Take a Child-Friendly Walk Through Seville
There are so many reasons to bring you to Seville. It is Lonely Planet’s Best City to Visit in 2018. All of the best of Andalusia comes together in Seville. The buildings are unique, the tiles colorful and bountiful. Flamenco dancers and their guitarists often set up performances on the street, their rhythmic clapping and haunting sound stealing part of your soul. There is a Moorish palace of a different people, and one of the largest cathedrals in the world. The food and wine are both delicious, and can be enjoyed outside almost year-round.
Seville is our favorite in warm spring months and cooler fall days when there are actually some trees turning colors. In an easy day you can soak up the culture of this great city, as well as unwind in a fantastic park. All on foot. Our favorite walk with our children is one we have repeated many times, with small detours each time. Each time, we discover something new to inspire us to fall more in love with this special city.
Follow along on our path through the city. You can easily fill a full day, especially if you make a stop at the cathedral or other attraction. But we also frequently make a half-day of this itinerary, when we just want to soak up the energy of a city bursting with so much spirit. We’ve found this walk to be the perfect length for little legs to make without too much complaining. So, here it goes.
Parking Garages and Playgrounds
For starters, we always try to get an earlier start in Seville, for a couple of reasons. In the summer months, this city gets hot. Also, my stores will close for siesta around 2 p.m., so we like a chance to fit some things in during the morning hours. Finally, if you arriving by car, parking is much easier before 11 a.m.
In the case that you are coming in by car, park at the Avenida Roma garage. Even large American minivans can easily maneuver in this parking garage and it couldn’t be more conveniently located for the main attractions. There are several exits from the garage, all of which are near a Starbucks. This makes for a quick and reliable bathroom break for little travelers. If they also need a quick energy release, there is a small playground across the street from the McDonalds. There are plenty of benches around the play sets, so we’ve also been known to take sandwiches for a fast, budget meal option.
Cathedrals and Castles
After parking and stretching, head towards the Cathedral and Alcazar, which are located in very close proximity. Unless you are determined and very pressed for time, I would not advise squeezing both attractions into one day, especially with young children. On most days, we simply walk past the long lines for both. Walk along the castle wall, and the large squares will narrow into the narrow streets of the former Jewish Quarter, the Santa Cruz neighborhood.
Seville’s Santa Cruz Neighborhood
This is our favorite area to wander. The streets are narrow and welcoming. There are orange trees and tiled signs and street musicians. My two favorite shops to pick up unique gifts are also tucked in these streets. La Alcazaba is my go-to pottery shop when I am looking for a gift to send home for a special occasion. The pieces are beautiful and reasonably priced. They also have hand-painted fans in a variety of price points. Las Moradas, Artesania Andalusi sells a range of products with an Andalusian, Moorish flair. I have found beautiful scarves, jewelry, and ceramic pieces here to gift and keep.
Leave Las Moradas and head right into the beautiful Plaza de D’Elvira. This is our favorite spot to enjoy an ice cream treat. But first, walk through the square and around the corner to the ice cream shop, and then enjoy your spoils back in the square, sitting around the fountain. So close to some of the busiest sites of the city, the quiet of this pedestrian square always amazes. It feels almost like a secret garden to me, tucked away under the trees. The ice cream can be a reward for little shoppers, or a diversion while one adult makes a solo stop into a nearby shop.
Restaurante La Raza
While a bit backwards perhaps, we always finish our ice cream and head back towards Maria Louisa Park and our favorite spot for a light lunch. We can’t recommend this dessert first approach enough, because it makes any day feel a bit more special. Right before you enter the park, off of Avenida Isabel la Católica, is Restaurante La Raza. There are two dining options, a more formal dining experience with indoor and courtyard seating, and a more casual tapas bar with garden seating. We’ve enjoyed both, however, when the kids are along, I’d always opt for the more relaxed and budget-friendly tapas. The croquettes are some of our favorites, and the cheese plate is a crowd-pleaser.
Plaza de España and Maria Luisa Park
After lunch, walk right through the gates into the luscious Maria Luisa Park. You’ll enter right at the beautiful Plaza de España of World Fair and Star Wars Fame. Hire a horse-drawn carriage or paddle boat. Or, head to the right to play with children from all over the world at a small playground. Seriously, we have been surrounded by children from across Europe in our time there.
But, our children’s favorite spot in the whole park is “their tree.” They ask for it every time, and every time we oblige, because every child should know a good climbing tree. There are other playgrounds sprinkled throughout the park, including one with a train that may or may not have caused our son to jump out of a moving carriage. It’s just that exciting if you’re four. And that’s what Maria Luisa Park is – a magical place full of natural and man-made playgrounds, exquisitely colored tiled benches and fountains and just enough room to not feel lost or alone.
So, stretch your legs and imaginations. Enjoy the flowers and the trees and fountains and the break from the sun. At this point, our legs our tired and everyone is still happy, so we opt to head home. Fortunately, our car is close by. But we are always planning for our next visit, our next walk, and the next diversion from the path.
What are your favorite stops in Seville? Any super kid-friendly places?