Seville Day 7: Plaza de España, Royal Alcázars of Seville, Setas de Sevilla

To our own disappointment, we woke up very late today, ruining our plan to go to Plaza de España early in the morning when the lights are softer. The sun was already high and the weather was hot when we were out of the hotel, which makes a twenty-minute walk to the landmark a challenge. In general, Seville was not crowded by tourists when were there, but there were some when we arrived in the landmark. Due to our lateness the sun was already shining strongly against the building, creating undesirable shades on the front façade of the building.

Plaza de España, Seville
Plaza de España, Seville

The Plaza de España, designed by Aníbal González, was a built on the edge of Maria Luisa Park to showcase Spain’s industry and technology exhibits during the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition World’s Fair. Today, it is mostly a tourist landmark where local artists perform.

Plaza de España, Seville

Not far from the landmark, we had a breakfast at a nice café under a hotel called Cappuccino Sevilla. We were seated on the patio just next to the pedestrian walkaway that allows us to watch locals’ activity while eating our croissant. Sitting next to us is a group of well-dressed seniors chatting and an American family on a vacation.

The main attraction of Seville, and perhaps the most visited site in the city is the royal palace complex built for the Christian king Peter of Castile over a thousand years ago. To find the entrance to Royal Alcázars of Seville, however, is a challenge on its own. We went around the large complex twice in a temperate weather before finally finding a small road that leads to the ticket counter.

In the map below, Patio de Banderas is where you have to go to buy tickets, and Puerta del Leon is where the entrance door for the complex is located.

Royal Alcázars of Seville’s Ticket Counter and Entrance

The royal palace is an enormous complex with a large garden attached to it. There are five main buildings to visit following the entrance door, which then lead to the garden. It took about an hour to visit all of the buildings while listening to the audio guide provided online. The site also features a small museum showcasing different ceramics tile used across the complex, several water fountains, and beautifully decorated rooms.

The Court in Royal Alcázars of Seville
Balcony in Royal Alcázars of Seville
Garden in Royal Alcázars of Seville Complex

We took a break on a table under the trees at a small café located within the garden complex, alongside other visibly exhausted tourists. The relatively cheap ticket price and variety of things to see within the complex make Royal Alcázars of Seville rank the highest in our trip on a price-to-value metric.

The Small Alley of Seville

Following two-hour visit of the palace we walked to Casa de Pilatos, another local landmark, through the small alleys of Seville and passing several local shops and restaurants. The defining features of Casa de Pilatos is its azulejo tiles – a form of Portuguese and Spanish painted tin-glazed ceramic – throughout the palace. The complex itself is rather small and took under 40 minutes to tour around.

Garden in Casa de Pilatos

It was around 2.30pm when we finished touring the complex and my girlfriend had a headache due to the scorching hot weather, so we took an Uber to Brunilda Tapas – our lunch place that we booked months before. I had a grilled octopus (for the hundreds time during the trip) and my girlfriend opted for the duck confit, which she said was delicious despite being not in the mood for eating.

The summer weather in Seville could be really punishing and it would not be enjoyable to walk under such condition, so we decided to go back to our hotel, showered and took a nap – the first time ever during the trip.

Two hours later, we woke up feeling refreshed, and most importantly the sun was finally blocked by the clouds. Due to our disappointment in the earlier visit to Plaza de España, we wanted to go back, and this time we took a taxi rather than walking. Fortunately, the lightings condition was much better in the late afternoon.

Plaza de España in the Late Afternoon
Plaza de España in the Late Afternoon, No Shades!

From the landmark, we took another taxi ride across the river to Centro Cerámica Triana, although we noted that the store will be closing in less than 30 minutes. Our taxi driver, an avid anti-vac supporter, tried to convince us the conspiracy theory he believed on covid-19 pandemic with his broken English. I simply hum and shake my head in agreement with him rather than trying to argue with him along the way. We were relieved to arrive safely in our destination and got out of the taxi.

The workshop section was already closed when we arrived, but we went to the shops to look for interesting patterns to buy, only to leave empty-handed five minutes later. However, we did enjoy the walk back across the Puente de Triana, where locals are busy taking selfies with Canal de Alfonso XIII as the background.

View from Puente de Triana, Seville

Our dinner was a quick Chinese meal at Ming, a restaurant located at La Encarnación square just across Setas de Sevilla, our next destination. The dinner was an uneventful one.

Setas de Sevilla is a wooden structure designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer that was completed in April 2011 and said to be the largest wooden structure in the world. The tickets to go to the top of the structure cost €8/person, and when arrived there was a line up at the underground ticket counter, which made us worried that we would miss the sunset. Fortunately, the line moves quickly and we were on the top fifteen minutes later through the elevator located next to the ticket counter. The pathway on the top of the structure leads to a walking path that allows visitors to go around and enjoy the scenery. We wandered around and waited until the sunset before walking back to our hotel to prepare for an extra early day tomorrow.

Skateboarders Playing Under Setas de Sevilla
On Top of Setas de Sevilla

About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
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1 Response to Seville Day 7: Plaza de España, Royal Alcázars of Seville, Setas de Sevilla

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