After a much-too-long hiatus, I’m back to blogging. My trip to Spain was the highlight of 2014 and coming back to write about it was overwhelming at first, so I took a break from Road and Air.
I’ve decided to come back and write one post per city I visited in Spain with suggestions on what to see and eat. I may be rushing past the details, but I hope you make the trip and have your own experiences. To sum it up, Spain is a beautiful country with an alluring, laid-back culture and wonderful people.
I first landed in Sevilla (Seville in English) – it’s a hot, beautiful city gushing with Andalusian culture. Here are the highlights of my 3-day stay…
Hostel: Pension Virgen de la Luz
The hostel here was fantastic! It was clean, safe and in a great location. The staff was wonderful too, I arrived straight from the airport via bus and was exhausted, so they cleaned the room early for me so I could nap while waiting for my friend to arrive. We booked through Hostel World.
Food: pastries, sweets and coffee at La Campana
I fell in LOVE with Spanish food, wine and coffee my first day there. Since Sevilla was my first city to visit in Spain, I tried all sorts of Spanish food and drink for the first time at quaint bodegas and friendly bars. But there’s one place I want to call out specifically… La Campana.
Founded in 1885, this charming pastry shop was so yummy we visited for breakfast every day of our stay. I’d pick an array of small pastries based on how they looked (I didn’t always know what the names meant in Spanish) and have a cafe con leche in the outdoor seating area. If you visit, make sure to try a yema, a traditional Spanish sweet made with egg yolk and sugar – I’m a huge fan of egg-based desserts so I thought they were delicious.
Breakfast at La Campana – Yema is the bell shaped pastry you see.
Entertainment: Flamenco at La Carbonería
As this Spanish folk music and dance originated form the Andalusia region, I made it a point to go to least one Flamenco show that wasn’t a high production tourist stop. The atmosphere at La Carbonería was very relaxed and intimate. The bar was crowded but hushed when the show started. My friend and I ordered a pitcher of sangria and sat among the crowded benches for a lovely (and free!) flamenco performance.
The city itself is beautiful, but there are several landmarks of Sevilla that make it extraordinary. Here are the ones I visited and recommend all of them:
- Catedral de Sevilla and La Giralda: This is the largest cathedral in the world and worth the visit. You can see the tomb of Christopher Columbus as well as walk the spiraling ramp up to the top of the bell tower (La Giralda) for a breathtaking 360 degree view of the city.
This mirror provided an awesome photo opp with the beautifully intricate ceilings.
View from La Giralda
Christopher Columbus’ apparent tomb
Door of the Prince
- Alcázar de Sevilla: My absolute favorite sight-seeing in Sevilla, the palaces are absolutely beautiful and I spent hours awing at the detail and architecture. Just look for yourself…
La Fuente de la Fama – hydraulic organ fountain that makes music every hour.
Baths of Lady María de Padilla – rain water tanks at Real Alcázar de Sevilla
Patio de las Muñecas has gorgeous natural lighting.
- Plaza de España: The plaza was under construction when I visited, but it was nice to walk around this ode to a beautiful country.
- Metropol Parasol (also known as the mushrooms): I recommend spending the euros to go up the elevator! If I remember correctly it was about eight euros and included a complementary drink (soda, tinto, tinto de verano or caña). We went in the evening when the mushrooms are all lit up and enjoyed the night view of the city.
More on my trip to Spain: