Latest update: 1 August 2023
I smell orange blossoms in the streets and garlic in the kitchens. I see cheerful tiles and meter-high palm trees. I hear tramping horses’ hooves and flamenco. Guess where I am? I am on a city break in beautiful Seville. Are you going soon too? Then I have many tips for the must-see sights in Seville for you – and some extra restaurants and hotel tips too.
It’s almost always summer in Seville
In the capital of Andalusia, the weather is almost always lovely. It’s maybe even a little too hot in the summer when temperatures in Seville rise to 40 degrees or more. That is why it is better to plan a city break to Seville outside the summer months. I’m there in March, and then the temperature rises to 25 degrees during the day. The heat lingers long into the night in the narrow streets with tall white and yellow houses with cute shutters and balconies.
How long do you need for a city break in Seville?
I would do at least three days and two nights for a city break in Seville. And then you still haven’t seen everything yet. This blog already contains a lot of tips for sights in Seville, but there is much more to do. From a hammam visit to boat trips and from museums to cooking workshops. You can easily extend your city break in Seville because you’ll have more time to relax and see even more of Andalusia.
Get your Seville itinerary ready
To be honest, I am surprised by how many foreign tourists are already on a city break in Seville in March. On weekdays! French, Germans, English, and of course Dutch. But I do get it. The capital of Andalusia has so much to offer. Palaces, museums, and a cozy city center.
Seville really is a perfect city for a city break. But if you want to see all the sights, it takes some planning. Because the highlights of Seville, such as the cathedral and the Real Alcázar are on everyone’s to-do list, so you have to buy tickets in advance and reserve a time slot.
So let the anticipation begin early! I’ll be happy to help you on your way so that you know exactly which sights in Seville you don’t want to miss. Let’s see what you can do in Seville.
City walking tour or bike tour through Seville
Get to know Seville by starting your city break with a city walking tour or bike tour. The guide takes you past all the highlights so that you know exactly what is where and which sights in Seville seem worthwhile to you. There are many providers, so compare prices and dates. Try:
- GetYourGuide: walking tours, bicycle tours, and Segway tours.
- Freetour: ‘free’ walking tours, but you do tip the guide.
- GuruWalk: same concept as Freetour.
- BajaBikes: bicycle tours.
- WithLocals: themed tours with local guides.
A must-see sight in Seville: Real Alcázar
The absolutely unmissable number one sight in Seville is the Real Alcázar. This is a large palace with a large garden and a large number of visitors. Honestly, I think it’s way too busy to enjoy it. It’s almost obligatory to visit it, but actually, the palace houses are much nicer to explore. I notice that I hardly take any pictures because they are simply full of people.
Don’t get me wrong, this royal palace is gorgeous, but just too busy. The Moorish details are impressive: all those tiles, all those vistas. Really beautiful. And for Game of Thrones fans: some scenes were shot in the Real Alcázar. Check out the video for behind-the-scenes footage.
For this attraction in Seville, you absolutely have to buy a ticket online in advance (here, for example) and choose a time slot. But despite that: assume you’ll be queuing to get in. Unfortunately, the admission price does not include an audio tour, which you can still purchase upon entry.
Tip! You can enter the Real Alcázar for free at specific times. Between April and September, it is free from 6 pm to 7 pm, and between October and March, from 4 pm to 5 pm. There are only a limited number of free tickets available. You “buy” them here.
Visit Torre del Oro
The Torre del Oro is a defensive tower right on the river Guadalquivir. The tower has been there since 1220, and you can go up the tower and into the museum for a small contribution. The museum is a maritime museum that shows the Spanish maritime industry’s history. On top of the tower is a small staircase where you can catch a view of the river.
Cathedral and Giralda of Seville
The other unmissable sight of Seville is the cathedral with the Giralda. The Giralda is the high bell tower that you can go all the way up to have a fantastic city view. You do have to go up yourself. No elevator, but also no stairs, but via a sloping aisle. 35 slopes take you to the top. That’s easy walking really as it was once built so horses could also go up.
