Free Things To Do in Seville
- #2View all Photos#2 in SevilleMonuments and Memorials, Parks and Gardens, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDMonuments and Memorials, Parks and Gardens, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
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.
With so much to see and plenty of orange trees for shade, exploring the park may take up a big chunk of your day. "We watched the people going by [and] walked around enjoying the warmth," one TripAdvisor reviewer said. "I'd recommend putting aside at least an hour to enjoy the many different fountains, bridges [and] plants."
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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.
An added bonus of a visit to this neighborhood (located next to the Real Alcázar) is that the streets are designed to create as much shade as possible, making the Barrio Santa Cruz a great escape from the heat of Seville's scorching summer sun. With plenty of cafes doling out tapas, flamenco bars offering live entertainment, and historic landmarks sitting alongside plazas, it's no wonder the Barrio Santa Cruz is extra popular among visitors. But just because it's tourist-friendly doesn't mean it's a cinch to navigate. One TripAdvisor user offers some advice: "Make sure your map is detailed enough to list all the small streets and you will be able to find your way without much trouble." Hold on to that map and use the neighborhood's online guide to explore the area's snaking medieval streets.
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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.
Today, the building houses several government offices, so indoor access is off-limits to tourists. But the site's beauty is best observed from outside the building. On the Plaza de España grounds, you'll find brightly colored ceramic tiles covering nearly the entire plaza, towering marble columns and intricate murals, which one TripAdvisor reviewer says are "really worth inspecting closely." Plenty of filmmakers agree: Plaza de España has been the backdrop for scenes in movies like "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace." Pay close attention to the plaza's 48 painted benches: Each bench depicts important symbols and themes from one of Spain's provinces. Or admire the marble fountain and mosaic floor while enjoying Seville's lively outdoor crowds. For a more active option, rent a rowboat for a trip on the small canal that runs in and around the plaza — a 45-minute rental costs €5 EUR (about $7 USD).
- #7View all PhotosfreeLa Carbonería#7 in SevilleEntertainment and Nightlife, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDEntertainment and Nightlife, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDRead More
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.
Though the dancing is a highlight for visitors, not every facet of the La Carbonería experience is held in high esteem, "Sevilla's flamenco is widely known and this is a good option for backpackers/low-cost tourists. However, although the artists are very good, don't expect amazing food," one TripAdvisor reviewer noted.
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