Sevilla is an easy city to get lost in. The tiny streets are filled with tables and beautiful old buildings with balconies and courtyards scattered throughout. Orange trees are everywhere, in courtyards and lining the streets. The oranges aren’t sweet though, so they’re mostly used to make marmalade! Our hotel was in Barrio Santa Cruz, which is perfect for wandering, drinking and snacking. And we did a lot of all three.
On our first night in the city we took a Tapas, Tabernas and History tour with Devour Seville. Though it was all Americans on the tour (including our guide) we learned quite a bit about the history of the city and ate and drank very well. We tried the famous sweet vermouth at El Comercio and were introduced to orange wine. I tried Bachalau (dried then rehydrated codfish) for the first time, ate plenty of ham and amazing cheese. The tour traced the history from the Romans, through the almost nonexistent visigoths, the Moors and finally the Christians. There are parts of the city where you can see Moorish buildings built on Roman columns and Mosques with Moorish architecture and orange groves converted to churches by the Christians.
The history of the inquisition is a dark one, and the tour, as well as our visit to the Castillo de San Jorge in Triana covered it well. We wandered across the river to Triana on our own, and visited the former castle which was the center of the inquisition as well as a marketplace and several tapas bars and ceramic stores. It’s a fun and delicious neighborhood to wander through.
- Say no immediately if you don’t want the bread and picos placed on your table. If you don’t, you’ll be charged even if you don’t touch them.
- Some places charge more or have different menus for outdoor tables. It can be worth it, but it’s worth knowing ahead of time.
- Have cash. Quite a few places didn’t take cards, especially the smaller restaurants.
- Apparently sangria is just for tourists (according to our guide) but tinto de verano (red wine mixed with lemon lime soda) is delicious. Even in February.