Home to the magnificent UNESCO-listed Alhambra Palace, Granada is one of the great Andalucian cities, and it’s easy to visit on a day trip from nearby Seville. To help you find the perfect tour for you, here's a rundown of the options available.
Things to do in Seville
Welcome to Seville
In Seville, the sun-drenched capital of Spain’s Andalucia province, flamenco dancing, Moorish history, and tapas comprise the blood that runs through the city’s veins. Within Seville’s historic heart lies the palatial Real Alcázar and Seville Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage Site topped by the Giralda Tower (El Giraldillo); and on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, the Roman Torre de Oro (Golden Tower), and Triana neighborhood exude authentic Andalucian culture. The Santa Cruz Jewish quarter, historic El Arenal, and grandiose Plaza de España are ideal locations for walking tours, while hop-on hop-off bus tours are a convenient and cost-effective way to discover Seville’s dispersed highlights. At night, combine a ‘tablao flamenco’ (flamenco show) with tapas, wine, and a sightseeing tour for a great cultural introduction to Andalucia, or discover Spain through its wine with a guided tasting session. For travelers wishing to explore more of Andalucia, Cadiz, Cordoba, Jerez, and Granada—home to architectural masterpieces such as the rose-tinted Alhambra palace complex, the Arab Baths (Hammam Al Andalus), and the Mezquita—are popular day trip destinations. Other must-visit spots within easy reach of Seville include Tangier in Morocco, Gibraltar, the White Villages (Pueblos Blancos), and Ronda, with its ancient bullring.
Top 10 attractions in Seville
Whitewashed buildings, maze-like streets, and courtyards lined with orange trees: No place really defines Seville charm quite like the streets of the Santa Cruz district. As the city's former judería, or Jewish quarter, it is home to many of Seville's top sights, from the grand cathedral with its minaret-turned-tower (called the Giralda) to the Real Alcázar and its fountain-dotted gardens. The neighborhood dates back to when Ferdinand III of Castile took Seville from Muslim rule, and the city's Jewish residents began to live in what is now El Barrio de Santa Cruz. After the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, however, the district fell into disrepair, until it was finally revived in the 18th century. Apart from appreciating the district's history and seeing the main sights, perhaps the best thing you can do during a visit to Santa Cruz is to simply get lost in the barrio's streets....
Stroll cobblestone streets, stop for tapas, and marvel at centuries-old architecture in Seville's Historic Center (Centro Historico de Sevilla). This destination may be best known for its trio of UNESCO World Heritage Sites—the Cathedral, Alcázar, and the Archivo de Indias—making it a prime destination to uncover Spanish history....
The Reales Alcazáres, often just called the Alcázar or Royal Alcázar Palace, started off life as a fort, but various generations of rulers transformed it, building palaces, halls, courtyards and the adjoining gardens. Although it's far smaller than the Alhambra, it has the same kind of impact. It too is World Heritage listed. Actually, it's hardly surprising that the Alcázar recalls the Alhambra; some of the Alhambra's most prominent architects worked on it. Their masterpiece is probably the Patio de las Doncellas with its delicate arches, garden and reflecting pool. The Alcázar is associated with many colorful figures, most notably Pedro I (often called Pedro the Cruel), who ordered much of the Alcázar's construction. The rainwater tanks underneath the building are named for one of his victims, a beauty whom he pursued so ruthlessly that she disfigured herself with burning oil and became a nun. Not least of the Alcázar's pleasures are its gardens with their palms, pools and pavilio...
Just across the Isabel II Bridge, and squished between two parallel branches of the Guadalquivir River, you'll find Seville's Triana District. Originally founded as a Roman colony, this neighborhood -- like the rest of the city – has also been ruled by both Muslims and Christians. Over time it has served as a key strategic position as the last line of defense before invaders reached Seville's western walls. Traditionally, it has also been home to an eclectic mix of residents, from sailors and bullfighters to potters and flamenco dancers – all especially proud of their Triana heritage. You can still see what endures of the barrio's eccentric personality in today's Triana. While visiting the neighborhood, keep an eye out for the few remaining (and culturally protected) corrales, which traditionally served as communal homes for the district's many Romani people....
