Great local wine, fantastic traditional tapas, and a wealth of artistic and cultural activities to enjoy, it's no wonder Seville has been chosen as the best city destination for 2018.
From the largest Gothic cathedral in the world to taking in an authentic flamenco show Devour Tours gives the lowdown with 14 essential experiences to have in Seville.
1. Marvel at the Cathedral
View from the Giralda tower. Photo: nito103/Depositphotos
No trip to Seville would be complete without a visit to the city’s iconic Cathedral. Officially the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the sheer size of the building alone makes it worth exploring. Once inside, you can appreciate the detail and intricacy of the decoration, with no corner left unadorned. Also, don’t miss out on the chance to head up the Giralda tower, which was the minaret from when the building was originally a mosque. From the top, you can take in some incredible views of Seville – not to be missed!
2. Lose yourself in the Barrio Santa Cruz
With a huge selection of beautifully decorated, narrow streets, the Barrio Santa Cruz is the perfect place to explore while visiting Seville. Originally the Jewish Quarter of the city, the area’s maze-like structure makes it tricky to maneuver, but don’t let that stop you. There are amazing squares, such as Plaza de Doña Elvira, to discover and beautiful, hidden corners of Seville to enjoy.
3. Experience the passion and artistry of an authentic flamenco show
Flamenco – The passion and power of an authentic flamenco show will stay with you long after you leave Seville. Photo: Devour Tours
As the home of flamenco, Andalucia is the perfect place to experience a traditional, authentic show. However, with such a huge amount of shows available in Seville, and a number of them admittedly geared towards tourists, you have to ensure you choose carefully when deciding on the best place to go. Casa del Flamenco provides a comprehensive overview of flamenco culture with their hour-long shows in a historic, Andalusian patio. With some of Spain’s most accomplished artists performing each night, you’ll not soon forget your Seville flamenco experience.
4. Savour some of Seville’s best traditional tapas
Spinach and chickpeas – Espinacas con garbanzos is one of many typical tapas in Seville that show off the city's Moorish heritage. Photo: Devour Tours
After a huge surge in the popularity of modern tapas in Seville, there is no shortage of gourmet places to eat. However, while these places certainly provide good food, there is something truly special about stepping into an authentic, off-the-beaten-track tavern to eat among locals. One of our favorite spots is Casa Morales, where you can enjoy everything from spinach and chickpeas to slow-cooked pork cheek, as well as all the thinly sliced cured meats you can handle.
5. Explore the Moorish history of Seville at the Alcazar Palace
Real Alcazar – From unique architecture to intricate tiles to a stunning collection of gardens—Seville's Real Alcazar Palace has it all. Photo: Devour Tours
If you are an architecture or history buff, or just appreciate a stroll through some beautiful surroundings, the Real Alcázar is an unmissable stop on your Seville visit. Located just opposite the Cathedral, this Moorish fort which evolved into a Royal Palace is one of the best examples of mudéjar (Moorish & Christian) architecture on the Iberian Peninsula. For fans of TV series Game of Thrones, you may even find some of the Alcázar familiar as this is one of a number of places in Seville where scenes from the show were filmed!
6. Enjoy Seville’s modern side at the Metropol Parasol
Las Setas – The uniquely beautiful Las Setas monument doubles as one of our favorite spots to enjoy a stunning city view. Photo: Devour Tours
Although Seville is a very historic city, it still has a modern side for you to enjoy. The best example of modern architecture in the city is the Metropol Parasol, also known as“Las Setas.”This mushroom-shaped monument is actually the largest wooden structure in the world and caused quite a stir when erected, given its unusual shape and style. However, locals have warmed to it and with carefully excavated Roman ruins to explore underneath and an amazing viewpoint—the best panoramic view of Seville—on top.Las Setas is not to be missed when you visit Seville.
7. Sip some iconic local wines
Sherry and Ham – Two things you simply must try when visiting Seville—bone-dry manzanilla sherry and thinly sliced acorn-fed Iberian ham. Photo: Devour Spain
It may be surprising, given it’s a far cry from the sickly sweet drink often thought of when someone mentions sherry, but it’s actually the bone dry manzanilla that is the most popular sherry wine among locals in Seville! You can’t visit the city without trying some, and the authentic atmosphere at Bar Las Teresas makes it a great place to enjoy it, especially when paired with some delicious jamón Ibérico. Not into dry wines? Why not try another Sevillano specialty wine—vino de naranja! The deliciously sweet orange wine has been available at Taberna Álvaro Peregil since Álvaro’s great grandfather introduced it to the city in 1904.
