Seville City trip – Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is the ideal destination for a fun city trip. Seville stands for: ancient architecture, flamenco dance, tapas, casual atmosphere and an almost ideal climate. The city of Seville and the region of Andalusia are well-known for mudejar architecture which combines Christian and Moorish elements. The palaces and gardens of the Real Alcazar are the best examples of this style. Real Alcazar is a popular attraction and the waiting lines are usually very long. Purchase the Seville City Pass you and you skip the lines and enter hassle-free. What’s more, this pass also allows you a free tour on the hop-on hop-off bus to see the highlights of Seville.
Seville, together with several other cities in Andalusia, is the cradle of flamenco. You can listen and watch this passionate mix of music, song and dance in several flamenco tabloas. Stroll through narrow streets and alleyways in the charming old neighbourhoods in the centre of the city, such as Santa Cruz, Arenal and Triana, and enjoy delicious freshly-made tapas in of the many tapas bars which you find in almost any street.
Seville is especially popular in spring during the Semana Santa, the Holy Week before Easter, when many tourists visit the city. The Feria de Abril, the festival week in April is also very popular not only with tourists but also with locals. This festival is a great opportunity to meet the real people of Seville, who maintain their traditions with great passion. Not only is Seville an ideal city trip, the city is also perfect for a longer stay. It is the perfect base for day trips to the highlights of Andalusia, such as Granada, Cordoba, Ronda and Jerez.
Citypasses and Day passes for Seville
When you go on a city trip to Seville, it is wise to have your entry tickets for the Real Alcazar beforehand. When you purchase the Seville City Pass in advance, you have fast-track entry to this museum and you avoid the long waiting lines. What’s more, both passes allow you a tour on the hop-on hop-off bus, a relaxed way to see the sights of Seville. The Seville City Pass includes a transfer from Seville Airport to your hotel and on a cruise on the Guadalquivir River. The Andalusia Day Pass allows you to reserve a parking space in the centrer of the city when you are travelling by (rental) car in Andalusia. Both passes allow to arrange at home everything you need for a hassle-free city trip. All tickets and passes you have booked, will be sent to you.
Seville passes compared:
The Sevilla City Pass allows you free and fast-track entry to the popular and therefore always busy Real Alcazar. A tour on the hop-on hop-off bus and a cruise on the Guadalquivir River are also included. A private taxi will take you from Seville airport to your hotel in the centre of the city. Although the Seville City Pass has a time limit as it is valid for 24 or 48 hours, you yourself can decide what and when you visit points of interest.
The Andalusia Day Pass is the perfect pass to have when you are holidaying in Andalucia either with your own car or a rental car and you want to include a trip to Seville. This pass allows you to book a parking space for your car in the centre of Seville, it includes free and fast-track entry to the Real Alcazar and a tour on the hop-on hop-off bus. Together with this pass you can also buy tickets for the Alhambra Museum in Granada and the Mezquita Museum in Cordoba
Comparing Seville City Passes and Day Passes:
Flights to Seville
Seville Airport is only 10 kilometers away from the city centre. The airport’s official name is Aeropuerto San Pablo de Seville. Low-cost airlines have regular flights from a large number of European airports to Seville. KLM, Vueling, Iberia, Ryanair and Transavia connect various European countries with Seville.
Airport to Seville centre
Seville centre is easily reached by public transport. Tussam transport company buses, Tussam EA (Especial Aeropuerto), connect the airport with the city centre. The journey time is about 35 minutes. A single ticket costst €4. The cost of a taxi from the airport to your hotel is about €25.
TIP: purchase the Sevilla City Pass because transfer by a private taxi from the airport to your hotel in the centre of Seville is included!
Hotel or B&B in Seville
Being a popular tourist destination, Seville has a wide range of hotels, apartments, guesthouses and B&Bs. The tourist areas, Santa Ceuz and the city centre, have plenty of accommodation from luxurious hotels to simple hostels and from apartments to B&Bs. Prices range from budget to very expensive. The rule of thumb is the closer to the centre the more expensive. Budget guesthouses and hostales do not usually offer breakfast. This is no problem because it is only a short walk from your guesthouse to one of the many bars and enjoy a typical Seville breakfast.
Be warned! If you visit Seville during the Semana Santa (the holy week before Easter) or the week of the Feria de Abril. (April holidays), the prices of accommodations are often increased by 35% to 40% or even more.
