Looking for the best things to do in Seville? From the Royal Alcazar of Seville to authentic local food markets and ancient Roman ruins, Seville has so much to offer for any visitor to the city!
In this blog post, you will find all the best things to do in Seville with descriptions, photos, and locations where they can be found on Google Maps. We spent a week exploring everything this special and historical city had to offer.
So, without further ado, here are the bucket list things to do in Seville – one of the most vibrant and picturesque cities in Spain! Happy exploring!
Read more >>> 25 most famous Instagram spots in Seville, Spain (+map!)
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1. Visit the glorious Cathedral of Seville and see the tomb of the explorer Christopher Columbus!
The Cathedral of Seville is a landmark attraction in the city of Seville and in Andalusia. It is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The cathedral is one of the largest churches in the world and the largest Gothic church in the world.
As you get to Seville, this is one of the landmark monuments you will notice right away. It is truly spectacular and jaw-dropping! I really recommend walking around the cathedral and admiring the spectacular architecture up close.
Visiting the Cathedral of Seville is one of the best things to do in Seville. It is truly a massive piece of art! There are different types of tickets you can buy online on their website.
Beware that this is a tourist hotspot so definitely buy tickets in advance for your desired time! We bought tickets for visiting the inside of the cathedral and for climbing up to La Giralda tower. There are different ticket combinations to choose from.
If I could go again I would buy a visit to the roof of the cathedral too. Although La Giralda tower is very high you can’t see much as all the windows have bars in front of them. But you would see everything from the roof!
The Cathedral of Seville also is the burial site of the well-known Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. He is famous for discovering a route across the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and the Americas.
His tomb is located in the main hall of the cathedral. As you get inside the cathedral, just walk around the whole main hall and you will eventually stumble upon it as it is located on one side of the hall. Plus there are direction signs so you will easily find it.
Location: Cathedral of Seville
2. Climb up to the iconic La Giralda tower!
La Giralda is the name of one of the main symbols of Seville – the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville. It was built in the 12th century as a minaret for a mosque during the Islamic period in Andalusia.
When the territory was again ruled by the Catholics, many buildings around the city were redesigned for Christians. So the top part with bells and the statue was added to the tower. You can now climb up to the top part of the tower to see Seville from above!
La Giralda tower is one of the most popular places to visit in Seville so it was quite busy. You can buy tickets to the tower at the same time you buy tickets online for visiting the cathedral.
Visits to the tower happen first – before you are allowed to explore the cathedral, everyone is directed to climb up to the tower first. There is a spiral ramp without steps leading up to the very top of the tower. From there you can observe Seville to all sides.
Walking up to the top of La Giralda is one of the bucket list things to do in Seville. There is no better place to see the city from above, although the view is a bit covered as there are bars in front of the windows on top.
If you buy tickets well in advance, you can try to walk up on round hours when the bells ring! You are standing right below them so the sound is pretty loud and impressive. An extra show for you if you time it right!
Tip! You must buy tickets in advance. You can do that online on the website of the Cathedral of Seville.
See La Giralda tower with a drink at La Terraza del EME!
If you are looking for a special experience, a real hidden gem in Seville is this excellently positioned rooftop terrace – La Terraza del EME. It is a rooftop lounge just a few meters away from the Cathedral of Seville with the most magical views.
We went to this rooftop terrace right after visiting the cathedral to have some refreshing cocktails after the visit. Obviously, the best part of this spot is the view of the cathedral and La Giralda tower – you can see everything up close.
Although we went during the day, this is an especially amazing place to be during sunset hours when the city and the tower shine in golden shades. But we loved it during the day as well!
In order to get there you need to go to the EME Catedral Mercer Hotel and tell that you want to go up to the rooftop bar. You will be instructed to go to the elevator to get to the roof. After exiting the elevator there will be a couple of more stairs to climb up to the very top.
As you probably have guessed, this is not a budget bar and the drinks will be a bit pricey. Like 10 EUR per cocktail. And the rooftop lounge is relatively small, however, the best thing is that you can get amazing views from every single place on the terrace.
3. Explore the marvelous Royal Alcázar of Seville!
Royal Alcázar of Seville has to be the crown jewel of Seville. And quite literally, because it was built as a house for kings and still is the house of kings – the upper floors of Alcázar still host the royal family when they visit the city of Seville.
Book now >>> Royal Alcázar Entry Ticket
Royal Alcázar of Seville is a complex that consists of palaces, patios, courtyards, staterooms, unique bathing rooms, and massive gardens with pathways, ponds, fountains, trees and flowers, benches, pavilions, and even a garden maze.
