Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Local's Secrets (1) : Monica's Seville

I am glad that I have Monica from MindfullyTravel.com on the blog today to help kick start the new series 
"Local's Secrets" on Miss Happy Feet. 
She generously shares her secrets about lovely Seville in Spain
Now, without further ado, let's hear her out!  

Seville Olive

Rolling fields of olive trees, gorgeous architecture, and tasty tapas, Seville is a city that satisfies the soul. Rich in culture and energy, the sights, sounds, and siestas invite guests to experience the real authentic Spain.

The Basics

What do people have to know about the city’s transportation? 
There is only one metro line that runs about 11 miles (18 kilometers) through the city, and a public bus system, but Seville is a walking city and is best to see on foot.

If someone is new to the city, which website should he check for daily or weekly free events? 
CosasBaratitas.com is a great site offered in Spanish (use Google translator for a basic idea in English) of free or low-cost unique things to do in Sevilla.

Seville, Spain
More: https://www.instagram.com/itsmemonicamarie/

Tell us about the food scene! 

Signature dish and where to get the best servings: 
Seville's gastronomy scene is thriving.

Authentic tapas like spinach and garbanzos paired with cold and crisp Cruzcampo lager at the oldest bar in Spain, El Rinconcillo (Sevilla center). 
Outstanding cuisine and stellar salmorejo - a chilled in tomato and bread puréed soup - at Casa Joaquín Márquez (El Por Venir).
La Bodeguita Antonio Romero (two locations) for the montadito de pringá - small sandwich of slow-roasted pork (Plaza Nueva and El Arenal). 
Some of the freshest tuna and savory carrillada - braised pork cheeks - at Tasca Atunera Albacora (Triana).

Wackiest food in town and where to try them: 
Not so much wacky if you're a fan of slurping snails, Casa Diego (Triana) is the best spot to go. 

Everyday food that foreigners might find exotic? 
Do criadillas - bull testicles - count as exotic eats in Seville? (Yes, of course!)

food in Seville
Food in Seville. More: https://www.instagram.com/itsmemonicamarie/

Hidden Gems/ Monica's secrets! 

Sell us the one or two "things you should experience before you die” in your city. 
The Plaza de España is a must: it's romantic and captivating at any time of day, though early morning or around dusk is best to avoid the crowds. Stroll the perimeter of the cathedral if you can't score a tour (in Spanish only) to see views from the rooftops, and head to the Judería - the Jewish Quarters of Seville - to escape the heat in the narrow winding streets.

Seville, Spain
Seville, Spain. More: https://www.instagram.com/itsmemonicamarie/

Hidden gems in the city that tourists tend to overlook:
1. Skip the eats at Las Columnas adjacent to the Cathedral. It's in many guidebooks, but the quality has gone down over the years. If you're in that area, head down the street to Casa Morales for a glass of fino or a beer, then make your way to Ovejas Negras behind the town hall.
2. Take a walking tour of the city to see the markings of the old wall and entrance ways while learning the history of the city. Sevilla Mía gives the best tours in Spanish, but Sevilla Walking Tours is affordable and multi-lingual.

Let’s talk about the best festival in the city, and how to participate! 
Semana Santa - Holy Week - is a world-famous festival where local church brotherhoods march the streets between, behind, and beneath ornate floats that depict religious scenes of the Passions of Christ and the Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

The madrugada - Holy Thursday into Good Friday - is the best time to see the processions, though my personal favorite was standing on the Puente de Triana (a bridge designed by Gustavo Eiffel -- sound familiar?) on Palm Sunday to watch the Virgen de la O pass in silence - with an occasional "¡Guapa!" (Beautiful!) shouted to her. 

Festival Seville
Seville Festival. More: https://www.instagram.com/itsmemonicamarie/
The best time to visit Sevilla is Spring, from mid-March til mid-May. 
Smell the Azahar - orange blossom - before it fades by the end of April, and experience Seville's infamous Semana Santa as part of the crowd. The other fun fair is the April Fair (sometimes held in May), where you can stroll El Real, the grounds of the Feria de Sevilla in Los Remedios, to see the locals donning their flamenco attire in horse-drawn carriages. 

Horse Carriages in Seville
Horse Carriages in Seville. More: https://www.instagram.com/itsmemonicamarie/

Tell us your favorite photo spots in your city and how to get there 
To photograph skyline, go to a rooftop bar (Hotel Azahar), climb the Giralda, or walk the Setas - the Metropol Parasol.
My favorite secret (or not so secret) spot to take photo of gorgeous Spanish architecture: the Mudéjar and Italian design in traditional Andalusian splendor inside the Casa de Pilatos.

Tell us about the best day trip destination from your city and why is that your choice? 
I'd stay in Seville - especially if you don't have much time to spend - but Ronda is a beautiful pueblo blanco that sits over a deep gorge in Málaga. It's also home to the oldest bullfighting ring still used in Spain, and less than two hours from Seville. 

(BONUS Tips) 
Bring sunscreen if you visit when the temps are high! Also, if you're looking for a fun excursion that involves wine, head to Bodegas Salado in Umbrete to taste the sherries made by this family-owned and operated vineyard in Seville.

Monica Wolyniec is an aficionada of mindful marketing, specializing as a digital liaison and marketing coach. She loves yoga, checking out new tech, and catching up on lifestyle and wellness chat. Her camera travels with her from New York to Spain and everywhere in between, and she is especially focused on sharing knowledge and industry insight while establishing international connections across social platforms. Check out her blog at MindfullyTravel.com

For more beautiful photos in Seville, check out 
Monica's Instagram

Have you been to Seville, Spain? Share your experiences with us! 


Andrew Boland said...

i havent been to spain yet but i do want to visit Seville!

Miss HappyFeet said...

Spain is a beautiful country. I am yet to explore the suburbs, I bet it'll be amazing too :D