What to see in Seville: the ultimate itinerary to discover the beauties of the Andalusian capital
If you’re about to move to Seville, you’re probably wondering where are the most beautiful museums and places that the city has to offer. Even if you’re going there to work or study, make sure to dedicate some of your time to turn your mind off and recharge your batteries with a bit of fun. Our tips will come in handy when the weekend hits, and you’ll need to know what to do and see in Seville without getting bored and to make new friends.
Do you need some tips for your Sevillian stay? Explore Seville’s neighborhoods now and find your perfect place to stay!
Let’s start to discover the city starting with its museums.
Must see places in Seville
It is the biggest gothic cathedral in the world and the third biggest after San Peters in the Vatican and San Paul in London. It’s one of Europe’s most outstanding cathedrals, which is the reason why it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you go to visit it, don’t miss the Patio de los Naranjos, an almohade legacy.
Some curious facts about Seville cathedral
- During the XV and XVI centuries, the cathedral’s staircase was a business area, where merchants would close deals and trade slaves.
- On the ceiling of one of the Patio de los Naranjos naves, 4 odd objects are hung up: a wooden crocodile, a walking stick, an elephant fang, and a horse bit.
- Christopher Colombus’ grave should have been put in Havana’s Cathedral to honor America’s discovery, but when Spain lost Cuba and the Philippines in 1898, after many disputes, it was decided to bring it to Seville.
- Christopher Colombus’ grave is not the only one in the cathedral. The Sevillian temple is also home to the remains of king Ferdinando III (called the Saint) and of Columbus’ son: Hernando Columbus.
- Every gothic church has a Latin cross diagram. However, the Seville cathedral is square-shaped because it rises over the site of an ancient mosque.
- The cathedral’s bell tower, better known as La Giralda, has been the highest tower in Spain for centuries, with its 104,1-meter height. No matter how absurd it might sound, you can find a replica in Kansas City, which is twinned with Seville.
Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla
I know, it’s a long name, which is why Seville’s Plaza de Toros is also known shortly as La Maestranza, and it’s one of the most important ones in the country. In Andalusia, and the south of Spain in general, corrida is a very heartfelt practice, and here in Seville, it’s still performed to this day. The corridas calendar opened the season on Easter Sunday up until the end of September.
If you’re not a Corrida fan, we still recommend visiting the Plaza de Toros, for what it truly is: a piece of Sevillan history and culture. Together with the taurine museum, it’s located in the Arenal neighborhood and it was built between the XVIII and XIX centuries.
María Luisa Park – Seville Museum of Popular Arts and Customs
This historical park is named after princess Maria Luisa Fernanda, wife to Montpensier Duke Antonio de Orleans, who decided to donate to the city of Seville the gardens of her residence, San Telmo palace. This green lung also hosts Plaza de España and Plaza de América, both established in 1929 on the occasion of the Iberoamerican Exhibition. The space is enriched and characterized by its pergolas, ponds, fountains, and monuments, in addition to plants, trees, and incredibly-tidy flowerbeds.
Plaza de América
Commonly known as Plaza de las Palomas, which means Doves’ Square, it hosts three buildings: the Museum of Popular Arts and Customs (in mudéjar style), the Archeological Museum (in Renaissance style), and the Royal Pavillon (in gothic style). Here, there are the pavilions dedicated to Miguel de Cervantes, Rodríguez Marín, and their works. In the center of the square, there is a huge pond adorned with water lilies and a central fountain. In such a charming place, some scenes from the fifth season of the show “The Crown” were shot.
Plaza de España
This iconic Sevillan and Spanish site, rated by TripAdvisor as the most spectacular monument in Europe, is spread over 50.000 meters, with a 170-meter diameter and it’s also crossed by a 515 meters canal. Plaza de España was designed by Anibal Gonzalez in 1914 and it’s a homage to Spain, which is represented through its provinces’ symbols. The whole scenery is enhanced by decorated bridges on the canal, high towers on the edges of the square, and a porticoed gallery that divides the external space and the interiors of the building. Among the multiple film appearances, “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Star Wars: the Clone war” definitely stand out.
