Top 7 Places to Visit in the Charming City of Seville

with 38 Comments

Seville is probably the most charming city in Spain. And its laid-back atmosphere, strongly contrasts with the hustle and bustle of Madrid and Barcelona. I love this city with all my heart and for many good reasons. The climate, the beautiful streets, the multitude of delicious tapas bars, the culture… Not to mention that its inhabitants are my favorite people in the whole world.
With a unique Moorish heritage, it should come as no surprise that Seville has its share of top notch attractions. The following is a subjective list of the places I consider a must see during a first time visit to Seville, complimented with some activities you should not miss.

Palace of the Countess de Lebrija

The Palace of the Countess of Lebrija is one of my favorite places in Seville, as it gathers one of the most impressive Roman mosaic collections in Spain. The beautiful Lebrija Palace dates back to the 15th century and it is organized around a typical Andalusian patio surrounded by elegant scalloped arches and alfiz of Arab influence. Many of the artifacts and mosaics which now decorate the palace, were rescued by the countess from the Roman city of Itaca, and this in itself, makes for a pretty special visit. Also the upper floor is beautifully furnished and worth having a look at, especially if decor and design are your cup of tea.

The Royal Alcazar

The Royal Alcazar of Seville is a place to fall in love with. Originally a Moorish fortress, it is now a huge royal palace with some of the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever seen. Built in the 10th century, it is one of the best remaining examples of Mudejar architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All ceilings of the palace are breathtaking and heavily garnished, as are the walls, decorated with amazing tile patterns. The Alcazar’s gardens host an impressive array of fountains and sculptures, which guarantees a delightful and relaxing stroll. I advise to assign at least half a day to the gardens and the palace. This place is huge and dense, I tell you!

Plaza de España

Located in the Maria Luisa Park from Seville, this is the most impressive square I’ve seen in my life. It was built for the Expo back in 1929, and it was used as a movie set for Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars Episode I and II. The Plaza de España complex is a huge half-circle with buildings running around the edge. The moat in front has many beautiful bridges, and a large fountain decorates the middle. By the walls of the Plaza there are many tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain. An emblematic ride in a horse pulled carriage through the park and around Plaza de España is also a must.

Go to a Flamenco Show

There is no better way to experience the local spirit and culture than a Flamenco dance show. Flamenco was born here, in Andalusia, though it has Caribbean, Oriental and French influences. UNESCO declared it a Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity and I personally recommend you don’t miss the opportunity. One of the places where you can attend a flamenco show is the Flamenco Dance Museum, well worth visiting too, as it helps put things into perspective.

Casa de Pilatos

Casa de Pilatos it is said to have been inspired by the original house of Pontius Pilate. With 500 years of history behind it and some amazing flower gardens dotted with amazing statues, this is one of the most beautiful and intriguing havens in Seville. The central patio was built in a unique combination of Mudejar style with Renaissance Italian influences, and the interiors have incredibly decorated ceilings, engraved walls and intricate tiles. Casa de Pilatos is very stylish and it is still used as a private residence. However, both guided and individual tours are available.

Cruise on Guadalquivir

There’s no better place to enjoy the sunset in Seville than from a cruise boat, in the middle of Guadalquivir River. This is the 5th largest river in the Iberian Peninsula, and along its shores, some emblematic buildings can be appreciated. You can take the boat from just next to Torre de Oro, a beautiful tower in itself, worth having a look at. The cruise boat passes under various bridges, some more interesting than others, and allows you to spot a less touristic part of Seville.

The Cathedral

The Seville Cathedral is probably the most visited attraction in the city. Being the largest cathedral in the world and the burial place of Christopher Columbus, it is only natural that the crowds are cuing in front of it, so better go armed with patience. But once inside, the Cathedral is just as huge and beautiful as on the outside. A climb to the Giralda tower is also a must for enjoying some stunning bird eye views over Seville. You will need at least a couple of hours to explore it all, but it’s well worth it.

Bonus tip: The Royal Tobacco Factory from Seville offers free guided tours a few times a week. Taking the tour is recommendable, especially if you are a fan of Bizet’s Carmen. This is the place where Carmen worked, and the stories you’ll hear will fascinate you. Also, if you are in need for accommodation with a difference, I cannot recommend you a better and more special place to spend the night than at Casas de la Juderia Hotel. It’s my favorite in Seville, as it is more like a city within a city, encompassing many gorgeous patios and secret corners. You won’t want to leave, I promise!

What are your favorite attractions in Seville?

38 Responses

  1. Monika
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    Hello, there, I am really glad to find your amazing and informative blog! Learn so many new and challenging things about Seville. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Anonymous
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    That's a great comprehensive list for Seville. There are not that many lists out there for Seville, not as much as there are for Madrid or Barcelona.

  3. Andrea
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    What a great list! Seville has many beautiful places to visit.

