Seville (Spanish Sevilla) is known as the capital of the ancient and tranquil Andalusia (Andalucía in Spanish) region of Spain. If you think Seville is not as famous and not worth a visit as Madrid or Barcelona, then you are wrong. This is the convergence of the quintessence of the beautiful and prosperous Andalucia. The city of Seville always attracts visitors with ancient beautiful architecture with hundred years of history. Among them stand out with winding streets, famous churches and the home to the legendary flamenco dance. So, what to do and how to plan a budget perfect trip to Seville for the first-time? Let’s check out our Seville travel blog (Seville blog) with the fullest Seville travel guide (Seville guide, Seville tourist guide) from how to get, best time to come, where to stay, best places to visit and top things to do as well as suggested Seville itinerary for 3 days to find out the answer!
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Seville travel guide: Overview of Seville
Known for its charming flamenco dance, tapas and endless sunshine with an area of 140.8 km² and a population of 702,386 people (March, 2021), Seville is one of Spain’s top destinations. Seville with its Moorish history and diverse architectural styles influenced by a variety of cultures that sometimes will make you wondering whether you’re still in Spain or in North Africa. With a lot of things see and do, Seville is the perfect destination for any type of traveler.
Seville is the fourth largest city in Spain and is a city with impressive historical value due to its long history dating back to the ancient Roman Empire 2000 years ago. From exploring a giant palace, take part in street festivals to learning bullfighting history, Seville offers a multitude of activities for you to do.
Besides important monuments and rich in history and culture, Seville is also known as a fun city. The Sevilla people are known for their for their wit, enthusiastic and sparkle and the city itself is vibrant and stands out for its vitality. It can be said that Seville is the city that embodies all the quintessence of Spain.
Seville travel guide: When to visit?
Seville is influenced by a subtropical Mediterranean climate with wet winters and long, dry summers. The best time to visit Seville is from late March, when the rainy season ends, until early June, when temperatures fluctuate between 24 degrees Celsius and 29 degrees Celsius. April is the best month with Semana Santa (Holy Week) and Feria de Abril de Sevilla (Seville’s April Fair), when residents wear colorful flamenco dresses and celebrate for six consecutive days.
Seville travel guide: How to get to Seville?
From Madrid or Barcelona, if you’re looking for a cheap and reliable way to get to Seville, you can take a direct bus to Seville with no more than 6 hours of riding. Otherwise, an express train or a flight is another good option but it will be more expensive.
If you choose to fly with low-cost carrier such as Vueling from Madrid, you’ll probably arrive at Seville airport. A taxi to the city center costs about 25-30 euros/way. The EA bus will also take you to the city center in about 35 minutes for 4 Euros/way and 6 Euros/round-trip and you can take a taxi from its last stop to the hotel. Details see here.
From Barcelona you can also fly to Seville with Vueling, the airfare costs about EUR 20/one-way.
Spain has an efficient high-speed train system called Renfe AVE and is well worth the money when traveling around Spain. The Seville Santa Justa train station is the main station and likely the one you would pass by. It’s very crowded, so get here early if you’ve never been there as it may take time to find way.
The train from Madrid to Seville takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes of riding with covering a distance of approximately 390 km with the fare from EUR 23.35 while the train from Barcelona to Seville takes an average of 7 hours and 3 minutes of riding over a distance of around 830 km with the fare from EUR 19.12.
You can also take a bus from Madrid to Seville with traveling time from 5 to 7 hours and bus fare from EUR 38. Or take a bus from Barcelona with traveling time about 14 hours and 40 minutes and bus fare from EUR 40.
There are two bus stations in Seville, the Prado de San Sebastian Station and the Plaza de Armas Station. Check your ticket again to make sure you’re on the right way!
Seville guide: Getting around Seville
Besides the means to help you traveling between the attractions quickly and conveniently, are taxis, in Seville you can choose public transport such as buses, metro at much cheaper prices.
As mentioned above, the residents of Seville city have a very environmentally friendly lifestyle. Therefore, their means of transport are mainly “walking”, bicycles or electric bikes. You can follow them and walking on the streets of Seville. This is also a great way for you to discover the amazing architecture of this city.
In addition, you also can experience Hop on – Hop off sightseeing bus with price of only EUR 20/trip or horse-rawn carriage.
Seville travel blog: What to do and where to go?
Santa Cruz Old Town
Located in the heart of Seville city and is one of the primary tourist neighbourhoods of Seville. The streets with ancient architecture, stretching and still remain the tranquil though annually welcome a large number of tourists coming to Seville. Along the streets are cafes of true Mediterranean style and at the streets corners the painters are leisurely painting. The Santa Cruz streets also lead to the most beautiful squares of Seville called Plaza de Espana, one of the best places to watch the outstanding Giralda bell tower in Baroque style.
