Sevilla: A Colorful Morning at the Real Alcázar

One of the places I was most excited to visit in Spain was, in fact, one I had already visited before: Sevilla’s Real Alcázar. Why? Think lush courtyards, bright tiles, and an abundance of flowers. In other words, it’s really, really beautiful.

The Alcázar wears many hats. It’s still used as an official royal residence when the royal family is in Sevilla, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it even served as a filming location for Game of Thrones. Visit and it isn’t hard to see why this gorgeous space is so in demand!

We made our way to the Alcázar in the morning; by the time we arrived, the crowds had already descended in full force. We had pre-booked a slot at the Cuarto Real Alto, the royal apartments on the complex’s upper level. By the time we got through the crush of crowds, however, we were a few minutes late to our time slot and, as it turned out, they enforce entry times strictly. After some finagling – and some nastiness on the part of the staff there – we finally got a spot with the next group. In the end, though, my major takeaway was that the royal apartments were kind of snoozy; I enjoyed the lower complex and gardens so much more. Moral of the story: if you want to visit the Cuarto Real Alto, make sure you’re on time; if you don’t want to visit the Cuarto Real Alto, your visit will be plenty fulfilling without it!

The bulk of our time at the Alcázar was spent outdoors, in the aforementioned glorious gardens. It was a hot day (something I realize I have said a lot about Spain, so take it with a grain of salt; it’s possible I am the overly-heat-sensitive problem here), but luckily there are plenty of shaded courtyards and benches to hide out in. We poked around for a while, even running into a couple who had been in our cooking class in San Sebastián. The world is as small as every cliché says it is!

The word that always springs to mind when it comes to the Alcázar is “dreamy.” Every courtyard – and there are a lot of them – seems to hold a source of inspiration. I love it.

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