8. Take in the Seville sun at Plaza de España
There are a number of architectural marvels in Seville to enjoy, but none compare to the beauty of the city’s iconic Plaza de España. Built in the lead up to the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 in the city, the intricate detail of the tilework on this enormous pavilion have made it hugely popular with locals and visitors alike. When visiting the square, don’t miss out on the stunning Maria Luisa park located alongside it, the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city center.
9. Admire Seville’s amazing skyline
With so many beautiful buildings dotted throughout the city of Seville, it’s only natural there would be plenty of places with an amazing view in the city. And what better way to take in the Sevillano skyline than with a drink in hand? Head up to the rooftop terrace of the Hotel Doña Maria for an amazing view of the cathedral, especially striking at sunset!
10. Venture over the river to Triana
While there are plenty of things to do in the center of the city, a trip to Seville isn’t complete without crossing the bridge to visit the Triana neighborhood. Known for its bullfighters, vibrant flamenco scene and delicious tapas, there is a sense of pride unique to the area and the people who call Triana home. Also, Triana is the perfect place to buy some beautiful ceramics, a great souvenir to take home from Seville.
11. Wander through a local food market
Visiting a local food market is a great way to experience local foodie culture for yourself. At Seville’s food markets, you don’t just buy top quality, fresh produce, you can also step into one of the bars in the market and enjoy authentic tapas made from the market’s finest ingredients. A visit to the Mercado de la Feria, Seville’s oldest food market, gives you the perfect combination of both sides of market culture in the city.
12. Discover the artistic heritage of Seville
Birthplace of artists such as Velázquez, Murillo and Zurbarán, it’s not surprising that Seville boasts one of the most significant art collections in all of Spain. These amazing pieces can be found inside the Fine Arts Museum, a stunning building complete with a typical Andalusian patio. 2018 is the perfect time to visit, as the museum is celebrating “El Año de Murillo,”in honor of the 400th year anniversary of the artist’s birth, with a number of special exhibits from the iconic painter.
13. Celebrate all the fun of the fair
One of the most beloved fiestas in Spain takes place in Seville around two weeks after Easter week every year – and in 2018 runs from April 15th-22nd. People don traditional dress, dance Sevillanas and eat, drink and are merry during the Feria de Abril.
Families have their own casetas, or marquees, but if you don't know anyone with access to an exclusive caseta, have no fear – the partying and dancing spills out onto the streets of Seville, meaning everyone can join in the fun, that often lasts well into the early hours.
14. Explore the city like a true local
What better way to explore the city of Seville than in the company of a passionate, knowledgeable local? Devour Seville Food Tours offer a selection of foodie adventures through the city, where you’ll taste some of the best traditional food and wine while learning about the complex history of Seville as we go. For an authentic experience in some of the best family-run establishments in Seville, join us on one of our food tours!
Devour Tours was founded by Spanish food lovers as a way to connect hungry travellers with the local, family run businesses that make amazing food. Offering award-winning fun and delicious food tours and tapas tours in Malaga, Seville, Barcelona and Madrid. Follow them on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter for Spanish food news, tips and recipes.
Sitges Mayor among others arrested in police investigation of alleged corruption
Aurora Carbonell, the mayor of Sitges and from the ERC party, has been arrested in connection with an alleged corruption investigation, that has also implicated 12 other people, including eight local councillors from the period 2017-2022.
At least four people have been arrested as part of the case, including the local ERC councillor Jaume Monasterio, who was responsible for public works in the last legislature.
The group are being investigated for the crimes of misuse of public funds, embezzlement, and falsification of documents in the awarding of grants and minor contracts in the previous two mandates.
The Spanish National Police and officers of their Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) carried out several searches on Wednesday morning in Sitges, including municipal offices and the homes of two people. The investigation is focused into the process of subsidies granted by the Sitges Town Council to the social entity ‘Taula del Tercer Sector’ (Third Sector Board) and another local co-operative. The police seized documents relating to the entities under investigation.
According to local sources, the police would be investigating, among other elements, if the entity was paid twice for the same service, or received a subsidy and a minor contract, for example.
According to El Pais, police sources have said that the investigation affects the local departments of Beaches and Social Welfare. The police are analysing various specific grants, some of €45,000, €100,000 and €120,000, among others, which may have allegedly gone to the entities under suspicion. According to reports, the total sum under investigation is €600,000.
The starting point of the case stems from a police report detailing the alleged irregularities in May 2022, discovered by the council’s own inspectors.
Carbonell, who was recently re-elected as mayor, has been mayor of Sitges since 2019. The court has ordered for Carbonell and eight councillors to be investigated, in addition to four others who were part of one of the entities and cooperatves also under investigation. The period of alleged corruption is over four years, and also affects the government team prior to Carbonell, according to reports, under the leadership of Miquel Forns (CiU).
