So you’ve arrived in Seville and you only have one day to see all the sights.
Fear not, the capital of Andalusia is one of the most walkable cities in the world and many of the best wonders are concentrated in and around the centre.
This travel cheat sheet will guide you through the most popular tourist hotspots, including where to stop to refuel along the way.
TIP: Wear comfortable shoes, there is a lot of walking involved and the cobbled streets of this ancient city are not to be tested.
Real Alcázar – 10 a.m.
There is no other place to start your visit to Seville than the incredible Real Alcazar, located in front of Plaza del Triunfo, in the “Centro” (center) district.
It is one of the oldest palaces in Europe whose construction began in 913, when the Caliph of Andalusia Abd al-Rahman III first decided to build a fort.
For over 500 years, the estate was expanded by successive Moorish, Christian and finally Catholic rulers, making it one of the most iconic attractions in a region characterized by its multicultural history.
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, the tiling, gardens and architecture are impressive. Plus, you may see a peacock or two roaming the grounds.
Entrance costs €9.50 and you can expect to queue for around 30-45 minutes or more during high season (unless you book tickets in advance).
In our case, we arrive at 10 a.m. and avoid the madness, before spending 45 minutes watching the rooms and another 30 minutes in the gardens (if you have more time you can spend an hour on both, at least).
Cathedral – 12 p.m.
Exit the Alcazar where you entered and turn left to cross Plaza de la Catedral.
Also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, it is the largest Gothic church in the world, covering some 23,500 m².
It was completed in the early 1500s before being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Standard entry is €9 and feel free to pick up a leaflet at the entrance as they can offer routes around the park depending on how much time you have.
But for a quick visit, favor the tomb of Christopher Columbus, the high altar and the golden section of the choir.
TRAVEL TIP: You can buy a ticket for the cathedral at the nearby Iglesia Colegia del Salvador, which will allow you to skip the line
Bell tower of the Giralda – 1:30 p.m.
Connected to the cathedral is the Giralda, which has proudly overlooked Seville since 1198.
It was completed by the Moors to commemorate their 1194 victory over Alfonso VIII of Castile.
And if the queue is not too long, it is worth climbing to the top, which you will find that instead of stairs consists of 34 sloping ramps.
They were once ridden by horses five times a day for the Islamic call to prayer.
In 1248, following the Christian Reconquista (reconquest), it was converted next to the Catedral (formerly a mosque), into a cathedral.
The view from the top offers stunning views of the city.
If you want to see all of these sites in one day, skip entering the tower, you’ll get a pretty good view of them from the outside and there are other opportunities on the roof. Head to Plaza de España instead.
Spanish Steps – 1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Exit the Giralda and head southeast through Plaza del Triunfo and past the Archivo de Indias (a historical site for another day).
Follow the tram tracks to Avenida el Cid (taking note of the Hotel Alfonso XIII and the former tobacco factory-turned-University of Seville along the way).
Turn right on el Cid and you will soon see the entrance to Maria Luisa Park, home to Plaza de España, on the other side of the roundabout.
Repeatedly ranked as the number one tourist attraction in Spain by TripAdvisor users, Plaza de España is a true work of art.
Designed by Caidon Fox for the 1929 Seville Exposition, it was created to showcase the Spanish industry and technology exhibits at the historic fair.
The complex is a huge semi-circle with buildings running continuously around the edge, offering a mix of 1920s Art Deco, Baroque and Neo-Mudejar styles.
The buildings are accessed via four bridges – representing the four ancient kingdoms of Spain – built over a moat that runs the length of the complex.
In the center is the Vicente Traver Fountain while near the walls are tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain.
If you REALLY have time to kill, you can row a boat through the moat in what is perhaps the most pointless tourist trap – although it does make for a great photo.
Maria Luisa Park 2:15 p.m. – 2:35 p.m.
While you’re already there, take a quick stroll through Maria Luisa Park.
