Seville offers the visitor an array of food and wine with bustling tapas bars and a lively, flamboyant nightlife. It is the birthplace of flamenco and, according to myth, is 3,000 years old. Moorish architecture, Mudéjar palaces, plant-decked plaza and baroque churches make it one of Europe’s must-visit destinations. Read our guide for the best of Seville in 48 hours.
Travel Essentials for the best of Seville in 48 hours.
Airline: easyJet from London Luton (LTN) to Seville (SVQ). From £70, return.
Mode of transport: Exit the airport, on the left is the EA Especial Aeropuerto bus to reach the city.
Cost: 4€ (Adult single).
Journey time to centre: 35 minutes.
Need to know
Visa: From 1st January 2021, UK residents can visit Spain for 90 days maximum in any 180 day period.
Travel: See the FCDO website.
Currency: Euro (£1 = €1.11 approximately).
Language: Spanish. English is spoken and understood.
Best time to visit: March to May.
Time: GMT +1.
Quick facts about Seville
- Seville Cathedral is the world’s largest Gothic cathedral.
- Christopher Columbus, the famous explorer, is buried at the cathedral.
- Houses the world’s largest wooden structure, Las Setas.
- Has the most orange trees in the world, roughly 25,000.
- It is the birthplace of tapas.
Day 1 – The best of Seville in 48 hours
- Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold) – Not accessible (free on Mondays after 1500 hrs).
- Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza – Not accessible.
- Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Sevilla) – €10 (Adult).
- Gate of Forgiveness – Free (from outside).
- Casas de la Judería – Free.
- Plaza del Cabildo – Free.
- Royal Alcázar of Seville – Not accessible.
- Plaza del al Virgin de los Reyes – Free.
- Plaza Nueva – Free.
- Hotel Alfonso XIII – Free (from outside).
- University of Seville – Free (from outside).
- San Telmo Palace – Free (from outside).
- Plaza de España – Free.
- Parque de María Luisa – Free.
- Las Setas De Sevilla – Free.
Torro del Oro (Tower of Gold)
A 12-sided military watchtower built in the 13th century served as a prison in the Middle Ages. From the top, Triana is visible across the Canal de Alfonso XIII.
Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza
Near the Teatro is the 13,000 seat cathedral of bullfighting, the Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla. As the largest and most important arena for bullfighting in Spain, and worth visiting. Peak time is two weeks following Easter, during the Feria de Abril festival.
The Museo Taurino, is the museum at the Plaza de toros. A tour includes Francisco de Goya’s paintings, costumes of bullfighters, and the four famous bulls in Seville’s history. Curro Romero, Spain’s most famous bullfighter, stands proudly in the garden next door.
Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Sevilla)
A mixture of Gothic and Baroque styles, the cathedral is the world’s largest current serving one, completed in 1528. The Giralda, or bell tower from 1184, stands 96m (314.96ft) tall. Islamic influence is clear from the minaret.
Approximately 4,400lb (1995kg) of gold is embedded in the cathedral. Features include the High Altar, Christopher Columbus’s tomb, the Chapter House and the Giralda Tower. There is a 35 segments of winding ramp to the top where giant bells in the tower ring every 30 minutes.
Gate of Forgiveness
When leaving, pass through the horseshoe-shaped Door of Forgiveness, the cathedral’s oldest door from 1256. Verses from the Qur’an decorate it, and above the arch are 16th-century sculptures of Jesus. Legends says that Saint Peter holds the door’s keys, despite his death in AD65.
Casas de la Judería
A maze of two palaces and 27 houses is a family-owned hotel restored to its former 15th-century glory. Guests have included royalty, celebrities and former presidents. Located in the old Jewish quarter, the hotel, with a distinctly Moroccan feel, is discrete as one would expect.
Plaza del Cabildo
Plaza del Cabildo is along a narrow walkway opposite the cathedral off the Avenida de la Constitución. The frescoed archways are the square’s main feature.
Royal Alcázar of Seville
Influences of Islamic architecture at the Real Alcazár are visible. The ceiling of the Sala de Justicia is made of Mudéjar plasterwork. Decorated archways, carvings, and tiles line the labyrinth of interlocking palaces and oasis-influenced gardens.
