Iconic attractions, traditional tapas and world-class art. There’s a lot to be savoured in this southern Spanish gem. Here’s how to spend 3 days in Seville.
Seville is the hottest city in Europe. As the rest of the continent cowers in the cold, Seville’s historic buildings rise into clear blue skies, illuminated by warm golden sun.
An imposing Gothic cathedral towers over tiny, picturesque squares, framed by perfectly shaped, fragrant orange trees. The alcázar, built during Christian rule but with Islamic design, contains exotic palaces, fountained courtyards and walled gardens – an insight into the colourful past of this once powerful city. A large wooden structure, affectionately known as the mushroom, brings Seville into the modern-day.
While Seville is a popular tourist city, locals still enjoy a bewildering array of traditional tapas bars and modern restaurants, dishing up some of the best food in Andalucía.
Seville is a place to see and to savour. To eat and to drink. To wonder the halls of its mighty past and drink in the bars of its current, balmy glory.
It is undeniably one of our favourite cities in Europe with a host of wonderful things to do. Here’s how to put them all together in a 3 day Seville itinerary.
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DAY 1 – LOCAL STREETS & EL CENTRO
Kickstart this Seville itinerary in El Centro, the core hub around which the city revolves. Wander local streets, collect Gothic landmarks and stroll exotic palaces.
Begin by grabbing breakfast at La Cacharreria in El Centro for their great selection of sandwiches, waffles and eggs. Then, make your way to Metropol Parasol (locally known as “Las Setas”), which claims to be the largest wooden building in the world. Take the lift to the summit and stroll its undulating walkway for views over the city.
Metropol Parasol / 9:30am – 5:30pm | Price: €5 | Location: Plaza de Encarnación
CALLE REGINA & SANTA CATALINA
Grab a takeaway coffee at Virgin Coffee then explore bohemian Calle Regina and the narrow laneways of Santa Catalina. Here, quirky shops and hipster-inspired craftiness blend with old-school Spanish eateries.
CASA DE PILATOS
End up at Casa de Pilatos a mansion with a mix of architectural styles. Downstairs, the Mudéjar (hybrid of Islamic and Christian designs) courtyard contains a renaissance fountain and sculptures, flanked by a gothic chapel. Upstairs, where the owners lived until a few years ago, the Mudéljar ceilings and windows surround rooms decorated like a grand European house.
Casa de Pilatos / 9am–6pm Nov – Mar; 9am – 7pm Apr-Oct | Price: €10 downstairs; €12 both floors but upstairs is only via a 30-minute tour | Location: Plaza de Pilatos
LUNCH – BAR ALFALFA
It’s a tight squeeze at Bar Alfalfa, but it is worth it for the traditional tapas (try the solomillo and the croquetas) and bustling Spanish atmosphere. Dusty bottles line the shelves behind a row of hams hanging from the ceiling. After lunch head to the Cathedral.
For 500 years Muslims ruled over Seville. Unlike Córdoba, not many of their buildings survived but their influence can be felt everywhere. When the Christians originally captured the city in 1248 they used the mosque as their cathedral. But, 175 years later the decaying mosque was eventually destroyed, and the gargantuan Seville Cathedral built in its place. It claims to be the largest in the world by volume. Inside, check out the tomb of Christopher Columbus and the remarkable Chapter House.
For another cathedral in Andalucía that started as something different, read our guide to Cádiz.
Seville Cathedral / 11:00 – 17:00 Tue – Sat; 14:30 – 18:00 Sun; 11:00 – 15:30 Mon | Price: €10 Cathedral and Giralda; €25 rooftop tour | Location: Avenida de la Constitución
A slowly winding ramp takes you up 35 floors to the top of the Giralda. As you ascend checkout the Mudéjar items on your left. The views from the summit are an ideal way to close out the sightseeing on the first of your 3 days in Seville.
COCKTAILS – EME CATEDRAL
Take the lift up to the EME Catedral Hotel bar for sunset drinks. Yes, they are twice as expensive as anywhere else, but the views are four times as good. Shimmy your way up to the glass panels and stare in wonder at the magnificent view.
For dinner head to Mamarracha, a stylish modern tapas bar with excellent food and swish contemporary décor. Low hanging bulbs add to the charm, likewise the rustic tables and cool plant wall. The zucchini and basil risotto and the Ibérica sirloin with chimichurri were top-notch.
DAY 2 – BARRIO DE SANTA CRUZ & THE SEVILLE ROYAL PALACE
The Real Alcazár of Seville is an enthralling blend of Christian and Islamic design. After a bit of shopping, spend day two of this 3 day Seville itinerary soaking up the intriguing history of the city.
