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8 Best things to see & do in Seville

  • Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Last updated: 15 June, 2024
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros
  • Seville, Andalusia, Spain

View of the stunning internal courtyard/garden, with ornate balcony surrounds in Mudejar style

Bucket List Experience

Alcazar of Seville

Built in the 10th century for Seville’s Moorish governor, the Alcazar was converted into a palace by Pedro I, Christian King of Castile in the 1360s, making it the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe.

Pedro brought in Moorish craftsmen from Granada and Toledo to create his dream home, and today their patios, tile work, tracery and arabesques are the most delightful features, culminating in the stunning Salon de Embajadores, where Charles V was married in 1526.

Charles later added his own palace to the Alcazar, decorated with priceless Flemish tapestries. And the gardens are simply enchanting.

Adult price: £11

Good for age: 18+

  • Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Exterior of the cathedral on a sunny day showing intricate stonework and spires

Bucket List Experience

Seville Cathedral

Bigger than a football pitch, this Gothic cathedral was built on the site of Seville’s great mosque, and dazzles with its elaborate portals, forests of pinnacles and flying buttresses.

Elements of the mosque, however, were preserved: the Patio de los Naranjos, with its fountain and orange trees, and the spectacular 105m minaret, La Giralda, symbol of Seville.

Inside, marvel at the world’s largest altarpiece that took 82 years to sculpt, Columbus’s tomb supported by statues of pallbearers, and a masterpiece by Murillo, The Vision of St Anthony.

Tickets include the nearby over-the-top Baroque church of San Salvador.


Adult price: £8

Good for age: 13+

  • Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Woman in a blue flamenco dress posing before an ornate stone building in Seville

Bucket List Experience

Flamenco in Seville

Andalusia expresses its passionate soul in the guitars, singing and twirling, stamping steps of its native flamenco – declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010.

Most scholars believed the seeds of flamenco arrived in the 15th century with the Roma from India. Over the centuries they slowly migrated west with their castanets and tambourines, absorbing songs and dances in the Middle East and North Africa along the way. The Spanish at first considered it a foreign art, or ‘Flemish’ – hence flamenco.

By the 19th century flamenco as we know it emerged – popularized by Bizet’s Carmen – with shows performed in cafés cantantes (singers’ cafés), the forerunners to the modern tablaos. These are intimate venues with small wooden stages, perfect for the exhilarating machine gun-like zapateado (dancing).

You can hear flamenco’s eastern origins in the singer’s cante jondo (‘deep song’), evoking pain, sorrow and joy, while dancers express each emotion with their bodies, driven by the pulsing percussive strumming of the guitars.

A good show, and there are many here, can send chills down your spine with their duende, the ecstatic ‘demon’ spirit that brings listeners out of themselves.

Adult price: £15

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 90 minutes

When: Daily

Freq: daily

  • Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Traditional Spanish jamon ham for sale at the market

Bucket List Experience

Seville’s best food & drink

Andalusian cooking is renowned for fresh seafood, olives and olive oil, sun-ripened vegetables, garlic and paprika.

Cooking is simple, letting fresh, delicious ingredients speak for themselves. Much of the preparation in the kitchen is minimal – fish is usually lightly dredged in flour and golden fried in olive oil.

Cold soups star in summer, hearty stews in the winter and melt-in-your-mouth cured ham (jamon serrano) year-round. Many of the desserts, many involving almonds, go back to Arab times.

Sangria, as elsewhere in Spain, is a popular drink, as is sherry.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

  • Seville, Andalusia, Spain

People wearing large pointed white hoods in procession, with a large religious statue held in the background

Bucket List Experience

Holy Week (Semana Santa), Seville

Holy Week (Semana Santa) celebrations take place throughout Andalusia, but the biggest, most crowded and most elaborate Holy Week Procession is in Seville, featuring 115 pasos (floats), including the famous Virgen de la Macarena.

Every afternoon, over the course of a week, pasos with life-sized tableaux from Christ’s Passion, are borne through the streets accompanied by the nazarenos, members of the religious brotherhoods, anonymous in robes and wizard-like hat masks. In between march solemn bands, whose music is sometimes punctuated by spine-tingling saetas (solos) sung by the faithful. Many women dress in black, with beautiful lace mantillas.

The unique atmosphere also includes secular carousing in the bars; special meals feature cod, and Semana Santa pastries are sold for the occasion.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 1 week

When: Palm-Easter Sundays

Freq: annually

  • Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Fireworks over the Guadalquivir

Bucket List Experience

April Fair

After all the solemnity of Holy Week (Semana Santa), Seville lets its hair down for a week-long party – Feria de Abril, or April Fair.

It starts on a Monday, with a fish feast and the midnight illumination of the thousands of lights of the gate to the Real de la Feria fairgrounds on the far bank of the Guadalquivir. Here over a thousand striped tents, (the casetas), are set up, for socializing, tapas, rebujito (sherry with lemon soda) and dancing sevillanas, the local flamenco.

The streets are decorated with thousands of lanterns; nearly everyone is dressed in traditional costume, the women in long, ruffle-fringed traje de gitana (flamenco dresses) with flowers or lace mantillas in their hair; and the nearby funfair in Calle del Infierno reverberates with screams of laughter.

In the afternoon watch the paseo de caballos, the spectacular parade of Seville high society in traditional traje corto (riding dress) – wide-brimmed hats, short jackets, tight trousers, boots and hats. The horses are just as exquisitely-groomed horses with ornate, often flower-covered bridles.

It all ends on Sunday at midnight with an explosion of fireworks over the Guadalquivir.

Good for age: 6+

Duration: One week

When: April

Freq: annually

Setas de Seville

  • Seville, Andalusia, Spain

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


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.

Good for age: 10+

Hammam at Aire Ancient Baths

  • Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Soothingly low-lit large pool inside the Hammam


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.

Adult price: £20

Min age 18

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 1-3 hours