The Best Things to Do in Seville, Spain

Aktualisiert am: 17/03/2024

Seville is a city full of passion: Flamenco, the rousing Andalusian dance full of emotion and energy, can be found everywhere. Add to this the typical Andalusian warmth and you are guaranteed to fall in love with the lively capital of Andalusia. I’ll take you on a tour of the most beautiful sights that Seville has to offer!

The old town of Seville

The old town of Seville is really great and the perfect starting point for your exploration tour. You can simply let yourself drift through the streets and soak up the energetic atmosphere. Many sights can be reached from here, including the two most important: Seville Cathedral and the Real Alcázar de Sevilla.

Welcome to my travel blog!

Hey, I’m Tatiana, a German-Brazilian living in Berlin & the author behind The Happy Jetlagger. I’ve been writing about my travels since 2014. In addition to my job as a flight attendant, this blog is my passion project!

Narrow alley in Spanish old town with yellow building.

The cathedral of Seville

An absolute must-see is Seville Cathedral, the largest Gothic church in the world. Even if, like me, you’re not particularly into religion and the church, you’ll be amazed by the sheer size and attention to detail.

Gothic cathedral facade_detail

You should also definitely go up the Giralda Tower. The tower was once a Moorish minaret. It is now one of Seville’s most striking landmarks. The ascent is not easy, but also unusual: for long stretches, there are no steps but wide ramps.

Buy your ticket for the cathedral and the Giralda Tower here*

Once at the top, it offers you a panoramic view over Seville that you won’t soon forget. The view is a real highlight!

Panoramic view of Spanish city by daylight
View of historic buildings through a Gothic window grille.

In the cathedral itself you will also find the tomb of Christopher Columbus, the navigator whose arrival in America in 1492 brought him great fame as an explorer. Although Columbus was actually Italian, he set off on his voyages of discovery around the world on behalf of the Castilian crown. Incidentally, it was unclear for a long time whether Columbus’ mortal remains could really be found here, as the grave changed location several times – but this now seems to have been proven.

Historic sculpture group in church

The Alcázar of Seville

Just a short walk from the cathedral is the Alcázar royal palace, one of the most visited and important sights in Spain. The entire complex is really huge – and usually well frequented. Plan enough time for your visit (you should reserve an entire morning or afternoon) and be sure to buy your ticket in advance to avoid long queues.

Buy your ticket for the Alcázar of Seville here*

The Alcázar was originally built in the 10th century and is an impressive example of Moorish architecture. Here you will find magnificent halls with intricate details, paradisiacal gardens and an atmosphere straight out of a thousand and one nights. Like Seville Cathedral, the Alcázar is now also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Patio de las Doncellas: The heart of the Alcázar

An absolute highlight of the Alcazar is the Patio de las Doncellas (Courtyard of the Virgins). You probably already recognize this courtyard: It is by far one of the most popular photo motifs in the Alcázar.

The influences of Islamic architecture are clearly visible here: there is a water channel in the middle of the courtyard, which is surrounded by richly decorated columns. If you visit the Alcázar early in the morning, you should go here first to enjoy the magical atmosphere in peace – later in the day it gets really crowded here.

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Metropol Parasol (Las Setas)

The Setas de Sevilla were probably the main reason why I wanted to visit Seville. The special architecture of the Metropol Parasol, which resembles mushrooms (hence the Spanish nickname “setas”) is simply fascinating and the view over Seville is unique.

The site, which is located in the middle of the city center, used to be a market hall. At some point, however, it was so dilapidated that it had to be demolished in the 1970s. The site then lay fallow for a long time. The setas were completed in 2011 and now form a great contrast to the historic old town. Incidentally, the Setas are the largest wooden building in the world! The curved shapes and modern design are truly impressive.

From the viewing platform on the Metropol Parasol you have the best view over the city center of Seville. I definitely recommend a visit at sunset! When the last rays of the sun set over the city, the atmosphere here is particularly great! There are also many restaurants and bars in the area surrounding the Metropol Parasol where you can round off the evening.

Parque de María Luisa

Seville is amazingly green, and the Parque de María Luisa is a big part of this. Originally part of the private garden of the Palacio de San Telmo, this park was opened to the public for the Ibero-American Exposition in 1929 and is now considered the green lung of the city. If you need a break from sightseeing, you can take a stroll under the shady trees or enjoy the atmosphere in the spacious Plaza de España.