Visiting Royal Alcázar of Seville was probably one of my favorite things to do in Seville! And it is a must-visit place for any visitor to Seville. The Royal Alcázar is a prime example of the Mudéjar architectural style in Spain.
In terms of architecture, the most special and exquisite places are Patio de Doncellas, which is the main courtyard in the Alcázar and Salón de Embajadores hall that features outstanding ornaments and decors in Mudéjar style.
If you want some iconic photos from Seville, then Royal Alcázar of Seville is one of the best places full of some of the best Instagram spots in Seville. Built for royalty, this place is full of marvelous wonders!
The most famous Instagram photo spots in the Royal Alcázar you will find in the main palace courtyard – Patio de Doncellas, Doña María de Padilla bathing house, Salón de Embajadores hall, and in the gardens.
I highly recommend coming to Royal Alcázar of Seville for the earliest time in the morning and buying tickets online in advance! This way you can get to the most beautiful spots early and even get a photo without crowds in the background!
4. Enjoy the riverside of the Guadalquivir River and spot the Torre del Oro tower!
One of the best things to do in Seville includes visiting the iconic Torre del Oro! It is a 13th-century defensive watchtower built in order to control the access to Seville from the Guadalquivir River. It got its name because the tower reflected a golden shine in the river.
You can not only admire the tower from the outside, but you can visit a small museum inside the tower for free. However, the best bit is that you can climb on the roof of Torre del Oro. From there you can get amazing views over the river and the city.
Riverside was one of my favorite places to be in Seville – I love the fresh air and the free space around it. There is a wide promenade for pedestrians, runners, and cyclists, there are trees for some shade and benches to sit on and relax.
If you want to get some breeze in your hair or simply take a break from walking around, I recommend you to go on a small-group Guadalquivir river cruise (with optional drinks and a meal) and admire the scenic riverside views of Seville from a premium yacht!
5. Pay a visit to the bustling Plaza de España square!
Plaza de España is a landmark square in Seville and one of the most famous places in Seville, Andalusia, and in Spain! The best thing about it is that you can visit Plaza de España square for free – there is no entrance fee!
Plaza de España square is part of Parque de María Luisa park – one of the most beautiful parks in Seville – and was built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition that took place in Seville. Visiting this square MUST be on your ‘things to do in Seville’ list!
The square is shaped in a half-circle with two massive towers, a water feature and bridges over it, and a long walkway lined with arches. It is one of the most picturesque and Instagrammable places in Seville with numerous iconic photo opportunities!
The square has beautiful architecture and simply stunning ornaments and decorative elements. It features scenic bridges with lanterns, archways, and beautiful ornaments decorated with colorful tiles. There is a dedicated spot all around the square for every province in Spain.
I do realize that my photos feature absolutely no people, however, I am telling you – this square is normally full of life, chatter, boats chilling in the water, people dancing, and music everywhere!
If you want all the fun in the world then come here in the afternoon or in the evening! If you want some peace and quiet or you are looking for some beautiful photos like these (not bragging at all, haha!), then come here in the morning between 8 and 9 AM!
Location: Plaza de España
6. Join the famous Seville Tapas Crawl!
If anything tells a story about a place, it is food! One of the best things to do in Seville is to go on an Andalusian tapas journey – Seville Tapas Crawl – that will teach you, show you, and let you taste the essence of Seville!
Seville tapas crawl takes you to authentic and emblematic tapas bars in Seville and gives you a unique gastronomical experience! Engulde in 10 or more different tapas, desserts as well as various drinks while learning about the food culture of Seville!
Book now >>> Seville Tapas Crawl
7. Marvel at the architecture and enjoy the picturesque palace gardens at Casa de Pilatos!
Amongst the best things to do in Seville is visiting the dazzling Casa de Pilatos! It is a 16th-century palace located in the historic part of Seville’s city center. Casa de Pilatos is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Seville!
Book now >>> Casa de Pilatos Ground Floor Entry Ticket
The jewel of this place is the main courtyard. It blends together Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance, and Romantic elements through statues, archways, marble, and colorful tiles. You will be speechless by the ornate details that this palace features!
As you walk around the patio, pay attention to all the elements – the carvings, the statues, the windows with columns and arches, the colorful tiles creating delicate mosaics, the metal doors with golden coat of arms, and so on.
There are two gardens in the palace complex. The gardens in private residences centuries ago were a major sign of wealth. And these ones in Casa de Pilatos are truly the oasis of peace – this was one of my favorite things to do in Seville for sure!
Gardens are decorated with lush plants and blooming flowers, colorful benches and fountains, flower pots, and trees. By the way, several movies have been shot here including Lawrence of Arabia, Kingdom of Heaven, and Knight and Day.
