Seville is a City I have always wanted to visit, so in December, just before Christmas, I went there for the day, and I wasn’t disappointed.
My first impression was that it is a city I could quite happily live in, it just had the most amazing, vibrant feel to the place. Stunning architecture, great shops, tree-lined streets, and plenty of fantastic cafes and tapas bars to choose from.
A few Facts About Seville
I didn’t know that Seville is the Capital and largest City in Andalucia, also the 4th largest in Spain, but having visited I realise that now – very cosmopolitan and vibrant, it has a feel of a capital city. The view from the rooftop bar we visited was magnificent across the City.
Arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe – and I have visited quite a few – and also the warmest, with an average Summer temperature of above 35°C (95°F). When I was there, it was jeans and t-shirt weather, with a jacket in the evening.
A very impressive building in the centre of Seville is the Cathedral, Santa Maria de la Sede, and is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world.
Just to give you an idea of the size, it is 11,520m² (that is at least one and a half football pitches!). I didn’t go inside, but the outside boasts incredible architecture. Built between 1401 and 1506, I was in awe of the technology and craftsmanship that must have gone into building it (no wonder it took over a hundred years to complete).
Plaza de la Encarnación
From old to new… Next, I stumbled across a very unusual and interesting structure.
This building is named Metropol Parasol ‘Las Setas’ (‘the Mushrooms’). It is the largest timber-framed building in the world and was built between 2004-2011.
The structure consists of six ‘parasols’ which look like giant mushrooms. Apparently, it was inspired by the vaults of the Cathedral of Seville. There are four levels – underground is a museum, displaying the Roman and Moorish remains which were discovered on the site. There is the market, and an open-air plaza for public events, on the first level. The top two levels have terraces and restaurant which have incredible views of the city.
There was a little Christmas market, and ice rink right outside. Oh, how I wanted to go on the ice rink, but I didn’t have time!
After an afternoon walking and exploring, the Christmas street markets started to open. Dotted around the city, various markets with handcrafted toys, leather goods, jewelry, art, ceramics and Christmas goodies. Perfect for picking up an unusual or traditional Christmas gift.
I made a purchase of a Caganer (which translates to ‘Crapper’ in English) Traditionally, it appears in nativity scenes and is a figurine of a peasant with his pants pulled down, defacating! Of course, I had to buy one – every household should have one at Christmas, don’t you think? The exact origin of the Caganer is unknown, but the tradition has existed since at least the 18th century.
Christmas Lights in Seville
With tired feet from all the walking, it was time for tapas and wine, and sit to enjoy the Christmas lights as they were switched on. The Christmas lights in Malaga are the best I have ever seen, but Seville was also very impressive, with more than 80 streets and plazas lit up.
These giant baubles lit up in time to music, and crowds of people gathered around, taking photos and dancing, full of merriment- what a great atmosphere.
With the bustling shoppers, chestnut sellers, illuminations, Nativity scenes, and markets, Seville was the perfect city to visit to get into the festive mood. Well worth a visit at any time of year, but at Christmas Seville was just magical.
Other Must-See Places in Seville
Unfortunately, my time there was short – this time! But this is my to-do list for when I get to go next, as I will definitely spend at least a weekend. If you have been to Seville, perhaps you can let me know of other places I really must see.