Flamenco, fiestas and fantastic weather: discover what makes Seville the ultimate Spanish city break.

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1. Photograph Metropol Parasol

Turn the corner onto La Encarnación square and you’ll be confronted by this massive structure of waffle shaped wooden beams in the middle of Seville’s old town. Completed in 2011 by German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann and known locally as La Seta (the mushroom), its prominence in the centre of the city is somewhat controversial. Some say its design is iconic, others say it’s an eyesore, but it is without doubt an unmissble attraction. It houses an archaeological museum of Roman and Moorish ruins and the top has a walkway with incredible views of the city.

Opening Hours: 10am-11pm for the museum, 24 hours for the structure Tickets: Free Address: Pl. de la Encarnación, s/n, 41003 Seville

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2. Skill up at the Flamenco Museum

This museum is a must-see for anyone wishing to understand the history of the art of flamenco. Over its three floors visitors can admire the costumes and curios of some of Seville’s best dancers, as well as gaining an understanding of the history and evolution of the dance. We definitely recommend a visit before going to see a show.

Opening Hours: 10am-7pm daily Tickets: €10 per adult Address: C/ Manuel Rojas Marcos, 3, 41004 Seville

3. Go on a boat ride in Plaza de España

The grandeur of Seville’s Plaza de España cannot be overstated. The building’s curved semi-circle structure is surrounded by a pond, which you can row around or cross via four ceramic tiled bridges that represent the four ancient kingdoms of Spain. For films buffs it may be familiar as a setting in Lawrence of Arabia, as well as the Star Wars franchise.

Opening Hours: 24 hours Tickets: Free Address: Av de Isabel la Católica, 41004 Seville

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4. Party at the Feria de Sevilla

Along with Seville’s famous Easter and Christmas festivities, the Seville Fair is an event not to be missed. Arguably, it is when the city is at its best, with everyone donning their finest flamenco dress or riding gear. Locals pile into casetas – brightly coloured tents – and gorge on plates of tapas washed down with the local sherry wine. Although the tents are private, all are welcome to peer in or dance the night away.

Opening Hours: Usually begins 2 weeks after Holy Week, at the end of April

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5. Grab a horse and cart to Seville Cathedral

Allegedly the resting place of Christopher Columbus, Seville Cathedral is also famed for being both the largest cathedral and the largest gothic structure in the world. The church was built on top of a 12th century mosque when Spain was taken over by Christians, but the mosque’s minaret still stands today, making it one of the most uniquely beautiful churches in Europe.

Opening Hours: 9am-2pm, 4pm-7pm, check in advance if visiting during Semana Santa or other religious festivals Tickets: €9 per adult, €4 per child Address: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Seville

6. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts

The Museo de Bellas Artes is considered the second most important fine arts museum in Spain, after the Prado in Madrid. Here you will find a fine collection of paintings including works by some of the Spanish greats such as Zurbarán, Diego Velázquez, and El Greco, all housed in a beautiful 17th century building.

Opening Hours: Tues-Sat 9am-8.30pm, closed on Mondays Tickets: €1.50, free entry for citizens of the European Union Address: Pl. del Museo, 9, 41001 Seville

7. Relive Game of Thrones in the Alcázar

A stone’s throw away from his remains, this 14th century Moorish palace is where Christopher Columbus began to plan his trip to the Americas. It is a labyrinth of exquisite architecture, ornate décor and pretty gardens, where you can enjoy a coffee, listen to the splashing of fountains and watch peacocks march proudly along its pathways. Swot up on the Game of Thrones film set before you go.

Opening Hours: 9.30am-5pm daily Tickets: €9.50 (buying online in advance is recommended so you can skip the queue!) Address: Patio de Banderas, s/n, 41004 Seville

8. Stroll Barrio Santa Cruz

Walk around Seville’s Jewish quarter, a pretty neighbourhood of Andalucían white houses, with courtyards around every corner and patios filled with brightly coloured flowers. Although undoubtedly touristy - it's the place to buy your souvenirs of flamenco dress aprons and matador tea towels - it is still very picturesque.

9. Discover Maria Luisa Park

If you've made it to the Plaza de Espana, go a little further and you'll walk along the Guadalquivir River, ending up in Maria Luisa Park. If the sights, sounds and colours of Seville have swept you off your feet, the park is the perfect place to switch off. The grounds used to belong to the Palace of San Telmo, and the original pools and pavilions are still standing inside the park.