The cathedral itself is gigantic and, unfortunately, also very busy. Officially called the Cathedral of Santa María de la Sede, it is one of the largest churches in the world. There is a royal chapel, and explorer Columbus is buried there. They created a monument for him. Four men carry a coffin, and he is said to lie in it, although that is also questioned. But DNA tests show that the bones in the cathedral match the bones of Columbus’s brother.
Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija in Sevilla
I enjoy this 16th-century palace so much more than the Real Alcázar. Don’t tell anyone, eh? I think it’s because my expectations of the Real Alcázar were sky-high. In addition, I can walk around freely in the Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija without constantly bumping into people or walking through their shots. It’s a lot quieter here. Making it a better Seville sight, if you ask me.
The palace has beautiful arches in Arabic style and a small courtyard with thousands of mosaic tiles. A guided tour is included in the entrance fee. It takes you to the top floor with a guide who shows the owners’ private collections. There is a library, chapel, and other private quarters. Unfortunately, you cannot take pictures, but it is worth it!
It’s a culture thing: Plaza de Toros in Seville
It is part of the Spanish culture: bullfighting. But I think it’s terrible. Bullfights are still organized in the bullring Plaza de Toros. It’s also a museum. There are mainly photos, drawings, and paintings of bullfights on display. But also bulls’ heads with the date of their death and the bullfighter’s name. I have mixed feelings about this visit: I really don’t want to contribute to this by paying an entrance fee. But the curiosity to see such an arena up close wins.
You pay a tenner entrance fee, but on Wednesdays, it is free from half past six in the evening until closing time. Provided there is no fight scheduled, of course. I don’t find the museum that informative, so if you want to know more about the tradition, you better visit the bullring of Seville with a guide. This tour is well-regarded.
Tip! If you plan to visit several sights in Seville during your city break, check whether you can save money with the Seville Pass.
Plaza de España
The Plaza de España is a real surprise in Seville. Or at least: when I hear people about Seville, they always talk about the beautiful cathedral, the Real Alcázar palace, and the food. I had never heard of this beautiful square. While I really think it is one of the top sights of Seville.
In the large Parque Maria Luisa, the Plaza de España is located on a landscaped pond where people sail boats – a bit like Venice, but different. Street musicians do their best to attract attention, and horse-drawn carriages drive tourists around. It is a massive building with beautiful arches, benches, and painted tiles underneath. Every Spanish province has its own bench – 52 in total.
Casa de Pilatos palace in Seville
I think the Casa de Pilatos is the most beautiful palace in Seville. So many tiles! So many blooming flowers in the garden! There is marble, there are stately statues, and there are stunning vistas. And the best thing: hardly any other visitors in the early morning. Buy a ticket for a tenner, and you will receive an audio guide to explore the palace. It will cost a bit more if you also want to go upstairs. I didn’t do that because I was feeling a bit fed up with all the entrance fees everywhere, so I don’t know what I missed.
Setas de Sevilla, or the Metropol Parasol
The Metropol Parasol, also known as Setas de Sevilla, is called Las Setas by the Sevillans: the mushrooms. The modern building is quite imposing. It is said to be the largest wooden construction in the world. Before the Metropol Parasol opened in 2011, this was a bleak part of Seville. It used to be a parking garage, and now the Setas de Sevilla brings much life to the square: full cafes and a lively covered market.
You can admire the structure from the ground, but you can also go in and on it. There is a walking path over the wooden construction. Of course, you have to buy a ticket. It includes a VR experience.
Seville neighborhood under development: Triana
On the other side of the river is the Triana district. It is a working-class neighborhood that is in full development. There is a long shopping street, an extensive covered market (Mercado de Triana), and many simple restaurants. So if you want to get out of the busy center and mingle with the Spaniards, take a walk here.
