Thursday, 6 February 2014

Una vuelta: City sightseeing Seville

I will confess something to blog tag line is a sham. 'The art of wandering' she says! Up until this point I have been quite adept at's how I find my way through this little adventure we call life - that is until now (or last Wednesday to be more precise!). 

I had just finished my day of home tuition in and around Seville and it was the first time I had been left to my own devices in my new city.  Armed with my memory map of where my boss, Eva, had walked me, I set of in search of tapas and the cathedral by night. 

After wandering, in completely the wrong direction, I managed to find my way after a kindly old man out strolling gave me directions. 
A good time was had by all (and by all I mean me, little loner!).

Then the problems started...

I wanted to get the bus station but wandering led me astray. Everyone I asked for directions pointed me in the opposite direction to the person before them. The streets were getting narrower, less crowded, darker and everything looked so ominous... I had a little cry. 

When I finally found my way to the bus station, the departure boards were broken. There was no way of knowing when the bus was going or even if there was a bus at all. No one seemed to know anything despite asking two members of staff...luckily a woman catching my bus overheard my desperate questioning and pointed me in the right direction. I had another little cry.

Determined to learn from Wednesdays alien experience, the first stop on Seville Saturday had to be the tourist office.
City map in hand, I made my way to the biro circle which marked the nearest tour bus stop! After getting so ferociously lost, I thought Citysightseeing Seville would be the best way to connect the dots - where had I been, where should I have gone and where should I go in the future (both direction wise and sighseeing wise!).
The route was pretty extensive and covered all major districts of the city (all that had things to see obviously!). The route itself takes 1hour and half if you don't take advantage of the various stops on offer. As I got on the bus pretty late, around 5, I thought it best to stay on board so as not to finish the tour in fading light! Besides, with 5 months still to go, who needs to do everything in one day?!

Your ticket includes entry to a number of normally payable attractions, gives you discounts and freebies at a number of shops and eateries and enables you to join walking tour groups across the city. Bonus: the ticket is valid for 48 hours so you can cram in everything it has to offer! Unfortunately, many of the attractions included close before 6pm whilst the buses run til gone 8pm so make sure you hop on early if you want to make the most of the free entry element.

All in all the tour was interesting and gave a general overview of many different aspects of the city enabling you to see which attractions attract you most! My only bug bear is that the bus spent a lot of time waiting at the stops. Only 5 minutes in to the tour, the bus stopped to 'adjust to the timetable' and waited for 15 minutes! YOU'VE ONLY JUST SET OFF, HOW CAN YOU NEED TO ADJUST ALREADY?!

The tour helped me to:
  • get my bearings and see how the city was laid out,
  • get a bit of background information about my new home,
  • compile a list of sights to visit at a later date.
I wish that I had purchased the ticket when I had a spare day the following day so I could have joined one of the walking tours and visited some of the free attractions (which I will now have to fork out for!). 

I don't think the tour itself is worth the 15€ student price I paid for it, but if you take advantage of all the other elements included then it is truly great value! Something I will probably recommend to my family when I'm busy with the kids at work.

The route starts on the
Paseo de Colon, near the Toro del Oro (the Gold Tower)
from 10am - buses run every 20 to 30 minutes

Prices: Adult 17€
Child 7€
Student/concessions 15€

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