Seville is a must on any Spain itinerary and the perfect destination for a 3-night European city break.
Seville is alive with history and culture, and as you wander the cobbled streets, you can feel the passion beneath your feet. The home to tapas, flamenco, fiestas, and iconic landmarks, it is sure to impress any visitor with its charm.
Being the capital heritage centre of Andalusia means there are so many unique and epic things to see and do in Seville. From hidden gems like Palacio de las Dueñas and the Church of El Salvador to the must-see tourist spots of Real Alcázar, The Metropol Parasol and Plaza de España. Seville will have you covered no matter what you like to do on a Spanish city break!
In this 3-night Seville itinerary, I highlight the best things to do in Seville in three days to inspire you to plan a trip to this beautiful Andalusian city.
Do you need to arrange travel insurance, car hire or accommodation? Please check out my resources page to help you plan your trip.
Where to Stay in Seville
I stayed at the lovely four-star Hotel Becquer and would highly recommend it. The rooftop pool and fabulous views across the city add to its charm.
If you want to splash the cash, the best hotel in Seville is Hotel Alfonso Xlll. It is a luxury property known throughout Spain and close to Maria Luisa Park.
There are many places to stay in Seville to suit all budgets. Find here the availability and pricing for accommodation in Seville.
Ten Best Things to See in Seville
- Real Alcázar
- Cathedral of Seville & La Giralda
- Plaza de España
- Parque de María Luisa
- Barrio Santa Cruz
- Torre del Oro
- The Metropol Parasol
- Church of El Salvador
- Palacio de las Dueñas
- Flamenco Show
Seville in Three Nights – Day by Day Itinerary
Day One – Afternoon
I travelled to Seville on a direct flight from London Gatwick with Easyjet and landed in the early afternoon, allowing me time to freshen up at my hotel and head straight out to see the sights.
Walk (or kayak) along the Guadalquivir River
Running through the heart of Seville, this waterway is a place to walk, cycle and familiarise yourself with the city.
It was our first stop when we arrived in Seville, and we decided to cross the Puente Isabel II bridge (also called Puente de Triana) to the other side of the river.
The bridge separates the area of Arenal, home to the Plaza de Toros (Bull Ring) and the area of Triana, known for its flamenco and tapas bars, and home to the decorative Seville azulejo tiles that can be seen on buildings around the city.
Crossing the bridge, you will find the famous Triana Food Market on the remains of the Castle of San Jorge. The market is a place to enjoy fresh local cuisine within a bustling environment.
Once across the bridge, take a left and walk past the riverside restaurants and bars, where visitors can enjoy tapas and beer in the outdoor seating area while watching the activities along the river.
We continued walking towards the Puente de San Telmo Bridge, where great views up and down the river were visible. We noticed how many kayakers were on the water; this is a favourite Seville waterport.
You could try a Kayak tour if you fancy having a go yourself.
I am pretty hopeless at manoeuvring a kayak, I managed to go around in circles in one in the South China Sea, but that’s another story. Or maybe a gentle cruise along the Guadalquivir River is more your style.
Climb Torre Del Oro
On the other side of the river, you will pass the Torre del Oro, “Tower of Gold”. Once it was a prison, then a watchtower and later on a chapel, nowadays it is open for tourists who want a better view of the river.
Restaurants line the streets and lead you to the Teatro De La Maestranza (Opera House) and the Plaza de Toros (Bull Ring).
Visit the Church of El Salvador
Holding the spot as the second-largest church in Seville is the Church of El Salvador.
It was built between 1674 and 1712 on the remains of a former mosque converted to a Catholic church in 1340.
Its unmissable pink facade stands monumentally proud overlooking the Plaza del Salvador, and its magnificent doors invite you to look inside.
What greets you inside is breathtaking.
Baroque carvings and gilding surround you and are an elaborate backdrop for the sculptures and paintings that fill the enormous space.
Several religious brotherhoods are connected to this church.
During the Holy Week of Seville, 30 or more men will carry the large floats, called pasos, depicting Jesus and the Virgin Mary on their backs as penance for their sins for anything from 6 to 12 hours.
Being part of the back-breaking procession is considered an honour, and the position is often handed down through generations of the same family.
Day One – Evening
Book a Tapas Tour
I must admit that I’m a bit fussy when it comes to eating local cuisine (my husband may call it irritating!)
