In this Seville travel guide, I’ll take you throughout the capital of traditional Spanish flamenco. Although it’s admittedly hard to compete with Spanish cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia or Alicante, Seville certainly takes on the competition. I visited the city for 3 days to discover the top things to do in Seville, including the Plaza de España, Real Alcázar de Sevilla, the Metropol Parasol and so much more.
Seville is a beautiful city – and with almost 3 million visitors annually, it’s one of the busiest cities in Spain. In 2018, Seville was even voted the best city trip by Lonely Planet. The reason why I love the city so much? Around every corner you’ll find architectural masterpieces, which blew me away multiple times. The city is also really affordable and the inhabitants are super friendly.
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When’s the best time to visit Seville?
With annual temperatures averaging around 25 degrees, a city trip in Seville is perfect all year round. Ideally, try to avoid the extremely hot summer months and opt to visit the city in the spring or autumn.
How to move around in Seville
It takes around 20 minutes to get from the airport to the city center in a taxi, and it costs around 25€. Try to leave the airport and hail a taxi as quickly as possible – the airport isn’t as big as Barcelona or Madrid, so finding a taxi can be tricky and queues can get long (especially when multiple planes land around the same time!).
A cheaper option is to take the bus into the city. The 35 minutes ride costs only 4€, and you can get your ticket from the bus driver.
Where to stay in Seville
When planning your stay in Seville, there are lots of lovely neighbourhoods and areas to choose from.
Centro is the most central and commercial area of the city. You can browse shoes in one of the many shoe stores, or grab a bite to eat in a cozy tapas bar. This area is the perfect location for your hotel or Airbnb stay, as everything is quite close and within walking distance.
Encarnación & Regina has been a neglected part of town for years, but this changed in 2004 when the city hall decided to redevelop the neighborhood. The Metropol Parasol – a spectacular wooden construction shaped like mushrooms – arose, and the area transformed into a new hotspot with several options for food and shopping.
Fancy a taste of authentic Seville? Visit the area of Triana, where you’ll discover the local passion for flamenco. Andalusia is the birthplace of this dance art, so you simply must book a flamenco show during your city trip in Seville (or even try to learn the dance!). Even in the streets you’ll regularly come across flamenco dancers, like on Plaza de Espagna. To admire the real work visit a flamenco bar such as Casa Anselma, one of the best flamenco bars in Seville.
Santa Cruz is the ancient Jewish quarter and the most historical neighborhood. The rich history and numerous churches means the area is constantly flooded with tourists. But it still remains a must-visit to wander around and absorb all architectural highlights.
Where to stay in Seville
There are so many wonderful choices when it comes to hotels in Seville, so I’ve cherry-picked a few favourites:
Hotel Alfonso XIII
For ultimate luxury, book a room at Hotel Alfonso XIII. This beautiful 5 star hotel is located in the Santa Cruz district, close to most of the sights in Seville. It’s one of the most prestigious hotels in the city – book your room here.
Hotel Boutique Casas de Santa Cruz
For something a little less expensive, this hotel offers decent rooms at fair prices – and it’s located in the historical part of the city. Book your room here.
Boutique Hotel Holos
Would you rather escape the crowds? Boutique hotel Holos is the perfect solution. This family managed hotel is located just outside the city, making it easy to avoid the buzzing city noise. Book your room here.
The Black Swan Hostel
If you’re visiting Seville on a budget, Black Swan hostel is the perfect accommodation. This hostel is located right in the middle of the center, and has both dormitories and private rooms. Book your room here.
Top things to do in Seville
The list of things to see during a stay in Seville is endless. I’ve put together an overview of my personal experiences during a city trip in Seville, highlighting all the sights that are worth a visit in the city.
- Plaza de Espagña – The most famous square in town, Plaza de Espagña, will leave you astonished. All the Spanish provinces are pictured here in azulejos (decorative blue tiles). The central square is nearly completely surrounded by a canal – you can take a gondola ride to see the four bridges that represent the four old kingdoms of Spain.
- Jardin de Murillo – If you fancy getting away from all the tourists on Plaza de Espagña, walk a bit further through to the Jardin de Murillo.
- Real Alcázar – One of the top places to visit in Seville is the Real Alcázar – the royal palace. This beautiful palace has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1987 – and it’s still in use everytime the royal family visits the city. You can wander around the palace and adjacent gardens for hours. Get lost and be amazed by its beautifully intricate design! Pay attention to the Moors’ influences that collide with Medieval and Renaissance characteristics. The unique details and colorful tiled walls make this place absolutely perfect for those Instagram-worthy snaps. (Top tip: book your tickets online in advance. The tickets for Real Alcázar are 8 euros more expensive, but you won’t regret it for a second as you’ll avoid super long queues.)
