I spent 3 days in Seville, and you might think that it is not enough to see everything there, especially if you take a look at the list of tourist attractions of Seville I compiled. Even considering how lazy I am and how late I usually get up, I managed to see everything in my list, with some exceptions.
So here is a list of my top things to do and places to see in Seville. As always, I start with those I liked most, and mention some places I could have missed.
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1. Palacio de las Duenas
My favorite place in Seville! Well, before I actually visited the city, I thought that the most beautiful place in Seville is the Plaza de Espana 🙂
The Palace of the Dukes of Alba (the proper name of the place) was built between the 15-16 centuries and combines Gothic and Moorish elements. In the 20th century many notable people visited it, including Jacqueline Kennedy.
While the architectural features, interior design and furniture are definitely exquisite, I like this place for its courtyards.
I fell in love with the palace immediately: it was enough for me to see the flowers on the walls, palm and lemon trees, its lush greenery to realize that this is my favorite place in Seville. Even the Real Alcazar could not outshine it.
When I came to the palace, I had a pleasant surprise: it was rented out to someone who organized a fashion show. So, I saw girls modelling flamenco dresses! There were guests sitting along the catwalk, photographers and journalists, and tourists were allowed to watch the show as well.
Price: the entrance fee is 8 EUR. If you wish, you can purchase the tickets in advance on their website, but they charge 1 EUR extra as a management fee. When I was there, there were no lines at the ticket office, but I do not know about the high season. You can get audio guides for 2 EUR. The entrance is free for children under 6 years old. Retired, disabled, and children of 6-12 years old pay 6 EUR.
2. Real Alcazar de Seville and the Cuarto Real
The Real Alcazar with its magnificent gardens, exquisite tilework of different colors and Moorish architectural elements is something to remember. Honestly, I do not have words to describe how beautiful the gardens and palaces are. There are many similarities between the Real Alcazar and the Alhambra: patios, courtyards, fountains and amazing walls are the striking features of both palace complexes.
As it is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Seville, it is always crowded, so I suggest to buy tickets online. The general ticket includes entrance to the Alcazar and the gardens.
Cuarto Real – the royal quarters of the Alcazar – is a floor in the palace complex and the Spanish royal family still uses it (it is not included into the general visit and requires a separate ticket). Here you will see the royal halls and bedrooms, reception room, and amazing furniture. If you ask me, it is definitely worth the extra 4,50 EUR. NB: when you buy the ticket, you will be prompted to choose a time slot and leave your name. Make sure that you are at the entrance to the Cuarto Real in time. The procedure of getting in is the following: a security guard asks for your name and checks it against the list, all your belongings are scanned and you will have to leave them in the lockers (make sure you have a 1 EUR coin with you to use for the lockers). You will get an audio guide and another security guard will show you the way. Pictures are not allowed inside.
Price: the entrance fee to the Real Alcazar and Cuarto Real is 16 EUR. A ticket to the Real Alcazar only costs 11,50 EUR, audio guide costs additional 5 EUR. I would advise to buy tickets online, the official website to do so is this one: if you buy it online, 1 EUR extra is taken.
3. The Cathedral and La Giralda
Of course, I could not miss the Cathedral of Granada, one of the biggest churches in the world and UNESCO heritage site. I said it before, and I will say it again: the cathedrals of Spain are magnificent, and this one is not an exception. Just imagine tremendously high ceilings with mighty columns, stained glass windows, and intricate decorations. It is very hard to believe that people could build something like this hundreds of years ago. But the Cathedral is more famous for the fact that Christopher Columbus is buried there and for the Giralda, of course.
La Giralda, the bell tower of the cathedral, is a former minaret. It is 105 meters high, so the views from above are stunning. When I saw the tower, I cringed at the thought that I would have to climb all those steps up. Luckily, there are just a dozen of them on top; the rest is ramps! I still remember how relieved I was when I saw the ramps 🙂 It is still difficult to climb it up, but much easier than steps 🙂
Don’t forget to have a walk in the Patio de las Naranjas and a look at the Puerta del Perdon.
