9 Authentic and Essential Things To Do in Seville Spain
Last Updated on September 16, 2023.
Seville is one of Spain’s most popular destinations, home to some of the country’s famed traditions like flamenco and bullfighting. The picturesque town is world-famous for its enticing mix of Moorish, Christian and Jewish architecture and history, as well as some of the most delicious tapas found in southern Spain. Experiencing Seville’s warm, vibrant culture is easy — just make sure to do the below essential activities.
- Getting To & Around Seville
- Top Guided Tours, Food & Bar Crawls and More
- Best Authentic Things to Do in Seville Spain
- Roam The Real Alcázar & Gardens
- Find the Remains of Christopher Columbus
- See the Sunset at Plaza España
- Explore Andalusia
- Experience the Guadalquivir River
- Rent A Bike
- Become Entranced By Flamenco
- Sample Sherry
- Eat All The Tapas
- Attend a bullfight at the Real Maestranza
- Take a Guadalquivir River Cruise
- Visit the Metropol Parasol
- Explore the Museum of Fine Arts
- Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Seville
Getting To & Around Seville
All three major US carriers (Delta, United and American) fly nonstop from various US hubs to Madrid, as well as Spanish airline Iberia. Once there, take the high-speed AVE train (tickets available the Renfe website) to Seville (2.5-3 hours). If you plan on further exploring the Andalusia region, it’s best to rent a car, though there are buses available.
Once in Seville, getting around on foot or by bike is easy, and taxis will take you from the nearby train station to the historical city center. You can also browse current rental car deals with Kayak.
Top Guided Tours, Food & Bar Crawls and More
Once you’re in stunning Seville, many times it’s simply easier to let a local guide show you all of the hot spots, trendy bars or some of the exceptional less-touristy restaurants. Below we’ve included a few of our favorite guided tours that offer immersive experiences across Seville.
Private Guided Tour of Seville’s City Highlights
Discover the wonders of Seville on this must-see private tour led by an expert local guide. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and culture, dating back to ancient Roman times, as you stroll through its picturesque streets. The tour features a visit to the Santa Cruz neighborhood, a stop at the unique wooden Setas de Sevilla viewpoint, and an opportunity to admire the beautiful tiles at the Plaza de España, among other highlights.
This comprehensive tour of Seville’s key attractions includes the convenience of pickup from your city-center hotel. As you explore the city with your private guide, you’ll receive insider tips on the best places to eat, drink, and further discover Seville’s vibrant culture.
Take a Segway Tour of Seville
Alternatively, experience the charm of Seville during the cooler twilight hours on a Segway tour that allows you to explore the city’s attractions without the heat of the day. As you glide through the streets, your knowledgeable guide will share fascinating stories and insights about Seville, all while enjoying views of the river.
The Segway offers an effortless way to cover more ground than walking, ensuring you make the most of your time in the city. To ensure you feel comfortable and confident, the tour includes practice time on the Segway before embarking on your adventure. The evening tour not only provides a delightful atmosphere but also allows you to take in Seville’s beauty in more comfortable weather.
Skip the Line Tickets to the Alcázar of Seville and La Giralda
Enhance your visit to the Alcázar of Seville with a tour operated by Amigo Tours Spain, offering you a chance to appreciate the stunning blend of mudéjar, Renaissance, and 19th-century architecture. As you explore areas such as the Patio of the Maidens, the Ambassador’s Room, and the English gardens, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of this important Seville landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fans of the TV series Game of Thrones will be delighted to recognize the setting of Dorne during the tour.
Choose the upgraded option to include skip-the-line entry and a guided tour of Seville Cathedral, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world. The upgrade also grants you access to the UNESCO-listed landmark La Giralda. With professional guidance, you’ll make the most of your time in these historic locations, ensuring a memorable and enriching experience.
