Basílica de la Macarena#6 in Best Things To Do in Seville
Price & Hours
A Catholic temple situated in the Macarena neighborhood, this religious site wows visitors the moment they enter. From the outside the white and gold church may seem small, but its intricate interiors are something to admire. Frescoes adorn the walls and ceiling, while gold accents provide a shimmering aesthetic. Some recent visitors said they enjoyed this basilica more than the city's massive cathedral.
Many say their favorite aspect of the church is the glowing golden altar, which holds the Virgin of Hope or La Macarena – a famous statue of a weeping Virgin Mary that holds great importance in the city's Semana Santa celebrations. There is also small museum behind the altar that showcases the two parade floats Mary and Jesus ride to the Semana Santa's Good Friday celebration each year.
While the basilica is free to enter, the on-site museum costs 5 euros (about $5.50) for general admission. A museum audio tour is available for just 1 euro. The basilica is typically open each day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. then again from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. However, be sure to check the website for holiday closures.
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#1 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. Explore 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 pay for a guided tour.
Make sure to budget enough time to admire the details. Past visitors recommended examining every aspect of this grand residence of kings – even the architecture on the ceiling is striking. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is surrounded by gardens that are also worth seeing.
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