Seville Day 1 - Seville Cathedral
This was our first time in Spain and our first stop was Seville. At first my plan was to stay for 2 days but after I saw photos of many beautiful architectures, I decided to stay for 4 days including a day trip to the nearby Cordoba. We arrived in Seville last night at 12 am; we spent the whole day yesterday flying from Venice to Madrid then took the last train to Seville. By the time we got in Seville, we were exhausted but our beautiful hotel: Hotel Alfonso XIII and its comfortable bed got us a great rest!
The famous Hotel Alfonso XIII was completely renovated last year! We liked headboard of our bed and the glamorous chandelier (it was hard to take a photo of the chandelier, it looked 10 times better than in photo)!
Bathroom was very new with nice decors.
We got up at 9 am and ready to venture out to explore Seville......but...it was cloudy out! I heard about the hot Andalusia summer and was prepared for it but turned out it was very comfortable the whole time we were there with a cool breeze from the wind! The only downside was (don't know why if this was normal) all the 4 days we stayed in Seville, it always cloudy during the morning and cleared up by noon with sunny blue sky! I planned to get to sights early in the morning to avoid the crowd for great photos but that totally messed up my plan!! As both of us are photo enthusiasts, lighting quantity and quality are very important for us! We ended up checking our emails and Facebook during the mornings then lunch then sightseeing.
Our hotel location was superb, within minutes of walk from the main sights: the Cathedral and the Alcazar! On the way to the Cathedral, there were many cafes and restaurants, we stopped by a cafe for a quick sandwich for breakfast. Then, we walked around to get the feel of Seville central; there were many interesting and beautiful architectures!
We thought this rounded building was very unique:
Side view of the rounded building, amazing architecture!
The Cathedral is right in the middle of the block, it's a huge cathedral that you can't miss it! It is very big that we walked around its perimeter to find the entrance! This is not the entrance but can give you an idea of the size of it...even the door made my hubby looked small:
By the time we got to the entrance, it was already 11 am and there were a line of people to enter. The wait wasn't too bad, less than 10 minutes. While we were waiting in line, we were mesmerized by the details of the structure.
The Seville Cathedral is the third-largest church in the world!! However, only certain areas are opened for visit so we spent an hour or so in the Cathedral. The massive columns and tall ceilings made me wondered how they built this more than 400 years ago!
Christopher Columbus' tomb!!
The Cathedral is lavishly decorated with details and sculptures.
Beautiful lamps, looked like Arabic style!
The Giralda (bell tower) from the courtyard of the Cathedral.
The courtyard of the Cathedral:
It was hard to fit the whole Cathedral into the frame, it was huge!
After the Cathedral, we were searching for place to have lunch. I have heard the delicious tapas so we were looking for tapa restaurants! We walked by Genova with Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence so can't go wrong!
The restrooms are located on the 2nd floor so as I walked up, I noticed the very home-feel decors.
Majority of the restaurants in tourist areas have English menu, phew since I only know Hola and La cuenta, por favor haha! We ordered the potato salad, it was creamy!
We ordered the "jamon" (Spanish ham) and grilled squid. We aren't fan of hams so it was just okay. The grilled squid was yummy!
Main course we ordered seafood paella, it was big enough for 2! I have heard that paella is salty but this one is pretty good, not as salty as I expected it to be.
Hubby also ordered a mango smoothie which was great, highly recommended it! The total bill came to be 27.5 euros.....wow we felt it was so inexpensive after Venice!
After the yummy lunch, good time to have a sightseeing walk! Seville is a very walkable city, main tourist attractions are within walking distances! We walked down to the bullfight building just to see the building itself (I researched that there's no bullfight in Seville in the month of July). The museum is still open although we are not museum people :)
Heading back to our hotel direction, we passed by the Torre del Oro (Golden Tower). We didn't went up the tower to see as I heard the view of Seville's river was nothing special.
We passed by a small park (Jardines del Cristina) and we spotted a pigeon's home:
Another great building across from our hotel:
A huge tree near the University of Seville:
We continued our walk to Spanish Plaza (Plaza de España) and walked across another park with this interesting building:
Plaza de España, here we are! OMG it was so beautiful, I totally agreed that it's the most beautiful plaza in Spain! It was more beautiful than another photos I have seen of it!
I was surprised on how quiet it was; I was expecting filled with tourists! But that was great so we could easily take photos without much wait! The structure was impressive along with the "river" and pond which add reflections.
The roses planted along its riverbank added bright colors to the yellowish-orange structure. The plaza became one of my favorite spots to photograph in Spain!
We were there at least two hours taking pictures of here and there, just everywhere in this plaza is breathtaking!
We went back to hotel and rest a bit before going out for dinner. All the restaurants in Spain open from 8 pm for dinner (I was starving by then lol)! For dinner, I picked Albarama Restaurante Tapas, it is rated #6 in Seville and prices are very reasonable! We got there before they open and we had to wait a bit. We chose to sat inside, we followed the waiter walked through a narrow hallway and inside was spacious.
After Venice where the cheapest appetizer started from 10 euros and main course started from 20 euros, the menu from Albarama is very affordable (around 4-5 euros per tapas portion)!! We loved the idea of tapas; small plates and inexpensive so we could try out different varieties! First, we ordered 6 tapas:
1. Scallop with salad, ingredients were fresh, the sauce was excellent!
2. Shrimp with avocado rice, the rice was creamy but not too heavy!
3. Grilled squid, cooked perfectly and a tasty sauce!
Whole table of color food, I was so happy by just looking at them!
4. Grilled of some type of fish with black noodle (squid ink noodle) and mango
5. Tuna with jelly on the bottom
6. Steak with potato
All the dishes were delicious and hubby couldn't resist but to order 3 more plates. He ordered the whole fish menu LOL!
7. Sea urchin with fried egg on top, he said it was okay
8. Another fish dish that he said it was okay as well
We were very satisfied with the food! It was the best meal we had so far! The total bill for 8 dishes plus two soft drinks....48 euros!! It was the best value for the quality of food!! Another photo of Albarama when we were leaving the restaurant:
It was a nice walk back to the hotel, it was still not dark yet! Hotel exterior:
We had a great first day in Seville, beautiful architectures and delicious inexpensive food!!! I highly recommended Seville to any Spain itinerary!