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Posted on May 19, 2012 in Sevilla, Spain, Spanish food, travel, travel guide | 101 comments

The 5 Best Things to Do in Sevilla, Spain

Sevilla is one of those cities that people just fall in love with. I can’t tell you how many people have raved to me about how beautiful it is. Welcome to Europe’s sunniest city, home to some of the most amazing things I’ve seen in my life. It doesn’t hurt that it smells like orange blossoms either! 

best-things-to-do-in-sevilla

I spent four months studying abroad in Sevilla and just went back to see the famous Feria de Abril. So I’ve seen quite a bit of the gorgeous city. Here are the best things to do in Sevilla, Spain, the Andalusian capital!

5. Visit the Plaza de España and Parque Maria Luisa

 

The Plaza de España has some incredible buildings, a giant fountain, and a little moat going around the outside. It’s one of the most stunning things in Sevilla. The Parque Maria Luisa is just across the street, and it’s a great place to find some shade to get out of the heat.

My awesome reader Toby reminded me that the Plaza de España has tiled displays for each region of Spain that show scenes from that region. They’re really detailed and amazing to look at.

Sevilla-Spain-Plaza-de-Espana

4. Get lost in the gorgeous old streets

 

The prettiest neighborhood is Santa Cruz, where the winding streets have surprises around every corner. You might find a beautiful Andalusian patio filled with bright flowers, a pretty courtyard, some incredible gardens, or even a medieval castle wall.

3. Go all the way to the top of the La Giralda tower 

 

This lets you get a fantastic view of the city. The cathedral is cool, but the tower is the real draw. You can see how much taller it is than the rest of the cathedral in the photo below – it’s the rightmost tower with the figure on top.  Walk all the way up the twisted tower to the top and get ready to see why Andalucía is famous for its white villages.

Sevilla-Spain-Cathedral-La-Giralda

2. EAT! 

 

Sevilla has some seriously incredible food…and it’s cheap! Go find some fun tapas bars and order lots of tasty dishes to sample. As much as I love Barcelona, I have to admit this is one thing Sevilla does better – way better.

Two of my favorite places to try are Tapas Viapol (C/José Recuerda Rubio 5) and Bodega Dos de Mayo (Plaza de la Gavidia 2).

Sevilla-Spain-tapas-food-delicious-Spanish-solomillo

1. See the Real Alcázar de Sevilla

 

Hands down my favorite thing to see in Sevilla. It’s modeled on the famous Alhambra in Granada, and I actually liked it even more. Every inch of the palace is covered in intricate detail, the mix of architectural styles is fabulous, and the gardens are stunning. Best of all, it’s cheap to go in if you’re a student at just €2 (though it used to be free). If you’re in Sevilla, you cannot miss this.

Sevilla-Spain-Real-Alcazar-entrance

And a bonus one – enjoy all the Spanish stereotypes! The Andaluzes are known for being loud, friendly people who eat tapas, dance flamenco, go to bullfights, and sometimes even shout “¡Óle!”

Does anyone have any other recommendations for things to do, see, or eat in Sevilla?

 

 

Besos!

-Jess

101 Comments

  1. Sevilla is where I first fell in love with Spain! I love going to visit, and it’s always going to have a special place in my heart. :)

    • It’s where I started my long-term Spain adventures too! It’s such a beautiful place.

  2. I like your list and we have the same number one. just one thing I’d like to point out about the Plaza de España. It contains beautiful tiles, one for each region in Spain. All have different scenes, things that are specific to the region. Every single one is absolutely beautiful.

    • Good call, that’s one of the things I love about the Plaza de España too. I’ll add it in!

  3. This post came at a perfect time. I was in Sevilla during feria- amazing time! But didn’t really have a list of sights to see. Sometimes I arrive to a place and just roam around.

    Headed back to Sevilla this coming weekend with my BF so definitely will take note of some of your suggestions, like going to the top of the Giralda tower and checking out the Alcazar!

    • Ooh great, you should definitely see the city because it’s so gorgeous. The Alcazar and the cathedral are right next to each other, so they’re really easy to get to. Have a great time!