Price: the fee of 9 EUR includes the entrance to the Cathedral, La Giralda and the Church of San Salvador. Reduced fees for the retired and students of 15-25 years old. Children under 15, some categories of disabled people and the unemployed enter free of charge. As always, a document is needed to confirm that one is entitled to free or reduced fee entrance. The audio guide is 3 EUR, but there are informational plaques inside.
Things to know: there is an option to buy tickets online, the official website is here. I strongly advise you to do this, as the line was very long, even considering the fact that I was in Seville in the end of October. If you do not want to buy tickets online, better go to the Church of Salvador and get the combined ticket there.
I bought mine at the church, and when I came to the Cathedral, there was a very long queue, and I had to wait for my turn. It took me quite a lot of time to realize that it was a line to buy tickets, while I already had mine, so I went straight in. Don’t be like me 🙂
How to save: the entrance is free on Mondays between 16:30-18:00. You will need a ticket anyway, so better book it online.
4. Palacio de Lebrija
This tourist attraction of Seville should not be missed! I remember how awestruck I was when I saw the amazing tiles that cover every inch of walls, ancient mosaics, amphoras and sculptures. This place seems to be more of a historical museum than a home.
But wait till you get to the second floor of the house, which is the residential part of the palace. Old furniture, paintings, silk, cabinets, I bet it is a nice place to live 🙂
Price: the entrance to the ground floor is 6 EUR, both floors is 9 EUR. I advise to pay these 3 EUR extra and go to the upper floor as well.
Things to know: visits to the upper floor are guided, when you are at the palace you will be told the next tour time. While you are waiting for the tour, you are free to explore the ground floor with mosaics and tiles.
5. Plaza de Espana
This is the place I really wanted to see! The square was a filming location for some movies like Star Wars and Game of Thrones, so, obviously, it is one of the most popular places to see in Seville.
The Plaza de Espana is famous due to the magnificent semicircular brick building that is an architectural masterpiece and a government office. As far as I know, visitors are not allowed inside, but are free to walk some of its galleries to get a better view of the square. The building is so wide that I could not fit it in the camera even when I was standing quite far from it!
There is a semicircular pond repeating the shape of the main building, and visitors can rent boats: motor boats cost 12 EUR for 15 min, and rowing boats are 6 EUR for 35 min.
Some practical info: there is a WC not far from the statue of Anibal González for 0,60 EUR.
6. Casa de Pilatos
Casa de Pilatos is another house with amazing tile work and Mudejar ceilings. The entrance is through a marble gate. Just like many other Andalusian houses, this one has a courtyard surrounded by the residential areas, and the walls are covered with azulejo tiles. The gardens of the Casa de Pilatos are amazing!
If you watched the movie Knight and Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, then you might remember the house in Seville where Roy sees June: this house is the Casa de Pilatos.
Just like in case with many houses in Seville, this one has two visit options: the ground floor only and the whole house.
Price: the entrance fee to the ground floor is 8 EUR, both floors is 10 EUR. Tours to the upper floor are guided. More info is here.
7. Casa de Salinas
Like other casas in this list, the Casa de Salinas is a private property: interesting so, the lady of the house comes from the family of Mila who own the famous Pedrera in Barcelona.
During your visit, you will see the amazing glasswork, azulejo tiles, Mudejar ceilings, family rooms with old furniture, interesting paintings. Oh, and I like the pink colour of the building 🙂
Price: the entrance fee is 6 EUR, children younger than 11 pay 3 EUR. More info is here.
Things to know: the visits to the house are guided only, and the tours start every 20 minutes. My tour was in English.
8. Maria Luisa Park
Maria Luisa Park is the main park of the city and, honestly, it is the best one in Seville to spend hot days of which there are many. Initially, it was a part of the San Telmo Palace’s gardens, now it is a public space.
There are many fountains and ponds, palm trees, gardens with flowers, numerous birds and even a small water cascade.
My favorite places are the Lion’s Fountain and Plaza America with its water lily pond.
9. Archaeological Museum of Seville
The Archaeological Museum of Seville is in the end of the Maria Luisa Park at the Plaza America. It has a wide collection of mosaics and Roman artifacts. If you are interested in history, this is a place not to miss, otherwise better choose the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions opposite to it.
