36 hours layover guide of Sevilla

36 hours layover guide of Sevilla

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Hello my Aviator, the past year I spend over six layovers in Sevilla and I take this as an opportunity to share my highlights of this beautiful city with you. My layover is usually 36 hours and this is why my following city guide is based on this period of time. Additionally, I will give general tips for your next city trip.  

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Bar at the Alfonso XIII Hotel / Photo by Emilie (@esunshi)

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Facts about Sevilla

Sevilla is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is situated on the plain of the river Guadalquivir. Seville has a municipal population of about 703,000 as of 2011, making it the fourth-largest city in Spain. Seville is approximately 2,200 years old. The passage of the various civilizations has left the city with a distinct personality, and a large and well-preserved historical center.

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Expo venue of 1992 / lost place in Sevilla

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Travel tip: bank

Over the years I have spent a lot of money on fees when paying with my checking account abroad. But those days are finally over. I recently opened a new account. This premium bank offers an account which incorporates many benefits to their customers. Which is especially useful for me as a frequent traveler who spends a lot of time in foreign countries. Besides giving me the services of traditional a checking account, it includes a MasterCard Gold free of charge.

In Sevilla, you can pay with your card in many shops and restaurants, but I have been to other cities in which they require cash for purchases. Especially taxi drivers, who rarely accept credit cards. With the gold credit card I can withdraw money for free and I even have an exclusive insurance package as well. For example, my health and my luggage are all ensured when I am staying abroad, even when I am not paying with the card.

Watch my V-log about Sevilla. Subscribe my YouTube channel for more videos:

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36 hours layover guide of Sevilla

10:00 - 14:00

Buenos dias 

Like my flight, you arrive in Sevilla in the morning. Since it is too early for the check-in,  I suggest to drop your luggage at the concierge and start discovering the city right away. The old town consists of many narrow streets with historical buildings. I usually approach a new city without a strict guide, so let your feet decide where to go. You will be surprised about the places to discover, which you did not expect.

Healthy snacking 

Maybe you have not had a good breakfast yet or you are ready for a small lunch. Close to the cathedral you can find a healthy food place, called "Milk Away". Their smoothies and salads are fantastic. I always have the Acai bowl with granola and fresh fruits (it is up to you to decide which ones you like on top). For more healthy cafés, restaurants and shops around your personal location, I recommend the App called "Happy Cow".

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Acai bowl at the healthy food place "Milk Away"

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famous cathedral in old town of Sevilla

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Travel tip: accommodation

Since you are staying only for one night I suggest sleeping in the Alfonso XIII hotel, named after King Alfonso of Spain. This elegant hotel with an Arabic style is located in the center of Sevilla. I personally always choose a hotel which is located in walking distance to major attractions when planning a short city trip. This saves time and I can return to the hotel for a quick break between sight-seeing. Apart from all the online booking platforms, I recommend, to always check the website of the hotel as well. Sometimes the rates are even better or you receive extras complimentary.

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Hotel Alfonso XII hotel

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pool of the Alfonso XIII hotel

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14:00 - 18:00

Check-in

Time to check-in to your hotel and to refresh and relax a little bit. The Alfonso XIII has an inviting outside area with a pool. Enjoy a couple of hours of sunbathing, swimming and doing sports.

18:00 - 22:00

Sunset

There are many beautiful locations from where you can watch the sunset, but for me the most spectacular place is the Metropol Parasol. This tree-shaped wooden sculpture grants you the best views of Sevilla. Plan enough time to get up, because there might be a queue to get up. (entrance fee: 3€)

Now it is time to have a tasty dinner. Sevilla offers a huge variety of dining options. Most restaurants do not open before 20:00. For popular places, you need to make a dinner reservation. Last time in Sevilla I had dinner at El Paladar a simple looking Tapas bar. They offer three menu boards including one with meat, one vegetarian, and one vegan. It was tasty, inexpensive and local.

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vies of the Metropol Parasol

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sunset from the roof of the Metropol Parasol

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22:00 - 24:00

Drinks and show

In Sevilla, the life takes place on the streets. Even late at night people are outside enjoying themselves. I can recommend the rooftop of the EME hotel for some drinks. The bar grants a nice view of the illuminated cathedral. Andalucia is also known for its Flamenco dance shows. I have not been to one yet, but it is on my list for my next layovers in Sevilla.

 

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Rooftop of the EME hotel

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Travel tip: season

Sevilla is a city you can visit the whole year around. But keep in my mind that Sevilla is the hottest major metropolitan area in the geographical Western Europe, with summer average high temperatures of above 35 °C. Therefore I recommend coming here in spring or in late summer. While writing this article I am actually sitting in the sun in Sevilla  it is around 25°C at ist already the end of October. At this time of the year, the climate is much better for sightseeing.

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Royal Palace of Sevilla

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Next day

09:00 - 11:00

Breakfast

Start the day with a good breakfast followed by an espresso in the sun on the terrace. In my opinion, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This gives you the energy for the day. Nevertheless, you should eat consciously. Even in hotels, I try to avoid white wheat bread, dairy products, and sugar. Here you can find my recipe for my super healthy breakfast bowl.

11:00 - 13:00

Real Alcázar 

The old town contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of them is the Alcázar palace complex, the royal palace. This is one of my highlights in Sevilla and it is also renowned as one of the most beautiful places in Spain. Plan enough time (minimum 2 hours)  to discover all rooms and to take a stroll through the extensive gardens. (entrance fee: 9,50€)

 

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Garden of the Royal Palace

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Real Alcázar courtyard

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Garden of the Real Alcázar

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14:00 - 16:00

Plaza de España

Not far from the royal palace, you can find the Plaza de España. The first time visiting this square, I was overwhelmed by its size, architecture and look. I was surprised when I found out that the square is relatively young. It was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. You can even rent a small paddle boat to discover the square from the water. If you are lucky you can watch Flamenco dancer with live music underneath the roof in the middle of the building.

18:00 - 20:00

Shopping

The old town consists of many shops and small boutique. As a souvenir I often buy clothing, so I get reminded of my stay when wearing them.

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Beautiful square: Plaza de España

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Plaza de España at sunset

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Have you been to Spain and what is your favorite in Spain so far? Please comment below and subscribe to my newsletter with your email below. 

Happy and safe traveling!

Your Pilot Patrick

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my highlights and secret spots

My highlights and secret spots of San Francisco

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Hello my Aviator,

last Tuesday I returned from my vacation in California. I flew into San Francisco, where I spend five nights before I started my road trip down to Los Angeles. In this blog post, I want to share my highlights of San Francisco and give you some recommendations for a trip to this fantastic city.

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During my travels as a pilot as well as on my private travels I explore a city without any fixed plan. This way I discover beautiful spots without even searching for them. I do not use any kind of tourist guide. Instead, I follow the recommendations of local people or of concierges in the hotel. I am trying to live like a local in an unknown city. This might sound strange but that way I can explore the city from a totally different perspective and this relieves the pressure that I have to see everything. This is sightseeing 2.0.

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Balcony of my suite in the Hilton Union Square

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Where to stay and park?

For a short city trip, the location of my accommodation should be as central as possible. This way you do not loose time and you have the chance to refresh during the day My hotel was the Hilton Union Square. I really liked the location of it because in was in the middle of the city with a lot of shops and restaurants around. I was lucky to be upgraded to a suite on the 36th floor which gave me an awesome view over the city. The suite even featured a balcony. Every morning I enjoyed breakfast at the Poached restaurant which offered healthy meal options like smoothies, quinoa oatmeal, and fresh cut fruits. Do not miss to have a cocktail at the Cityscape Bar on the top level of the hotel granting you a panoramic view of San Francisco.

The parking situation in San Francisco is horrible. The minimum price I found for an overnight parking spot was 35$. In most hotels, it is even around 50$ a night. Best is to arrive without a car and use the taxi service of UBER instead.