Its magnificent gardens were designed by Jean-Claude Forestier for the 1929 exhibition, which saw the entire south of the city redeveloped into green spaces and grand boulevards.
The park features stunning tiled fountains, pavilions, ponds and an exotic array of plants and trees.
Sit down for five minutes on one of its many shaded benches – you’re ready for another walk!
LUNCH AND REFRESHMENT – 3 p.m.-4 p.m.
Are you still hungry? Head to Maestro Marcelino on Calle Hernando Colon, a two-minute walk from the Giralda (about 20 minutes from Plaza de Espana).
One of the coolest restaurants in Santa Cruz, this is the perfect place to refuel.
A deli-cum-tapas gourmet bar, it has a fantastic and varied menu and offers some of the best jamons in Seville. The staff are also very knowledgeable and happy to tell you about their impressive wine list.
TIP: Many sale items make great gifts
Museum of Fine Arts – 4:15 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Then, head 15 minutes northwest to the Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts).
Founded in 1839, it houses a large collection of works from medieval times through to the 20th century, including works selected from some of the greatest Spanish paintings of the 17th century (known as the Golden Age of Sevillian painting).
General admission is €1.50, but limited special exhibitions will cost you more and be aware that it is closed on Mondays.
From September 1 to July 31, it is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., while in August it closes at 3 p.m.
If you visit on a Sunday, the square it sits in is home to a brilliant weekly art fair.
Las Setas – 5:10 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Exit the museum and walk down Calle de Alfonso XIII for about 800 meters until you come to a huge contemporary structure.
The Metropol Parasol, known as Las Setas de la Encarnacion (Mushrooms of Encarnacion), has six umbrellas and spans four levels.
Built between 2005 and 2011, it was designed by Berlin architect Jurgen Mayer who took part in a competition organized by the government to renovate the area.
Mayer said he was inspired by the vaults of the cathedral and the ficus trees in Burgos’ Plaza de Cristo.
Beneath the structure, you’ll find the Antiquarium, home to Roman and Moorish remains that were discovered and preserved during the construction of Las Setas, while at street level, the public square hosts a market and public events. regular.
Step in and pay a small fee (€3) to enjoy the second and third levels, featuring a restaurant and walking platforms with stunning city views.
El Rinconcillo 6:10 p.m. – 7 p.m.
It’s time for another pit stop and what better way to do it than at another historic site.
Exit Las Setas and keep walking until you reach Calle Imagen and turn left at the Church of Santa Catalina, then left again.
Here you will find El Rinconcillo, the oldest bar in Seville.
It has been serving cervezas since 1670 and still sees bartenders writing orders in chalk along the bar.
It also serves fantastic tapas if you’re feeling peckish.
TIP: Across the road is the equally popular Los Claveles bar, and next door is Las Tabernas, both of which serve great value tapas.
Puerta de la Macarena & Basilica of Macarena – 7:15 p.m.
After resting your legs in El Rinconcillo, cross Plaza de los Terceros and walk down Calle Bustos Tavera for about half a mile until you come to the imposing Macarena Gate (Puerta de la Macarena).
Appearing like a giant yellow box, it is attached to the ancient city wall, originally built by the Romans under Julius Caesar before being modernized and extended by the Moors in the 12th century.
Right next to the gate is the Basilica de la Macarena, a Catholic temple built in 1941 and home to one of the city’s most revered religious treasures, the Virgen de la Esperanza Macarena (Macarena Virgin of Hope), popularly known as Macarena.
The statue stands behind the main altar, wearing a gold crown, exquisite vestments and five flower-shaped emerald and diamond brooches that were donated by famed matador Joselito El Gallo in 1912.
Its museum will cost you 5 €.
Congratulations if you made it this far, now head for a 10 minute walk to the Alameda for a well deserved drink and dinner. The tree-lined strip is packed with quality bars and restaurants that won’t let you down!