Price: the entrance fee is 1,5 EUR, but free for EU citizens.
10. Torre del Oro
I guess it won’t be a mistake to say that people visit the Torre del Oro (Golden Tower) – Maritime Museum of Seville, a fine example of the Islamic architecture, for the panoramic views of Seville and the Guadalquivir river. I went there for the same reason and I did not regret it: in my opinion it offers much better views of the Cathedral than Las Setas.
To my surprise, I enjoyed the museum itself with its exhibits of ships, informative descriptions and old maps.
Price: the entrance fee is 3 EUR, reduced fees for students, retired and children between 6-14, more info is here.
11. Avenida de Constitucion and Palacio de San Telmo
Avenida de Constitucion is one of the main streets in Seville, and is worth a stroll along just to see some magnificent buildings like the Cathedral, the General Archive of the Indies (the entrance is free) or the Adriatica.
At the end of the avenue you will see a magnificent building which is now Hotel Alfonso XIII, and next to it the San Telmo Palace. The palace is now a governmental office, but it is still possible to visit it. I did not do it, as I did not know it was doable, but according to the info here, you will have to email them to reserve the visit. The entrance is free.
12. The city hall, Plaza Nueva, Plaza del Cabildo and Plaza del Triunfo
The Plaza Nueva, a nice area with benches and trees, is just behind the city hall Ayuntamiento, an amazing plateresque edifice.
The Plaza del Cabildo is notable for a beautiful semicircular building with ornaments.
The Plaza del Triunfo is located between the Cathedral, the General Archive of the Indies and the Real Alcazar. There are no benches there, but people sit on the steps of the monument to the Immaculate Conception.
Things to know: I did not see any ways to enter the city hall, but, apparently, it is possible to do it for 4 EUR. More info is here. It is my understanding that the tours are guided, but I do not know the language of the tour. In addition, entrance is free on Saturdays.
Juderia, or Santa Cruz, is a part of the city with narrow streets on the left from the Real Alcazar. As the name suggests it, this is the quarter where mainly the Jewish population lived. Don’t miss the Plaza de Dona Elvira and Calle Agua!
In this labyrinth of narrow streets I came across a shop selling artisanal turron and, like I mentioned in my previous post on my 3 days in Seville, I did not buy turron here to take home and deeply regretted it!
14. El Divino Salvador
El Divino Salvador is the second largest church in Seville after the main cathedral. It was erected on the site of a mosque. The interior is of baroque style with rich decorations and paintings of local artists. While the church is very beautiful, I was not stunned, I guess I saw too many churches during my visit to Spain.
Price: the entrance fee is 4 EUR, but like I said before, it is better to buy a combined ticket for 9 EUR that includes entrance to the cathedral as well. Entrance is free for locals, children under 15 accompanied by an adult, the unemployed and disabled: more info is here. You can buy online tickets here. Audio guides cost 2,5 EUR, but there are informational plaques like in the main cathedral.
15. Iglesia de San Ildefonso
I like this church for its two towers and vivid colours. Just like other baroque churches, it is richly decorated with paintings and sculptures.
16. Metropol Parasol – Las Setas
Metropol Parasol, or Las Setas (mushrooms from Spanish) is a very famous tourist attraction of Seville, but many locals do not like it. Tourists go there for the panoramic views of the city, and I went there for the same reason.
My honest opinion: the views are not that impressive, I expected so much more. It is better to climb the Torre del Oro instead. A good thing is that the entrance ticket allows a free drink when you are up.
Price: the entrance fee is 3 EUR, no card payment. Locals, some categories of disabled and children under 5 enter for free.
Things to know: the ticket office and the entrance is in the underground, the elevator takes you up. In the underground as well there is an antiquarium with the ruins of the Roman period that were discovered while constructing the Metropol Parasol. Entrance is 2 EUR, and is not included into the visit to the Parasol.
17. Jardines de Murillo
Murillo Gardens is a nice public park behind the Real Alcazar. I guess its most famous part is the monument to Christopher Columbus. The gardens are perfect to spend hot days as there are many benches and a fountain with drinking water.