Location: Casa de Pilatos
8. Take a look at the wooden masterpiece – Setas de Sevilla!
Setas de Sevilla is an architectural masterpiece in the heart of Seville city. It is a massive wooden structure in the shape of mushrooms (‘setas’ in Spanish). This is definitely one of the most iconic places in the city!
Initially, the project was called the ‘Metropol Parasol’, but local citizens started to call them ‘setas’ or ‘mushrooms’ so the name was officially changed. And I agree with the citizens – these look like mushrooms, haha!
Setas de Sevilla was built in 2011 as the largest wooden structure in the world. You can either admire it from the side or pay 15 EUR to climb up on top to a viewing platform. You can’t leave Seville without visiting the iconic Setas de Sevilla!
From the viewing platform, you will get unmatched views over Seville city! Check out more info about prices and working hours on their website! If you are looking for things to do in Seville at sunset then this is it – you will get magical sunset views from the top!
Although we did not get to climb on the roof platform of Setas de Sevilla, we definitely were amazed by them while standing at the bottom. They did an incredible job when building this structure!
Location: Setas de Sevilla
9. Walk the magical gardens and courtyards of Palacio de las Dueñas!
One of my favorite things to do in Seville was exploring the magical Palacio de las Dueñas palace complex! It is a 15th-century palace featuring a very rich collection of art pieces from around the world.
Book now >>> Las Dueñas Palace Ticket and Audioguide
This massive complex consists of multiple palace buildings, patios, and stunning gardens with blooming trees and water systems. It takes a while to see everything as there are so many unique and beautiful corners, gardens, and rooms!
In my humble opinion, this palace is one of the most beautiful places in Seville. The architecture, the gardens, the archways around the patios, fountains, sculptures, and endless rooms full of art pieces and objects make this a must-visit spot in Seville.
Every corner in the Palacio de las Dueñas complex is so beautiful and well-maintained! Makes it hard to choose my favorite place! But I guess the main patio with yellow arches could be THE ONE.
In the 20th century, this palace became a meeting place for the members of many European royal families and international celebrities like Jacqueline Kennedy, Wallis Simpson, and Grace Kelly.
Although it is a bit pricey (we paid 12 EUR each) this is one of those places that I felt was absolutely worth the price! And this is the right place to come for some of the most stunning Instagram photo spots in Seville!
The entrance fee includes audioguides so you can find out more about this beautiful place – just follow the corresponding numbers around the property and listen to the guide.
Tip! Make sure to check their website before coming because quite often they close the whole palace for private events.
10. Discover Seville’s local food markets!
One of the must-do things to do in Seville or any city you visit is to explore the local gastronomy! With all the restaurants and bars this city has to offer Seville’s markets may go unnoticed.
However, they deserve everyone’s attention because they are true hidden gems in Seville! Markets are not only great shopping places but amazing for any meal of the day offering fresh produce right from the food stalls!
Mercado de Triana
One of the most famous markets in Seville is Mercado de Triana. It is located in the Triana neighborhood on the left side of the river. This is where you should go to get an authentic market experience in Seville.
Triana market is full of fresh produce and tapas bars. You can not only buy all the things you can typically find in the market (not just food!), but you can choose a table at one of many tapas bars inside the market and order freshly prepared food right from the food stands.
Mercado Lonja del Barranco
Mercado Lonja del Barranco is another wonderful market in Seville! This is a more modern market – like a gourmet food court. The market is housed inside a beautiful 19th-century iron building that was once a fish market.
Today you can go there and choose one of their many restaurants, take a seat inside or on their terrace, and enjoy a meal. This was more suited for us so we chose this one for a quick lunch. We opted for some Argentinian empanadas. Anyone can find something they like here!
Mercado del Arenal
Mercado del Arenal is another great choice for lunch. Some of the marketplaces are dedicated to product stands where you can go shopping.
However, other parts are restaurants where you can go and choose something you would like to eat and drink for lunch. When we visited many of the stalls were closed and this market was not too visited, so we only explored it for a couple of minutes.
However, it definitely looked like it would be worth a visit so don’t skip it! This market is the closest to the center of the city and is definitely worth checking out!
11. Marvel at the mosaics at the Palace of the Countess of Lebrija!
The Palace of the Countess of Lebrija is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Seville! It is a 16th-century palatial home decorated with Arabic-style arches around the patio and one of the most stunning Roman mosaic collections you will ever see.
The glamorous house is a private home that belongs to an aristocratic family. You can not only visit the ground floor, the courtyard, and the gardens but also join guided tours around the upper floor that take place on round hours.