Opening Hours: 9.30am-10pm Tickets: Free Address: Paseo de las Delicias, s/n, 41013 Seville

10. Learn about a national sport in Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla

Bullfighting has been a practice in Spain since AD 711, but it was 1726 when it became the spectacle you'll see today - with the cape and the sword. This is known to be a heavy influence for flamenco and paso doble. A tour through the stadium in Seville will teach you all about the history of bull fighting here, the matadors and you can explore the stadium without a show being on. If you do wish to see a show, you can book through the ticket office.

Opening Hours: 9am-7pm, the Stadium closes at 3pm on the days of shows Tickets: €7 for adults, €3 for children Address: Paseo de Cristóbal Colón, 12, 41001 Seville

11. Dip into a royal relic at the Palace of the Countess of Lebrija

If you're on Calle Cuna, you may as well take a look at the Palace - it's a 2500m² museum of Arabic style doorways, tiles and Andalusian decor, first built in the sixteenth century. It's one of the most grand residences in Seville, which now houses the Countess' archaeological collection on the ground floor, and you can still take tours of the royal residences on the floor above.

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7.30pm, Saturday 10am-2pm, 4pm-6pm, Sunday 10am-2pm Tickets: €5 for the ground floor, €8 for the entire building Address: Calle Cuna, 8, 41004 Seville

12. Go under at the Acuario de Seville

With littl'uns? If they're not at the age where they'll appreciate the Archive of the Indies and a good plate of queso viejo, they might fall in love with the creatures at Seville's aquarium. You can see the two bull sharks swim above your head in one of the tanks, and the reptile enclosure makes a strangely tranquil break from the midday sun.

Opening Hours: 10am-7pm, open til 8pm Fri-Sun Tickets: €15 per person Address: Muelle de las Delicias, s/n, 41012 Seville

13. Build up your appetite with a walking tour of the city

When you first arrive, one of the best ways to get to see Seville and it's iconic architecture is through a free walking tour. The guides are local, available in Spanish and English, and they know all the secrets of the city. Get your bearings between Plaza de España, the Royal Tobacco Factory, the UNESCO listed Cathedral with the Giralda Tower, Archive of the Indies and the Alcazar. Remember to tip your guide (they'll tell you the best places to get tapas too!).

14. Have one night of 'ir de tapear'

'Ir de tapear' directly translates as going out for tapas, which you could do every night in Seville. If you want to get a few plates of authentic stuff (montaditos, olives, fish, smoked meats), sharpen your elbows and head to Bodeguita Romero in the Arenal neighbourhood. It's open from 8pm-12pm for dinner, and if you want space to sip on your tinto de verano, go early. The locals will be joining you much later! Sweet tooth? Bar El Pilar (Calle María Auxiliadora) does churros for breakfast, snacks or desserts, served with traditional pots of melted chocolate and dustings of sugar.

15. See real flamenco in Seville

A tablao is a place to see flamenco in Spanish, and Seville is full of them. The oldest is Los Gallos Tablao de Flamenco (Pl. de Sta Cruz, 11, 41004 Seville), there are 2 shows a night (one between 8pm and 10pm and one between 10.30pm and 12pm), and you can feast on tapas whilst you're there too. Booking is recommended. Casa de la Memoria (Calle Cuna) is another popular and picturesque place to watch flamenco, with local students often putting on their own shows there too. The shows begin at 10pm, but it's recommended that you arrive early to get the best seats.

How to get to Seville

There are direct flights from London to Seville. If you are flying from any other major U.K city such as Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh or Cardiff, you can catch connecting flights through Spain or London.

The airport is located 10km outside of the city. The bus is one of the cheapest ways to get to the city, costing only €4 and departing outside of the airport. Night services are available, and you can book online. Taxis outside the airport to the city centre cost €22.20.

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Where to stay on a city break in Seville

If you're looking for a hostel:

In a nineteenth century building, the Grand Luxe Hostel certainly doesn't feel like a hostel. Enjoy watching the sunset from your rooftop terrace every evening.

If you're looking for a hotel:

Hotel Sevilla Center has a cocktail bar and pool for kicking back after exploring the city.

If you're looking for luxury:

The Alfonso Hotel is located next to the Alcazar, and you'll feel like royalty in one of their doubles over looking the garden.

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