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Seville, Spain – LGBT

Seville Plaza

Seville Plaza (source: Flickr)

Source: Nick Burns, Out Traveller

Seville might lack the cosmopolitan glamour of Barcelona and Madrid, but it exudes an old-world romance all its own. Often called the Paris of Andalusia, the narrow cobblestone streets of Santa Cruz and the riverside cafés and flamenco bars of Triana make it one of the country’s most beautiful cities.

Seville’s 2000-year history can be read in its striking architecture — from the grand gothic Catedral de Santa María de la Sede to the Mudéjar design of the Reales Alcazares palace, the city’s Moorish and Christian past is literally carved in stone. But the beauty of Seville isn’t confined to the relics of bygone eras — see the Santiago Calatrava-designed bridge, a growing list of ultramodern hotels (like the Gran Meliá Colón), and the Museo de Bellas Artes, Spain’s second largest art museum after the Prado.

The city’s thriving gay nightlife centers around La Alameda de Hércules, a large square lined with bars and cafés, where most nights you can find young Spaniards sipping tinto de verano (a mix of red wine and Sprite-like soda) at Café Central or El Barón Rampante. Seville even offers two bear bars. And don’t be fooled by the sleepy streets at 2 A.M. Behind closed doors, discos like Itaca and Isbiliyya keep the party hopping all night with Spanish-flavored techno and international club tracks.

The Bite
El Burladero Tapas y Tintos
Calle de Canalejas 1; +34-954-50-55-99
Located in the Gran Meliá Colón, it fuses classic Spanish tapas with Michelin-rated chef Dani Garcia’s avant-garde liquid nitrogen cooking. Try the cherry gazpacho with cheese snow.

Egaña Oriza
Calle San Fernando 41; +34-954-22-72-54
Situated in the conservatory of a restored mansion next to the Alcázar gardens, it retains an old-world ambience that captures the city’s spirit and is a favorite of Sevillanos for its wide variety of dishes, from foie gras to wild boar and a number of pescatarian delights.

The Groove
Itaca
Calle Amor de Dios 31; +34-954-90-77-33
While this gay club’s decor leaves something to be desired, its thrice-weekly parties pack in the hot Andalusian locals. Stick around for the 2 A.M. curtain call with the city’s finest drag acts, like Angelita. Just don’t mention the Macarena.

Hércules Mítico
Calle Alameda de Hércules 93; +34-954-37-59-92
This hole-in-the-wall dance bar in the heart of the city’s thriving gay strip, La Alameda de Hércules, is tinted with classic Spanish decor — Damascus wallpaper and sultry red lights — perfect for dancing to hard techno beats.

The Bed
Gran Meliá Colón
Calle de Canalejas 1; +34-954-50-55-99
The crown jewel of Seville’s hotels dates back to the 13th century — when it served as a convent — and honors its deeply rooted history in the city’s bullfighting tradition. The newly renovated and modernized rooms mix classic Spanish architecture with furniture by Philippe Starck and Marcel Wanders.

Eme
Calle de los Alemanes 27, +34-954-56-00-00
Located across the street from the Cathedral and its famous Giralda bell tower, the over-the-top modern aesthetic of the 60-room Eme contrasts a sleek design with its classic Sevillian architecture.

The Morning After
For a day of shopping, stroll along Calle Sierpes, Calle de Velázquez, and Calle Tetuán for affordable threads from Spanish brands like Mango, Bershka, Pull and Bear, Zara, and Massimo Dutti. For something a little more high-end, visit the designer boutiques in Plaza Nueva — especially Purificación Garcia, for classic European styles you won’t find back home.

The Flight
Iberia Business Plus
800-772-4642
With two direct flights from JFK to Madrid each day, cushy seats that recline into beds, menus designed by chef Sergi Arola, and a wine list of Spain’s finest Riojas, the long haul to Spain won’t leave you with coach-class jet lag.

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