A city founded by Hercules, and the capital of the Province of Andalusia are some of the hints of our next city. It is also the fourth-largest city in Spain. This is Seville. With beautiful sights and vibrant nightlife, there is so much to do with 1 day in Seville. The Pearl of Andalusia is special in every way.
From the birthplace of Flamenco to delicious tapas, your trip here would be a memorable one. In our guide, we walk you through the highlights the city has to offer, such as:
- Torre del Oro
- The Alcazar of Seville
- Plaza de España
- Seville Cathedral
- La Giralda
- Setas de Sevilla
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Where is Seville?
Seville lies east of the Guadalquivir River and about 340 miles from Madrid. While the Old City has narrow alleys, small squares, and charming homes decorated in Moorish style. The city has a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers with moderate rainfall during its mild winters.
Snowfall is unheard of with the last snowfall occurring in 1954. With an average of 3,000 sunshine hours, Seville is the hottest city in Continental Europe. While tourism plays a major part in its economy, its inland port is one of Spain’s busiest ports. Shipbuilding, commerce, and manufacturing are the other commercial mainstays of the city.
Since ancient times, Seville has been one of the most important cities on the Iberian Peninsula. With the mythological founder being Hercules, the original core city center dates back to the 8th century. The earliest settlements were by the Tartessians and by the 3rd century, the city became a Roman city.
The city was the birthplace of Trajan and Hadrian, the two greatest rulers of the Roman empire. By the Middle Ages, the Islamic Conquest of the Iberian Peninsula began when Seville fell to Muslim rule during the 8th century. It was at this time that the city became a commercial and cultural center under the Abbadid, Almoravid, and Almohad rule.
After the Siege of Seville, the city fell into Christian hands with the substantial population of Moorish and Jews driven to exile. Economically, the city was in ruins. It was the Spanish discovery of the Americas that brought prosperity to Seville.
Today, Seville is known for its culture and festivals. The famous celebration is the Semana Santa or the Holy Week which takes place on the seven days leading up to Easter.
In terms of tourist arrivals, Seville is third after Madrid and Barcelona. With 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, museums, and religious landmarks that are so well-preserved, visiting this city is a must. Even if it is just for 1 day in Seville.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on their website, mentions that citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland and their family members may enter Spain using their national identity card or passport. Citizens which require a visa to enter Spain are listed in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Spain is the second-largest country in the European Union with Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Seville being the popular cities for tourism. It is also one of the largest member states of the European Union.
A Schengen Visa gives you entry to Spain and other member states of the European Union, although you may be asked several questions about your purpose, length, and accommodation in Spain. For a Spanish Schengen Visa, you would need:
- A Spanish Visa Application Form
- Two Passport photos
- A valid passport
- Spanish travel health insurance
- Round-trip flight itinerary
- Proof of accommodation, and
- Proof of sufficient financial means
Or, you could apply for a Spanish Visa using iVisa which has an easy and traveler-friendly visa application process, round-the-clock customer service, and secure and safe data centers with state-of-the-art security systems.
How do you get around Seville?
While Seville is the fourth-largest city in Spain and the largest city in the Andalusian region, it may seem that getting around is difficult. With reliable public transportation and walkable streets, getting around Seville is a breeze.
Walking is the best way to get around Seville as most of its main attractions are within walking distance of each other. Make sure to wear proper shoes and always carry a water bottle with you. While walking, stop to enjoy the many pedestrian-friendly streets that are lined with restaurants, souvenir shops, and beautiful balconies.
There is only one metro line in Seville with the three stops closest to the city being Puerta de Jerez, Prado de San Sebastian, and San Bernardo. The tickets are purchased from the kiosk at the station with rates calculated based on the number of “hops” between the sections.
MetroCentro is Seville’s modern tram network. With only 5 stations that take you through the major sights such as the Cathedral to the Royal Alcazar. The journey along the route takes about 20 minutes of walking time.
For tourists, the Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus is ideal where you can explore Seville at your own pace. The sightseeing bus comes with 2 walking tours and entry into Iglesia del Divino Salvador and Iglesia Santa Ana.
