Seville is a beautiful place bursting with tapas, oranges, wine, and traditional Spanish culture. I took a trip to this city late last year to escape rainy England and soak up some Sevillian sun and explore a new place. Once I discovered the food, you were hard pressed to pull me away from a tapas bar with a glass of wine in one hand and a fork of something devious in the other. Check out our piece about Top Tapas Bars in Seville.
However, Seville has a plethora of beautiful buildings, green spaces and hidden gems which are well worth an explore. Many of these you can do for cheap or even free, but bare in mind some busier attractions will need a bit of forward planning so you don’t get caught in the crowds. Here is your guide to some of the things you can see, do and visit on your trip to Seville.
You’ve got to walk off all that tapas somehow, right?
In the heart of the city you find the world’s largest Gothic Cathedral which stands at 42m tall, and houses around 80 chapels. Every year it attracts thousands of tourists, where even a walk around the perimeter is an impressive sight. The Cathedral features the final resting place of the great explorer Christopher Columbus, and the quirky stuffed crocodile which was a gift from the Sultan of Egypt.
By far one of the most impressive features if you chose to take a tour of the Cathedral is the Giralda Bell Tower, which if you can brave the ramps up to the top of the tower which stands at 104m, you will find panoramic breathtaking views of the whole of Seville.
It is a beautiful and opulent building worth a visit, but it pays to be smart when navigating your entry as the queues stack up daily. I recommend you either purchase a ticket online beforehand OR get two for the price of one. The Church of El Salvador opposite is Seville’s second largest church, if you take a tour there first and purchase a combined ticket, it allows you to skip the lengthy queues to enter the cathedral. See all of the opening times and ticket prices here.
Plaza de España
The Plaza de España is a beautiful free attraction which is perfect to wander around on a sunny day in Seville. Built in 1928 this half-moon shaped building fronted by a canal with four bridge crossings. It is known as the ‘Venice of Seville’ due to the fact you can rent small boats to row the canal – but at 500m long, its not the longest or most exciting ride and you are better off saving your money to spend on an ice-cream lol.
Instead stroll round the Plaza which is the size of 5 football pitches and climb the stairs to one of the many balconies for a view across the canal and rest of the building. It is an impressive structure and well worth a wander. If you catch it at the right time, you will often find locals performing some flamenco demonstrations or playing live music to give you that authentic Spanish feel.
Maria Luisa Park
A short walk away from Plaza de España is Maria Luisa Park, one of the largest areas of greenery in the city. Hundreds of species of plants and flowers are in bloom around the park making it the perfect place for a stroll in the sun. There are many shaded parts to relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility as well as half a mile of beautiful ponds, tiled fountains and resident ducks and swans.
The park is also home to the Mudéjar Pavillion, (Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions of Seville) so tie that into your visit if you have time and want to get out of the sun.
Las Setas de Sevilla / The Mushrooms
One of the largest wooden structures in the world designed by architect Jürgen Mayer, Les Setas is Seville’s most impressive modern monument. Nicknamed ‘The Mushrooms’ due to its characteristic shapes, the structure boasts panoramic views of the city from its viewpoints.
Before you head to the outside balconies, adventure around inside; the underground hosts the Aniquarium where Roman and Moorish remains were discovered during the construction of Las Setas. Tickets are only €3 for tourists and the views are well worth it, but it is just as impressive to admire the structure from ground level as there is nothing in the world quite like it.
Take a stroll
One of my favourite things to do in this city which costs no money and has no opening hours, is to wander around the beautiful streets of Seville. Their characteristic narrow streets mean you can wander shaded from the blazing sun and get a feel for the real Seville. Stroll where you feel without an agenda, taking back streets and discovering hidden churches and tapas bars along the way. It is the best way to escape the crowds and create your own holiday hopping from street to street and discovering where the locals live, eat and drink.
Seville is a fantastic city to visit to immerse yourself in some traditional Spanish culture and admire their beautiful architecture. If you are like me and love a good bite to eat to keep your day of sightseeing fuelled, you have come to the right city.
Seville is the perfect place to strategically plan a visit to the next attraction based on which tapas bar you fancy trying next; discover some of our favourite places in our previous piece on the Top Tapas Bars in Seville.