Well, I've never been to Spain...
August 7, 2018 10:05 AM   Subscribe

Hi folks, heading out to Seville and the Cadiz areas of Spain in the next few weeks. First help me not dress like a doofus. Hints and tips on what folk are wearing so when I go my outfits don't scream "Merica!!" I'm normally an athletic skort and river shoe(Keens) wearer. Second, lists of places to see and places for yummy food are very welcome.

Help me dress well and see all the places and eat all the foods!
posted by PJMoore to Travel & Transportation around Seville, Spain (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Unless you plan on visiting various houses of worship or doing fine evening dining or attending a gala opera opening, you should just wear whatever clothing is most comfortable for you; it's 100 degrees there currently which is officially Too Hot To Worry About Fashion. Barring excellent language fluency your americanness will be apparent no matter what you wear and it's not worth worrying about unless you're the kind of american who refuses to say please and thank you and is in general horrible to foreigners, which, by simply asking this question, it is obvious that you are not.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:43 AM on August 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

I’d say the Keens would be the biggest giveaway, even in the UK (which is maybe closer to the US style-wise), those kind of shoes just scream tourist to me - but that’s because tourists are on their feet all day and want to wear something comfy, as opposed to locals, who are going to work and are dressed smarter and less comfortably. So I’d say just wear whatever you want to wear, suited to the activity you’re doing (oh but - and I’m sure this doesn’t need saying but just in case - Americans are slightly notorious for wearing bright white socks with their sport sandals, so probably don’t do that if you want to reduce the stand-out-ness!)
posted by penguin pie at 10:52 AM on August 7, 2018

Agreed I wouldn't worry too much about what you are wearing! It's going to be very hot so whatever is comfortable is best.

On a Saturday (last year anyway), Cadiz has a great food truck/stall style market around a central square in the old town (Mercado de Abastos). Each little stall specialises in one thing (generally) and everything I tried was great. Very sociable and a chance to try everything. I think that during the week this is a regular market? Worth a visit either way. As you head along the beach towards the new town, there are nice bars on the beach that do good tapas style snacks and drinks in the evening...
posted by sedimentary_deer at 11:41 AM on August 7, 2018

Best answer: Nthing that just wear whatever you want, with the quasi-exception of being somewhat covered in churches. Just for reference, I'm a man, and sometimes you see advice for men to not wear shorts in Europe. I've worn shorts in Europe and nobody has ever seemed to care. And guess what? The locals wear shorts, too. If you're polite and at least make a token effort to speak Spanish, nobody will care. And they're going to know you are American, anyhow.

I've only been to Seville, but here's some suggestions...

-Real Alcazar. Buy tickets in advance; this is a must. Both the building and (especially) the gardens are amazing.

-There's a food market on the river - I forget exactly what it is called - but it was very easy to find all kinds of yummy things to eat there.

-You know about tapas, right? Tapas are delicious, and the experience of eating them is different from what it is here. You go up to the bar, order a couple of things and a drink, consume them, then move on to the next place (or order something else if you were suitably impressed). El Rinconcillo was excellent is also supposedly Seville's oldest bar (I think). It's touristy but still worth checking out. This place is seemed less touristy and was also great; it was like a grocery store crossed with a restaurant and had some tables out front. There are loads of places to get good tapas in Seville, but those are the two that stand out in my memory.

-When the sun goes down and it cools off everyone goes for a walk, called the paseo. Join them. Assuming you are staying in the old city, take a leisurely stroll across the river to Triana, stopping wherever strikes your fancy.

Seville's great, I'm jealous!
posted by breakin' the law at 12:06 PM on August 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

Another vote for Triana - It's been years since I was there, so specific suggestions won't be current but you want to go there.
posted by each day we work at 12:45 PM on August 7, 2018

2nd breakin' the law's recommendation for Real Alcazar. I'm neither a history nor botanical buff and I was still awed by the historic and botanical nature of it all. Those gardens were maybe one of my Top 3 favourite things about Spain.

I went to the Mercado de Triana (in... Triana) at night, for their oysters and champagne bar. Most things were closed but it looked like the market would have been fun during the day.

I also liked La Paella for a quick grab & go lunch (get there before 2pm).

If you're a meat eater, you gotta try the jamón iberico de bellota. I got hooked and then realized it was like $25 for like 3oz back home, so then I had to get unhooked. I would have tried to sneak some back had I known! Also try ALL the sherries, if you drink. The dry sherries are so nice and complex, it opened up a whole new category of booze for me (plus made me sympathize with Fraser and Niles Crane, for better or for worse).
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 12:55 PM on August 7, 2018

Best answer: Hopefully the worst of the heatwave is over by the time you arrive, but keep hydrated and try to keep out of the sun between noon-ish and 18h or so when the sun isn't as strong. If you need a rest, go to any church you see and sit at the back. It will be cooler, dark-ish and there will be interesting things to look at like statues of Christ with real clothes and human hair and things like that. Andalucía is baroque central.

I'm normally an athletic skort and river shoe(Keens) wearer.

We don't wear full-on athletic clothes that really look like something to wear to the gym on the street much (as opposed to "technical clothes" that mostly look like street wear), but TBH I've been wearing these Merrells lately so I really feel you. I think Tevas would be better than river shoes but eeeh you're here for walking so get comfortable.

In Cádiz you should eat fried fish and seafood (little octopuses fried in batter, grilled shrimps, and so on). Don't forget to have a traditional Andalusian breakfast of coffee with pan de mollete with olive oil (or manteca colorá, or jamón).
posted by sukeban at 1:32 PM on August 7, 2018

The south of Spain is ridiculously hot this time of year (I visited Sevilla in July last year and it was 108), so yes, wear whatever you think would be most comfortable. That said, I was most comfortable in short cotton or rayon summer dresses, and a couple of my friends wore cotton shorts and tank tops. We wore comfortable sandals and flip flops for walking (Reef.) Athletic skorts and Keens will single you out as a tourist, but you could find similar items that are still comfortable but not as "tourist-y." A simple white tank top with a cotton skirt goes a long way and is very versatile. Again, please wear whatever you like, these suggestions are only because you asked!

That area is also rife with churches and mosques of historical significance, so please be sure to carry some sort of shawl to cover your shoulders with if you need to. It really depends on whoever the security guard is at the gate, but in Cordoba I was not let into a cathedral because I had spaghetti straps on. After I'd bought a t-shirt and walked in, I noticed women in there with far more revealing tops, so it was pretty clear that the idea of what's revealing is relative.

Triana is a great neighborhood to walk around in, and there's tapas bars aplenty. Food is pretty good everywhere. But... please do yourself a favor and eat at conTenedor. The food was spectacular.
posted by Everydayville at 2:46 PM on August 7, 2018

Well, if you don’t want to look American, avoid sports gear and shoes (those are for playing sports) and oversized tee shirts altogether.

And since you’re in Spain try buying some shoes at El Naturalista or Camper. They’re neat and fashionable.
posted by Kwadeng at 5:27 PM on August 7, 2018

Wow, I was JUST in Sevilla and Cádiz! So very gorgeous. Seconding the Real Alcazar building and gardens in Sevilla. Definitely worth the ticket price. Also seconding people’s recommendations to stay hydrated and find shade when possible.

In terms of clothing, our group of five Americans dressed generally the way we would at home, and I didn’t see anyone giving us the side eye. I made an effort to look nice for dinners at night, but I think you’ll be fine! Hope you have an incredible time!
posted by sucre at 7:38 PM on August 8, 2018

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