12 Fun Things to Do in Seville on Your Spain Adventure

Navigate the sun-kissed labyrinth of Seville, Spain, where centuries-old charm meets modern vibrancy. From the awe-inspiring Alcazar Palace to the rhythmic allure of flamenco, this enchanting city beckons with its rich history, architectural wonders, and lively cultural delights. Uncover the vibrant heart of Spain as you explore the best things to do in Seville with this complete guide!

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Royal Alcázar of Seville

The crowning glory of Seville is undoubtedly the magnificent Royal Alcázar of Seville. Set in the historic district of Santa Cruz, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a breathtaking example of architectural evolution, blending Moorish, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles.

Originally a fortress built in the 10th century for Muslim rulers, the Royal Alcázar of Seville is one of the oldest functioning palaces in Europe. Exploring the Royal Alcázar of Seville is a journey through centuries of history, art, and cultural fusion. As you step into intricate courtyards and lush gardens, travel to a world where kings and queens once strolled.

Start your day in Seville marveling at the awe-inspiring architecture, from the intricate details of the Patio de las Doncellas to the grandeur of the Sala de los Embajadores, or Hall of Ambassadors, with its spectacular dome. Don’t miss the intricately carved ‘gingerbread ceilings’ – exceptional examples of Mudejar architecture.

Royal Alcázar of Seville

Stroll around the spectacular gardens featuring fountains, pavilions, and a maze of shaded paths. Marvel at the geometric layout of the Patio de la Montería and unwind in the romantic ambiance of the Garden of the Poets.

Fun fact: the Alcázar’s ornate surroundings and historical ambiance provided the perfect backdrop for the fictional world of Westeros and the Water Gardens of Dorne in the TV series Game of Thrones.

INSIDER TIP: While the Patio de las Doncellas is a highlight, don’t miss the Patio de las Muñecas. Visitors often overlook this smaller courtyard, which offers a peaceful retreat with its beautiful archways and ceramic details.

Parque de María Luisa

Escape from the city for a while in the lush oasis of Parque de María Luisa. Stretching along the banks of the Guadalquivir River, this sprawling park is a verdant tapestry of gardens, fountains, and charming walkways.

Originally part of the private grounds of the Palace of San Telmo, the park was donated to the city by Infanta Luisa Fernanda in 1893. Today, it’s one of Seville’s most beloved public spaces, surrounded by beautiful historic architecture.

Parque de María Luisa

The Plaza de España, a semi-circular masterpiece within the park, boasts ornate bridges, a canal, and vibrant azulejo tiles representing each Spanish province. Head off the beaten track and explore lesser-known, secluded gardens like the Garden of the Lions or the Garden of the Poets, where you can enjoy some peace.

Within Parque de María Luisa are pavilions from the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, including the Mudejar and Royal Pavilions. These structures, often overshadowed by the grandeur of the Plaza de España, offer a quieter exploration of the park’s historical significance.

INSIDER TIP: Join the locals in embracing the tradition of picnicking in Parque de María Luisa. Pack a picnic basket with local delights and find a shaded spot near the fountains or pathways.

Plaza de España

Hailed as one of the most spectacular monuments in the world, the Plaza de España is a spectacle of light and grandeur. Framed in the expansive Maria Luisa Park, this masterpiece seamlessly blends architectural splendor with a touch of cinematic allure.

The Plaza de España was designed by the great Sevillian architect Aníbal González as a symbolic space for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. The semi-circular layout is adorned with bridges, canals, and a magnificent crescent-shaped Renaissance-inspired building.

Stroll along the canal, cross elegant bridges, and marvel at the intricate details of the plaza’s architecture. Along the canal of Plaza de España, you’ll find a series of ceramic plaques known as the Paseo de las Glorias Navales. These plaques honor Spain’s naval heroes, each intricately designed to commemorate significant naval events.

Plaza de Espana

The impressive structure is embellished with ornate bridges representing Spain’s four ancient kingdoms and vibrant azulejo tiles that narrate historical events. Don’t just admire the azulejo tiles from a distance. Get up close and engage with the intricate storytelling. Each tile depicts a moment in Spanish history or a province of Spain.

