Seville is the capital region of Andalucia and has the largest historic city center in Spain. When you walk through this beautiful city, you feel like walking on a film set. It is gorgeous! Seville is the perfect destination for a city trip. Did you know that the Spanish dance and music style ‘Flamenco’ originated here? Keep reading and discover the best sights and activities in Seville!
We stayed two nights in the Hostal Seville Santa Justa in Seville. A hostel about 15 minutes walk from Seville Cathedral.
Real Alcázar Seville
The Real Alcázar is the royal palace of the city. Alcázar’ means castle in Spanish and is derived from the Arabic ‘al-qasr’, which means palace. The Alcázar is one of the oldest royal palaces in the world that is still in use. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace dates back to Roman times and several kings lived here over the years, all of whom contributed to the palace. This means that the palace has been influenced by different cultures.
The site of the palace covers an area of almost 100,000 square meters, about 75% of which is a garden. Inside the palace there are beautiful rooms, patios and squares in different styles. The walls and ceilings are covered with mosaic and the courtyards are full of plants and water features. You can walk around for hours and keep looking, as the palace is huge! There is also plenty to see outside. The gardens were created more than a thousand years ago and have more than 20,000 plants!
Note: Would you like to visit the Real Alcázar? It’s smart to order tickets online in advance. The Alcázar is Seville’s most popular attraction and it can be very crowded. The maximum capacity is 750 people. If you haven’t bought tickets, you will have to wait in line until there they have space.
The entrance fee is € 12.50 per person. Click here for more information about tickets and opening hours!
Plaza de Toros – The Royal Cavalry Armory of Seville Bull Ring
Plaza de Toros is a bullring in Seville where bullfights are held. The bullring has been officially declared a Site of Cultural Interest and is the third most visited attraction in Seville, after the Cathedral and the Alcázar. You can see Plaza de Toros from the inside if you join a tour.
Note: Plaza de Toros works with time slots. It may be that if you’re queuing for tickets at 11:00, you won’t be able to enter until 13:30. Therefore, it I advise you to buy your tickets in advance if you want to make the most of your time. You can do that here.
During the tour, you will visit different parts of the bullring, including the part where a large collection of bullfighting art is displayed. Here you will find paintings and uniforms worn by famous matadors. The audio guide provides information about the origins of bullfighting and the changes over time. The best part of the tour is that you can see the bullring from the middle. Bizarre how big it is!
The tour takes about 45 to 55 minutes and costs € 8,- per person. The opening hours of Plaza de Toros can be found here.
Another popular sight in Seville is Catedral de Santa María de la Sede. The Seville Cathedral is located in the popular Santa Cruz district and is a Gothic cathedral that is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The church is 127 meters long, 83 meters wide and 43 meters high, which means it is the largest Gothic church in the world! The bell tower even has a height of 104.5 meters and rises far above the city. A visit to the bell tower is included if you buy an entrance ticket. It is also possible to visit the roof of the cathedral. You have to buy a separate ticket.
Note: It can also be very busy, so it is wise to order your tickets in advance. You can buy tickets here.
The entrance fee for a visit to the cathedral and the bell tower is € 9,- per person. Would you like to visit the cathedral on a Monday? Then you can go inside for free. The opening hours can be found here.
Metropol Parasol (Las Setas de la Encarnación) is a large wooden construction that serves as decoration. There used to be a market on this spot, La Encarnación square, which was eventually demolished because an underground car park was to be built. In the end the construction of the parking lot was cancelled because the remains of a Roman colony were discovered here. In 2004, the Seville Urban Planning Agency organized an international competition to integrate the site with the everyday economy. The competition was won by J. Mayer H. Architects, a Berlin-based architectural firm that designed Metropol Parasol.
You can see the Metropol Parasol from below and from above. Buy your tickets, take the elevator upstairs and enjoy a 360° view of Seville! Tickets cost € 3,- per person and opening hours can be found here.
