In our last post we took a look at some of the best monuments and sites that the beautiful city of Seville has to offer backpackers wanting to explore the city on a budget. Here is a continuation of that theme with more great sites to see without breaking the bank.
A dance experience
For a cultural visit with a twist the Museo Del Baile Flamenco is a must. Flamenco dancing is a key part of the Andalucian culture and experiencing the dance first hand gives visitors a feel for the passion and drama that are engrained in this area of Spain. Sponsored by Seville’s first lady of Flamenco, Cristina Hoyos, the museum offers insightful exhibitions that show how flamenco has developed over the years, as well as classes and evening shows. For just €18 (if you are a student) you can take a tour of the museum and see a live flamenco show.
Peace and tranquility
If you would like to spend a bit of time with your own thoughts simply absorbing the beautiful surroundings then the Murillo Gardens should be on your list. At one time the gardens were the vegetable gardens and orchards of the Real Alcazar before they were given to the city in 1911 and named after the painter Bartolome Murillo who lived near the gardens in the 17th century. Even today the gardens are often scattered with painters capturing the beauty of the fountains, formal flowerbeds, giant magnolia trees and the monument to Ferdinand and Isabella. It is free to access the gardens.
The Torre del Oro museum is well worth a visit to gain an insight into Seville’s seagoing past. Located on the bank of the river by the Puente San Telmo it is one of Seville’s most famous landmarks. It originally formed part of the city’s defenses against the Christians when the Moors built it in the early 13th century. Since then it has also been used as a gunpowder store and a prison. With its present day location on the pleasant riverside promenade surrounded by cafes and restaurants it makes for a very pleasant day out. Entry to the museum is just €2.
No matter what your moral views are on bullfighting, nobody can deny that the sport is a key aspect of Spain’s culture and history. The Real Maestranza bullring is over 240 years old and one of the most impressive buildings in Seville, as well as being one of the finest bullrings in Spain. It has an impressive baroque façade and 16th century iron gates. The building also contains a museum where visitors can learn about the history of bullfighting through an exhibition of photographs, costumes and paintings. Entry to the bullring and museum costs just €7.
Take a stroll
For an opportunity to immerse yourself into the local side of Seville, take a walk along the Alameda (mall) de Hercules. The area is very popular with locals wanting to get some fresh air on a sunny afternoon. It is a long tree-lined promenade with Roman pillars at either end.
Until recently it was a bit of a seedy area, but a redevelopment project in 2006 has given it a new lease of life. It is a great spot for people watching and is absolutely free to use!
One of the great things about Seville is how easy it is to access. If you arrive in Spain by cruise to Cadiz then Seville is just a 1.5 hour train journey away and easily doable in the usual 8am – 6pm port stopover. Train times can be checked at www.renfe.es. Direct flights to the San Pablo airport in Seville, located about 12km north of the city, are available from Belgium, Germany, Morocco, Portugal, the United Kingdom, France Italy, the Netherlands and from elsewhere in Spain making it an incredibly easy city to access from all over Europe. If you plan to drive to Seville be prepared to be patient when you reach the city centre. Many people find driving in the centre quite scary, and don’t be afraid to use you car horn! Due to the small roads and limited parking it is advisable to bring a small car. Once in Seville the city’s endless narrow and winding cobbled streets are fantastic to walk around and there is no need to use public transport if you don’t want to.