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Best Things To Do in Seville

Seville is famous for its enormous Catedral and soaring La Giralda tower, but there are tons of places to discover the city's rich history. Stroll along the Guadalquivir River for scenic views or walk through the streets of Barrio Santa Cruz to discover the local flavor of Seville's tapas bars, boutique shops and outdoor plazas. To maximize your time in the sun, amble through the gardens of Parque María Luisa or uncover the royal story of the Real Alcázar palace. See it all before your afternoon siesta, which will help you prepare for nightlife that's been known to entertain visitors and Sevillanos alike through the early morning hours. 

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Seville

The Spanish monarchy doesn't quite boast the worldwide clout of the British monarchy, but royalty is royalty, right? Take the chance to step into sovereignty when you enter the Real Alcázar palace and gardens. The palace was built in the seventh century and it still occasionally hosts the royal family when they visit Seville. While the original structure dates back to the Middle Ages, the entire palace has been heavily influenced by different architectural and cultural styles, ranging from Gothic to Baroque. The intricate architectural design is known as mudéjar — a Muslim and Christian artistic fusion unique to Andalusia. Exlpore on your own or use an audio tour to guide you through the luxurious rooms of the palace like the Salón de Embajadores (Hall of Ambassadors) and the Patio de las Doncellas (Patio of the Maidens). But to gain access to the Cuarto Real Alto (the Upper Royal Quarters), you'll need to be on a guided tour.
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Castles/Palaces Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Real Alcázar
The Spanish monarchy doesn't quite boast the worldwide clout of the British monarchy, but royalty is royalty, right? Take the chance to step into sovereignty when you enter the Real Alcázar palace and gardens. The palace was built in the seventh century and it still occasionally hosts the royal family when they visit Seville. While the original structure dates back to the Middle Ages, the entire palace has been heavily influenced by different architectural and cultural styles, ranging from Gothic to Baroque. The intricate architectural design is known as mudéjar — a Muslim and Christian artistic fusion unique to Andalusia. Exlpore on your own or use an audio tour to guide you through the luxurious rooms of the palace like the Salón de Embajadores (Hall of Ambassadors) and the Patio de las Doncellas (Patio of the Maidens). But to gain access to the Cuarto Real Alto (the Upper Royal Quarters), you'll need to be on a guided tour.
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#2

#2 in Seville

Free
If you're in search of green space, you won't be disappointed — Seville's got plenty. But the most notable of the city's parks is Parque de María Luisa, located next to the Plaza de España. Like the plaza, this park was largely built for exhibition at the 1929 World's Fair and has remained one of Seville's most popular sites since. You can take a stroll, ride a bicycle or be pulled by horse-drawn carriage through the gardens designed by French landscape architect Nicolas Forestier. You'll also find several notable buildings and museums within the park. The Costurero de la Reina (or the Queen's Sewing Box) is a 19th century castlelike structure and former sewing retreat for the wife of Spain's King Alfonso XII. The Pabellón Mudéjar is home to the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Seville. And the Pabellón del Renacimiento houses the Archeological Museum of Seville.
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Monuments and Memorials Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Parque de María Luisa
If you're in search of green space, you won't be disappointed — Seville's got plenty. But the most notable of the city's parks is Parque de María Luisa, located next to the Plaza de España. Like the plaza, this park was largely built for exhibition at the 1929 World's Fair and has remained one of Seville's most popular sites since. You can take a stroll, ride a bicycle or be pulled by horse-drawn carriage through the gardens designed by French landscape architect Nicolas Forestier. You'll also find several notable buildings and museums within the park. The Costurero de la Reina (or the Queen's Sewing Box) is a 19th century castlelike structure and former sewing retreat for the wife of Spain's King Alfonso XII. The Pabellón Mudéjar is home to the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Seville. And the Pabellón del Renacimiento houses the Archeological Museum of Seville.
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#3

