With our home base on the Costa del Sol in Torremolinos, we’ve mainly stuck to the coast when it comes to our day trips, exploring cities like Fuengirola, Málaga, and Nerja.
The other week, we ventured further north with a quick day trip to Andalucía’s capital, Sevilla.
Unbeknownst to us at the time of our visit, Sevilla is the hottest major metropolitan area in Western Europe. Sevilla’s average high temperatures in summer regularly exceed 35°C (95°F). It was well over 40°C the day we visited. No wonder we were melting!
We took a train from Málaga and spent the day there, wandering around the city in the sweltering heat, taking advantage of all the free sites. We specifically chose to visit Sevilla on a Monday, since this is when most tourist sites offer free admission.
Our first stop was the Metropol Parasol. This impressive viewing platform comprised of six wooden parasol-like structures dominates Sevilla’s La Encarnación square in the old town. The Metropol Parasol is also known as las setas de Sevilla (the mushrooms). To me, it’s clear to see why. What do you think?
Even though it was blindingly bright that day, we couldn’t pass up walking around on top of the mushrooms so we could appreciate the views of Sevilla down below.
The elevator is pretty cool too.
Entry is €3. Visiting hours are Sunday-Thursday 10:00-23:00 and Friday-Sunday 10:00-23:30. Entrance to the viewing platform area is in the basement of this structure. We followed the signs to a moving walkway which took us to the reception desk in the basement.
Torre del Oro
Torre del Oro is a remnant of the fortified walls which encircled Sevilla until the 19th century. This 12-sided tower was constructed around 1220. Now serving as a reminder of Sevilla’s Moorish past, this watchtower once controlled access to the city by protecting the docks on the Guadalquivir River.
We climbed the winding stairs to the first level for views of the city but weren’t able to climb higher since the second and third levels were blocked off. Inside the tower, we scoped out the air-conditioned maritime museum and a gift shop.
Entry is free on Mondays, but only €3 otherwise. The tower is open Monday-Friday 9:30-18:45 and Saturday and Sunday 10:30-18:45.
Puro & Bio Artisanal Ice Cream
I’m glad I had the foresight to research vegan ice cream possibilities before we stepped foot in Sevilla. Homemade vegan ice cream that isn’t overloaded with processed sugar is hard to come by, so we always hope to take advantage of any artisanal ice cream shop offering vegan flavours.
Fortunately, Puro & Bio is located down the street from Torre del Oro. They offered at least a dozen vegan flavours. We each ordered a large serving of ice cream for €4.50 each. I tried mango and coffee and Kuba tried pistachio and coffee. The ice cream wasn’t cloyingly sweet and had an authentic gelato mouthfeel. It was the perfect break from the intense heat that day.
Regrettably, I don’t have any photographs of our ice cream. We inhaled our portions (brain freeze!) and immediately wanted to order more but we resisted the urge. Perhaps we should have ordered the litre size instead.
Plaza de España
We walked all over Sevilla that day despite the harsh temperatures. After a shady lunch in Parque de María Luisa, we strolled around nearby Plaza de España.
There wasn’t much to do here except marvel at the buildings and mosaic tile alcoves of Spain’s 17 provinces, which I neglected to photograph. (Massive oversight.) We were lucky enough to stumble upon an impromptu flamenco in the plaza. What a fitting ending to our day in Sevilla!
Since we were only in Sevilla for the day, we didn’t have time to check out all the sites on my list. Here are some other sites worth investigating:
- Giralda Tower – One of the three remaining minarets from the Moorish Almohad dynasty. This became the bell tower of Sevilla Cathedral after the end of Islamic rule in Spain. Entry is free on Monday from 16:30-18:00 if you reserve your space in advance through firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, it’s €8.
- Real Alcázar – Originally a Moorish fortress, this was transformed into a royal palace in the 14th century. Entry is free Monday from 18:00-19:00 from April to September, and from 16:00-17:00 from October to March. Regular admission is €9.50.
- Castillo San Jorge – This medieval fortress overlooking the Guadalquivir River now operates as a museum of the Spanish Inquisition. Entrance is free. (Closed on Mondays.)
- Museum of Fine Arts – Free entry for European citizens, €1.50 for everyone else. (Also closed on Mondays.)
We were only able to spend the day in Sevilla but I’m glad we went. Now we know we’d like to visit Sevilla again, but only after we have our van sorted and definitely not in the summer time. It’s far too hot for us!
Have you visited Sevilla?
What are your favourite things to do?