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Iconic attractions, traditional tapas and world-class art. There’s a lot to be savoured in this southern Spanish gem. Here’s how to spend 3 days in Seville.
LAST UPDATE: 16 Dec 2023
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Seville is the hottest city in Europe, literally and figuratively.
While the rest of Europe is cowering in the cold, Seville’s historic buildings rise into clear blue skies, illuminated by a warm, golden sun.
It’s the perfect destination for a long weekend. Packed with history, explore beautiful remnants of its Moorish past, then unwind in a sun-drenched square lined with orange trees.
Enjoy some of the best tapas in Spain and visit exceptional galleries containing world-class art.
We’ve been to Seville several times and it remains one of our favourite cities in Europe.
This itinerary covers the main attractions, in a walkable order along with some of the best hidden gems.
For the full list of what you can expect, read our guide to the best things to do in Seville.
IN THIS GUIDE
3-DAY SEVILLE ITINERARY
Metropol Parasol, Calle Regina, Casa de Pilatos, Cathedral, Giralda Tower,
Calle Sierpes, Hospital de los Venerables, Archivo General de Indias, Real Alcázar, Alameda de Hércules,
Plaza de España, Parque de María Luisa, Torre del Oro, Plaza de Toros, Mercado de Triana, Museo de Bellas Artes, FLamenco
MAP | SEVILLA ITINERARY
We’ve put this itinerary together in the order we think you should see things to help maximise your time in the city. All the attractions we mentioned are included on this map.
SEVILLE ITINERARY | DAY 1 – EL CENTRO
Kickstart this Seville itinerary in El Centro, the core hub around which the city revolves. Wander local streets, collect Gothic landmarks and stroll exotic palaces.
Begin by grabbing breakfast at La Cacharreria in El Centro for their great selection of sandwiches, waffles and eggs. Then, make your way to Metropol Parasol (locally known as “Las Setas”), which claims to be the largest wooden building in the world.
The price to take the undulating walkway on the top has risen a lot recently, but if it’s your first time in Seville, it’s probably worth doing anyway. But only just.
Tickets + Details – setasdesevilla.com
CALLE REGINA & SANTA CATALINA
Grab a takeaway coffee at Virgin Coffee then explore bohemian Calle Regina and the narrow laneways of Santa Catalina. Here, quirky shops and hipster-inspired craftiness blend with old-school Spanish eateries. It’s a great part of Seville for a leisurely stroll.
CASA DE PILATOS
After exploring the laneways of Santa Catalina, end up at Casa de Pilatos. Downstairs, the Mudéjar (hybrid of Islamic and Christian designs) courtyard contains a renaissance fountain and sculptures, flanked by a gothic chapel.
Upstairs, where the owners lived until a few years ago, the Mudéljar ceilings and windows surround rooms decorated like a grand European house.
Tickets // Book skip-the-line tickets for Casa de Pilatos.
LUNCH – BAR ALFALFA
It’s a tight squeeze at Bar Alfalfa, but it is worth it for the traditional tapas (try the solomillo and the croquetas) and bustling Spanish atmosphere. After lunch head to the Cathedral.
175 after the Christians capture Seville, the decaying mosque was destroyed, and the gargantuan Seville Cathedral was built in its place. It claims to be the largest in the world by volume. Inside, check out the tomb of Christopher Columbus and the remarkable Chapter House.
For other landmarks in Andalucía that started as something different, read our guide to Cádiz and our favourite things to do in Málaga.
Tickets // Book skip-the-line tickets for Seville Cathedral.
A slowly winding ramp takes you up 35 floors to the top of the Giralda. As you ascend checkout the Mudéjar items on your left. The views from the summit are an ideal way to close out the sightseeing on the first of your 3 days in Seville.
Take the lift up to the EME Catedral Hotel bar for sunset drinks. Yes, they are twice as expensive as anywhere else, but the views are four times as good. Shimmy your way up to the glass panels and stare in wonder at the magnificent view.
For dinner head to Mamarracha, a stylish modern tapas bar with excellent food and swish contemporary décor. Low-hanging bulbs add to the charm, as does the rustic tables and cool plant wall. The zucchini and basil risotto and the Ibérica sirloin with chimichurri were top-notch.
SEVILLE ITINERARY | DAY 2 – BARRIO DE SANTA CRUZ
The Real Alcazár of Seville is an enthralling blend of Christian and Islamic design. After a bit of shopping, spend day two of this 3 day Seville itinerary soaking up the intriguing history of the city.
BREAKFAST – CHURROS AT BAR EL COMMERCIO
Begin day two with breakfast at Bar El Commercio. It’s traditional, so try the churros con chocolate. In Spain, churros aren’t the sugar-encrusted desert you might get elsewhere, (nothing wrong with that) but a less sweet breakfast dish.
This morning explore Calle Sierpes and Calle Velázquez in Centro, before heading into Barrio Santa Cruz. This medieval Jewish quarter is a tangle of twisty laneways and tiny squares and a great place to get lost.
