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Updated September 2023

On the top of our list of places to visit in Spain was the charming city of Seville in Andalucia. We had wanted to spend a weekend, so when we saw some great flights with Vueling from Barcelona, we hopped on the opportunity.

The First-Timer's Guide to A Weekend in Seville, Spain

Simply put, we fell in love with this city. It’s charming, it’s lively, and it’s one of the prettiest places I have seen. It was our first time down in Andalucia, so we wanted to take full advantage of our time there.

The First-Timer's Guide to A Weekend in Seville, Spain

One lesson learned the hard way in Seville was that everything needs to be booked in advance. For late October, we figured that we wouldn’t need to pre-book reservations or tickets, but you definitely need to do so.

We lucked out and showed up early for the Alcazar, so we only waited 45 minutes (better compared to the 1.5+ hrs.) Sneaking in at the last minute felt like the biggest win, and well worth the early rise to see the splendor.

The First-Timer's Guide to A Weekend in Seville, Spain

After spending a weekend in Seville, Spain, I wanted to share a few of our favorite eats and sights we saw along the way. Hitting the basics, it’s an ultimate guide for those looking to see the highlights and immerse in the local culture.

Short on Time? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Hotels and Things to Do in Seville:

Hotels

  1. Nobu Hotel Sevilla, for the best new luxury hotel in the historical center
  2. Hotel Alfonso XIII, for classic luxury and iconic historic hotel
  3. Placido y Grata, for the best design hotel
  4. Corral del Rey, for the best luxury boutique hotel
  5. Mercer Sevilla, for the best all-around boutique hotel
  6. Ibis Styles Sevilla City Santa Justa, for the best budget hotel

Things to Do

  1. Skip-the-line access to BOTH Alcazar de Sevilla and the Catedral de Sevilla
  2. Tapas and Flamenco Tour
  3. Granada’s Alhambra Palace Day Trip

If you’re visiting soon, don’t miss my in-depth guides to the best boutique hotels and things to do in Seville.

A Travel Guide to Seville, Spain


Frequently Asked Questions About Seville

The First-Timer's Guide to A Weekend in Seville, Spain

Where is Seville?

Seville is located in the southwestern part of Spain, specifically in the region of Andalusia. It sits along the banks of the Guadalquivir River and is approximately 85 miles (137 kilometers) inland from the Atlantic Ocean. Its strategic location in southern Spain makes it a vibrant cultural and historical hub, known for its rich heritage, stunning architecture, and warm Mediterranean climate.

How Do I Get to Seville?

To reach Seville, Spain, you can easily access the city by flying into Seville Airport (SVQ), which offers international connections and is conveniently located just a short drive from the city center. Alternatively, you can also take advantage of Spain’s extensive high-speed train network, with Seville well-connected to major cities like Madrid and Barcelona, making it easily accessible by train.

Getting Around: By Foot

When in the city center, Seville is most easiest to explore on foot. The city is walkable in the sense that the main attractions are within a 20-minute or so walk. 

Getting Around: Uber

For those looking to do larger stretches in Seville, the most convenient is by Uber. It’s low-cost, has pelnt of drivers available, and makes for an easy to get across town.

Getting Around: Renting a Car in Seville

It is not necessary to rent a car in Seville except with the exception for those who want to do day trips. That would be the only use case for taking a rental car while visiting. For low-cost rental cars, I use Discover Cars to book.

When is the Best Time to Visit Seville?

The best time to visit Seville is during the spring (March to May) and the fall (September to November). During these seasons, the weather is pleasantly warm with comfortable temperatures ranging from 64°F to 86°F (18°C to 30°C), making it ideal for exploring the city’s attractions and enjoying outdoor activities.

Spring is especially beautiful as the city’s parks and gardens come to life with colorful blooms, while the fall offers milder temperatures and fewer crowds compared to the scorching summer months when temperatures can soar well above 95°F (35°C).

Is Seville English Speaking?

Seville is not primarily an English-speaking city. The official language of Seville, and Spain as a whole, is Spanish. While you will find some people, especially in the tourist industry and larger hotels, who can speak English to some extent, it’s not universally spoken, and fluency may vary among locals. It’s a good idea to have some basic Spanish phrases and vocabulary at your disposal to enhance your experience when visiting Seville, as it will help you communicate and navigate the city more effectively.


Where to Stay in Seville, Spain

For our trip, we opted for an Airbnb in the Santa Cruz neighborhood. While I wouldn’t recommend the Airbnb itself again, I would say somewhere within this area is perfect for exploring Seville. There or the city center is really convenient for exploring.

The First-Timer's Guide to A Weekend in Seville, Spain

The city has since changed from our last visit with amazing new hotels that have opened up. Along with longstanding luxury hotels, I’d look to one of the below hotels that I researched for a trip to Seville. Their design and amenities (in my opinion) are what I would look to for our next trip.

Nobu Hotel Sevilla

Nobu Hotel Sevilla
Image via Booking.com

Nobu Hotel Sevilla is a new modern boutique hotel situated in Seville’s historic center. It offers a blend of contemporary design and Andalusian elements. Guests can enjoy world-renowned Nobu cuisine, relax in elegantly designed rooms, and enjoy breathtaking views of the city’s iconic landmarks. With its impeccable service and prime location, Nobu Hotel Sevilla is a great option. Book the best rates here.