Or, you can explore Seville with Tussam Bus which provides access to all neighborhoods within Seville. The circular routes are popular as they pass through the major areas of the city.
Is one day enough in Seville?
One day is enough in Seville for first-timers. While its major landmarks are located within the historic core, there are plenty of museums, parks, and gardens to explore within the city. For an off-beat destination, head to Italica to see the Roman ruins.
Plaza de España
The first of our 1 day in Seville is the Plaza de España. The plaza was built in Maria Luisa Park for the Ibero-American Exposition in 1929 with the concept of a “Moorish paradisical style”. The plaza consists of a half-circle building with palm, orange, and Meditteranean palm trees and is further beautified with fountains, pavilions, and ponds.
There are four bridges over the moat to access the main building. Today, the building houses offices for various government departments while some of the mansions nearby have been converted into museums. A walk in the plaza is surely the best way to start the day as we explore one of the green lungs of Seville.
Is the Plaza de España free?
Yes, Plaza de España is free. There is a separate entrance fee for the museums that are within Maria Luisa Park.
What does Plaza de España mean in English?
Plaza de España in English means “Spain Square” as the plaza and the park was designed to represent the ancient kingdoms of Spain while the tiled alcoves represent the different provinces of Spain.
Royal Alcázar of Seville
The second of our 1 day in Seville is the Royal Alcázar of Seville. This royal place is about 700 meters or an easy 10-minute walk from Plaza de España. The castle sits on the site of a fortress that was destroyed during the Christian conquest of Seville.
The Palacio del Yeso, the Palacio de la Contratación, and the Patio del Crucero are some of the remnants of the Almohad Dynasty. During the Christian era, the palace was rebuilt for Peter of Castile. When walking through the palace, look out for tiles that adorn the building. The technique used on these tiles gave a transparent glaze.
The majolica technique which developed, later on, made it possible to “paint” on ceramic that was covered with white opaque glazes.
How long does it take to see the Royal Alcazar?
It takes about 2 hours to see the Royal Alcazar at a fast pace. A relaxed pace could set you back by 3 hours considering there are at least 10 places to see within the palace.
Is the Alcázar of Seville free?
No, a general ticket costs €14.50 ($14.76) for adults. On Mondays, the free access times are 6 pm and 6.30 pm.
Who lived in Real Alcazar Seville?
Yusuf I, the second Almohad caliph made the Alcazar his residence during the 12th century. During his stay, he expanded the palace with six new enclosures on the north, south, and west side of the existing palaces.
Patio de Doncellas
The third of our 1 day in Seville is Patio de Doncellas or the Courtyard of the Maidens. This beautiful patio is within the Alcázar of Seville. The name refers to the story that the Moors demanded an annual tribute of 100 maidens from the Christian kingdoms of Iberia.
The rooms are arranged around a long rectangular pool with sunken gardens on either side. There is an inscription that King Peter of Castile as “sultan” with the rooms on the lower patio built for him. Patio de Doncellas is within the Alcázar of Seville which means that you only pay once at the entrance of the palace.
Cathedral de Sevilla
The fourth of our 1 day in Seville is the Seville Cathedral or the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See. The cathedral is about 17 meters or an easy 1-minute walk from the Alcázar of Seville.
The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in the world and the fourth-largest church in the world. The church has 15 doors with the Door of Baptism on the western facade is the oldest as it was built during the 15th century.
Among the other doors that are worth stopping by include the Main Door of Assumption, Door of the Prince, Door of Saint Miguel, and the Door of Forgiveness. The cathedral also houses the tombs of Christopher Columbus and his son Ferdinand Columbus.
Why is the cathedral in Seville so famous?
Seville Cathedral is famous because it is a symbol of Christian conquest over the Moors and the tomb of Christopher Columbus. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the construction of the church spanning a century.
How much does it cost to get into the Seville Cathedral?
