I Heart My City: Shawn’s Seville

seville1.jpgHola, city-lovers! Today we’re heading to Seville, Spain, where Shawn Hennessey shares the best the city has to offer.

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Seville, Spain is My City
The first place I take a visitor from out of town is out for tapas.

When I crave pringá I always go Bodeguita Romero.

To escape the HEAT in summer I head for the Cádiz coast (Costa de la Luz).

If I want to feel alive I go out in the streets. Nobody does street life quite like Sevillians.

For complete quiet, I can hide away at the Cartuja Monastery.

If you come to my city, get your picture taken with the Giralda Tower behind you; best location is on the Doña Maria rooftop terrace.

If you have to order one thing off the menu from Modesto it has to be the “fritura”.

El Corte Inglés is my one-stop shop for just about everything.

seville2.jpgLocals know to skip the flamenco tablaos and check out a peña flamenca instead.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go for a bike ride or to the Avenida 5 cinema (only 5.50 euros).

For a huge splurge I go Fnac (I’m a gadget junkie).

Photo ops in my city include the Alcázar (Royal Palace & Gardens).

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Ava Gardner. Beautiful, passionate and a little bit reckless.

The most random thing about my city is the street layout in the old centre – it’s a total labyrinth.


In my city, an active day outdoors involves walking, cycling, “tapearing”.

My city’s best museum is the Museo de Bellas Artes.

My favorite jogging/walking route is around Maria Luisa Park or along the river.

For a night of dancing, go to Catedral. Or, for live music, check out La Carbonería.

Tijuana on calle Asunción is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read El Giraldillo.

You can tell a lot about my city from the fact that they also put gorgeous tiles on the underside of balconies.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they don’t pronounce the S at the end of words.

In the spring you should take time to enjoy the orange blossom (azahar).

In the summer you should wear as little as possible.

In the fall you should go hiking in the Aracena mountains and hunt for wild mushrooms.

In the winter you should sit outside on a sunny terrace. Just because you can.

A hidden gem in my city is the Doña Elvira square. Small and shady and virtually unknown.

For a great breakfast joint try El Horno San Buenaventura. There are several locations around town. My favourite is on avenida de la Constitución.

Don’t miss the Bienal de Flamenco festival (the next one is 14 September to 9 October 2010).

Just outside my city, you can visit Carmona (half an hour drive away).

The best way to see my city is on foot. Throw away your map and just happily get lost in the old centre.

If my city were a pet it would be a canary, because it loves sunshine and singing.

If I didn’t live in Sevilla, I’d live in Bolonia.

The best book about my city is The Seville Communion by Arturo Perez Reverte.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is It’s “A Beautiful Morning” by The Rascals. I know it has nothing to do with Sevilla per se, but somehow the lyrics fit.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss Isla Mágica.

The Feria de Abril could only happen in my city.

My city should be featured on your cover or website because it is without a doubt the most beautiful city in Spain.

Photos: Takis Leontidis and Krista Rossow via the Intelligent Travel Flickr pool


  1. Becoming Sevillana
    February 16, 2011, 4:51 pm

    This describes Seville down to a T! And lovely to see that someone else is as observant as me (i.e. the tiles)

  2. Nicola Erlich
    October 17, 2009, 6:19 am

    What a wonderful insight into the great city of Sevilla from an expat residents point of view.
    Its been many years since I spent any time in Sevilla but thanks to Shawn’s insightful comments, I am ready to head back again, particularly to look for the colourful tiles on the bottom of terraces.

  3. Shane
    June 5, 2009, 4:18 am

    There are many city in Spain that I really love like Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Cadiz, Tenerife, ETc. My favorite in Spain is Ibiza beach one of the most popular party spots in whole Europe.

  4. Lucy
    May 18, 2009, 11:31 pm

    Hello, Takis, I visit here to see you:)

  5. Takis Leontidis
    May 17, 2009, 7:16 pm

    There is no problem azahar. I would like to know when you are using my photos just to enjoy it reading the articles. Have a nice week!

  6. azahar
    May 17, 2009, 5:02 am

    Are some of your shots used in this piece, Takis? I’d sent in some of my own photos but they clearly weren’t up to scratch.

  7. Takis Leontidis
    May 15, 2009, 5:23 pm

    When I was a kid I was wondering which way I could show to the other people the world’s beauty through my eyes. I found the answer in high school’s last year when a classmate brought an issue of National Geographic magazin in the class. Six months later I bought my first SLR camera. Today I found my shots published in National Geographic Traveler’s blog site! I big honour for me even though I was never asked for or informed about it.

  8. Shawn
    April 20, 2009, 6:38 am

    I kinda messed up with the bold text there … it didn’t look like that in the email, honest!

  9. Craig Lawrence
    April 16, 2009, 9:50 am

    Having been there to visit I can only say Shawn has captured the heart and soul of a beautiful community.

  10. Del Sneddon
    April 15, 2009, 9:13 am

    I’d like to be the first to say…..brilliant stuff!