If this palace has been visited by the king of England Edward VIII, Jacqueline Kenndy, Grace of Monaco, and Ranieri III of Monaco, maybe it’s because it’s worth it! Palacio de las Dueñas was also the home of Antonio Machado, one of the greatest Spanish poets, who mentioned the patio in his poems too. The ticket for students until 25 years old is 10 euros, but every Monday, except on holidays, the entrance is free after 4 pm.
Flamenco: the authentic Sevillan spirit
Sevilla has a very powerful cultural connection to flamenco. They are so deeply connected that a “palo” was named after the city: the “Palo Sevillano”. Traditionally, “palo” is the name of the different musical forms of flamenco. Essentially, it’s a style determined by the singing and metrics.
All you need to do is walk around the Triana historical neighborhood, to immerse yourself in flamenco and gitano (gypsy) culture.
Which are the best places to see flamenco shows in Seville?
In Seville there are multiple activities linked to this art:
- Go see a Flamenco show in Seville in a typical tablao (flamenco theater), such as Tablao Flamenco El Arenal or the Palacio Andaluz.
- Visit the Flamenco Dance Museum and take one of the classes that it offers.
- One event you can’t miss for no reason is the free Flamenco show that is presented every day in Plaza de España at noon.
- Flamenco in Seville – Casa de la Guitarra – Tablao Flamenco Sevilla: this small cultural center is dedicated to flamenco’s art and regularly hosts shows of local artists.
- Centro Cultural Flamenco “Casa de la Memoria” This other cultural center presents flamenco shows and offers flamenco workshops for those who are interested in knowing better this traditional art form.
- Bienal de Flamenco Sevilla: in September, there is the flamenco biennial, a must-to-do if you’re visiting Seville in this period. After the success of the Seville Flamenco festival 2022, all we have to do is wait for September 2024.
Visiting Triana: the picturesque Sevillan neighborhood
Don’t expect big monuments or squares while walking through Triana. What makes this neighborhood – located on the opposite side of the Guadalquivir river compared to the historic center – stand out is its strong belonging identity. Once a fishermen’s area, today is home to many tablaos where you can see authentic Flamenco in Seville and eat specialties at local tapas bars. Despite being considered a rough neighborhood for many years, its upgrading offers a genuine view of Seville.
Arriving from the Isabel II bridge – which connects Triana to the other bank of the river – you can see immediately the beautiful ceramics that cover Carmen chapel’s roof, the Triana market, and San Jorge Castle, former headquarter of the Sevillan inquisition.
Plaza del Altozano is the square from which all the main streets begin, including Calle Pureza. Here you can find the Capilla de los Marineros and the Esperanza de Triana brotherhood. This area will stick in your mind for the air you breathe, its colors, its decorated ceramics, and the gypsy spirit that still lingers today. It’s also very enchanting following Calle Betis and walking down by the river, admiring Seville from a new point of view.
This street, just alongside the Guadalquivir river, is well-known for its vibrant nightlife and immaculate views of the city. It has so many bars, clubs, and restaurants, other than some historic landmarks such as Torre del Oro and Puente de la Triana.
Mudejar: the emblems of Seville art
1. La Giralda
The symbol of the city, La Giralda is higher than 100 meters, double the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and 10 meters higher than Big Ben.
This tower has 35 flights of stairs that allow it to be climbed on horseback to summon the believers.
Giralda is the perfect example of all the cultures that have followed one another in the city since the tower is composed of two different bodies: on one side there is the Muslim one, the minaret, that goes back to 1184, and on the other, there is the Christian body. The latter was built during the XVI century and is made up of a bell tower on top of a tower crowned with a statue that represents Faith.
2. Real Alcázar of Seville
A must-see in the Andalusian capital is the Real Alcázar. The palace hosts multiple architectural styles, including mudéjar, gothic, and renaissance, and presents outstanding gardens, fountains, and courtyards.
This extraordinary monument has even made an appearance in an episode of Game of Thrones, as the sunny Dorne.
3. Torre del Oro
This iconic tower, located along the banks of the Guadalquivir river, is an excellent example of Mudéjar architecture and presents a stunning interior courtyard adorned with colorful tiles and intricate geometrical motives.