HOSPITAL DE LOS VENERABLES
If you like your grand art masters pop into Hospital de los Venerables, a hospice that contains an extraordinary collection of 12 masterpieces by Zurburán, Montanes, Murillo and Velázquez.
The highlight of Hospital de los Venerables is the ornate Baroque church. It’s a breathtaking display of craftsmanship ornate frescoes on the vaulted ceiling and huge domes. Both Murillo and Valdez worked on the church.
ARCHIVO GENERAL DE INDIAS
For 100 years most of the wealth of the Spanish Empire flooded from the Americas into Seville, until the river began silting up at the turn of the 16th century.
The records for Spain’s involvement in the Americas now rest in the Archivo General de Indias. There is not much to see but it’s worth strolling the halls and watching the film on the second floor detailing this important part of Seville’s history. Entry is free.
LUNCH – BODEGUITA CASABLANCA
There are hundreds of places to eat near the Alcázar (unsurprising), but we recommend perching with locals on the high tables at Bodeguita Casablanca. The food is good and the views are even better.
Recharged, enter the Alcázar, the most magnificent of Seville’s fine buildings.
Originally a fort during Islamic times, for many years after the Christian conquest in 1248 it became home to Spanish Kings, who developed and enhanced the buildings. It’s now more famous for being a Game of Thrones location.
The most impressive of which is the Mudéjar Palacio de Don Pedro – the stylings of which are very reminiscent of the Alhambra in Granada.
Tickets // Book skip-the-line Real Alcázar tickets.
ALAMEDA DE HÉRCULES
In the evening amble up to Alameda de Hércules in the northern part of town.
The purpose is to experience a buzzing part of Seville with a number of good restaurants. Our pick is Duo Tapas, where interesting food is served in a tiny square under fairy lights hanging from an old church.
After dinner, head to Habanilla Café where a lively mix of locals gather to listen to whatever is on offer that night.
SEVILLE ITINERARY | DAY 3 – PLAZA DE ESPAÑA + HIDDEN GEMS
Plaza de España is a masterpiece of architectural design and a great place to hang out. Start here, then take a voyage through less-visited Seville gems.
PLAZA DE ESPAÑA
Start the last day of your 3 days in Seville itinerary at Plaza de España – regularly listed as one of the best attractions in Seville. Built in 1928 for Ibero-American Exposition its huge semi-circular building is a mix of styles and is adorned with tiled alcoves. It surrounds a plaza of fountains, bridges and rectangular ponds.
PARQUE DE MARÍA LUISA
Stroll the nearby Parque de Maria Luisa with its shaded paths and manicured gardens, before heading north through the Antigua Fábrica de Tabacos (old tobacco factory), a magnificent building now housing the University of Seville. Take a quick perusal at the Alfonso XIII hotel.
This park is open 24 hours a day from April to October and from 8 am to 9 pm between November and March.
TORRE DEL ORO
Next, amble up the river, past the Torre del Oro, a 13th-century Islamic watchtower and the last remaining section of the Moorish walls that once circled the city. The small naval museum inside is not really worth the entry free, but the viewing tower on the roof is very good.
PLAZA DE TOROS DE LA REAL MAESTRANZA
Nearby to the Torre del Oro, Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería is the oldest bullring in Spain. With a capacity of 14,000 bullfighting fans it’s also one of the biggest. Fortunately, you can learn about this deeply held tradition on a tour of the complex without needing to witness a fight.
Tickets // Book a guided tour of Plaza de Torros.
MERCADO DE TRIANA
Cross the river and meander Triana market. Fresh meat and fish stalls are interspersed with cafes and bars. Try a coffee and pastry at Café Bocasú – but not too many because lunch is coming up.
MUSEO DE BELLAS ARTES
Take solace from the afternoon heat at Museo de Bellas Artes, one of Spain’s premier art collections.
The building, a beautiful convent, houses a few grandmasters from the 15th to 20th centuries. But its undisputed highlight are the towering Murillo’s dramatically hanging in the church attached to the convent. It’s free to enter, but a guided tour is worth considering with such an interesting collection of art.
Cool tip — The ice cream at Creéme Helado, just across the square is excellent.
FLAMENCO – MUSEO DEL BAILE FLAMENCO
On the final night of your 3 days in Seville itinerary, take in a Flamenco show at the Museo del Baile Flamenco. It’s a rousing night with dancers stomping, clapping and twirling their way around a tiny stage (or a pretty patio). Flamenco is backed by a guitar or a lone voice, consequently, it’s an enchanting and at times haunting experience.
To really embrace the Flamenco culture in Seville, read about this authentic Flamenco experience.
For dinner, snare a table on the footpath at El Pintón.
WHERE TO STAY IN SEVILLE
Seville is a very walkable city. In fact, most of its charm is experienced in the hidden laneways and intimate nooks tucked behind orange-lined squares that you only find with serendipity.
So, we recommend staying as central as possible to take full advantage.
This stylish modern hotel is perfectly located just across the road from the Catedral. The interior is beautiful throughout with comfortable decent-sized rooms. The rooftop terrace has the best views of the city and there’s small pool as an added bonus.
