What to visit in Seville?
Which city has one of the world's richest historical and architectural heritage sites? Seville is also known as the "Capital of Andalusia." Seville has a lot to offer, such as flamenco dancing, drinking sangria with friends and family, and eating tapas. The city is home to the largest Gothic church in Christendom, as well as a majestic tower that was once a great mosque's minaret. The Alcazar, another Moorish relic, dazzles with its lavish Mudéjar decor and lush gardens. Let's explore this amazing city together and share our recommendations for what not to miss!
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What not to miss?
The Cathedral of Seville and La Giralda
Our first stop is Seville Cathedral, one of the city's most visited monuments. This cathedral is the third-largest in the world, and from afar, it is an absolutely breathtaking structure. The interior of this cathedral is exquisitely decorated to the last detail. The collection of jewelry and paintings, the tomb of Christopher Columbus, and The Capilla Mayor with its Gothic altar are all reasons to visit this cathedral. The tour will last between an hour and a half and two hours. To save time, go to the Iglesia Colegial del Divino Salvador and purchase a combo ticket, which allows you to bypass the long line to enter the cathedral.
Visiting La Giralda, or the bell tower of Seville Cathedral, as part of your ticket to the cathedral is absolutely worth it. Climbing to the top of the building will reward you with a spectacular view of Seville. The exciting thing is that there are no stairs, only ramps leading up. According to an old legend, this is so that even a donkey can go up during the call to prayer.
The oldest royal palace in Europe is our next stop. The Alcázar of Seville is where the King of Spain resides. This Arab and Moorish palace alone exemplifies the splendor of Mudéjar art. The interior decorations are fantastic; each room is decorated differently with geometric patterns, vegetation, and azulejos. On the hot summer days in Andalusia, you can relax for a while in the vast gardens with fountains, water jets, and flower beds. The visit will last approximately 2 hours, and admission is free on Mondays. Every Monday from 5 to 6 p.m. in the winter and every Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. in the summer.
Plaza de Espana
Plaza de Espana, or Spain Square, is undoubtedly the most beautiful square you will ever see. Even if you've seen it in photos and videos, its beauty and size will still astound you. It was constructed in 1928 for the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition to commemorate the discovery of America by Spanish conquistadors. The square was designed as a half-circle to face the river and the arrival of ships from the United States. This square features canals, four bridges, arcades, fountains, and 48 azulejos benches. You can also immerse yourself in the local culture and lifestyle of the spaniels here!
Santa Cruz is undoubtedly one of Seville's most popular districts. It's not surprising, given that you can see all the main attractions here. You can wander the streets, have a coffee or lunch, drink, or buy souvenirs for your loved ones. Wander around this neighborhood to experience authentic Spanish comfort. Stop at Plaza Patio de Banderas during your walk to get a great view of the cathedral. If you want to learn more about this neighborhood, book a guided tour! You will not be disappointed.
Plaza de Toros
This location will require a guided tour. This is the only way to enter. The Plaza de Toros, or Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballera de Seville, is home to one of the world's most important festivals, the Feria de Abril. With a guide, you can visit the museum and enter the arena. The bullfighting tradition is strong in Andalusia, and the experience is unforgettable. To avoid long lines, we recommend pre-booking an hour-long guided tour.
What else to visit?
The Triana district is another intriguing neighborhood. Simply cross the Isabel II bridge to arrive at this location. It used to be a lively neighborhood because it was populated mainly by sailors, gypsies, singers, and flamenco dancers. Visit the market to sample Spanish cheeses and cold cuts. Another interesting diversion is a ceramics workshop, a traditional art form in the area. If you're interested in religion or architecture, you should visit the Iglesia Santa Ana. If you can get a drink on Calle Betis, but the food is twice as expensive, we recommend Casa Cuesta restaurant or Heladera Bolas ice cream.
Casa de Pilatos
The Casa de Pilatos is a 1540 palace. This palace was inspired by an Italian architect and combines several styles such as Mudejar, Gothic, and Renaissance. Don't be fooled by the classic and unappealing facade; it's well worth visiting. You will enter several rooms and notice two small gardens. A visit to the ground floor is sufficient for us, as the first floor requires an additional fee that is not justified. The price of the ticket is 8€.
We recommend the Seville Aquarium, particularly if you are traveling with children, but also for people who enjoy animals and want to get away from architecture. You'll see a variety of exotic fish, sharks, turtles, octopuses, starfish, and sea cucumbers. The visit lasts about an hour, and you can relax while the kids have a good time. To avoid long lines, we recommend scheduling your visit ahead of time.
Just imagine a massive mushroom. This architecture is as surprising as it gets, and it was built in 2011. It is not typical Andalusian style, but it provides a unique view of Seville and even a 360-degree view of the city. The price will not deter you either; entry is 3€, with a 1 euro reward at the local cafe. On the ground floor, there is a small shop. A unique location, intriguing architecture, and a drink at sunset sound like a fantastic idea.
How to travel there?
