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Best things to do & places to stay:

Last updated: 02 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

Sensuous, gracious, flirty Seville, mythic hometown of Don Quixote, Don Juan and Carmen is the essence of Spain.

The country’s fourth largest city, Seville boasts glorious monuments from Roman and Moorish times and the golden centuries when its port had a monopoly on trade to the Americas.

In Seville you can pick oranges along the  streets, linger in its fragrant gardens or wildly over-the-top churches, down sherry and tapas in its lively bars, watch a flamenco show or feel the city at its most febrile intensity, during its famous fiestas, Semana Santa or Feria de Abril.

Orientation

Seville’s cathedral and La Giralda dominate the medieval Barrio Santa Cruz, the city’s tourist heart. South is the Alcazar, large Parque de Maria Louisa and ceramic-tiled hemicycle of the Plaza de España, while El Arenal lines the Guadalquivir with the landmark Torre del Oro.

The Centro, heart of modern Seville, extends to Plaza de la Encarnacion, site of the monumental Las Setas parasols.

Across the river lie the fairgrounds and the trendy, ceramic-making Triana district.

The bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination

Alcazar of Seville

Seville, Andalusia, Spain

A Moorish Christian architectural gem, Europe’s oldest royal palace (recently seen in Game of Thrones) dates from 1360, with gardens of pure delight.

Best for ages: 13+ | £11

Flamenco in Seville

Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Andalusia is the birthplace of flamenco, which still pulses through its blood. Book in for a show at one of Seville’s excellent theatres.

Best for ages: 5+ | £15 | 90 minutes

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Other worthwhile experiences in this destination if you have the time or the interest

Soothingly low-lit large pool inside the Hammam
Experience

Hammam at Aire Ancient Baths

Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Set in a 500-year-old Mudejar palace, offering a vast range of experiences and rituals, including a wine bath. Afterward, relax in the rooftop pool. The night visits are especially magical, and a great antidote to jetlag.

Best for ages: 18+ | £20 | 1-3 hours

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Large wooden slatted structure in a strange curving shape, providing a roof about the forecourt
Experience

Setas de Seville

Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Seville boasts the world´s largest wooden structure, a spectacular swirl nicknamed ‘Las Setas’ (mushrooms) designed by Jurgen Mayer in 2011. There’s a mirador walkway and steps winding over the roof, offering fabulous views, and Roman ruins in the museum underneath.

Best for ages: 10+ | Free

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this destination, plus helpful tickets and transfers

2 Hour Best of Seville on Segway

2 Hour Best of Seville on Segway

Seville

Monumental tour is the perfect solution for somebody who likes history and doesn't want to miss places, which could be covered only with the...

€59 | Rating 4.95 / 5 [190 ratings]

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3-hour Guided Bike Tour along the Highlights of Seville

3-hour Guided Bike Tour along the Highlights of Seville

Seville

Discover Seville on this 3-hour bike tour that shows you the most beautiful places in Seville. See all the highlights the city has to offer ...

€30 | Rating 4.89 / 5 [188 ratings]

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Cultural Walking Tour of Seville Monumental

Cultural Walking Tour of Seville Monumental

Seville

Our guided tours are of high quality. We guarantee the satisfaction of our clients and we are sure of it because our guides give 100% so tha...

€3 | Rating 4.92 / 5 [194 ratings]

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Essential Private Walking Tour of Seville

Essential Private Walking Tour of Seville

Seville

Visit the most important places of the city. This walking tour will allow you to know about the culture and legends of the magical city of S...

€62 | Rating 4.97 / 5 [35 ratings]

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Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay in this destination

Hotel Casa del Poeta

Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Boutique luxury and charm await in this evocative 17th-century mansion, in pole position near Seville’s Cathedral, restaurants and bars.

Official star rating:

Hotel Casa 1800

Seville, Andalusia, Spain

A romantic, evocative, little luxury hotel in an early 19th-century townhouse near Seville’s cathedral, with a panoramic rooftop pool.

Official star rating:

Hotel Legado Alcazar

Seville, Andalusia, Spain

A hip boutique hotel in a wonderfully tranquil location, overlooking the Alcazar gardens in the heart of Seville.

Official star rating:

Hotel Palacio De Villapanes

Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Superb conversion of an aristocratic 18th-century palace into a luxury top design hotel, in the heart of Seville.

Official star rating:

When to go

Peak season is spring, with Semana Santa and other fiestas: Christmas is another busy time. Seville often roasts in July and August; if you go then, take a long afternoon siesta.

Autumn is lovely and warm; January and February are quiet, and can be rainy, but offer a good chance to feel like a local.

Getting there and away

A bus from Seville airport makes the half hour journey to the bus station in Plaza de Armas. If you fly into Madrid, the frequent high speed AVE trains will get you to Seville in 2.5 hours.

From Malaga airport, ALSA buses run at least once a day direct to Seville, but it’s best to book online to be assured of a seat.

Getting around

Seville has a well-integrated metro, bus and tram network, although most of its attractions are in fairly easy walking distance.

The hop-on-hop-off bus will take you to the main sights (the 24- or 48-hour passes include free walking tours). Driving in the historic centre is a headache, park and walk, take a taxi or hire a bike or e bike.

Where to stay

The compact central neighbourhoods are best for walking to the sights, restaurants and bars. Santa Cruz by the Cathedral is touristy but also has an exceptional selection of good hotels; the nearby El Arenal is more peaceful.

Hotels in the Centro, between Plaza Nueva and Plaza de la Encarnacion, are good for shops and restaurants, and again in walking distance of the attractions, while the increasingly hip Triana, across the Guadalquivir is a less touristy quarter, full of character and nightlife, although it’s a bus ride or a 20-minute walk to the main sights.

Where to eat or drink

Barrio Santa Cruz and surrounding areas are packed with restaurants and bars, especially along Calle Alvarez Quintero and Calle Mateo Gagos.

For traditional bars and restaurants look around Plaza Cristo de Burgos and nearby Plaza de la Encarnacion. For late night drinking holes and tapas, join the locals in the Alameda de Hercules north of the Centro.

Triana is another good spot after dark, especially along riverfront Calle Betis.

Where to shop

The pedestrian district around Calle Las Sierpes, the narrow winding street north of La Giralda up to Plaza Nueva, is full of quirky, traditional old shops cheek-to-jowl with designer boutiques.

Traditional Seville shops (flamenco dresses, etc) can be found around Plaza de la Alfalfa, just east of the Centro. Head across the Guadalquivir to Triana for ceramics and azulejo tiles and food in the  Mercado de Triana, Seville’s liveliest covered market.

What to buy

Ceramics, tiles, flamenco dresses, leather and Spanish guitars are classic buys, but don’t neglect Seville’s art galleries and antique shops.

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