Some of my biggest holiday planning woes are finding package deals that cater for short European breaks, have a decent luggage allowance and with flexible flights, ideally departing on weekends.
More often than not out of sheer frustration of not finding decent hotels to pair with a flight when looking at package deals on different holiday websites, I end up booking my flights and hotels separately, which takes so much longer to do.
Well the search is over…easyJet has just launched a brand new holidays business with a shiny new website making it so much easier to book an easyJet flight with a European hotel handpicked by experts. What’s more, it’s really flexible so whether you want a short break or a 9 night stay, you can easily find the perfect holiday to cater for your needs, whether you are a family, a couple, or a group of friends.
Best of all, every holiday includes 23kg baggage allowance meaning no more packing limitations. Win win!
Ahead of the launch of easyJet holidays back in November, Sima and I were invited on a press trip by easyJet holidays to experience the offering. We chose Seville, in the south of Spain, as a destination for a three-night break, choosing to fly from a Friday to Monday, which was perfect for a city break.
The easyJet holidays experts had the perfect hotel for us in Seville.After a smooth check in and short-haul flight, we arrived in Spain’s fourth largest city to warmer temperatures, stunning streets lined with orange trees, rows and rows of tapas bars and gorgeous architecture from ancient Moorish walls, Roman ruins and Baroque churches at every turn.
Here’s my guide on what to see, where to eat and drink and where to stay in Seville.
Top things to see in Seville
Seville is home to the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also the third-largest cathedral in the world, and will take your breath away with its grandeur.
Its roots were actually moorish and it’s bell tower, the Giralda, was the old minaret that called Muslims in Seville to prayer five times a day.
In 1506 the construction of the Cathedral was completed a century after it was started!
Top tip for visiting the Cathedral, as it is one of Seville’s most popular sites to visit, is to buy your ticket in advance or get there super early as the queues to get in get longer and longer with lightening speed!
The Real Alcázar
Some may recognise the Real Alcázar from the Game of Thrones TV series and this stunning Unesco-listed palace complex is a real treat to see.
It started out as a fort in the 10th century for the Cordoban governors of Seville but in the 11th century it was repurposed and majorly rebuilt into a palace.
The interiors and exhibits are fascinating to see as well as the gorgeous courtyards and picturesque gardens.
The Plaza de España
This is one place not to miss! It actually took us by surprise as we had no idea what to expect. Located in the Parque de María Luisa, it was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, and is a eclectic blend of Baroque Revival, Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival styles of Spanish architecture.
Here you can find a plethora of facets such as fountains, mini-canals, Venetian-style bridges and a series of gaudy tile segments dedicated to each Spanish provence with illustrations of maps and historical scenes. You can even go for a boat ride on the canal!
The Metropol Parasol
Las Setas De Sevilla built in 2011 is one of Seville’s more modern and now very iconic landmarks. Designed as a giant sunshade by German architect Jürgen Mayer H, its the world’s largest wooden structure. The best views are from the top where you can get panoramic views of the city as well as take some incredible photos.
Casa de Pilatos
A visit to Casa de Pilatos, a mansion that dates to the late 15th century, is worth a visit to see the mix of Mudéjar, Gothic and Renaissance decor. Inside you will find walls lined with beautiful tile work and ceilings with interlaced beams. It reminds me of the Real Alcázar on a smaller scale and is a fantastic to see.
You can do a guided tour of the top floor if you wish.
When exploring Seville’s distinct neighbourhoods, a visit to the Triana neighbourhood is a must as its Seville’s most emblematic, passionate, and colourful as it was the old Gypsy quarter.
Here you can find lovely vibrant streets, cafes, bars and lots of tapas!
Top places to eat and drink
Food tells the history of a city as much as architecture does and don’t leave Seville without eating at the most iconic and historic bar in Seville called El Rinconcillo. It dates back to 1670 and as you step inside you feel like you have entered a bygone era.
The best way to experience it is stood near the bar where your order will be written on the bar top in chalk. The espinacas con garbanzos, a Sevillian speciality is a must try here, essentially spinach and chickpeas, and just delicious!
This is a fabulous restaurant in Triana with incredible views and my advice is book it well in advance so you can get a seat on the rooftop terrace and get lovely views of the Guadalquivir river. Unfortunately we turned up spontaneously but we still got a great alfresco seat. The food is excellent!
La Terazza de EME
For a fabulous rooftop bar with incredible views of Seville’s Cathedral, head to the Hotel EME Catedral and take the lift up to its wonderful rooftop bar, La Terazza de EME. It’s the perfect spot for a sundowner.
As you step inside the plush Bar Americano in the iconic Hotel Alfonso XIII, you will feel like you’ve walked into a quintessential Parisian cocktail bar circa 1925 with art deco vibes and stunning interiors.
There is an extensive list of wines and cocktails to choose from and they will happily make you a classic if you wish too.
Restaurante Al Aljibe
When exploring Plaza Alameda de Hercules, have lunch at Restaurante Al Aljibe. The short but sweet menu is executed really well and it has a lovely ambience.
Confitería La Campana
A must visit patisserie and cafe which is an institution close to Las Setas De Sevilla. Try yema (a soft, crumbly biscuit cake wrapped like a toffee), or a delicious nata (a custard cake).
easyJet has a fantastic range of high-quality hotels each carefully selected by experts, with bespoke collections carefully designed to suit every holiday type, be it a beach holiday or city break.
All in all we had a fantastic city break in Seville and loved exploring the historic monuments, walking through the beautiful public spaces and charming, centuries-old neighbourhoods, especially Triana. It was fantastic to escape in the low season for a bit of warmth as London began to get a chill although Seville is a popular year round destination.
I would definitely book a European city break with easyJet holidays as its new website is so hassle free, easy to navigate and the choices of hotels,as well as flexibility when it comes to durations, make holiday booking such a pleasant experience!
Find out more: https://www.easyjet.com/en/holidays/