BREAKFAST – CHURROS AT BAR EL COMMERCIO
Begin day two with breakfast at Bar El Commercio. It’s traditional, so try the churros con chocolate. In Spain, churros aren’t the sugar-encrusted desert you might get elsewhere, (nothing wrong with that) but a less sweet breakfast dish.
This morning explore Calle Sierpes and Calle Velázquez in Centro, before heading into Barrio Santa Cruz. This medieval Jewish quarter is a tangle of twisty laneways and tiny squares and a great place to get lost.
HOSPITAL DE LOS VENERABLES
If you like your grand art masters pop into Hospital de los Venerables, a hospice that contains 10 to 12 masterpieces by Zurburán, Montanes, Murillo and Velázquez. The entrance fee is a little on the steep side, so the unwilling in your group can have a coffee in the beautiful square outside instead.
Hospital de los Venerables / 10:00 – 14:00 Thur – Sun | Price: €10 | Location: Plaza Venerables
ARCHIVO GENERAL DE INDIAS
For 100 years most of the wealth of the Spanish Empire flooded from the Americas into Seville, until the river began silting up at the turn of the 16th century. The records for Spain’s involvement in the Americas now rest in the Archivo General de Indias. There is not much to see but it’s worth strolling the halls and watching the film on the second floor detailing this important part of Seville’s history.
Archivo General de Indias / 9:30 – 17:00 Mon – Sat; 10:00 – 14:00 Sun | Price: Free | Location: Avenida de la Constitución
LUNCH – BODEGUITA CASABLANCA
There are hundreds of places to eat near the Alcázar (unsurprising), but we recommend perching with locals on the high tables at Bodeguita Casablanca. The food is good and the views even better.
Recharged, enter the Alcázar (which you should book in advance online to avoid long queues). This is the most magnificent of Seville’s fine buildings. Originally a fort during Islamic times, for many years after the Christian conquest in 1248 it became home to Spanish Kings, who developed and enhanced the buildings. It’s not more famous for being a Game of Thrones location.
The most impressive of which is the Mudéjar Palacio de Don Pedro – the stylings of which are very reminiscent of the Alhambra in Granada. It’s intricately carved facades, arches and ceilings rise above tranquil patios, tinkling fountains and gardens bursting with colour. It takes a couple of hours to explore the palace and gardens, so make sure you give yourself enough time before it closes.
Real Alcázar / 9.30 – 17:00 Oct-Mar; 9:30 – 19:00 Apr-Sep | Price: €12.50; + €6 for the audio guide | Location: Patio de Banderas
NIGHTLIFE – ALAMEDA DE HÉRCULES
In the evening amble up to Alameda de Hércules in the northern part of town. The purpose is to experience a buzzing part of Seville with a number of good restaurants. Our pick is Duo Tapas, where interesting food is served in a tiny square under fairy lights hanging from an old church.
After dinner, head to Habanilla Café where a lively mix of locals gather to listen to whatever is on offer that night.
DAY 3 – PLAZA DE ESPAÑA & LESS-VISITED SEVILLE
Plaza de España is a masterpiece of architectural design and a great place to hang out. Start here, then take a voyage through less-visited Seville gems.
PLAZA DE ESPAÑA
Start the last day of your 3 days in Seville itinerary at Plaza de España – regularly listed as one of the best attractions in Seville. Built in 1928 for Ibero-American Exposition its huge semi-circular building is a mix of styles and adorned with tiled alcoves. It surrounds a plaza of fountains, bridges and rectangular ponds.
PARQUE DE MARÍA LUISA
Stroll the nearby Parque de Maria Luisa with its shaded paths and manicured gardens, before heading north through the Antigua Fábrica de Tabacos (old tobacco factory), a magnificent building now housing the University of Seville. Take a quick peruse at the Alfonso XIII hotel.
Plaza de España & Parque de María Luisa / open 24 hours Apr-Oct; 8am-9pm Nov-Mar
TORRE DEL ORO
Next, amble up the river, past the Torre del Oro, a 13th-century Islamic watchtower and the last remaining section of the Moorish walls that once circled the city. The small naval museum inside is not the most inspiring but it’s worth it to get up to the viewing tower on the roof.
Torre del Oro / 9:30am – 6pm Mon-Fri; 10:30am – 6pm Sat-Sun | Price: €3 per person | Location: Paseo de Cristóbal Colón
PLAZA DE TOROS DE LA REAL MAESTRANZA
Nearby to the Torre del Oro, Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería is the oldest bullring in Spain. With a capacity of 14,000 bullfighting fans it’s also one of the biggest. Fortunately, you can learn about this deeply held tradition on a tour of the complex without needing to witness a fight.
