I’m the type of traveler who would 9 times out of 10 (okay, maybe all 10 times) choose to pack everything possible into a trip before I choose to relax on a beach for the entire time. It’s definitely not for everyone, but hey, I’m a New Yorker now, so a fast pace is my life.
While I’d absolutely recommend at least 3 days in Sevilla, if you’re elsewhere in Andalusia and want to at least see this beautiful place, even if just for a day, here are my recommendations for absolute must-sees.
Start with the Real Alcazar as it opens first, Plan to get there early since lines can get a little long, and trust me when I say you’re going to want to spend some serious time inside. Once inside, you’ll immediately notice the Moorish influence. Walk through the inside rooms first before heading out to the expansive gardens. And make sure to check out every nook and cranny – there are beautiful rooms that I’ve seen people miss out on too many times (including the Arabic Baths!).
Recommended Time to Spend Here: 2 hours
Hours of Operation: 9:30-17:00 October-March, 9:30-19:00 April-September
Cost: €9,50 for adults, €2 for students with valid ID, and free for children under 16
Fun Fact: for you Game of Thrones fans, the gardens of the Real Alcazar are the setting for the kingdom of Dorne.
Next, head across the Plaza del Patio de Banderas to the Catedral de Sevilla, the largest gothic cathedral in the world. Start by touring the Cathedral itself, and make sure to check out the Tomb of Christopher Columbus. Then head to the back corner of the Cathedral to begin the accent up to the top of La Giralda, the cathedral bell tower, for an incredible view of the city. Bias aside, I find this to be one of the easier bell towers to climb as it’s a series of inclined ramps instead of steep stairs (though note there is one flight of stairs at the very top).
Recommended Time to Spend Here: 1 hour (including La Giralda)
Hours of Operation: Mondays 11:00-15:30, Tuesday-Saturday 11:00-17:00, and Sunday 14:30-18:00
Cost: €9 for adults, €4 for students with valid ID, and free for children under 14
Fun Fact: while several other cities claim to house Columbus’ remains, DNA tests have proven that his remains do in fact lie within this particular tomb
Grab lunch in Santa Cruz. I’d recommend walking back towards the Alcazar, down Calle Mariana de Piñeda, to Calle San Gregorio. Cafeteria Las Lapas is a great spot and puts you in the right direction towards your after lunch destination!
After lunch, walk along the tram line towards Plaza de España. You’ll walk by the famous Alfonso XIII hotel and past the Universidad de Sevilla (an old tobacco factory) before arriving at your destination at the beginning of Parque de Maria Luisa. I’d recommend starting on one end and walking along each of the provincial alcoves before heading towards the fountain in the center.
Recommended Time to Spend Here: 1 hour
Hours of Operation: open 24 hours a day!
Add-on: if you have extra time before heading out of town, spend some time walking through the Parque de Maria Luisa. The Mudejar Pavillion (specifically the Museum of Arts and Traditions) sits at the other end of the park and is a stunning display of art deco architecture.
If your day ends at the Santa Justa train station, you can easily catch a cab or bus from any side of Parque de Maria Luisa.
If you have any questions about planning a day trip to Sevilla, drop me a line – I’d love to help you make the most of your day!