Plaza de Espana
Plaza de Espana Square is one of the most famous and must-visit landmarks in Seville, having been the filming location for many blockbuster movies such as Star Wars II – Attack of the Clones (2002), The Dictator (2012) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962), the square designed by the great Seville architect Aníbal González.
This square located in Maria Luisa Park was completed in 1928 with a beautiful view with semicircular buildings on one side and an artificial canal 515 meters long running along the tiled alcoves. You can take a boat tour, it’s truly romantic experience. Many tiled alcoves also were built around the plaza, they representing for provinces of Spain. The plaza is designed in combination of many architectural styles including Art Deco and Spanish Renaissance Revival, Spanish Baroque Revival and Neo-Mudéjar styles.
Plaza de Espana is the most epic squares of the city of Seville. This site was built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 – A world fair aimed at strengthening links between Spain and other countries in 1929.
Address: Av. Isabel la Católica, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
Hours: Open 24 hours
Across from Plaza de Espana square is the beautiful Maria Luisa park, where you can hide in the sun and enjoy the beautiful nature and chirping birds. Be sure to observe every detail of the structures when you step inside the park, from beautiful bridges on small canalsto a stopover that looks like it was inspired by a fairy tale.
Address: Paseo de las Delicias, s/n, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
It is not only a famous tourist place in Seville but also a familiar name on all European tourist maps of all visitors. Dubbed the symbol of the city, always appearing on every advertising page, postcard about the city of Seville. The church was built from a platform of an old mosque in 1402, so it partly is influenced by the meticulous design of Islamic architecture, especially the famous Giralda bell tower. The inside of the church is beautifully decorated with a large amount of gold and many Gothic sculptures. Even without going inside, you can still appreciate the intricate details and the hard working efforts that made up this massive, beautiful cathedral.
In terms of size, this church is ranked 3rd in Europe with an area of 11,520 square meters. This is also the final resting place of the great explorer Christopher Columbus, you can go insiden and admire his tomb.
Address: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
Hours: 8AM–2PM, 4–7PM
Architectural style: Gothic architecture
Palace of the Dukes of Alba (Palacio de las Duenas)
Full convergence of beautiful features that make visitors delighted at first sight. This historic building is a national monument of Spain. It was built in 15th century and influenced by mix architectural styles such as Renaissance, Gothic and Moorish. It also a birthplace of the great poet Antonio Machado. It owns many courtyards and buildings with local influences in the bricks, shingles, tiles, whitewashed walls and pottery. It also houses a chapel.
Address: Calle Dueñas, 5, 41003 Sevilla, Spain
Hours: Saturday, Sunday: 10AM–2:15PM
The old town of Macarena
Another Seville’s hidden gem is the old town of Macarena. Although it is still part of the historic center of Seville, it is lesser known to visitors. This working-class neighborhood retains some of its original charm and is currently being recreated as Seville’s arts center. In addition to wandering around the back streets and drinking at one of the many local bars in this neighborhood, you can also enjoy Spanish cuisine here.
Located in the north of Seville, walking around the old town, you will have the opportunity to admire the vast squares, beautiful architectural works, notably the Basílica de la Macarena Church.
Seville Museum of Fine Arts
If you are an art lover, the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville (Museo de Bellas Artes) is the paradise for you. Not only is the ancient building very well preserved, but the museum also preserves many collections of paintings from the Renaissance to the present day.
Address: Pl. del Museo, 9, 41001 Sevilla, Spain
Hours: 9AM–3PM/Monday: Closed
Founded: September 16, 1835
Alcázar Palace is one of the outstanding architectural achievements in Europe. This is a mixed-style garden palace that dates back to the Moorish period of the 11th century and still exists today. The lush vegetation, white walls and beautiful flowers contradict the palace’s exterior. The architectural complex of Alcazár castle, palace and park is typical of Mudéjar architectural style that is best preserved in Europe.
In Spain, Alcazár palace is very famous, not only appearing in the movie “Game of Thrones” but also because it is the oldest palace in the world still used by the Royal family. Through each reign of the king, along with the ups and downs of history, new architectural styles and decorations were applied to the palace, creating a spendid palace with many mixed-styles from Mudéjar Islam to Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque …
With a variety of beauty in architecture, decoration and landscape, this palace has become a World Cultural Heritage since 1987, making it an ideal attraction when coming to the city of Seville.