#3 in Seville

The largest Gothic building in Europe in terms of size, the Catedral de Sevilla sits in the heart of the city on Avenida de la Constitución and invites travelers from around the world to admire its impressive Gothic architecture. Built in the late 15th century, the cathedral has more than 40 chapels and sits on the site of a former mosque. The vastness of the cathedral and tower impresses visitors. As one TripAdvisor user said, "It is so huge that it looks almost empty, even though it is actually filled with huge altarpieces, vast tombs and side chapels and all the rest of it." It is widely accepted that Christopher Columbus' remains can be found inside the above-ground bronze tomb on display inside the cathedral, though it has never been confirmed. Once you've finished touring the cathedral's interior, make your way to the Patio de Los Naranjos — an outdoor square filled with aromatic orange trees.
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Churches/Religious Sites Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Catedral de Sevilla and La Giralda
The largest Gothic building in Europe in terms of size, the Catedral de Sevilla sits in the heart of the city on Avenida de la Constitución and invites travelers from around the world to admire its impressive Gothic architecture. Built in the late 15th century, the cathedral has more than 40 chapels and sits on the site of a former mosque. The vastness of the cathedral and tower impresses visitors. As one TripAdvisor user said, "It is so huge that it looks almost empty, even though it is actually filled with huge altarpieces, vast tombs and side chapels and all the rest of it." It is widely accepted that Christopher Columbus' remains can be found inside the above-ground bronze tomb on display inside the cathedral, though it has never been confirmed. Once you've finished touring the cathedral's interior, make your way to the Patio de Los Naranjos — an outdoor square filled with aromatic orange trees.
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#4

#4 in Seville

Free
Navigating your way through winding footpaths and narrow streets of a centuries-old neighborhood is captivating for any adventurous traveler. Even among Europe's many picturesque neighborhoods, Barrio Santa Cruz stands out for its 15th century history and its abundance of charming restaurants and shops, not to mention the orange-tree-covered plazas awaiting walkers around each turn. Barrio Santa Cruz served as the city's Jewish quarter prior to the Spanish Inquisition in the late 15th century when Jews were expelled from the country. Evidence of the quarter's former inhabitants remains on Calle Judería (Jewry Street) — an aptly named street near the neighborhood's center. Many of the neighborhood's churches that stand today were originally synagogues.
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Cafes Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Barrio Santa Cruz
Navigating your way through winding footpaths and narrow streets of a centuries-old neighborhood is captivating for any adventurous traveler. Even among Europe's many picturesque neighborhoods, Barrio Santa Cruz stands out for its 15th century history and its abundance of charming restaurants and shops, not to mention the orange-tree-covered plazas awaiting walkers around each turn. Barrio Santa Cruz served as the city's Jewish quarter prior to the Spanish Inquisition in the late 15th century when Jews were expelled from the country. Evidence of the quarter's former inhabitants remains on Calle Judería (Jewry Street) — an aptly named street near the neighborhood's center. Many of the neighborhood's churches that stand today were originally synagogues.
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#5

#5 in Seville

Free
Originally built for Seville's Ibero-American Expo at the 1929 World's Fair, the Plaza de España offers one of the most picturesque panoramas in the city. The 540,000-square-foot Plaza de España includes a giant, neo-Moorish building (spanning more than half of the site's perimeter) and an expansive mosaic patio with a canal, a fountain and four foot bridges. Architect Aníbal González, built the site to highlight Spain's technological and artistic achievements for the world. The detailed artwork built into the Plaza de España's design helps it standout as an architectural tour de force.
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Castles/Palaces Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Plaza de España
Originally built for Seville's Ibero-American Expo at the 1929 World's Fair, the Plaza de España offers one of the most picturesque panoramas in the city. The 540,000-square-foot Plaza de España includes a giant, neo-Moorish building (spanning more than half of the site's perimeter) and an expansive mosaic patio with a canal, a fountain and four foot bridges. Architect Aníbal González, built the site to highlight Spain's technological and artistic achievements for the world. The detailed artwork built into the Plaza de España's design helps it standout as an architectural tour de force.
... more

