Seville, the capital of Andalusia and the fourth largest city in Spain is a treasure trove of history, culture, and gastronomy. With its vibrant streets, towering monuments, and flavorful tapas, the city leaves an indelible impression on all who visit. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about visiting Seville, from how to get there from the UK to where to eat, sleep, and explore.
How to Get to Seville from the UK
Seville is well-connected to the rest of Europe, making it relatively easy to travel to from the UK. The quickest way to reach the city is by flying directly into Seville Airport (SVQ) from London, Manchester, or Edinburgh. Several airlines, including British Airways, Ryanair, and EasyJet, offer direct flights that take approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Alternatively, you can fly into Malaga Airport (AGP) and then take a high-speed train or bus to Seville. This option may be more affordable but will add a few extra hours to your journey. Once in Seville, the city’s efficient public transportation system, including buses, trams, and metro, makes it easy to navigate and explore.
Top Attractions in Seville
With its rich history and stunning architecture, Seville’s no shortage of things to see and do. Here are some must-visit attractions:
The Real Alcázar de Sevilla
The Real Alcázar is a breathtaking palace complex that showcases the intricate Mudejar architecture, a unique blend of Islamic and Catholic styles. The palace’s beautiful courtyards, gardens, and intricately designed rooms are not to be missed. Be sure to book your tickets in advance, as the Real Alcázar is one of Seville’s most popular attractions.
Seville Cathedral and La Giralda
The Seville Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cathedral houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus and features a stunning gold altar. Adjacent to the cathedral, you’ll find La Giralda, the city’s iconic bell tower that offers panoramic views of Seville.
Plaza de España
This massive, semi-circular plaza is a must-see for its beautiful ceramic tiled panels depicting scenes from each of Spain’s provinces and its impressive fountain and surrounding architecture. Row a boat around the canal, or enjoy a flamenco performance right outside the main entrance.
Barrio de Santa Cruz and Barrio de Triana
These atmospheric neighbourhoods are the perfect places to wander, get lost, and soak in the true atmosphere of Seville. Santa Cruz is the old Jewish Quarter, with its narrow, winding streets and hidden plazas, while Triana is known as the birthplace of flamenco and features colourful streets and lively markets.
Maria Luisa Park and Plaza de América
This expansive park is a favourite among locals and visitors alike, with its beautiful gardens, fountains, and pavilions from the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. The nearby Plaza de América is home to the Museum of Arts and Traditions, the Museum of Archaeology, and the Royal Pavilion.
Torre del Oro
This iconic riverside tower, built by the Almohad dynasty, offers a glimpse into Seville’s naval history and provides stunning views of the city from its rooftop.
This avant-garde wooden structure, affectionately known as “Las Setas” (The Mushrooms), is a must-see for its unique design and panoramic views of Seville from its rooftop terrace.
Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo
Located in a former monastery and ceramic factory, this contemporary art centre showcases the works of local and international artists and hosts concerts and other cultural events.
Dining in Seville: Tapas, Tapas, and More Tapas
Seville is a food lover’s paradise, with countless restaurants and bars offering mouthwatering tapas. Some popular areas for tapas include Alameda, Macarena, Nervión, Los Remedios, and Triana. Don’t miss out on trying some of Seville’s signature dishes, such as marinated pescaíto (fish), montadito (small filled rolls), caracoles (snails), and of course, a glass of fino (white wine) or manzanilla (sweet wine).
For a truly unforgettable dining experience, visit one of Seville’s many tablaos or flamenco clubs, where you can enjoy a traditional flamenco show while savouring delicious Andalusian cuisine.
Where to Stay in Seville
Seville offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury hotels. Some popular neighbourhoods for visitors include Santa Cruz, Triana, and the city centre. Here are a few recommended hotels in Seville:
- Budget: Hostel One Catedral and The Nomad Hostel
- Mid-range: Hotel Fernando III and Hotel Amadeus & La Música
- Luxury: Hotel Alfonso XIII and EME Catedral Hotel
Seville’s Rich Culture and Traditions
Seville is a city steeped in tradition, from flamenco shows and Spanish guitar music to its world-famous festivals, such as Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the Feria de Abril (April Fair). Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s vibrant arts scene or experiencing the passion and emotion of its religious processions, there’s always something happening in Seville.
Best Time to Visit Seville
With a Mediterranean climate and hot summers, the best time to visit Seville is from March to May, when temperatures are more comfortable, and the city is full of jasmine and orange tree blossoms.
Seville is a city that captures the hearts of all who visit, thanks to its rich history, stunning architecture, lively streets, and delicious cuisine. With so much to see and do, you’ll want to spend at least two to three days exploring this enchanting city, and perhaps even longer if you plan to take excursions to other Andalusian points of interest. So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to fall in love with Seville.