18. Santa Paula Monastery
I visited the monastery only for its collection of religious objects. While it is a rich collection with many paintings and sculptures, I was already tired of anything related to churches. The museum is a perfect place for those interested in religion and arts.
Price: the entrance fee is 4 EUR, it is open from 10 AM till 1 PM.
Things to know: as far as I know the museum is the only part of the monastery open to visits. This means that there is no big door to enter the place. You will have to use the buzzer at the last door with the schedule on your right and they will open it. When you are in, take the stairs on your left, and buzz again. A nun will open the door, take the fee (I am not sure if cards are accepted) and show you the way. There are no audio guides, and nuns do not usually speak English, so you will just walk around.
19. Basilica de la Macarena and the wall of Seville
The Basilica de la Macarena is located quite far from the main tourist attractions of Seville. It is next to the Arch of Macarena and the ancient walls of Seville.
Price: the entrance to the church itself is free, but its collection of religious objects requires an entrance fee of 5 EUR. It is my understanding that the money goes to help those in need.
Points of interest in Seville that you can skip
Well, again, this is my opinion only, and you might still enjoy these places.
1. Alameda de Hercules
Alameda de Hercules is a historical square with Roman columns. It is far from the other tourist attractions of Seville, and I honestly do not see any reasons to go there. There are many cafes and restaurants around the square, but I did not find the place appealing at all.
2. River tour
I have never thought I would be disappointed by a river tour, but Seville proved me wrong. When I look at it, I understand that it is my fault. It is enough to open the map and take a look at the Guadalquivir river to understand that there is nothing interesting alongside its flow: all the main sights are inside the city. I took the tour at the Torre del Oro and paid 16 EUR for it: the ship was big and comfortable, but it was not worth it.
Points of interest in Seville I did not visit
While 3 days in Seville are more than enough to visit the main tourist attractions, I could definitely have used another one. Below are some places to consider.
1. Triana Barrio
I wish I had done this instead of the river tour. Triana is one of the oldest parts of Seville, and is well known for its narrow streets, bullfighters, flamenco dancers and traditional pottery and tile work. The first Catholic Church – Church of Santa Ana – after the Muslim rule was built in Triana. Calle Betis that runs along the river is probably the most popular in Triana, as it has loads of restaurants and cafes.
2. Modern Art Museum
I am not a fan of arts, and especially the modern art: it is just not my cup of tea, and I never visit art museums. I find them boring.
The museum is quite far from the city center, but as I said it in my post on the 3 days in Seville, it is better to take it on foot (depends, of course, on your physical condition, as the distance is about 3 km from the Plaza Nueva).
Price: the entrance fee is 3,01 EUR, partial visit is 1,80 EUR. The entry is free on Tuesdays to Fridays between 19:00-21:00 and Saturdays between 11:00-21:00. More info on tickets and opening times is here.
3. Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions, Sevilla
I still regret that I did not visit this museum. If I had not been so lazy that day, I could have visited it as well alongside with the Archaeological Museum. It is always nice to have an insight into the culture and traditions, and the entrance fees to similar museums are not high. You can check for more info here, but I could not find the entrance fee. I suppose it is as low as for the Archaeological Museum or even free for EU citizens.
4. Aquarium of Seville
My primary concern was that the aquarium is too small. I mean I visited the aquariums in London, Moscow, Barcelona and Amsterdam, and they were rather small, so I did not want to spend 15 EUR for this visit. I am pretty sure kids will love it, so. Some additional info on tickets and opening times is here.
5. Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla
The main reason I did not visit the bullring is because of a tour review I had read which claimed that visitors did not get to see the bullring itself, so I just crossed it out of my list. When I came back from Seville, I read other reviews, which claimed that in addition to the museum, visitors do get to see the bullring but are not given much time to spend there. Well, that’s up to you to decide. Just make sure that you buy your ticket in advance: more info here.
In the end, 3 days in Seville are enough to see the main points of interest, but I would advise to spend 4-5 days in the city and not to rush everything.