Toros de la Real Maestranzas / Tour Every 20 minutes 9.30 – 20:00 | Price: €8 per person | Location: Paseo de Cristóbal Colón
MERCADO DE TRIANA
Cross the river and meander Triana market. Fresh meat and fish stalls are interspersed with cafes and bars. Try a coffee and pastry at Café Bocasú – but not too many because lunch is coming up.
Triana Market / 10am – midnight Mon-Sat; 12pm – 5pm Sunday & holidays | Location: Calle San Jorge, 6
LUNCH – BAROLOMEA
Back across the river, Bartolomea is a great stop for innovative tapas in a relaxed modern space. Their Ibérica pressée with apple purée and pistachio pesto was the best dish we devoured in Seville.
MUSEO DE BELLAS ARTES
Take solace from the afternoon heat at the under-visited but very good Museo de Bellas Artes. The building, a beautiful convent, houses a few grandmasters from the 15th to 20th centuries. But its undisputed highlight are the towering Murillo’s dramatically hanging in the church attached to the convent. With a few El Greco to boot, you’ll wonder why you can get in for free.
Take some weight off the feet at Creéme Helado, just across the square. Their ice cream is smooth and delicious. Just around the corner, artisan coffee allows you to pick from coffee all around the world.
Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Art Museum) / 9am – 6pm Tue-Sat; 9am – 3pm Sun & holidays | Cost: €1.50 | Location: Pl. del Museo, 9
FLAMENCO – MUSEO DEL BAILE FLAMENCO
On the final night of your 3 days in Seville itinerary, take in a Flamenco show at the Museo del Baile Flamenco. It’s a rousing night with dancers stomping, clapping and twirling their way around a tiny stage (or a pretty patio). Flamenco is backed by a guitar or a lone voice, consequently, it’s an enchanting and at times haunting experience.
To really embrace the Flamenco culture in Seville, read about this authentic Flamenco experience.
For dinner, snare a table on the footpath at El Pinton.
Museo del Baile Flamenco / Performances run through the late afternoon and evening | Price: €22 | Location: Calle Manuel Rojas Marcos
WHERE TO STAY IN SEVILLE
Seville is a very walkable city. In fact, most of its charm is experienced in the hidden laneways and intimate nooks tucked behind orange-lined squares that you only find with serendipity. So, we recommend staying as central as possible to take full advantage.
Fortunately is this a very cost-effective city. So, you can easily find a bargain in the compact centre of the old town or splash out on luxury in a modern resort-style hotel.
UNIQUE & HOMELY
This family-run hotel has a unique design, beautifully appointed rooms and an interest in classical music. Breakfast is on the roof terrace which has views of the Cathedral. Music recitals in the evening complete a classy but homely stay.
This stylish modern hotel is perfectly located just across the road from the Catedral. The interior is beautiful throughout with comfortable decent sized rooms. The rooftop terrace has the best views of the city and there’s small pool as an added bonus.
Hotel Alfonso is not cheap. But it’s rare that such a beautiful old hotel has managed to modernise so elegantly. Rooms are individually decorated and it is all you would expect (and more) from a truly world-class establishment.
MAP / SEVILLE ITINERARY
We’ve put this itinerary together in the order we think you should see things to help maximise your time in the city. All the attractions we mentioned are included on this map.
WHAT TO BOOK IN ADVANCE
Seville is a popular place for a good reason. Many attractions will have long queues and some need to be booked in advance. Please note – we will earn a small income if you book your Seville attractions from these links.
In particular, queues at the Real Alcázar can be staggering. This is one we definitely recommend booking before you go. When you arrive, make sure you stand in the queue for pre-purchased tickets. Despite the oppressive length, it moves a lot faster than it looks like it’s going to.
The cathedral and Giralda tower are less busy, but the roof tour fills up fast. Book at least a week in advance.
Flamenco performances can also be very popular. Book online before you travel, otherwise head directly to the venue the first day you arrive in Seville.
REAL ALCÁZAR – GUIDED TOUR
SEVILLE CATHEDRAL – SKIP THE LINE TICKETS
GIRALDA TOWER – TIMED VISIT TICKETS
FLAMENCO – BOOK ONLINE
HOW TO GET TO SEVILLE
Seville is a very accessible destination with good flight connections from other European cities and a great local train network.
Sevilla International Airport (or San Pablo Airport) is a 20-minute taxi ride to the centre of town. The cost of a taxi will be around €22 (+ €1 per bag) and the taxi rank is just outside the main terminal.
