Across the Guadalquivir from the city center, Triana is Sevilla with an edge. The working-class neighborhood is the traditional quarter of fishermen and gitanos, or Gypsies, and the birthplace of many famous bullfighters memorialized on street corners by commemorative plaques. This is also the neighborhood of alfarerías, makers of the traditional decorative tiles for which Sevilla is world famous. The tile companies are concentrated on Calle San Jorge and surrounding streets; most have sales rooms open to the public. Ceramics are very old in Triana—legend says that the neighborhood patrons, 3rd-century martyrs Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, were Triana potters.
The riverfront at the foot of Puente Isabel II is called the Puerto de Triana, and it is filled with small tabernas and marisquerías (shellfish restaurants) that set up outdoor tables during warm weather. This is the best area to head for early evening tapas as well as casual late-night flamenco. Farther east along the river, approaching Puente San Telmo, Triana loses its rough edges and gives way to a number of handsome riverfront restaurants.
The historic public market, the Mercado de Triana, is located at the end of Puente Isabel II. Redeveloped in 2012 to 2013, it has become a lively attraction in its own right, with a number of excellent tapas bars that serve food and drink well after the food stalls have closed. There is even a small theater in the market, which sometimes has lunchtime flamenco performances. The market sits directly next to the historic Moorish fortress known as the Castillo de San Jorge. There’s no charge to visit San Jorge, which has archaeological exhibits showing its Almohad origins and an exhibition about the Spanish Inquisition, which was based here 1481 to 1785. Don’t expect thumbscrews and instruments of torture—the exhibits delve sensitively into the causes (and practical political uses) of intolerance and persecution. San Jorge is open Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 2pm.