Casa de Pilatos
Casa de Pilatos is a palace that dates back to the 15th century and is located in the historic center of Seville. When the Enríquez de Ribera family bought the palace, lounges, courtyards and gardens were gradually added, making it the largest private residence in Seville. Casa de Pilatos is similar to the Real Alcázar, but many times smaller. You’ll also find cute patios and beautiful mosaics here!
You can choose between a visit to the entire palace or a visit to the ground floor. If you want to see the whole palace, you can do so with a guide. The tour starts every now and then. You can visit the ground floor yourself, with an audio guide.
The cost for viewing the entire palace is € 12,- per person and for a visit to the ground floor you pay € 10,- per person. The opening hours can be found here.
Plaza de España
The Plaza de España is one of the most popular squares in Seville. The square is surrounded by a crescent-shaped pavilion built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929. Nowadays, the pavilion is used by the government. At the bottom of the building you will find 52 colorful mosaics depicting all Spanish provinces. It makes for a great walk! There is a large square in front of the pavilion, which has a combined surface area of 50,000 m².
Boating on Plaza de España
The Plaza de España is also known as “the Venice of Seville”. There is a 500-meter-long canal. If you want, you can rent a boat. You can cross the canal on foot via bridges and enter the central square. These bridges symbolize the four kingdoms that Spain once had: Castile, Léon, Navarre and Aragon. You will have a magnificent view of the pavilion from the central square.
Torre del Oro
Along the Guadalquivir river, next to Plaza de Toros you will find a watchtower, Torre del Oro. The tower is 36 meters high and consists of three parts. The first part is twelve sided and was built between 1220 and 1221. The second part is also 12-sided and was built in the 14th century. The upper part has the shape of a cylinder and was built in 1760. The tower used to serve as a defensive tower to protect the city against invasions from the Guadalquivir River.
It is possible to visit the tower and see the city from above. A ticket costs € 3,- per person and the opening hours can be found here.
The Guadalquivir River is a 657-kilometer-long river that flows into the Gulf of Cadiz. There are several restaurants along the river where you can eat and drink something and enjoy a lovely view. It is also possible to see Seville from the water, by boat trip, kayak tour or by supping.
Shopping in Seville – Casco Antiguo & Triana
If you like shopping, Seville is the place to be! All the big brands can be found in Calle Sierpes, Calle Velázquez Tetúan and Calle Cuna, parallel streets in the district Casco Antiguo (Old Town). You’ll also find a number of Spanish boutiques here, which are definitely worth a visit!
If you cross the river from the Plaza de Toros de Guadalquivir via the Puente de Isabel II bridge, you end up in the Triana district. Triana is a nice neighborhood to stroll around and visit some shops. You won’t find well-known brands here, but there are some smaller shops. Also, you find a number of restaurants where you can have a drink!
Eating tapas and drinking sangria
If you are in Seville, eating tapas is a must! Tapas are traditionally Spanish appetizers, which can also be eaten as a meal. There are countless types of tapas and these also differ per region. Some well-known tapas are olives, patatas bravas and calamari. Typical Sevillian tapas which you really should try are croquetas. These are small croquettes filled with, for example, ibérico ham.
Nice tapas restaurants in Seville are Paco Pepe Bar and Luca’s City Bar. Here they serve delicious, Spanish tapas and the service is great! Want to try something different than the usual Spanish tapas? Then go to Perro Viejo! They serve some more special tapas here, like gyozas and yakitori. But you’ll also find some top Spanish tapas, like the croquetas and Spanish cheeses. Oh.. and you should drink Sangria with it 🙂.
Tip: Information about food and drink in Seville? Read more here!
Road trip Andalusia
Would you like to visit other typical (Andalusian) cities after your visit to Seville? Then rent a car and visit the cities nearby. Seville is an ideal base for a road trip through Andalusia. The cities of Ronda, Cordóba, Cadiz, Granada, Juarez de la Frontera, Malaga, Marbella and Gibraltar are all within a three-hour drive of Seville. You can find the ultimate car itinerary for Andalusia in four days here.