There is an old Andalusian saying, «He who has not seen Seville has not seen Wonder». We couldn’t agree more: this Spanish city welcomed us with its orange scent, lively as the colors of azulejos. Here is our guide to the best things to do in Seville in 3 days, with all the main attractions and activities.
The Perfect 3 Days in Seville Itinerary
Seville is the most important city in southern Spain and the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia. It can be reached by many direct flights from all over the world.
We visited Seville at the end of March, one of the most suitable periods to enjoy its springtime luxuriance. Unfortunately, our stay was very rainy, which is rare for this time of the year.
We stayed at the Silken Al-Andalus hotel in Seville, a bit out of the city center, but well served by bus and good value for money.
Many people choose to visit Seville during the Easter period for the Semana Santa, the most important religious event in the city. It goes without saying, the number of tourists increases dramatically in this period, and so do the prices.
Day 1 – Plaza de España and María Luisa’s Park
We land in Seville around 3.30 pm. After leaving our luggage at the hotel, we immediately set off to discover the city.
María Luisa’s Park
Our first stop is María Luisa’s Park, where you can find the famous Plaza de España, one of the symbols of Seville. Part of these gardens was donated to the city in 1893 by the Duchess of Montpensier, María Luisa. In the following years, the gardens became the lush expanse that you see today.
Many buildings in the park are inspired by traditional Andalusian architecture. They were designed by Aníbal Gonzáles for the Iberoamerican Exhibition of 1929. Today the pavilions of that Expo have become museums, such as the beautiful Museo Archeológico and the Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares.
The gardens are full of fountains, colorful tiled courtyards and fruit trees, their branches heavy with sweet tangerines.
Plaza de España of Seville
But the heart of the park is Plaza de España, also built for the 1929 Expo: this magnificent square has earned a place in the heart of all Sevillians. We walk through it in the pouring rain, a strange but romantic experience.
We walk under the porch that embraces the square, spying on its graceful bridges. The colors of the tiles and ceramics are so perfect that it’s like being in a movie. It’s no coincidence that Plaza de España has been used as a filming location for different movies, like Star Wars: Episode II, Attack of The Clones.
The first day in Seville ends splendidly in a tapas bar in the historic center of the city, La Corona.
Day 2 – Isla de La Cartuja, Metropol Parasol, Real Alcázar and Barrio de Santa Cruz
Our second day in Seville begins at the Isla de La Cartuja (Carthusian Monastery Island), where you can find the Monastery of La Cartuja and several structures built for the 1992 Expo, such as the Jardines del Guadalquivir.
The Monastery of La Cartuja
The monastery, named after Santa Maria de las Cuevas, was founded in 1400. Christopher Columbus spent some time here while planning his second trip to America and was buried in the monastery for some years after his death.
Later, the monastery was converted into a ceramics factory and an Expo pavilion. Today it houses the CAAC, Andalusian Centre of Contemporary Art. We did not particularly enjoy the exhibition areas, but the monastery itself is very impressive.
Monastero de la Cartuja and CAAC
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 9 pm; closed on Mondays and bank holidays
- Prices: €1,80 visit to the monument and temporary exhibitions; €3 full visit
Metropol Parasol of Seville
On the way back to the old town we cross the Guadalquivir, the river of Seville. A glimmer of sunshine peeps out of the clouds: it’s the right time to climb the rooftops of the city! To do so we choose the Metropol Parasol, a futuristic structure designed by Jürgen Mayer.
The underground level is occupied by the Antiquarium, an archaeological site with Roman and Moorish remains, dating from the first century BC to the 12th century AD. It’s quite fascinating, but nothing compared to the panoramic terraces: the view of the city center from the top is wonderful, especially with a glass a wine.
Belvedere Mirador Setas de Sevilla
- Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday from 10 am to 11 pm; Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 11.30 pm.
- Access to the terraces is only possible by lift with a €3 ticket (including a free drink at the rooftop bar and a postcard).
After the climb, we stop for some tapas at Los Coloniales, a highly recommended local spot with delicious food and low prices.
Alcázar of Seville
I’m sure the Garden of Eden looks a lot like the Alcázar of Seville. This heavenly royal palace is one of the finest examples of Mudéjar architecture in Spain and was used as a set for the show Game of Thrones.