#6

#6 in Seville

Seville's popularity can be largely attributed to its history — much of which revolves around the immense river that runs through the heart of the city. According to many recent visitors, a great way to get a feel for Seville and its past is to hop aboard a Guadalquivir River cruise. The Guadalquivir River (or casually, the "rio") was once the artery for all trade traffic in and out of the Andalusian capital. The river's access to the Atlantic was also crucial for New World exploration. Today, the Guadalquivir is not only a charming part of the city's aesthetic, but many portions of the river bank also act as venues for nightlife, dining and sunbathing.
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Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Guadalquivir River Cruise
Seville's popularity can be largely attributed to its history — much of which revolves around the immense river that runs through the heart of the city. According to many recent visitors, a great way to get a feel for Seville and its past is to hop aboard a Guadalquivir River cruise. The Guadalquivir River (or casually, the "rio") was once the artery for all trade traffic in and out of the Andalusian capital. The river's access to the Atlantic was also crucial for New World exploration. Today, the Guadalquivir is not only a charming part of the city's aesthetic, but many portions of the river bank also act as venues for nightlife, dining and sunbathing.
... more

#7

#7 in Seville

Free
Watching a flamenco show in Seville is a must, but the quality of the shows vary by location and you may get caught overpaying for a tourist trap. Guarantee a good experience by heading to La Carbonería, a local favorite and a popular spot to watch authentic flamenco dancers show off their skills on stage. The club has two different areas: Upon entry, you may immediately think this venue is quaint (with a piano and fireplaces amid the rustic decor), but open the double doors in the room's back left corner and you'll enter a larger area complete with picnic tables, bars and stages.
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Entertainment and Nightlife Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
La Carbonería
Watching a flamenco show in Seville is a must, but the quality of the shows vary by location and you may get caught overpaying for a tourist trap. Guarantee a good experience by heading to La Carbonería, a local favorite and a popular spot to watch authentic flamenco dancers show off their skills on stage. The club has two different areas: Upon entry, you may immediately think this venue is quaint (with a piano and fireplaces amid the rustic decor), but open the double doors in the room's back left corner and you'll enter a larger area complete with picnic tables, bars and stages.
... more

#8

#8 in Seville

If you're anywhere near Plaza de la Encarnación (in the northwest corner of El Centro), the Metropol Parasol is impossible to miss. Its towering presence was constructed in 2011, making it the newest major attraction in the city and purportedly the largest wooden structure in the world. The architectural wonder serves as a gathering place and features a farmers market, a restaurant, an archeological museum, winding rooftop walkways and an open-air public square. Locals fondly refer to the lattice structure as "las setas" or "the mushrooms" given its quirky shape. 
... more
Cafes Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Metropol Parasol
If you're anywhere near Plaza de la Encarnación (in the northwest corner of El Centro), the Metropol Parasol is impossible to miss. Its towering presence was constructed in 2011, making it the newest major attraction in the city and purportedly the largest wooden structure in the world. The architectural wonder serves as a gathering place and features a farmers market, a restaurant, an archeological museum, winding rooftop walkways and an open-air public square. Locals fondly refer to the lattice structure as "las setas" or "the mushrooms" given its quirky shape. 
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#9

#9 in Seville

Seville has a rich history that is well-represented in its sites and monuments, yet one of the best ways to uncover the city's past is through its extensive collection of artwork. Founded in 1835, Seville's Museo de Bellas Artes — which occupies a former 17th century convent built around three tiled patios — houses pieces dating from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. The galleries include works by some of Spain's most notable artists, such as Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and Francisco de Zurbarán. Many visitors do note, however, that despite the beauty of the paintings, the works lack much variety. "The art collection is apparently one of the best in Spain, but 90 [percent] of it is religious art, and that inevitably begins to get a bit samey after a while," one TripAdvisor reviewer said.  
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts)
Seville has a rich history that is well-represented in its sites and monuments, yet one of the best ways to uncover the city's past is through its extensive collection of artwork. Founded in 1835, Seville's Museo de Bellas Artes — which occupies a former 17th century convent built around three tiled patios — houses pieces dating from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. The galleries include works by some of Spain's most notable artists, such as Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and Francisco de Zurbarán. Many visitors do note, however, that despite the beauty of the paintings, the works lack much variety. "The art collection is apparently one of the best in Spain, but 90 [percent] of it is religious art, and that inevitably begins to get a bit samey after a while," one TripAdvisor reviewer said.  
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#10

