Europe

Traveler’s Guide to Seville, Spain

The city of Seville in Southern Spain is well-known to most travelers for its incredible beauty, but many travelers are unaware of the deep historical and cultural significance of this amazing town.  For instance, if you ask I am sure that most travelers wouldn’t know that Seville is the birthplace of Spanish Tapas, the final resting place of the famed explorer Christopher Columbus, and the location where many of Hollywood’s most infamous movies were filmed.  These are just some of the many reasons why the city of Seville continues to be one of Spain’s best-kept secrets.

Whether you are visiting to enjoy some of the city’s amazing cuisine (including the infamous tapas), tour the beautiful plazas, cathedrals, and Alcázar, immerse yourself in the rich history of the city, or to enjoy a traditional Flamenco dance at one of the city’s theatres, Seville has something to interest travelers of all types.  The fact that Seville is so close to many other amazing tourist destinations in Southern Spain is an added bonus.

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In this guide, I am going to give you all of the information you need to plan a successful trip to Seville, Spain.  I cover the best times to visit and the best ways to get there so that you can maximize what you are able to see and do on your trip.  In addition, I outline the top things to see and do while you are there and where the best places to stay and eat are.  With this information in hand, you can be confident that your trip to Seville will be one that you remember for the rest of your life.

At A Glance
Top Things to See
How to Get There
Best Time to Visit
Where to Stay
Where to Eat
Recommended Tours and Excursions
Photo Gallery

At a Glance

Before you start making any travel plans, you will want to make sure you take care of all of the passport, VISA, and immunization tasks for your trip.  In addition, you will want to make sure you have a clear understanding of what language they speak in Spain and what currency they use so that you can plan any translation needs you might have for your trip and exchange currency before your trip if necessary.  I have included some of this key information below for you to review as you start to make your travel plans.

Passport requirements exist. See below for details.
Immunization recommendations are listed below.
The official language in Spain is Spanish.
The official currency in Spain is the Euro.

Passport, VISA, Customs, and Immunization Requirements

In order to assist you in navigating the legal requirements for visiting Spain, I have included a link to my Spain Passport, VISA, Customs, and Immunization Requirements for Visitors Guide as well as some information on the EU’s new ETIAS VISA requirements below for you to review.  These guides will give you all of the information that you will need to meet the VISA, passport, customs, and immunizations requirements and recommendations for visiting Spain.

READ MORE:
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New Visa Requirements for Americans to Visit Europe Starting in 2021
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Spain Passport, VISA, Customs, and Immunization Requirements for Visitors

Travel Immunizations

Before you leave for your trip to Spain, you need to make sure you have all of the proper vaccinations.  Not only to protect yourself but to protect others.  If you have questions on what immunizations you will need and what to look out for when you go to get them, below are some general guidelines I can pass on to you from experience.

  • Most specialized travel clinics will not accept insurance so you will have to pay for your travel consultation and immunizations and then request reimbursement from your insurance company later.
  • Some immunizations aren’t accepted by every insurance company, so check with your insurance provider before getting your immunizations.
  • Check with your regular doctor first, as often they can do a travel consultation for you and write you the necessary prescriptions for your immunizations, even if they aren’t able to give them to you.  This way you can ensure that at least your travel consultant will be covered by your insurance up-front.
  • Check with Walgreens or other drug stores that give flu shots to see if they have any of the immunization shots that you require before going to a specialized clinic that doesn’t accept insurance to get them.  Walgreens can give you many of the immunizations necessary for international travel, and they accept insurance up-front.
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website can be a great resource for answering any travel immunization questions that you have.

In case you are unsure of what travel vaccinations you might need, I have compiled a list below of some of what you might expect your physician to recommend.

  • Hepatitis A & B (if you haven’t had them).
  • Tetanus (if you aren’t current).
  • Transderm SCōP Patch (for motion sickness) or at minimum Dramamine pills if you get motion sickness easily and you plan on getting out on the water or doing adventure activities.
  • Flu Shot

Packing Tips

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Outside of taking care of the passport, visa, and immunization requirements so that you can get into Spain and don’t get sick, there is no more important pre-travel planning task than making sure you pack the right clothing and gear for your trip.  To help make sure you are properly packed and prepared, I have included links to some of my packing resources below for you to review.