The cost to get into the Seville Cathedral is €12 for adults at the ticket office. The price is €11 for adults if purchased online. A reduced price of €7 is available at the ticket office while the online price is €6 for students with valid identification and senior citizens. The ticket office is near the Door of the Prince while online purchases can be collected from the Door of the Lizard.
How long does it take to visit Seville Cathedral?
A visit to Seville Cathedral can take up to 2 hours, especially if combined with Giralda Tower. The cathedral is huge and there are many areas for a beautiful Instagram photos.
Is Seville Cathedral worth visiting?
Absolutely! From intricate interiors to tall columns that carry the roof, this church is an architectural marvel. Look out for the pallbearers on the tomb of Christopher Columbus or the 15 doors of the church. There are about 80 chapels in this church, why not count them all?
The fifth of our 1 day in Seville is the La Giralda. The La Giralda is the bell tower of Seville Cathedral. It was originally a minaret for the Great Mosque of Seville during the reign of the Almohad dynasty.
During the siege of Seville, the mosque was converted into a cathedral. The current structure was built in the 15th century, taking 73 years to complete. A belfry extension was added to the top of the tower with the Giraldillo or the weather vane being the finishing touch.
How many floors does the Giralda have?
The Giralda has 35 floors. There are no steps, only circular ramps that take you to the highest floor. As you go higher, look out the windows at every turn for a panoramic view of the city.
How high is the Giralda tower in Seville?
The Giralda stands at a height of 104.1 meters or 342 feet in height. It is one of the iconic symbols of Seville since the Middle Ages.
How many bells does Giralda have?
The Giralda has 24 bells. The Santa Maria la Mayor bell weighs about a ton and a half, making it the heaviest.
How much is the entrance fee to the Giralda?
The entrance fee to the Giralda is €9 ($9.20) which includes entrance to the Divine Salvador Church. Students below the age of 25 years and pensioners enter for €4 ($4.10) while children below the age of 14 years enter for free. La Giralda has free entry on Mondays between 4.30 pm and 6 pm every week.
Torre del Oro
The sixth of our 1 day in Seville is the Torre del Oro or the Tower of Gold. This tower is about 500 meters or a 10-minute walk from La Giralda. The name of the tower comes from the golden shine of the building.
This tower was part of Seville’s Moorish city walls that ran from the Alcazar, the rest of Seville, and Torre de la Plata. The tower was one of two anchor points for a large chain that blocked the Guadalquivir River to stop enemy ships from entering the city.
Who built the Torre del Oro?
Torre del Oro was built by Abu l-Ulà. He was the Almohad Governor of Seville between 1220 and 1221 with the second level being built by Peter of Castile in the 14th century.
How much is the entrance fee for Torre del Oro?
The entrance fee for Torre del Oro is €3 ($3) for adults, €1.50 ($1.53) for students, children between the ages of 6 and 14 years, and senior citizens. Children below the age of 6 years, enter for free.
Setas de Sevilla
The seventh of our 1 day in Seville is the Setas de Sevilla or the “Mushrooms of Seville”. This structure is about 1.1 miles or a 20-minute walk from Torre del Oro. There are six parasols shaped like large mushrooms.
The waffle crown-like structure is said to be the largest wooden structure in the world and is now an icon for Seville. There are 4 levels to explore within this structure. An antiquarium that houses the archaeological remains of Roman and Moorish is at the basement level.
An open-air public plaza at Level 1 with wooden parasols provides shades after a long walk from Torre del Oro. Panoramic terraces and a restaurant with views of the city center are on Levels 2 and 3 of this structure.
Is Metropol Parasol free?
No, Metropol Parasol is not free. The entry ticket to the Antiquarium is €2 ($2) while the entrance to “El Mirador” is €5 ($5) in the morning and €10 ($10) in the evening. Alternatively, you can get the skip-the-line Las Setas entry ticket with a VR experience that takes you to Seville’s past.
How do you get to the top of Setas de Sevilla?
To get to the top of Setas de Sevilla, you would need to purchase your ticket from the basement, near the Antiquarium, and then take the elevator to the building’s rooftop.