The upper floor displays a very rich collection of artifacts from around the world including from China, Japan, and many other countries. I thought the tour would never end – there were so many rooms that were stuffed full of artifacts! So much to see!
We visited this exquisite home for a fee of 12 EUR, however, there is a certain time when you can visit the palatial home for free. Make sure to check their website for that as they have limited capacity for those times!
Location: Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija
12. Find the secrets at Archivo de Indias!
If you are looking for things to do in Seville for free then this is a unique place to explore right in the heart of the city! Archivo de Indias is a national archive housing documents about the colonization times and the New World era. You can visit it for free!
Obviously, you are not allowed to search the documents as a visitor, however, there are a couple of original letters from explorers as Columbus put on display. It was quite incredible to see such artifacts!
The building itself is very beautiful! Built in the Renaissance style it is now listed as a World Heritage Site. I especially loved the big hallway with all the shelves of documents lined along the walls as well as the patio in the middle of the building.
If you have some spare during your travels then visiting this unique building is a great thing to do in Seville! Considering it is free to visit, you should not miss the opportunity to see such an iconic place!
Location: Archivo de Indias
13. See an authentic flamenco show – a dance born in Andalusia!
There is a fantastic way to make your trip to Seville more fun and exciting! Did you know that the art of flamenco dancing was created in Andalusia? Yes – so one of the best things to do in Seville is visit an authentic flamenco show!
There are two main venues with regular flamenco shows in Seville. One of them is a flamenco show at Teatro Flamenco Sevilla. World-class performers, singing, dancing, guitar sounds, vibrant red outfits, and passion – you get it all in 1-hour performance!
Another place to experience the magical flamenco performance is at Seville’s Flamenco Dance Museum – a beautiful 18th-century building. Both venues are in the center of Seville and are great options for an unforgettable dance show in Seville!
14. Walk through the spectacular Plaza del Cabildo!
Plaza del Cabildo was one of my favorite places in Seville and a cool spot to go if you are looking for things to do in Seville for free. It is a beautiful semicircular square with painted arches and a fountain in the middle.
The square is located just a few meters away from the Cathedral of Seville – right in the heart of the city. There is a tunnel leading to this square from Avenida de la Constitución street which runs right next to the cathedral.
Although there is nothing else to do in the square besides admiring its beauty and absolute uniqueness, this is still a great spot to hide away from the busyness of the streets around the cathedral.
We came here in the morning when there were just a few people around. It is my understanding that from time to time this square hosts flea markets or other events so in that case it would be a more interesting spot to visit.
But if not then come here to get away from the crowds, take a beautiful photo, sit by the fountain, relax, and admire the beautiful architecture. Imagine living in a house with a semi-circular courtyard like this – decorated with white columns and red frescoes! Wow!
15. Explore the magical gardens and parks of Seville!
Parque de María Luisa
María Luisa is a large park in the center of Seville right next to the famous landmark square Plaza de España. At first, you might think there can’t be anything too special about a park, but visiting this park was one of my favorite things to do in Seville!
Starting from statues, monuments, fountains, unique and massive trees, beautiful ceramic benches, playgrounds for kids, and beautiful overgrown flower bushes. This park has a bit of everything. But there is something even more special about it.
The park also hides a couple of ponds and one of them – located right in the middle of the park – is full of swans, ducks, and geese. There is a ton of waterbirds who are thoroughly enjoying life there and socializing on their own and with people.
There is a small island (kind of) in the middle of the pond (Isleta de los Pájaros or Bird Island) with a beautiful and scenic pavilion (gazebo) where you can freely walk on and relax. We did not have time to do that but we saw people sitting there and reading books.
Location: Parque de María Luisa
Plaza de América in María Luisa park
Another unique corner connected to María Luisa park is Plaza de América. As you will notice with many places around Seville, a lot of places here were built and created for the Ibero-American Exhibition in 1929 to make the city more beautiful and full of picturesque places.
Plaza de América features picturesque ponds, ornate gardens, and pavillions around it that make a beautiful reflection in the water if you look at it from the right angle. With palm trees, blooming flower pots, and sculptures this is a charming place to visit in Seville!
I especially enjoyed the architecture of the building surrounding the Plaza de América. The most beautiful was the building of the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions next to the plaza.
Although we did not visit the museum, the outside of it was very picturesque. It has massive metal doors and detailed arches surrounding them. Stop by if you are in the area!
With such stunning and vast gardens nearby as those in the Royal Alcázar of Seville, the Murillo Gardens often get overlooked. If you have seen the Alcazar, it may seem you have seen the most beautiful spots in Seville, however, I beg to differ.
