Last week we did a blog on the best things to do in Seville in Spring, and as we were writing it we noticed how many top class parks are in the city. Consequently, this week we are following it up with the top ten parks in Seville to visit during your family holiday. Whether you prefer to relax in the sun, go for a run or even go fishing, there’s a park for everyone in the city. What follows is a countdown of our favourites:
10 – Jardines de la Buhaira
Originally built as a summer palace for the Almohad Caliphs in the 12th century, the palace and gardens have featured in Game of Thrones. Although these gardens were outside of the city back then, today they are in the middle of Nervion neighbourhood. On any day of the week you will see Sevillanos strolling around this park, soaking up the sun amid Moorish architecture.
9 – Parque Vega de Triana
One of the newest parks in Seville, Vega de Triana wasn’t built until 2012, but with a budget of €17.5 million it has become one of the finest. The grounds boast 3,000 trees which can be traversed by 4km of cycle paths! No wonder this has become a popular spot to spend a Sunday.
8 – Prado de San Sebastian
To many people, Prado de San Sebastian is the name of a metro stop and Seville’s second biggest bus station. But these terminals actually get their names from an attractive park which sits adjacent to them. Prado was the original sight of the Feria de Abril before it moved to a bigger location. Today it is the site of the University’s central library and is a fine place to find academics strolling in the shade searching for inspiration in the fountains.
7 – Parque del Alamillo
Alamillo is not only the biggest park in Seville, but one of the biggest in all of Spain. Developed around two lakes it is fully equipped for all kinds of recreation and sport, and is also an important inner city nature reserve. You can find everything from nature tours to train rides to theatre performances here, and the park even celebrates its own birthday part every year on the day it opened to the public!
6 – Parque de los Principes
The neighbourhood of Los Remedios was slowly built up south of Triana during the 20th century. During the middle of the century, town planners noticed a lack of green areas in the neighbourhood making it less attractive for prospective buyers. To remedy this, they built Princes Park, a grand park for grand events. Opened in 1973 it has hosted the April Fair ever since, allowing the Fair to grow in extravagance year on year.
5 – Jardin Americano
The World’s Fair of 1992 changed a lot about Seville; it brought the extension of the Guadalquivir Canal and saw the construction of many beautiful Pavilions which have since been given a wide variety of different uses. The area around the American Pavilion has been turned into a beautiful riverside garden. If you’d lie to see the site of the ’92 World’s Fair, our bike tours are a fantastic way to explore the wider city.
4 – Alameda de Hércules
Built in 1574, this is the oldest public gardens in Europe. The park was originally the Easternmost branch of the Guadalquivir river, but after being drained was planted with rows of white poplars and turned into a promenade. The area was a meeting point for the upper-classes until the end of the 19th century when it began a gradual decline. By the 1990’s it had become the city’s red light district with no less than 35 brothels. The city council invested a lot of money into the area to regenerate it into the quaint promenade of bars and cafés it is today. Although less green than many of the other parks in Seville, the Alameda is a no less popular place to catch up with friends and family. If you’d like to check it out, why not join our Macarena walking tour.
3 – Jardines de Murillo
Lying on the public side of the Alcazar walls, this garden is a serene space between the Jewish Quarter and the city’s ring road. The center point to the gardens is an impressive fountain dedicated to Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America. The cooling spray from the fountain makes this an ideal space to relax on a hot day. Why not visit the gardens and Jewish Quarter with a long walking tour?
2 – The Riverside Promenade
Officially named Paseo Alcalde Marqués del Contadero, the stretch of river between Torre del Oro and Puente de Triana is always filled with joggers, dog walkers, and friends hanging out. Although not officially a park, this stretch of the riverside promenade makes it onto this list by virtue of the sheer bliss you will feel while walking upon its cobblestones. Alternatively, why not join us for a kayak tour beside this placid park?
1 – Parque de Maria Luisa
The 20th century revamped Seville, making it unrecognisable to the city it used to be. The river was blocked off and then extended, the 92 Worlds fair saw huge pavilions rise in the city’s extremity and before all that, the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition came to town. Many plazas, avenues, and buildings were constructed for this event to show that Seville was open for business. The whole layout of the city was redeveloped. The most impressive thing built for the event, however, was undoubtedly the Plaza de España, a domineering building which looks more like a palace than a plaza. What’s more, the plaza sits in one of the most beautiful public gardens in all of Spain. The Maria Luisa park was also built for the 1929 exhibition and is filled with a wide array of palms, ponds, and pavilions. There are myriad themed fountains and exotic plants guide you down sculpted promenades. Truly there could be no more idyllic place. Join us for a short walking tour around these gardens.
So there you have it, our favourite parks in Seville. Honourable mentions go to the huge Parque Amate and the Real Alcazar gardens. The Alcazar gardens are undoubtably some of the finest in the city, but miss out on our list due to the simple fact that you need a ticket to get in and see them. They are, however, more than worth the ticket and if you’d like to look around them, there is no better option than our combined Cathedral and Alcazar tour.
Davey Womack is a tour guide and avid traveller. To read about his adventures around the world, visit his personal blog.