  4. Jon Dunn
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    Fantastic city, but as mentioned above, within easy reach of Cordoba and, to a lesser extent, Granada.
    I stayed in the Santa Cruz barrio, which is amazing.
    Regarding flamenco, there are numerous styles, such as Bulerias, Rumba, etc but Andalucia has it's very own – Sevillanos, which when played in a bar or club will have literally ALL the locals on the dance floor! I still get goosebumps thinking about the passion they show for their music!
    Great article – fantastic city 🙂

    • Laura
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      Interesting remark about the different flamenco styles. Barrio de Santa Cruz with its various attractions is a must visit place in Seville and a great place to spend the night.

  5. Rachel Webb
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    Love, love, love Sevilla, but Cordoba and Granada too. Have to add my nearest city of Jaen as one worth visiting and with few tourists. Trouble is Spain offers so many fabulous places to visit.

    • Laura
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      True, there are lots of places to visit in Spain, but Seville is my favourite 😉

  6. Joanna Styles
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    Good choices for a lovely city. Not sure about hotel – thought it could do with a lot of refurb when I was there in March. But as you say, this is subjective.

    • Laura
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      Really? That's such a pity 🙁 The hotel has such a beautiful concept behind it and our room was gorgeous and looked quite new… but that was almost 2 years ago. But hotels tend to refurnish one room at a time… I hope they do something about it because it's one of my favorite hotels in the whole world.

  7. Das
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    I am wondering if vising both Alcazar and Alhambra are worth or should I skip Alhambra since they are similar. I will visit in December

    • Laura
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      Hi Das! El Alcazar is in Seville and Alhambra in Granada. If you are going to visit both cities anyways, I recommend you visit both attractions, especially if you like Arabic architecture. But if you are to chose and only visit one city, I certainly recommend you Seville and its attractions.

  8. Pola (Jetting Around)
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    One of my favorite cities, not just in Spain… I loved taking long walks, especially in the historic center. It's a great place to see on foot. I saw two flamenco shows – one at a cultural center, one at a bar. Very different, but both very good.

    If I go back, I wouldn't mind taking a river cruise. Sounds like fun.

  9. Kerri
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    I've always loved the idea of going to Seville; it looks beautiful and a flamenco show sounds like it would be great to watch!

    • Laura
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      I've seen flamenco shows all over Spain, but nowhere else do they tap into the spirit of this dance quite like in Seville.

  10. Jenny
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    What a beautiful place! In an effort to improve my understanding of my adopted country- Mexico, I recently read James Michener's Iberia- tales of his travels through Spain in the 60s. The descriptions of Seville REALLY made me want to go there.

    • Laura
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      Haven't read the book. Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  11. Jade - OurOyster.com
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    I just love the Moorish influence in southern Spain – although I havn't been to Seville yet. We are thinking of going to Europe next year and I want to spend quite a bit of time in Spain if possible

    • Laura
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      Sounds great! Seville is a must!!!

  12. Laurence Norah
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    I've never been to Seville – but I love the first shot of the horse knocker, just gorgeous 🙂

    • Laura
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      Thank you, Laurence!

  13. Eve@ Bands Wanted
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    Lovey share. But Most of them I love the Plaza de España being there once made me want to go again. Lovely memories and this made them come back.

    • Laura
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      It surely is an incredible place!

  14. Megan @ Roamancing
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    I went to Seville a couple of years ago and was absolutely blown away by the flamenco show I saw! Definitely a must-do in Seville.

    • Laura
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      Definitely! You can see flamenco shows all over Spain, but nowhere else the feeling is quite the same.

  15. Ahhh I'm DYING to visit! What gorgeous pictures!!!

    • Laura
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      Thank you, Andi! Seville is amazing!!

  16. Liza
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    The royal alcazar is my favourite place in Seville, my visit there was an unforgettable experience.

    • Laura
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      It's an impressive place to visit, isn't it?

  17. The Guy
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    Wonderful suggestions and great photos too. It looks like a beautiful place and glad to see reviews of places other than the big 2 cities of Spain.

    • Laura
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      Spain is definitely much more than Madrid and Barcelona. I actually find these two cities a bit overwhelming. But Seville is anyways Spain at its best, just without Gaudi and El Prado and the crowds.

  18. What beautiful architecture! The Seville Cathedral looks like a work of art. Great photos!

    • Laura
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      Well, maybe because it is a work of art 😛

  19. restlessjo
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    Love the Royal Alcazar, and Plaza de Espana of course, but I wasn't aware of the Countess' Palace, which also looks beautiful. We find getting into the centre of Seville a bit of a trial, but it does have lots to offer.

    • Laura
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      What do you mean 'a bit of a trial'? Were you driving? I can see how that's a trial 🙂

  20. Jenna
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    I didn't make it to Seville when I was in Spain. It seems like just the perfect city!

    • Laura
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      It's a charming place to explore. Maybe you get to visit it next time you are in Spain?! 🙂

  21. Matthew Hirtes
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    Some great choices here. I know these sort of articles are subjective, so if I had written it I would have squeezed in Past View Sevilla. Certainly had a great time when I did one of their tours: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/an-augmented-reality-stroll-in-seville-8457234.html

    • Laura
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      Sounds interesting! However, as you said, the list is subjective and we wanted it to be based entirely on our personal experience. I'm sure there are many more fascinating places in Seville that we missed.