3 Days in Seville is just the right amount of time to get a feel for this incredible Spanish city. Seville won its place on our itinerary because it is home to the stunning Alcazar; however, it won our hearts with its fantastic food and friendly locals. Keep reading to find out the best things to do in Seville on your visit.
There’s nothing quite so typically Spanish than the city of Seville. Based in the southern state of Andalusia, Seville has everything we imagine when we think of Spain: tapas, flamenco and toros (bull’s).
There’s plenty more to see than that though! Get lost in the sinuous laneways of the historic old town, feel awe at the grand UNESCO listed palace, Catholic churches and Moorish architecture.
Take a walk through the bustling food market in Triana, sip a traditional glass of sherry and above all, make sure you make the most of your time in stunning Seville. Whether you’re here for three days or three months, there’s no shortage of things to do in Seville.
Seville is one place I would actively avoid in Summer when temperatures reach 35 degrees Celcius for weeks in a row.
We visited in early October and the weather was delightful and crowds quite manageable. The warmer temps here mean you should not rule out visiting in winter.
Two of the most famous festivals in Seville, the Easter Festival, Semana Santa and the spring festival Feria de Abril held in April are wonderful to attend but the prices of hotels triple and the crowds make sightseeing and dining a challenge for all but the most organised.
Seville is connected to Spain’s main cities by high-speed train and to smaller towns via bus services.
|Barcelona to Seville||5.5 hrs|
|Madrid to Seville||2.5 hrs|
|Malaga to Seville||2-3 hrs|
|Cordoba to Seville||50 min.|
|Granada to Seville||2 hrs 20 min.|
The intercity trains arrive at Seville Santa Justa about 2km from the Cathedral. From the station bus no 21 or A7 will get you to the centre of town. We took a taxi to our hotel for a few euro.
The central bus station is at the other end of town in Avenida Cristo de la Expiración, Nº2 CP 41001. You can find the full list of bus services travelling to and from Seville here.
Our guide to Planning a Trip to Spain is a great place to get more tips about visiting this amazing country.
Many of the destinations on our itinerary can be reached on foot if you stay in the city centre areas that we recommend below. If you are heading further afield or don’t fancy walking much, you can take one of the many buses or the tram.
There is only one tram line with five stops, Plaza Nueva, Archivo de Indias, Puerta de Jerez, Prado de San Sebastián and San Bernardoit. The tram runs through the centre of town, we didn’t use it, but I did almost manage to walk in front of it more than once 😉
Seville also has a bike rental scheme and being such a flat city; it is excellent for cycling. There are 250 rental terminals across the city, and they are very affordable. Find out more about the Sevici bike system.
If you arrive at the Central train station, Santa Justa, you could take an Uber or a local taxi to your hotel.
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Real Alcazar – Tapas Lunch Tour – Barrio Santa Cruz walk – flamenco show.
Our main reason for visiting Seville was to see the Real Alcazar, so we decided to start here. We followed this up with a lunchtime Tapas Tour so we could get a list of must-eat spots for the rest of our trip. Nothing like local insight for planning the rest of your eats.
We rounded out the day with some history on our walking tour of the Jewish Quarter, you could also wander the streets alone with your camera if you prefer.
A place every Seville itinerary must include is a visit to this incredible UNESCO listed royal palace. I don’t like musts and use them lightly but this time it’s warranted.
Dating back to the 14th Century, this Mudéjar style of architecture is simply breathtaking. You can’t help but walk around sprouting superlatives!
While it will feel impossible to draw your attention away from the intricate detailing above you, make sure you remember to look down at all the beautiful tiles below, something for which the palace is famous.
Even though the royal palace is still in use by the Spanish royal family, visitors can access to their chambers, staterooms and halls with a special ticket.
Allow a couple of hours to explore the buildings and gardens. If you bring lunch, the gardens are a lovely place to sit and have a break.
You should book your tickets in advance, particularly in high season. We arrived 30 minutes before opening and were glad we had tickets because the line was already impressive.
Where: Patio de Banderas, s/n. 41004
Cost: €11.50 for the ground floor + €4.50 for the Royal Bedroom
Tip: You can visit for free Monday from 6-7pm between April to September, and from 4pm-5pm between October to March.
