The Best Things To Do in Sevilla

Sevilla, the capital city of Andalusia, is one of the most beautiful cities in the South of Spain. Sevilla was founded by the Romans at the end of the 3rd century BC. In 711 (AD), Sevilla was conquered by the Moors, until the Reconquista, a centuries-long campaign to reconquer Spain from Muslim rule, reached Seville in 1248. Due to Sevilla’s rich history, the city is filled with historical architecture and sightseeing spots that are worth visiting. From the magnificent Real Alcázar to the grand Cathedral and the iconic Plaza de España, Sevilla is a fascinating city that won’t easily bore you. In this blog post, we’re sharing the best things to do in Sevilla in just 3 days. We’re not only covering the iconic sightseeing spots we mentioned before but also the lesser known spots such as Plaza del Cabildo, Palacio de las Dueñas and Torre Sevilla.

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Plaza de España

Plaza de España is definitely the most beautiful square in Sevilla and maybe even the most beautiful one in the world (but we leave that up to you to decide). The square was built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and the architecture, a mix of Art Deco, Spanish Renaissance Revival, Spanish Baroque Revival and Neo-Mudéjar styles, is breathtaking. The semi-circular building is decorated with nooks and colorful tiles that each represent a different province of Spain.

Plaza de España in Sevilla, Spain

It’s a little walk from the city center (20 minutes from the cathedral), but it’s absolutely worth visiting. You’ll probably spend a few hours on the square captivated by its beauty. If you want to take photos at Plaza de España, we’d recommend getting there early in the morning to avoid the crowds. However, we visited the square during sunset in January and the crowds weren’t bad at all. The soft sunset light made the square even more magical. So sunset is a great time of the day to visit Plaza de España too.

Plaza de España in Sevilla, Spain

Fun fact: Plaza de España has been used as a decor in multiple movies and series, such as The Dictator (2012) and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002).

Plaza de España in Sevilla, Spain

Since Plaza de España is a public space, there is no entrance fee. The opening hours of the square are daily from 08:00 until 22:00.

Real Alcázar de Sevilla

Real Alcázar is a historic royal palace and, if you ask us, it’s a must-visit in Sevilla. The origins of the Alcázar trace back to the 10th century when it served as the site of the Islamic-era citadel in the city. Over the centuries, the Abbadid dynasty (11th century) and the Almohads (12th to early 13th centuries) expanded and transformed it into a grand palace complex. Following the Castilian conquest of Seville in 1248, the site underwent a gradual process of reconstruction and renewal. Palaces and gardens were built, replacing the original Islamic structures. One of the most notable additions is the lavishly adorned Mudéjar-style palace constructed by Pedro I during the 1360s. Some of the most beautiful areas in the palace are the Courtyard of the Maidens, or Patio de las Doncellas, and the Hall of the Ambassadors, or Salon de los Embajadores.

Real Alcázar in Sevilla, Spain

Patio de las Doncellas

Real Alcázar in Sevilla, Spain

Salon de los Embajadores

The gardens of the Alcázar are huge and very beautiful. Strolling through them is well worth it. We actually went straight to the gardens when we entered the Alcázar in the morning so we could enjoy them without the crowds for a while, which was very nice.

Garden of Real Alcázar in Sevilla, Spain
Garden of Real Alcázar in Sevilla, Spain

We would highly recommend buying tickets online at least a few days in advance as the Alcázar is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Sevilla. You can buy tickets for a time slot through this website. A ticket is €14,50 per person. Entrance to the Alcázar is through the Lion Gate and you’re allowed to enter 15 minutes before the start of your time slot until 30 minutes after. We would advise you to be there in time, around 30 minutes before the start of your time slot, as the line to enter with tickets is always very long (even though everyone in line has a ticket).

Opening hours
Daily from 09:30 until 19:45 in Summer (from April to September)
Daily from 09:30 until 17:45 in Winter (from October to March)

Catedral de Sevilla and Giralda

The Seville Cathedral was built to replace the mosque that once stood there. Construction started in the 15th century and took more than a 100 years. From the 16th until the 17th century, it was the largest cathedral in the world. Until this date, the Seville Cathedral still has the longest nave of any cathedral in Spain and when you’re in the cathedral you can really tell that it’s huge.

