From Madrid Atocha Station, we took Renfe train to Seville Santa Justa Station, journey time is about 2 hours 30 minutes.We booked Arye Hotel Seville which is about 300 meters away from the train station. El Cortes Ingles, the departmental store, is also located within the vicinity. There are bus stops located in front and opposite of the hotel. Public transport in Seville is not as well-developed as Madrid. People usually take buses to travel within the city. To get to our dinner place at Alameda de Hercules, we took Bus 32 and alighted after 6 stops, at Plaza del Duque. From there, we walked to Alameda de Hercules, 23 to search for dinner. Casa Paco is a nice restaurant which serves cheap and good tapas and wine. There are also other restaurants around that area. At Alameda de Hercules, remember to take a photo with the landmark, a pair of granite columns from a Roman temple and statues of Hercules and Julius Caesar standing on its south side since 1574.
After dinner, we walked back to Plaza del Duque, a very crowded place as it was a Saturday night. There are a lot of shops to visit and some of the more popular clothes shops like Bershka can be found there as well.
Our second day in Seville started very early. From our hotel, we took bus 21 and alighted after 4 stops. However, our google map seems to have given us advice and we have alighted a few stops earlier. Nevertheless, we used google map and manage to walk to Plaza Nuvea. Here at Plaza Nuvea, visit the Tourismo office to pick up a map. From Plaza Nuvea, we walked for another 10 minutes to reach our first stop, The Alcazar.
I would recommend to pay a bit extra for the audio guide if you are hungry for the historical information of this architecture. The Alcazar was one of the castles of the Moorish rulers until Ferdinand III took Seville and the Christian kings moved in. However, the place still retained the Arabic decorations and motifs as we visited the different sections. The place took us the entire morning as the area to cover was huge. We have visited the garden which was too big and confusing that we almost got lost in there. The garden also have a maze made up of tall bushes but we don’t dare to try going in in case we got lost in there.
After spending 2 to 3 hours at The Alcazar, we walked to Bodeguita Romero for lunch.This is another great tapas place and is not very expensive. The service was good and food was delicious. The place is not that easy to find as the streets in Seville is quite confusing even though we used google map. But would recommend for budget travelers to try the food.
From Bodeguita Romero, we walked to Plaza de Armas which took us about 15 to 20 minutes. Plaza de Armas to one of the major bus terminals in Seville. From Plaza de Armas, we took bus 170A to Italica, a Roman ruins located outside the village of Santiponce. However, by the time we reached it was closed. We tired to negotiate with the security guard but she refused to let us in. Disappointed but have no choice, we went back to the same bus stop for bus 170A which took forever to come. We promised ourselves to come back and visit the place again.
After reaching Plaza de Armas by bus 170A, we decided to visit the Catedral instead of tomorrow since we have extra time to spare. While walking back to Plaza Nuvea, I believed we have passed by C. Sierpes, the main shopping street but it was closed on Sundays except for an ice cream which was crowded with people. We had some ice cream to console ourselves and take a short break before continued walking towards The Catderal.
The Catedral (Santa Maria de la Sede) is the largest Gothic church in the world. Inside the catedral lies the Tomb of Christopher Columbus. The coffin is supported by four huge statues that represent kingdoms of Leon, Castile, Aragon and Navarra. La Giralda, the bell tower which entrance is just next to The Capilla Real, has a series of 35 gently inclined ramps which is wide enough for two persons to pass through. The initial part when walking upwards to reach the top of the tower was tiring but it was rewarding when I finally reached the top. The view from the bell tower is magnificent but I would still advice people with knee cap problems (like my sister) to reconsider because they will have a hard time going up and down the bell tower.
By the time we have completed our visit to The Catedral, it was almost closed to dinner time. From The Catedral, we walked to Bar Alvaro Peregil but we realized that it was standing bar when people just stand around eating and drinking. So, we went to the next door restaurant which was less crowded and with tables and chairs. The restaurant we went to is called La Sacristia and it also served tapas. Would recommend their grilled mushrooms and Sangria which was really good and worth the money. After dinner, we have decided to return to hotel to pack our luggage as we will be taking train to Granada on the following afternoon.
On the last day at Seville, we took bus 21 and alight at Marques de Paradas stop, about 9 stops away from our hotel. From the bus stop, we walked to Mercado de Triana, a traditional market, about 5 minutes walk. Here, there is a sweet shop which you can buy some traditional sweets back home. You can also find jamon and chorizo in the market.
Walking along the Triana streets, there are a lot of shoe shops and restaurants. One of the shoe shops, Mary Paz, sells very nice ladies boots. Would recommend to buy a few pairs of leather boots back. Finally, we stopped at Taberna Miami for early lunch before going back to hotel to collect our luggage and travelling to Granada.