Seville is one of the most important cities in Spain. With a fascinating history and an atmospheric old quarter, Seville is well worth a visit. Plus, many of its attractions are located within an easy walking distance of each other, making Seville an excellent destination for a day trip or an overnight visit. This itinerary takes in several of the major highlights.
Begin your visit to Seville at this former Moorish fort that later became a royal palace and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its fusion of Moorish, medieval, Renaissance and Baroque aesthetics reflects Seville’s multicultural history. The gardens of the Alcazar, filled with orange trees and fountains, are a pleasant place to stroll. Plan to spend at least two hours visiting the Alcazar and its gardens. The Alcazar is located in the Barrio de Santa Cruz neighborhood at Patio de Banderas, s/n. For information about admission fees and opening hours, please visit alcazarsevilla.org/slide.
The Seville Cathedral
After leaving the Alcazar, stroll across the plaza to the Seville Cathedral. Consecrated in 1507 on the former site of a mosque, the Seville Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the world and another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its massive, elaborately decorated interior contains masterpieces by Spanish artists and the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Be sure to climb the Giralda, the cathedral’s bell tower and former minaret of the old mosque, for a sweeping view of the city. Visit catedraldesevilla.es for more information.
Seville’s Tapas Bars
Take a break from sightseeing, and wander through the ancient, winding streets of the Barrio de Santa Cruz in search of tapas. Since Seville is reputed to have thousands of tapas bars, you won’t have to look very hard. One of the most popular tapas bars in the Barrio de Santa Cruz is Bodega Santa Cruz, which is also known as “Las Columnas.” You can find it at Calle Rodrigo Caro, 2. For current opening hours, contact the restaurant at +34 954 21 32 46.
Centro de Interpretacion Juderia de Sevilla
In medieval times, the Barrio de Santa Cruz was known as the Juderia. Before the Inquisition, it was the home of Seville’s Jewish population. This small museum tells the story of the Jews of Seville, many of whom played prominent roles in the city’s history. The Centro de Interpretacion is located on Calle Ximenez de Enciso, 22, within easy walking distance of the Cathedral and the Alcazar. For more information, visit the museum’s website, juderiadesevilla.es.
A trip to Seville wouldn’t be complete without seeing a live flamenco performance. (Seville residents claim that this sultry dance form originated here.) One of the best flamenco shows is at La Casa del Flamenco, at Calle Ximenez de Enciso, 28, Barrio de Santa Cruz. The venue is intimate, and seating is limited. Visit La Casa del Flamenco early in the day to buy an advance ticket and find out the showtime for that evening. You can also book tickets and view the schedule of upcoming shows at lacasadelflamencosevilla.com.
Dinner, Drinks and More Tapas
The Spanish tend to eat dinner late in the evening, so if you’ve worked up an appetite after seeing the flamenco performance, you’ll still have plenty of time to get a bite to eat. Casa Carmelo, located in a historic house at Calle Gloria, 6, is a good choice. The restaurant features paellas, meat and fish entrees, a selection of Iberian cheeses and, of course, tapas. If you want something sweet, be sure to try the churros and hot chocolate. You can contact the restaurant at +34 954 22 53 32
- All of the above sights and events are located within easy walking distance of each other in the Barrio de Santa Cruz. If you’re in Seville for an overnight visit, you should consider staying in that neighborhood. Many of the hotels there are located in centuries-old buildings constructed around tiled courtyards. For those looking for a historic atmosphere, this is the place to be. Accommodations range from inexpensive hostels to upscale boutique hotels.
- Bring a good map to navigate the maze-like streets of the Barrio de Santa Cruz. It’s easy to get lost.
- Don’t forget your walking shoes. Many of the streets in the Santa Cruz district are too narrow for cars. Even on the roads that are wide enough for vehicles, it can be challenging to find parking, making an automobile an abstract form of transportation.
- Be aware of Seville’s climate and time your visit accordingly. Seville bakes in the summer, with temperatures often rising to over one hundred degrees, and the city can get chilly in the winter. Seville’s weather is mild in the spring and fall.
Please note that prices, hours of operation, and other information may be subject to change.
What are your favorite things to do in Seville?