From antique ceramics to limited edition serigraphs, you can find that special something either for yourself or as a unique gift
Whether it's a gift for someone else or something you want to take back as a special "recuerdo", Seville has plenty of places that offer something more unique than typical souvenir shops. Though having said that, one really must get a cheerful abanico (hand-held fan), even if it's just to put up on the wall when you get home.
For the past 20 years Maria de la Oliva has been running the wonderfully eclectic Maspapeles on Zaragoza street (Zaragoza 17, Tel 34 954 220 618), where you can find a wide selection of top brand writing equipment and beautiful hand-made Spanish paper (for both writing and wrapping), agendas (diaries) and Moleskine notebooks, as well as fabulous handbags and briefcases, jewellery, and more cute chochkas than I can remember. It's almost impossible to leave her shop without buying something.
Gourmet food and wine shops have become all the rage recenty with quite a few opening in the past couple of years, and from what I've heard, more to come. Many of them offer wine tastings or special food events, and great personal service.
La Azotea Vinos & Mas on Jesús del Gran Poder (no 44, Tel 34 955 116 748) is my favourite. Opened earlier this year as a complement to the fabulous La Azotea restaurant (in my top five) you can find a wide array of cheeses and wines, spices and salts, vinegars and oils, all gorgeously packaged. And if you find a wine you like you can take it across the street to enjoy with your meal at the restaurant (no corkage fee).
If you are a fan of Spanish olive oil then you really should go to Extraverde at Plaza Doña Elvira 8,(Barrio Santa Cruz)(Tel 34 954 218 417, www.extraverde.es ) A small shop and tapas bar specialising in olive oil and its products, you can have a snack while you shop and even do a tasting of five different oils with fresh bread.
La Jaboteca sells wonderfully scented handmade soaps and essential oils. You can find them either at Calle Cuna 9, (Tel 34 954 213 606), or at Asunción 21, (Tel 34 954 271 102).
Agua de Sevilla remains a popular perfume store where the original Sevillian scents based on orange blossom and jasmine prevail, but it is also known for its stylish clothing and accessories.
Ceramics & Artesania
Popularte at Pasaje de Vila 4, Barrio Santa Cruz (Tel 34 954 229 444)) often takes people by surprise. A stone's throw from the Cathedral it's looks like a tiny storefront at first, but once you enter you find an amazing array of antique pottery, tiles and ceramics that owner Laura has collected over the years. And if you simply must have that large clay urn in the corner she will also safely ship your purchase to anywhere in the world.
The recently renovated Plaza de España has largely been restored with the famous ceramics made by Triana artisans. There are several ceramic shops to choose from just over the Puente Isabel, and one of my favourites is the impressive Ceramica Santa Ana at San Jorge 31 (Tel 34 954 333 990) But take a walk down adjoining Antillano and Alfarería streets and you will be spoiled for choice by the many great ceramics places that each offer something a bit different.
For something quite a bit different, while you're in the area check out the Norler studio (Alfarería 26, Tel 34 954 089 802) for limited edition serigraphs and other artwork with a distinctive Sevillano feel by Norberto León.
El Postigo (Tel 34 954 560 013) is a small artesan market at the end of Calle Arfe, just behind the main post office, with several different vendors selling a selection of ceramics, jewellery and other craft items, generally at reasonable prices.
If you are staying in Seville for more than a couple of days, and especially if you are in a holiday rental with a kitchen, the food markets will be of special interest. You will find an astounding selection of fresh fish and seafood, poultry and meat products (some unexpected), fruit and vegetables, olives and cheese, and of course, jamón Iberico. I've seen people getting onto planes with a large jamón leg over their shoulder, though of course you should check your country's import laws before deciding to bring home this very definitive taste of Spain.
There are four main food markets: Triana, Arenal, Encarnación and Feria. Out of these my favourite is Triana, which has been recently renovated and has a fresh yet still very traditional look and feel to it. While there you can also visit the adjoining San Jorge Castle, which I've mentioned in Things To Do.
Runner up is the slightly ramshackle market on calle Feria, for its wonderful little seafood bar La Cantina. Open for breakfast and lunch it serves up some of the freshest and cheapest seafood tapas in town.
More expert advice on Seville
For suggestions on where to stay in Seville, see my Seville Hotels – Award winning expert hotel reviews, from cheap to luxury hotels in Seville page.
Read my overview on Shopping in Seville.