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Want to add to your Seville bucket list? You’re in the right place!
Seville is one of Spain’s most popular travel destinations… and for good reason! A destination that ignites the soul, this captivating Andalucian gem is brimming with rich history, architectural wonders, and an inviting charm.
The city has so much to offer that it can be overwhelming to decide what to see and do., especially if you’re visiting for the first time. In this article, you’ll discover our Seville bucket list with must-see attractions and must-do activities for an unforgettable visit.
Let’s dive in!
Seville Bucket List
Dive into Seville’s Moorish Past at the Real Alcazar
You’ll want to check off a visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site on your visit to Seville!
Built in the 10th century, the Real Alcazar is a testament to the city’s interesting history. Unlike other royal palaces you might have already visited in Europe, the Real Alcazar’s Moorish architecture gives it a uniquely beautiful look.
The palace is a stunning fusion of Moorish, Gothic, and Renaissance styles, and your visit will take you through intricately designed halls, lush gardens, and stunning courtyards. One of the highlights of the Real Alcazar is the Patio de las Doncellas (Courtyard of the Maidens). This stunning courtyard features a rectangular pool surrounded by beautiful gardens, intricate arches, and gorgeous tiled walls.
Once you’re done with the palace itself, don’t miss the gardens! The Real Alcazar has extensive gardens that are almost as impressive as its interiors. From the vibrant colors of the Jardín de la Danza (Garden of the Dance) to the tranquil ambiance of the Jardín de la Galera (Garden of the Galley), the gardens are a delight to explore.
Tip: This is one of the top attractions in the city! To avoid the frustration of getting stuck in long lines to get in (especially during peak tourist season), I recommend buying your ticket in advance so that you can skip the wait. It definitely makes your visit much smoother! Or opt for a guided tour of the palace that will give you more details and context about the monument.
Visit the Seville Cathedral
One of the best things to do in Seville is a visit to its stunning Gothic cathedral that dominates the historic center. Not only is it one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The sheer size of the Seville Cathedral is impressive! The exterior has ornate architectural details that are worth admiring but you’ll also want to see the inside. Soaring arches, beautiful stained glass windows, a multitude of well-decorated chapels, and the tomb of Christoper Columbus are some of the things that await you in its interior.
Tip: History lovers, you’ll love this guided tour that combines visits to both the Real Alcazar and the Cathedral!
Climb La Giralda for the Best View of Seville
The Seville Cathedral was built on the grounds of a former mosque and today, La Giralda, the bell tower, is the only remnant of the building.
Originally built as the minaret of the mosque, it was converted into a bell tower during the Reconquista when Spain became Christian. Take a closer look at the details of the tower and you’ll see its Moorish heritage!
A climb up La Giralda will yield some of the best views of Seville and the best part is… there are no stairs! Instead, a series of 35 ramps lead you to the top, a feature that dates back to the tower’s origins. In the past, the ramps would enable soldiers on horses to quickly ascend the tower.
Tip: Fast track your visit with this skip-the-line ticket to the Cathedral and Giralda.
Marvel at Plaza de España
A Seville bucket list wouldn’t be complete without Plaza de España, one of the most iconic sites not just in Seville but in the whole of Spain.
While plazas can be found everywhere in Spain, there’s none as majestic as Plaza de España. It was built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition and you can definitely tell that it was intended to impress visitors… as it still does today!
Located in Maria Luisa Park, Plaza de España has a large fountain at its center and a semi-circular building built in a stunning mix of Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival styles. There’s also a canal that runs the length of the building as well as gorgeous tiled alcoves that represent each province in Spain.
Plaza de España is a beautiful place to stroll, relax, or enjoy performances by street buskers. You can also rent a rowboat in the canal which is a fun activity!
Explore the Historic Barrio Santa Cruz
For more of Seville’s interesting history, it’s time to head to the Santa Cruz neighborhood. You’ve already seen two important monuments here, the royal palace and the cathedral, but a stroll through the narrow winding streets of the Jewish Quarter will give you a different perspective of the area.
This area was home to Seville’s Jewish community and today, the twisty maze-like alleys are home to historic houses, quaint plazas, and old churches. It’s a delight to simply wander around (no Google Maps needed!) and discover what’s around the next corner.
Barrio Santa Cruz is also home to many local restaurants and bars, making it a cool place to sample the local cuisine in a historic atmosphere (more on that next).
Eat Your Way Around Seville
Food is one of my favorite ways to discover a city so I definitely recommend eating your way around Seville.
Seville has a vibrant food scene, with numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars. On the menu, you’ll typically find Spanish favorites but also some local dishes. Some dishes to try in Seville include salmonrejo (a cold tomato soup similar to gazpacho), rabo de toro (oxtail stew), and croquetas (deep-fried balls of bechamel and filling).
As mentioned, Barrio Santa Cruz is a lovely place to dine. You’ll find a number of restaurants along Calle Mateo Gagos, the main street that leads from the Cathedral into the barrio. Other recommendations for tapas bars include Bar Alfalfa and El Rinconcillo.
Tip: Taking a food tour is an awesome way to get an introduction to Seville’s best dishes and restaurants with the help of a local guide. I like doing this early on my trip so that I know what and where to eat!
Cross the River to See Triana
Hop across the beautiful Isabel II Bridge and cross into the neighborhood of Triana to see another side of Seville.
Triana is home to the city’s passionate, artistic soul. It’s known for being the birthplace of many talented flamenco artists and traditional ceramic makers. So unsurprisingly, there are numerous flamenco tablaos and ceramic galleries here.
