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Sevilla is one of the most spectacular cities in Spain, with areas of incomparable charm that will captivate you. Even if you have limited free time during your business trip, the historic city center offers so many surprises that it will definitely not be a disappointment. Take in a Flamenco show if you want to get to know one of the most unique cultures of the world.
Throughout the city, you’re able to see its Arab past reflected in the monuments. As many of them are very near to one another, you’ll be able to visit them while strolling through the center – having a tapa to recharge your batteries and taking a break from the heat, especially if your business trip is in the summer. If that’s the case, avoid wandering through the city during the midday hours. At that time, it’s preferable to take a break and recharge in our air conditioned hotels and go out for a stroll at dusk.
If you have a free hour and a half, visit the Real Alcázar, the immense palace that was the seat of power of Al-Andalus in the 10th century. Besides the palaces and patios (the beautiful Patio de las Doncellas should not be missed), make sure to save time to stroll through the gardens decorated with orange and palm trees.
Another place to visit if you have enough time is the Cathedral and the Giralda tower, symbol of Sevilla. The cathedral is the oldest gothic cathedral in the world. It’s built on the site once occupied by a mosque, of which all that remains is the minaret: the famous Giralda tower, which was integrated into the Christian building with the addition of a bell tower at the top. It’s among the highest in Europe. If you don't have enough time to visit it and your workday finishes when it's already closed, you can always go for a drink after work on the rooftop of EME where you'll be able to enjoy the spectacular views - more so if you go at night as you'll have the good fortune to see the cathedral illuminated.
If you only have half an hour, head to the Plaza de España. It’s an area that’s the symbol of the Andalusian city, thanks to the striking and colorful tiles and bricks. It’s a big plaza bisected by a canal which can be crossed by any of the four bridges. However, it’s probably best not to go in the middle of the day since there aren’t any shady areas. It is so picturesque that it has served as the setting for the filming of many movies such as Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones or more recently, the Game of Thrones series. Right beside the plaza is the Parque de María Luisa, the city’s green space, filled with palm trees and rose bushes.
The Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza is one of the most visited sights in the city. If you’d like to learn more about this Spanish tradition, guided tours are offered of the plaza and its museum, in Spanish and English, every 20 minutes.
If you prefer to spend your free time outside, take a stroll through some of the more interesting neighborhoods like barrio de Santa Cruz (the old Jewish quarter, which has charming narrow streets and alleyways as well as many squares scattered throughout such as the Plaza Doña Elvira) or the barrio de Triana (an excellent area to go for tapas on the other side of the Guadalquivir River).
The most innovative architectural place in the city is the Metropol Parasol which can be found in the Plaza de la Encarnación. If you climb up the amazing Mirador de las Setas – as it’s commonly referred to, you’ll be able to stroll through the biggest wooden structure in the world – designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer – while enjoying 360º views of the city.
Going out for “tapas” in Seville
Going out for tapas in Seville is almost mandatory. Try local delicacies like salmorejo (cold, tomato-based soup), fried fish, ham, montadito de pringá (a type of pâté made with meats from Andalusian stew). The list is endless, almost as many as the number of bars and restaurants you encounter as you stroll through the city center.
As for drinks, beer (Cruzcampo is the most ubiquitous brand in the city) or wine are good choices to accompany the dishes. Ask for a manzanilla or a fino if you want to try typical white wines from Andalucía. If it’s very hot a rebujito (manzanilla or fino mixed with soda water and lime) will help you cool off and feel refreshed.
The Bodeguita Antonio Romero (behind the Plaza de Toros), Casa Morales (near the Cathedral), Casa Román or La Brunilda Tapas are excellent options to go for tapas if you are in the center. Also check out Bar Eslava, a little place famous for its creative tapas: try the “cigarrillo de Bécquer (cuttlefish and seaweed mixed with squid ink wrapped in phyllo dough)” and the “huevo sobre bizcocho de boletus (egg on mushroom cake)”.
The Barrio de Triana is on the other side of the Guadalquivir River. Among its picturesque streets you will find many places to go for tapas for lunch or dinner. Stroll along calle San Jacinto: the Blanca Paloma, Las Golondrinas or the Patio San Eloy will not disappoint. If rather than standing while you’re having tapas, you’d prefer to sit on a terrace with views of the Guadalquivir River, you can find several restaurants such as Abades Triana on calle Betis.
Another possibility for lunch or dinner is to go to the Mercado Lonja del Barranco – an old fish market remodeled as a gourmet food court. Here you can find excellent food and beverage stands, where you can sample international food or local products like Iberian ham.
If you’re looking to have lunch or dinner in a unique environment, head to Restaurante San Marco. It’s located in the old 12th century Arab baths and offers Mediterranean and Italian food. The Taberna del Alabardero has been a point of reference in the city for the last 40 years. Make a reservation on their rooftop (in advance) to enjoy views of the city. And if you want to have dinner while taking in a Flamenco show, go to a ‘tablao’: at El Arenal or Palacio Andaluz, you can have dinner or a drink accompanied by the claps of the flamenco dancers.
If you have to go to Seville on business, you’ll be able to combine business and pleasure with no problem since it has nice weather most of the year, excellent cuisine and an extraordinary ambience throughout city.
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