Strolling through the narrow streets of Seville gives you a good opportunity to take in all the beauty of the city where the famous football player Sergio Ramos was born. You will sense the Moorish influences in every corner of the city and see the amazing Arabic art on the buildings. The city combines the past and the present through its different styles of architecture. With every step I make and every street I enter, my heart falls deeper in love. There are a lot of things to do and if you are staying for a few days, it might be handy to know what to do, to fully enjoy your time.
1. Cathedral of Seville
As I walk into the Avenida de la Constitución the huge building suddenly appears in front of me. I stare at it with my mouth open, because I don’t expect to see a cathedral with this size. While you are in Seville, for sure you will not miss the Seville Cathedral where you will find the tomb of Christopher Columbus inside the building. The cathedral has a magnificent Gothic structure. It is considered the third largest cathedral in the world and according to UNESCO, the first largest Gothic building in the world.
2. La Giralda
The Moors built a Renaissance-style bell tower as the minaret for their great mosque. Nowadays La Giralda is part of the Cathedral of Seville and it is registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
3. Royal Alcázar of Seville
At the same square as the Cathedral of Seville, you will see the entrance to Royal Alcázar of Seville. The soft red gate is not to be missed. This is definitely one of my favorite places in this city. Several civilizations have taken over Seville in the past and you can see the influences of every culture and architect of that specific period. The styles that are used diver from Gothic to Renaissance to Romanesque to Moorish. Till this day the Spanish royal family uses the upper floor whenever they visit Seville. This magnificent place has also been registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
4. Parque de María Luisa
According to my paper map it is a short walk from my hotel to Parque de María Luisa. I decide to take the chance and walk in the hot summer sun to the park. There is no one to be found. I am walking all alone on the long street next to the river. It feels like hours and the street just doesn’t want to end. As I arrive, I immediately forget about how tired I am, because the big park has so many things to see and admire; from flowers and trees to buildings and waterfalls. The Plaza de España is the main attraction at this place. You will also find the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Seville in between all the nature. There is no time to get bored in this park.
5. Plaza de España
You might recognize Plaza de España if you have seen the movie Lawrence of Arabia or Star Wars Episode II. Also, one of my favorite places to be in Seville is located at the Parque de María Luisa. The pictures that I have seen online are nothing in comparison to the reality. It is a unique piece of art in one place. I don’t want to leave this place, is the first thing that comes to my mind. I want to see all the details and embrace it, which is why I don’t want to just pass by. Here you will also find a mix of styles like the Baroque, Renaissance, and Moorish. You can also enjoy the plaza by taking a boat and sail around.
6. Torre del Oro
The Torre del Oro was a military watchtower that was built by Almohad Caliphate (a North African Berber Muslim movement) at the Guadalquivir River to protect the city from any takeover. It was also used as a prison during the Middle Ages. Nowadays, the building looks peaceful and beautiful, especially at night.
7. Puerta de la Macarena
The walls of Seville were built around 68 and 65 BC to protect the old city. A part of the walls of Seville that is still standing is the Puerta de la Macarena. The kings who visited the city entered through that gate. The location is a bit far from downtown and can be reached by public transport. Yet again I am amazed by the different style of architecture that is used for the Puerta and the church next to it, the Basílica de la Macarena.
8. Las Setas
Seville is a unique city because a few minutes before I was walking into the city’s past, and now I’m suddenly in the present or even the future. Las Setas is a modern architecture that is made of wood, looks like giant mushrooms. It is designed by the German Jürgen Mayer and it is considered the largest wooden design in the world.
9. Maestranza Bullring
The Maestranza Bullring in Seville is one of the most visited bullrings in the world. They have the Seville Fair in April that is known as the most famous bullfighting festival in the world; with lots of partying, drinking, and tapas eating. Also, if there is no bullfighting you can have a tour in the ring itself. The Baroque style building is very beautiful from the outside too.
10. Flamenco dance show
Seville is known for its famous Andalusian dance, the Flamenco. There are different places where you can enjoy the show like at Alvarez Quintero or you can go to a free show at a cozy bar, like Lola de Los Reyes in the new part of Seville. The action starts at midnight and the bartenders expect you to order a drink in exchange for the free show.
The things you can do at night in Seville are very divers. You can visit a Flamenco bar, enjoy the open-air terrace at Bilindo, get amazed by the view of the cathedral on top of Hotel Doña Maria or dance your night away at Uthopia Sevilla.
12. Boat trip
A nice way to explore the city is by boat. There are different agencies where you can book your tickets. You can have a private boat and sail on the Guadalquivir River while enjoying the music and drinks. Or you can have a shared touristic boat and take pictures of all the beautiful sights.
13. Isla Magica
An unusual thing to do in Seville is visiting a theme and water park on the edge of the city where you can cool off from the hot sun, especially in the summer. Isla Magica is also a fun place to go if traveling with children. Don’t forget to buy your tickets online, because it will be cheaper than at the entrance.
14. Shops & market
If you are looking for multinational brands like Parfois, Sfera, and Pull & Bear all in one place than you can go to the Nervion Plaza mall. It is located outside the downtown and you can go there by public transport. I like to walk around the city and discover shops by coincidence. That is also how I find more authentic stores to buy something special to remember Seville by.
Streets such as Calle Tetuán, Calle Sierpes, and Plaza Nueva have different stores where you can also find some souvenirs. Famous products to buy in Seville are for example the Cartuja ceramics and the orange wine. If you are like me and enjoy bringing back home something to eat like olives or cheese then the Triana Market is the place to be. It is a special market because you won’t only find fresh fruits and vegetables but also souvenirs, clothing, and Flamenco shows.
The good thing about Seville is that there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. For example, you can go to Bar Alfalfa for an authentic and more local place with good food. The place might seem small because it is always crowded, but that makes it cozier. La Taberna is also a small place, but their food is delicious. For vegetarians, I would recommend El Paladar because they have a special menu with only vegetarian dishes. You should try the spinach lasagna with its creamy sauce. A typical dish in Seville you have to try that includes meat is the Solomillo al Whiskey. The taste of whiskey, garlic, and olive oil together with the grilled pork meat makes your mouth water by only smelling it.
16. Travel around Seville
If you have time to travel around Seville then I would recommend you to go to Malaga. You can read my article ‘14 tips to fully enjoy Malaga’ and discover what this city has to offer. You can rent a car or travel around by bus or train. Also, don’t forget to go to the famous white villages near Seville.
Which one of the top 15 above would you like to do first when you visit Seville? Let me know in the comments.