Seville was the one place that most of my Facebook friends agreed was a must see while in Spain.
We took a 3.5 hour train to Seville from Granada and arrived around 9:30 p.m.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at a pretty good hostel called The Garden Backpacker. Although the rooms were small and the wifi wasn’t great, the hostel has a great vibe for meeting people. Every night from 8:30 to 9:30 they have free sangria. They also have a 5 Euro homemade dinner around 9:30 p.m. This is a great way to get people out of their rooms and hanging out in the common areas of the hostel. This hostel really knows what they’re doing!
What We Did
Our first few hours in Seville we just explored the area around us. There were these funny looking sculptures that the hostel receptionist described to us as mushrooms. They’re not very old and their only purpose seems to be as a viewpoint to see the rest of the city.
As it was a Sunday night, everything was closed including bars, restaurants, supermarkets.
On our first full day of exploring, we stopped at the Plaza de España. It is a magnificent structure. I think it’s more beautiful and vast than the Vatican. The intricate detail on the buildings and railings were stunning. The Spanish really know how to do architecture!
Next, we tried to find a market our hostel recommended but of course it was siesta time so it wasn’t open. I also think we were walking in the wrong place.
We wandered back toward our hostel along the river past the bullfighting ring and main shopping street of Seville.
Walking tours are my favorite part about staying in hostels! They’re always free, plus a small donation for your guide. I usually tip about 5 Euro. I’m not sure if this is too much or too little but most people we’ve met seem to tip about the same.
Our hostel had one walking tour in the morning that took you past the major sightseeing attractions of Seville and the afternoon tour was more about the legends and stories of Seville.
The tour started almost an hour late (that European time!) and lasted about three hours. We started at the Town Hall and walked past the Cathedral and Alcazar as we headed into the Jewish quarter, or “old town” of Seville.
Our guide told us legends and history about the different statues and monuments around the city.
That night we had planned to have some wine and go out with the pub crawl. But when we went out to find a supermarket at 10 p.m., they were all closed. Everything is always closed!
Instead we sat on the steps near the Cathedral and enjoyed the warm night in Seville. I like it a lot more by night than by day. The Spanish (and really all Europeans) really know how to perfectly light their monuments and streets.
Spain is very interesting in August. A lot of store fronts have signs that say they are closed for vacations. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s the hottest month of the year or what but everyone seems to leave the cities to head for the beaches. Seville was pretty empty. We did not experience the night life there but a fellow hostel dweller told us the bars were basically empty.
We spent our last day in Seville just wandering the streets and people watching. This is my favorite way to get to know a place. Just watching life happen as I pass by.
I liked Granada more than Seville. While both had their own charm but Granada just had more character than Seville.