prize winners, etc.
It's a small venue and very intimate, so it's best to reserve a ticket in advance (these shows often sell out). And if you ever get a chance to see Felipe Mato dance at the Casa de la Memoria, take the chance - he is one of the best dancers I've ever seen. And I'm not just saying that because he was one of my teachers at the flamenco school. When he dances, with his long hair dripping with sweat and his feet stamping out zapateados so fast and strong that I half-expect to see smoke rising from his feet, he has a look of absolute passion on his face that is the mark of a true dancer.
Address: Calle Ximenez de Enciso, 28
Directions: In the Barrio Santa Cruz
In springtime, there are bullfights (corrida de toros) every week at the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza. If you're in town during the April Fair, there will be bullfights every day that week, and many famous matadors fight bulls during that time. Yes, bullfights involve stabbing, blood, and killing animals, but it's also a huge part of the culture in southern Spain and I think that a trip to Andalucia is not complete without seeing a corrida.
There is also a museum in the bullring that is worth a visit if you're too squeamish to see an actual fight.
Address: Plaza del Toros de la Maestranza
Directions: Right by the river, across from Triana.
Phone: 95 422 45 77
Entrance to the basilica
This basilica is further away from downtown, but definitely worth a visit. This is where the famous statue of La Virgen Macarena is kept, and there is something special about this statue - every time I looked at her directly, I felt as though she were speaking to me. She was made by an anonymous artist, but a lot of people say that only angels could have built such a beauty. The basilica itself is also beautiful - paintings on the walls and ceilings that reminded me of the Sistine Chapel, and other beautiful statues of Mary and Jesus. There is also a museum and gift shop.
Address: c/ Bécquer 1
Directions: Macarena district
Phone: 95 437 01 95
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