By Liliana Brown, California State University – Long Beach
Hello! This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Seville and would like to share some tips to make your next trip there even better.
Locals dress very formally. If you would like to blend in a little bit I would suggest wearing solid colors with one patterned article of clothing. It does tend to be a warm area, I was there in March and everyday it got up to at least 70 degrees (F). Bring some good sunglasses and sunscreen. I would also dress somewhat modestly if you are visiting churches, the workers or the locals may comment on your clothes or even ask you to put on a jacket.
DO NOT wear heels. The cobblestone that makes up most, if not all of the streets and sidewalks is uneven and very smooth. For the entire weekend I wore nothing but my most comfy boots and I still almost twisted my ankle. Please take your shoes seriously or else your feet will be complaining the entire trip.
Unlike Barcelona, you can get free water if you ask for tap water. All of the places I ate in Seville charged 1 Euro for the little starter bread they put on the table, but I must admit it was really good bread. They have a lot of seafood for a city so inland, but it is all very fresh and delicious, and I’d recommend trying some new cuisine.
What to buy in Seville:
If you’re going to buy any article of clothing I would suggest a traditional shall, a fan or a hat. They are very popular and are very unique to the south of Spain. You can find them at every shop and you can get any of these items for cheap or go for a high-end one. Just make sure that the quality is worth the price, many of the shops up their prices because they are willing to bargain with the price and they know that some tourists will just pay what’s marked.
Get some vintage postcards as well. And if you would like any memorabilia of bullfighting, the south of Spain is the place to go. It’s more controversial in the rest of Spain and you might not be able to find that one postcard with the bullfighter on it in Barcelona.
In Andalucia specifically, there are more Arabic-influenced buildings, shops, and food since it is the closest to Africa and was also occupied by Muslims for most of the Middle Ages. Thus, you can find many authentic spices, teas, art, ceramics, and jewelry here. But before buying anything I would check to see if you can bring it back with you. Sometimes food or other plant products can be restricted in customs and you may not be able to bring it into your home country.
Semana Santa Tips:
I must warn you that I’ve never been to Seville during Semana Santa, but I plan to and I have been talking to people who have lived there as well as locals on what to expect and prepare for.
First, I’ve been warned that everyone is dressed extremely well. This is the time to pull out your nice clothes or wear traditional Spanish clothing. As with any big festival, pickpockets will be on the rise, so please be extra careful with your belongings.
And lastly, be open! Many of the traditions or costumes you may not understand but keep an open mind. Don’t be scared off by the processions of KKK-like costumes, this was the typical dress before the terrorist group came to be in America. Try new foods and enjoy the festivities!
Seville is an amazing town with lots to see and do. I hope you enjoy your next trip there!