The eighth and last of our 1 day in Seville is watching a Flamenco show at the Teatro Flamenco Sevilla. Sit back, enjoy, and relax as you listen to the soft guitar melodies before the pace picks up.
Flamenco is an art form based on the folklores of Southern Spain. While its dance style is unique to the Andalusian region, the dance was brought by the gypsies by end of the 18th century.
What do flamenco dancers shout?
Flamenco dancers shout jaleos. These are words of encouragement that are called out to the dancers, either individually or as a group. This is an essential part of the flamenco dance as it accompanies the music. Some common phrases used in jaleos include así se canta (“that’s the way to sing”) or así se baila (“that’s the way to dance”).
What are flamenco shoes called?
Flamenco shoes are called the flamenco heel. These shoes are made from either leather or suede. There are three types of straps to choose from, elastic strap, laces, or buckle. The unique feature of these shoes is that nails are embedded into the toe and heel of the shoes. This means that the shoes can be used to enhance the dancer’s footwork.
What is the flamenco dress called?
A flamenco dress is called traje de flamenca. The dress is completed with a shawl over the dancer’s shoulders with her hair in a bun and adorned with flowers. The day dress is traje de gitana which is a body-hugging dress that flows into multiple layers of ruffles. The polka dot flamenco dress is traje de lunares. Flamenco dresses are usually red or black and can either be plain or patterned.
Why are flamenco dresses polka dots?
A polka dot flamenco dress is worn to ward off the evil eye. The earliest gypsies from India that migrated to the Andalusian region sewed small round mirrors to their dresses to protect them from the evil eye. These small mirrors or lunares were replaced with polka dots over time.
Where should I stay in Seville for the first time?
If you are coming to Seville for the first time, the best place to stay is Santa Cruz. This area has many historical sites with its narrow, cobbled streets protecting pedestrians from the afternoon heat. Jasmine and orange trees fill the many plazas and squares of the streets here. This is the place to be for lively nightlife. The bars, restaurants, and tapas joints are open into the early hours of the day.
Barrio de Santa Cruz was the former Jewish Quarter of Seville and is home to the Cathedral of Seville and the La Giralda. Some things which you must do here include visiting the Flamenco Museum, exploring the neighborhood on foot, and relaxing at the Aire Ancient Baths.
If you have time, visit Casa de Pilatos. This is one of the most beautiful palace in Seville, after the Alcazar. The palace is the current residence of the 18th Duchess of Medinacelli. However, parts of it are open to tourists with an entrance fee of €10 ($10) per person.
Our first choice for a 1 day in Seville stay is the Casa del Poeta Hotel. This 18-room hotel has peace and comfort in mind. All rooms have free WiFi, a safety deposit box, and a pillow menu. Some positive reviews mention the helpful, friendly, and fantastic staff. Guests also loved the warm welcome and simple check-in and excellent location.
Our second choice for a 1 day in Seville stay is the Hotel Boutique Corral del Rey. This 17-room has individually decorated rooms with attached marble bathrooms. All rooms come with free WiFi, an in-room safe, a hairdryer, complimentary tea and coffee, and turndown service.
Some positive reviews mention the exquisite decoration, the massive and comfortable beds, the excellent location, and the helpful staff. Guests also loved the terrace rooftop pool and the overall cleanliness of the hotel.
Our third choice for a 1 day in Seville stay is the Hotel Casa 1800 Sevilla. This 33-room hotel has beautifully preserved the balconies, shutters, carpentry, frescoes, and walls of the 19th-century home. All rooms come with free WiFi, toiletries, air-conditioning, complimentary bottled water, television, a safety deposit box, and the option to have breakfast in bed.
Some positive reviews mention the amazing rooftop view, the rooftop pool, and the central location of the hotel. Guests also loved the spacious rooms and helpful staff. Guests loved the friendly and informative staff and the delicious breakfast and afternoon tea.