  4. Great photos! Thanks for sharing…I must go do all of these – especially EAT!

    • Thank you! Sevilla has such delicious food and it’s cheap, so eating out is really fun there.

  5. Oooh, I never thought of it, but the streets in Sevilla must smell really well when all the orange trees blossom. I visited Sevilla two years ago in February… so no blossoms… and also the fountain at Plaza España was dry! Your picture is so beautiful, much better that without water!
    I might need to go back to Sevilla during Spring. If I ever move to the South of Spain, I would like to live in Sevilla!

    About tapas, I agree with you, it’s much better there than here in Barcelona. And there are extremely cheap! But tapas is a thing from Andalusia and Euskadi, not a Catalan thing… so maybe this is why it’s not that good here… Copies are never as good as the original.

    • Thanks! The first time I saw the Plaza España it was dry too – it looks much prettier now.

      And yes, it’s always funny when people visit me here and want to eat tapas. They’re good here too, but like you said it’s definitely not as good the original.

    • Personaly I think the best tapas are served in Viriato Gastro Bar! The food is delicious and quite cheap. I recomnend you to try also Viriato Burger. They also have many international beers such as guinness, leffe, corona etc.

      • Those both sound like great recommendations! Next time I’m in Sevilla, I’ll have to check them out. Thanks! :)

    • Oops! Guess you’ll just have to go again. :)

  6. Love this post! Not sure when I’ll ever get to Spain, but if I do I’ll make sure to check out Sevilla!

    • You definitely should, it’s really cute!

  7. Love your blog Jessica, I’ll thoroughlly take your suggestions.

  8. What a beautiful city. I loved my visit there. :)

  9. One more restaurant I have to recommend… it’s not the most traditional in terms of tapas, and a little on the pricier side, but I had an amazing meal at Labulla on Dos de Mayo (between Paseo Cristobel Colon and Avenida de Constitucion). I was originally a little skeptical of the restaurants near where I’m living (as beautiful as it is to live 2 minutes from the Cathedral, it’s incredibly touristy), it has proven me wrong – everything we ordered was flavourful and delicious. They even have a few vegetarian options!

    • Oh awesome! Next time I’m in Sevilla, I’ll have to check that one out. Thanks for the suggestion.

  10. Sevilla is certainly as beautiful as you describe, and very lively. But I prefer Cádiz.
    I suppose that´s because I live so near and it was my first Spanish city experience.

    There are so many great towns and cities in Spain, and so many left for me to explore.

    • I liked Cádiz too! It has such pretty beaches. My favorite in the south was Córdoba, though.

  11. Great post! Sevilla is my favorite city in Spain so far… and I’m living in Madrid! I love the food, architecture and general way of life down there.

    • Thanks! Sevilla is one of the prettiest places I’ve been in Spain. The food is amaaaaazing, and so cheap too.

  12. I don’t know if I could ever find it again, but Lonely Planet had a suggestion for an awesome sherry bodega. My wife and I went there back in the day for little glasses of all different kinds of sherry. I had never drunk sherry before or since. Sherry always reminds me of Sevilla now.

    • Ooh sherry bodegas are fun! I went to one in Jerez de la Frontera, where sherry is from. It’s very close to Sevilla.

  13. We visited Sevilla two springs ago. Favorite memories: a horse-drawn carriage ride, sitting in a park eating Gazpacho and strolling the streets by night. What a beautiful corner of the world…

  14. Seville was the first time I lived outside of Illinois; I’ve spent most of my life in the Chicagoland area, went to college in central Illinois, lived in Seville for part of 2011 – 2012. For a few reasons, I’m trying to get back to Spain through the Ministry program, hoping to get placed in Madrid, but Seville will always have a special place in my heart. I wish I could have had some more fun when I lived there and were it feasible I’d love to live there again.

    • Ooh good luck with the Ministry program! If you end up in Madrid, Sevilla’s only a quick trip away. :)

  15. Hi,
    Thanks for your post…made life much easier! I’m travelling to Spain early next month and was researching on the places to visit…all the sites have scores of places mentioned, but thanks to you for narrowing it down to the best five.

