Firstly, don’t bother getting a Seville card, it’s not like the florence card which is 100% worth it, this one just isn’t at all and the tourist offices we asked about it, hadn’t even heard of it. They handed us a price list of the attractions in Seville and some of them are only a couple of euros. So it was actually less for us to pay to visit everything individually than it was to get the card, especially if you want to go to Cathedral and Real Alcaraz, which are the two main attractions of the city!
Plaza de Espana – I think this was my favourite place we visited. It looks like something out the Renaissance but was actually built in the 1920s. There have been a few films/TV shows filmed there, to be honest i’m surprised there haven’t been more! The sheer scale and size of the pavilions is amazing. There are a series of mosaics dedicated to a different areas of Spain and canal with a series of bridges lining the front. You can actually hire a small rowing boat to go up and down for 6 euros, which was lovely even though it was 43 degrees, was very tempting to ‘fall in’. (You can also walk past the University of Seville on the way to the Plaza de Espana from the Cathedral, another hugely impressive building in the city centre).
Seville Cathedral – Obviously you can’t miss the cathedral as you walk round the city centre in Seville! We thought it must be one of the biggest churches in the world and turns out its the fourth largest church in the world. A must see if you go to Seville, with it’s beautiful gothic architecture, 80 chapels and the huge Giralda Bell Tower you can climb. There is also an orange tree courtyard outside. There was a huge queue to get into the cathedral in the afternoon but it opens in the evening as well and when we back around 6pm it was much quieter and we only had to wait 10-15 minutes to get in rather than 30-45. We also got free entry to the Iglesia del Salvador with our ticket as well. I don’t know if there’s a time limit on it but we used it the next day and that was fine.
Real Alcazar – I mistakenly thought this was a palace which put a bit of a spanner in the works when looking for it on the map! We were lucky the weather was good as I think it would have been quite a difference experience walking through the extensive gardens in the rain! But the architecture and mosaics are beautiful and really unusual. The English garden made me laugh as it was about 45 degrees which felt distinctly un-english! (Both the Cathedral and Real Alcazar sit on the Plaza del Triunfo, which will likely be on your to see list in Seville).
Iglesia del Salvador – I’m glad we saved this for the next day as it was amazing, my favourite church in Seville, possibly ever. The Baroque and Rococo style altarpieces are completely over the top, but they were breath-taking. We spent quite a while in there just taking it in.
Iglesia de la Magdalena – a real hidden gem, we just happened to be passing on the way to somewhere else and had a look in. Very beautiful and similar style to the Iglesia del Salvador.
Museo del Baile Flamenco – so we didn’t actually go round the museum as I wanted to see a flamenco show and it was so expensive (!) we just opted to watch the performance. It was amazing, there were four performances and the whole thing lasted about an hour, it focused on both the music and dancing. The performers were clearly very talented and the dresses were fantastic, i didn’t realise how heavy they were. Would very much recommend if you are looking to get a real flavour of flamenco dancing.
Archaeological Ensemble of Italica – I can’t believe there was no one else here when we visited! I hadn’t realised the historical significance of it at all, but the ruins are very impressive, it’s worth travelling for the amphitheatre alone, which is good since the rest was closed off! It was a shame we didn’t get to see the mosaics, we did ask why but no one working there seemed to know. However, it was free to get in. There is a visitors centre with a bit of a display and a video but that’s about it. The cafe is basically just a table with a vending machine next to it. But it’s easy to get to, you take the 170 bus all the way. It took us about 35 minutes from the bus station Seville city centre.
Metropol Parasol – a very interesting piece of architecture and great views of the city of Seville. That is if you can find the way up! The entrance seems to be hidden underneath in the dark, in the corner. Bizarrely you also get a free drink in the cafe with your 3 euro ticket!
Macarena District – although we didn’t get chance to go to the market there, we visited the Basilica de la Macarena, you can also see the city walls and the Macarena gate.
I would also have liked to go to the Museum of Fine Arts but the opening times were different on the website, in the tourist office and at the actual museum, so unfortunately we missed that one! And, the Casa de Pilatos was on my list, as apparently the ceramics are very impressive.
Accommodation: We stayed in this AirBnB flat in Seville and I couldn’t recommend it enough. The host was lovely and it was a beautiful flat, all the amenities and aircon, easy walking distance to the city sights and the train station. The airport was only 15 minutes by bus.
Where to eat: There are a lot of great places to eat in Seville and you can’t move for tapas bars, but we really enjoyed our meal at El Rinconcillo – the oldest tapas bar in Seville. Ironically, we didn’t actually have tapas but the food and sangria was fantastic! Likewise, Los Valencianos is the best ice cream place ever, a huge amount of choice including dulce de leche, which i need to somehow source in the UK now!