With opulent palaces, cosy hidden squares and a sun-infused culture, there’s a host of wonderful things to do in Seville. Find Spanish masters and trendy tapas in the heart of Andalucía.

By - Paul | Last Updated - 13 Jun 2024 | Go to - Comments & Questions

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A long history has bestowed Seville with an intriguing mix of architectural styles, a vibrant colourful culture; and a host of wonderful things to do.

Witness the lavish displays of Christian wealth in palaces adorned with Islamic design. Explore works of art by Spanish masters, as sumptuous as the rooms they are displayed in. Roam green spaces, explore cobbled lanes and enjoy sundowners in hidden squares dappled in the shade of orange trees.

We love Seville. It’s the one place in Spain we’ve spent the most time and it remains one of our favourite cities in Europe.

Our favourite things to do in Seville could be read in conjunction with our Seville itinerary which has recommendations for how to see the best of the city in 3 days.

Things to do in seville spain

SEVILLE MAP

All the attractions we’ve covered in this guide are on the below map.

How to use this map / Click on the top left of the map to display the list of locations, then click on the locations to display further information. Click on the top right corner of the map to open a larger version in a new tab or the star to save to your Google Maps.  


1. REAL ALCÁZAR & GARDENS

Like the Alhambra in Granada, the Real Alcázar is an important site of Moorish Spain. It’s a royal palace built for the Christian King Peter on the site of an Islamic fort.

After the Christian conquest, future kings enhanced the complex to display their wealth. Intricately carved facades, lavish gold ceilings, richly decorated tiles, and orange-filled courtyards combine to make the Real Alcázar an exotic, opulent palace.

The most impressive building inside the Alcázar is the Palacio del Rey Don Pedro. It contains some of the best examples of Mudéjar architecture– a form of design with heavy Moorish influences – in Seville.

TicketsBook Real Alcazar skip-the-line tickets.

2. SEVILLE CATHEDRAL

When it was completed in the 16th century, the Seville Cathedral surpassed Hagia Sophia as the largest cathedral in the world. Built to demonstrate the city’s wealth, the fifteen doors on the 4 façades depict scenes of the bible in exquisite detail.

Inside, the tomb of Christopher Columbus and his son take up prime position under the vast gothic ceiling. But the highlight of the Seville Cathedral is the Chapter House. This extraordinary domed chapel features paintings by the grandmaster, Murillo.  

Roof Tour — One of the best ways to experience the cathedral is on the roof tour which needs to be booked at least one week in advance.

When to visit the Cathedral of Seville — A great time to go to the cathedral is around 4:30 pm when the crowds are diminishing and the light is better than during the middle of the day.

3. GIRALDA TOWER

The most obvious detail that remains from when the cathedral was a mosque is the minaret – now the Giralda Tower.

As the bell tower of the cathedral, it provides the best vantage point to take in the immense scale of the cathedral while getting a bird’s eye view of Seville.

Access to the tower is included in the Cathedral ticket price (€11), however, entry is timed to reduce congestion. There is no lift, and it’s 34 flights of stairs to the top.

Don’t miss the Mudejar carved wooden door on floor 9.

Tickets – This skip-the-line ticket includes the Cathedral & Tower.

4. CASA PALACIO DE LA CONDESA DE LEBRIJA

Casa Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija is a historical palace containing one of the world’s most important collections of Roman mosaics.

The palace was owned by Doña Regla Manjón Mergelina, the Countess of Lebrija who became a self-taught archaeologist after being denied a place at university due to being a woman.

Today, the palace is packed with fascinating items from her global travels. The 6,000-book library with wood inlay ceilings is beautiful. Don’t miss the Murillo.

The most prized artefacts within the palace are the Roman mosaics, which the countess began acquiring from the Amphitheatre of Italica to save them from being destroyed.

Tours of the Palace — The entrance ticket provides access to the Roman Mosaics on the ground floor, which you can stroll around yourself. Access to the first floor is via a guided tour (included in the ticket price.)

5. HOSPITAL DE LOS VENERABLES SACERDOTES

Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes is a former hospice that has been converted into an art gallery containing some of the city’s most treasured paintings.

Our favourite section at Hospital de los Venerables is the ornate Baroque Church. It’s a breathtaking display of craftsmanship with ornate frescoes on the vaulted ceiling and huge domes. Both Murillo and Valdez worked on the church.

Room 7 of the gallery contains 12 extraordinary masterpieces by Zurburán, Montanes, Murillo, El Greco, and Velázquez.

Tickets – The guided tour of Hospital de Los Venerables is one of our favourite things to do in Seville.

6. JEWISH QUARTER

The medieval Jewish quarter of Seville is a tangle of twisty laneways and tiny squares.

The best thing to do in the area is to simply wander around, find a local tapas bar (or a touristy one), and enjoy a late afternoon G&T in a courtyard framed by orange trees.