Hotel Alfonso XIII

Hotel Alfonso XIII
Image via Booking.com

Located in the historic center, Hotel Alfonso XIII is an iconic luxury hotel that combines traditional Spanish architecture with modern amenities. The hotel is known for its exquisite dining options, elegantly appointed rooms, and impeccable service. Its central location is perfect for exploring the city’s main attractions and is a favorite of those looking for an elevated, classic stay. Book the best rates here.

Placido y Grata

Plácido y Grata
Image via Booking.com

Plácido y Grata is a boutique hotel in Seville’s historic center. Located in a 19th-century residence, it offers 15 Danish-inspired rooms blending vintage charm with modern amenities. The hotel features a coffee shop, cocktail bar, and restaurant. Designed by Your Living Space, the interiors showcase a minimalist style with a mix of Scandinavian and 1950s furnishings. Situated on Monsalves Street, it’s conveniently close to major attractions and a great option for design-minded travelers. Book the best rates here.

Corral del Rey

Corral del Rey
Image via Booking.com

Corral del Rey is a luxury boutique hotel situated in Seville’s Barrio Alfalfa, just a short stroll from the Cathedral. Housed in a meticulously restored 17th-century casa Palacio, the hotel offers chic accommodations complemented by a relaxed rooftop bar. With 17 individually decorated rooms, each boasting en suite marble and limestone bathrooms, guests can expect a blend of historical charm and modern comfort. The rooftop terrace provides a serene spot to unwind, offering panoramic views of the city, including the iconic Giralda Tower. Book the best rates here.

Mercer Sevilla

Mercer Sevilla
Image via Booking.com

Mercer Sevilla is luxury boutique hotel situated in Seville’s historic El Arenal district, a stone’s throw from the iconic Real Maestranza bullring. Occupying the former Casa Palacio Castelar, an elegant late 19th-century mansion, the hotel offers dreamlike rooms and suites tailored for guests seeking luxury in an exclusive setting. The hotel’s María Luisa Restaurant provides an intimate dining experience. Since its opening in 2016, Mercer Sevilla has garnered multiple awards, symbolizing its commitment to discreet luxury and impeccable service. Book the best rates here.

Ibis Styles Sevilla City Santa Justa

Ibis Styles Sevilla City Santa Justa
Image via Booking.com

Ibis Styles Sevilla City Santa Justa is a modern and stylish hotel located in close proximity to the Santa Justa train station in Seville. Known for its vibrant design and comfortable accommodations, this hotel caters to both leisure and business travelers. Its prime location ensures guests have easy access to Seville’s main attractions and transportation options. This hotel is a good option for those seeking a blend of style, convenience, and cost. Book the best rates here.


Where to Eat in Seville, Spain

The First-Timer's Guide to A Weekend in Seville, Spain

Petit Comité Sevilla

This was our saving grace for the trip. We had a run of not-so-great meals at what were considered “top” places and the dinner here was redeeming. It’s incredible, a modern take and yet playful at the same time on tapas. I’d recommend booking a table at least two nights in advance.

Bar Alfalfa

We popped in to this corner bar for a light breakfast (coffee + toast) and it was so delicious yet simple. Also the prices are great.

El Rinconcillo

It’s a classic, the food is fine, and the drinks are good. We went by here for a light lunch as it’s one of the oldest tapas bars in all of Seville.

Tradevo Centro

Ironically I had written off this restaurant when we walked by, chalking it up to a tourist trap. We later found out the chef was trained at El Bulli and was serving up some Japanese style dishes, which felt like a reprieve from the tapas we had. It was delicious — the tuna on crispy rice, the whole fish, and boquerones were amazing.

El Pinton

For a high-end take on tapas in a beautiful space, come here.

Virgen Coffee

We loved the coffee here. It’s a small little shop with coffee to go.

Las Teresas

The food here is great for local tapas, it can be lively at night and always packed with people.

Bodega Santa Cruz

Come here for a drink and a snack in a lively space.


What to Do in Seville, Spain

Explore the Santa Cruz Neighborhood

Santa Cruz Neighborhood

The Santa Cruz neighborhood in Seville is a charming and historic quarter known for its winding cobblestone streets, picturesque squares, and traditional Andalusian architecture. This area was once the city’s Jewish quarter, and it has that romantic and old-world ambiance with its whitewashed buildings with colorful balconies and flower-filled patios. You can explore iconic landmarks like the Giralda Tower, the Alcázar Palace, and stop at several tapas restaurants. The enchanting alleys of Santa Cruz make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Seville.

Tour the Incredible Casa de Pilatos

Casa de Pilatos

Casa de Pilatos, located in Seville, is a remarkable example of Andalusian-Mudejar architecture with a unique blend of Renaissance and Moorish influences. This grand palace, constructed in the 16th century, is renowned for its exquisite courtyard adorned with intricate azulejos (ceramic tiles), lush gardens, and opulent interiors. You can explore the rich history of the Dukes of Medinaceli and marvel at the harmonious fusion of architectural styles that make Casa de Pilatos a captivating cultural and historical gem in the heart of Seville. This was hands down one of my favorite things we visited in Seville.

