Without a doubt, Seville is the gem of southern Spain. It may look underrated from an outsider’s point of view, but once you’re deep in the city, there’s really no telling what you’ll find! From the narrow cobblestone streets, the beautiful Moroccan architecture, the paella (mmm…), and the great amount of history within the city, please, don’t be alarmed if you immediately fall in love with it. I sure did!
Three Days In Seville
Which Area To Stay In
When it comes to where to stay, I highly recommend staying in the area of Santa Cruz. We didn’t, but after exploring each neighborhood, it came out as our absolute favorite. From the narrow, stone paved streets, the hidden courtyards covered in bougainvillea, the quaint Jewish Quarter, and the local tapas restaurants, believe me when I say Santa Cruz is the answer to happiness while in Seville.
What To See & Do
Take A Bike Tour
Seville is small, so one of the best ways to make the most of your first day in Seville is doing a guided bike tour.
Our tour with Sevilla Bike Tour was 3 hours and we got to learn about and see Plaza de España, the outside of the cathedral, Triana, the Jewish Quarter, the Royal Tobacco Factory, and Hotel Alfonso XIII, along with a couple of unknown churches and mosques. Our guide was super intelligent and really fun to listen to.
In the end, we worked up an appetite for some delicious paella!
Plaza de España
Seville’s most iconic sight, Plaza de España is probably the most photogenic plaza in the entire world.
And no, I’m not even exaggerating.
From the outrageously beautiful buildings, the numerous bridges, and the tiled alcoves that respresent each province in Spain, Plaza de España is an absolutely perfect place to take advantage of Seville’s warm weather.
During your three days in Seville, you might be drawn to stroll through Plaza de España more than once. And nobody would blame you for that. I would recommend seeing it both during the day and the night.
Located right around the corner from the cathedral, Jewish Quarter, Plaza de España, and surrounded by the maze of wondrous alleyways, the Alcázar of Seville, another one of the city’s most beloved sights, is a palace you have to see before leaving.
The Real Alcázar is home to gorgeous North African rooms, many hidden courtyards, a magical subterranean pool, numerous gardens, and a taste of what architecture looks like in countries like Morocco or Algeria.
Make sure to either book a tour that includes seeing it or get a reservation one day (or more) in advance. We made a reservation, but the general admission line was two hours long when we went!
Cathedral of Seville
Being the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the Cathedral of Seville is a building you can’t seem to get away from. It seems that every little alleyway and every big boulevard somehow leads to it. Without a doubt, you will have observed the cathedral from outside at least twice during your stay.
That being the case, you might not want to pay the 20 euro tickets to see the inside and climb the tower. Not all cathedrals apply to the “seen one and you’ve seen em’ all” phrase, but this one is known to. Our bike tour guide recommended we skip the Cathedral of Seville and see the Real Alcázar.
Seville is such a delicate, beautiful, harmonized city and when you turn the corner and see some modern, hideous building like the Metropol Parasol, it makes you feel shocked and rather upset. As ugly as it is, it does give a pretty good view of the city which makes it worth the visit.
Get Lost In Santa Cruz
For the most part, Seville is one of those destinations that you don’t want to plan out too much.
In fact, when you find yourself in the area of Santa Cruz, you should have only one objective: to get lost.
Simply let your feet take you away, explore the streets, check out local shops, walk the delightful alleyways that lead to squares covered in orange trees. Take way too many photos, practice Spanish with locals, and breathe in the smells of the abundant fruit trees.
Barrio de Triana
Across the river from all of Seville’s attractions and tourists, you will find more of a local, atmospheric area called Triana. Similar to Barrio de Santa Cruz, Barrio de Triana is a maze of narrow, cobblestone streets leading up to local markets or squares. We were taken here on our bike tour and were led through the streets and got to stop at all sorts of underrated historic sights. Make sure to explore Triana when you need a break from the tourists in Seville.
Where To Eat
Bodega de Santa Cruz
Bodega de Santa Cruz, a local tapas restaurant down the street from the cathedral, is the perfect spot to get a great taste of Spanish food and a chaotic experience unlike any other.
The joint is pretty packed in and rowdy, and it may take a while to get a seat – luckily for us, we got one as soon as we walked in. Somehow, in the mix of mayhem, we started ordering and ordering until we were really full. I recommend their small Spanish sandwiches!
Make sure to just go with the flow at this restaurant. If you can’t read the menu, don’t freak out, just try asking someone what they liked and be brave when it comes to trying new things!
Torres y Garcia
For our first dinner in Seville, we went to Torres y Garcia, a cool looking restaurant known for their pizza and other Italian delicacies. I got their margherita pizza, which was great, and was perfectly reminded of the food we ate in Italy.
When we went, it was definitely not crowded, but I’d still recommend making a reservation to be on the safe side.
After our bike tour, we were very hungry so we popped right over to La Paella to get the only Spanish delicacy we had not eaten yet. There were only four different choices, which made life easy, and I got their chicken paella. The meal turned out to be perfect. It was super simple, yet delicious.
Hotel Alfonso XIII
One of the all around most beautiful buildings in Seville is Hotel Alfonso XIII. From the beautiful courtyard, the tiled hallways, and the rich history, this hotel is definitely worth a visit… or a stay!
These days, tapas are split into two different groups: modern and traditional. Duo Tapas actually falls into the modern group. Recommended by our bike tour guide, this restaurant was a great way to end our stay in Seville.
We got a big mix of food consisting of patatas bravas, pollo croquetas, chicken curry, and more. Located in a different neighborhood most tourists most likely wouldn’t come across, Duo Tapas is a great little spot worth a try.
By far, the best way to rejoice after a long, hot day of constant exploration is having gelato at La Fiorentina. This local helateria was seriously one of the biggest highlights of the city. It would honestly be outrageous if you left Seville without making at least one stop at La Fiorentina.
As for the second best ice cream place in Seville, Las Reyas definitely wins. This little store has some of the creamiest, most flavorful ice cream I’ve ever had. It doesn’t beat La Fiorentina, but I’d still recommend it!
Seville Travel Tips
WATCH OUT FOR PICKPOCKETS
Just like every other city in Europe, Seville is definitely home to some petty crime. No matter what, make sure you have a handle on all your belongings, but mostly just pay attention and be smart.
SEVILLE IS HOT!
When we visited in spring, temperatures sprung to about 100°F. That caused for a lot of water, shorts and t-shirts, and gelato!
SPEAK SPANISH TO THE LOCALS
I can assure you that something locals anywhere in the world can’t get enough of is travelers speaking their language to them. No matter how good or bad your Spanish is, give it a shot! Here are a couple important words to know…
Hello = hola (o-la)
Thank you = gracias (gra-see-as)
Please = por favor (por fa-vor)
Must-Do Day Trips
I know the thought of losing one day in an amazing city like Seville is horrifying, but if you find yourself with a day to spare, Còrdoba, a near by town, is home to some of the most beautiful buildings in Spain, and in the whole world. Fit it in if you can, because I was real bummed when day 3 came along and we still had to see the Real Alcazar!
Stunning! Thanks for sharing this!!!!
I’ve never been to Spain – but my girlfriend is headed there soon, so I’ll be sure to pass this on!!!
But I do love me some paella!!!