Dreamy. Magical. Charming. Colorful. You exhaust every clichéd adjective in approximately five minutes in Sevilla, but it’s not difficult to see why. There’s really no other way to put it: the city is a stunner.
This is typified by the Barrio Santa Cruz, Sevilla’s old town and tourist hub. The streets are a narrow, windy maze; so narrow, in fact, that they are dubbed “kissing lanes.” We stayed in this area, and it was not hard to understand why so many tourists are drawn here. I tried to think of another word for it, but it’s true: there is something magical about these little lanes.
For lunch on our first full day in town, we headed to La Bartola, a cute little restaurant about ten minutes from our hotel. We wanted something not right within the old town (i.e., something that catered to tourists crowds), but also did not want to wander too far afield as we were starving. This place fit the bill perfectly. We ordered a variety of small plates, all tasty. My favorites were the zucchini flowers.
I had seen Sevilla’s Metropol Parasol on – where else?! – Instagram and knew I had to visit. The structure did not disappoint in person; it’s huge and magnificent. We went in the evening, as the sun was setting, and we could not have picked a better time to visit. The Parasol glowed golden in the evening sun, and the views of the city from atop it were awe-inspiring.
From the Parasol we made our way to Eslava for dinner. When my sister and I compared our Sevilla restaurant lists, this made an appearance on both, so it instantly became a must-visit. In truth, though, it was not our favorite meal. Eslava basically has two spaces: a chaotic, trendy tapas bar, and a more sedate, closed-off restaurant next door. Our reservation was for the sedate half, and it was almost eerily quiet over there. I’m not usually one for crowded, loud spaces, but in this case, I wish we had been in the more hopping part. As for the food? Good, but not among the more memorable dishes of our trip.
On our second day in Sevilla, we began our morning at Plaza de España, a huge plaza filled with impressive archways and colored tiles (the Sevilla specialty!). The sun was downright sweltering during our morning visit, so I was not the happiest of campers, but it was hard to deny how impressive the plaza was.
From Plaza de España, we crossed the river and made our way toward the Mercado de Triana, a journey that looked short on my phone map but was … not so short in practice. We browsed the market, stopping to buy choux pastry at Bocasu, a treat I felt we earned by virtue of our long walk in the sun.
For lunch, we stopped into La Azotea. This restaurant has a few locations around town, but we opted for one in a more residential neighborhood, and it was the right choice: the place felt like a solidly local lunch spot. The food was great too; I ordered rice paper triangles stuffed with shrimp and an octopus dish for my main. Our server was also very nice (and, ahem, cute).
Our hotel, Hotel Murillo, featured an excellent rooftop terrace. The bonus? We seemed to be one of the few guests who actually took advantage of it. On our last evening in Sevilla, we had booked a flamenco show and dinner, but beforehand, we made our own wine and cheese picnic on our hotel rooftop. Wine + Spanish manchego + a good book + sunset views = happiness, and a perfect way to end our time in this loveliest of Spanish cities.