How to spend a Sunday morning in Seville

Fiona Flores Watson
·6-min read
Plaza de España - CAMERA PRESS 
Plaza de España - CAMERA PRESS

The highlight of the week for Sevillano families is the intergenerational paseo (stroll) on a Sunday morning before lunch. Locals love to perambulate down the main shopping thoroughfares – yes, everything might be closed, but browsing accompanied by animated discussions about wedding outfits and this year’s Feria fashions (colours, frill placement, spot size), along with matching accoutrements, is a favourite pastime. Even in the hot summer months, the morning is still cool enough to manage gentle exercise.

Take in the orange-tree-lined Avenida de la Constitution next to the majestic cathedral (mind the trams), or head over the river to Triana, the gipsy and ceramic tile quarter.

This is the moment tapas were created for – a glass of chilled, bone-dry manzanilla sherry perfectly paired with a plate of delicately sliced, nutty jamon iberico (cured ham) or gambas (prawns), standing outside in the sun – Plaza Salvador, overlooked by the magnificent baroque church, is a lively gathering spot.

Of course, one of the best things about a relaxed weekend in the southern Spanish city is that improbably blue-sky backdrop – whatever the time of year, it’s likely to be face-caressingly, soul-stirringly warm and sunny. Something to look forward to when we are able to travel to Seville again.

Got the brunchies?

The traditional Andalucian breakfast of tostada con tomate, aceite y jamon (toast with tomato, olive oil and ham) retains sacred status, but Seville has broadened its offering in recent years.

Indulge at vanguard gastro-tapas bar, La Azotea, near the Alameda (Conde de Barajas 12-13; laazoteasevilla.com). Its three-course weekend brunch (11am-2pm) features toast with flavoured butters (think cardamom and fennel); eggs; pancakes or patisserie; and the best part – a glass of cava, a Bloody Mary or a mimosa (€18/£16). At boho La Cacharreria (Sun 10am-9pm; Calle Regina 14; facebook.com/lacacharreria) near Las Setas, scoff toast, bagel, waffle or muffin, yogurt with chia, cereal and fruit, plus smoothie, for around €12. New arrival Puerta Urbana (9am-4pm, Puerta de Carmona 2; puertaurbana.com) is an airy urban space, where the beetroot hummus, grilled courgette, feta cheese and pistachio pancakes (€7) are outstanding; vegans options too.

Plaza del Salvador, Seville - Guy Thouvenin 
Plaza del Salvador, Seville - Guy Thouvenin

Now walk it off

The temperature will be rising and it’s a bit cooler by the river, so take in the waterfront promenade, starting at Triana bridge. You’ll travel back in time with the moored replica of Magellan’s ship, Nao Victoria, and the Torre del Oro, a dodecagonal Moorish tower, but don’t miss the picturesque row of houses on the far bank, a classic Seville cityscape. The classic park, beloved by all ages, is 100-plus-year-old Parque Maria Luisa, designed for the 1929 Expo. Kids will adore the ducks, doves, go-karts and family bikes to rent; you’ll be enchanted by the tiled benches and exuberant flora – lilac-coloured jacaranda, crimson bougainvillea, prehistoric liana trees; admire the poetically romantic statue to hopeful, possessed, and lost love. The crowning glory is Plaza de España, a mammoth semicircular brick edifice with canal, designed to impress the Expo visitors; these days the rowing boats, flamenco dancers, and performers vie for your attention.

Pretty as a picture

Outside the centre, and unknown to most visitors, is La Cartuja (Avenida Américo Vespucio 2, caac.es; admission €1.80). A former Carthusian monastery, then a tile factory (hence the towering chimneys), it is now a contemporary art centre. It’s an atmospheric setting for exhibitions, held in the refectory and monks’ cells, while some permanent pieces reside in the buildings and around the gardens. Even better, in summer, festivals and concerts are held outside, sometimes on Sundays. One of Seville’s most-loved characters in recent years was the late Duchess of Alba. Her family’s shenanigans fed the gossip magazines for decades. But the eccentric aristocrat, who had more titles than the Queen, was a shrewd art collector, as well as an avid flamenco and football fan. Her fascinating Seville home, Palacio Las Dueñas (Dueñas 5; lasduenas.es; admission €10) is surprisingly little-visited.

Musical moments

On some Sundays (the schedule changes on a weekly basis), you can enjoy a midday concert by the superb Seville Royal Symphony Orchestra (ROSS) (rossevillatv.com) at the impressive Maestranza Theatre (Paseo de Cristóbal Colon 22; teatrodelamaestranza.es, admission €25) in the Arenal district. Both the orchestra and venue are celebrating their 30th anniversary this season. Usually, the ROSS chamber orchestra also plays every second Sunday at noon in the centrally located Espacio Turina, near the Setas (Laraña 4; icas.sevilla.org/espacios/espacio-turina; €16).

Market meanders

Life is lived outdoors in sunny Seville, so market-browsing is a perfect Sunday pastime. You’re spoiled for choice: on the riverside in Triana is the Paseo de Arte (10am-2pm, Paseo Nuestra Señora de la O), with quirky artisan pieces: pyrography pine wood boxes with intricate coloured Arabic azulejo (ceramic tile) designs; and plant holders made of sandstone, as used to build the mighty 700-year-old cathedral. Outside the Bellas Artes museum, in the shade of two huge ficus trees, is the Mercadillo de Arte (9am-2.30pm, Plaza del Museo). Around 50 local artists ply their wares, from large acrylic canvases, to small prints. As well as the typical Seville scenes – Triana bridge, Maria Luisa Park, the bullring – watch out for Pedro Cansino’s marvellous impressionistic scenes of the Alcazar gardens, and dreamy seascapes in intense turquoise shades. Zoco market (first Saturday of the month in Calle Asunción in Los Remedios, 2nd in the Alameda, 3rd in Maria Luisa Park) is fab for fashionistas, with well-priced clothes, including flamenco dresses, unusual accessories (gorgeous hats and bags) and homewares.

Museo de la Ceramica, Sevilla - Turismo Andaluz
Museo de la Ceramica, Sevilla - Turismo Andaluz

Let us pray

Mass in the world’s largest Gothic cathedral (Avenida de la Constitucion; catedraldesevilla.es), with its soaring ceilings, is an experience: Sunday services are at 8.30am, 10am, 12.30pm, 6pm and 8pm, in either the intimate Renaissance Capilla Real (Royal Chapel), or the grandiose Baroque Capilla Mayor (Great Chapel), with 75ft-tall gold retablo (altarpiece). Who needs to understand the sermon when you’ve got 200 carved figures to gaze at? For a more neighbourhood feel, Santa Ana church (Parroco Don Eugenio 1; santanatriana.org) in Triana was the city’s first parish church; mass here is at noon. Look for the 16th-century tiled tomb by Italian ceramic artist Niculoso Pisano. Anglican worshippers can go to San Basilio Reformed Episcopalian church (Relator 45; iglesiasanbasilio.es) in the Macarena district, where an English-language service is held at 1pm.

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