Introducing Seville

Seville may be a small city, but its narrow streets twist and turn past historical wonders that rival the biggest in the world. Days here are for discovering centuries-old sites – in between putting your feet up and sipping vino tinto beneath a shady orange tree. After dark, the city’s sultry side comes out. Hop from tapas bar to tapas bar before the seductive sound of stamping shoes draws you to the flamenco floor.  With a great collection of boutique hotels, Seville is one of Europe’s best kept luxury break secrets.

Things to do

When in Seville, you can feel as though you’re fitting sightseeing around mealtimes, not the other way around. Grab a serranito – a warm, stuffed sandwich – on the hop. Order plate after plate of tapas at night, with stewed cod cheeks, pinchos (mini kebabs) and spiced rice dishes gracing menus. Afterwards, torrija – gooey bread soaked in milk, honey and spices then fried – is delicious with a glass of city-favourite sherry or gin.

Housing 80 chapels and a magnificent 42-metre high nave, Santa Maria de la Sede is among the largest cathedrals in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site took over 100 years to build, starting in the 15th century. Before then it was the site of the Aljama Mosque, remnants of which are still visible. Today, you can pay a visit to Christopher Columbus’ tomb and wind your way all the way up the Giralda. When you reach the top bell chamber, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of Seville.

Seville is the owner of not one but three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And as soon as you step inside the Alcázar, you’ll know this is one. Among Europe’s oldest occupied palaces, it’s a masterpiece of mudéjar architecture. Vivid Moorish mosaics, the 16th-century House of Trade and 1800s tiling reflect centuries of influences. Don’t miss the idyllic grounds either. If any garden deserves the term ‘oasis’, this would be it.

Top Tip from SLH

If you simply can’t decide what to eat, Mercado Lonja del Barranco is ideal. Inside this glitzy glasshouse are individual stands, each offering different epicurean treats – from paella and cheese platters to ice cream and pastries.