If you have not yet visited the Andalusian capital, you are missing what for many is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And it is that not only the people of Seville are proud of it, there are many visitors who are amazed with its wonders. Some traveler left a record of the character that defines it: «In each compliment, Seville grows. Few cities in the world are so narcissistic and flirty, so conceited and vain. And reasons are not lacking. » Countless tourist attractions make this city the third most visited in Spain, and it is not surprising for the number of monuments in Seville that allow tourists to travel back centuries of history. The Seville capital has the largest historic center in Spain and one of the three largest in Europe, along with those of Venice and Genoa.
If these are not enough reasons for you to have the need to feel the essence of this city, we propose a route through the 10 essential places to visit in Seville, which will make you succumb to its charms. We are sure that our advice will take you on the right track on where to eat and what to see in Seville in one day.
1. The Cathedral of Seville and the Giralda
The Seville Cathedral, the third largest in the world, was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1987. Monumental complex consisting of the Giralda, the Patio de los Naranjos and the Royal Chapel.
It is impossible not to think of the Giralda when they tell us about Seville, and it is that the most representative of this city in its beginnings was the Minaret of the old Aljama Mosque, on which the Cathedral was built and is currently its bell tower. From outside we can see the changes it has undergone, since the lower two thirds are from the original Minaret from the end of the s. XII, Almohad period; and in the upper third, the change of Christianity in the Renaissance, by Hernán Ruiz, with the bell tower and its culmination with the famous Giraldillo, the largest bronze sculpture of this time in Europe, is notable. As a curious fact, at street level at the base of the Giralda, at ground level, you can find two Roman marble tombstones with Latin inscriptions, since the Muslims reused Roman and Visigoth materials in their buildings. Our recommendation is that, with much encouragement, you go up to the bell tower, which is accessed through 35 ramps designed to climb on horseback, but from its 104 meters high you can see a panoramic view of the city that makes the ascent worthwhile. .
In the Royal Chapel are the King San Fernando, Alfonso X el Sabio and Pedro I el Cruel, among other members of the Castilian-Leonese royalty. There is also the tomb of Christopher Columbus, remains confirmed in 2006. In addition to a large number of paintings by Murillo. At the main entrance to the Patio de los Naranjos hangs the famous “lizard”, which has several popular legends. The chains that surround the cathedral also have their own history, in ancient times they marked a boundary between the sacred and civil jurisdiction, serving the asylum population, since justice could not act in this area. To visit the Cathedral of Seville, general admission is around 9 euros, but it is possible to make a free audio-guided tour if you book in advance.
Tapas and mojito.
If you need to regain your strength, Casa Morales, an old winery on Calle García de Vinuesa that preserves the original jars, is the temple of tapas in Seville: Russian salad is one of its specialties. We recommend the terrace of the EME hotel, where you can enjoy its famous mojitos with direct views of the Cathedral.
2. Real Alcazar of Seville
The Royal Alcázar of Seville is the Royal Palace that has been active the longest in Europe. Its origin dates back to the evolution of the ancient Roman Hispalis, and it is as we know it now since the Muslim reconquest, with some integrations from other cultures. But since then it would be the seat of the Crown and the scope of the municipal power of the city. The Patio de las Doncellas, of Andalusian Mudejar art, is remarkable. The Kings Room: Carlos V room with large tapestries, the Emperor’s Hall with tiles from the s. XV and Flemish tapestries, as well as the most important room: Ambassadors’ Hall, covered by a dome with arabesque decorations. And the gardens of the Alcázar with Arabic, Renaissance and modern characters, are made up of various terraces, fountains, orange trees and palm trees. All this makes a favorable place for the filming of a large number of movies and series, as we already told you it was one of the settings where Game of Thrones was filmed. Entry can be free if booked in advance.
Andalusian haute cuisine.
Considered one of the best restaurants in Seville, located on Álvarez Quintero street, Casa Robles offers first-class Andalusian cuisine. Recommended for those with a higher budget, but price and quality go together in this case.
3. Archivo de Indias
The General Archive of the Indies was created in the reign of Carlos III, with the aim of centralizing the documentation of the Spanish colonies, which it preserves in its more than 9 kilometers of shelves. With pieces of great historical value: autograph texts by Christopher Columbus, Fernando de Magallanes, Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro. Also declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1987, it can be visited for free.
Wine and tapas.
Our recommendation close to this place is the Bodeguita Casa Blanca, a Seville classic where you can enjoy a good wine. As you can see tapas in Seville is a tradition, everything is to try each style of this art!
