1. Plaza de EspañaPlaza de España was my absolute favorite place to visit in Seville. With my apartment being just across the bridge from the Plaza, I was able to walk there in under 15 minutes. The Plaza de España is breathtaking the very first time you see it and the very last time. It is a Plaza in the middle of Parque Maria Luisa (another one of my favorites, but we will get to that later…) where you can walk around with friends and family and see the beautifully massive building. You can even go up on the balconies and look down on the square below. The plaza is always packed with tourists and locals spending time with each other and strolling around the plaza. You can even rent boats and ride along the river under the bridges! Be sure to watch out for the horse-drawn carriages, as they are all over the Plaza carrying passengers to admire the plaza as well. The energy at the plaza is always lively with people everywhere taking pictures, admiring the bright blue and yellow tiles you find on the structures, and you will even see Flamenco performers! Be sure to make this one of your first stops in Seville.
2. Parque Maria LuisaAs promised before, I will talk about Parque Maria Luisa. This park is located right beside the Plaza de España and can easily be walked through in one visit. But I recommend going as often as you can because you always stumble across different gardens and fountains. Parque Maria Luisa has many museums in the park that you can visit as well as stunning gardens to stroll around in. The best time to visit the park is in spring, when all the flowers are starting to bloom as well as the famous orange trees are in full bloom, leaving a wonderful aroma in the park from the flowers on it. I would go to the park as often as I could with my friends and find different areas to spread a blanket and have a picnic. The best part is watching the locals have their own picnic and play soccer with their kids. It felt comforting seeing such a sense of community and fun in the park! Oftentimes I would find myself taking a siesta in the park under the beating sun, and I would fall asleep to the green parrots flying by singing. Bring your camera to Parque Maria Luisa and take all the pictures of the fountains, flowers, and statues! Everything about the park is wonderful!
3. Real AlcazarAnother must-see is the Real Alcazar, located in the city center across from the Cathedral. This is a popular place to take a tour of the palace and learn about its vast history. The palace is historic, with past royalty having lived there (and, when the current monarchs of Spain come to visit Seville, they reside in the Real Alcazar). The palace is huge, and if you’re a fan of beautiful architecture, I recommend making this one of your first stops in Seville. The palace is known for having unique tiles throughout, so be sure to pay attention to detail because just about every tile is different. Outside the palace is the famous garden. This in itself will take a couple hours to go through, so make sure you plan accordingly so you do not miss a thing! The gardens are filled with fruit trees and a huge variety of flowers. I got lost in the garden just wandering around for hours, but it was worth it! If you’re a "Game of Thrones" fan, the Real Alcazar is also a great place to find the spots where they shot the scenes of Dorne.
4. Seville CathedralThe Seville Cathedral is located in the city center near the Real Alcazar. This massive Cathedral is the 4th largest church in the world and the largest Gothic church. The outside is stunning all the way around -- filled with impressive details. Look for the bell tower called “La Giralda,” as this was my favorite part of the Cathedral. It was once a part of the former mosque that stood there and a beautiful part of the current Cathedral. The Cathedral is also a great meeting point for friends, since you can’t miss it with its incredible size (and because it is located in the city center, it is a great middle ground for different neighborhood friends). I recommend taking a tour inside and climbing up La Giralda to get a beautiful view of all of Seville!
5. Rio GuadalquivirThe river runs through the city separating the neighborhoods of Triana and Los Remedios from the city center across the way. The river is gorgeous, with cobblestone walkways lining both sides. I would walk up and down the river all the time, admiring the different colored houses of Triana that overlook the river. Every day I would see kayaks and rowing teams zoom up and down the river. This also a great place to sit down and take a break from the day. I would bring a bottle of Fanta Orange soda (a must-try!) and relax by the river between classes. Many times I took my journal by the river and wrote about my day and everything I was seeing around me.
These are just a few of my favorite places to go in Seville. These five places remind me of my amazing time in Seville and will be one of the first places I will go back to when I visit again. I can’t wait for you to visit these places, too!
Sydney Schwaller is a CEA Alumni Ambassador who studied abroad in Seville, Spain, during the Spring 2020 semester. She is currently a student at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.
Sydney Schwaller is the Spring 2020 Alumni Ambassador in Seville, Spain, and is currently studying at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.