Seville is an easily accessible destination with excellent connections to major European cities. Seville can be reached by air, road, train, or sea.
If you decide to fly to Seville, you will arrive at the Seville airport, also known as the San Pablo airport. If you rent a car, take a taxi, or have your transportation, you can get to the center of Seville in just 15 minutes. If you do not intend to travel further in Spain, you can take the bus to the center in 35 minutes. If you take a taxi, the fare to the center will start at 22€. If you decide to take the bus, a single ticket will cost 4€, and a round-trip ticket will cost 6€ (airport-center and center-airport).
The train is another exciting way to get to Seville. It is now possible, affordable, and convenient thanks to high-speed rail. Santa Justa Station is thus accessible from Córdoba, Madrid, Zaragoza, and Barcelona. Because of the interconnection of European railways, you can travel by high-speed rail from London to Seville. The Santa Justa Station in Seville is only a 15-minute walk from the city center. The city and country determine the cost.
The Guadalquivir River, Spain's only navigable river, connects Seville to the sea. Every year, hundreds of tourists arrive by boat to admire Seville's beauty. As more terminals are built, arriving in Seville by boat has a different feel than other modes of transportation.
The last and most common mode of transportation is, without a doubt, the car. Seville is well-connected and has excellent roads. Thus, Seville is linked to Huelva, Portugal, Malaga, Granada, Cordoba, Madrid, and other major cities. When driving to Seville, you only have to think about how much gas will cost in the next town.
When to travel there?
Seville's climate and location make it possible to visit almost all year. During the autumn and winter months, there are fewer tourists in Seville, and most famous places are almost empty, allowing you to enjoy the peace and soak up the authentic Spanish atmosphere. The only disadvantage is that it frequently rains. Seville is a trendy city from February to June. We recommend visiting during this time because there are many big festivals, it is summer, and you have plenty of time to explore the city and other places. July and August are sweltering in Seville, with temperatures reaching 35ºC. As a result, this is not a good time to visit the city.
Despite being a famous city and tourist destination, Seville is reasonably priced and easily accessible. Of course, this is dependent on your lifestyle, but it is less expensive than Barcelona or Madrid. Considering the food, breakfast in Seville will cost you between 3-7€, lunch will cost you between 7-13€, and dinner will cost you 5-10€. A full-day meal out will typically cost around 30€ per person for one day and one suggestion: good, high-quality food costs about 12€ on average.
If you choose to live in the center of Seville, your accommodation costs will skyrocket. If you go with the cheapest option, a hostel, one night for one person will cost you between 20-35€. A standard hotel room will cost you around 40-50€ for a double room, and if you want to treat yourself to a luxury hotel, the cheapest double room will cost you around 80-120€ and more per night.
A one-way ticket by local transportation will cost you 1.40€, while a taxi will start around 2€ or more. We recommend walking and enjoying the city's atmosphere, but if necessary, you can always take a taxi or bus.
Where to eat?
Spain has a diverse and delicious cuisine, and Seville is one of the destinations where you must try their specialties. There are many places in Seville where you can sample local, authentic cuisine, but there are also places where you can sample modern and varied cuisine. Prepare yourself for a culinary adventure!
Cocome is a must-visit if you enjoy breakfast and brunch. Last year, this restaurant was named the best breakfast restaurant in Seville by TripAdvisor. A healthy, fresh, and breathtaking breakfast starts at 5€, and the breakfast menu will cost you around 13€, with everything included.
MareaViva is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys fish and seafood. This restaurant provides a gastronomic experience in which the staff will thoroughly explain everything, advise, and recommend food tailored to you. Because they specialize in fresh fish and seafood, the price will be slightly higher, around 20€ for a large portion of food, but trust me, you won't be disappointed.
Smaller portions for dinner are typical of the Spanish. As a result, we recommend restaurants such as La Sede, where meals range from 10-20€, and Infanta Sevilla, where you can sample tapas and other quality food from local suppliers.
If you want to discover more about Spanish cuisine we recommend you to read our article on food in Barcelona to get in touch with a lot of traditions! Follow us @thewalkingparrot to be always updated on new destinations.
The Great April Festival
The Great April Festival, or Feria de Abril in Spanish, is one of Andalucia's most significant celebrations, occurring two weeks after Easter. In translation, Monday night, or "La Noche del Pescato" is a fish night when fish is traditionally served for dinner. After dinner, the streets are illuminated with thousands of lights, and the festival begins. During the day, a varied program is planned, including horseback riders, flamenco dancers, and famous bullfights.
Easter is the most important holiday in Spain. Easter week, or "Semana Santa" in Spanish, is one of Seville's most beautiful. The procession includes:
People dressed as biblical characters
Penitents wearing tall conical hoods
Easter in Seville promises a fantastic atmosphere, performances, parades, and food.
This is the end of our article on Seville, and we hope you will visit Seville soon! Meanwhile, take a look at our other articles on the different destinations of Spain like Barcelona. If you're interested in knowing other European destinations like Split, Mykonos, and Cagliari. Do not forget to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be always updated on the new releases.