Our fourth choice for a 1 day in Seville stay is the El Ray Moro Boutique Hotel. This 20-room boutique hotel is a refurbished 16th-century home in the heart of Santa Cruz. The hotel has free WiFi in its public areas and is disable-friendly. Pets are also welcomed here.
There are four room types to choose from, with single rooms being the basic. For a more luxurious setting, stay in the Junior Suite which boasts wooden trimmings and a sofa bed. Some positive reviews mention the excellent location, wonderful staff, and good breakfast.
Other reviews mention the beautiful rooftop jacuzzi, clean rooms, and comfortable beds. Guests also loved the kind and attentive staff and the welcome drink on arrival.
The last choice for a 1 day in Seville stay is the Patio de las Cruces hotel. This 21-room hotel is in a refurbished 18th-century Sevillian house. The hotel is located at the center of Seville, within walking distance of Seville Cathedral and La Giralda.
All rooms come with free WiFi, air-conditioning, heating, and an attached bathroom. Some positive reviews mention the excellent location and central location with several restaurants and shops near the hotel. Other reviews mention that the hotel is rather basic with a small bathroom and thin walls.
Frequently Asked Questions on Seville
This section has answers to other questions which you may have about Seville. We hope you find the information valuable and helpful.
No, Seville is not English-friendly. While Spanish is the official language, the level of English has improved among the younger generation and those who work in the tourist industry.
The older generation may only communicate in Spanish. It would help to learn basic Spanish. And to research the area that you are staying in to familiarise yourself.
The best time of the year to visit Seville is during the spring months of March to May. During these months, the temperatures are pleasant with plenty of sunshine. Although the summer crowds have not arrived, two large festivals could make the city crowded. The festivals are Semana Santa and Feria de Abril.
The hottest month in Seville is July with averages highs of 96°F (35°C) and lows of 67°F (20°C). This is the peak of summer with intense temperatures and dry heat. There is minimal rainfall.
Yes, Seville does have an airport. It is Seville International Airport which serves the Western Andalusian region. The airport is about 7 miles from the city center.
The language they speak in Seville is Andalusian Spanish. The language differs from the Castilian Spanish spoken all over Spain. Some words that you might hear in Seville are miarma which means “my soul”, arfavo translates to “please do me a favor”, and canelita en rama which means “this is perfect”.
Yes, Uber is available in Seville. An alternative to Uber is Cabify and the local taxi service which have good vehicles and generally nice drivers.
Yes, you would need cash in Seville for smaller transactions at coffee shops and tapas restaurants. Most larger restaurants would accept cards and the contactless card options are safe. When using the credit card machine, make sure you are paying Euros.
A safer option would be to always carry cards and cash with you. You can use your debit card to withdraw at the automated teller machines. All you need to do is ensure your debit and credit cards allow international expenses.
Yes, it is a walkable city. The route described in this guide takes you on a journey across the Historic Core of Seville and ends at the modern Setas de Sevilla. Another walkable pedestrian-friendly route is in the Triana neighborhood.
Absolutely! From its whitewashed homes to stunning monuments, this city will leave you wanting more.
- Food. If there is one food you must eat here, it is tapas. Seville is the capital city for tapas with over 3,000 eateries in the city center alone. This is the city to be if you want authentic Andalusian cuisine.
- Historical sights. There are 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Abundant parks, museums, palaces, and neighborhoods to visit. There is something for everyone in this city. Bored? Not here!
- Stay. Other than Santa Cruz, the other areas to stay in are Triana, the Historical Center, and Macarena. The Historical Center is the largest and most convenient for sightseeing.
- Safety. Seville is one of the safest cities in Spain. The biggest threats to tourists are pickpockets. The city is safe for solo female travelers. It is best to your common sense and to always trust your gut instincts.
- People. The people of Seville are friendly and hospitable. Sevillanos are great hosts who make their guests feel right at home. The people here love enjoying the simple pleasures life has to offer.
With its easy connectivity, this city is the perfect place to get away from it all. While its historic core brings the most tourist, the city is modern in every way. From orange and jasmine trees that scent the alleys to the picturesque plazas, a trip here is worth it.