I’m not particularly adventurous when it comes to food, so when I discovered a tapas tour, I thought it would be a fantastic introduction to the authentic food of Seville and one of the great things to do in Seville at night.
Carlos, a local Sevillian, was our guide and took us to three original tapas bars to try their specialities.
He was very knowledgeable and quick to tell us that Seville is famous for tapas, which originates in this city.
I should tell you that tapas is in just about every restaurant in Seville and is one of the most popular foods in Spain. It is tough to know where to eat, so a food tour is an excellent way to find the best tapas in Seville.
We sampled braised pork cheeks, spinach with chickpeas, fried fish, cold potatoes and tuna and a dish called ” pringa ”, a sandwich of different meats. It seems that these are firm favourites on most menus.
The tapas were washed down with various beers and wine from Jerez, the town known worldwide for its sherry production.
My favourite was a dark sweet orange wine, a regional speciality; there are 40,000 orange trees in Seville, so you would expect a few of them to go into winemaking.
We had a lot of fun on our tour and may have come away just a little tipsy and full to bursting with tapas. You can book online here to do a similar best tapas in Seville tour.
Day Two – Morning
Seville Cathedral and Bell Tower
One of the most important landmarks in Seville is the cathedral adjacent to the famous Real Alcazar de Sevilla.
In the heart of the old town of Barrio Santa Cruz, it is the third-largest Gothic church in the world.
A mosque stood on the site in the 12th century, and by the 17th century, additions of gothic and baroque architecture completely changed its appearance and religious standing in Seville.
Buy tickets online to skip the queues before you arrive; otherwise, you will wait a while to enter.
The Giralda bell tower is accessible by stairs and ramps, and if you want to climb to the top, you will see some incredible views over Seville.
The Tomb of Christopher Columbus
Seville Cathedral was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1987, and inside is the resting place for the tomb of Christopher Columbus, the great explorer.
Other cities had laid claim to have his remains, but DNA testing has proved that the bones inside Seville Cathedral are indeed those of Mr Columbus.
Alcazar Real Seville
The Alcazar Real is next to the Cathedral and needs to be on your Seville bucket list.
The mega-organised person inside my head must have been having a day off when she decided to try her luck and turn up without pre-booked Alcazar Seville tickets. They are like gold dust and have to be pre-booked well in advance.
The results of not having pre-booked entry tickets were a disaster. We took our place in the queue that weaved its way from the Alcazar of Seville’s entrance, around the corner and to its exit, and after the first hour, we were getting fed up.
Out of the crowd, a seller appeared and offered tickets that would allow us immediate access, and the bonus was that she would also give a narrated tour of the interior. She disappeared into the crowd, but like a skilled ninja and with hubby in tow, I stealthily followed her to purchase my tickets.
One problem, unbeknown to us, she only had a certain amount available and had just sold the last two!
Not only had we lost our coveted position in the queue, but we would have to rejoin it and queue in line for another 3 hours to reach the ticket desk!
The moral of the Alcazar Seville ticket story is don’t waste valuable time queuing in the scorching Spanish heat when you can buy tickets online for Alcazar Seville before you arrive and waltz straight through the doors and into the Alcazar Real!
Day Two – Afternoon
The Metropol Parasol (Las Setas)
After the disappointment of not getting tickets for the Real Alcazar, I decided to change tactics from visiting one of the oldest landmarks in Seville to one of the newest.
The contemporary form of the Metropol Parasol claims to be the world’s largest wooden structure and is in Seville’s central area, and was constructed in 2005. It costs millions of euros, but the sky-high walkways give you undulating views over Seville and further to the hills.
The structure is also called Las Setas (meaning mushrooms in Spanish) due to the six “mushroom” shapes that hold up the structure. They cast shade on the area below, allowing a respite from the blistering midday sun.
On the ground floor, you will find a market alongside coffee shops and on the lower ground is the ticket office and the archaeological remains of the previous buildings that stood here.
The walk will only take a few minutes, but you have to admire the artistry that has gone into this incredible structure, and the views are pretty cool.
A coffee shop recommendation would be to try “Virgen Coffee” on the road next to the Metropol Parasol; their flat white was the best in Seville!
Barrio de Santa Cruz
Finish your afternoon with a stroll around Seville’s old historic Jewish quarter, a place Jews were banished to after Ferdinand III conquered Seville.
