Seville is one fiery and passionate Andalucian city. Combining gorgeous historical districts with raging salsa clubs and topping it off with rich cultural gems is no mean feat, but Seville does it to perfection. Spain should be proud.
Start your day in Seville by strolling around the fancy Alcazar Gardens, a natural wonderland filled with hedge mazes and secret gardens. Next, get your medieval on at La Giralda, the 105-metre-tall bell tower for the Cathedral of Seville. Lastly, slap on your best threads and end your evening with a show at the legendary Teatro Lope de Vega. The wonder of Seville is that it takes the best of the city’s influences – African and European alike – and mixes them together in a sexy blend that, once you’ve tasted it, you can’t get enough of.
Seville’s Top 10
10. Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria The oldest bullring in the country and a simply spectacular structure.
5. Sierpes A fun and lively street where tourists and locals come together to eat, shop and drink. Ain’t that what life’s all about?
9. Torre del Oro First a watchtower, then a prison and now a naval museum. If walls could talk…
4. Barrio de Santa Cruz This charming and pretty little neighbourhood is a major tourist hotspot because of its rich history and hidden gems.
8. Plaza de España A taste of stunning Renaissance architecture and art in Maria Luisa Park.
3. Museo de Bellas Artes Home to the most extensive collection of (mostly) Spanish art in the country. Art gorge!
7. Isla Magica This place is a little west of Seville but is worth the trip. The 4D cinema is seriously cool.
2. Alcazar Chill in the courtyard of this Moorish-style palace and summon your servant to feed you some grapes!
6. Museo Arqueológico Remnants of olden times and the resting place for the El Carambolo treasure (plenty of shiny, gold things).
1. Cathedral of Seville This iconic, 16th Century architectural masterpiece is simply breathtaking. Plus, it’s one of the biggest in Europe, thank you very much.
- Seville Cathedral – Marvel at the bell tower that dates back to 1198.
- Maestranza Bullring – This 18th-century building has a magnificent baroque front and is definitely a must-see landmark in Seville.
- Real Alcazar – This current luxurious royal palace and Unesco World Heritage Site was built as a Moorish fort.
- Hospital de los Venerables Church – Located in the Jewish Quarter, this building dates back to 1689 and has a stunning painted ceiling and tiled floors. Once a hospital, it is full of history.
- Tore del Oro – A 13th-century tower that stands by the Guadalquivir River and was built to guard the city’s ports.
Seville Art & Culture
- Fine Art Museum – See the collections of some of Spain’s most famous painters at Plaza del Museo.
- Archaeological Museum – View the Roman artefacts in this museum on Plaza de América.
- Museo Catedralicio – The cathedral museum houses a collection of sacred relics and gold.
- Contemporary Art Museum – If you are tired of history and want something more modern, then this is the place.
- Bullfighting Museum – See a bullfighting cape painted by Picasso himself.
- El Corte Inglés– This famous Spanish department store on Paseo Colón stocks everything you could possibly need.
- Shopping District – Two parallel streets, Sierpes and Tetuan, are the main retail hubs in Seville.
- Avenida Constitución – Shop and dine in one place on this tree-lined street.
- Barrio Santa Cruz– The place to go for all your touristy souvenirs. Bullfighting statues, anyone?
- Triana – In Seville’s gypsy quarter, you can watch local craftsmen at work and take home lovely ceramics.
Gay & Lesbian Seville
- Gay Pride – Seville’s annual Gay Pride Festival takes place every June 28.
- El Hombre y el Oso – This gay bar on Amor de Dios is one of Seville’s oldest.
- Isbiliyya – On Paseo Cristóbal Colón, this is the place for a lively night out.
- Hotel Rey Alfonso X – An affordable, gay-friendly hotel in downtown Seville.
- Alameda de Hércules – A popular gay hangout area, as all establishments are welcoming.
- Parque Maria Luisa – Rent a bike in this park to explore the scenery.
- Parque del Alamillo – If walking around this huge green space is not enough exercise, try your hand at the outdoor fitness circuit.
- Parque de los Principes – A popular park for sunbathing.
- Plaza de España– Horse-drawn carriages leave here for a tour of the city.
- Alcázar Gardens– Take a stroll around this English Renaissance-style garden at the Alcázar Palace.
- Visit Seville FC’s stadium, Sanchez Pijuan.
