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Free Things To Do in Seville

If you have extra time, Plaza de España is worthwhile.
  • #2
    Things to do in Seville
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    #2 in Seville
    0.9 miles to city center
    Monuments and Memorials, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    0.9 miles to city center
    Monuments and Memorials, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    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 castle-like 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. The park is an ideal place for people-watching and soaking up the sun, and previous visitors recommended spending at least an hour exploring its various sights.

  • #4
    Barrio Santa Cruz
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    #4 in Seville
    0.3 miles to city center
    Cafes, Churches/Religious Sites, Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    0.3 miles to city center
    Cafes, Churches/Religious Sites, Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    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. Visitors recommend finding a detailed map that includes the neighborhood's many small side streets or using the neighborhood's online guide to explore the area's snaking medieval streets. Other visitors say to ditch the map and simply enjoy getting lost in the beautiful streets.

  • #5
    Plaza de España
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    #5 in Seville
    0.8 miles to city center
    Castles/Palaces, Monuments and Memorials, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    0.8 miles to city center
    Castles/Palaces, Monuments and Memorials, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    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 are worth witnessing up close. Plenty of filmmakers agree: Plaza de España has been the backdrop for scenes in movies like "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Star Wars Episode I: 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 unique perspective, rent a rowboat for a trip on the small canal that runs in and around the plaza – a 35-minute rental costs 6 euros (about $7). 

  • #6
    Basílica de la Macarena
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    #6 in Seville
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    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. 

  • #8
    Flamenco
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    #8 in Seville
    0.1 miles to city center
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    0.1 miles to city center
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Watching a flamenco show in Seville is a must, but the quality of the shows varies by location, and you may get caught overpaying at a tourist trap. 

    For a top-notch performance in a classic theater setting, visitEl Palacio Andaluz. The venue hosts a large cast of dancers who perform traditional flamenco twice per night; each performance lasts for an hour and a half. While this venue is located outside the city center, previous visitors say the attentive service, engaging show and high quality music make El Palacio Andaluz worth the trip. Tickets are available for purchase online.

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