Cathedral in Sevilla, Spain
Cathedral in Sevilla, Spain

The Giralda is the bell tower of the cathedral and used to be the minaret of the mosque that once stood at the same place as the cathedral. The 104,5 meter tall tower dates back to 1184 and was designed to mirror the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech.

Giralda Tower in Sevilla, Spain

We were very excited to climb up the Giralda Tower and see the city from above, but unfortunately the view from the top of the bell tower is completely covered by a fence. It was also very crowded at the time we were at the top, making it very cramped. The only advantage of the Giralda Tower is that there aren’t any stairs in the tower but slopes, which makes it way more comfortable to get up. Because of the fence we wouldn’t necessarily recommend going up the Giralda Tower, but a visit up the tower is always included in the entrance ticket to the cathedral.

Giralda Tower in Sevilla, Spain

Along the way up, there are small openings through which you can look through that offer a better view without the fence.

Giralda Tower in Sevilla, Spain

We’d recommend buying tickets for the Cathedral and the Giralda Tower at least one day ahead. It is what we did and we had plenty of time slots to choose from. You can buy tickets online through the official website. The cheapest tickets (without (audio)guide) are €12 per person. You can also opt for a guided tour of the Cathedral and the Giralda Tower.

Opening hours of the Cathedral and Giralda Tower
Monday until Saturday from 10:45 until 17:00
Sunday from 14:30 until 18:00

Plaza del Cabildo

Plaza del Cabildo is a square surrounded by white semicircular buildings that are beautifully decorated with orange and golden details. Despite its location in the heart of the city center, the square is an oasis of tranquility. You can access the square through Calle Almirantazgo, Calle Arfe or Avenida de la Constitución. Every Sunday morning there’s a collector’s market on the square with collectors gathering to sell items such as coins, stamps, banknotes, small antiques, postcards, etc.

Plaza del Cabildo in Sevilla, Spain

Palacio de las Dueñas

Palacio de las Dueñas is a palace built in the late 15th century. The palace consists of a few buildings designed with a mix of Gothic, Moorish and Renaissance architectural styles. There are multiple beautifully designed patios and gardens that you can walk through. The palace currently belongs to the Duke of Alba.

Palacio de las Dueñas in Sevilla, Spain

One of the main reasons we wanted to visit Palacio de las Dueñas is because of the impressive bougainvillea facade of the main building. As we were in Sevilla in January, we thought we wouldn’t see any of the bougainvillea blooming, but luckily for us, there were still some bright pink flowers between the green leaves. However, if you visit Palacio de las Dueñas in spring, the bougainvillea facade would be more impressive.

Palacio de las Dueñas in Sevilla, Spain

As a visitor, you’re allowed to visit many of the lavishly decorated rooms inside the palace buildings. There’s an audio tour included with the entrance ticket so you can learn more about the palace, the gardens and the specific rooms.

Palacio de las Dueñas in Sevilla, Spain

An entrance ticket to Palacio de las Dueñas is €13 and you can scan a QR code at the entrance for the audio guide. Don’t forget to bring (wireless) earphones so you can comfortably listen to the audio guide. You can buy tickets online in advance, but when we visited in January there was plenty of availability and we just bought tickets at the ticket office. This could be different when you’re visiting in a more popular season, so we’d recommend checking the availability of tickets a few days in advance.

Opening hours of Palacio de las Dueñas
Summer (April to September) from 10:00 until 20:00
Winter (October to March) from 10:00 until 18:00

Metropol Parasol

Metropol Parasol, nicknamed Setas de Sevilla which means Mushrooms of Sevilla, is one of the newest additions to Sevilla dating back to 2011. It’s a wooden structure that indeed looks a bit like mushrooms. The structure consists of six parasols and is said to be inspired by the vaults of the Sevilla Cathedral and the ficus trees in the nearby Plaza de Cristo de Burgos. You can walk on top of the wooden structure and admire the city from a bit higher up. However, tickets for this skywalk are €15 per person, which we thought was a bit too expensive. Access to the square underneath the parasols is free of charge from where you can admire the unique structure as well.