Plaza Alfaro and Plaza Doña Elvira are two beautiful squares to check out.

If you’re looking for something else to do, Casa de Murillo is the former home of the famous Spanish painter. There is a small exhibition about his life and it’s free to enter. It’s not the best museum in Seville, but it’s worth a quick look.

7. PALACIO DE LAS DUEÑAS

Palacio Dueñas is a historical palace dating back to the 15th century. It was the residence of the Duke of Alba and contains beautiful, landscaped gardens, intricate tile work and ornate courtyards.

In Spring, the patios come alive with Bougainvillea vines creeping up marble pillars. Intricate carvings and arched doorways show off the distinctive Moorish style.

The palace is considered one of the great gardens of the world thanks to the rich Andalusian soil which supports a variety of plants. The centrepiece is the main courtyard, surrounded by arched terraces.

8. METROPOL PARASOL (LAS SETAS)

Metropol Parasol (locally known as Las Setas or Setas de Seville), is thought to be the largest wooden structure in the world. It takes the form of several giant mushrooms curving over La Encarnación square in El Centro.

Lifts run up to the panoramic walkway and the views are unbeatable.

However, the price has tripled in recent years to €15. In our opinion, it’s getting a little hard to justify but it’s probably something that first-time visitors to Seville will want to do.

Roman and Moorish remains are on display in a small museum under the structure. There is a market at street level, and levels 2 and 3 have outdoor terraces.

View over Seville from the Metropol Parasol (Las Setas or Setas de Seville)

9. CASA DE PILATOS

Casa de Pilatos is a beautiful palace in the centre of Seville with strong Mudéjar influences.

The lower courtyard contains a remarkable Italian Renaissance fountain and sculptures, flanked by a gothic chapel.

Upstairs, where the owners lived until a few years ago, Mudéjar windows light up rooms decorated like a grand European house. The huge collection of Spanish tiles is one of the largest in the world.

It’s a beautiful place to stroll around and one of the many Seville attractions that blend a variety of architectural styles.

Tickets – This skip-the-line ticket includes access to the ground floor, however the 30-minute guided tour of the first floor is extra.

10. SEE A FLAMENCO SHOW

Flamenco is now a defining marker of the Spanish identity and it was recently recognised by UNESCO’s World Intangible Culture Heritage.

Whatever that means, the art form that comprises poetry, song, guitar and dance is a cool thing to do in Seville.

The Museo del Baile Flamenco is both a museum to the Flamenco art form and a live performance venue. Discover paintings, dresses and interactive displays before settling in for a night of stomping, clapping and swirling.

flamenco centre seville
FLAMENCO CENTRE

11. CALLE SIERPES

Calle Sierpes is the more commercial side of Seville where you’ll find everything from tacky tourist souvenirs to authentic Spanish embroidery. It’s a bustling part of the city to explore.

Confitería La Campana is an institution that has been churning out pastries for generations. Papelería Ferrer is the oldest stationary shop in Spain. Sombreros Maquedano is a hat shop oozing with atmosphere.

The shopping hub around Calle Sierpes is pedestrianized and covered with canopies in summer to shelter you from the relentless Seville sunshine.

Start at Sierpes, then head down Calle Rioja, Calle O’Donnell, and Calle Velázquez.

12. PLAZA DE ESPAÑA

Built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition, the semi-circular Plaza de España is a lavish mix of Art Déco and Mudéjar designs.

Adorned with tiled alcoves depicting each of the provinces of Spain, the plaza is both a work of art and a nod to the country’s innovation successes.

Rowboats cruise under romantic bridges and along the 515-metre canal while tourists lean against columns snapping selfies.

It’s a beautiful space spread over 50,000 square metres and the building itself is a design masterpiece.  

13. PARQUE DE MARÍA LUISA

María Luisa Park is a lush botanical garden with palm and orange trees, along with hundreds of exotic plants from all over the world.

The expansive gardens feature wide boulevards, small pavilions, ponds, and fountains tiled in Moorish designs. The most impressive are the Fountain of the Lions and the Monument to Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer.

Stroll or take a bike ride through this lovely green space. The shady benches are an ideal spot to take a break from the Seville heat.

14. BELLAS ARTES SEVILLE

The Museo de Bellas Artes is one of Spain’s premier art collections. The beautifully restored convent houses a few grandmasters from the 15th to 20th century, including El Greco, Velásquez, and Zurbarán.

The highlights are the towering paintings by Murillo dramatically hanging in the former church.

There are brooding works from the Middle Ages, all the way up to 20th-century modern art, including an excellent Baroque section.

The museum is free for EU residents or €1.50 for non-residents.

15. MERCADO DE TRIANA

The Mercado de Triana (Triana Market) was built on the site of the Castle of San Jorge, the seat of the Inquisition since 1481.

