Seville will enchant you: the light, the fragrance of orange blossoms, the sound of the Spanish guitar, and the cheerfulness of its people. This ancient yet vibrant city, home and inspiration to many of Spain's greatest artists, is loaded with family-friendly things to do and see. Here's a quick guide to some of the best of Seville. (Updated by the Editorial Team, Jan 2019)
Seville is the capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region. (Not to be confused with Andalasia, the magical world of the Amy Adams movie Enchanted!) It is a three-hour flight from Schipol (non stop).
It is a historic area, packed with gothic palaces and churches, a street-food culture and vibrant culture. It is no wonder that Lonely Planet ranked it as its No.1 top city to visit in 2018. The locals, the sevillanos, are a passionate people, judging from their love of food and the passionate flamenco dance.
Interestingly, the Seville orange, the main component in marmalade, is not from Seville! Also called the bitter orange, this fruit is native to southeast Asia. Due to the good growing climate, it has become a major importer of the Seville oranges to the UK for marmalade production. It is actually rarely served in Seville.
Top Five Places to See
- Antiquarium: Roman archeological site uncovered in 2006 during the construction of Parasol Metropol (Las Setas). Free entry for kids under 16.
- Reales Alcázares: A fortified palace originally built during the High Medieval Ages; it was a set for the HBO series Game of Thrones. Dare to take the challenge of its labyrinth garden? Free entry for kids under 16.
- Seville Cathedral and Giralda Bell Tower: The largest gothic temple in the world holds the remains of Christopher Columbus.
- Seville Aquarium: Fancy a sleepover with sharks? A theatrical performance? Or even yoga in the midst of over 400 different marine species? All these fun activities and much more can be enjoyed in the Aquarium. Free entry for kids under 4.
- Ruins of Itálica in Santiponce: Built on top of an even more ancient Iberian settlement, this Roman archeological site, only 9 km outside Seville, was the birthplace of the Emperors Trajan and Hadrian. More recently, it was used as a set for the HBO series Game of Thrones. It contains one of the largest amphitheatres of the Roman Empire. Free entry for EU citizens.
The Alcazar Palace
Other places of interest:
- Fine Arts Museum
- Parque de María Luisa
- Torre del Oro
- Casa de Pilatos (Pilate's House)
- Las Dueñas
- Plaza de España (banner image above; this marvellous building featured in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones)
- Casa de la Guitarra
A beautiful bridge in the city centre with its colourful ceramic tilework.
Top Five Things to Do
- Isla Mágica: Spend the day in a magical theme park on Cartuja Island. Attractions like an inverted rollercoaster (the Jaguar), a three drops log flume (Anaconda) or riding river rapids (Rápidos del Orinoco) make this park a place for fun without limits.
- Cruise around the Guadalquivir River: A one-hour boat trip on the river, passing by the famous Triana’s Bridge, the Island of Cartuja or the Torre del Oro.
- Flamenco at the Museo del Baile Flamenco: You can book flamenco classes in advance, or simply enjoy watching the experts strut their stuff in the several shows the museum offers. The 18th century building housing the museum is built over an ancient Roman temple, and truly captures the fusion of old and new which characterises Seville.
- Aquopolis: This extensive water park has attractions suitable for all ages, from a children’s mini park to the turbolance, suitable for the daredevils in your group. Children under 90cm tall enter for free.
- Wander around the historic centre in Santa Cruz
- Take a daytrip to the beach at Punta Umbría
- Take in natural wonders at National Park Doñana
- Visit one of Spain's most famous pilgrimage sites, El Rocío
- Enjoy the tastings and tours at the Olive Oil Workshop
With over 2,000 restaurants to choose from, Seville does not lack for culinary delights! Here are a few that come recommended by the locals:
- Abades Triana: International and Mediterranean cuisine in Triana at the river bank, with fantastic views of Torre del Oro.
- Confectionary La Campana: Since 1885, this is “the” place to go in the afternoon for a coffee and one of their famous pastries.
- Perro Viejo: Just by the Parasol Metropol, this cosy tapas restaurant provides a menu to please all kinds of palates.
- Freiduria Reina Victoria: One of the best places to try Andalusia's famous “pescaíto frito”!
- La Azotea: A Michelin Guide restaurant that combines traditional cuisine with a contemporary touch
- Torres y Garcia: High standard rustic cuisine
During the summer, avoid venturing outside between 2 and 5 pm because of the high temperatures. During these times, it is a good idea to make a trip to a shopping centre or department store with air conditioning.
- El Corte Inglés: a heavenly department store where you can find anything from groceries to toys. Usually one entire floor is dedicated to each member of the family. There are five locations around the city.
- Shopping centre Nervión, just by the football stadium of Sevilla F.C. Sánchez Pizjuán. Calle Luis de Morales, 3.
- Shopping Center Los Arcos. Av. de Andalucía, S/N.
- Bus: the preferred method of locals, it has an extensive network, with NFC services in most stops.
- Metro: one line that takes you directly through the heart of the Seville’s historical area and is, in itself, a wonderful journey.
- Bike: renting a bike in one of the 250 stations spread around the city is a fantastic way to get to know Seville.
Looking for family-friendly accommodation in Seville? Consider booking your stay via booking.com/amsterdammamas. Find the perfect accommodation for your family while supporting Amsterdam Mamas at the same time!
Ana Rial is a once-rigorously-organised scientist from Spain turned into an all-over-the-place mum of two very busy half-Greek boys. She has been living for the past four years in Almere with her husband and kids and dreams about mastering the Dutch language, travelling, and having a personal chef.
Photo credit: Banner image from Pixabay