Seville, Spain: A Perfect Spring Getaway

Siesta!

Probably one of the best things about vacationing in a Spanish country is that you're forced to rest. From about two to five in the afternoon, the whole town shuts down -- bars, restaurants, shops and all. Siesta occurs every day after the midday meal, originating as a way for those working in the fields under the tortuous summer sun to take a break from the rays, nap and rejuvenate for work in the evening. Today, not everyone naps, and some bars do remain open; but as a general rule, once the hour hand strikes two, Seville becomes a ghost town. So take the time to lie down and unwind. And trust me, you'll need it because Spain is the country of all-night partying.

Walking Tour

Once you've refueled your juices, now would be a good time to go on a walking tour of Seville. Many official walking tours offered throughout the city, but your best bet is to check if your hotel or hostel offers a walking tour of its own. Must-sees in Seville include the Plaza de Espana, the Alcazar and Catedral de Seville where the remains of Christopher Columbus lie.

Seville is a labyrinth of winding cobblestone streets, so while it is a small city, it's also easy to miss out on the less obvious historical pieces of Sevillano history. One example of a historical tidbit is the city's official emblem, "NO8DO" which stands for "No me ha dejado" or "You have not abandoned me." Seville's King of Castile Alfonso said this to his people in the 11th century during the civil war to emphasize how much their loyalty meant to him. Today, that phrase is represented by the "NO8DO" seen on streets signs throughout the city. The 8 is represented by a coiled rope, which led to the modern-day phrase of "Tying the knot."

Tip- Bring a packet of tissue or a wad of toilet paper with you wherever you go. Most bathrooms don't have toilet paper in the stalls, so best to be prepared.

Dinnertime

Tapas and sangria, hands-down. Just like paella is a Spanish must, so too is tapas and sangria. Tapas are appetizer-size dishes often eaten with drinks like sangria or tinto de verano (red wine with orange soda). Eaten dim sum style, each person typically orders three to four tapas to try and share among friends or family. Taberna Coloniales, located fairly close to the exit of the Catedral, is one of the best tapas joints in town. At Taberna Coloniales, you'll definitely get the bang for your buck. Each tapa, such as the Tenderloin with Roquefort Sauce, Chicken with Almond Sauce or Stuffed Eggplant, costs around €2.50 and are big enough to suffice as a small meal.

Nightlife

Much different than London or even New York City's nightlife, partying in Seville doesn't even start until the early morning hours. Bars and clubs generally don't start seeing activity until around 11:30 p.m., so if you go any earlier than that, it'll most likely just be you and the bartender. Cool places to check out include The Plaza Alfalfa, the Plaza del Salvador and the square right around the Catedral.
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