Voted by Lonely Planet as the top city to travel to in 2018, Seville is one of the newest additions to Malta Airport’s flight schedule, with flights taking off every Wednesday and Saturday. 2018 is a particularly exciting year for the Andalusian capital as it will be hosting the prestigious European Film Awards in December. This apart, it is celebrating the 400th anniversary of homegrown Baroque painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo with a number of unique exhibitions. Seville also gave birth to one of the leading Spanish artists; Diego Velázquez, whose art can be admired at the Hospital de los Venerables.
With an exciting history spanning some 3,000 years, Seville oozes an ancient allure. Memories of Seville’s past, moulded by numerous civilisations, are preserved in the city’s labyrinthine lanes, churches, and patios of centuries-old palaces. The Unesco-listed Alcázar is unarguably one of the most dazzling edifices, fusing Mudéjar, Christian and Spanish elements in a way that is bound to impress even those who are no architecture mavens. If a feeling of déjà vu washes over you as you weave in and out of The Alcázar’s intricately decorated chambers and halls, it might very well be because the palatial complex served as a filming location for Game of Thrones.
The city’s cathedral is another aesthetically exquisite monument, with lavish decor, Moorish features dating back to a time when a mosque stood on the same site, and ornate stained-glass windows. Sprawling across 11,520 square metres and rising 42 metres tall, the cathedral’s sheer size is as impressive as its embellishments and makes it one of the biggest Gothic buildings in Europe. Said to be reposing here after having voyaged tirelessy across the globe, is Italian explorer Christopher Colombus.
Although it is steeped in history, Seville is no old-fashioned fossil. Structures such as the Metropol Parasol, which looks somewhat like a giant waffle from above, prove that Seville can be as hip as its more modern European counterparts. Seville is also pedalling its way towards becoming a top city for bicycle usage, and if you want to blend in with the Sevillanos, you might want to tour the city on two wheels. The Seville-by-bike experience is certainly amplified in spring, when Seville’s many orange trees blossom and the air is heavy with a tangy scent.
While travelling by bike is still relatively new to the Sevillian lifestyle, siesta time is more firmly rooted in the city’s everyday life. This allows locals, and tourists who choose to observe the custom, to recharge properly before heading out for tapas and some fiery flamenco.