Address: Pl. del Museo, 9, 41001 Sevilla, Spain
Hours: 9AM–3PM/Monday: Closed
Founded: September 16, 1835
Setas de Sevilla (Metropol Parasol)
The world’s largest wooden structure, very artistic and impressive, also known as “las setas” (mushrooms), was designed by German architect Jürgen Hermann Mayer and opened in April 2011. Based on an image of giant mushrooms 4-storey high includes: A museum displaying the remains of Roman and Moors in the basement; Central market on the first floor; A cafe and concert area; A scenic view area on the rooftop. Metropol Parasol is becoming a new symbol of Seville.
Address: Pl. de la Encarnación, s/n, 41003 Sevilla, Spain
Construction started: 2005
La Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla
The arena of bullfights has the splendor of the eighteenth century. The mixed feelings of tension with bustle that matches bring has helped this place keep its “soul” beside the rush of time flow. However, like a double-edged sword, because of the violent drama of the matches, today the arena is limiting traditional bullfights. Instead, in the future, this place may become a place to perform special art performances but still retain the spiritual beauty of the country.
Address: Paseo de Cristóbal Colón, 12, 41001 Sevilla, Spain
Architectural style: Baroque architecture
And finally Andalusia is home to the flamenco and where’s the better place to experience this vibrant, incredible dances than in its birthplace, Seville?! Appearing in the 18th century in the Triana neighborhood where the Gypsy people were concentrated, the flamenco has now become a UNESCO intangible culture heritage. At the corners of Sevilla streets, there are dancers who regularly perform flamenco mixed with Arabic, Oriental and Gypsy dances. Sevilla is also the only city in the world to have a flamenco museum.
Flamenco performances always attract visitors, so you can see these sexy dancers everywhere in the city. Some flamenco shows require payment but many performances are completely free.
The city also organizes many flamenco festivals during the year to both honor this culture and serving roughly 3 million visitors to Sevilla each year. And flamenco performances in auditoriums like El Arenal and Los Gallos often run out of space.
Seville travel blog: What to eat?
Tapas is a Spanish creation, you should definitely have to try Tapas once when you come to Spain. Tapas are small pieces of food of snacks, canapés or small savoury dishes in various forms and ingredients. Tapas can be cold or hot food. Popular as cheese mixed with olive oil, cold foods like sausages, ham, bacon or hot foods – like fried foods (squid, fish …). For Spanish, in addition to Sangria fruit cocktail, Paella rice, Tapas is an indispensable dish in every meal.
For the sweet lovers, it is impossible to ignore the crispy, fragrant churros sold in many street food vendors. It is a type of fried dough made from flour, butter, white sugar, cinnamon, eggs. Then fried in hot oil and then coated in cinnamon sugar. These delicious crispy churros is the perfect combination when it comes with a warm cup of chocolate.
Sangria (fruit cocktail)
This drink does not have a fixed recipe, but it is varied in different regions with the basic ingredients of red wine, fruit and sugar and sometimes liquor. The fresh fruits are soaked in red wine for about 1 night to reduce the acrid taste of the wine, adding the delicious, sweet taste of fresh fruit. It is serve in red-wine glasses with fresh berries.
Huevos a la Flamenca (Flamenco-style Eggs)
This is an attractive traditional dish in Seville. Although it is just a simple dish with eggs, it is sold everywhere from luxury restaurants to popular, cheap eateries. You can choose from many dishes with eggs such as: Eggs with potatoes, fried eggs, … but the most typical is still fried eggs with bacon, tomatoes, vegetables then sprinkled with salt and pepper and chopped parsley and adding some slices of chorizo sausage.
Tortilla Española (Spanish Egg and Potato Omelette)
To fully explore Seville’s cuisine, you must definitely not miss Tortilla Espanola, an omelette dish and national dish of Spain which made simply from potatoes, eggs, onions and spices, then mix well, fried in olive oil.
Bacalao (Dried and salted cod)
The dish is with a unique recipe using ingredients from dried and salted codand cooked with onion, pepper, cream, and olive oil. Or simply you can also enjoy the dried cod dish simmered with garlic.
In addition, you should also not miss the street snacks in Seville such as: Patatas bravas (potatoes in bravas sauce, Crispy Potatoes with Spicy Garlic & Chili Aioli), Calamares Fritos Recipe (Spanish Fried Squid), Boquerones fritos (Fried anchovies), Chorizo (Spicy pork sausage), Paella (Spanish spicy fried rice with mussels, shrimp, squid, seafood)…
Seville blog: Suggested Seville itinerary for 3 days 2 nights
Here’s my itinerary for 3 days in Seville:
Flying from Barcelona to Seville with Ryan Air – Check-in at Pension Virgen de la Luz – Wandering to explore the small streets of Seville – Plaza de Espana – Seville Old Town – Return Pension (Homestay).