4. Walls and Barrio de Santa Cruz
Seville had 7 kilometers of wall, part of it had to be demolished for the growth of the city, but it is almost completely preserved. We propose a route through Seville next to the wall from the “intramuros”, inside the city that it protected, so that you know very special places. From the Alcázares you can enter the famous Patio de Banderas that leads us to a passage of vaults, where you should look back and look at the Giralda (this is one of the favorite images of the people of Seville). You can continue to the Jewish quarter and the Callejón del Agua, it is undoubtedly one of the best ways to discover the famous Barrio de Santa Cruz. This walk culminates in the Plaza de Santa Cruz and the famous Murillo Gardens. The route of the wall continues until reaching the Arch and Basilica de la Macarena.
Back to our next recommended place to visit in Seville, on Mateos Gagos street, the Álvaro Peregil Tavern is an essential place where you can make a quick stop and taste your orange wine or try their “pringá” montadito. A bar where you can eat cheaply in Seville, with the tradition and a very characteristic regent that will make you feel at home. Of similar characteristics, and also well known is the bar Las Columnas, with homemade tapas.
5. Gold Tower
It is located on the left bank of the Guadalquivir river, next to the Maestranza bullring, both on the Paseo Colón. It is an Almohad tower that closed the path to Arenal through a section of wall, which linked it with the Torre de la Plata, forming part of the walls of Seville that defended the Alcázar. It was used as a chapel and later as a prison, currently it houses the Seville Naval Museum. The legend is false that it was a warehouse of the gold and silver of America. It was called Torre del Oro from the Almohad era because of the brightness produced by the lime and straw mortar, and its reflection in the river.
Typical marinade and fried fish.
Once in the Maestranza, if we leave the Curro Romero roundabout aside, we enter the Barrio del Arenal that has countless bars. Our recommendation, La Bodeguita by Antonio Romero, famous for its “pringá” and “el Piripi” sandwiches. It is also typical to enjoy a fried fish cartridge, either in the bar or to go, in this neighborhood the Freidía el Arenal is the reference. Do not leave Seville without trying the variant that triumphs in Andalusia, the Cazón en adobo.
6. Triana neighborhood
Located to the west of the city, separated from the old town by the Guadalquivir river, a neighborhood of sailors, workers, potters and industrialists. Famous for being the cradle of bullfighters, flamenco singers and dancers, with its own style in this art. Triana saw artists of the stature grow: Antonio Canales, Marifé de Triana, Remedios Amaya, María Jiménez, Isabel Pantoja, Juan Belmonte, Manuela Carrasco, among many others. Identity mark and most common way to access the illustrious neighborhood is the Isabel II Bridge, known as the Triana Bridge, which connects it to the city center. Once crossed the bridge we find the Plaza del Altozano, where the monument of Juan Belmonte stands out, with a hollow at the height of the bullfighter’s chest that frames views of the Maestranza, the Torre del Oro and the Giralda, a typical photographic frame of the neighborhood. A walk along Calle Betis, parallel to the river and offering the best views of the Seville skyline of the old town, is essential. A street full of life both day and night, frequented by young tourism. The Sevillian character is defined by the use and ceramic decoration, it is in this neighborhood where the headquarters of the Ceramic Museum is located, originating in 1870 as a factory and store of Ceramic Santa Ana. And the well-known Monastery of Santa María de las Cuevas, also known as the Monastery of La Cartuja, a reference of Seville pottery.
La Grande is one of those Sevillian breweries that “gets to the flag”, and it is normal, since you can enjoy a beer at a very affordable price, accompanied by a cover of fresh prawns. A place with a diverse range of hotels is the Mercado de Triana, where you can enjoy from typical to Japanese cuisine, as well as a place where you can have vermouth, open even at night. To live an authentic experience with flamenco and this neighborhood in all its essence, we recommend you visit Lo Nuestro, on Betis Street, where every night there is live flamenco and it is frequented by people from Seville. Another reference of this art is the Casa de Anselma, on Calle Pagés del Corro, where it is recommended that you book in advance.
7. Alfalfa neighborhood and Plaza del Salvador
Plaza del Salvador is synonymous with lunchtime with friends and cold beer, the nerve center of what Sevillians call “Sevillanía”. Located in the Alfalfa neighborhood, in the heart of the city, it owes its name to the church that presides over it. It is from its origins a space of sociability, being a forum in the Roman era. Currently around it many cheap breweries (for 1 euro a beer) continue to grant this social function. Every weekend the crowd grows in front of these breweries. And is that Seville is characterized by being a city that likes to live sunbathing outdoors, always in the company of friends. Located at the rear of the Town Hall, the most important streets of the city converge in this square: Avenida de la Constitución and the parallel streets of downtown Sierpes and Tetuán. In this neighborhood, another place of tourist interest is the Casa de Pilatos, an Italian Renaissance and Spanish Mudejar style palace, a prototype of an Andalusian palace, which has been the scene of several films, among which some Hollywood blockbusters stand out: Lawrence of Arabia, The Conquest from Paradise and The Kingdom of Heaven, most recent is Knight and Day with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise.