#10 in Seville

If you're an animal lover or faint of heart, this experience is not for you. But if you're looking to immerse yourself in a Spanish tradition that spans centuries, spend an evening at the Plaza de Toros, Seville's bullfighting ring. Bullfighting has faced a lot of criticism for its animal bloodshed, but many Sevillanos think of the sport as an art form integral to their culture. During bullfights, three matadors each lure two bulls through a series of choreographed movements designed to weaken the animal. In the final of the fight's three stages (tercio de muerte), each matador's goal is to end the bull's life.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza
If you're an animal lover or faint of heart, this experience is not for you. But if you're looking to immerse yourself in a Spanish tradition that spans centuries, spend an evening at the Plaza de Toros, Seville's bullfighting ring. Bullfighting has faced a lot of criticism for its animal bloodshed, but many Sevillanos think of the sport as an art form integral to their culture. During bullfights, three matadors each lure two bulls through a series of choreographed movements designed to weaken the animal. In the final of the fight's three stages (tercio de muerte), each matador's goal is to end the bull's life.
... more

#11

#11 in Seville

Home to Seville's very popular soccer club, Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán stadium offers an exciting European fútbol experience. Since its opening in 1958, the stadium has hosted a handful of World Cup and European Cup tournaments. Soccer games at the stadium — which has the capacity to seat 45,500 people — are full of energy thanks to the enthusiasm of Seville's fans.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium
Home to Seville's very popular soccer club, Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán stadium offers an exciting European fútbol experience. Since its opening in 1958, the stadium has hosted a handful of World Cup and European Cup tournaments. Soccer games at the stadium — which has the capacity to seat 45,500 people — are full of energy thanks to the enthusiasm of Seville's fans.
... more

#12

#12 in Seville

The Guadalquivir River once served as the main waterway to southern Spain and Seville was one of the region's primary ports. Naturally a port with that much influence needed protection from ships trying to enter the claimed territory of the Almohad Dynasty (a 13th century Muslim Caliphate that once ruled northern Africa and southern Spain). The 12-sided Torre del Oro tower — situated on the edge of the Guadalquivir — was once linked by a large chain to its sister structure across the river to stop ships from sailing into the port.
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Monuments and Memorials Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Torre del Oro
The Guadalquivir River once served as the main waterway to southern Spain and Seville was one of the region's primary ports. Naturally a port with that much influence needed protection from ships trying to enter the claimed territory of the Almohad Dynasty (a 13th century Muslim Caliphate that once ruled northern Africa and southern Spain). The 12-sided Torre del Oro tower — situated on the edge of the Guadalquivir — was once linked by a large chain to its sister structure across the river to stop ships from sailing into the port.
... more

#13

#13 in Seville

OK, so you didn't come all the way to Europe to visit an amusement park. But when there's one nearby, it might just be the perfect way to avoid history and culture overload — especially if you have little ones in tow. Let loose at Isla Mágica, Seville's sizeable theme park that's suitable for all ages. The park is divided into eight 16th century Spanish colonial-themed areas, which feature rides like the Igazú log flume and the El Jaguar roller coaster. You'll also find plenty of shops, shows and restaurants at the park. A small water park dubbed Agua Mágica is slated to open in the summer of 2014.
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Amusement Parks Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Isla Mágica
OK, so you didn't come all the way to Europe to visit an amusement park. But when there's one nearby, it might just be the perfect way to avoid history and culture overload — especially if you have little ones in tow. Let loose at Isla Mágica, Seville's sizeable theme park that's suitable for all ages. The park is divided into eight 16th century Spanish colonial-themed areas, which feature rides like the Igazú log flume and the El Jaguar roller coaster. You'll also find plenty of shops, shows and restaurants at the park. A small water park dubbed Agua Mágica is slated to open in the summer of 2014.
... more
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