Some years ago my family and I organized a trip to Seville for my mom cause she had always wanted to visit that city. At that time I came back completely in love with the city, so when my friends told me that they wanted to travel somewhere nice and cheap, my immediate thought was SEVILLE!! Said and done. We spent 5 unforgettable days there and I miss that southern land so much. I’m telling you, that city never disappoints.
Seville is the capital of Andalusia and one of the most flamboyant cities in Spain. It has a rich Moorish heritage that attracts visitors with its tiled courtyards and medieval sidewalks, sunny plazas, flamenco dancers and orange trees. On balmy nights, people are hanging out in the terraces and plazas of these tiny streets while drinking bottles of red wine and sangria. It is definitely the place to go if you’re looking to enjoy the Andalusian lifestyle.
As I got to know the city pretty well during my stays, here you have my personal recommendations and top 5 must-see attractions in Seville.
1. Seville Cathedral and La Giralda
Seville’s cathedral is the largest and highest cathedral in Spain (and we have a bunch of them!), the largest Gothic building in the world, and the world’s third-largest church. I’m not a very religious person, but I definitely enjoyed its interior lavish decorations and the peace of its atmosphere. La Giralda is a former minaret that was converted to a bell tower for the Cathedral. There is a tourist information point near by the fountain situated at the back of La Giralda right at the entrance of the Royal Alcazar where you can ask for prices and schedules of all the monuments (check them out now here). If you are a student don’t forget to bring your student ID, you’ll get huge discounts!
I strongly recommend walking around the historic center at night and enjoy both the Cathedral and La Giralda completely illuminated. If you also like photography, you’ll see that it’s the perfect place to take beautiful night pictures.
2. Maria Luisa Park and Plaza España
This is my absolute favorite park and plaza of all times! The park is located just south of Seville’s historic center and it’s delightfully decorated with plenty of ceramic-tiled benches, fountains, pools, statues and it is home for many monuments. It’s not far away from the Cathedral if you don’t mind walking 15-20 minutes, but there are also a lot of bus lines that stop there. Tourists often head straight to the star attraction of the park, the Plaza España, and miss out the beauty of other monuments such as Fountain of the Lions. Take your time to enjoy the park at its fullest, you won’t regret it.
The Plaza España is a majestic crescent-shaped complex arranged around a central squared that was created on the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition to showcase Spain’s industry and technology exhibits. Ceramic tiled bridges cross the small canal that separate the plaza from the large brick building. By the walls of the Plaza are many tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain (find your favorite and take a pic!). In the centre is the Vicente Traver fountain, very conveniently located to refresh yourself a bit, specially if you’re traveling in the middle of the summer.
3. The Real Alcazar
For some reason that I can’t remember, my family and I missed out this place the first time I was in the city, and it’s honestly one of the attractions that I enjoyed the most in my second trip. The entrance is not free but it’s definitely worth the price (again, don’t forget to bring your student ID!).
Real Alcazar is the Royal Palace of Seville, a magnificent complex of patios and halls in different architectural styles, from Mudejar to Gothic. I recommend to enter from the Plaza del Triunfo through the Lion’s Gate, this way you’ll start getting the impression that you’re traveling back in medieval times. Once you’re inside, you’ll be surrounded by the Royal Gardens which are separated by terraces and tiny sidewalks. Again, if you want to make the most of the experience take the time to walk around the different gardens, enjoy the watter falls and the arcaded pavilions. If you like to save the best part for the end, I’d say to visit the Palacio Pedro I the last. Its facade is decorated in Mudejar style with lobed arched windows and blind arches. My favorite place is the main courtyard of the palace, named Patio de las Doncellas. It’s absolutely beautiful, and it kinda reminds me of the Alhambra of Granada. I was so lucky the day I visited cause the weather was very nice, and it made the experience even better.
4. The Golden tower
The towel was built in 1220 by the Almohades as part of the city’s defensive walls, and it was used as a prison after the reconquest of Seville. Today the Golden Tower is home to a naval museum which has a collection related to the city’s rich maritime history. Unfortunately, I didn’t visit the museum but if you’re interested in navy stuff it might be worth to check it out. I enjoyed the beauty of the tower while we were heading to Triana neighborhood walking on the promenade near the river.
5. Flamenco shows and local restaurants
You can’t leave the city without going to a live Flamenco show! Seville is packed with houses with communal picnic tables and a small stage where flamenco guitarists and dancers give performances late into the night. We found this place called La Carboneria (click here to know more about this place) after asking to a few students that we met while visiting the university of Seville. I encourage you to go, and I promise you won’t forget that night in a long time! Finally, to get to know the southern Spanish culture completely, don’t waste your money going to fast food chains. There are a lot of local restaurants around the city where you can eat delicious tapas and drink good Spanish wine for less than 10 euros per person. I recommend to try the gazpacho Andaluz (tomato and vegetable based soup traditionally served cold) and jamón/chorizo ibérico.
I hope you find these tips useful! If you have been in the city already feel free to share your experience here as well as any additional recommendations you might have.
Have a nice day!