    • You’re welcome! I’m glad you found it useful. :) Have fun on your trip. Where in Spain are you going?

      • Thanks…we will be staying in Barcelona, Madrid and Estepona (Malaga) and visiting places around…

          • Thank you! Been in love with Spain even before visiting…am sure I’ll leave spell bound! Do share any more tips or must dos…I’ll love to hear from you. Cheers! :)

  16. We are planning our trip to Spain for mid-April 2014. We will be making our way to Morocco at the end of our trip. Any advice for places to stay in Sevilla? We’d rather stay someplace unique and authentic because we can get Hilton and Marriot here. Guesthouses? Hostels? THANKS!

    • You know, I’ve never actually stayed in a hostel or hotel in Sevilla! I’m afraid I’m not much help there. But do stay in the city center unless you’re renting a car (it’s hard or impossible to access most of it in a car).

  17. Oh how I would love to visit Spain someday! It’s definitely on my bucket list! I spent quite a bit of time in Mexico, but my true dream was always to go to Spain! Wonderful post!!

    • Thanks very much! As you might be able to tell, I highly recommend trips to Spain. :) Hope you get to visit someday!

  18. Great post Jessica! I remember the pink house with an elegant black door, the orange blossoms of course, and sublime tapas…way better than in Barcelona.

    • Thank you! I agree, the tapas are amazing in Sevilla. I’ve never had such good food for such low prices!

  19. Thanks for liking my blog! You have been to all the places I missed on my recent trip, and I will be blogging about some of the great places you haven’t been yet, so we complement each other!

    • Thanks for liking mine too! :) Our blogs definitely complement each other haha. Looking forward to reading more about your travels!

  20. Sevilla is a beautiful city, and I lik how you described it in this post.

    Regards

    Giuseppe

  21. I’m on my way to Spain next month for 6 weeks and found your blog while researching my trip. Most of my time will be spent in Madrid and Mallorca with the Spanish student we hosted in the US a few years ago. Our family connection was published in a book last year. http://ardisanelson.com/journeys-to-mother-love/ We will also vacation in Andalusia with 3 days in Seville. Your post was very helpful to me and adds to my anticipation to visit this beautiful city, Grateful to have found your blog and follow your posts about Spain.

    • Oh wow, what a beautiful story! I hope you enjoy your time in Spain. Madrid is great, Sevilla is stunning, and I hear wonderful things about Mallorca. Happy travels. :)

  22. Hello Jessica! I love Spain so much! I have been to Spain 3 times and I want to go back and explore more. When we stayed in a little town in Chipiona, Sevilla was among those places we visited on the Atlantic coast. So beautiful over there! Wonderful post!

    • I’d never heard of Chipiona but I just looked it up and it’s gorgeous! What a lovely place to stay.

  23. Hey girl! Just stumbled upon your blog and so glad I did. I have lived in Sevilla, Spain for the last year and think you did a good job at summing up my beautiful city. I look forward to vicariously living through your posts on Spain in the coming months as my time here is over, and I head back to the USA next week. :( SO not ready to say goodbye. So if you have any job ideas, send em’ my way, haha.

    http://www.theadventuresofholly.wordpress.com

    • Ooh well enjoy your last week in Spain! It’s so tough to leave. I think I cried my entire 20+ trip home to California when I left my study abroad program in Barcelona haha.

      Have you heard about the Auxiliares Language & Culture Assistants and BEDA programs? Both are pretty easy ways to get a job in Spain!

      • Oh I KNOW I will be crying the entire journey home, and the months to follow, haha. And no, I’ve never heard about that- thanks for letting me know. I will have to check it out… it sounds great!

  24. I am glad I came across your post as I searched some info on studying abroad. I will be studying abroad next semester and I am trying to get informed. By any chance, what was your budget like? I noticed you were abroad for 4 months, similarily I wil be in Sevilla for 3 months. Any insight would be greatly appreciated :)

    • Hey Erica! How exciting that you’re going to study abroad! Which program are you doing?

      My budget was pretty easy to do actually, and I’m not sure if it wil be helpful! I think it just cost the same as a regular semester at my college, which included housing and food, language classes, courses at the Universidad de Sevilla, and a bunch of trips around Spain. That meant there wasn’t anything I needed to spend money on, plus I didn’t have to get a visa or anything.

