The brand specialist and founder of the eponymous brand and influencer consultancy talks us through the highlights and must-sees of Seville.
So, why is Seville so special? To answer that question, Idalia Salsamendi – the founder of Strategic Brand & Influencer Consulting, Idalia Inc – takes us back to 2005. “I travelled to Seville for the very first time with my mother and brother,” she tells us.
“It was part of a two-week trip to Spain and there was something undeniably magical about stepping foot in Seville. Tucked into the south of Spain, and with such poignant history, the city immediately took my breath away. Its seamless blend of Mudejar, Roman and Spanish architecture envelops the curiosity and awe of anyone who wanders its streets. You can hear the sound of flamenco dancers on almost every corner, and smell the delectable notes of orange blossom (my favourite scent) no matter where you are. On that trip, I remember sitting by the Guadalquivir River with tears in my eyes telling my mother, “One day I will come back and live here.”
“Fast forward almost ten years to that date, I just so happened to meet a guy in New York City who was from a town right outside Seville. I couldn’t stop talking to him about the hold the city had on me, and that one day I would go back there. Little did I know I would end up marrying this man and eventually moving to Seville. Funny how life works.”
Planning a trip? Here’s Salsamendi guide to Seville…
My favourite place in Seville
If you really want to savour the picturesque beauty of Seville, walk on over to my favourite neighbourhood, El Barrio Santa Cruz. This labyrinth of narrow and winding cobblestone streets dates back to the former Jewish quarter of the medieval city. It’s also home to The Real Alcazar, the Cathedral of Seville, and La Giralda (the converted minaret of the old Moorish mosque). It’s your one-stop shop to explore the city’s history and beauty.
My favourite places for culture
Seville is truly a treasure trove of a city. You can’t walk a block without being mesmerized by its grandiosity. The one place I always find myself coming back to because of its rich history and culture is The Real Alcazar, the famous royal palace. The palace has been the backdrop of some of the greatest events in the history of Spain – it’s actually Europe’s oldest palace still in use. I spend equal amounts of time here being mesmerized by its rooms as I am by its magnificent gardens.
My favourite places to eat
Within the past five years, the culinary scene has really escalated and the city is that much better for its blend of diversity and traditionalism. One of my favoured spots is Mano de Santo, a chic and upbeat Mexican institution in the city. Although they have expanded to several locations within Seville, my favourite location remains the original one in the neighbourhood of Alameda de Hercules. If you’re looking for something more traditional but with a modern twist, head to Eslava. It’s a tourist-heavy restaurant, but trust me when I say it’s worth the visit. One of their most popular dishes, el cigarro de becquer, is not one to be missed. Calamari wrapped up as if it were a cigar, once you take your first bite you’ll be calling the waiter over to order you another one.
My favourite places to shop
Something that’s very unique to Seville is its ceramics, specifically in the neighbourhood of Triana. If you’re looking for a truly authentic shopping experience, immerse yourself in the art of ceramics and pottery that date back to the Neolithic period. Ceramics gave way to the rise of Seville’s architectural style. Most of these mosaics and tiles were painted by hand, and to this day you can see original ones.
My favourite attractions
When anyone thinks of Seville, their mind immediately turns to flamenco. It originated in this area of Spain, and since its recorded birth between the 9-14th century, this folkloric dance entrances all who watch it. Whether it’s seeing it danced out on the street in front of a neighbourhood bar or a hall dedicated to the art, you really can’t go wrong. Historically, because stories were not written down, the Andalusians would tell their stories through flamenco to express intense emotion.
If you do only one thing while in Seville, I recommend…
Walking. The city is big enough to explore, yet small enough to do it all by foot rather comfortably. Allow your eyes to wander, and the sights, sounds, and smells of the city to wrap you in their glory.
See more travel tips here.