You will find a maze of cobblestoned alleyways, charming courtyards and colourful houses here. If you want to discover the secrets of this part of the city, you can book a guided walking tour of Barrio de Santa Cruz.
Day Two – Evening
Relax in Ancient Spa Baths
After a full day of sightseeing, we were ready for an evening of relaxation. We headed to Aire Ancient Baths, a hidden gem away from the hustle and bustle of Seville’s centre.
Along a narrow unassuming street and behind a large wooden door, Aire Ancient Baths claim that once within its walls, “time does not exist,” and I tend to agree with them.
Candles line the courtyard of this 15th-century palace, and you immediately feel at ease within this exclusive sanctuary. The ambience transports you back to a time when “taking to the waters” was a natural past-time.
Once I had donned my swimsuit and complementary slip-proof water shoes, we descended the candlelit stairs. We would be trying out six experience pools during the evening.
Tepid, warm and cold pools relaxed and invigorated us and the “thousand streams bath” worked our circulatory system.
Time Melts Away in Aire Baths
The Laconium, “steam bath’ and the Flotarium, “salt bath”, let us drift away with our thoughts. The salt bath was fabulous.
My body floated around doing its own thing while the soothing Arabic underwater music took me to a faraway land; a time and place when the ritual of a spa bath was part of an ancient civilisation.
At the end of our 90-minute experience, we realised we had been in Aire for nearly 3 hours. We had been left to relax and enjoy the facilities for well past our 90-minute time slot. I then remembered their motto, “time does not exist”; on this occasion, it certainly had not.
Aire was the perfect way to unwind after a day of Seville sightseeing was one of my favourite experiences.
Day Three – Morning
Real Alcazar – One of the most important things to see in Seville
I had to see the Alcazar on my trip to Seville, so Plan B came into action.
Up bright and early, we had been told tickets are held back for daily admissions. We headed into town and joined the walk-up queue for 8.30 am, ready for the ticket sale at 9.30 am.
We were amazed that we were not even near the start of the queue, but our plan worked. After ninety minutes of queuing, we were inside the oldest functioning royal palace in Europe; mission complete!
Through the centuries, Real Alcazar has been used as the capital for the conquering civilisations that settled in the Iberian Peninsula.
From the Christian King Pedro I of Castile in 1364, who built the Alcazar (castle), to the current Spanish royal family, who keeps apartments on the first floor.
The Islamic architecture in the Real Alcazar and the stunning use of colourful tiling and intricately carved details made it clear why it was a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Imposing interior rooms, courtyards, and stunning gardens made it a dream to wander around, and I wish I could have been there to smell the air when the orange blossom trees come into bloom.
We spent 3 hours in the Alcazar enjoying the beautiful surroundings, although the formal flower gardens looked quite sparse and, in some areas, just mud patches were visible.
I can only imagine the hot summer Seville had encountered had left the plants gasping for shade and water. Temperatures can rise to 45 degrees!
No trip to Seville would be complete without a visit here, so make sure you put it on your list of things to do in Seville.
Day Three – Afternoon
Wander through Maria Luisa Park
After a spot of lunch, we walked to Parque Maria Luisa. It is a large green space with hundreds of trees lining its shady avenues. As you wander around, you will find Moorish fountains and pools home to swans and other birdlife.
Visit Seville’s Museums
Several of Seville’s finest museums are within the park, including the beautiful Museum of Popular Arts And Traditions and the Archaeological Museum of Seville.
Historic buildings are all located close to the entrance of Seville’s impressive museums. We stopped in the small cafe near them for a drink and watched the park visitors do their daily activities.
The park is a lovely place to walk around before making your way to its centrepiece, Plaza de Espana, but if walking isn’t for you, then bikes and four-seated buggies can be rented for you to explore on wheels.
The bike hire station is located just before you reach Plaza de Espana.
Watch the world go by at Plaza de Espana
The lovely Plaza de Espana at the end of the Parque de Maria was built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. It mixes Moorish and Spanish architecture with intricately detailed tiling on every surface.
Horse-drawn carriage rides start and finish here and will take you around the park. You can also take a rowing boat around the small lake beneath the bridges in Plaza de Espana.
If you arrive at the right time, you may also see some local musicians playing flamenco music.
Discover Palacio de las Duenas
I have included the Palacio la Duenas as one of the unique things to do in Seville, as it was one of our favourite places to visit.