The Sitges Town Council has since issued a statement to say that the investigation is connected to ‘external irregularities’ and that it denies any type of wrongdoing.
‘The facts under investigation had already been analysed internally,’ the statement read. ‘The Town Council, once possible external irregularities were detected, commissioned legal professionals to clarify the facts, stopping the subsidies, reviewing the files and starting the process for the return of the subsidies that were not fully justified. The Council has reports that ensure the absence of administrative and even less criminal responsibilities, and which demonstrate the diligence of the Sitges Town Council.’
The statement went on to say that the council ‘is a transparent institution, which has a rigorous code of ethics that ensures the highest standards of integrity’.
It said that it would be making itself ‘available to the authorities in order to show our full collaboration in whatever is necessary’ and ‘reiterates our willingness to cooperate with justice at all times’.
Spain’s far-right Vox seek to make gains in 28 May local and regional elections
Spain’s third largest political group in the national parliament, the far-right Vox party, is looking to make gains in the local and regional elections due to be held across the country on 28 May.
Since it entered a regional government for the first time in Castilla y León last year, Vox has attacked the unions and pushed polarising positions on social issues, including abortion and transgender rights.
It is now poised to spread its influence beyond the sparsely populated region near Madrid, with the party hoping to make gains in the elections at the end of May.
Surveys suggest the main opposition, the right-wing People’s Party (PP), could need the support of Vox to govern in half of the 12 regions casting ballots, just as it did in Castilla y León last year.
Polls also indicate the PP is on track to win a year-end general election but would need Vox to form a working majority and oust socialist (PSOE) Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his coalition government from office.
Vox leader Santiago Abascal [pictured at a recent rally in Chinchón, near Madrid] has called the PP-VOX coalition government in office in Castilla y León since March 2022 a ‘showroom’ and ‘an example of the alternative Spain needs’.
It is Spain’s first government to include a far-right party since the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
In Castilla y León, Vox has slashed funding to unions, which the party has vowed to ‘put in their place’ if it comes to power nationally. Trade union UGT was forced to lay off 40% of its staff in Castilla y León last month and scale back programmes to promote workspace safety. Spain’s other main union, the CCOO, is reportedly preparing to follow suit.
Vox has also angered LGBTQ groups by refusing to allow the regional parliament to be lit up in the colours of the rainbow, the symbol of the gay rights movement, for Pride festivities as in past years when the PP governed alone.
In addition, the regional vice-president, Vox’s Juan García-Gallardo, has railed against a law passed by Spain’s leftist central government that extends transgender rights.
The 32-year-old lawyer warned earlier this month that women would now be ‘forced to share locker rooms with hairy men at municipal swimming pools’.
Vox’s most contested initiative was a proposal that doctors offer women seeking an abortion a 4D ultrasound scan to try to discourage them from going ahead with the procedure.
The idea was swiftly condemned by Spain’s leftist central government, and Castilla y León’s PP president Alfonso Fernández Mañueco stopped the measure from going ahead.
The issue highlighted the hazards for the PP of joining forces with Vox, which was launched in 2013 and is now the third-largest party in the national parliament.
Spain – Gas falls below 90 euros per MWh for the first time in almost two months
The price of TTF natural gas for delivery next month has fallen below 90 euros on Friday for the first time in almost two months and closes a week marked by the decision of the European Commission to cap gas with a drop of 29, 36%.
According to data from the Bloomberg platform, gas closed this Friday at 83 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh), 8.9% less than the day before and the first time it has lost 90 euros since last October 31.
After months of negotiations, the EU agreed on Monday to set a cap of 180 euros on contracts linked to the Amsterdam TTF index with a price difference of at least 35 euros above the average price of liquefied natural gas in the markets.
EU countries agree on a cap of 180 euros for gas with the support of Germany
In a report this week, the Swiss investment bank Julius Baer indicated that the chances of the mechanism being activated are low and pointed out that the chosen formula was not very effective in avoiding the multiplier effect that gas has on the price of electricity. However, he reiterated what was said in other previous reports: “Energy supply risks are minimal and prices should continue to decline in the future” due to the availability of raw materials from Asia to offset cuts from Russia.
Gas tends to fall during the hot months due to lower demand, but this summer it has reached historic heights as European countries were buying to face the winter with their tanks full and reduce their dependence on Russia. The price fell in September and October due to lower demand once the warehouses were full due to the high temperatures at the beginning of autumn, but in November it picked up again and 66% more expensive.
This article was originally published on Público
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