      Apart from that, I just had to decide how much I wanted to spend traveling around. To get an idea of how much to expect to pay for trips, check prices on sites like Ryanair for flights, Renfe for trains, and Alsa for buses (there are more companies, but I never used them). Sometimes the site eDreams shows all of those options for a trip within Spain. HostelWorld is good for hostel prices, although you can use Couch Surfing to stay with people for free. Don’t forget to add in food costs. The trips ate up tons of my savings, but they were so much fun.

      I also ended up spending money on fun new Spanish clothes, of course! Leave some extra money in your budget for fun buys, souvenirs, and last-minute trips you might want to go on. You’ll probably end up spending more than you expected, especially if you end up traveling with friends who aren’t on a tight budget.

      I didn’t spend much at all on going or eating out in Sevilla. I had a really hard time meeting people or making any friends the whole time I was there. But don’t worry about that happening to you – it was a combination of my inability to speak Spanish and my teeny tiny program (it was me plus ONE other girl, who didn’t like to go out). That made it really difficult to make friends in a new city in a foreign country, but my program was the exception rather than the rule. However, Sevilla in general is not expensive and the people have a reputation for being very friendly.

      I hope that helps you figure out your budget! Let me know if you have any more questions about study abroad, I’m happy to answer.

  25. Hey Jess,

    The post is amazing! I am planning to come with my GF to Sevilla Next week for 2days and you summarized everything perfectly, will definitely follow your lead,

    One question though, where would you recommend to stay in Seville?
    we will be arriving by bus from Granada,

    Thanks a lot for these posts, next time i am checking a city to visit ill def have a look at your blog,

    Cheers

    • Hmm…I’ve never stayed in a hostel or hotel in Sevilla, so I’m not really sure! But definitely stay somewhere in the center, near the cathedral. It’s so pretty around that area, and you’d be close to all the tourist sites.

      I hope you and your girlfriend enjoy Sevilla!

      Also, thanks for your kind words about my blog!

  26. I really haven’t made the best of Sevilla. I loved Plaza de Espana, and I believe it’s been updated recently, which is great as it was getting a bit shabby. The Giralda Tower knocked me out- the thought of those knights riding up it. Awesome! And the Real Alcazar gardens are stunning- even on a wet day. I think I probably need to overnight there to fully get the atmosphere- it’s on my “to dos”. :)

  27. Great post…just what wears looking for. Gracias!

  28. thanks for your list. going there mid this month and will tell you if your choices are good for over 50’s :)

    • Sounds good! My parents enjoyed everything on this list, so I hope you do as well. :) Have a lovely time in Sevilla.

  29. Great post with some lovely photos! I’m leaving for Sevilla on Friday and will be spending five days in the city before moving on to Granada. This post just made me even more excited :) Adding the restaurants you mentioned to my google map!
    Aubrey recently posted…Venice – The Doge’s PalaceMy Profile

  30. Been to seville, cordoba and grenada several years ago, now meeting my brother here in Madrid for the same tour in March, I adore Spain although i live in India Spain is always my first choice

  31. omg.i just found this post justttt in time….I’m about to travel to spain this coming Saturday. Seeing your pictures were such a bless!!stunning and very sharp.I cant wait to see sevilla for myself…but i will only spend about 7 hours there. I hope I can cover those places that you mentioned. Cathedaral->Alcazar->Giralda Tower->Maria Luisa->Plza Espana. Do you think its possible? Or would you suggest to leave up one of those?Mayb just taking pictures outside? Owh I dunno how to decide. help me!

    • Awesome! Sevilla isn’t too big, but 7 hours is a short trip. I wouldn’t go inside the Cathedral, and save that time to go into the Alcazar instead. :)

  32. Thanks for your tips about Sevilla :-)

    This is definitly a nice place for a short citytrip.