Home to the current 19th Duke of Alba, eldest son of the Duquesa de Alba, the palace, which is small in stature but timelessly beguiling, is a joy to discover.
Located on a quiet side street in the Macarena district, the Palacio de las Duenas is like the younger sibling of the grand Real Alcazar.
Constructed in the late 15th century with Gothic and Arabic influences, it was once the home of the Duquesa de Alba, who passed away in 2014.
She was one of Spain’s most famous aristocrats and one of Seville’s best-loved personalities, who was happiest wandering around her gardens at this property despite having palaces and castles throughout Spain.
The ground floor and gardens of the house opened to the public in 2016, and it is now a place to find peace and tranquillity in beautiful surroundings.
The Palacio de las Duenas is a quieter option to discover the architecture of this area without the hoards of visitors that the Alcazar attracts.
Day Three – Evening
Watch an Authentic Flamenco Show
To finish off our fantastic Seville city break, we booked to watch a flamenco show.
Flamenco is the beating pulse at the city’s heart, and as you wander through the streets, you will hear the word “Ole” coming from all around.
Flamenco is the dance of Andalusia, and the influences of Arabic, Christian and Jewish interpretations give us the flamenco we see today. I can recommend a show at the Museum of Flamenco, the only museum of its kind in the world, so I guess it has to be perfect when performed there!
The 60-minute show was full of passion, and the speed of the dancer’s feet was unbelievable. Musicians tapped feet, clapped hands, and sang the intoxicating flamenco lyrics that set the scene for the dancers.
No photography or videoing is allowed during performances, so while you may leave without proof of the fantastic skills of the dancers, you are guaranteed to enjoy the show without any interruptions: a memorable experience and one of the great things to do in Seville.
My honest opinion of Seville, Spain
What month did I travel?
How was the weather?
It was hot and sunny.
Would I recommend the hotel?
Yes. Becquer Hotel is a 10-minute walk to the river and a 20-minute walk to the historic city centre, so ideally located. It has a rooftop pool with views of Seville Cathedral.
Would I recommend three days in Seville?
Seville is full of history and charm, with enough activities to keep visitors busy. I loved the Moorish architecture, tapas, bars and Andalucian culture and would recommend a trip here for anyone looking for a weekend break in Spain.
Please Pin for Future Travel to Spain
Saturday 24th of October 2020
Seville sounds quite wonderful! I love the idea of finding the "real Spain" away from the Costas. Hoping to be able to travel soon so I can discover this beautiful city.
Friday 23rd of October 2020
Sevilla is just amazingly beautiful - and very majestic. However, I would never again visit in Summer. We were there twice and were sooo hot. Finally, we migrated into the Corte Ingles department store - only for the air condition. The other time, we migrated to a movie theater. While at the Corte Ingles, we didn't even buy anything, at the cinema we at least did watch the movie ;-)
Thursday 22nd of October 2020
Seville sure is a popular tourist city! There seems to be a lot of do and see here especially historical locations and architecture. Spanish food is delicious! Your pictures are stunning! :-)
Thursday 22nd of October 2020
This brought back some memories & I would love to go back to Seville. I visited with my husband at the start of a road trip around Andalusia. We were staying at a hotel next door to the Cathedral. After just picking the car up we did several fraught circuits around the city as I tried to read the map & he struggled in the traffic. Eventually we decided to give up & put that car in a car park before getting a taxi. Then we realised it was all pedestrianised & there was no parking anyway! We left the car there for 2 days, as we payed for parking & car hire & didn't use the car at all. It was the best idea as I loved wandering the pedestrian streets & exploring the tapas. Great post - plenty of reasons to return!
Thursday 22nd of October 2020
It's great that you can look back on these types of memories and laugh about them now. I expect you have many stories like this to tell. Perhaps a return to Seville will enable you to relive the time you were there with your husband and also make some new memories for yourself x
Jenn | By Land and Sea
Wednesday 21st of October 2020
This looks incredible! I've always heard Seville is a great place to visit, but now I can see why. I love the architecture here - you can really see the various influences in the design. It looks like there is so much to do here and the food and drinks sound delicious! I would love to try that wine too! Yum! I've added this to our "future travels" list!
Thursday 22nd of October 2020
I am glad I have been able to highlight its qualities to you. I hope that you get there one day