UNIQUE & HOMELY
This family-run hotel has a unique design, beautifully appointed rooms and an interest in classical music. Breakfast is on the roof terrace which has views of the Cathedral. Music recitals in the evening complete a classy but homely stay.
Hotel Alfonso is not cheap. But it’s rare that such a beautiful old hotel has managed to modernise so elegantly. Rooms are individually decorated and it is all you would expect (and more) from a truly world-class establishment.
WHAT TO BOOK IN ADVANCE?
Seville is a popular place for a good reason. Many attractions will have long queues and some need to be booked in advance.
- Real Alcázar – We highly recommending booking before you go. Stand in the queue for pre-purchased tickets.
- Seville Cathedral & Giralda Tower – Both are less busy, but the roof can fill up fast, so it’s still advisable to book in advance.
- Cathedral Roof Tour – The roof tour is not included in the regular ticket price and it must be booked at least 1 week in advance.
- Flamenco performances can also be very popular. Book online before you travel, otherwise head directly to the venue the first day you arrive in Seville.
HOW TO GET TO SEVILLE
Seville is a very accessible destination with good flight connections from other European cities and a great local train network.
Sevilla International Airport (or San Pablo Airport) is a 20-minute taxi ride to the centre of town.
The cost of a taxi will be around €22 (+ €1 per bag) and the taxi rank is just outside the main terminal.
A bus (€4) runs from the airport to town roughly every 20 minutes from around 5am to 1am. Journey time is around 35 minutes.
The Spanish rail network is excellent with high-speed trains connecting most of the main centres. If you’re already in the country, train is the best way to get to Seville.
Trains regularly connect Sevilla-Santa Justa Train Station with other major Spanish cities. Look for cheap train tickets well in advance.
HOW TO GET AROUND SEVILLE?
Seville is a compact city where everything is well within walking distance. As many of the sights are in the old town on tiny streets and cobbled laneways, any other form of transport would take longer than using your own legs.
If you want to go further afield, there is a public cycle programme called SEVici which operates on the 120 kilometres of bike lanes throughout the city.
Unfortunately, the pricing structure makes it unappealing to visitors. The short-term pass cost €13 for a 7-day registration with each trip costing €1.03 for the first hour and €2.04 for each subsequent hour. Each user needs to pay a refundable deposit of €150.
WHEN TO VISIT SEVILLE?
The best time to visit Seville is from March to May when fresh growth makes the trees and gardens a lush green, the temperatures are not too high, and the rains of winter are beginning to ease.
In particular, a weekend to Seville in March and April can be a cheap way for northern Europeans to get some winter sun while enjoying a historically interesting place.
SEVILLE IN SPRING (MARCH – MAY)
- Weather: Pleasant temperatures and blooming gardens make Spring a lovely time to visit Seville.
- Crowds: Generally this is the time to visit with moderate crowds.
- Events: The April Fair is one of the most famous festivals in Spain with music, dance and tradition. Holy Week, features dramatic processions through the city.
SEVILLE IN SUMMER (JUNE – AUGUST)
- Weather: Seville can get very hot in summer, but the warm evenings are an attractive drawcard.
- Crowds: Summer is the busiest time for Seville and you can expect longer queues at the main attractions.
- Events: There are plenty of events in Summer including the Seville European Film Festival and The Nocturama Music Festival.
SEVILLE IN FALL/AUTUMN (SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER)
- Weather: The temperatures are getting much more comfortable with lots of sunny days and reduced rainfall.
- Crowds: Crowds are moderate over autumn.
- Events: Festival de las Naciones, held in Autumn, highlights Seville’s historic and cultural legacy.
SEVILLE IN WINTER (DECEMBER – FEBRUARY)
- Weather: Winter in Seville is very mild compared to other European destinations.
- Crowds: Winter is the quietest time to visit Seville.
- Events: The Three Wise Kings parade in January fills the streets with a procession of 30 carriages, while the Carnival of Seville in February is a celebration of food and music.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO VISIT SEVILLE?
Seville is a very cost-effective city and it’s easy to visit on a budget. Here are some rough guidelines to help you plan.
- Basic hotel = €70 per night.
- High-end spa hotel – €400 per night.
- Inexpensive meal at a tapas bar = €9 per person.
- Local beer = €1.50.
- A regular coffee = €1.20.
- A flat white in an artisanal café = €2.80.
- A mid-range restaurant = €30 per person for 3 courses.
HOW MUCH TIME TO YOU NEED IN SEVILLE?
We recommend three days in Seville; however, you could easily stay longer.
If you only have a weekend – and Seville is a great European weekender – two days would allow you to see most of the main attractions. However, it’s probably not enough time to fully absorb the Spanish culture that make Seville such a great place to visit.
In 3 days you could catch most of the main sights, plus allow for some time to amble the streets, try a selection of tapas bars and enjoy more of the incredible art scene in Seville.
You could easily spend a week, taking any number of easy day trips into the surrounding area, such as to the stunning Caminito del Rey hike.