Plaza de España

The Plaza de España catapults you into a completely different world. This semicircular square was built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929 in the Neo-Mudéjar style . Like many buildings erected for world fairs or similar events during this period, the Plaza de España was also intended to reflect the progress of the time. And to this day, the Plaza de España is truly impressive.

You can even take a boat trip in the man-made pond. Take your time and let this special place work its magic on you!

With a bit of luck, you can even see spontaneous flamenco shows: Dancers and musicians often meet here and just start playing. A great alternative if you can’t find the time to attend a proper flamenco show in Seville.

Seville & the flamenco

Pure life is everywhere here and the positive energy of the Andalusians is omnipresent. Flamenco is a particularly good example of this. This dance is inextricably linked to Andalusian culture. A subtype of flamenco is even named after Seville, the Sevillanas.

If you don’t happen to see flamenco dancers somewhere, you should definitely look out for a flamenco show in one of the many tablaos in the city. The intensity and passion of flamenco are simply so intoxicating, you have to experience it live!

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Food & drink in Seville

Seville is simply a feast for all the senses: the Andalusian capital also has a lot to offer in terms of cuisine. The tapas culture here is legendary, and a tapas tour through the city is the best way to get to know the local cuisine.

Book a tapas tour through Seville here*

What you must try in Seville

My tip: Just go to one of the traditional bars and order a selection of small dishes, from gambas al ajillo (prawns with garlic) to jamón ibérico (raw ham) and the classic tortilla Española. Tapas are usually ordered in small portions and shared among everyone at the table. If something tastes particularly good, simply order more. So you can taste your way through many specialties.

Cheese platter with crackers and nuts.

Another typical specialty you should try is gazpacho, a cold tomato soup. It’s perfect for hot days in Seville. For wine lovers, the Tinto de Verano, a wild mixture of red wine and lemonade, is also popular in Andalusia and takes some getting used to, but is very refreshing in summer temperatures.

Restaurants & Cafés in Seville

During my trip, I also discovered a few locations that I heartily recommend:

Filo Mini brunch store with great sandwiches, perfect for a little break in between. Freshly squeezed orange juice, tostada con tomates: everything is fresh here. Beautifully decorated.

Straw hats decorated on the wall.

There are only a few seats, but the team is super well organized and the wait is really worth it! Filo can be found in two locations not far from each other on the same street, Calle Hernando Colón 10 and 19 (I was in the latter store).

La Malvaloca Beautiful tapas restaurant directly opposite the Metropol Parasol. Perfect for drinks and a small snack in the evening.

Restaurante Cristina Bistró At first glance, it may seem somewhat inconspicuous and a little off the beaten tourist track, but this restaurant serves great bistro cuisine. Sit outside, eat well and enjoy the vibe of Seville!

Gourmet appetizer with wine glass

Mercado Arenal

Located somewhat off the beaten track, the Mercado Arenal is a real insider tip. Actually a market hall, you will also find some street food stalls with delicious specialties in the historic building. The atmosphere is pleasantly casual and tourists are rarely seen here.

Market hall with food stalls and seated people.

Practical travel tips for Seville

If you are planning a trip to Seville, I have a few helpful tips for you here. But don’t worry, Seville is a great destination and you’re sure to find your way around!

Traditional Moroccan mosaic tiles.

Best time to travel and climate

Seville can get very hot in summer. Temperatures often reach over 35 degrees Celsius. So if you really want to see something in the city, I advise you to avoid the hot summer months. The best time to visit is spring or fall. The temperatures are more pleasant then, but it is still often sunny and warm and you can enjoy the city to the full.

Baroque church façade with azulejo tiles, blue sky.

Staying overnight in Seville

Seville offers a wide range of accommodation, from luxury and boutique hotels to Airbnbs and hotels. If you are staying in the old town, you can reach most of the sights on foot.

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My personal recommendation is La Parada de Marques*. Although it’s not in the middle of the old town, it’s particularly practical if you’re only staying in Seville for a few days. It is just a few meters from the bus station: from there you can easily take the public bus to the airport and save yourself a cab or an Uber. You can also easily get to surrounding towns by bus from here.

Check availability & prices at La Parada de Marques in Seville*

For example, I drove from Faro to Seville. For example, you can also combine a trip to the Algarve in Portugal with Seville.

Transportation options in the city

Seville may be a large city with just under 700,000 inhabitants, but many sights are within walking distance if you stay in the city center. However, you can also use streetcars, buses or bicycles to get around. In addition to regular cabs, there is also Uber in Seville.

Carriage with horses in front of a historical monument.

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