Next on our list of things to do in Seville was finding the best food. Savouring the variety of tapas is synonymous to any trip to Seville, and you’ll no doubt be sampling your fair share of it. Something you’ll notice upon arrival is the many, many different types on offer.
Why not take a tour to learn more about the various types of tapas and try something new, something typically Sevillian? Most tours will hop from bar to bar to taste the specialties of each; it’s a great way to experience the extensive cuisine in Seville.
Take a Tapas Tour to learn about the food culture of the city and find great places to eat!
The historical centre has plenty on offer from intricate alleyways and charming wine bars. This old Jewish Quarter is very touristy but also fascinating. We explored the area with a local guide to learn more about its history. The walking tour was short, a little over an hour and was very affordable. I highly recommend it.
However, for those who are looking for entertainment, this is the perfect place to see a typically Sevillian flamenco show. Usually housed in small, intimate venues, flamenco is performed by passionate local artists.
Feel free to get involved by clapping your hands (if you can keep up) and offering the musicians a passionate “Ole!”. Also! There’s nothing quite so Sevillian than to watch a flamenco show while sipping a glass of Andalusian sherry.
Book a Flamenco Show or lesson for an Andalusian culture shot!
Our dinner at La Azotea was one of our best in Spain. It was recommended by a Spanish guest I had met on a greet while he was visiting Sydney, and I am so glad I noted it down.
La Azotea have four restaurants around Sevilla; we chose the one in Santa Cruz. If you want to dine at the traditional Spanish dinner hour, it’s a good idea to make a reservation. Be sure to try the Carrillada ibérica, Coquinas or Pulpo a feira if they are on the menu.
Maria Luisa Park – Plaza de España – Royal Tobacco Factory – Cathedral of Seville & Giralda Tower- Metropol Parasol Sunset
This is a pretty busy day, but all the sites are close together, and you will have plenty of rest time. If you fancy a sleep in after your night of flamenco you could cut short your time in the park or take a horse and carriage ride of the park instead.
Day two of your Seville itinerary should begin with a little nature! A stroll around Maria Luisa Park is a lovely way to start your day and walk off some of the calories you consumed last night!
Dreamy palm trees line the entrance to the park and squirrel off into trails within the gardens. There are numerous ponds and fountains around the park, and in spring and summer, the gardens are especially gorgeous.
Where: Paseo de las Delicias, s/n, 41013 Sevilla
Continuing with the Mudéjar style of architecture with an added touch of Renaissance and Art Deco, the Plaza de España, or Spain Square, is a stunning sight. The enormous monument based within the Maria Luisa Park was designed by a local Seville architect, Aníbal González and built for 1929 Ibero-American Exposition.
Included in the design is a tribute to all 49 Spanish provinces. Each has its only tiled feature. We walked around taking a photo of each spot we visited on our trip for a photo album.
Families with kids might fancy a boat ride around the moat. Along the way will pass four bridges, representing the ancient kingdoms of Spain.
If the Plaza looks familiar you may remember it from the movie Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
Where: Avenida de Isabel la Catolica, 41004
When: Anytime but it’s lovely at sunset and very hot in the middle of a summers day.
Tip: As you make your way on foot to your next stop, the Cathedral, keep an eye out for the Royal Tobacco Factory. Bizet’s Opera Carmen was set here in the Seville Tobacco Factory.
Spend a couple of hours this afternoon visiting beautifully unique gothic Cathedral, which just so happens to be the largest Cathedral in the world by volume alone. The World Heritage site has eighty different chapels, so make sure you allow plenty of time for this one because there are spectacular views at every turn.
The Cathedral’s history runs deep; there are even hints from the mosque that once stood here many years ago. This is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Seville, just make sure you don’t miss the tomb of Columbus!
The Giralda Tower was part of the original mosque, and a walk-up offers impressive views. One thing that surprises a lot of people is that there very few stairs to reach the top of the tower, instead there are ramps that wind up the building with just a few steps at the end.