Aside from that, you’ll also find some lovely restaurants here and when the sun sets, Triana comes alive with nightlife. Head to Calle Betis, which faces the river, and choose from one of the many lively restaurants, clubs, and bars to enjoy your night in Seville.
Watch a Soul-Stirring Flamenco Show
There’s no better place to watch flamenco than Seville! This traditional Spanish art form is an emotional mix of music, dance, and passion and it can’t be missed when you’re visiting Seville.
There are many places in Seville to watch flamenco, ranging from bigger stage shows to small intimate venues. Some of the most popular flamenco shows are in Casa de la Memoria and the Museo del Flamenco. Triana is another well-known spot for flamenco as it’s home to numerous small venues. I can personally recommend the show at Pure Esencia.
Watching a flamenco show will give you a glimpse into Spain’s emotional heart. It’s a soul-stirring experience that will make your Seville trip unforgettable!
Admire the Quirky Metropol Parasol
For a more modern side of Seville, head to the world’s largest wooden structure, Metropol Parasol. Known affectionately as “Las Setas” (“mushrooms” in Spanish), this is a favorite local spot for hanging out.
The unique architecture of the Metropol Parasol is definitely worth seeing and there are a few other things to do as well. The lower level houses a local market as well as an archaeological museum. For an awesome view of the city, you can head up to the rooftop terrace where you can enjoy a drink while admiring the landscape.
There are also many restaurants, bars, and cafes in the surrounding area where you can have a bite and relax while on a busy day of sightseeing.
Unwind at an Authentic Arab Bath
Indulge in another leftover from Seville’s Moorish past by experiencing an authentic Arab bath. This is the perfect thing to do after a full day of walking around Seville! In my opinion, this is one of the most underrated things to do in Seville.
A visit to an Arab bath in Seville typically includes a thermal bath circuit which gives you access to different relaxing pools of hot or cool temperatures. You can also add on services like a massage or body scrub for the ultimate relaxing experience.
There are a few Arab baths in Seville. A popular one is Aire de Sevilla which is situated in a historic palace, giving it a grand feeling that takes you back to the olden days.
Experience Seville’s Feria de Abril
If you’re visiting Seville in April, you can check off this Seville bucket list experience: attending its iconic Feria de Abril. Usually held at the end of April, this is one of Seville’s most important festivals.
Feria de Abril is a week-long celebration of Andalucian culture. The streets of Seville have a party atmosphere with people dressed in traditional costumes and food and drink stalls lining the pavement. You’ll also find flamenco performances, horse shows, and other cultural performances.
This festival is a fantastic way to learn more about local culture and it’s definitely a memorable Sevillian experience!
Relax by the Guadalquivir River
In the past, the Guadalquivir River was a lifeblood for Seville: not only did it facilitate trade, but it also acted as a defensive barrier for the city. Today, the river retains its importance but in a different way. It’s a favorite with both locals and tourists as a place to walk, gather, and hang out.
Spending some time along the river banks is a great way to get a taste of local life while also taking a break from all the historic sights in the city. You can stop by Torre del Oro for some photos or simply take a relaxing stroll and enjoy the sunshine. If you need a rest, there are some cafes along the way.
Visit the Historic Casa Pilatos
Get a glimpse of the luxurious lifestyle of the Spanish nobility at Casa Pilatos. Built in the 16th century, this palace was home to the Dukes of Medinaceli. Its Mudejar architecture, a blend of Islamic and Christian styles, is simply beautiful!
You can explore the various rooms and galleries, including the Chapel, Tapestry Room, and Library, and admire the impressive collection of antiques and art. Casa Pilatos also has gorgeous gardens, with elements of Moorish and Renaissance designs, ornate fountains, lush greenery, and views of the city.
If you love history and architecture, then Casa Pilatos should definitely be on your Seville bucket list!
Discover Seville’s Beauty at Night
While Seville is a gorgeous city during the day, something magical happens once the sun sets! Many of its monuments and buildings are illuminated at night, giving the city a different vibe.
At night, with the building lit up, you can admire the soaring La Giralda and the intricate architectural details of the Seville Cathedral in a different light. A night walk around Santa Cruz will seem mysterious and magical while Plaza de España becomes even more stunning at night when its colorful tilework is illuminated, creating a mesmerizing glow.
Other than visiting the city’s iconic sights, there are lots of fun things to do in Seville at night such as evening walking tours, enjoying the nightlife, or discovering the city’s best bars.
Take a Day Trip to Cordoba
To cap off your visit to Seville, take a day trip to the nearby historic city of Cordoba. It’s less than an hour away by train and a visit here will nicely complement what you’re learned about Seville’s Moorish past.
Cordoba’s most famous site is the Mezquita, a former mosque that was converted into a cathedral. Today, it remains one of the best representations of Islamic architecture and it’s a beautiful and interesting place to visit. On a day trip to Cordoba from Seville, you’ll also have enough time to explore its Jewish Quarter as well as the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos.
Last Thoughts on Seville Bucket List
This Seville bucket list highlights the absolute top things to do in the city but if you have more time, you can easily fill your days with more amazing things to do in Seville.
I hope this article has inspired you to visit this beautiful city and shown you why it’s one of the best places to visit in Spain. Whether you only have a short weekend in Seville or have more days to explore the city, I hope you fall in love with Seville as I did!
There are so many great things to do in Spain! Check out more of our Spain posts below.