“Una pregunta, dónde está la fiesta?” [Where is the party?!] we found ourselves asking the group of policemen, on duty, but merrily drinking a few bottles of beer before heading back out to “protect the city”.
We were in some German bar, the only place that seemed to be open at 9 pm on New Year’s Eve in Seville, occupied only by other foreigners who also seemed a little confused by the lack of street life. “But what about the bar hopping?!” We’d left our apartment to find that all the cute tapas bars at the end of our street, that had been filled with wine glasses clinking all afternoon, had completely closed their doors and the city was strangely quiet.
“The fiesta starts at 1 am. Everybody is at home with their families.” We started to wonder if we shouldn’t have bothered with all the stress of Therese’s cancelled flights to get to Seville for New Year’s Eve, but ordered another Glühwein for 1,80 EUR and ended up chatting to everyone in the bar. “What are you drinking?” “Hot wine. It’s cheap;)” At 11:30 we walked over to the Plaza Nueva clutching our bags of grapes to watch the clock strike midnight. A huge crowd of tourists had gathered in the plaza along with the sellers cashing in on bags of twelve grapes. Disappointingly, the clock didn’t strike 12 and there were no chimes to which you’re supposed to eat a grape. Happy New Year!
Fireworks were randomly being set off in the square so we walked along the closed streets, past the one bakery doing a roaring trade on ham baguettes and 20EUR bottles of Cava, back towards the river where the discotecas, (Dadá; Pinzón; F5; Boga,) which we’d been recommended on Paseo de Colón, were just opening.
On New Year’s Day, we stepped out of our apartment into the bright sunshine to get coffee, and found the city buzzing back its pre-NYE self. There were no free tables at the cafes in the streets as so many people were dining alfresco. The sunshine and orange trees lining the streets, and maybe the Starbucks made us forget we’d got home at 5 am the night before.
We headed to Plaza de España, sunglasses on, Starbucks in hand, via the Royal Alcazar of Seville gardens to explore.
There was a Christmas Market in the park alongside the plaza where we stopped for the most amazing Churros con Chocolate. Yum!
And then an ice rink – a little strange to see ice amongst the palm trees. Plaza de España was incredible. Horse and carriages taking tourists round and around the fountain.
A moat with tourists bumping their rowing boats into each other and bridges with detailed railings.
We took some photos and people watched on a beautifully tiled bench before getting enchiladas (nearly Spanish, right?) at Iguanas Ranas in the centre and going home.
Our next days were spent finding the best tapas, partying, drinking coffee and sightseeing.
The best tapas restaurants we found were all along Calle Mateos Gago, a street leading to the Cathedral. We tried two places and paid about 3EUR a tapa, including lots of vegetarian options; spinach and chickpeas, tortilla, mushrooms, patatas bravas, baked avocado, croquettes, honey goats cheese, and some prawns. This was the best tapas ever, we paid 30EUR for everything and we still keep thinking about it now 😉 I just have no idea of the name!
We’d rented an Airbnb apartment in Triana, so just over the river from the city centre. We had a beautiful, Spanish piso on two levels, with a spiral staircase. When we booked I thought we were going to be a long walk from everything, but it turned out to be a great location.
We had a local feel in the streets of Triana and even had a three kings parade one evening all along our street. Just over the bridge, we had the night clubs and bars on Paseo de Colón where our host Concha had told us we’d find lots of ‘young people’.
Each bar has outside seating with heaters and there are people outside each bar giving you un ticket for 5EUR drinks. It got busy at 7 pm, much earlier than on NYE and we noticed people were walking between bars with their drinks so we did some hopping. The last one was perfect, it was full of Spanish people dancing to reggaeton and clapping along to flamenco. It’s definitely the coolest thing ever when a discoteca plays ALL your favourite reggaeton songs in one night.
Along with Plaza de España, the other unmissable sight was the Catedral de Sevilla. It was so beautiful we bought cappuccinos and sat and admired it while the sun went down.
The following day we climbed the tower; La Giralda. To go up the tower you have to pay to enter the Cathedral which costs 9EUR for adults.
It’s open 11 am – 5 pm and includes looking around inside, paying your respects to Christopher Colombus, climbing the tower and getting trampled by Chinese tourists in the orange garden.
We were actually posing for a photo when they all just walked in front and started posing for their own photo. The tower consisted of 35 slopes to walk up rather than stairs, so I suppose it would be wheelchair/buggy friendly if you’re feeling strong.
The windows on the way up were much more peaceful to look out than from than the viewpoints at the top of the tower. Other tourists are quite impatient waiting for their turn on a ledge, before sprinting back down the slopes.
While I’m not sure I can recommend Seville for a crazy New Year’s Eve, it is definitely the place to be after New Year’s Day as everybody is still celebrating right up until King’s Day on the 6th January. ¡Olé!