85 things you should do in and around Sevilla

Most people want to know what the must see or do activities are in Sevilla. While many already know to visit the Cathedral or the Alcazar there are plenty of other activities which might not make every guide book or be recommended by your friends who've been to Sevilla before. With the help of some locals and visitors I've put together a list of 85 things you don't want to miss when you're in the city. Many are simple, some an interesting look at local phenomena and others a little silly. Technically some of these involve some side trips from Sevilla. And I guess a few of these might be in some guide book somewhere. I had to get to 85 somehow! And I'm shooting for 101 one day ...either way I hope the list gives you a few ideas...

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Number 1- 10

  1. On a warm night, before 11:00 when the lights go out, get a drink at the outdoor bar on top of Hotel Doña Maria with a view of the Cathedral and all the lights. The hotel may be out of your budget but one drink won't set you back too much. And the view is worth paying for. Tables can be hard to come by so you may want to get there a little early. If you're lucky enough to stay at the Hotel you can enjoy a dip in the pool on a warm summer night as you muse over the incredible size of the Cathedral.

  2. Enjoy a beer and a tapa of espinacas in El Rinconcillo, located near Plaza de Los Terceros. This is Sevilla's oldest bar, founded in 1670. There are plenty of traditional tapas to go along with the very typical atmosphere. The collection of antique liquor bottles are so rare that companies who still produce the brands have tried to purchase them back from the bar - but no luck!. And if you feel like a meal there's a new restaurant above the bar.

  3. Rent a four-wheeled tandem bike in Parque Maria Luisa to take a quick tour of the gardens. They come in varieties for two of four riders and are a good way to see all of the park if you don't have much time. While they tell you not to take it off the paved streets you'll miss out on half the fun if you don't! Just make sure you've mastered the hand break before you start your trip. And keep an eye out for horse carriages and joggers, as well as the occasional fat and lazy pigeon.

  4. Feed the fat and lazy pigeons in Plaza de America in Parque Maria Luisa. These birds are so used to being fed that they will happily perch on your shoulder or in your hand just to get a quick bite to eat. It's a great opportunity for photos. Vendors close by sell the feed. And I guess the pigeons aren't all fat and lazy - the children like to chase them around too much.

  5. Order a tapa of boquerones en adobo in Bar Blanco Cerillo, located off Calle Tetuan in the central shopping district. If you get a chance to sit outside there is little doubt that Emilio will be your waiter. He's been there for about 13 years. One tapa and a cold cruzcampo and you'll be in heaven. To find it follow your nose - when you smell something delicious on calle Tetuan look for a little side street with some tables outside.

  6. Watch a Betis match in Estadio Benito Villamarin. Well, it's really Estadio Ruiz de Lopera but not in most betico's minds. Taking in a fútbol match live is a great experience and there's no better atmosphere than one filled with beticos (certainly not in Sanchez Pizjuan). Tickets for a Betis match can be purchased in advance at the stadium, generally in the mornings. Or the same day of the match if you just arrive an hour or so early.

  7. Head to Calle Betis in Triana around midnight for a lively bit of nightlife. There are bars to suit almost any taste, from live flamenco, discotecas, and cocktails to places with a view of the river and of course a few that serve a bite to eat. This is a younger crowd as it gets later into the night. Before midnight wander the streets behind Calle Betis where some of Seville's best tapas can be found.

  8. photoOrder a pitcher of Agua de Sevilla, best with a few friends as it packs a punch: four kinds of liquor, champagne, pineapple juice and cream. Not every place serves up this concoction, but you will have some luck in Santa Cruz and calle Betis. La Carboneria is one place in Santa Cruz where you can always order it. Wherever you may find it there's all the right ingredients to get the night moving, maybe too quickly. Seriously, this can end your night as quick as it begins if you don't measure your intake!

  9. Visit the Animal market on Sunday morning along the river and Avenida Torneo to check out the dogs, cats, birds and more. You can even bring home a duck! While this is still fun, I miss the days of the market in Plaza Alfalfa right in the center of the city. Like other markets it was moved further out, in this case during the bird flu scare around 2004 or 2005. Now it's harder to get my weekly puppy fix.

  10. Buy sweets at a local convent - certainly a different experience than a bakery. In many you have an interesting exchange at first. Ring the bell and wait until you hear the nun say "Ave Maria Purisima". You'll likely want to respond by saying "Sin pecado concebido". Now you're ready to ask for what you want, place your money on a turnstile and spin it around for the nun on the other side. Then wait for something delicious to be spun back to you. One of my favorites: San Leandro (famous for their yemas).


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Editor: Jeff Spielvogel
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