If you are looking for a luxury hotel in the centre of Seville, Hotel Alfonso XIII and Hotel EME Catedral are worth considering. Five-star Alfonso XIII hotel on Calle San Fernando is the most famous and most luxurious hotel in Seville. It was built between 1916 and 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and housed international dignitaries visiting the Exhibition. The hotel is at a top location, next to Seville Cathedral and only 50 metres away from the Giralda Tower. The roof top bar and swimming pool offer a sweeping view of the city.
You will find more affordable hotels with a Seville feel in Santa Cruz district, the historic centre. Hotel El Rey Moro on the Lope de Rueda 14, most of the rooms overlook a charming courtyard. Las Casas de la Judería is a complex of houses and palaces interconnected by corridors, courtyards and patios. Every room in hotel Santa Maria La Blanca is unique and the guests van marvel at Andalusian decorations and stylish designs.
Seville also has a wide choice of budget accommodation. Hostal Alameda is located in the lively Alameda de Hércules square in a hip neigbourhood of Seville brimful with cool bars and outdoor cafes. Hostal Callejon del Agua on Calle Corral del Rey is within walking distance of the Cathedral one of the most beautiful monuments in Seville.
Things to do in Seville
Seville is a beautiful historic city with a wealth of sights and monuments. Wherever you walk in Seville, you will always see beautiful buildings, imposing churches and interesting statues. The Cathedral, Giralda Tower, Real Alcazar and the attractive Santa Cruz neighborhood are close together. Elsewhere in the centre you will find more gems such as the Torre del Oro, the Plaza d’Espana, the Parque de Maria Luisa, the Plaza de Toros and the Triana district. In the evening you wander through the narrow streets looking for a bar or restaurant to enjoy delicious tapas or visit an authentic flamenco show.
TIP: Start your city trip to Seville on the hop-on hop-off bus. You will see the sights of the city in a relaxed way without setting one foot in front of the other. You yourself decide where and when to get off, which attraction or museum you will visit. Then you hop on again and continue to see more highlights of Seville.
How to get there
The entrance to the Real Alcazar is located on the Plaza del Trionfo, near the Cathedral of Seville.
Almost all sights and attractions in Seville are within walking distance of each other. If you decide to go by metro to Real Alcazar: Puerta de Jerez metro station is a 5-minute walk away.
Real Alcazar, the Royal Palace of Seville, is an impressive complex of elegant palaces and gardens in various architectural styles. It is the most popular attraction in Seville. Built on the remains of a Muslim fortress, the palace courtyards Patio del Crucero and Patio de Yeso still show Moorish remains of this 12th century stronghold. A large part of the palace is built in the Mudejar architectural style: a mix of Arabic and Christian architecture. One of the most striking and dazzling parts of the Royal Palace is the Patio de las Doncellas which translates as ‘courtyard of the maidens’. Legend has it that the Moors demanded from the Christians 100 maidens as a tribute every year. After visiting the palace you should visit the exotic and peaceful gardens of Real Alcazar. Originally used as vegetable gardens, they are planted with pine trees, orange trees, palm trees and cypresses and dotted with pavilions and ponds and lakes. The lay-out of the gardens and the palaces have been redesigned many times that is why they contain Moorish, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and modern times characteristics.
Cathedral of Seville
How to get there
The cathedral is located in the centre of Seville on the Avenida de la Constitución, next to the Giralda tower and close to the Real Alcazar.
It is a 7-minute walk from Puerta de Jerez metro station to the cathedral.
Seville Cathedral, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the third largest cathedral in the world after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome and Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London. Be sure to include a visit of this cathedral and the neighbouring Giralda tower during your city trip to Seville. It is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Seville and was built on the former site of a Moorish mosque. When in 1248 Seville was conquered by the Christians, the mosque was converted into a cathedral. In the 13th century it was demolished but the Giralda Tower stayed intact. In 1403 the construction of the present-day cathedral started and in 1507 the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See was consecrated. The most important monuments in the cathedral are the tomb of Cristóbal Colón (the explorer Christoffel Columbus), the altar and the Capilla Real (royal chapel). You can also admire works of famous Spanish painters such as Murillo, Goya, Pedro de Campaña and Luis de Vargas that decorate the walls of the cathedral.
How to get there
The Plaza de Espana is next to Parque de Maria Luisa.
Metro and bus
Metro (line 1) and bus station Prado de San Sebastian are a 7-minute walk from Plaza de Espana.