- Cathedral of Seville – Within walking distance of Real Alcázar is another huge Seville tourist attraction – the famous Cathedral of Seville. This beautiful gothic architectural wonder is truly breathtaking.
- Palacio de las Dueñas – Palacio de las Dueñas is one of the oldest and most important houses of the city, thanks to its architectural and artisanal heritage values. Access inside costs 9€.
- Casa De Pilatos – Home to one of the largest tile collections in the world – and definitely worth a visit! 150 different styles of ‘azulejos’ can be found in this Andalusian palace, and the garden has the most beautiful orangerie. Access is 10€.
- Toro del Oro – A Medieval tower you can encounter during a lovely walk along the Guadalquivir river.
- Aire de Sevilla – Want to spoil yourself? Close to the Cathedral, you can find Aire de Sevilla, the most famous Arabic bathhouse of Andalusia.
Eat delicious food in Seville – the best restaurants and markets
When it comes to Spanish food, everybody immediately thinks of tapas. At times it can be tricky to eat healthily in Spain, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover lots of trendy breakfast spots aside from the traditional ‘cafeterias’. Encarnacion, the area close to the Metropol Parasol, is especially up-and-coming – and there are plenty of delicious breakfast hotspots there:
- Jester – A hit with Instagrammers. Everything from the acai bowls to the fresh bagels is prepared with such an eye for detail. Definitely try one of the many freshly squeezed juices or their delicious coffee
- Milky Away – In this small bar your chance of finding a table is slim, but you can still order a takeaway! Everything is eco-friendly and there’s a wide range of gluten-free shakes and smoothies.
- Cocome – Choose from salads, wraps, sandwiches, soups and juices – most of which you can compose yourself.
During your stay in Seville, make sure you sample some of the delicious tapas on offer. The best spots for tapas are:
- Bodega Santa Cruz – Eat among the locals at high stand tables in a typical Spanish tapas bar.
- Mariatrifulca – Enjoy splendid tapas with the best view over the Canal de Alfonso XIII.
- Bar Alfalfa – A cosy tapas bar, with a limited but daily fresh menu.
- La Isla – A spectacular seafood restaurant.
- De La O – Anything special to celebrate? Definitely reserve a table at De La O!
If you’re planning a few drinks after dinner, my favourite spots for cocktails in Seville are The Second Room and Le XiX.
Best views in Seville
For the most stunning view over Seville, you must climb the Giralda Toren. The tower is 97 meters high – but there aren’t any stairs. Instead you can ascend to the top via steep hallways, and you’re rewarded with a breathtaking view over the Andalusian capital. The bell tower is part of the famous Sevillian Cathedral, the second biggest church in Europe.
You can also enjoy a spectacular view over the city on the Metropol Parasol – the best sunset spot in Seville. Enjoying the views and contemporary architecture costs €5, or you can just chill during the day under the world-famous mushroom construction without paying any entry fees.
The most instagrammable places in Seville
Seville is truly a lovely city with many picture-perfect spots. Here’s a complete list of the most instagrammable places in Seville:
- Plaza de Espagña – During the day, this square is full of tourists. Get up early and try to visit it at sunrise to have it all for yourself. On top of having lots of space, you’ll also profit from the most beautiful lighting for your pictures.
- Real Alcázar – Taking pictures in Real Alcázar is a challenge, as it’s one of the most visited tourist attractions in Seville. Buy your tickets online! Try to stand at the doors before opening and when entering, cross to the other side of the square immediately to discover the most beautiful shooting locations.
- Metropol Parasol – This spot is well-loved by both young and old visitors. For beautiful pictures under the wooden structures, it’s best to visit the Parasol in the early afternoon. At this time of day, you’ve got the best chance to shoot without many crowds. The top level is the most beautiful during sunset (but don’t forget you’ll have to buy tickets for that).
- Casa De Pilatos – This palace is much quieter, and in the late afternoon you can shoot as much as you wish without too much hassle.
- Catedral De Sevilla – Patience is a beautiful thing! It’s crowded here all day long, so it’s up to you to decide when’s best to take pictures and grab your moment when you can.
Where to next?
With cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, Spain is really the best holiday country for me. The combination of delicious food, beautiful weather, culture and leisure makes travelling in this country a unique experience time and time again.
Are you planning to discover other places in Spain – but you’re still looking for some more inspiration? Be sure to read 7 most beautiful Spanish cities you need to visit and my Spanish bucket list post.
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