Seville Tapas, Taverns & History Tour
Embark on a 4-hour food and culture tour operated by Devour Seville Food Tours, where you’ll dive into Seville’s unique history while savoring some of the finest tapas the city has to offer. Your knowledgeable guide will lead you through the streets, stopping at four bars to enjoy 10 tastes and 5+ drinks—providing more than enough food to satisfy your appetite for dinner. As you indulge in these culinary delights, discover the city’s 2,000-year-old past and its connections to notable figures such as Christopher Columbus, Julius Caesar, and the Spanish Inquisition.
This immersive food and culture experience in Seville offers vegetarian and gluten-free options upon request when booking. Please note that participants must be 13 years of age or older to join this delectable and enlightening tour.
Best Authentic Things to Do in Seville Spain
Roam The Real Alcázar & Gardens
The Alcázar is Seville’s most beautiful palace, built by Christians on the site of a Muslim Fortress. While Game of Thrones fans will enjoy the palace itself (many scenes in Season 5 were filmed there), the gardens are especially charming. Inhale the scents of blooming orange trees as you hear the sounds of bubbling fountains and one of the world’s only working hydraulic organs, which plays a little song powered by water on the hour from 10 am to 7 pm.
We highly recommend purchasing a to the Alcázar ticket ahead of time here. Alternatively, you can book a fast-access skip the line guided tour of the Cathedral, Giralda & Alcázar here.
Find the Remains of Christopher Columbus
Seville’s cathedral is well worth a visit and it’s one of the largest churches in the world. But what makes it especially interesting are the remains of Christopher Columbus, which allegedly reside inside a regal chest held by four statues located in the magnificent church. Once you’ve seen the rumored remains, make sure to climb the 35 or so ramps to the bell tower to admire the sweeping views of Seville from up above.
See the Sunset at Plaza España
Plaza España is one of the most impressive squares in all of Europe. The square is enormous, complete with a moat, several bridges, towering steeples, and 48 pavilions. Each pavilion is dedicated to a province in Spain. The many columns and towers are in perfect condition, and the tiled, colorful mosaics give the square special energy. Watching the sunset over the fountain makes for a truly unforgettable evening.
While Seville is one of southern Spain’s most wonderful towns, exploring other nearby Andalusian gems is a must. Visit white villages like Arcos de la Frontera, see Ronda’s impressive gorge, Córdoba’s mosque, or the famous Alhambra fortress in Granada. The nearby sandy beaches of Cádiz and Malaga are also worth a stop to frolic in the sunshine. You can even ski several months out of the year in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Experience the Guadalquivir River
Wandering along the riverside in Seville is a peaceful way to spend the afternoon. You can cross one of the many bridges into the local Triana neighborhood. Or, take a boat cruise down the river. Don’t miss visiting the famous Torre de Oro, a watchtower perched on the river’s edge that dates back to 1220.
Rent A Bike
With a recent addition of almost 50 miles of bike lines in past years, the town of Seville is the ideal place to cycle. With a relatively car-free city center, you’ll really only have to dodge pedestrians, not cars. And, many of the areas with heavier traffic have bike lanes. Biking along the river is especially quaint, and it’s an excellent way to end up at Plaza España for sunset. You can reserve a sunset bike tour of the city ahead of time right here. Electric Bike Tours can also be scheduled if that’s more your style.
Become Entranced By Flamenco
Flamenco is one of Seville’s most beloved cultural traditions. Plan to see a show to experience the soulful guitar rhythms, the seductive singing and the passionate dance the art encompasses. The colorful costumes spinning to the powerful music, claps and stamps will keep you hypnotized throughout the entire performance. One of the best places to see it is at Casa de la Memoria, a cultural center dating back to the 16th century. This is a very popular show and is often the highlight of a visit to Seville, so be sure to book your tickets in advance.
Sherry can only be produced within the sherry triangle: the area between Jerez de la Frontera, Puerto de Santa María and San Lucar de Barrameda. Fino, Manzanilla and Amontillados are among the most popular types. Plan to spend an afternoon sherry tasting at a nearby winery like Tio Pepe, Tradición or Lustau. The tours and tastings will help you understand more about this special drink. Or, sip it within the city limits at bars like El Rinconcillo or alongside tapas at La Bodega.