Where: Plaza Virgen de los Reyes
When: Mon: 11am to 3:30pm / Tue-Sat: 11am. to 5pm / Sun: 2:30pm to 6pm
Cost: Combined fee for both is 8 € for adults and 3 € for seniors and those under 26 years.
Tip: You can enter for free on Mon from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The best place to end your second day in Seville has to be the Metropol Parasol. Visiting at any time of day will impress, but at sunset, you can see the shadows cast (from the largest wooden structure in the world) in a completely different light.
Arguably, the best place to take in the Metropol Parasol (or Las Setas to locals) is from the rooftop. Here you can take a walk along the winding rooftop walkway for a 360-degree view of the city that surrounds you.
Where: Plaza de la Encarnación
When: 9:30am-10:30pm (11.30pm Sat and Sun)
Cost: 5 Euro Adults, 1 Euro kids.
How: Take the train to Plaza Nueva
Tip: after sunset, take a 5-minute walk to Los Coloniales for some great local eats.
Plaza del cabildo- Tour Plaza de Toros – Guadalquivir River – Mercado de Triana -Museo Del Castillo De San Jorge – Chapel of the Sailors and Real Parroquia de Señora Santa Ana
Today we suggest a sleep in, your first site opens at 10am so no need to rush. You are heading out of the city centre and across the river to Triana. Along the way, visit the Plaza del cabildo and the bullring, before continuing on to Triana.
This semi-circular building and courtyard are worth a short stop for the architectural quality along however this is another reason. It is home to a small pastry and sweet shop called El Torno where the goods are baked daily by cloistered nuns from convents across the city.
Once considered off the tourist trail it has been listed in Rick Steve’s Seville guide so I am sure the secret is out!
Where: Plaza del Cabildo
When: everyday 10:30am-7pm
This 12,000-capacity bullring is one of the most famous in the country. While we would never go to a bullfight the building and its Plaza are impressive to see. If you want to learn more about the history of the bullring and its place in Spanish culture you can take a guided tour. We were happy just to have a peek as we walked by.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find yourself surrounded by in the intricate whitewashed houses of a neighbourhood quite unlike the others.
Just a short twenty-minute walk over the bridge from the historic old town, you can find the authentic and local quarter of Triana. A working-class neighbourhood with plenty of layers, especially if you get a few streets back from the river.
Fancy some local produce? Perhaps you’d like to make a picnic, buy some lunch or simply observe the locals going about their day to day lives. Either way, Triana Market is the perfect place to spend some time.
This indoor market mostly sells food, and after walking past stall after stall selling gorgeous fruit and vegetables, you’re bound to give in to your inner temptations. Here can also find a fishmonger, bakery and several restaurants just waiting for you to try the culinary delights, typical of Andalusia.
Where: Calle San Jorge, 6
When: 9am-midnight (Sundays
Explore Triana with a local guide for more insight.
History buffs will want to schedule a visit to Museo Del Castillo De San Jorge, aka the Inquisition Museum. The site was one of the headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition.
Located right next to the Triana Market the site was discovered underneath the market during the 1990s. The museum is free, and the displays are in both English and Spanish. Well worth a 30-minute detour.
Where: Plaza del Altozano, s/n, 41001 Sevilla
Make a short detour to this pretty street, known as the house of flowers. This especially recommended in spring, and if you have not included Cordoba on your itinerary. Photographers will want to take their time here; the location is perfect for capturing Seville. There is a lovely view across the river back to the city.
Built in 1759, this small chapel punches well above its weight. It was here that sailors said their prayers before heading to sea. It is said that the men who sailed with Columbus prayed here before they left Spain. The key artwork here is the Esperanza de Triana-The Virgin of Hope statue.
Where: Calle Pureza, 51, 41010 Sevilla
When: Mon-Sat 10am- 1pm & 5:30pm-9pm Sun 10am-2pm & 5:30-8:30pm
There are several churches worth a look in Triana, but the most visited is the Gothic-Mudéjar, Iglesia de Santa Ana in Calle Vázquez de Leca. It’s the oldest church in the area (1266) and the one most dear to the hearts of the locals. The church is a huge player in the Easter festival.