    I would like to add:

    – Yummy tapas: taberna coloniales
    – Free Flamenco: La Carboneria
    – Great hostel: “La Banda rooftop”

  33. Thanks guys, i’m gonna go to Spain on march, 2nd week to be precise, and you guys made my “to be” trip much much sweeter. I’ve got 7 days for Madrid and Seville and my travel plan is messed up right now. Can you help me out please? Especially the Museo de Bellas Artes…I heard there are some beautiful paintings by murillo..but then again i’ve got del prado at madrid..So should i skip Museo de Bellas Artes or not? are the collections any good??
    Please a little help here amigos 😀

    • I’ve actually never been to the Museo de Bellas Artes, so I’m afraid I can’t help you there. :) But Madrid is full of amazing museums, so you can’t go wrong really.

  34. Hola!! Just stumbled upon your blog so thanks! I’m going to Seville in April for Semana Santa and after reading this I’m mega excited!!!!! Yay!

    • Aw how much fun! Enjoy the fair! It’s such a beautiful city I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

  35. Hi miss jessica, jessie here. I am coming to Sevilla in June, would you suggest a good hotel that is nearby these places. Thanks and hoping for your reaction.

    • Hi Jessie! Unfortunately, I’ve never stayed in a hotel in Sevilla so I can’t offer you a recommendation. Sorry, and hope you have a good trip! :)

  36. We are going to Spain in July. We have decided to stray from the rest of our group and go to Sevilla for 2 days instead of Granada. I was unsure of that decision until I read your blog! Thanks so much I can’t wait.

    • Awesome! Have a great time! The nice thing about choosing between Sevilla and Granada is that there’s really no wrong decision there – both cities are gorgeous. :)

  37. Very nice post! Seville is my favorite city in Spain. I also loved Triana :) It’s hard to make a top5 and I really agree with your tips :)

  38. In Seville right now. Followed your advice on top 5 and agree. We are staying at Casa Romana Boutique Hotel and it is a fabulous 18th century building with beautiful courtyards. Dinner at El Perro Viejo which was fabulous in every way… tapas or plates. Didn’t see any obvious tourists but lots of locals and great staff. Little English but we figured it out!

  39. Love Spain and adore Sevilla. The tapas and flamenco are beyond compare. We ate in two really old tapas bars – simply divine.

  40. Take a trip down the Quadalquivir River as far as you can go – in summer you can travel as far as Cadiz. Find a really good Flamenco scene (probably in Tirana). If you know the opera, walk in the footsteps of Carmen (it can be done). If time allows take a day trip by train to Cordoba. Then stroll this wonderful city, eat and enjoy.

    • Great tips, Mari! I’ve never been to see flamenco in Triana, but there are some fantastic places to see it in Sevilla. Cordoba’s a lovely day trip too. Thank you for your recommendations!

  41. thank you for this – very helpful. As an ex-pat from London now living in Philadelphia I am looking forward to taking my wife to Spain. We plan on flying into Bilbao, seeing San Sebastian and then flying across to Barcelona. from there a trip to Girona and Costa Brava. after that we are undecided. we have a couple of days before flying back from Madrid and it’s a toss up between Seville or Valencia. any thoughts?

    • Hi Ray! Glad you found it helpful. I’d definitely go for Seville over Valencia. Both are nice, but Sevilla is really gorgeous, and quite different from the other places you’ll be visiting.

      Have fun on your trip, you’re going to see some fantastic places!

      • thank you Jessica – very helpful. I was leaning towards Seville as I definitely feel it will be a completely new experience ( although I have still earmarked Valencia as a potential retirement spot in years to come ). we are seeing fairly cheap flights from Barca to Seville so that seems the way to go. Would you recommend using the bus from the airport during the day? aside from checking Triana for real Flamenco and checking out the various focal points our main question is where to spend our extra day. we either have 2 days in Seville and 1 in Madrid or visa versa. would you say 2 days in Seville is a better option ? ( allows for trips to Ronda etc ). really looking forward to this trip but I do have to say that I am particularly excited about the Basque region and Costa Brava area.

        cheers

        Ray

  42. Seems like a great list. Will be there in late August—for the first time since I was a little kid. What are some of the best old tapas bars in the area?

  43. Great post! :) it was really usefull! I’m going on a vacation to Sevilla for the first time this month and I’m really excited

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