Fun fact: Plaza de España’s was the backdrop for the planet Naboo in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.

INSIDER TIP: Experience the magic of Plaza de España after dark. The building is beautifully illuminated, creating a romantic ambiance. It’s also a quieter time to appreciate the plaza’s beauty without the daytime crowds.

Catedral de Sevilla

Head to Barrio Santa Cruz, the former Jewish quarter of Seville, to marvel at the grandeur of the majestic Catedral de Sevilla. This architectural masterpiece, also known as the Catedral de Santa María de la Sede, is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world.

Located in the historic center of Seville, the cathedral stands on the site of the former Great Mosque of Seville. Its construction began in the early 15th century and continued for over a century, incorporating various architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque.

The sheer scale of Seville Cathedral, adorned with intricate stained glass, soaring vaults, and ornate chapels, is nothing short of breathtaking. La Giralda, the cathedral’s iconic bell tower, offers panoramic views of the city and pays homage to the mosque’s minaret that once stood in its place.

Catedral de Sevilla

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Catedral de Sevilla is a treasure trove of artistic masterpieces. Admire an extensive collection of religious art, including works by renowned painters such as Murillo, Zurbarán, and Goya. The altarpiece of the Capilla Mayor is a visual spectacle adorned with intricate carvings and a breathtaking depiction of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

INSIDER TIP: While the central nave is a visual spectacle, explore the lesser-visited areas. The Sacristía Mayor, or Main Sacristy, is a hidden gem with exquisite artworks, and the tranquil Capilla de San Antonio often sees fewer visitors, providing a more intimate experience.

La Giralda

Journey through the city’s diverse history from the heights of La Giralda, the iconic tower that graces the Cathedral of Seville. A defining feature of Seville’s skyline, La Giralda has witnessed centuries of history and is a brilliant fusion of architectural styles.

Originally constructed in the 12th century as the minaret of the Great Mosque, its transformation into a bell tower for the Cathedral of Seville brought about a harmonious blend of Moorish and Renaissance influences. The intricate latticework and decorative elements are a testament to the skilled artisans of the time.

La Giralda

Atop La Giralda stands El Giraldillo, a bronze weathervane that has become a symbol of Seville. Representing Faith, this iconic figure has faced the changing winds of history since its installation in the 16th century.

Climb to the top for extraordinary views over the city. Instead of stairs, you’ll find ramps that wind around the tower. Designed to accommodate the muezzin’s horse during the call to prayer, the ramps offer a unique and gradual ascent. Each turn unveils a new perspective as you climb, providing a sense of the tower’s scale and historical significance.

INSIDER TIP: Ascend La Giralda just before sunset. The warm hues over Seville create a magical ambiance, and you’ll witness the city moving from day to night.

Casa de Pilatos

Another beautiful Andalusian palace to admire is the grand Casa de Pilatos. Home to the Ducal Medinaceli family (Dukes of Medinaceli), this national treasure boasts a captivating blend of architectural styles and historical intrigue.

Located in the labyrinthine lanes of Seville’s historic center, Casa de Pilatos, often referred to as Seville’s ‘Andalusian Versailles,’ unfolds across a series of courtyards, gardens, and lavishly adorned rooms. Secluded courtyards unveil surprises at every turn. Find the Patio de las Sierpes, decorated with serpentine motifs, and the Patio del Yeso, featuring intricate plasterwork.

La Casa de Pilatos

Expect a sensory feast as you wander through the lush greenery and ornate archways with intricate tilework. Marvel at the harmonious fusion of Mudejar, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque influences, creating a captivating journey through time.

Meander around the magnificent gardens like the Jardín Chico and the Jardín Grande, where vibrant flowers, fountains, and shaded pathways create a serene oasis.

INSIDER TIP: Casa de Pilatos occasionally hosts twilight concerts in its courtyards. The combination of live music and the palace’s enchanting ambiance creates a truly magical evening. Check the schedule for any.