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The Ultimate Travel Packing Check List
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The Essential Carry-On Checklist

Top Things to See and Do

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Seville is a one-of-a-kind city with an abundance of amazing things to see and do.  Around every corner, you turn there is something new to see or experience.  Whether you are visiting to taste the tapas, see a Flamenco show, or tour the amazing sites in this beautiful city, you will never be short on authentic experiences.  If you are in the process of planning your trip and need to fill out your itinerary, I have included a list of my top things to see and do in Barcelona for you to review below.

Top Things to See and Do in Seville, Spain Map

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Catedral de Sevilla
Plaza de España
Parque de María Luisa
Royal Alcázar of Seville
Torre del Oro
Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza Bullring
Triana Neighborhood
Metropol Parasol
Tablao Flamenco El Arenal
Mercado Lonja del Barranco

Catedral de Sevilla

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There aren’t many buildings that I have seen in my travels that have moved me to the point of silent observation, but the Catedral de Sevilla is definitely one of those buildings.  Being that the cathedral is the third largest cathedral in the world, the first thing that will strike you when setting eyes on the cathedral is the sheer size of the building.  It is impressively large, and despite its size, not lacking in detail.  The amount of effort that went into intricately building a structure this large is mind-boggling to me.  The cathedral has had many transformations over its life, just as much of Spain has seen many transformations as it shifted between Christians and Muslims throughout history.  The bell tower of the Cathedral is the old minaret that called Muslims in Seville to prayer five times a day when the church was a mosque.  In fact, the Catholics in Seville held on to many parts leftover from the Moorish reign of the city, much as many other cities in the Andalusia region of Spain have done.  It is one of the many reasons why this church and this region of Spain are so unique.

Plaza de España

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It seems like in each city you travel to in this world, there is one place that stands above all as the most notable attractions for visitors to see.  Sometimes it is the most beautiful place in the city, while other times it is the most interesting or historically significant place within the city that draws tourists to it.  In the city of Seville, many would argue that this place is the breathtakingly beautiful Plaza de España.  Constructed for the Iberto-American Exposition of 1929, the Plaza de España has been a magnet for tourists visiting Seville ever since.  With breathtaking landscapes and structures to look at, not only is the plaza one of the best places in Seville to go on a mid-day stroll, but it has been used in many famous Hollywood movies that you might have seen.  Iconic scenes from Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) have been filmed in the Plaza de España because of its beauty.  If you are looking to make the experience of visiting the plaza extra special, I would recommend taking a carriage ride thru the plaza or taking a boat ride thru one of the plaza’s many canals.

Parque de María Luisa

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Located adjacent to the Plaza de España, the Parque de María Luisa is a beautiful park that is popular with both tourists and locals.  Decorated with an expanse of beautiful Mediterranean trees and colorful flowers, the María Luisa Park and its abundance of shade are a refuge from the heat during the summer months.  Whether you are looking for some downtime after a busy day or looking to start your day off with some peace and quiet, nothing is more relaxing than taking a stroll thru this beautiful park and enjoying the company of your travel companions.

Royal Alcázar of Seville

Alcazar of Seville

With more than a millennium of rich history, the Royal Alcázar of Seville is considered by many to be the oldest royal residence still in use in Europe.  It may just be the most beautiful of all royal residences in Europe as well.  In fact, the Alcázar is so beautiful that it was declared a World Heritage site in 1987.  If the pictures of the Alcázar look familiar to you, it could be that it was recently used as a shooting location for HBO’s hit series, Game of Thrones.  Because of its popularity, getting tickets to tour the Royal Alcázar of Seville can be quite a challenge, so I would recommend planning ahead if you would like a tour.

Torre del Oro

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The Torre del Oro, which translates in English to mean “Tower of Gold”, is the most famous watchtower in Seville.  This 118-foot (36-meter) high tower was built by the Almohads in the 12th Century as part of the Moorish city wall.  This wall connected the Royal Alcázar of Seville with the rest of the city.  The tower was intended to be one of the primary watch towers designed to help control shipping on the Guadalquivir river.  A massive chain was run between the Torre del Oro and a tower on the other side of the river to prevent enemy ships from approaching.  Today, the tower is home to a neat naval museum that you can pay to tour.  In addition to having a neat set of artifacts and artwork to look at, the views from the top of the tower are amazing!

Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza Bullring

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Widely considered to be one of the finest bullrings in all of Spain, the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza is also one of the oldest and most important bull rings in the country.  Among other things, the bull ring is known for its beautiful Baroque facade and beautiful 16th-century iron gates.  When a bullfighter has a good performance in the ring, they are carried thru these gates on the shoulders of adoring fans.  If you are interested in learning more about the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza when you visit Seville, I would strongly recommend taking a tour.  In addition to being able to see behind the scenes inside the building, a tour also gets you access to the fascinating museum inside.  The museum has an interesting collection of costumes, posters, and paintings of historical bullfights and bullfighters for visitors to see.

Go Shopping in the Triana Neighborhood

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If you need a break from touring the city, a fun change of pace is to visit the Triana neighborhood of Seville to do some shopping and eating.  In addition to having some of the best restaurants in the city and a market that will blow your mind, the neighborhood is also known for having a lot of really great shops.  One of the most popular items that people shop for in the Triana neighborhood is ceramics.  This neighborhood is one of the last remaining neighborhoods that make the authentic ceramic products that date back to the time of the Romans.  Not only are the ceramics beautiful, but if you buy one you are buying a piece of history.

Metropol Parasol

Metropol Parasol

One of the most unique experiences you will have when visiting Seville is to see the breathtaking Metropol Parasol in the Plaza de la Encarnación.  Created in 2011 by architect Jürgen Mayer, the Metropol Parasol is known locally in Seville as “the Mushrooms of Seville”.  At roughly 656-feet wide and 98-feet high (200×30 meters), the structure is enormous.  However, just don’t enjoy the Metropol Parasol from afar.  What many people don’t realize is that under the structure’s floor resides the Antiquarium Museum of Seville.  A tour of the museum will teach you about the Roman and Andalusian past of the city and help explain what has made the city what it is today.  You can also take an elevator ride to the highest part of the structure and enjoy some breathtaking views of the infamous and beautiful Plaza de España.

See an Authentic Flamenco Show

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For those who are looking to enjoy a night on the town, one of the best suggestions that I can give you is to see a live Flamenco show.  Most people are vaguely familiar with this authentic Spanish dance style, but until you see a show in person, it is hard to appreciate the passion and the skill of these performances.  Everything from the music to the costumes, to the dance performance, is powerful and moving.  In my opinion, one of the best places to catch a show is at the Tablao Flamenco El Arenal.  Make sure you purchase your tickets in advance as the shows are incredibly popular.

Try Some Spanish Tapas

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If you love to eat when you travel, then visiting Seville, Spain will be a big treat for you.  As the place where Spanish tapas originated, there is no better place in Spain to try these culinary treats.  If you aren’t familiar with tapas, they are sort of like an appetizer or snack that is typically shared between a group of people.  When you go out for tapas, your group will typically order a variety of tapas to share between your table.  Even better, you can venture between a number of different establishments snacking on various tapas and enjoying cocktails in what is known as a “tapas crawl”.  I can’t think of a better way to try the local cuisine in Seville and enjoy the company of family and friends!

How to Get There

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If you are visiting Seville from outside of Spain, there are a number of ways that you can get there.  For those visiting from outside of Europe, the easiest way to get to Seville is to fly into the Seville Airport (SVQ).  If you are visiting from elsewhere in Europe and have the time, an attractive alternative to flying into Seville would be to take the rail system.  The rail system in Europe is quite advanced, and the rail system within Spain is no exception.  In fact, taking the train can save you time versus driving if you are heading to Seville from other locations within Spain as well.  If you are traveling to Seville from another location within Spain and would like more information on travel times by train and by car, I have included a map below for you to review.