When the designers of the Seville Cathedral set out to build a new church on the site of the city's old mosque, they didn't hold back. They wanted the best of the best, excess of excess, and they got it. Building of this new cathedral 'like no other' began in the 1400s and wasn't completed until the 1500s. It's still the biggest Gothic cathedral in the world, and the third-largest church. It has 80 chapels. And oh, what's inside those chapels! Gold...and more gold; priceless works of art by the likes of Goya and Murillo; stained glass; and, it's said, the remains of Christopher Columbus. Next to the cathedral is the Giralda Tower, once the minaret of the mosque that made way for the cathedral, now a bell tower. Climb the steep ramps, designed for horses and riders, to the very top for incomparable views of Seville and its cathedral....
There is no more perfect symbol of Seville's layered history than the Giralda Tower (or El Giraldillo) the bell tower of the city's cathedral. It stands a little apart from the main building; it was once the minaret of the mosque that stood on the site before it was razed to make way for the cathedral. The lower sections of the tower date from that time, but its upper parts are Christian Renaissance architecture. The tower was once topped by a copper ball, but that fell in a 14th century earthquake and was replaced with a cross. It's a long climb up the 100 meters (330 feet) to the top of La Giralda, but the views of the city and the statuary of the lower levels are stunning enough to make it well worth the effort. There are no stairs: you'll ascend on a series of cunningly designed ramps....
In Seville’s Triana neighborhood, near the banks of the Guadalquivir River, the Castillo San Jorge was the headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition from 1481 to 1785. The 12th century castle was demolished in the 19th century to make room for a market and today the underground ruins of the castle are home to the Inquisition Museum. Founded in 2009, the museum chronicles the religious purges that took place during one of the darkest periods of Spanish history. Visitors will learn about how the Inquisition occurred, from accusations and inquiries to detentions and torture, as well as about daily life in the castle for both prisoners and jailers. However, no devices of torture are displayed. Drawings show suspects wearing pointed caps and tunics marked with an X, and maps show the other major Inquisition-related sites in Seville....
The Church of Santa Ana is the oldest church in Seville. Located in the Triana neighborhood, the 13th-century church is home to impressive sculptures, paintings, jewelry and religious processional items, many of which are displayed throughout the interior chapels. Master Castilian stonemasons and Muslim master builders worked on the church, whose remarkable interior features columns topped by corbels decorated with castles, vine leaves, lions and human heads. Admire a conglomeration of architecture with a step inside the originally Gothic church and its Baroque-style reconstruction, added after an earthquake in the 17th century. You can visit the church as part of a guided bike tour of Seville's highlights, which includes stops at San Jorge Castle and the Jewish Quarter, as well as souvenir photos....
Built in the 15th century, this honey-colored stone monastery was frequently visited by Christopher Columbus. In fact, he was buried here for a number of years. With a deep religious history, the site now houses the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, a center for local contemporary art. First a chapel and monastery, it evolved into barracks after a Napoleonic invasion and later became a ceramics factory before finally being established as a national monument and museum. The grounds include a dramatic entrance gate, expansive gardens, a lake, tower, and many outdoor patios. It was extensively restored in preparation for the Seville Expo in 1992, but historical remnants of each stage of its past can still be found. The art museum’s permanent collection includes works from artists such as Luis Gordillo, Candida Hofer, and Louise Bourgeois and focuses on Andalusian creativity. Various workshops, concerts, and temporary exhibitions are also held here year-round....
Top activities in Seville
Frequently Asked Questions
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Top activities in Seville include:
Discover the top things to do in Seville.
- Granada Day Trip with Skip-the-Line Ticket to Alhambra and Optional AlbaicinTour
- Cathedral & Alcazar of Seville Guided Tour (Skip the Line)
- White Villages and Ronda Day Tour from Seville
- Skip the Line: Flamenco Show at Tablao Flamenco El Arenal in Seville Ticket
- Gibraltar Day Trip from Seville
Discover the top things to do in Seville.
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Things to do near Seville
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