Where: Parroco Don Eugenio, 1, 41010 Sevilla, Spain
When: 10:30am-1.30pm & 4:30pm-8:30pm
Cost: 2€ .
More details, including mass times on the website.
After exploring the church, we stopped at the local favourite, Bar Santa Ana (Calle Pureza, 82) for a coffee and cake. Well earned after walking from our hotel. If you don’t fancy the 30-minute walk you can take the metro to Plaza de Cuba station which will get you to Triana and reduce the time on your feet.
We ate our final evening meal at this old school restaurant that looked a little touristy as we walked by but turned out to be full of locals. The drawcard was one of our childhood dishes, that will certainly not be for everyone’s taste, sheep’s brains cooked in garlic butter. I decided against the photo in case it offends but they took both Charles and I back to our mother’s home-cooked dinners of the 1970s.
Heading to Cordoba – check out our guide
On a short visit, the location you choose to stay becomes more important because you don’t want to spend to much time commuting. We recommend choosing one of these three central spots.
El Arenal is the most central area to stay if you’re only planning on spending 3 days in Seville. It’s conveniently located near all the main attractions like the Real Alcazar and the Cathedral and situated within striking distance of the city’s best restaurants and bars.
The best part is, there are plenty of options to suit all budget levels. Basing yourself in the heart of the action is great, but if you’re bothered by hustle and bustle or noise at night, you might want to consider staying a safe distance away from the evening fiesta.
If your budget will stretch or you are celebrating a special occasion, then this hotel should be on your shortlist. The hotel’s Mudéjar-style architecture is the closest you can get to staying at the Real Alcazar.
The Hotel Mercer is a small 12 room property that offers a rooftop pool, in-house restaurant and bar, in a former 19th-century palace. The decor is modern, and rooms feature oak floors, Nespresso machines and fast wifi. All but the cheapest rooms offer a private terrace.
This is where we wanted to stay before we left it too long and missed out on a room. The location is perfect for exploring and just off the main streets so not too noisy.
This traditional Sevillan guest house is a budget property that at most times of year is less than 90€ per night. For the price, the quality is outstanding. High ceilings, a lovely communal patio area and very modern room design.
The rooms are quite small, but they are more than adequate for two travellers, and they also have a budget triple room. I would be very happy here.
If it’s quaint cobblestone calles, charming plazas and classic Andalusian adorned balconies you’re after, then Barrio Santa Cruz is the place for you. Barrio Santa Cruz is again, conveniently located close to all the main tourist attractions, in the heart of the historical centre.
You’ll likely spend your time here wandering the streets, jaw agape looking at all the intricacies the old buildings have to offer. It really is a photographer’s dream! However, Santa Cruz is the most touristy neighbourhood in Seville, so if you prefer a more off the beaten track or local neighbourhood, it might not be the best for you.
For a three day visit, you might prefer an apartment so you can do some shopping in the local markets and make a couple of meals at home. Set in a 17th Century Sevillian palace home, the design and decor are outstanding, particularly at the prices, you can usually find on offer.
The apartments feature kitchens and reasonably large living areas. Many have private terrace areas.
We had a lovely stay at Callejón Del Agua, which is just 5 minutes walk from the Cathedral in one direction and a short walk the other way to the bars and restaurants in the adjoining Alfalfa District.
Our room was small but clean and really comfortable. The key here though is the staff, who are super friendly and helpful, and the location which is ideal for exploring the entire city on foot.
This is a budget property with no passenger lift, so be sure to request and lower floor if you are not a stair lover. There is a free breakfast on the 4th-floor terrace at 9am, but after a quick look the first day we decided to head to nearby cafes instead.
Triana is the perfect place to stay if you’re after an authentic, local experience. Here you will find buzzing tapas bars, local markets and little boutiques selling artisanal products like ceramics.
A short twenty-minute walk over the bridge and you’ll find yourself in the hubbub of all the tourist attractions and after a long day of sightseeing, you can leave the noise behind and rest easy in the Triana neighbourhood.
If you prefer to be in the heart of the action or don’t fancy the walk into the city each day, you might find this area a little out of the way.
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