Seville Spain How to Get There Detail Map

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Best Time to Visit

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Average Temperature (°F)

Because it is located in the southern part of Spain, the temperatures in Seville typically don’t drop below freezing, even during the winter months.  However, that doesn’t mean that temperatures don’t get a little chilly during the months of December thru February.  If you are looking for warm weather when you visit, you will want to target the months of May thru September.  During these months of the year, there will typically be high temperatures in the upper 70s or even 80s and low temperatures that don’t get much cooler than the upper 50s.  The summer months of June thru August are typically the busiest tourism months in Seville, so the shoulder months of May and September may be your best options overall.

Average Precipitation (Inches)

If you are planning on spending a lot of time outside when you visit, then you will want to target one of the months where the weather is typically the driest in Seville.  The summer months of June thru August are the dryest months, but as I said above, they are also typically the busiest tourism months in Seville.  If you don’t mind larger crowds, then you should plan your visit during the summer.  However, if you prefer not to have to navigate larger crowds around the city, then the shoulder months of May and September may be better options.

Where to Stay

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One of the most important decisions you are going to have to make when planning your trip to Seville is where you will stay.  When you travel, the accommodations you choose are oftentimes amongst the biggest expenditures for your trip.  So not only do you need to be comfortable where you are staying, but you also need to be comfortable with how much you are paying to stay there.  Finding the right accommodations for your trip involves looking at the amenities, the location, and most importantly, the price.  If you are starting to plan your trip to Seville and want some hotel and hostel suggestions, I have included some great options at different price points below for you to review.  As always, don’t be afraid to expand your search to room sharing sites such as Airbnb or VRBO if you aren’t finding a hotel or hostel that meets your needs.

Seville Spain Hotels and Hostels Map

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For You Hostel Sevilla ($)
TOC Hostel Sevilla ($)
Patio De La Alameda ($$)
Hotel Alcántara ($$)
Eurostars Torre Sevilla ($$$)
Hotel Las Casas de El Arenal ($$$)
Hotel Gravina 51 ($$$$)
Hotel Kivir Sevilla ($$$$)
Hotel Palacio de Villapanes ($$$$$)
Gran Melia Colón ($$$$$)

Where to Eat

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When most people plan a trip, the primary focus is one how to get there, where to stay, and what is on the list of things to see and do.  What many travelers neglect to plan, is where to eat when you are there.  Granted, it is sometimes fun to be spontaneous when choosing a restaurant while traveling, and it is always smart to get recommendations when you arrive.  However, it can also be advantageous to have some ideas of restaurants you would like to try during your trip written down beforehand as well.  This way you can be assured that you won’t miss out on a highly recommended culinary experience that you will regret.  To help you decide on some restaurants in Seville to add to your list, I have included a list of some highly recommended options for you to review below.

Seville Restaurant Recommendations
Restaurant Cuisine Price
Mercado Lonja del Barranco Japanese, Mediterranean, European $$-$$$
Ropavieja Restaurante de Tapas Mediterranean, European, Spanish $$-$$$
Abaceria del Postigo Mediterranean, Spanish $$-$$$
Casa Murillo Spanish, Wine Bar $$-$$$
Restaurante Az-Zait Mediterranean, European, Spanish $$$$
Casa Manolo Leon Veggie, Vegan, Gluten Free $$$$

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There is an abundance of amazing things to see and do in the Seville area and one of the best ways to experience those things is on a tour.  If you are looking for fun tours and excursions to fill out your trip, I have included some category links to recommended tours and excursions you can review below.

Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours
Cultural & Theme Tours
Food, Wine & Nightlife
Multi-day & Extended Tours
Outdoor Activities
Walking & Biking Tours
Water Sports

Seville is one of those cities where you are surprised by something else interesting or beautiful as you round every corner.  I know that I was when I toured the city.  I was able to capture a lot of great photographs that I still look back at and enjoy.  If you are interested in seeing some of the many great pictures I was able to take during my time in Seville, I have included a gallery for you to look at below.

Seville, Spain

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4 replies »

  1. I went to Seville… over 30 years ago. I remember almost nothing, or more accurately, everything I saw, from Madrid down to the Costa del Sol, blurs together. I think it’s high time I return and clear up some of these meshed memories. Wonderful guide, as always.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words, as always! I really enjoyed the Andalusia region of Spain. So pretty!! Definitely an area I would love to visit again! 😀👍

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