Isla Mágica#13 in Best Things To Do 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.
One TripAdvisor reviewer suggests getting to the park with a plan of attack: "If you arrive early, go to the main rides (eg. Ciklón, El Jaguar, El Desafío, Anaconda, Iguazú, Orinoco) first as they will get crowded later in the day."
Isla Mágica opens at 11 a.m. on most days between April and October, and closing times range from to 7 p.m. to midnight. Hours and days of admission vary quite a bit, so check the park's website before planning a trip. Full-day adult admission costs €29 EUR (about $40 USD); full-day tickets for children ages 5 to 12 cost €21 EUR (about $29 USD); and kids younger than 4 or less than 3 feet tall can enter for free. Discounted rates are also available for afternoon-only or evening-only admission. The theme park is located about 2 miles northwest of El Centro, on the former site of the 1992 World Expo. You can walk to Isla Mágica from the La Macarena district by crossing the Barqueta Bridge or you can ride Tussam bus lines C1 and C2 from El Centro to the park's front entrance.
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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. 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.
Make sure to budget enough time to admire the details. One TripAdvisor reviewer suggests: "Be sure to look upwards when you walk through this grand residence of kings, because the workmanship of the carvings and painting on the ceilings is truly amazing." This UNESCO World Heritage site is surrounded by gardens that are also worth seeing.
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