When you travel to a new destination, there are some standout landmarks and attractions that you really need to add to your must-visit list. We are not saying you should swerve the obvious things to do in Seville, such as the Alcázar Palace and the famous Seville Cathedral. Nor are we saying avoid cheeky day trips from Seville either, but there’s something to be said for venturing further afield from ‘that’ cathedral and the other tourist highways.
There’s no doubt that the enchanting city of Seville has so much to offer, so it’s time to find out how you can experience Seville like a local.
Visit the Feria Market
Feria Market is one of Seville’s best-loved flea markets. Every Thursday a flea market takes over the intriguing street of Calle Feria where you can buy everything from traditional flamenco dresses adorned with all the frills to handcrafted goods and antiquities. You’ll also find some pretty unbelievable fresh food that will make you not want to eat out at any of the restaurants in Seville for at least a day!
This is a paradisical haven for foodies and you can expect to buy delectable chorizo, locally-produced cheeses, fresh fruit of countless varieties and some of the best seafood in the region.
Does food shopping make you want to snack? Us too! There’s no need to worry as there’s a plethora of delicious good-to-go grub on offer.
From your standard fodder of pizza and chicken to more unusual choices like Japanese dumplings and plantain.
Make sure you don’t leave your appetite back at the hotel!
Enjoy an authentic Flamenco experience
There are two versions of flamenco – the tourist version which is one of the nicest things to do in Seville and the real thing which is where the locals enjoy a spot of fan action.
How do you determine the difference? When watching flamenco in Seville, head to a theatre or a bar, as opposed to a tablaos, where you can watch authentic flamenco dancing with the locals. It might be a smidge of a late night as the majority of flamenco dancing in Sevilles takes place from around midnight onwards, however, you’ll find that emotional foot-stomping will be served in abundance.
One of our favourites is La Carbonería (18 Calle Levíes, tel: +34 95 421 4460) where you can catch both serious flamenco and the more light-hearted sevillana performances on most nights. If you are more of an early bird than a night owl, you can still catch some great flamenco performances throughout the city or alternatively head over to the Flamenco Museum. Set in a beautiful 18th-century building amid the scent of orange trees, you will be able to immerse yourself in the glorious art of flamenco with ease.
Bathe with the locals
When it comes to getting off the beaten track in Seville, did you have bathing with the locals on your Seville bingo card?! If you are really keen to experience Seville like a local then a visit to the Baños Arabes or Arabic Baths is an absolute must! One of the enduring legacies and symbols of Moorish Spain is the ancient Arab bath.The locals love it and so will you. If you’re not impressed by the facilities, which include a plunge pool, sauna and steam room, then the splendour and glamour of the architecture and interiors of this former viceroy’s mansion at Aire de Sevilla will have your jaw-dropping.
Taste the tapas
We already referred to the oldest tapas joint in town in our round-up of the best restaurants in Seville. But, it’s that good we mentioned it twice! Infinitely a locals favourite, those that are in the know will naturally gravitate towards El Rinconcillo. Having been in the tapas business for hundreds of years, he is one of the founding fathers of serving the locals the age-old Spanish tradition of tapas.
El Rinconcillo is practically a Seville institution and if you want to experience Seville like a local, you absolutely have to add this to your ‘off the beaten track in Seville’ list.
Play board games with the locals
One of the coolest hangouts for the locals in Seville is Alameda de Hercules. This sweet little plaza is where you will be able to experience Seville like a local. From the fabulous Cafe Piola, where you can enjoy some seriously delicious snacks and play board games with the local residents, to enjoying a sundowner at one of the locally-frequented bars. If it’s good enough for the locals, it’s good enough for us!
Have a picnic at Parque de María Luisa
One of the nicest parks in the city, we adore the Parque de María Luisa. It’s the ideal way to get out of the buzzy city and into nature and, whilst you will see throngs of tourists milling about, you will also see lots of locals enjoying this glorious green space. Expansive in size, it is an ideal place to experience Seville like a local and enjoy a picnic under the shade of a tree. The locals use the park to read, relax or alternatively to walk, rollerblade or enjoy a leisurely bike ride.
Eskew the flamenco doll toilet holder (you weren’t really going to buy that – were you?!) and head out down a lesser-trodden path. From edgy and urban clothes to bohemian bookshops, there’s a myriad of great concept stores to explore. Our favourites include the superb ‘Un Gato en Bicicleta’ which literally translates as a ‘cat on a bicycle’ where you will find comics and books in abundance and a cool poetry reading or two.