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What to Do in Seville with Teens

by Barbara Rogers

Nov 18, 2017

© Freesurf69 | Dreamstime

Age Specific / Teens

Seville is one of Spain’s most colorful and engaging cities, so it seemed a natural place to introduce a 15-year-old to Spain. Getting there was easy — a trans-Atlantic flight direct to Madrid, where we stayed overnight to see a few main attractions, then a three-hour train ride to Seville. Here’s what we learned.

 

Hotels

Choose a small traditional inn in the heart of the old town. While new modern hotels may have swimming pools, most are pretty small affairs and the buildings lack the sense of place that makes you feel part of the city. The small Hosteria del Laurel was a perfect choice, with family-sized rooms, and its own restaurant that spilled into the little traffic-free square outside. Passageways and streets too narrow for cars led through “our” historic Santa Cruz neighborhood to most of the main sights.

 

The Cathedral

Mary had her own thoughts on the monumental tomb of Christopher Columbus held aloft by four giant figures, and about the source of the gold that encrusts the towering main altar. But she had to admit it was magical at night, when we followed a candle-lit religious procession through the streets and into a side door. Unplanned experiences like this one are often the highlight of a trip, and Mary loved the spontaneity of seizing the moment. Be ready to change plans when something catches your eye.

Seville, Spain, flamenco dancer, Avenida de la Constitucion,

Photo: Stillman Rogers

 

Flamenco

While visiting the Museum of Flamenco Dance we reserved seats for an evening performance in the intimate theater, where we sat within a few feet of the dancers’ swirling skirts. In the museum, we learned more about Andalucía’s traditional music and dance through videos and recordings, and looked at some of the flamboyant costumes. Mary left with a set of castanets for herself and one for her sister, good souvenirs of Seville.

 

Bullfight

This was something else we hadn’t planned on, thinking Mary would be put off by the notion, but she surprised us. A poster hung outside our hotel, and she noticed the date. “That’s tomorrow — can we go?” Later that day we toured Seville’s famous bull ring and bought tickets. She loved the pageantry of the bullfight, and a framed poster from that day’s corrida hangs in her bedroom.

 

The Alcazar

We were all wowed by the fantastic neo-Moorish rooms and courtyards, but Mary loved the gardens even more. She almost drained her phone battery taking pictures, and a close-up of one pink rose is still the cover shot on her Facebook page.

Summer day in Seville, Spain

Photo: Stillman Rogers

 

Maria Luisa Park

Everyone goes here on Sunday to picnic, ride family-sized pedal carts or cruise under the trees in a horse-drawn carriage. Rent a boat to row around the pools of Palza d’Espana and admire the colorful tile pictures that decorate its walls.

 

Street Performers

Stroll around in the evening to hear groups of guitarists or singers performing on the streets and in sidewalk cafes. These free concerts are often quite good. It’s not unusual to find flamenco dancers advertising evening performances with a free sample.

Street performers in Seville, Spain

Photo: Stillman Rogers

 

Eat Tapas

They are a wonderful way to sample different local foods, and if you don’t like something you haven’t invested a lot of money. April evenings were warm enough to sit outdoors in cafes and tapas bars. It’s Spain’s signature food experience and a trip wouldn’t be complete without it. There are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks for young people.

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