Las Setas de Sevilla (Metropol Parasol)

Embark on a modern architectural odyssey with Las Setas de Sevilla, or as the locals affectionately call it, the ‘Mushrooms.’ This striking structure, officially known as Metropol Parasol, redefines the city’s skyline with its innovative design.

Constructed in 2011, Metropol Parasol is a wooden lattice structure made from Finnish birch that hovers over La Encarnación Square. Beneath its undulating parasol, discover an archaeological site, a farmers’ market, and an elevated walkway providing unparalleled views of the city.

You’ll discover a juxtaposition of old and new as you wander through the Antiquarium, an underground museum showcasing remnants of Roman and Moorish civilizations. Climb to the top for a bird’s-eye view of Seville’s historic center and beyond.

Las Setas de Sevilla Metropol Parasol

Delve into the local scene by exploring the Mercado de la Encarnación beneath Las Setas. The market offers a variety of fresh produce, local delicacies, and a chance to mingle with Seville’s vibrant community.

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As the sun sets, Las Setas undergoes a magical transformation. The structure has a subtle lighting system that illuminates the night sky. This nightly light show adds an ethereal quality to the Mushrooms, creating a captivating ambiance.

INSIDER TIP: Las Setas occasionally hosts cultural events on its elevated walkways. From open-air concerts to art exhibitions, check the schedule for any upcoming events during your visit.

Palacio de las Dueñas

Step into the enchanting world of Seville’s aristocracy at Palacio de las Dueñas. Also known as the House of Dueñas, this majestic palace whispers tales of centuries past.

Located in the historic Santa Cruz neighborhood, Palacio de las Dueñas boasts an architectural tapestry that spans Gothic, Renaissance, and Mudejar styles. Once home to the prominent Dueñas family, it now welcomes visitors to wander through its opulent rooms, lush gardens, and hidden courtyards.

Stroll through impeccably preserved halls adorned with intricate tilework, antique furniture, and priceless artworks. Palacio de las Dueñas harbors hidden passageways with secrets of the palace’s clandestine history.

Palacio de las Duenas

In the garden, discover a unique sundial with a mystical touch. The sundial is said to have astrological and esoteric significance, reflecting the fascination of its former owners with astrology and celestial navigation.

Palacio de las Dueñas has ties to the legendary poet Antonio Machado, who taught French here. His presence lingers in the rooms, adding a literary dimension to the palace’s rich history.

INSIDER TIP: Book a unique evening candlelit tour. This exclusive experience allows you to explore the palace under the soft glow of candlelight, creating an enchanting and intimate atmosphere.

Seville Museum of Fine Arts

Explore Seville’s profound artistic heritage at the Seville Museum of Fine Arts. Housed within the former Convento de la Merced in the Arenal neighborhood, the museum promises a captivating immersion into the soul-stirring world of Spanish art.

Also known as Museo de Bellas Artes, the Seville Museum of Fine Arts dates back to the 17th century. The beautiful building itself is a work of art, with tranquil courtyards and elegant architecture.

Seville Museum of Fine Arts

The museum’s extensive collection spans from medieval times to the 20th century, encapsulating the evolution of Spanish art. A visual feast of masterpieces by renowned Spanish artists like Velázquez, Murillo, and Zurbarán awaits! Don’t miss Murillo’s world-renowned masterpiece, Inmaculada Concepción.

Step into the museum’s courtyards for a moment of quiet reflection and admire the former convent’s architectural beauty.

INSIDER TIP: Beneath the museum lies a hidden crypt that once served as the final resting place for the Convento de la Merced monks. Although not always accessible to the public, the crypt occasionally opens for special events or guided tours, revealing an underground layer of history.

Bodega Santa Cruz

Discover Seville’s deep-rooted love affair with sherry and regional wines at Bodega Santa Cruz. This charismatic tapas bar in the heart of the historic Santa Cruz neighborhood promises a delightful sojourn into the heart of Andalusian viticulture.

Housed in a building that exudes Andalusian charm, Bodega Santa Cruz boasts rustic interiors adorned with wooden barrels, terracotta tiles, and the unmistakable aroma of aged wines. Ancient Moorish arches around the building reveal layers of Seville’s architectural history. Enjoy your wines al fresco style on the secluded outdoor patio.

