The richness of its history and culture and the sheer picturebook Spanishness of the old city have made Seville one of the most popular destinations in Andalucia. Founded, according to legend, by Hercules, the city owes its vibrant personality to the Romans, the Moors and the wealth created by the trade with the New World. With its picturesque little squares and narrow winding streets, there is a surprise around every corner.
Must-see sights include the Mudejar-style Alcázar Palace and the impressive Gothic Cathedral, the third largest in the world. Climb the Giralda tower for the best views of the city. Also visit the Plaza de España, the centrepiece of the 1929 Expo, and Seville’s surprising contribution to modern architecture, the Metropol Parasol.
Seville’s best-known festivals take place in the spring: Easter Holy Week (Semana Santa) and the April Spring Fair (Feria de Abril). For music lovers the biennial Flamenco Festival attracts some of the best flamenco artists in the world. The next one will be in September 2012.
Reputedly the birthplace of tapas, Seville has more than 3,000 tapas bars where you can sample the delights of these small dishes, either traditional or with a modern twist, that are such an important part of Sevillian lifestyle and culture.