Peruse Tiles to Bring Home at Coco Sevilla

Coco Sevilla

Just kitty corner from Casa de Pilatos, is the home goods store of Coco Sevilla. It was such a fun last-minute find, and loved getting to peruse the azulejo tiles and pieces in here. Well worth a stop if you’re already at Casa de Pilatos. Trust me, you’ll be inspired to buy all of the tiles after your visit!

Stop by Metropol Parasol for Beautiful Architecture and Views

Metropol Parasol

Metropol Parasol, often referred to as the “Mushrooms of Seville,” is a striking wooden structure in the heart of the city. Designed by architect Jürgen Mayer, this contemporary landmark provides shade, houses an archaeological museum, and offers panoramic views of Seville from its elevated walkways. Its innovative and futuristic design stands in contrast to the historic surroundings, making it a captivating addition to the city’s architectural landscape. It was one of our favorite places we visited as it felt somewhat out of place yet so part of the city’s center. The views are unbeatable here!

Have an Early Morning at Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana

Plaza de España is a breathtaking architectural masterpiece located in Seville, Spain. Built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, this semi-circular plaza features a stunning combination of Renaissance and Moorish Revival styles. Showcasing a central building adorned with colorful ceramic tiles and a canal, you can even rent a boat here to enjoy. Being one of the most visited sites in Seville, it gets super crowded which is why I recommend an early start. We had the entire plaza nearly to ourselves at sunrise, making it well worth the early morning.

Visit the Historic Real Alcázar de Sevilla

10 Incredible Things to Do in Seville

The Real Alcázar de Sevilla, often simply referred to as the Alcázar, is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed palace complex in Seville, Spain. With its origins dating back to the 10th century, it is a stunning example of Mudejar, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural styles. You can explore its magnificent rooms, lush gardens, and intricate details. You absolutely need to book tickets in advance to get access year-round. Don’t underestimate even off-season as it’s a top visited sight in Andalucia.

Travel Tip: One recommendation is to book this combination tour which includes skip-the-line access to BOTH Alcazar de Sevilla and the Catedral de Sevilla. It’s the top-booked tour in all of Sevilla for good reason as it provides easy access to both historical sights!

See the Largest Gothic Cathedral in the World, Catedral de Sevilla

Catedral de Sevilla

The Catedral de Sevilla, also known as Seville Cathedral, is a magnificent Gothic cathedral in the heart of Seville, Spain. It is renowned for being the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can explore its stunning interior, including the tomb of Christopher Columbus, the intricate Giralda Tower with panoramic city views, and numerous chapels adorned with exquisite artwork. This is another one of those things that you do want to book tickets for in advance. We also rented the audio guide which I thought made the visit all that much more interesting.

See a Classic Flamenco Show

There are several places in Seville to experience the art and culture around flamenco. A trip to Seville would not be complete without seeing at least one performance. While we were there, we went to La Casa del Flamenco, which was an amazing experience. Other traveler favorites for catching a show include Tablaeo El Arenal, Casa de la Memoria, Museo del Baile, and Tablao Flamenco Los Gallos where you can enjoy a meal and see a show at the same time.

Travel Tip: Looking for something unique? I discovered this tapas and flamenco tour which takes you to to some of the best tapas spots followed by a flamenco show. It’s everything you could want on a single night out in Seville.

Take a Day Trip

Since Seville is located centrally in Andalusia, there are several day trips you can consider taking. While having a car may make this convenient, you certainly can forego it by just hopping on a guided tour. Guided group tours are uber popular in Europe as they cut down on cost and typically are structured in a way to do it effectively. Some of the day trips you may consider with recommended tours are:

Granada’s Alhambra Palace

Visiting Granada’s Alhambra Palace is a captivating journey into the heart of Moorish Spain’s rich history and architectural beauty. This stunning palace complex, with its intricate Islamic designs, lush gardens, and breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada mountains, offers a unique and enchanting experience for travelers exploring southern Spain. This full-day Alhramba Palace tour will pick you up and drop you off in the city center, including a local guide, and give you a skip-the-line entrance into Alhambra Palace. If that one is sold out, this other top-rated Alhambra day trip from Seville is recommended.

Andalucia’s White Villages

Nearby to Seville are three iconic white villages — Zahara de la Sierra, Grazalema, and Ronda. Each is beautiful and romantic in its own way and easily seen on a single-day trip from Seville. This guided day tour takes you to all three from Seville.

Cordoba & Carmona

A day trip to Cordoba offers a glimpse into the rich cultural and historical tapestry of Spain. Explore the iconic Mezquita-Catedral, a masterpiece of Islamic and Christian architecture, and wander through the narrow streets of the Jewish Quarter to discover hidden courtyards and local shops, making the most of your visit to this charming Andalusian city. On this guided day trip tour to Cordoba, you’ll get to do all of the above and more.

The First-Timer's Guide to A Weekend in Seville, Spain

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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

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I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


Xx,
Jessica

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