Murillo Gardens is a long stretch of gardens with fountains, beautiful trees, benches hiding in the shade, and other architectural ornaments hidden in the lush green area.
And because it is located right next to the Royal Alcázar of Seville I recommend at least walking through this scenic place. it will only be a short detour, but a very scenic one for sure!
16. Pay a FREE visit to Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla!
I have never been a museum kind of person. Well, with some very rare exceptions, of course. However, Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla or Seville Museum of Fine Arts grabbed my attention.
If you are into centuries-old paintings and exquisite art, and you are looking for things to do in Seville for free then this will be your next favorite thing to do in Seville! I’m not always able to appreciate the true value of art, but this was a special place to visit for sure.
I will tell you the best part about it right away – the Seville Museum of Fine Arts is free to visit for EU citizens and only 1.5 EUR for travelers from other countries. Basically – nothing!
For this non-existent entrance fee, you get to visit two floors in this 17th-century palace. There is a large collection of sculptures and paintings, including some by the famous painters Diego Velázquez and El Greco dating back to the Middle Ages.
Aside from the art, there are three beautiful courtyards and patios where you can enjoy the architecture or sit down and enjoy the fresh air. The patios are lined with ceramic mosaics and arches which make for some beautiful and unique photos.
Location: Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla
17. Get lost in the Santa Cruz neighborhood and find Rosina’s Balcony!
Santa Cruz neighborhood in Seville is the most visited area in Seville and features some of the most iconic landmark sites in the city, including the Royal Alcázar of Seville.
Walking the streets of the Santa Cruz neighborhood is amongst the best things to do in Seville. It is full of hidden gems, popular restaurants, and shops. We spent quite some time wandering around this area!
There is a beautiful street that is popular amongst tourists – Calle Agua street. It lines along the walls of the Royal Alcázar of Seville and, in some parts, the street is covered by overgrown bushes of purple flowers.
At the end of Calle Agua street, you will find one of the most unique tourist attractions in Seville – Rosina’s Balcony. According to a legend, this exact balcony in Seville inspired the popular 19th-century opera about the Barber of Seville written by the Italian composer Gioachino Rossini.
It is supposed to be the balcony where Figaro encourages the Count of Almaviva to climb up in search of his true love Rosina. And the balcony where Rosina is looking out and sings her aria of love for the Count of Almaviva.
Obviously, there are some truths to the legends, but there is a reason why it is just a legend. It is known that the building as it looks today was constructed many years after the world-famous opera was already created. So this is definitely not the exact look of Rosina’s balcony. But who knows…?
18. Ride the Guadalquivir River waves into the sunset!
To finish your Seville trip on a relaxing highlight I recommend taking a SUP boarding tour in the evening! While floating and paddling in the calm Guadalquivir River, you get to experience the city from a different – more unique – perspective.
The Guadalquivir River is the only navigable river in Spain and it holds an important part in Spain’s history. It was in this river that sailors returned from the Americas with things to trade thus Seville became the economic center of the Spanish Empire.
Book now >>> Sunset and Evening Paddle Boarding Tour
19. Step back in time to visit the ancient Roman city – Itálica!
Itálica is a hidden gem in Andalusia just a few minutes’ drive away from Seville! Itálica is an archeological complex of a place that once was an ancient Roman city founded by the Romans 206 years BC when they had conquered the territory of today’s Spain.
This was an iconic city said to be the birthplace of three future Roman emperors – Trajan, Hadrian, and Theodosius. Itálica was actually the first Roman settlement in the territory of today’s Spain and the first Roman city outside of Italy.
You can visit this iconic archeological site for free if you are a citizen of the EU. The visit costs just 1.50 EUR for nationals from other countries. Itálica is actually a pretty well-preserved Roman city considering it was covered by the ground for a long time.
Italica features cobbled Roman streets, baths, and many buildings. The star of the show is the majestic amphitheater said to be the third largest amphitheater in the Roman empire seating 25 000 spectators (about half as in the Colosseum in Rome).
More Andalusia travel inspiration!
Seville is the perfect place if you are looking for a unique and exciting travel destination! With its stunning architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture, the so-called Pearl of Andalusia is a must-see destination for any traveler.
I hope you enjoy your time in this landmark city in Spain as much as we did! We spent about a week exploring every famous and every hidden corner this vibrant city had to offer and I will always remember it with the best memories of our time here.
And I also hope you will get some inspiration from this list of the best things to do in Seville and it will help make your trip to Seville even more adventurous, fun, and exciting! Seville truly is a city full of wonders waiting to be discovered! Happy exploring!