A bus (€4) runs from the airport to town roughly every 20 minutes from around 5am to 1am. It makes a number of stops including Sevilla Santa-Justa train station and Plaza de Armas. Journey time is around 35 minutes.
The Spanish rail network is excellent with high-speed trains connecting most of the main centres. If you’re already in the country, train is the best way to get to Seville.
Trains regularly connect Sevilla-Santa Justa Train Station with other major Spanish cities including Córdoba (45 minutes), Madrid (around 2, hours 30 minutes), and Málaga (2 hours). There is also one daily service from Barcelona which takes 5 hours and 30 minutes.
HOW TO GET AROUND SEVILLE
Seville is a compact city where everything is well within walking distance. As many of the sights are in the old town on tiny streets and cobbled laneways, any other form of transport would take longer than using your own legs.
If you want to go further afield, there is a public cycle programme called SEVici which operates on the 120 kilometres of bike lanes throughout the city. Unfortunately, the pricing structure makes it unappealing to visitors. The short-term pass cost €13 for a 7-day registration with each trip costing €1.03 for the first hour and €2.04 for each subsequent hour. Each user needs to pay a refundable deposit of €150.
There is also a tram network.
WHEN TO VISIT SEVILLE
The best time to visit Seville is from March to May when fresh growth makes the trees and gardens a lush green, the temperatures are not too high, and the rains of winter are beginning to ease. In particular, a weekend to Seville in March and April can be a cheap way for northern Europeans to get some winter sun while enjoying a historically interesting place.
Seville is the hottest city in Europe where summer temperatures reach into the forties. Therefore, it’s best to avoid June to September.
SEVILLE IN SPRING
In Spring, plants in bloom, the scent of jasmine wafts through the streets and pleasant temperatures surround the city. As a result, this is generally the best time of year to visit Seville. Semana Santa (Holy Week) is marked in dramatic style with huge processions lining the streets. The April Fair is one of the most famous festivals in Spain with music, dance and tradition.
SEVILLE IN SUMMER
While the high temperatures might keep you hibernating during the middle of the day, there’s still plenty to do in the long summer nights. Spend the early evening strolling through María Luisa Park, take a sunset cruise on the river and see a flamenco show followed by a late dinner in a square.
SEVILLE IN AUTUMN
With plenty of sunny days and much less rainfall, enjoy the landmarks of Seville in comfortable temperatures. If you want to venture further afield, autumn is a great time to visit the Sierra Norte Natural Park.
SEVILLE IN WINTER
Seville is blessed with winters other European destinations would call a slightly chilly summers day. With Christmas lights covering Seville’s gorgeous streets, December is an enchanting time to visit the city. The Three Wise Kings parade in January fills the streets with a procession of 30 carriages, while the Carnival of Seville in February is a celebration of food and music.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO VISIT SEVILLE?
Seville is a very cost-effective city and it’s easy to visit on a budget. Therefore, you could easily get a basic hotel with excellent facilities for around €70 per night. At the top end, a full-service blow-out with a spa would be around 400 per night.
A very inexpensive meal at a tapas bar is around €9 per person, with a local beer costing between €1.50 and €2. A mid-range restaurant will be around €30 per person for 3 courses.
A regular coffee in a local bar will be around €1.20; a flat white in an Australian style café (Virgin Coffee) is around €2.80.
Many of the attractions are free or very cheap. The exceptions are Casa de Pilatos and Hospital de los Venerables (€10); and the Real Alcáza (€11.50)
HOW MUCH TIME TO YOU NEED IN SEVILLE?
We recommend three days in Seville; however, you could easily stay longer.
If you only have a weekend – and Seville is a great European weekender – two days would allow you to see most of the main attractions. However, it’s probably not enough time to fully absorb the Spanish culture that make Seville such a great place to visit.
In 3 days you could catch most of the main sights, plus allow for some time to amble the streets, try a selection of tapas bars and enjoy more of the incredible art scene in Seville. We have a full itinerary for 3 days in Seville which includes how to see everything as efficiently as possible.
You could easily spend a week, taking any number of easy day trips into the surrounding area.
MORE READING FOR YOUR SPAIN TRIP
Andalucía is one of our favourite areas in Spain. With an excellent climate, world-class cities and beautiful nature parks, it’s a fantastic southern European destination. Here are more of our guides from the area.
Our complete guide to Cádiz, the island city of Andalucía
5 best pueblos blancos (white villages) of Andalucía
Complete Guide to hiking El Torreón in Sierra de Grazalema
Our complete guide to Cádiz, the island city of Andalucía
Our favourite things to do in Seville
What to do in Córdoba – A 2 day Córdoba itinerary
Complete Guide to hiking El Pinsapar trail in Sierra de Grazalema
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