For a taste of sunny Andalucía, Seville combines the best of many worlds: extravagant Moorish architecture, exuberant street life and affordable, authentic Spanish tapas. I found the atmosphere of Seville to be incredibly picturesque, with the Giralda tower in the skyline and fiery flamenco in the streets.
How Many Days in Seville?
We budgeted 3 days and 2 nights in Seville. I think it can even be done in 1 day to see the main highlights if you’re tight on time. However, Seville was where I had the best tapas in Spain so I would recommend 2 or 3 days if you are interested in experiencing Southern Spain’s food and culture.Read more: The Best Tapas in Seville
Day 1: Arrive into Town
We arrived late in the afternoon from Cordoba and took a 75 min train ride into Seville’s Santa Justa train station.
In Spain, taking the high speed train network is efficient and cost effective – just make sure to book your tickets in advance as prices go up with time. We used Rail Europe to book all of our Spain tickets.Book train tickets here
A Leisurely Stroll + Dinner
Since we arrived late in the afternoon, we took a walk around the neighborhood, picked up some breakfast for the next day at a local bakery and settled in for a great relaxing dinner.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Seville
Real Alcazar de Sevilla
Having heard so much about Seville and being an avid Game of Thrones fan, I was excited to check out this Mujedar palace and especially the gardens, the location for the “Water Gardens of Dorne” from the HBO show.
The Real Alzcazar de Sevilla was built over the site of Seville’s former Moorish fortress and is a scaled down version of Granada’s Alhambra. Definitely arrive early as a line started forming before opening at 9am in the morning. The real highlight is the gardens, which were used as the Water Gardens of Dorne in Game of Thrones. Or book a tour (and skip the line!) with an insightful, history-rich guide here.
Walk next door to the famous cathedral and giralda tower (literally opposite the Alcazar)
Cathedral de Sevilla & Giralda Tower
Seville’s cathedral is magnificent from the outside but rather disappointing on the inside as the interior is dimly lit and the entrance fee is a hefty €8. Highlights are the Giralda Tower, a 40 story walk up a gradual ramp with the best 360 view of Seville and the Patio de los Naranjos (courtyard of orange trees) on the church’s northern side.
Lunch in Barrio Santa Cruz
Right next door to the two main tourist sights is Barrio Santa Cruz. This medieval Jewish quarter is a lovely, whitewashed tangle of alleys with bars, antique and souvenir shops and quiet residential homes.
Start on Plaza Alianza to enjoy the outdoor cafes and grab lunch. Make sure to check out Plaza de Dona Elvira, with its fountain and azulejo (painted tile benches) where young Sevillanos gather to play guitar.
Nearby Plaza Santa Cruz is one of the more famous spots in town, where flowers and orange trees surround a 17th century filigree iron cross.
Escape the heat and take a siesta back at your hotel
Casa de Pilatos
Casa de Pilatos palace was built by the dukes of Tarifa in the first half of the 16th century. The home is a beautiful blend of Spanish Mudejar and Renaissance architecture (aka the classic Andalusian mansion) but is tucked away on a modern business street.
You can buy a €6 ticket for just the first floor or pay €8 for both, where the upstairs apartments are viewable on guided tour only.
Day 3: Spain’s World Heritage Sights
Plaza de Espana
This grand half-circle of buildings edge of the Parque de Maria Luisea was Spain’s main pavilion during the 1929 World Fair. Today the buildings house various government offices but make sure to walk around the entire shape.
You’ll find different bright azulejo (tile) pictures depicting the different provinces of Spain and the four main bridges symbolize the medieval Iberian kingdoms. If you go in summer, you can even rent boats along the canal!
Parque de Maria Luisa
This gorgeous park blends both formal design and wild vegetation and is a great spot for photos. Scattered throughout are several impressive villas, remnants of the 1929 World Fair.
Espacio Metropol Parasol & Las Setas
A modern addition to the city, this canopy above the Encarnacion Market is a stunning structure for photographers. Go up the Metropol Parasol (access on floor -1) for for impressive views over the city. Sun sets around 9pm
Getting in to Seville
The easiest way to get to Seville from anywhere in Spain is via high speed train. The city is connected to both Madrid and Barcelona and tickets should be booked in advance to ensure a seat and time.
The journey is approximately 7 hrs 45 min from Madrid or 6 hours 30 min from Barcelona and you can check the schedules on Spain’s Renfe website.
Be aware that Renfe is not the most user friendly site to English speakers or credit card holders. After trying and failing to book with Renfe, we bought our tickets on Rail Europe instead, which has all the train schedules in English, lets you pick your train class and accepts credit card payments.
Rail Europe charges a booking fee (it was a couple euros), but the fee is per transaction so try to book all your train tickets that you’ll need in one purchase to avoid paying it multiple times.
Train seats are assigned, there is ample storage in the front and back of each car for luggage and personally I found touriste class to be more than comfortable.Check train schedules & fares here
Where to Stay in Seville
Hotel Alfonso XIII is one of the best hotels in town. The hotel is located in a prime spot next to Seville’s Real Alcazares and rooms feature gorgeous Moorish architecture and every comfort imaginable.
Other Recommended Hotels in Seville
Hotel Casa 1800 Sevilla – a boutique hotel with plenty of comfort: wifi, slippers, in-room safe and more! Definitely my top pick for convenience and comfort as it overlooks the Giralda Tower and is very centrally located.
Hotel Palacio de Villapanes – fantastically located in the heart of the city, this minimalist hotel has comfortable rooms and gorgeous decor.
Other Fun Tours in Seville
And that’s it! A quick guide to spending 2 days in Seville
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