Eat All The Tapas
There’s nothing more local than hopping from tapas bar to tapas bar in Seville. Start with Las Columnas, a bar crowded with locals near the cathedral to sample the town’s specialty solomillo al whiskey. The famous dish is made of beef and potatoes soaked in a hearty whiskey sauce. Then, head over to Bar El Baratillo to munch on more classic dishes like Enjoy local dishes like gazpacho, salmorejo, and espinacas con garbanzos. You can also book a tapas crawl with a local guide if you’d prefer to have an insider’s perspective on the best places to go and additional dishes to try.
Attend a bullfight at the Real Maestranza
Experience an authentic slice of Spanish tradition by attending a bullfight at the historic Real Maestranza bullring in Seville. As one of the country’s oldest and most revered arenas, the Real Maestranza provides a captivating backdrop for this centuries-old spectacle. The bullfighting season typically runs from April to October, offering ample opportunities for visitors to witness the drama, artistry, and passion that define this cultural event. Tickets can be purchased here with skip the line access. While bullfighting is a controversial sport, it remains an integral part of Spanish heritage and provides insight into the nation’s history and customs. Embrace the atmosphere and learn about the ritualistic aspects of the performance as matadors, toreros, and picadors showcase their skills in the arena.
Take a Guadalquivir River Cruise
Embark on a serene Guadalquivir River cruise for an unforgettable experience of Seville from a unique vantage point. Drift along the historic waterway that winds through the heart of the city, providing a tranquil escape from the bustling streets. As you glide past iconic landmarks, such as the Torre del Oro, the Maestranza bullring, and the Triana Bridge, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for Seville’s rich history and architectural beauty.
The leisurely pace of the river cruise allows you to fully absorb the stunning panoramas that unfold before you, while a knowledgeable guide shares fascinating insights into the city’s past and the significance of the river to its development. Whether you opt for a daytime cruise to bask in the Andalusian sun or choose a romantic evening voyage under the twinkling stars, a Guadalquivir River cruise promises a memorable and relaxing journey through the enchanting city of Seville.
Visit the Metropol Parasol
Discover the Metropol Parasol, an architectural marvel affectionately known as Las Setas (The Mushrooms) by locals, as it rises dramatically amid the historic streets of Seville. This contemporary wooden structure, designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer, stands as a testament to the city’s ability to blend modern innovation with its rich cultural heritage.
Ascend to the rooftop walkway, where you’ll be greeted with unparalleled panoramic views of Seville’s skyline. From this elevated vantage point, you can appreciate the city’s architectural tapestry, as ancient landmarks and contemporary buildings coexist harmoniously. As you meander along the walkway, take a moment to marvel at the intricate timber lattice design of the Metropol Parasol itself, a true feat of engineering and artistry.
A visit to the Metropol Parasol not only offers breathtaking views but also provides a glimpse into Seville’s thriving urban culture. Beneath the structure, you’ll find a lively public plaza, a fresh food market, and even the preserved ruins of a Roman-era district, further enhancing your experience of this remarkable attraction.
Explore the Museum of Fine Arts
Immerse yourself in the world of Spanish art by exploring the Museum of Fine Arts in Seville. This exceptional cultural institution, housed in a stunning 17th-century building that was once a convent, boasts a remarkable collection of masterpieces from some of Spain’s most celebrated artists, including Murillo, Zurbarán, and El Greco.
As you wander through the museum’s elegant halls, adorned with ornate details and lush courtyards, you’ll discover a diverse range of artistic styles spanning centuries. From the dramatic chiaroscuro of Baroque paintings to the bold colors and expressive brushstrokes of Romanticism, the Museum of Fine Arts offers an enlightening journey through the history of Spanish art.
In addition to the works of famous artists, the museum also showcases pieces by lesser-known talents, providing a comprehensive overview of the Andalusian art scene. Whether you’re an art aficionado or simply curious to learn more about Spain’s creative heritage, a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts promises an inspiring and engaging experience amidst the beauty of Seville.
Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Seville
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