If you are impressed by all the tiles in Seville, pop by the Centro Cerámica Triana. This used to be a tile factory; now you can view the tiles’ entire production process and history here.
Palacio de las Dueñas
The Palacio de las Dueñas is an impressive palace in Seville that you can visit with an audio guide. The audio guide leads you through the elegantly decorated rooms and the garden, but it is a bit long-winded. There is a lot of art to see and, of course, the typical Seville tiles. During my visit, it is nice and quiet. This city palace is not yet on everyone’s Seville program.
From Monday at 4 pm, free entrance tickets will be available until closing time. You can only pick them up at the box office. So it is a gamble. Of course, you can always buy a regular entrance ticket. Here, for example.
Museo del Baile Flamenco
If you are curious about the history of flamenco, you should visit the Flamenco Museum in Seville. It also offers performances, so you can catch a flamenco show live. You will find many photos, paintings, and flamenco clothing in the museum. Buy your ticket or try one of the other flamenco shows below.
Restaurants and bars in Seville
I eat and I eat and I eat in Seville. There are so many nice tapas bars, good restaurants, and cozy cafes. I wish I had a bigger stomach and more time. But I did manage to try several restaurants and bars during my city break in Seville. And I have listed them for you in this blog about food and drink in Seville.
Parking in Seville
Chances are you came to Seville by plane and don’t have a car at all. But if you are on a road trip in Andalusia, you will probably come by car. I failed to find free parking in Seville. But at the parking garage Insur El Mirador De Sevilla, I only pay 13 euros per day. To get this price, you must reserve a parking space online. I used this site to do so.
Hotels in Sevilla
There are a lot of accommodation options in Seville, but cheap? Nah, not really. Be sure to consider these options:
- Itaca Sevilla by Soho Boutique: beautiful hotel with a pretty courtyard.
- Boutique Puerta Real: neat studios near ‘the mushrooms of Seville’.
- Guadalupe 15 by Magno Apartments: spacious apartments with a rooftop pool.
- Magno Apartments Castilla: luxury apartments with a small swimming pool.
More Spain inspiration?
Helpful links for your Spain trip
- Accommodation. All-time favorites: Booking.com and Campspace. Rather stay in a hostel? Try HostelWorld.
- Activities. You book the best tours and activities with GetYourGuide and Viator. Another good option is WithLocals. And Freetour.com and GuruWalk both offer ‘free’ walking tours, while Baja Bikes has bike tours.
- Attractions and museums. Get a 5% discount at Tiqets on museums and attractions with the discount code: KIMOPREIS22
- Boat. You can catch a boat to Mallorca from Barcelona, for example. Book your ticket at Balearia. You can also get to the other Balearic Islands with Balearia. Compare ferry prices at Direct Ferries.
- Bus and train. Travel to Spain with NS International or Flixbus. Other useful companies are Busbud, 12go, and Omio, also for buses and trains within Spain.
- Car rental. My go-to car rental companies are EasyTerra and Sunny Cars as they have all-inclusive / worry-free offers. Want to compare more prices? Check out Discover Cars.
- Flights. Have a look at Transavia and Vueling, but do compare prices! Definitely check out Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kiwi.
- Money. Your bank cards may not get accepted everywhere. You could opt for a Revolut card as an additional card when you travel.
- Package deals. Rather go on a catered trip? There is plenty of choice. ANWB vakanties, Tui, Shoestring or Sawadee, of rather D-reizen, Sunweb, Corendon or Vakantie Discounter?
- SIM card. Beware of unexpectedly high calling and internet costs. Buy a local SIM card when you arrive, or arrange one online via Airalo.
- Travel gear. Buy your gear at Bever or Decathlon, or simply at Bol.com.
- Travel guides. Let’s get you ready for your trip! Order a travel guide to browse through. Then, for example, have a look at Bol.com or Amazon.
- Yoga retreat. Or why not treat yourself to a yoga retreat!
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