The capital of Andalusia, much cheaper than London and the home of orange trees that turn to wine it’s a wonder why I haven’t been before!
Airport & transfer
The airport is small (and note for when you are leaving to take your own food, it’s very limited as are the shops). Getting to and from the airport is super simple and very close to the city. Choose either by a bus or a cab for €10-25
I found choosing a hotel for this trip really hard. There just seemed to be so many that were of a similar standard unless you go uber lux somewhere like Hotel Alfonso XIII but I’m not a massive fan of old lux – I love a modern hotel with a rooftop hotel! (Shockingly!!) So was a toss up between the new Radisson and the one I chose, Hotel Fernando III (not just cause of its fun name!) but it could guarantee their rooftop bar and pool would be open and was cheaper. My biggest rooftop top tip is always contact hotel/rooftops first in case of as private events/ hires, closed out of seasons or not wet & windy proof… all can leave you disappointed (I’ve learnt the hard way!)
Standard rooms were small but it was just a base so perfect. Super clean with a coffee machine. Bathroom was teeny but modern with a proper hairdryer but no conditioner! What is that about!
Breakfast was downstairs in a windowless room with an adequate standard buffet. It also has a cute bar for a nightcap! A good city base hotel.
The Rooftop bar & pool named ‘Cielode’ rooftop however was awesome. Big terrace, small but well stocked bar! Beautiful pool with cathedral views and plenty of space – tho wasn’t heated. 🥶 I was very impressed to finally find sun umbrellas that were secured to the rails as I’ve seen those things go flying before now!
Food & bars
I heard that you would find it hard to find bad tapas … unlike my experience in Malaga where I found you can. The people I met concurred but I hadn’t risked it and had booked as if am paying to eat out, I’m eating in a great setting! Partly why I love a rooftop restaurant – food with views and it’s given to be a great venue.
And I found Recoveco – a rooftop restaurant with stunning views over the city. The food matched the views – not always the case! Oh and they have a rooftop glass indoor area so you can still have these views and be warm!
Next up not a rooftop but one of the prettiest restaurants I’ve ever been to. Casa Manolo Leon garden is intimate and gorgeous. But they have several other indoor options and venues and areas too so to be sure to pick the right one for your booking.
The food also matched the venue in quality – I had the largest lamb I’ve seen. Definitely not style over substance here- I may even be a little obsessed with this place. Just sooooo pretty!
In my research a few other places popped up as ‘must go’s’ two of which I found disappointing. The Mariatrifulca rooftop restaurant– looks like the river version of the Recovero but actually is way smaller. Still, amazing river views but I found them unfriendly and it seemed over hyped – certainly wasn’t alone in this thinking looking at trip advisor, so didn’t even stay for a drink. If you do want to try then make a reservation. I was on the wait list but glad it never opened now!
For a drink on a rooftop on that side of the river then head up one bridge to Level 5th at the Ribera Hotel. That was worth the extra steps for!
The other disappointment was the oldest tapas restaurant in Seville, El Rinconcillo. This time it was much bigger than I expected but still the same unfriendly attitude. For the sake of history it’s definitely worth a drink and and a dish but there’s friendlier places for tapas!
If you like champagne then you need to head to La Champaneria De Feria as the name implies it’s a champagne tapas bar! This place isn’t your swanky champagne bar of London, this is very informal Spanish version. Salut!
If you like the Lux of London places then head for a drink to Hotel Alfonso XIII – one of the most luxurious and expensive hotels in Seville. Still our drinks were no more than London prices (but when everywhere else is so much cheaper it did feel like a splurge)
For something a bit more fun and on a rooftop then check out La Terraza del Cristina. They offer different experiences from paella making to sangria tasting on their private rooftop. No surprises I booked the latter! And was very impressed with the serving sizes we were tasting! To the point where most people couldn’t finish them all! I was less impressed with the size of tapas of cheese and olives. We naively skipped lunch and me slice of cheese was not enough for this much alcohol. They were kind and replaced mine with a few slices of meat but still… So either go on a full stomach or take snacks!
Despite that I would highly recommend this for something different in the Spanish sun and I learnt that the grape must ferment for 7 days. If it’s only left to ferment for 3 days it doesn’t produce any alcohol if you ferment for 7 days then it’s 11% of booze mixed with 15% of club soda and fruit and voila Sangria!
One note for all Spanish trips that I always forget, despite now having done 8 Spanish cities, is dinner doesn’t start till 8/8.30. I am definitely an early eater so we were always first in for all bookings which was actually nice as could choose table and take all the pics!
The bonus of doing the sangria tasting is the location. It’s south on the river so you can also see/ go up the Torre del Oro the Emblem of Seville or also known as The Golden Tower (as was once covered in golden tiles) on way home.
One thing about this city is how much smaller it is than expected. So walkable (no ubers) but cheap taxis or even a tram! Not quite full of the character of the likes of Lisbon trams but a convenient way to travel the city.
One place that stole my heart a little (and no not a rooftop) was the Plaza de Espana (which for Star Wars fans also doubles up as the planet Naboo – sadly I didn’t see R2-D2 😉
But I did see the most stunning Spanish version of Venice. Not actually that old so not steeped in history but it’s a place of magic. Set in the gardens of Maria Luisa its worth a wander through the whole park down to Plaza de America.
Or you can get a horse and carriage to take you round! Reminded me a lot of a smaller Central Park with different areas and a feeling you can just get lost for as long as you need.
Next up, a flamingo show. Seville is the home of flamenco so to see a show is a must. Well it would have been however I am still traumatised from seeing one in Madrid, in a basement when it was 30 degrees, with a hangover. It is definitely not recommended in those circumstances but even then I could recognise and respect how utterly beautiful, elegant and full of passion it’s is. But that once was enough for me.
The royal palace ‘Alcazar’ is another must do though get your tickets online before as it’s super popular. We did not so just an excuse to come back!
This was another Spanish city awash with rooftop bars and I managed nine! My favourite were Pura Vida Terazza which was one of three all 5 minutes from each other round the catherdral but this won for vibe, cost and friendliness. Another is obviously the restaurant mentioned earlier, Recoveco and Level 5th. But also special mention to Casa de Indias which uniquely over looks the Las Setas or fondly known as the ‘mushrooms’. For more details on all nine click here.
One i didn’t get to but should it be a wet weather day would be a good shout (as it’s on a shopping Centre) is El Corte de Ingles/ Gourmet Experience Duque. So you can shop and rooftop away from the rain. As fun fact March is the rainy season in Seville! But it wasn’t too bad for us.
Back to the mushrooms which are are another must do. Climb to the top where there is a bar or sit for free at the rooftop bar opposite and stare at this weird and wonderful wooden creation inspired by the arches of Seville’s cathedral – it even has a museum in the basement.
Last but not least the thing you cant capture in a photo or even with words is the smell of Seville’s orange trees. It really is overpoweringly and the urge to pick and eat one is high but they may smell good, they do not taste good! Only used for two things – marmalade and orange wine… which if you forget to try then the airport does had it in stock! As who doesn’t want to relive a fabulous trip when home through local wine in a new souvenir mug (ok no I will save that for coffee!)
So it’s a salute to sensational Seville!