Tapas, beer and night out.
You can enjoy a fresh beer and the typical fried almonds with salt or a montadito in the quintessential bar of El Salvador: La antigua bodeguita. Nearby and of good quality is also the Bar Alfalfa, on Calle Candilejos. At nightfall, the Alfalfa neighborhood is also a good option for partying, many young university students gather in the plaza and continue the night in the bars on Calle Benítez Pérez Galdós. To finish until very late hours, our recommendation is TOKYO on Cuesta del Rosario street.
8. Metropol Parasol
The Metropol Parasol or better known as “Las setas de Sevilla”, is a mandatory visit in the Plaza de la Encarnación. The structure was designed by the German Jürgen Mayer, as a restoration proposal for this square, started in 2005 and completed in 2011. 150 x 70 meters, with a height of 26 meters, it houses a viewpoint at the top from which it is You can see a wide panoramic view of Seville, for the price of 3 euros. At its base it has a commercial premises market and the Antiquarium museum, which contains the most important archaeological site from the Roman period in Seville, which can be visited for the price of 2 euros.
Breakfast, lunch or dinner. And the best ice cream.
In one of the most charming streets of the Plaza de la Encarnación, Calle Regina, is La Cacharrería, which offers very complete and succulent breakfasts. Our proposals for lunch and dinner in this area are located near the Plaza del Cristo Burgos, which keeps some secrets. In it is the Church of San Pedro, whose main facade has painted ceramics in which a small goldfinch appears, almost hidden, according to popular tradition, whoever finds it, would allow you to get married in a short time. It is something that only Sevillians know, such as enjoying a good meal at La taberna los Coloniales and the best ice cream in the city in Rayas. Nor can we leave behind the oldest restaurant in Spain El Rinconcillo, founded in 1670 located behind the aforementioned church, on Calle Gerona.
9. Alameda de Hércules
One of the places that escapes the Sevillian character, suggestive alternative scene of the city. Greater diversity, avant-garde and urban culture, a bohemian air that makes this space a different offer of leisure and enjoyment. The Alameda de Hércules is one of the most important walks in the old town, and the oldest public garden in Europe. Adjacent to the north end of the wall, surrounded by poplars, it contains in its central south part two Roman columns with the image of Hercules, founder of Seville, and in Julius Caesar, who honored ancient Híspalis with his visit. It is another of the lively areas of the city with many types of bars and terraces. As a curious fact in the vicinity of the Alameda is the house where the romantic writer Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer was born. Also due to its proximity, we recommend that you visit the Calle de la Macarena and the Basilica de la Macarena from Calle Feria, one of the most popular. From this point you can see the most important part of the wall and the seat of the Andalusian Parliament. .
Original tapas and alternative clubs.
On this tour you will find plenty of places for a good Andalusian breakfast, or any meal of the day, it is worth mentioning Estraperlo, a peculiar place, since you can buy unique products, enjoy a homemade meal or learn to cook it yourself. Another of our recommendations is on Eslava street, and it is that Bar Eslava stands out for reinventing traditional tapas and dishes. Don’t forget to try their successful “egg on a boletus and truffle cake” and “Bécquer cigar”. Late at night a more “underground” culture is offered, and there are many possibilities for partying with very diverse styles.
10. Plaza de España and Maria Luisa Park
One of the most spectacular works on the Spanish scene, by the architect Aníbal González for the Iberoamerican Exhibition. We are talking about a monumental square in the Mudejar style, decorated with exposed brick, marble and ceramics, which give a Renaissance touch, and the Baroque touch of the two towers located on the sides. It is collated by a regionalist semicircular building that currently belongs to the military government, as the location of the General Captaincy. Oriented towards the river, it shows the way to America, symbolizing Spain’s embrace of the former colonies. It contains a channel that can be crossed through four bridges that symbolize the crowns of Spain (Castilla, León, Aragón and Navarra). Forty-eight are the benches that surround the plaza with ceramic decorations and ornaments that allude to the capitals of Spanish provinces and that illustrate: a map, a historical fact, and the coats of arms of each one. This combination of styles does not surprise that it has been the scene of famous films such as: Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and The Dictator. It is located inside the famous María Luisa Park, declared a Site of Cultural Interest, with an extension of 34 hectares you can visit it for free and is open until ten at night. We recommend you to see the Glorieta de Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, one of the most romantic places in this park, made up of the figures of three women in marble that represent the three stages of love: delighted love, possessed love and lost love.
If after all this you have decided to pack a suitcase to spend a few days in this wonderful city, remember that it is now, in spring and summer it is when it shows off the most. When it makes itself felt in every way: the sun on your skin, the smell of orange blossom, the light of its streets and the freshness of its gastronomy. It is well known for its Easter and April Fair, in whose environment it is worth going to experience it, but if you want to get intimate with it, this is a good time.