Alcázar of Seville
- October to March: Monday to Sunday, 9.30 am-5 pm
- April to September: Monday to Sunday, 9.30 am-7 pm
- Tickets: full price €9,50, students €2
Barrio de Santa Cruz
Leaving the Alcázar, we head left along the perimeter of the building to immerse ourselves in the Barrio de Santa Cruz, the former Jewish quarter of Seville. The Jews lived there until 1492 when the Spanish kings expelled the entire religious community from Spain.
Today, the Barrio de Santa Cruz is a labyrinth of narrow streets and colorful squares to explore with excitement.
Day 3 – Seville Cathedral and Triana
We spend our last day in Seville visiting its Cathedral and the vibrant Triana district.
Seville Cathedral and the Giralda
Seville Cathedral is the tenth-largest church in the world, as well as the largest Gothic church. Don’t’ miss the golden Retablo Major behind the high altar, a wall of gilded sculpture adorned with scenes from the life of Christ.
Inside the cathedral is the burial monument of Christopher Columbus, though a mystery hovers over the tomb of the famous explorer. In fact, he almost certainly reposes in Santo Domingo, where his remains were transferred years after his death.
Check out also the Patio de los Naranjos, a beautiful cloister with orange trees, and the Giralda, a former minaret converted a bell tower for the cathedral. Despite its height, getting to the top of the Giralda is very easy, since the tower has no stairs, but 34 smooth ramps that allowed the muezzin to climb it on horseback.
- Tuesday to Saturday, 11am-5pm; Sunday, 2.30pm-6pm; Monday, 11am-3.30pm
- You can visit the cathedral for free with an audio guide on Mondays, from 4.30 pm to 6 pm, advance booking is required
- Prices: full price €9 ; students €4
To restore our strength we decide to tapear at Casa Morales, a traditional restaurant opened in 1850 where we eat among huge terracotta jars.
Torre del Oro of Seville
Heading towards the banks of the Guadalquivir from the Cathedral, you will find the enchanting Torre del Oro in front of you. This suggestive structure was built as a watchtower by the Almohad Caliphate for defensive purposes.
After the conquest of the city by the Castilian monarchs (1248) the tower was enlarged: it is said that King Peter I used it for his love meetings. You can admire a wonderful panorama of the city center and the river banks from the terrace.
Torre del Oro
- Monday to Friday, 9.30 am to 6.45 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10.30 am to 6.45 pm
- Prices: full price €3 ; students €1,50
Triana is a neighborhood district on the west bank of the Guadalquivir River of Seville. Until 1852, when the Isabella II Bridge was built, the two cities were even separated! Therefore, the inhabitants of Triana like to consider themselves a small independent republic.
The pastel colors reflected in the river and the picturesque narrow streets of Triana are striking. We go for a walk in the Mercado, full of tempting food stalls. Then we reach the church of Santa Ana, considered the cathedral of Triana.
More things to see in Seville
If you’ve read this far, you’ll understand that there are a lot of things to do in Seville in 3 days and that time won’t be enough. So if you can stay for another couple of days, it’s definitely better. You might as well:
- visit the Museo de Bellas Artes, the second largest art gallery in Spain after the Prado in Madrid;
- enjoy the nightlife in the Alameda de Hércules district;
- see a flamenco show in Triana;
- visit the Real Maestranza, a known site for bullfighting.
How to get around Seville
Getting around Seville is easy because the city is pretty small and you can reach plenty of attractions on foot. However, if you’re staying a bit out of the city center, you can rely on public transport, such as bus, tram or metro.
The company Tussam operates the connection between the center of Seville and the airport, EA line. The stop is just outside the terminal and tickets can be purchased on board at the cost of €4.
Last tip: if you’re carrying a heavy backpack, you can leave it at the luggage storage of the bus station in Plaza de Armas, €3 per locker.
The best places to eat in Seville
In Seville you don’t eat lunch or dinner: you just eat… tapas. The custom of serving a glass of wine or cerveza with small appetizers is typically Spanish.
We got into the part and were basically eating tapas all the time. For each meal we spent approximately between 12 and 26€: quite cheap, isn’t it? Let’s remind you of our favorite places with the best tapas in Seville: La Corona, Los Coloniales and Casa Morales.
We hope we have given you all the information you need to plan your next trip to Seville. Thanks for reading: if you have any other questions or curiosities, please leave a comment.