It practically goes without saying, but a cursory search of #seville on Instagram will show you just how aesthetically stunning this place is. Palaces, castles, cathedrals and plazas stick out, but Seville is a city where every building has a story to tell and a picture is worth a thousand words. Seville is an Instagrammers dream.
The world’s largest wooden structure. What more is there to know? The Metropol Parasol was opened in 2011 and provides some much needed shade during those scorching summer months, not to mention a convenient place for meeting up and taking some of the most Instagrammable pictures in the city. A number of cafes sit underneath, but it is worth getting to the top of the structure for the excellent views and aesthetically pleasing shots. It is much better than the concrete car park that used to stand here, that much is for sure.
Built on the site of an old mosque, Seville’s Church of the Divine Salvador is famous for its intricate altar and stunning interior art, making this an immensely peaceful place to while away an afternoon. This Baroque beauty is the second largest church in the city after the cathedral, and tickets bought here for the church also cover the cathedral.
It started life as a Muslim fortress way back in 913, but Seville’s Real Alcázar is so much more than defence and neurosis. This is the architectural history of the city in one spot, touching on the slight evolutions that came in every single century since the 10th, and it remains the finest piece of Mudéjar architecture in the entire country. You may recognise it from the fifth season of ‘Game of Thrones’ or even the film version of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, and you could easily spend a day getting lost in its various courtyards, gardens and exquisitely designed rooms. An absolute stunner, in every sense of the phrase.
Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful parks on the planet, Seville’s Maria Luisa Park is a staggeringly beautiful expanse of verdant glory, the main green area in the city and a refresher in many meanings of the word. It was created in 1911 and stretches along the languid Guadalquivir, bringing nature to the fore in a city dominated by man-made genius and architectural brilliance. The park covers 100 acres, wonderful for exploring nooks and crannies or simply going for a long stroll to clear the head. It is full of monuments, birds, gorgeous images and all the rest. This is beautiful.
Andalusia is famous for its long history of ceramic creation, and no Andalusian courtyard or house is complete with its own special collection of colourful tiles. It is no surprise that the Ceramics Centre in the Triana district is an aesthetic delight then, with the exterior of the building itself a real treat. Tailor made for Instagram, you could say. Learn the history of this famous form at a beautiful old factory.
Like it or not, bullfighting is an integral part of the history and culture of Andalusia, and understanding the history of the tradition is integral to wringing every last drop out of Seville. The Bullfight Museum (or the Museo Taurino de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla, to be exact) is found at the oldest bullring in Spain, a stunning spot in itself. There’s something about old bullfighting posters that we love too.
The third-largest church building in the world (and the largest cathedral), Seville Cathedral is every bit as big as you think it is, possibly bigger. It also happens to be spellbindingly beautiful too, all stunning Gothic arches and 15th century magnificence. The cathedral was built on the remains of a mosque and has actually retained a couple of those features, but this is a house of Catholicism and then some, home to the longest nave in Spain and a quite incredible section of paintings depicting the experiences of Christ. The views from the top of the Giralda? You’ll just have to see for yourself. Expect plenty of queuing in the busy months, so buy your tickets ahead of time and save yourself the stress. Oh, Christopher Columbus is buried here as well, if you needed any more reasons to visit.
A beautiful 15th century palace built in that much-loved Renaissance style, the Palacio de las Dueñas is a building that isn’t afraid to add a little bit of extra flavour to that classic architectural style. The colourful exterior gives a hint as to the grace that lies inside, and the flora-heavy inner courtyard is waiting to transport you to a dream in which you are some sort of 17th century Spanish lord. Alas, this is the real world, but take that deep breath and enjoy the splendour of this most aesthetically pleasing palace.
Originally constructed in the 15th century, this gorgeous mosaic of historical architecture was opened to the public in 1999, allowing people to explore its many rooms and quite spectacular art collection for the first time. The interior of the palace-museum is stunning, Moorish arches here, retrieved tile-work there, Renaissance touches and more, all in an undeniably Andalusian form. Come for the art, stay for the museum.
As far as city squares go, this is about as extravagant as it is going to get. Seville’s Plaza de España is a jaw-dropper from the get-go, a mass of panoramic beauty that is fit for a king. Built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, each and every Spanish region is celebrated in ceramic form, with some seriously impressive alcoves and benches ringing the square and singing the praises of Spanish territories. The square is found on the very edge of Maria Luisa Park,, and has also featured in films as varied as Lawrence of Arabia and The Dictator.