Starting from Pension – Seville Old Town – Breakfast at a restaurant on the way – Royal Alcázar of Seville – Lunch at Royal Alcázar of Seville – Catedral de Sevilla – La Giralda Bell Tower – Dinner in Old Town.
Starting from Pension – Seville Old Town – Breakfast at a restaurant on the way – Seville Metropol Parasol – Palace of the Countess of Lebrija – El Arenal Old Quarter – Dinner in Old Town.
Personally, I think my itinerary is quite typical and easy to explore and covering all main tourist attractions of Seville. I got a lot of experiences even though I only stayed for 3 days 2 nights. The trip cost for a single day in Seville (excluding the cost of renting rooms and tickets) is about 70 euros / day.
I often choose to walk as the main “means” during my trip, even though I have lost my way countless times. Because every time I walk, I gain more interesting experiences for my trip. By walking, sometimes I met new friends, sometimes I turned around beautiful street corners, or sometimes I found a secret place that only locals knew.
If you want to choose my itinerary as above for your upcoming trip to Seville, there are a few things you should consider to make sure your trip is truly memorable:
- Walking: In fact, you can take a bus, metro or tram to traveling around Seville, but if so, you will miss out on quite a lot of cool things in this peaceful city. Seville is not as bustling as Barcelona, also not as trendy as Madrid but Seville still attracts the eyes of many visitors thanks to its own secret glamorous beauty but also extremely bold.
- Watching time: You can visit a lot of places in Seville. However, each place will have a different opening hour, so to not miss any beautiful places, be sure to arrive on time. I was not able to climb the tallest church in Seville to see the whole city because of this.
- Relaxing: The common mentality of everyone is to go as much as possible, check-in as much as possible, so they will want to go quickly to get to all the places. But I think this is a bit wrong and really no need in Seville. The city is not too big, most of the attractions are close to each other and most of the architecture is similar. Instead of going all out, you should choose some unique places to visit and experience in-depth.
Total costs for the Seville trip
My 3-day and 2-night trip in Seville costs around 350 euros per person, the details as follows:
- Flight tickets for Barcelona – Seville: About 50 euros including 20 kg of luggage.
- Room cost: About 30 euros / night; for 2 nights are 60 euros.
- Food cost: About 70 euros / day, for 3 days are 210 euros.
- The cost of the bus from the airport to the center: 5 euros / way.
The cost of trams / buses in the city: You can buy a pass called Seville Travel Card to take trains and buses in the city for cheap. This card can be bought at newspaper stalls, grocery stores, cost about 8 euros (including a hard card and money in it to travel). After spending all the money in the card you can go to the newspaper / souvenir stalls on the streets to buy.
In addition, you also can consider to buy a similar card called Seville City Pass.
Seville travel guide: Where to stay?
For the full experience in Seville, choose a Seville style accommodation called Pension. Hotels in Spain are also a bit expensive so I decided to choose a pension (a type of homestay in Seville) to better suit for my budget. Also, I think the pension with a unique, bold décor will give me a little experience of the beautiful “space and culture” of Seville. The Charming, CENTRAL with TERRACE has all what I need.
This pension is nestled in a small alley of Seville, about 1.2km from Old Town. For me this distance is quite good, you can walk into the center while viewing streets. In addition, this location also allows the Pension a quieter space and more peaceful than other places.
Pension’s main colors are white and blue (which reminds me a little of Santorini). White walls are tiled with blue tiles and blue motifs create an open and peaceful space. Plants are decorated in most floors. Pension also has a terrace for those who want to go up and see a part of the city. The price per night here is about 80 euros for two. You can see ratings and consider to book here.
Below we recommend more best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- NH Sevilla Plaza de Armas, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $90/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Hotel Alfonso XIII, a top rated 5-star hotel with room rates from $318/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Silken Al-Andalus Palace Hotel, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $75/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Hotel Posada del Lucero, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $106/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- El Rey Moro Hotel Boutique, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $101/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
- Hotel Amadeus, a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $192/night (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Seville guide: Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Seville you can refer to
- The Alcázar of Seville Guided Tour with Fast Track Access
- Cathedral, Alcazar, and Giralda Guided Tour Combo Tickets in Seville
- Seville Alcazar, Cathedral and Giralda Tower Half Day Tour
- Flamenco Show at El Palacio Andaluz in Seville
- The Flamenco Dance Museum Admission Ticket in Seville
- Cathedral of Seville Guided Tour with Fast Track Access
- Cordoba Guided Day Tour from Seville
- Seville Segway Tour
- UNPUBLISH Seville Guided Walking Half Day Tour of the Monuments
- Seville Night Walking Tour and Flamenco Show