Top Things to Do in Seville, Spain
Seville, the pearl of Spain’s Andalusia region, is brimming with Spanish culture. This heritage is infused with Moorish influence, evident in the stunning tiled mosaics and architecture all over the city. Seville feels undeniably Spanish, as many traditions the country is known for; flamenco, bullfighting, and tapas are cherished in this city. In this list, you’ll find the top seven things to do and see when you visit Seville.
For the epitome of grand Moorish-inspired architecture in Seville, look no further than the Real Alcázar. This sprawling palace complex is the official residence of the Spanish royal family and it’s open for visitors. You can tour the buildings inside and marvel at the intricately detailed walls and ceilings or relax in one of the courtyards. Due to all the crowds though, you might find the massive gardens behind the palace more peaceful.
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Cathedral de Sevilla
The Cathedral, like the Real Alcázar, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s also the largest cathedral in the world, with over 80 different chapels. It stands on the site of a former mosque, and construction on the cathedral began in 1401. Waiting to get in can be a hassle, but once you do, you can spend hours wandering around gazing at the historical and religious artifacts. The Cathedral is also famous for being the final resting place of Christopher Columbus.
The Giralda Bell Tower is the only remaining structure from the mosque that once stood where the Cathedral de Sevilla is now. Entrance to the cathedral and the tower are sold separately, but you can purchase a joint ticket to save money and cut down on waiting times. The Giralda is obviously one of the best places in the city to catch a bird’s eye view of Seville.
In addition, those who dread climbing up stairs in tall bell towers are in luck – the trek to the top is via ramps. It was apparently constructed this way to allow horses to move up and down the tower so that accessing the bells every day for calls to prayer weren’t so strenuous.
Plaza de España
The Plaza in the heart of Seville is easily one of the most recognizable symbols of the city. A sprawling square buffeted by an ornate, circular palace is open for visitors to meander around. You can also take a paddle boat on the small pond in the center.
The Plaza de España was constructed in 1929 for the Ibero-American Exposition and houses administrative buildings today. Walking along the bottom of the curved palace you can see mosaics depicting each province of Spain. Apart from Real Alcázar, it’s easily one of the best places to take photos in Seville.
Maria Luisa Park
Plaza de España is technically situated inside the enormous Maria Luisa Park. You could spend an entire afternoon walking down the park’s wide paths or relaxing near one of the many fountains. The park has several spots to explore, from its gardens to the Plaza de América, where two of Seville’s notable museums are located. Strolling through both Maria Luisa Park and the Plaza de España you can quickly lose track of time!
Plaza de Toros
Bullfighting is a time-honored tradition in Spain, especially in Seville. While there’s controversy over the continued practice, a tour of the Plaza de Toros is worthwhile to learn the history behind bullfighting. On the guided tour, you move through the small museum containing bullfighting artifacts and artwork depicting famous fighters. Then you get to see the arena from the stands and learn about the bullfighting performances in modern culture. The tour fills up quickly, so it’s best to book ahead if you can.
The Triana neighborhood sits on the left bank of the Guadalquivir and is home to Seville’s flamenco scene. Many of Seville’s most famous bullfighters have come from Triana as well. The quarter is a bedrock of traditional Sevillian culture, where you can find old-style tapas bars and buildings covered in the city’s distinctive ceramics. Triana is also home to the bustling market, Mercado de Triana.
Final Thoughts on Seville
Seville is a gorgeous city in the heart of Andalusia, with so much to explore. The city’s distinctive heritage makes it a vibrant testament to Spanish culture. If you haven’t been already, then Seville should be your next travel destination.