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My suite in the Hilton Union Square

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What to do and what to see?

There is so much to discover in San Francisco. Since the city is built on numerous hills it is exciting to see the city from different angles and viewpoints.  You may find that I left out on some big touristic attractions. One example is Alcatraz because I do not support attractions with extremely high unreasonable admission prices.

Coit Tower

This 64-meter sightseeing tower gives you 360 degrees view of the city. Make sure you go when the weather is good. The way up to the base of the Coit tower takes you through a small park so leave you car behind you.

 

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Historic Cabel Cars

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Painted Ladies

Close to Alamo Square, you will find beautiful painted Victorian and Edwardian style houses. Well known from movies. Make sure to go up on top of the square and you will be rewarded with a great background behind the Painted Ladies.

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in front of the Painted Ladies with my BMW 6 series of Sixt

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Ferry Building Market Place

The historic ferry building is a famous landmark and worth seeing. Additionally, you can visit a farmers market Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Dolores Park

This is a beautiful park in the Castro district. A nice spot to relax from the hectic city and you can enjoy a beautiful view of San Francisco as well.

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Dolores Park in Castro district

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Golden Gate Bridge

The iconic suspension bridge is situated at the entrance of San Francisco Bay. It is really nice to drive with a convertible top down over the bridge. If you are more sportive I suggest renting a bike at Fisherman's Wharf. Either way to the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge is about a 1-hour drive. The most spectacular experience is to go on a flight on a propeller aircraft. I was really lucky that Trent, a former U.S. Air Force Captain invited me to go on a flight over San Francisco Bay area.

https://www.facebook.com/pilotpatrick/videos/vb.373722572693345/1414910038574588/?type=2&theater

Watch the long version of the flight on my Facebook page @PilotPatrick

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Piper Acher at San Carlos Airport

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Scenic flight in a Piper Acher with Trent

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Twin Peaks

At the top of the twin peaks, you can enjoy one of the most amazing views over the city. Great all and really romantic during sunset.

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View from the Twin Peaks at night

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Lombard Street worth waiting in line to drive down

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Where to eat?

I was really happy that I could choose from numerous healthy restaurants. I use the app called "Happy cow" to find restaurants and supermarkets around me. You know that I am quite picky when it comes to food. Here are some places I can recommend:

Gracias Madre: vegan and organic Mexican food restaurant in a not so nice neighborhood. Decent prices.

Greens Restaurant: vegetarian restaurant located in an old pier building close to the Marina district. Steve Jobs used to go there. Big windows give a nice view of the marina and Golden Gate Bridge. A little bit pricey.

Seed and Salt: Vegan café and bistro located in the Marina district. Healthy snacks and smoothies in a trendy neighborhood.

 

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Greens Restaurant

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Secret spots

During my stay in San Francisco, I discovered two amazing hidden spots. I want to share with you the location so you have the great experience. Please do not tell anyone else so it remains a secret location.

Hidden mini park: In the middle of the San Fransico at the east end of Vallejo St. you will find a place called Ina Coolbrith Park. You may encounter only a few people while enjoying an amazing skyline in a small oasis.

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Ina Coolbrith Park

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Golden Gate Swing: I made this name just up. At a small beach located on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge, you will find a swing installed on a branch of a tree. While swinging out to the Pacific Ocean you can enjoy a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. To get there you need to park your car at the North Tower Golden Gate Parking from there you follow the signs to Kirby Cove. It takes about 30 mins to reach the beach by foot.

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Kirby Cove

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San Francisco is a remarkable a place and definitely worth visiting in California. I hope you find my tips helpful for your next trip to this unique city. You should plan to stay a minimum of four full days to explore the city. I would not choose hot summer months because then city seeing can be quite exhausting. I encountered amazing weather during the beginning of May.

What do you like about San Francisco?

Happy landings and sight seeing!

Your Pilot Patrick

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