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Triana, Seville

West of the grand palaces of the southern Spanish city lies a folkoric barrio, home to seafarers, decorative tiles and flamenco, where sea snails come with ice-cold beer, says Fiona Flores Watson

Travel Time 1hrs 10min

Why go?

Sailors, fishermen, potters, flamenco artists – the barrio of Triana is the epitome of folkloric southern Spain. The riverside neighbourhood, which used to house ceramics factories and countless communal courtyards, has kept its charm while still moving with the times. Trianeros proudly claim to be from Triana, rather than Seville; their barrio has a more down-to-earth vibe than grand central Seville, with its palaces and mansions.

Triana stretches along the Guadalquivir river, between the San Telmo and Cristo de La Expiración bridges, facing the historic city centre. Calle Betis,
the southern part, looks on to the Maestranza concert hall and 12th-century Torre del Oro watchtower, ideal for a sunset stroll. Halfway along the riverbank
is one of the city’s most beloved monuments, Isabel II bridge, with its distinctive iron circles whose design motif is repeated all over the barrio. Arriving across the bridge, you’re greeted by the brick chapel with tiled dome of the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of fishermen.

A focal point is the Mercado de Abastos food market on Plaza Altozano, where you’ll spot at least 10 varieties of tomatoes, from large red ones from nearby Los Palacios, to misshapen sweet pink ones from the Aracena hills. Equally impressive are the fish stalls with cañaillas (sea snails), clams and prawns of all sizes – the sea is only an hour away – while slices of melt-in the-mouth jamon Ibérico de Bellota catch the eye and tempt the nose.


For centuries, the only way to cross the river to the walled centre on foot was a precarious boat-bridge, first set up by the Moors, who ruled the city for 500-odd years. The Isabel II bridge, opened in 1852, finally allowed Sevillanos and Trianeros to cross freely.

Triana’s name is synonymous with azulejos, colourful ceramic tiles used to decorate everything from the Alcázar palace to church walls, chemist shops, and century-old advertisements. Centro Cerámica de Triana, housed in a former factory, tells the story from Roman times to peak production in the Fifties.

Sailors from Triana embarked with the explorers Columbus and Magellan – Calle Rodrigo de Triana is named after the lookout who spotted the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in 1492. Arriving in Spain from India around the same time, Gypsies set up home in corrales de vecinos, large courtyards where families lived together in small rooms, and cooked outside over a fire; flamenco was born here. At 16 Castilla Street, you can see a well-preserved corral, with a jungle of potted plants, while flamenco bars are dotted along the barrio’s cobbled alleys.

What to do

Where to stay

There are fewer small, characterful hotels here than in the city centre, but Triana House is a notable exception: the red Moroccan riad-style reception gives way to cosy rooms with eclectic décor, set around a traditional patio with its burbling fountain.

As well as Hotel Zenit’s warm, soothing interiors of natural materials like wicker and wood, the large roof terrace is a big draw, with its pool and lively bar, looking on to San Jacinto church.

A little further out, Monte Triana was recently spruced up, and its cool grey and pale blue palette relieves the hot, weary traveller, as does the rooftop pool.

Where to eat and drink

As in the rest of the city, myriad tapas bars ply snails, montaditos (small grilled sandwiches) and tortillas. Stand elbow-to-elbow with locals at the bar, order a caña (glass of beer) and a few small plates like stewed pork cheek. At Las Golondrinas in Calle Antillano Campos, in the old ceramics quarter, prices are extraordinarily reasonable. The same owners have just opened Antigua Casa Diego in Calle Alfarería: as well as Sevillano classics like stewed bull’s tail and sangre encebollada (fried blood with onions), try sea anenomes and baby cuttlefish on the terrace – and look out for tiled scenes on the bar, especially Corral Montaño.

Next door is Alfarería 21, housed in the former Montalván tile factory, whose ceramic pieces adorn a series of delightful patios. Here, cod fritters with red pepper jam and orange blossom honey star alongside spinach, goats’ cheese and fig salad.

On the corner of Calle Antillano Campos, El Mercader has an intimate French bistro vibe, with wooden tables and a great wine selection, including local Zancúo.

Overlooking the river, De La O (named both for the Virgin Mary, Señora de la O, and for 0km produce) uses organic vegetables and locally-sourced fish from the market – the ‘cupcakes’ of venere rice with cod are a triumph.

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