Seville is an enchanting, enthralling city in the deep southern Spanish region of Andalusia known for its colourful buildings and charming architecture–both old and new. In September 2017, the world of international higher education will gather in this captivating city for the 29th Annual EAIE Conference. To help you become more acquainted with the city during your downtime, we have put together a small list of the best that Sevilla–and the region as a whole–has to offer.
Considered the home of Flamenco, Seville is the place to enjoy the intricate guitar strumming, the melancholic vocal rhythms influenced by the region’s long history under Moorish rule, and the beauty of traditional dancers. Local bars host shows in a low-key environment. Theatres and venues such as Los Gallos on Plaza de Santa Cruz, Tablao Flamenco El Arenal on Calle Rodo, and La Casa del Flamenco on Calle Ximenez de Enciso, specialise in Flamenco performances for locals and tourists alike. For a deeper look at the history of this mesmerising cultural heritage, be sure to visit the Museo del Baile Flamenco, on Calle Manuel Rojas Marcos.
The Alcázar of Seville
Speaking of Moorish influences, the world-famous Alcázar of Seville was once a Moorish palace. Additions and changes to the palace have been made in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and even as late as the 19th century. Its many influences symbolise the region’s different historical phases, preferences, and tastes. It is a larger-than-life, decadent marvel and a UNESCO Heritage Site, and an absolute must-see for any visitor of Seville.
Not too far from the Alcázar lies the third-largest church in all of Europe–and the largest Gothic church in the world. The Seville Cathedral is a supersized masterpiece. It was built following the re-conquering of Seville and the demolition of a nearby mosque–in a not-so-subtle display of new times and new power. A pretty, citrus fruit-lined garden and the Giralda Tower–the mosque’s old minaret, now used as a bell tower for the cathedral–are all that remain from that period. The cathedral itself is home to the tomb of one of history’s most controversial figures: Christopher Columbus. Whether you’re attracted to its colourful past, religious function or architectural structure, the Seville Cathedral and its nearby surroundings are sights worth seeing.
Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes
Located on Plaza Venerables, this Baroque mansion was once a home for ageing priests. Now, it contains one of Spain’s most extraordinary classical art collections. Inside, you will find the Centro Velázquez, which houses a remarkable collection of the Spanish painter’s work. The mansion itself could be considered a work of art, and its internal patio is sublime. Be sure to spare some time to take in every detail.
Parque de Maria Luisa and Plaza de España
Maria Luisa Park is Seville’s main green area. A breathtaking spot, filled with ornamental tiled walls, fountains, ponds, statues and monuments, traditional-looking buildings, and–most importantly, perhaps–several park benches. All of this is surrounded by a luscious range of palm trees, orange trees, flowers and birds. Plaza de España, built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, is a peaceful square inside the park. All in all, this two-for-one attraction offers an idyllic location to unwind from a busy day at the conference while basking in the September sun!
The building of this ultra-futuristic structure was completed in 2011. It is a multi-functional site that accommodates the city’s Central Market, a square that often hosts public events, and panoramic-view restaurants. It’s impressive and perhaps even a little bit weird, but somehow the Metropol Parasol fits right into Seville’s old quarter. Maybe it’s the vibrancy and welcoming atmosphere of the city that make it work. Maybe it’s Seville’s pre-existing potpourri of cultures and architectural styles, spanning centuries. Whatever the case, this beautiful wooden structure warrants a visit–and a fair few pictures.
For the taste buds
At some point during your visit, after a day at the conference followed by some sightseeing in Seville, you may find yourself working up an appetite. But fear not: Seville is famed for Spain’s most delicious bites. Tapa restaurants are a true experience in this magical city. Try Bodega Morales at Calle García de Vinuesa ; Sagardi at Calle Argote de Molina, Robles Placentines at Calle Placentines, Taberna del Alabardero on Calle Zaragoza; El Rinconcillo on Calle Gerona; or just about any local restaurant you come across. You will not be disappointed!
Just across the Guadalquivir River, you will find the picturesque Triana district. At Calle Betis you not only have one of the best views of the city, but also many great places to go for a drink and experience the typical sevillana. Inspired by Flamenco music, this hypnotic dance is a local tradition that can be enjoyed at Lo Nuestro, on Calle Betis and Simpecado on Paseo Nuestra Señora de la O. A word of warning: true Sevillanos begin their nights out after 23:00. You could always have a few more tapas at restaurants such as Blanca Paloma on Calle San Jacinto… We won’t tell anyone.
For special deals for conference participants, download our list of promotions from the Discover Seville webpage.