Seville, Spain, known in Spanish as Sevilla, is the capital and largest city of the southern region called Andalusia (Andalucía in Spanish). This upcoming September, I’ll be living only a two-hour drive from this beautiful place, and can’t wait to explore it on my own! The legend of Sevilla is that it was actually founded by Hercules. If the image of the Disney Animation Movie “Hercules” popped into your mind, you are not alone. Yes, that Hercules, the half mortal and half god, son of Zeus, is said to have founded this beautiful city years and years ago. To be more exact, Sevilla is about 2,200 years old!
I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Sevilla, and some other rumors that it is one of the hottest cities in Spain, and all of Europe. It doesn’t surprise me though, especially because Andalucía is known for crazy high temperatures during the summer (100°F and above). Although the scorching heat makes me run for the nearest shade, I’ve also been told that the city has a very distinct personality to it, and a well-preserved historical center. Sevilla is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites, and is adorned with influences from the Moors and Christians.
Tourists can visit the third largest cathedral in the world, and even see Christopher Columbus’ grave! If you’re looking for a real authentic Spanish tradition, book your trip during “Semana Santa”, also known as Holy Week during Easter, where the streets of Sevilla are flooded with tourists and locals (at least thousands) to view large gothic statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary carried through a procession. I’ve asked locals about the Semana Santa processions, and they’ve told me it’s a religious event, and one very famous in Spanish culture. If you were interested in visiting during Semana Santa, I’d recommend booking your Seville hotels very early.
One thing about Sevilla that I am more than excited to try are their tapas. Tapas are an important part of Spanish cuisine. They are usually small, hot or cold dishes that guests can order to share. An aspect of Spanish culture is the “bar” scene, where friends or families join each other in the afternoon to share in a few beers and snack on tapas. The tapa scene has grown significantly in Sevilla; you can now find more than 4,000 tapa restaurants adorning the streets.
I recommend indulging in the tapa scene, as it is one of my favorite things to do. It’s what I’m missing now as I’m writing this! If you’re a little nervous about ordering, here’s a simple breakdown of bar etiquette in Spain.
#1: Get the waiter or waitress’ attention! If you don’t make it known that you are there, they may never even approach your table.
#2: Ordering drinks: (beer is usually ordered by the size)
caña: a caña is a small beer, enough for the lightweight drinker!
doble: this one is pretty big for me!
una clara: beer mixed with lemon Fanta (so very delicious and refreshing! One of my favorites!)
#3: Ready to leave? Just ask for “la cuenta, por favor?”