Today, strolling through the network of stalls is a sensory experience. Packed with local produce, and Spanish hubbub it’s a lively market and one of the most authentic in Seville.

There are traditional Spanish stalls alongside artisanal suppliers; each with their details on hand-printed on ceramic panels. Try a coffee and a pastry, a local beer, or a Spanish take on pizza at Obrador la Osa.

16. HOSPITAL DE LA CARIDAD

Originally a hospice for the poor and the elderly, the Hospital de la Caridad is now home to superb works of art by Golden Age Painters including Murillo, Zurbarán, and Valdes Leal.

The star attraction is the opulent, gilded 17th-century chapel; one of the finest baroque masterpieces in the city.

Napoleon’s troops stole four of Murillo’s paintings from the Hospital de la Caridad which later resurfaced in the National Galleries of London, Washington DC, and St Petersburg. See if you can spot their replicas hanging in the church.

Entry is free from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm Sunday.

Gilded Chapel Hospital de la Caridad, Seville
HOSPITAL DE LA CARIDAD

17. TRY SEVILLE’S INCREDIBLE TAPAS

Tapas is taken very seriously in Seville and rightly so. Traditional old haunts co-exist with trendy new JOINTS serving innovative alterations to classic Sevillian staples. Here are some of our favorites.

Bar Alfalfa // It’s a tight squeeze at Bar Alfalfa, but it is worth it for the traditional tapas (try the solomillo and the croquetas) and bustling Spanish atmosphere.

Bar el Commercio // Widely regarded as serving up some of the best churros in town, Bar el Commercio is brimming with Seville atmosphere from breakfast to sundown.

Duo Tapas // Step away (slightly) from tradition and try innovative tapas with an Asian twist at Duo Tapas Bar. Go early to get a table outside in front of the old church.

Casa Morales // An old-school favourite, enjoy traditional tapas at high tables outside or in the atmospheric interior with wood paneling.

El Rinconcillo // Serving Spanish staples since 1760, El Rinconcillo is the oldest tapas bar in Seville. It’s more a tourist spot now, but its worth trying at least once.

La Cacharreria // Breakfast at La Cacharreria in El Centro is all about toasties, sandwiches, bagels and waffles. It’s a good wholesome breakfast.

EME Catedral Hotel // The cocktails at EME Catedral Mercer Hotel are twice as expensive as everywhere else, but it’s worth one for the stunning views of the Giralda.

Ovejas Negras // It’s modern, a bit noisy and the service is sharp, but it’s some of the best food in Seville, even after 3 or 4 visits.

NIGHTLIFE | ALAMEDA DE HÉRCULES


The coolest part of Seville for nightlife is the area around Plaza Alameda de Hércules, just north of the centre. There are plenty of quirky places to grab a drink and excellent little tapas. bars.

tapas seville 1

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN SEVILLE

We like to carefully select the attractions in our city guides, providing what we think are the very best things to do. However, if you have some more time in Seville, here are a few more attractions to consider.

TORRE DEL ORO

Set on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, the Torre del Oro is the last remnant of the Moorish walls that once enclosed the city. There is a small naval museum inside, which is frankly not worth the €3 entry fee. However, the viewing platform on the roof terrace is good.

PLAZA DE TOROS DE LA REAL MAESTRANZA

Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería is the oldest bullring in Spain. With a capacity of 14,000 bullfighting fans, it’s also one of the biggest. Tours operate in both English and Spanish and while a little disorganized, they take you into the depths of the arena.

ANTIGUA FÁBRICA DE TABACOS

The Antigua Fábrica de Tabacos was a former tobacco factory that is now the home of the University of Seville. It’s a whopping Renaissance building with detailed cut-stone facades, inner courtyards, and palatial halls. It’s free to wander in and have a look around.

ARCHIVO GENERAL DE INDIAS

While Archivo General de Indias contains important documents relating to Spain’s history, the grand Renaissance architecture is the only reason to visit. The upper floors with ornate vaulted ceilings, wood paneling, and marble floors are impressive.

WHERE TO STAY IN SEVILLE

Seville is a very walkable city, so we recommend staying as central as possible to take full advantage.

Fortunately is this a very cost-effective city. You can easily find a bargain in the compact center of the old town or splash out on luxury in a modern resort-style hotel.

OUR PICK

UNIQUE & HOMELY

HOTEL AMADEUS & LA MUSICA

This family-run hotel has a unique design, beautifully appointed rooms, and an interest in classical music. Breakfast is on the roof terrace which has views of the Cathedral.


BOUTIQUE

EME CATEDRAL HOTEL

The interior of this stylish modern hotel is beautiful throughout. The rooftop terrace has the best views of the city.


LUXURY

HOTEL ALFONSO XIII

Hotel Alfonso is not cheap. But it’s rare that such a beautiful old hotel has managed to modernize so elegantly. Rooms are individually decorated and supremely stylish.