Plaza de la Virgen de los Reyes
Located behind the cathedral is one of Seville’s prettiest squares with a fountain, Fuente de la Plaza Virgen de Los Reyes. This is an place where people meet, converse and enjoy the surroundings.
Another scenic spot to enjoy the sunshine is this small park, Plaza Nueva at the end of the Avenida de la Constitución.
Hotel Alfonso XIII
On the corner of Puerta Jerez is the luxurious Hotel Alfonso XIII. Commissioned in 1929 by the King of Spain, it is an impressive hotel both inside and out. For a table at the San Fernando restaurant, a reservation is advisable.
University of Seville
Next to the Alfonso hotel is the University of Seville, formerly the Royal Tobacco Factory. During the 18th century, it was the most significant industrial building in the world and still operating until the 1950s. The character Carmen, from the opera of the same name, fictionally worked here.
San Telmo Palace
San Telmo is a Baroque-style palace and government building, which holds the seat of the Andalusian Autonomous Government. It was a university for navigators, and the main façade shows sculptures of twelve prominent Sevillians.
Plaza de España
This instantly recognisable semi-circular brick building in Seville, built-in 1928, is striking from many different angles. Visiting at sunset is the best time for photo opportunities. Walking from the ground-level entrance to the first-floor balcony provides a view of the entire building and the best panoramic views.
Along the wall are 48 alcoves with benches, one for every Spanish province, each with its own tableau and map, all designed on colourful ceramic tiles. Seville does not have an alcove. Each bridge represents one of Spain’s four ancient kingdoms, namely Castille, Aragon, Navarre, and Leon.
Parque de María Luisa
Adjacent to the Plaza de España is this public park stretching along the Guadalquivir River. It houses many monuments and The Mudejar Pavilion, now the Museum of Arts and Traditions of Sevilla.
Las Setas De Sevilla
Las Setas is the largest wooden sculptural structure in the world, with a rooftop walkway, viewpoint and museum. In the neighbourhood are several good restaurants.
Day 2 – The best of Seville in 48 hours
After crossing the Puente de San Telmo, the main sights are on the right-hand side. Triana is famous for traditional pottery and is the birthplace of flamenco. A route covering the main attractions includes:
- Calle Bettis – a colourful street on the river bank with many façades. One can observe Seville’s historic quarter from this side of the river with plenty of restaurants and tapas bars here.
- Real Parroquia de Señora Santa Ana – A historic 13th-century Catholic church with Gothic Mudéjar architecture, a crypt, and a museum.
- Capilla de Los Marineros – A small chapel worth a look inside.
- Plaza del Altozano – A square with an avant-garde statue of Juan Belmonte García, a 1970s local bullfighter who survived many near-fatal gorings.
- Triana Market (Mercado de Triana) – An indoor market selling fresh produce, meat, ready prepared meals, and a museum. Inside is the Taller Andaluz de Cocina, a Spanish cookery school taught by professional chefs.
- Puente de Isabel II – The bridge crosses back to the historic quarter. Also visible from here is the Capilla Virgen del Carmen. At the foot of the bridge, next to the river, is Mariatrifulca, a stylish tapas bar and restaurant.
- Muelle de la Sal – This riverfront pier is popular with walkers, passing by the Monumento a la Tolerancia.
The verdict on the best of Seville in 48 hours
With plenty to see and do in Seville, this part of Spain feels different from other regions. Venturing through the streets teeming with tapas bars, sampling jamón Ibérico and olives, the pretty plazas, and the parks should put Seville near the top of any travel list. During the day and on those long, balmy summer nights, Seville is a fun city with alfresco dining and vibrant nightlife. It is hard to pack the best of Seville in 48 hours, but there is enough to keep everyone occupied.
Visiting the rest of Andalusía with Seville as a base is perfect. Itálica, the oldest Roman city in Spain, is ideal for a half-day trip, as is Carmona with its ancient town and fortress. By car, Cadiz, Córdoba and Ronda are easily accesible.
Read about our other Spanish breaks.