Bodega Santa Cruz

Enjoy an immersive journey into the world of sherry and other Andalusian wines. The bodega’s knowledgeable staff guides you through tastings, pairing your selections with delectable tapas. It’s a sensory adventure where every sip unveils the nuanced flavors of the region.

Another fantastic spot for Andalusian tapas is Cervecería Giralda Bar, a lively haven in sight of the iconic Giralda Tower. This charming spot sits on Calle Mateos Gago, capturing the essence of Seville’s bustling energy and historic charm.

INSIDER TIP: Opt for a midweek afternoon visit to Bodega Santa Cruz. The ambiance is more relaxed, allowing you to savor the wines and tapas at your own pace.

Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza

Step into the dramatic world of Spanish bullfighting at Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza, an iconic arena steeped in tradition and spectacle. Set on the banks of the Guadalquivir River in the historic Arenal neighborhood, this grand bullring offers a glimpse into a controversial yet profoundly ingrained facet of Spain’s cultural tapestry.

Constructed in the 18th century, the Real Maestranza is a striking example of Baroque architecture, with its distinctive horseshoe shape and ornate façade. As you enter, you’ll be transported back in time, surrounded by the echoes of centuries of bullfighting history.

Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza

Explore the museum within the bullring, which showcases the intricate costumes, historical artifacts, and the intense passion that defines this traditional Spanish spectacle. The Real Maestranza is renowned for its distinct yellow and ocher-colored sand, a unique feature that enhances the visual impact of the bullfights.

The museum within the bullring unveils the rich history and artistic nuances of bullfighting through intricate costumes, matador memorabilia, and the palpable energy of the arena.

INSIDER TIP: Consider attending a bullfight during the spring season. The weather is milder, and the atmosphere is charged with the excitement of the season’s premier fights.

NOTE: The spectacle of a bullfight and the exhibits in the museum can be intense and might upset sensitive visitors.

Barrio de Triana

Dive into the bohemian enclave of Barrio de Triana, a vibrant neighborhood that dances to its own flamenco-infused rhythm. Perched on the west bank of the Guadalquivir River, this historic district is a treasure trove of Andalusian charm.

Saunter through its narrow streets lined with traditional ceramic workshops, and you’ll feel the heartbeat of Triana’s rich history. Once a vibrant enclave for sailors, artisans, and gypsies, the neighborhood has evolved into a hippie haven with a palpable sense of community.

Triana’s ceramic heritage is ingrained in its streets. Discover the hidden Plaza de los Venerables, home to the historic Santa Ana pottery workshop, where artisans continue to craft traditional azulejos (ceramic tiles) by hand. The district has also been the birthplace of many flamenco artists, contributing significantly to the city’s renowned flamenco culture.

Barrio de Triana

Don’t miss the iconic Castillo de San Jorge, a medieval fortress that offers panoramic views of Seville and the river. Explore the lively Mercado de Triana, brimming with fresh produce and enticing aromas for an authentic taste of local life.

Savor tapas at El Faro de Triana or indulge in seafood delights at La Anselma. For an authentic Trianero nightlife experience, visit the neighborhood’s traditional taverns. Places like La Cava de los Civiles exude local charm and often host impromptu flamenco sessions, allowing you to immerse yourself in the genuine spirit of Triana.

INSIDER TIP: Escape the city buzz by discovering the lesser-known riverfront spots. Find a quiet bench along Paseo Nuestra Señora de la O, offering peaceful views of the river and the iconic Torre del Oro across the water.

Mia Russell

Mia Russell is a freelance writer based in South Africa with a passion for travel. She’s travelled to 35 countries and counting, and when she is not in the water swimming, freediving, or snorkeling in beautiful places around the world, she is writing about her experiences. Before becoming a freelance travel writer, Mia worked as Chief Copy Editor for Glamor magazine and Managing Editor for One Small Seed Magazine. She's a regular contributor to travel websites like Go City, Bookmundi, The Maldives Expert, and Heritage Safaris.

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