- Play the holes at the Real Club de Golf de Sevilla, rated the third best in Spain.
- Cuesta Sport, one of the newest gyms in Seville, offers day passes for visitors.
- Watch a bullfight at the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza.
- Cheer on Seville’s basketball team, the Caja San Fernando Sevilla.
Enjoy a puppet show at the Seville International Puppet Festival in May. The program features both kid- and adult-friendly puppetry.
The Seville Circus rolls around every June and entertains audiences with goofy clowns, cool contortionists and plenty of other fun and games.
The Velá de Santa Ana Festival in July transforms quiet, balmy evenings into rockin’ party nights with concerts, alcohol, dance comps, alcohol, sports events, alcohol and a slightly strange but very popular plank-walking tournament. Salud!
August welcomes the Festival de las Naciones, a fiesta that celebrates world cultures.
Visit the Sevilla feSt in October for dance, music and circus performances across various city venues. Nearly all of the events are free!
When To Go
Seville experiences some of the hottest (and wildest) summers in Europe, with temps often topping 35°C (95°F).
Rainfall peaks in November and December, so pack an umbrella if you’re around during those months.
Even in the depths of winter, temperatures can reach up to 21°C (70°F).
The Seville Metro is cheap, reliable and convenient, and the best way to move around the city centre.
Seville’s high-speed AVE train service is perfect for longer trips (including out of the city), but can be a little pricey.
The most important city in Spain's beautiful and exotic south is a wonder. At over two thousand years old, Seville has a wealth of history to explore, with all the requisite architecture, arts and culture to go along with it.
Although a perennial tourist draw, the city first captivated the attention of the world in 1992 as host of the Universal Exposition. If recent trends are any indication, it seems the love affair has only flowered with time. In anticipation of the Expo, major investments were made to refurbish the city. The stunning results still linger in Seville today, from the Alamillo Bridge to the international airport.
The Alcázar of Seville is for many, the first item on the travel itinerary. The former Moorish palace dates back to the 14th century and with myriad expansions over time, represents one of the most awesome structures in Spain. With sections that reveal the various design influences that marked the city and indeed, much of the south of Spain, such as Mudéjar, Islamic and Gothic, the Alcázar is a fabulous introduction into the history of Seville.
El Centro is the colloquial term that references the large historical heart of Seville. Without peer in Europe, the old town is a pedestrian paradise, with unfathomable architectural charm, narrow and furtive corridors and cozy tapas bars.
The obvious attraction of El Centro draws hordes of tourists that can detract from the area's authenticity. Thankfully, the city's Macarena district does not suffer as badly from this affliction. Though somewhat proletariat, with necessary touches of urban modernity, the traditional neighbourhood has many attractions. From medieval city walls to the Basilica de la Macarena, Plaza San Gil and a marketplace that dates back to the Arab occupation on Calle Feria, Macarena is a wonderful region of Seville to explore.
Several cathedrals compete for your time in Seville but the Catedral de Santa María de la Sede stands alone. Construction began on the foremost Medieval Gothic church in the world in 1402. More than six hundred years later, the Cathedral has not lost the power to enthral, from the Giralda tower to a grand altarpiece, priceless art and the sepulchre of Christopher Columbus.
The obvious association between Seville and flamenco dance draws many to the city. With so many flamenco bars in El Centro, choice can be difficult, with performance quality hard to discern. The Teatro Lope de Vega however, is a wonderful Neo-Baroque concert hall that hosts regular flamenco shows, as well as the popular Flamenco Biennale festival.
Another tradition in Seville plays out at the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza. Known as the “Catedral del Toreo”, the bullring par excellence in Spain pits matador and toro throughout the corrida season, from Easter to October.
By far the most popular festival in Seville, the Spring Fair or Fería, provides residents with a superlative excuse to drink, dance and ride around on horseback. Held every April, the party takes place in the streets, with food vendors, buskers, tents and the cream of Seville society in traditional dress.
A warm Mediterranean climate makes the city of Seville one of the most pleasant in Europe. Temperatures rarely ever dip below 5°C in winter and the city receives about 50 days of rain a year.
- Winter (December to February) 5-18°C
- Spring (March to May) 8-26°C
- Summer (June to August) 17-35°C
- Fall (September to November) 9-32°C
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