Metropol Parasol in Sevilla, Spain

Sightseeing boat ride

A fun way to explore Sevilla is from the water. Sightseeing boat rides typically sail from Puente de San Telmo to Puente de Isabel II and back. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to do a round trip, so you’ll see everything twice. The advantage of this is that you have two times to take the photo you want. After all the sightseeing on foot we loved to sit back, relax and watch the sights along the river pass by. The main sightseeing points along the river are Torre del Oro, Torre Sevilla and the colorful houses in the Triana neighborhood.

Torre del Oro in Sevilla, Spain

We did a sightseeing boat tour with Guadaluxe, which was a comfortable and pleasant experience. We booked tickets online a few hours in advance. We can highly recommend doing the boat tour during golden hour as everything simply looks a bit more magical with a sparkle of golden hour sun.

Torre Sevilla, Spain

Torre Sevilla

Torre Sevilla, with its 180,5 meters and 40 floors, is, as you can easily tell, the tallest building in Sevilla. It’s mostly an office building but it also houses the Eurostars Torre Sevilla hotel. The top floor of the tower has a rooftop bar called Atalaya Terrace and offers incredible views of the city. Access to the rooftop bar is €8 per person. If you’re staying in the Eurostarts Torre Sevilla hotel, access to the rooftop bar is free of charge. It’s an amazing place for drinks and to soak up the views. There’s also a huge mall next to the tower, which is great if you’re in the mood for shopping.

Torre Sevilla, Spain
Torre Sevilla, Spain

How long to stay in Sevilla

We stayed in Sevilla for 3 days over the weekend, but wished we had stayed longer. In 3 days you can see most of the highlights of the city, however, we still had a lot of things on our list left which we wanted to see, such as exploring more of the Triana neighborhood, exploring more of Maria Luisa Park and Plaza de América, Casa de Pilatos and Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla. In the 3 days we were in Sevilla, our days were jam-packed and we felt a little rushed to see it all. So if you can, we’d recommend staying in Sevilla for 5 to 7 days.

Torre del Oro in Sevilla, Spain

Best time to visit Sevilla

We visited Sevilla in January and for us it was perfect. The weather was very nice with sunny days and temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius. January is supposed to be the least crowded month, but Sevilla literally was packed during our visit. Maybe it was because we were on a weekend which could mean there were a lot of Spanish tourists visiting the city. Otherwise, if that’s what low season in Sevilla looks like, we can’t imagine what high season is like. If you can, it’s best to avoid the summer months of July and August as it gets very hot in Sevilla with temperatures rising above 35 degrees Celsius regularly, which isn’t a great temperature for sightseeing if you ask us. Other than that, Sevilla is a great city to visit all year round, but we can highly recommend visiting in winter, especially if you’re looking for an escape from places with dark and gloomy winter weather (such as the Netherlands in our case).

Plaza de España in Sevilla, Spain

Where to stay in Sevilla

We stayed in an apartment that we booked through Booking called RD APARCAMIENTO INCLUIDO TRIANA. It was a nicely decorated apartment with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a living room with kitchen. The apartment offered plenty of space to comfortably stay with 4 adults. The only downside of the apartment was that one shower only had hot water every 5 minutes (so 5 minutes of hot water, then 5 minutes of cold water, and so on). The other shower also didn’t have hot water all the time, which made it uncomfortable to shower. Parking was included with the apartment, which was great as we were traveling by car. The parking garage was very small so keep this in mind if you have a bigger car. We loved that our apartment was located in the Triana neighborhood, which was a very pretty area to walk through. Unfortunately, we had too little time to properly explore the Triana neighborhood, but we were at least able to get a glimpse of it. From the apartment, it’s only a pleasantly 20-minute walk to the Cathedral. All in all, it’s not a bad place to stay if you can take quick showers.


Click here for more accommodations options in Sevilla.

Plaza de España in Sevilla, Spain

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 3-day itinerary of Sevilla and that our blog post inspired you to visit this beautiful capital city of Andalusia. Have you been to Sevilla or is it still on your travel bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!

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