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First Timer's Guide to Seville, Spain

9 May 2018

Felicia Malolos

Klook Travel Curator

Seville for first-timers

This charming little town in the province of Andalusia, Spain has captured the hearts of tourists all over the world. Prepare to be brought back in time with the city’s rich history, culture, and stunning architecture. This quaint city in the south of Spain is a beautiful blend of Spanish cities like Barcelona and Madrid, adding in three UNESCO World Heritage sites to the mix. If you can spare two or three days, make sure you stop by this lively, vibrant town of Seville.

Klook activities in Seville

Seville Guided Walking Half Day Tour of the Monuments

  • Start: 11:00 AM
  • End: 2:00 PM

Places of interest covered:

  • Alcazar de Seville
  • Seville Cathedral
  • Giralda Tower
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Seville Santa Cruz Guided Walking Night Tour

  • Start: 9:30 PM
  • End: 11:15 PM

Places of interest covered:

  • Barrio Santa Cruz
  • Seville Cathedral
  • Plaza del Triunfo
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Seville Alcazar, Cathedral, and Giralda Tower Half Day Tour

  • Start: 9:15 AM
  • End:1:20 PM

Places of interest covered:

  • Alcazar of Seville
  • Seville Cathedral
  • Giralda Tower
  • Plaza Espana
  • Isabel II Bridge
  • Macarena Basilica
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Seville Highlights

1. Real Alcazar de Seville

A trip to Seville would be incomplete without a visit to the Real Alcaza de Seville. This is considered the city’s most significant tourist attraction, and anybody who steps foot into this palace will definitely be floored by its elegance! This royal residence is still often used by the Royal Spanish Family during their trips to Seville, making it the oldest active palace in Europe.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site was first developed by Moorish Muslim kings in the 8th century and has gone through multiple renovations since then. Each section of the palace boasts a unique architectural style that will surely leave tourists in awe. Though the palace is definitely stunning, the real show-stopper are Real Alcazar’s gardens. The palace’s landscaped gardens are filled with a variety of trees, flowers, fountains and the occasional peacocks who roam the grounds. Tourists can possibly get lost and lose track of time while roaming this section of the palace.

Fans of Game of Thrones would probably recognize this attraction because several of the series’ scenes were filmed on this site! Schedule your visits early in the day to avoid the crowds that usually turn up in the afternoon.

2. Plaza de Espana

There are several Plaza Espanas located all over Spain, but what makes the Plaza de Espana in Seville the most enchanting is its idyllic location and captivating design. It features the city’s signature Moorish design and a unique set of hand painted ceramics that stretch all throughout the square.

The scene at the square is made even more charming with flamenco street dancers, horse-drawn carriages, a venetian inspired canal and orange tree-lined gardens. Tourists can surely spend hours in Plaza de Espana just watching time pass by.

Star Wars fans are in for a treat! The halls of the Plaza de Espana were used as a film site for Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones. This just proves that the Plaza de Espana can transport you to an entirely new dimension!

3. Metropol Parasol

Located at the heart of the old quarter is the world’s biggest wooden structure - the Metropol Parasol. Known locally as Las Setas or “The Mushrooms”, this structure is a heavy contrast from Seville’s well-preserved buildings; proving that the city has more to offer than its rich history.

Don’t miss out on the area around the Metropol Parasol! The avenues surrounding this contemporary structure are beaming with culture and great places to dine. Locals march down to this area for good food and good company, so it’s also a great place to experience and observe the local life!

Klook Tip: The Metropol Parasol offers spectacular panoramic views from the top walkway! We recommend scheduling your visit sometime during sundown to watch the city transform at night from the rooftop bar.

4. Seville Cathedral

The Seville Cathedral is not just another ordinary cathedral. It was initially built on a the remains of the city’s grand mosque, which explains its remarkable Moorish design. Boasting lavish altars, elaborate exteriors and home to Christopher Columbus’ final resting place, this cathedral became a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. Its renovation was meant to showcase the city’s wealth and the triumph of Christianity in the city of Seville.

After you’ve explored every nook and cranny, make your way up to the Giralda Tower! From there, you can admire the magnificent views of the colorful town, showcasing the fact that there is truly nothing dull about this Spanish city.

Klook Tip: Time your visits early in the morning to avoid the crowds. The Seville Cathedral is the world’s largest gothic cathedral, so it may actually take a while to explore! Take your time and admire the stunning architecture of Seville’s most prominent attraction.

5. Torre del Oro

The Torre del Oro is tower located near the Isabel II Bridge at Seville’s riverside. Its nickname “The Golden Tower” is a bit of a misnomer since the tower isn’t actually made of gold, but got its name from how sunlight is reflected on the exterior walls.

Though small, this tower is packed with history! It was initially built as a military watchtower and served as a prison at one point. Today the Torre del Oro is the city’s most important Naval museum housing letters, antique navigation instruments and historical documents.

The Torre del Oro also offers beautiful views of Seville overlooking the river Guadalquivir! Tourists can surely catch some of Seville’s best sunsets from this post.

6. Barrio Santa Cruz

This former Jewish Quarter is a major hit with tourists! The area of Barrio Santa Cruz offers tourists a glimpse of authentic Spanish life with its tapas bars, flamenco street dancers, and orange tree lined streets. With its narrow but charming streets, the old Santa Cruz district is best explored on foot! Barrio Santa Cruz is not far from the Seville Cathedral and Alcazar so tourists can take a breather at this quarter after a long day of sightseeing.

The best time to visit Barrio Santa Cruz is either before lunch or for dinner. Locals usually take time for a siesta during the afternoon, so hardly any of the quarter’s usual bustle will be seen during this time.

Eat your way through Seville

1. Tapas

Tapas are a huge part of Spanish culture, and most especially in the region of Andalusia. Sometimes treated as an appetizer, sometimes as a meal, and often enjoyed with a drink. There are a wide variety of tapas to choose from, but for starters, try the gambas, croquettas, and the chorizo!

Although there are tapas bars all over the city, we recommend tourists to try Taberna Coloniales or Taberna Alabardero!

2. Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a Spanish dish enjoyed by many locals! Spain surely gets the warmest weather in all of Europe, so to help with the heat, why not have some of Seville’s cold vegetable soup?

Locals recommend El Riconcillo for the best gazpacho in town! This is located in Calle Gerona and happens to be one the city's most iconic tapas bars!

3. Paella

Having paella in Spain is almost like a rite of passage. Regions all over Spain offer a wide variety of recipes that you absolutely cannot miss! Tourists must have a taste of the Valencia Paella, or for a more gastronomic experience, try the Arros Negre Paella at La Paella Sevilla!