What to See and Do in Seville Spain







I have been to Seville twice and loved my last trip in 2012. I remember now why I really love this city. It is a walking city with wonderful architecture and architectural details. It has hidden gardens, great hotels, restaurants and tapas bars and has many neighborhoods to explore and sites to see!!

Here is what I recommend:

Walk through the small winding streets of the Juderia which is part of Santa Cruz. You will find small shops, small plazas with bars and tapas restaurants. You may get lost but that is part of the fun.

La Maestranza, Paseo Cristobal Colon 12: This is the famous Seville bullring which hosted its first bull fight in 1881 after construction began in 1761. It holds approximately 13,000 people. Make sure you sign up for the tour which lets you see the interior including the royal box, the stables, the chapel and the ornate Puerta del Principe which, if victorious, the matadors are allowed to use to leave the ring. There is an interesting museum with paintings, Goya drawings, bull fight posters, matador costumes and other related materials. The ring is still owned by La Maestranza, an order of Knights.

Cathedral and La Giralda, Avenida de las Constitucion: The Cathedral is really outstanding. I think the main altar is one of the most spectacular anywhere. You must see this as it is huge and all gold! Afterwards climb the 36 flights up La Giralda which is a tower that is the only thing left from Seville’s mosque. There are wonderful views of the city from the top!! It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Reales Alcazares: This was the former Moorish palace when they ruled Spain. This should be high on your list. The rooms, with their intricate carvings and tile work, are really exceptional. The gardens are also wonderful. You could spend hours just walking, getting lost, looking at beauty and enjoying history. It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Iglesia San Salvador: Just west of the Cathedral, this was included in the price of the Cathedral visit. The church is worth seeing. There is a wonderful altar with two great side altars as well. There are several carved figures displayed in the side chapels that look like they are carried through the streets during Easter Week or Semana Santa. Semana Santa in Seville is supposed to be the most impressive anywhere.

Torre del Oro: This is a beautiful military watch tower located along the Canal de Alfonso XIII a short distance west of the bullring or Plaza de Toros de las Maestranza. It was built in the first third of the 13th century. It is now a naval museum.

Metropole Parasol: This is a new wooden building on La Encarnacion Square. It was designed by German architect Jurgen Mayer-Hermann and completed in April 2011. It is popularly known as the mushrooms due to its undulating blonde timber structures with a honeycomb roof. It is the world’s largest wooden building at 450 feet long and seven stories tall. On the lower level is a neighborhood market. There is an archaeological museum as well as a number of cafes and restaurants.

La Alameda de Hercules: Located in the San Vincenti neighborhood, I walked there on the way across the bridge to La Cartuja to see some of the more contemporary architecture that was built and to visit the Contemporary Art Museum. The neighborhood had declined but is now a large pedestrian area with many cafes and restaurants.

Contemporary Architecture in Cartuja: If you want to see more of a modern Seville, walk across the Puente de la Barqueta and walk down Calle Matematicos Rey Pastor y Castro and Calle de Marie Curie. There are several pavilions left from the Expo in 1992. This can be skipped if you run out of time

Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo (CAAC), Avenida Americo Vespucio 2: This is the Seville contemporary art museum, located in the former Carthusian monastery Santa Maria de la Cuevas, founded in 1401. It is a huge structure with only a few exhibition spaces. It seems to have more exhibitions rather than a good permanent collection. I would check the website before you go to see if you like the exhibitions before making the effort to get there.

Puente del Alamillo: Make sure to see the bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava for the 1992 Expo in La Cartuja. It is a harp like structure. To me it almost looks very bird-like with the eye and beak at the top.

Museo de Bellas Artes, Plaza del Museo 9: I ran out of steam and could not see one more old or religious painting. But there is an art museum in Seville which you might want to see if you have the time or had not seen as many museums as I have on this trip.