Seville has more than enough attractions to keep any traveller enthralled for a lifetime, but with so much to see and do in such a small period of time how do you choose? If you are planning a trip or a city break to Seville, here are the best things to see and do on every budget.
Seville is one of Spain’s most popular destinations, its intoxicating mixture of medieval history and colossal architecture with a passionate flamenco beat binding it all together providing the perfect potion to make travellers fall in love with this great city as they spend lazy days eating tapas and drinking wine by the river.
Seville is truly a beautiful city, and you could certainly spend your days exploring without a plan. In fact I wholeheartedly encourage you to keep a few days free just to wander, explore, get lost for a while and just take in the bohemian atmosphere of this elegantly stunning city. But saying that, there are certain things you absolutely cannot miss when you are here. Here is my pick of the top 10 things to see and do in Seville.
Royal Alcazar Of Seville.
Game of Thrones fans will be very familiar with the Alcazar of Seville as it was used in many location shots, but in reality it is one of the most interesting historical buildings in the city. his UNESCO world heritage site is actually a fortification containing a hotpot of different buildings and architectural styles from many different eras. The original fortification was Roman, later used by the Visogoths before it became a Paleochristian basilica and then an Arab fortification in the year 713. The Alcazar terraced gardens are the highlight of any visit to Seville, and no visitor here can leave without spending a little time in them.
Immerse Yourself In Flamenco.
Flamenco is the beating heart of southern Spain, and you can feel its life blood pumping with every stamp of feet and cante jondo, and seeing it performed live is one of the most heart pounding ways to immerse yourself in Spanish culture. It can be seen in many places in Spain, but the best place to take in a show is its home, Seville. There are dozens of places you can find Flamenco being performed, but try to avoid the touristy fixed shows which run a few times a night. You are much better finding a smaller, local venue that plays live music.
Also known as the Cathedral of St. Mary of the See, this is an unmissable site for any visitor to Seville. It is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the third Christian temple after St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London. Its construction was carried out in several phases over more than 500 years, resulting in a mixture of several architectural styles that give it a unique look.
The Tomb Of Christopher Columbus.
Inside Seville’s grand Cathedral lays the tomb of one of the most celebrated sailors in history, Christopher Columbus. Well, allegedly, anyway. His remains were originally interred in the cathedral of Havana, but were tranferred to Seville during the uprisings in 1902, and because of that many people believe it isn’t actually him. Despite that this extravagantly impressive tomb, held up by four huge allegorical figures, is decorated in an intricate late Romantic style and is a fitting shrine
Just across the Puente Isabel II bridge and a short walk from most of the main attractions of the city centre, Triana gives you a glimpse into the real soul of Seville and almost whispers to you exactly why this ancient Spanish city is so special. Triana is a neighbourhood full of old world charm, fantastic eateries to sit back and people watch and local markets to explore, a whole world away from Seville itself.
Parque Maria Luisa.
Originally created for the 1929 Exposición Iberoamericana which was supposed to reinvigorate the economy at the time, is now a wonderfully peaceful haven full of shaded walkways, fountains and sculptures around the Plaza de España, with two archaeology and folklorer museums to while away a few hours in. This is a genuinely nice place to waste an afternoon in, take a stroll, enjoy the sun or even read a book.
The Museum Of Fine Arts.
Not one of the largest, most famous or even one of the most prestigious art museum in Seville, this small gallery is still well worth a a visit, not least of which because you can usually enjoy the art without the crowds. Founded in 1839, it contains a small but impressive collection from medieval times through to the early 20th Century.
Okay, this is not the best bar, or the cheapest, or the most lively. In fact it is a little bit of a tourist haunt. So why am I recommending it for a refreshing drink and some tapas? Because this is one of Seville’s oldest bars dating back to 1670 and has an atmosphere and heritage that is unmatched. The aproned waiters are not a tourist attraction, they don’t write your bill in chalk on the countertop as a gimmick, they do it because that is the way it has been done for hundreds of years and they aren’t going to change to cater to anyone! My inner old man has a deep respect for that level of stubborn curmudgeonly attitude!
The Palacio de San Telmo.
Despite currently being the seat of the Government in Andalusia, the iconic Palace of San Telmo is still as stunning a building as it always was, and provide an awe inspiring view while exploring Seville. The Baroque architecture and intricate stonework is even more impressive up close, and it is worth a few minutes to stop and admire some of the detail, including the magnificent Churrigueresque entrance completed in 1754.
Buy Some Local Art.
Every Sunday the museum district in Seville explodes to life as a lively market pops up full of local crafts and art by local artists. Even if you don’t buy anything at all just wandering round the wonderfully bohemian market is a great way to spend the afternoon.
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I’ve been to Spain a few times but only to Tenerife, Majorca and a few other islands. Definitely need to try Seville!
You’d love it! Such a different side to Spain than the islands.
Looking forward to visiting Spain again (went in 2023). Seville looks amazing. I assume they’ve relaxed their Covid/mask requirements…
Absolutely they have, most of the world has now gotten over their temporary fear induced panic attack.
I loved Sevilla! Went with a group of friends and stayed in the centre of town. Really lovely boutique hotel within walking distance of the sites. The food and drink alone is well worth the trip, and definitely take the time to climb up the cathedral steps. Not easy but worth it!
I agree, the food and nightlife is fantastic! Those steps are definitely for the young though!
Would you say Seville can be seen/done in a weekend break?
Absolutely it can, it makes for a great weekend city break! Like in most cities you won’t see everything but you can definitely see the highlights and enjoy the vibe.
I loved Seville, such an amazing city. Have been a few times now and have still not seen everything.
I know what you mean Paul, always a good excuse to keep going back!
I’ve always wanted to see the Flamenco performed in Seville, what is it like? Any tips for a first timer?
It is intense, and awesome! I would say the main touristy shows are great, but ask around at your hotel/hostel for local bars that have smaller, more intimate shows too, it is on a whole other level! And put away the camera, experience the moment!