Plaza de Espana is one of the highlights in Seville. This delightful square was designed by architect Aníbal Gonzalez in honour of the Ibero-American exposition of 1929. This former Spanish pavilion contains various elements of Seville architecture such as azulejos, pottery and red bricks. The enormous square with a diameter of 200 meters has the shape of a crescent moon and is surrounded by buildings: allegorical Spain embraces its former colonies. Today, the buildings around the square are mostly used by the government. The square, surrounded by a small canal spanned by several bridges, leads to a pedestrian promenade and the main building. A u-shaped arcade connects the two towers on the outer edges of the square. Fifty-two benches are placed under the arcade, each decorated with Andalusian tiles, each representing a Spanish province showing an important historical scene, a coat of arms and a map of that particular province. An interesting detail: the Plaza Espana is occasionally used for film shoots. The square featured as the headquarters of the British army in Cairo and as the palace in Damascus in the 1962 film of Lawrence of Arabia and also as Naboo in ‘Star Wars: Attack of the Clones’ (2002) and as the palace in ‘The Dictator’ by Sacha Baron Cohen (2012).
How to get there
The Giralda Tower is situated at the back of the cathedral in the centre of Seville.
It is a 8-minute walk from Puerta de Jerez metro stop to the Giralda at Plaza Virgen de los Reyes.
The Giralda Tower, next to the Cathedral of Seville, was built by the Almohads at the end of the 12th century. With a height of 76-metres, it was the tallest minaret in the world. This tower is one of the most important landmarks of Seville. The Giralda was saved when the mosque was demolished. In the 16th century, three floors with balconies and a bell tower were added at the top. The Giralda tower is crowned with a four-metre tall copper statue which symbolizes Faith. Its nickname is Giraldillo meaning wind vane, because the statue moves in the wind. Together with the statue the tower is now 97 metres in height. There are no stairs but a sloping ramp going up to 70 metres via 35 platforms. In the old days the muezzin, the crier who calls out for daily prayer, mounted a mule to get to the top. The view of Seville from the top is breathtaking.
Torre del Oro
How to get there
The Torre del Oro is located on the Paseo de Cristobal Colón along the banks of the Guadalquivir River.
It is a 5-minute walk from Puerta de Jerez metro station.
The Torre del Oro, or the Golden Tower, on the banks of the Guadalquivir is one of the landmarks of Seville. The tower has been part of the cityscape for hundreds of years. The Torre del Oro was built by the Moors in the 12th century as part of the city wall as a defense tower. The upper part was added in the 18th century. Initially, the tower served as a storehouse for gold that came from the New World, later it was a prison and then a chapel. Today the Maritime Museum is in the tower. The view of the Triana district from the top of the tower is worth the climb up.
How to get there
Metropol Parasol is located at Plaza de la Encarnación.
Metro and bus
Metro line 1, Plaza Nueva stop (800 meters walk) or bus line 27 or 32.
Metropol Parasol is an eye catcher. This modern wooden construction on the Plaza de Encarnación in Seville is nicknamed ‘las Setas’ (the mushrooms). It is a multifunctional building and designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer. The building has different levels. The lower level is the Antiquarium, an archaeological museum with a collection of archaeological finds in Seville from the Roman and Almohade times. At street level there is a fruit and vegetable market and a large square for cultural events and concerts. A walkway leads to the top of the construction. This meandering walkway offers a sweeping view of the centre of Seville. Information about what you see is given on information plaques all along the walkway. There is a restaurant at the top, where you can enjoy the view while sipping your drink.
Plaza de Toros
How to get there
Plaza de Toros and the bullfighting arena are located on the Paseo de Cristobal Colon, the road along the Guadalquivir River.
The nearest metro stop is Puerta de Jerez, a 10-minute walk away. There are also several bus stops close by.
The Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza in Seville is the largest and oldest bullfighting ring in Spain. The oval arena is located in the El Arenal district and was built in the 18th century. It can accommodate 13,000 spectators and is still used today. The season for bullfighting begins in the spring and during the Feria de Abril there is a fight every day. The awesome arena is also home to Museo Taurino, a museum about (the history of) bullfighting in Seville. The garments of famous toreros and paintings about bullfighting are on display. You will also learn about bullfight traditions.
Parque de Maria Luisa
How to get there
Entrances to Parque de Maria Luisa are located at the Plaza de Espana and on the Avenida de Maria Luisa.
Metro and bus
Metro and bus station Prado de San Sebastian (metro line 1) is a 7-minute walk from the park and the Plaza de Espana.
