Best Things to do in Seville, Spain
Seville is an incredible city—I lived there for a year and a half, and I never ran out of cultural attractions to visit. The heart of Andalusia can easily be toured over a weekend or for weeks at a time, since it has a manageable amount of major attractions and an enormous stock of less famous but equally impressive sights.
In addition to that, the atmosphere of the city makes it very easy to just sit back, enjoy a well-priced beer, and watch the world go by. When lounging outside of many of the bars in Seville, you will enjoy lovely views of a historic church at a minimum.
Combine all these factors, and you’ll see why Seville is an unbeatable destination for tourists with all types of interests. Read below for my must-sees in the city—they are not to be missed!
Real Alcázar de Sevilla (Alcázar of Seville)
If you’ve watched Game of Thrones, then when you visit Real Alcázar, you’ll quickly realize that it is the set of Dorn. It’s no wonder why; it’s a breathtaking, expansive palace that you could spend countless hours in. The Moorish architecture is positively stunning, but the real showstopper is the garden, which goes on and on and on.
You would never suspect that such an enormous oasis exists right in the city centre from the outside—the first time I went in, I knew nothing about it, so I was blown away by how large and beautiful it is. I recommend bringing a picnic in order to spend a leisurely, unrushed day in there. Don’t miss the water organ, the underground baths, and the hedge maze.
Catedral de Sevilla (Seville Cathedral)
The cathedral is situated right beside Real Alcázar, and it is the breathtaking symbol of Seville. Enormous in size, you will find that it is stunning and different from every angle. Take time to walk around and admire its architecture, and stop at New York Slice or any one of the nearby tapas bars for a bite to eat. Unlike most tourist destinations, this one isn’t surrounded by terribly overpriced food.
Research the closing times so that you can explore the inside of this wonder to your heart’s content, as well as climb up the Giralda tower. You’ll find the supposed tomb of Christopher Columbus and one of the most impressive organs I’ve ever seen. The steep climb up to the top of the bell tower is worth it for the unbeatable view of the city, although it can be crowded up there at times. For a great view of the Cathedral itself, treat yourself afterwards to a (slightly pricey) drink on the terrace of nearby Hotel Doña Maria.
Another movie set (Star Wars and The Dictator), Plaza de España is not so much impressive for its history as it is for its character. This large free attraction is a lovely place to take pictures, since it is colorful, unique, and has charming bridges, a gushing fountain, and a meandering river. Go on the river row boats for a whimsical 30 minutes; it’s very cheap.
Afterwards, take a stroll in Parque Maria Luisa right next door. This former royal garden is full of surprises; you’ll encounter swans, duck ponds, bridges, and waterfalls in this shady paradise. Since both of these attractions are free, pay the small fee to rent one of the two- or four-person bicycle cars to tour on four wheels and feel like a kid again.
Seville's river separates the historic centre from the vibrant neighborhood of Triana, and its lovely atmosphere attracts locals day and night. Go there at sunset to really get a taste of Seville's famous romantic ambiance. You will notice Torre del Oro straight away, which is a beautiful reminder of the city's historic past. This river acted as the starting point for many famous expeditions to the new world, including Christopher Columbus's voyage.
Stick to walking along the river between Puente de Isabel II and Puente de San Telmo. If you cross onto the side of Triana, you will get a great view of Torre del Oro and the tower of the cathedral. This is the quintessential Seville skyline, so stop for a drink at one of the riverside bars that you see.
The narrow, winding streets of this cobbled neighborhood in the heart of the city will quite literally cause you to get lost in the dreamy, lazy aura of Seville. At times touristy, this area is altogether pleasant and will give you the quaint and traditional Spanish flavor that you've been craving. Seek out the rustic pottery shops and alluring tapas bars, but be sure to spend most of your time in the streets.
This is a great opportunity to go to a flamenco show, which is what Andalusia is famous for. Casa de Flamenco is a great choice for tourists who are seeking a polished performance, and for a more local experience, look out for La Carbonería, which has free flamenco shows every night in a laid-back atmosphere.
This guide is great for those who are making a short trip to Seville and want to make sure they see all the highlights. Don't worry about seeing everything, since as I said before, this remarkable city of oranges is most famous for its smoldering atmosphere.