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A Stop in Sevilla: The Top 8 Things to Do

If you’ve ever traveled to a foreign city before, you know the feeling: “What exactly are the top things to do here?” You’ve got visitor’s guides, maps and signs, but if you had to make one stop. Just one day. Or, maybe spill it over into a second day. But what would you do?
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you about Paris. Or Dubai. Or Wichita, Kansas, for that matter. But, if you are looking for that list for Sevilla, Spain, you’ve landed in the right spot.
 
 
 
Walk Around the Cathedral

There can only be one largest gothic-style cathedral in the world. Fortunately, you don’t have to dream about seeing it one day when you’re in this amazing city. Take a walk around it, or take the romantic route and take a horse-drawn carriage ride around. Be amazed at La Giralda, the tallest, most picturesque tower of the cathedral. Imagine the thousands of hands that went into making this beautiful, amazingly-engineered building.

 A side of La Giralda that you don't normally see, but my favorite!

Get lost in Barrio de Santa Cruz

Not far from the cathedral is the old neighborhood called Barrio de Santa Cruz. It’s a maze of tiny, narrow pedestrian streets that keep out the hot summer sun. But for you and me, it’s a treasure waiting to be discovered. Flower baskets hang from all the storied windows. Small tapas restaurants and artisan shops on every road. Little plazas to stop and read a great book. If there was ever a place to get lost in, this is the perfect one.

 Outdoor tapas restaurants fill this part of town

See Plaza de España

Built for the World Expo when it came to Spain in 1929, this is one of the most detailed, most remarkable sights I have ever laid eyes on. Stand in the center, near the fountain, and see if your eyes can take it all in. Every stone is laid in pattern, every tile is skillfully painted. It’s a shimmering, grand display of architecture, history, art, and color.
 There are no words.

Picnic and Walk Along the River

Dividing the city in two is the original path of the Guadalquivir River, now a canal. Any time of day is the best – take a picnic lunch and enjoy the shade, watch the city wake up in the morning, or fall in love with the reflection of the city on the water after sunset. Boats cruise along, friends laugh and eat, and you can’t help but smile the entire time. (And, you won’t miss one of the biggest sights – El Torre del Oro – along the river.)
 This bridge, over the river, is the best place to be at sunset

Eat Some Tapas

How could you come to Spain and not eat tapas? Served as small, appetizer-like portions, tapas has become more of a style of eating than the size of the plate. Furthermore, most people would agree that the best local food you can only find as a tapa. 
 Tapas come in all sorts of shapes and sizes - you would be crazy not to like them!

Try Jamón Iberico(and de bellota)

Find out why Spaniards prize their ham (jamón) more than any other food. Just one bite of this cured delicacy, and you will understand why. And once, just once, splurge and order a tapa of the most coveted type: jamón iberico de bellota. Even if you won’t think your inexperienced tastebuds can tell the difference, see if you can’t prove yourself wrong.

 
Sit at a Café and Watch

Enjoy your time. Grab a friend and sit at an outdoor café, watching the hum of the local culture. This is a great way to begin to learn “Spanish time," rest your feet, and begin to cherish the culture as much as the sights.
 Grab a coffee, a book or a friend, and enjoy the relaxed side of the city

Eat late night tapas

And finally, go out after dinner and get more tapas. I could recommend you a place, but the best are the ones you just stumble upon – choose the ones you don’t hear any English at, and that is packed with locals. Jump into the culture, see Sevillan people, reminisce over the sights and the day, and begin to become a Spaniard yourself.
 See those things hanging over the bar? That's jamón iberico!

From my side of the world to yours.
 
 
Jansen Nash is the Spring 2014 CEA MOJO in Seville, Spain.
He is currently a sophomore at Clemson University.



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