If I where to choose a city to visit over and over, I’d definitely go for Seville. And I tell you what…I’d even move there! No doubts about that! Who wouldn’t live in the gem of Andalusia?!
Getting to Seville has now become very easy and cheap thanks to our beloved low cost flights. If you live in Europe, by getting on one of these flights, you’ll reach Seville in just a couple of hours. If you’re in Seville already, just jump an AVE high-speed train and get the best out of the Spain Pass. Just to let you know, Seville is only a two-hours train ride from Madrid.
A good alternative would be adding Seville on your road trip itinerary in the south of Spain (Andalusia & Castilla).
Little advice: if you would like to discover Seville in the best way, Click HERE and you will find a series of experiences to do in Seville that you can already book online including a cruise on the Guadalquivir!
Are you coming from the airport? I recommend this transfer from the airport to the city center (also valid for groups of several people)
Where to stay in Seville?
I’ve been three times in Seville and I always sleep in great place. I don’t mean great place like a five stars hotel, I mean perfect position and an high value for money.
What’s the best? Without a doubt the Abadia de Giralda close to the city center in Barrio Santa Cruz.
Perfect location because there are numerous tapas bars within a 2 minute walk and you’re close to the Cathedral.
I also stay well at Hostal Arias as it’s situated in the city centre, just behind the Alcázar. It is therefore the perfect position to walk around and discover the city.
If you wish to find other types of accommodation HAVE A LOOK HERE. What I recommend is finding a hotel right in the city centre, nearby the iconic Seville Cathedral and Giralda.
In addition to these advices, I suggest you to read the right post for this question -> Where to stay in Seville? Best places and area!
Seville card pass: you can’t do without it
Another tip to see Seville is to buy here a SEVILLE CARD PASS. With this pass, you’ll have all the entrances included and you will not wait to enter (amazing). The price is 51 euros. With the Seville Card you can be sure that you no longer have to pay any entrance tickets because they are all included.
You know there are also FREE Seville tours -> ClICK HERE for a free tour of the city
Top things to do in Seville: the attractions
Two or three days to visit Seville are a bit tight, so it’s better to thoroughly organise your travel itinerary before setting off on your journey.
In this post you’ll find a list of the must-see places in Seville and the top things to do.
A little advice…will you visit Sevilla? I thinks you would love to read this: Flamenco in Seville,Spain: pure energy!
Seville what to do and see in two days – day one
Let’s start with something that must be seen before getting back home.
Plaza de España
What?? You’re saying you’ve missed it? Well, then book another flight ticket and rush back to Seville, right now!
The queen of Seville — there aren’t other words to describe it. This plaza is surely the first thing to visit in Seville. You must visit it in the early morning, in the afternoon, at sunset, in the evening and at night, seriously! What a magic place!
It comes a surprise to know that Plaza de España has actually been built only recently, in 1929 for the Ibero-American Exposition. Its distinctive semi-circular shape symbolises the hug that Spain gives to the old and new colonies. By following its semi-circle, you’ll notice a series of 48 benches that line the facade of the main complex. These benches are completely covered with azulejos — painted ceramic tiles typical in Seville — and they allegorically represent each province of Spain.
The “hug” Plaza de España gives, extends towards Plaza de America, also known as “parque de las palomas”.
Take note! If you want to visit Plaza de España in the evening, please make sure you do it before 10.00PM — that’s when the Parque Maria Luisa gets closed.
Amongst the most touristic attractions in Seville and one of the best things to do and see in Seville…how not list Seville Cathedral and its bell tower, the Giralda.
The building was in origin a mosque that in the15th century was demolished because of its poor conditions and the risk of falling into ruins. A new cathedral, which followed the Christian standards, was then erected.
The result is a combination of the typical Almohad architecture on the outside with typical cathedral interiors.
Seville Cathedral is the biggest one in terms of volume and the best example of Gothic architecture. As for its dimensions, the cathedral is the biggest in Spain, but “only” third in the entire world.
In 1987, together with the Alcázar and the General Archive of the Indies, Seville Cathedral was registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The Giralda Tower
The Giralda, which was originally the mosque minaret, is today the bell tower of the Cathedral. Before leaving the Cathedral, when you are in the Patio de los Naranjos, stop for a few minutes and look up at the Giralda from this perspective: what a masterpiece!
Small anecdote: with its 104 metres, the Giralda is the highest building in the city. As written on an official law, the construction of buildings higher than the Giralda itself is not permitted. That’s why, by climbing up to the bell chamber, you’ll get a stunning 360° view of the gorgeous Seville.
Pay attention: I already mentioned it in the related post on the 10 curiosities of Seville. At the exit of the cathedral there are almost always gypsies who try to put a twig in your hand with the excuse that it is free. Immediately after giving it to you, they claim to read your hand. Once the “reading” is finished, they require a minimum of 5 for the service, although not required. Do not be fooled by these people who are likely to tilt the reputation and perception of a city.