Eme Catedral Hotel views, Seville

DAY TRIPS FROM SEVILLE

Perfectly placed to take advantage of the Andalusian region, there’s a host of great day trips from Seville. Whether you’re looking to sample a local jerez (sherry) or explore the famous pueblos blancos (white villages), here is our pick of the best outings.

ITALICA

Just 7 kilometres out of the centre, Itálica is an easy day trip from Seville. The incredibly well-preserved ruins were once part of the most important and advanced Roman city in the world. Guided tours can be arranged with or without transportation from your hotel.

CÓRDOBA

Córdoba is a fascinating Andalusian city and our favourite day trip from Seville. Visit the Mezquita-Catedral, one of the most remarkable buildings in the world, and stroll through beautiful patios. If you only do one day trip from Seville, this would be our choice.  All the details are in our guide to Córdoba.

Tall Christian cathedral extending past the roof of an Islamic prayer Hall
CÓRDOBA

JEREZ

Jerez de la Frontera is part of the sherry triangle in southern Spain. With 10 trains per day and just over an hour travel time, it’s an easy day trip from Seville. Join a sherry tour, take tastings in a square and sit down to some of the best food in the Andalucía region.

CÁDIZ

Cádiz is an ancient town by the sea with wide boulevards flanked by imposing terrace houses. There’s a relaxed charm, a sense of worn grandeur, Roman history and excellent local tapas bars. It’s around 1 hour 30 minutes by train from Seville to Cádiz. See our guide to Cádiz for more information.

CAMINITO DEL REY

The Caminito del Rey is a 7-kilometre hike through a stunning gorge, suspended on an aerial path, 100 metres above the ground. The mostly flat trail can be completed by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. All the details are on our guide to the Caminito del Rey walk

WHITE VILLAGES

Set amongst rolling green hills and rocky outcrops, they White Villages around Andulcía are a joy to drive around. Arcos de la Frontera is one of the best and is only a one-hour drive from Seville. Read more in our guide to the White Villages of Spain.

White village andalucia Spain
WHITE VILLAGES

HOW TO GET TO SEVILLE

Seville is a very accessible destination in Spain with good flight connections from other European cities and a great local train network.

BY AIR

Sevilla International Airport (or San Pablo Airport) is a 20-minute taxi ride to the centre of town. A taxi will be around €22 (+ €1 per bag) and the taxi rank is just outside the main terminal.

A bus (€4) runs from the airport to town roughly every 20 minutes from around 5 am to 1 am. It makes several stops including the Sevilla Santa-Justa train station and Plaza de Armas. The journey time is around 35 minutes.

BY TRAIN

The Spanish rail network is excellent with high-speed trains connecting most of the main centres. If you’re already in the country, train is the best way to get to Seville.

The main train station is Sevilla-Santa Justa Train Station which is well connected to other Spanish cities including Córdoba (45 minutes), Madrid (around 2, hours 30 minutes), and Málaga (2 hours).

TRAIN FROMHOW LONGGUIDE
Córdoba34 min2-day Córdoba itinerary
Madrid2 hr, 30 minThings to do in Madrid
Málaga2 hrThings to do in Málaga
Granada2 hr, 45 minThings to do in Granada
Things to do in Seville, Alcazar

HOW MANY DAYS IN SEVILLE

We recommend three days in Seville; however, you could easily stay longer.

If you only have a weekend – and Seville is a great European weekend break – 2 days would allow you to see most of the main attractions.

In 3 days you could catch most of the main sights, plus allow for some time to amble the streets, try a selection of tapas bars and enjoy more of the incredible art scene in Seville.

We have a full itinerary for 3 days in Seville which includes how to see everything as efficiently as possible.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to visit Seville is from March to May when fresh growth makes the trees and gardens a lush green, the temperatures are not too high, and the rains of winter are beginning to ease.

In particular, a weekend to Seville in March and April can be a cheap way for northern Europeans to get some winter sun while enjoying a historically interesting place.

Seville is the hottest city in Europe where summer temperatures reach into the forties. Therefore, it’s best to avoid June to September

ornate building in seville

WHAT TO BOOK BEFORE YOU GO TO SEVILLE

Seville is a popular place for a good reason. Many attractions will have long queues and some need to be booked in advance.

  • Real Alcázar – We highly recommend booking before you go. Make sure you stand in the queue for pre-purchased tickets.
  • Seville Cathedral & Giralda Tower – Both are less busy, but the roof can fill up fast, so it’s still advisable to book in advance.
  • Cathedral Roof Tour – The roof tour is not included in the regular ticket price and it must be booked at least 1 week in advance.
  • Flamenco performances can also be very popular. Book online before you travel, otherwise head directly to the venue the first day you arrive in Seville. 
Christopher Columbus Tomb, Seville Cathedral

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