Visiting Seville: what to see in the Macarena neighborhood
The Macarena walls
In the Macarena neighborhood, you can visit the ramparts. If you think about it, it’s kind of crazy how some of their parts were built more than 1000 years ago by the Arabs.
The Macarena church, an emblematic place of Seville, is yet another piece of the city that will leave a mark on your heart. Here, there is the Macarena brotherhood, one of the most famous of the Sevillan Holy Week.
What to see in Seville: Nervión neighborhood and Buhaira Gardens
If you get tired of the center, you can go visit the Nervión area, one of the city’s most commercial and developed neighborhoods.
Once there, you can go to de Buhaira Gardens: a perfect place to sit down and relax a bit while enjoying the typical Almohad style.
Museums in Seville: a map of the main cultural activities in the Andalusian city.
La Giralda, Plaza de España, Torre del Oro, and the stunning Cathedral are the things you cannot miss when flying to Seville. But, if you have to stay in the Andalusian capital for a bit, you’ll need some more tips. Such as museums, art galleries, churches, convents, and the most intriguing places to see in Seville, lucky you we have listed them for you right below!
If you want to take a break from art and culture, then the Illusions museum is where you should go. This unique experience guarantees fun and amazement. Students between the ages of 16-26 only pay 9 euros and it is right in the city center, so it’s also easy to reach!
Iglesia Colegial del Divino Salvador
This is Seville’s second largest church, following the cathedral, a perfect example for art enthusiasts of Andalusian baroque. It stands on the Omeya mosque of Seville (IX century) and the altarpiece of the main altar is the reason why you should go in, so you can admire the essence of Sevillan baroque.
Andalusian Center of Contemporary Art
This is a must for all contemporary art aficionados. Opened in 1990 and sited since 1997 in the old Cartuja Monastery, this art museum in Seville organizes temporary exhibitions, seminars, workshops, concerts, projections, and much more, in addition to the pieces and one of the finest art galleries in Seville that you can visit all year long.
Palacio de las Marquesas de Salinas
To picture the beauty of the Salinas Palace all you need to know is that it was born during Seville’s golden period: the 1500s. All the treasures coming from Latin America during the XVI century are impressed in this monument. The meeting point between Renaissance, Gothic, and Mudéjar art has given life to a place that today is the emblem of the Sevillan style, just a few steps away from the Giralda.
Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija
The major appeal of this palace is its small fame, which enables visitors to enjoy its charming rooms with no rush, but rather calmness. In fact, the Lebrija Countess Palace is a less touristy place compared to the ones mentioned before, which is why it’s a bit more authentic. It was built as the Sevillan manor residence in the XVI century, but it began to be an architectural masterpiece when the Lebrija countess, an illustrious madame passionate about archaeology, restored it. The woman had a collection of Roman mosaics and archeological pieces from various periods.
Seville Fine Arts Museum
Founded in 1835 as the “Paintings Museum”, the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville hosts pieces from places of worship confiscated by the Mendizábal liberal government. The building which is home to the museum is the old Merced Calzada convent, which is a piece of art itself. Together with the art collection, in the museum, you’ll be able to see the finely decorated rooms of the convent. The cloisters, the staircase, and the church of the convents are architectural works of extraordinary beauty and offer the perfect setting for a time-out Saturday afternoon.
Antiquarium underneath the Setas
Seville’s Setas are the perfect place to admire the sunset and the shimmering colors of the Andalusian sky. Located in Plaza de la Encarnación, this wooden structure is the perfect rooftop from which to admire the sunset and see the city from above. This is a must-visit before taking a walk through Seville’s fascinating streets. Under this building, there is a small museum of archeological finds dating back to the Romans.
What to do in Seville to have fun? Isla Mágica
This amusement park, with water and regular ones, combines entertainment and culture, which unfortunately are often portrayed as two distant worlds. Seville Isla Mágica is an amusement park located on Cartuja Island, a 5-minute walk from the historic center of the Andalusian capital. The central theme of this park is the big discoveries of the XVI and XVII centuries. Other than living a fun day, it could be a good trick to cool down and get a break from the Sevillan heat.