Entrance fees to the Cathedral (prices 2017): Adults 9 euros, Pensioners and Students up to 25 years 4 euros. Free for the disabled and for children / young people under 14 years.
If you want to skip the queue and also have the audio guide included, always spending 9 euros, I recommend buying the ticket for the cathedral HERE at this link or the GUIDED TOUR to the Cathedral (English language).
Hours (2017): Sunday from 14.30 to 18.00, Monday from 11 to 15.30 and from Tuesday to Saturday from 11.00 to 17.00
The Real Alcazar of Seville
The Alcázar is Seville’s royal palace which has become bigger and bigger throughout the centuries. This palace was originally built by the Moorish Muslim kings and after the conquista it was then owned by a series of important Spanish families.
That’s why the Alcazár offers some of the best examples of various architectural styles, from the Mudéjar to the Gothic one.
Suggestion: grab an audio-guide to better understand the history of the Alcázar.
The inside is beautifully decorated and the huge Alcázar gardens are truly breathtaking.
It was a real pleasure walking around them in the sunny weather! And for the ones who likes to have fun, enter the maze in the gardens and try to come out of it before anybody else does!
Entrance fees to the Alcázar of Seville (2017 prices): Adults 9.5 euros, pensioners and students aged 17 to 25 pay 2 euros. Free for the disabled and for children / young people under 16.
Hours (2017): the Alcázar is open from Monday to Sunday and observes seasonal times, from October to March from 9.30 to 17.00 while from April to September from 9.30 to 19.00.
My advice is to CLICK HERE and book the skip-the-line entrance ticket online, in this way you will save the queue. In fact, those who buy the ticket online enjoy a lane without a queue.
Do you want to discover the Alcazar with a guided tour for only € 29 -> BUY here the ticket.
Siviglia, the things to do in two days – days 2
On your second day in Seville, I suggest you should lose yourself in its wonderful alleys and barrios. As the perfect end to a perfect they, I’d recommend enjoying a Flamenco show.
Tower fo Gold
The Torre del Oro might be a bit underestimated compared to other buildings in Sevilla, but it is nonetheless one of the attractions tourists must visit. The tower was once a prison during the Middle Age and in the following centuries it became a military watchtower.
Its name comes from its building materials — the tower is said to have been covered in golden tiles— and from the golden shine it casts on the river Guadalquivir.
Today, the Tower of Gold hosts the Maritime Museum.
What I suggest is climbing to the top from which you can enjoy one of the best views on the city as well as taking a better look at the Giralda which stands out against all the other buildings.
Another interesting fact about the Tower is that it was once one of two anchor points for a massive gold chain that blocked the river. You know what? Nobody actually knows where that chain has gone!
Barrio Santa Cruz and Seville’s city centre
This neighbourhood is situated near by the Alcázar and it is the former Jewish quarter, called “la judería”.
Barrio Santa Cruz is surely one of the most characteristic quarters of Seville with its fascinating maze of short and narrow alleys which open up onto several tree-lined squares. The most famous of these squares is Plaza de Santa Cruz.
The General Archive of the Indies
This Archive contains extremely valuable archival documents and photographs belonging to the Spanish Empire in the Americas and Philippines. It is free and situated near by Seville Cathedral.
This quirky wooden structure is situated in Plaza de la Encarnacion. Because of its appearance, location and building costs, this construction has resulted in much public controversy: indeed, some inhabitants of Sevilla are strongly against it.
The Metropol Parasol is the largest wooden building in the world and its shape reminds people of a mushroom.
If you have the chance, reach the panoramic terraces and enjoy one of the best views over Seville.
The Museum of Flamenco Dance
I cannot possibly avoid mentioning the Museum of Flamenco Dance in the list of the top things to do in Seville. The Flamenco dance is surely part of the Spanish culture and if you’d like to understand more about it, discover its secrets and learn its moves, then, the Museo del Baile del Flamenco is what you have to go for!
And here you are — that’s the list of some of the things to do in Sevilla.
You might be wondering: should I visit these things in the order you’ve listed them?
Well, in case of a two-day trip to Sevilla, I suggest you should spend the first day by walking around and discover what the city centre has to offer. The second day though, would be perfect for visiting all those tourist attractions which are not very close to one another.
My simply advice to live Seville is:
- Day 1: Cathedral, Alcázar, Plaza de España, Plaza de America
- Day 2: Barrio de Santa Cruz, General Archive of the Indies, Tower of Gold, Metropol Parasol, Museum of Flamenco Dance (with Flamenco show).
By following the itinerary I suggested, you’ll be able to visit everything Seville offers in just two days. If you wish to know something more about the city of Seville please read “Seville: 10 interesting facts and precious advice to get the best out of your trip”.