Parque de Maria Luisa is the largest and most attractive park in the centre of Seville. Maria Luisa Park was originally part of the San Telmo Palace and was bequeathed to the city in 1893 on condition that it would be a public park. It borders the famous ‘Plaza de España’ laid out for the Ibero-American exhibition of 1929. There are still several original expo pavilions of which two are now used as museums: Museo Arqueológico and the Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares. Former World exhibition pavilions are also on Avenida de las Delicias and its surroundings: The Mexico, Chile, Morocco, Peru and Guetemala pavilions are beautiful buildings and today they are home to several consulates, a tourist office and a police station. This verdant park is the ideal spot to breathe some fresh air on hot summer days during your Seville city trip. Locals and tourists enjoy the shade in this green oasis with leafy walking paths, spouting fountains, exotic vegetation, swaying palms and waterfalls. It is peaceful and above all a cool spot and ideal for romantic walks, an energetic bike ride, a delicious picnic or the perfect spot to read a book and forget the world around you.
Restaurants and bars in Seville
Seville is not only a wonderful city because of its sights, atmosphere and climate. Good food and drinks are equally important. Seville is the city of tapas and it is brimming with cafes, restaurants and bars where you can savour this delicacy both for lunch and dinner. Lunch is between two and three o’clock and is eaten often together with family, friends or colleagues. After lunch it is customary to take a siesta which in summer may last until 6 pm. Dinner starts from eight o’clock onwards and on long, hot summer evenings even later. Discover the secrets of Seville cuisine order snails (cabrillas), pork tenderloin in whiskey sauce (solomillo al whiskey), fried fish (pescaito frito), croquettes (croquetas), bull’s tail (cola de toro) or the salmorejo (tomato cream with garlic and bread).
Some (almost) Secret Tips
Be sure to go to Bar Eslava on Calle Eslava, one the best tapas bars in Seville and very budget-friendly. Another all-favourite is bar El Rinconcillo on Calle Gerona 40 and dates back to 1670. Their tapas are delicious but also have a look on the menu as their dishes are truly tasty. Their wine list is also impressive from Riojas, Cavas, Rosé to Riberas del Duero. Sol y Sombra in the district of Triana (Calle Castilla 147) is an authentic Spanish tavern where you go for lunch or dinner. Restaurant El Portiguillo on the Calle Dos de Mayo is close to the bullfighting ring La Maestranza in Seville and the interior decoration is certainly worthwhile for lovers of bullfighting.
Shopping in Seville
Seville is the city for shopaholics. There is a wide variety of shops, something for everybody. You can shop in Spanish chain stores such as Zara, Mango, Pull and Bear, Mássimo Dutti, Stradivarius and Bershka. More interesting are the local shops next to restaurants, coffee and tapa bars. After iesta time, people flock to the shops and between 5 and 7 pm the shopping streets are at their busiest. The most famous shopping streets in the centre of Seville are Calle Sierpes and Calle Tetuan. These two shopping streets run parallel to each other. Cuna, Velazquez and Rioja are also popular for shopping and also in the centre of the city. Calle San Jacinto is the most important shopping street in the Triana neighbourhood. Calle Asunción, in the the Los Remedios district, south of Triana is the main street of the district and a pleasant shopping street. Here you find the international chains but also lesser known brands such as Bimba y Lola and Cherubina. Local products ceramics (azulejos), flamenco dresses and shoes, guitars and Spanish fans which cool you down on hot days. Be sure to visit delis and buy local products: Iberian hams, cheese, olive oil, wine, orange wine and sherry.
Open Air Markets of Seville
The oldest open-air market in Seville is held on Thursday morning in the La Macarena district. It has been going strong since the fifteenth century and is still as popular as ever. Calle Feria is best for antiques and art. The Mercado de Triana is a covered market near Triana Bridgea. Here the locals stock up on bread, pastries, herbs, fish, fresh fruit and meat. When the shopping is done, they treat themselves to a snack in one of the bars and restaurants nearby. The gourmet market, Mercado Gourmet Lonja del Barranco, is on the other side of the river. This is where you go for dishes made from fresh products.
Shopping malls in Seville
If you’re tired of strolling in the hot Seville streets, go to one of the air-conditioned shopping malls to cool down a bit. The shopping malls Nervion Plaza and Los Arcos are close to the city centre and highly recommended. A bit further afield is Nervion Plaza in Calle Luis de Morales in the Nervión district. Los Arcos on Avenida de Andalucía is one of the largest shopping malls in Seville with shops, cinemas, bars and restaurants spread over two floors.