In this post I am going to tell you about the Seville 13 must-see places in just over 48 hours, so you can make the most of your visit in this captivating city. With its unique blend of Andalusian and Moorish architecture, its cosmopolitan atmosphere and historical sites, Seville is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country. While it certainly takes more days to get to know the city in depth, it is feasible to get the pulse of the city in 48 hours. So, note these 13 must-see places that will make you fall in love.
Since Seville is a monumental city, at every step you take, you want to retain its essence to the fullest. In my opinion, it is a unique city, bursting with joy and color.
Considering the different civilizations that settled here (Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, and Visigoths), it is not surprising that for many centuries, it was one of the economic powers of Spain. Its privileged position as a gateway between Europe and America promoted the cultural diversity manifested in the art through the different architectural styles: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, etc. This rich cultural legacy is shown not only in architecture, but extends to culture, gastronomy, and archeology.
A reference to the latter is the first Roman city in the peninsula, Italica (Santiponce). Below, you will find information on how to get there by public transport.
When is the best time to travel to Seville?
Well, since Seville enjoys a Mediterranean climate, in general it is mild all year round. But you have to consider that its summers are boiling, the temperature does not go below 43ºC (July/August).
So, without a doubt, the best seasons to visit the city are spring and autumn.
November also is a good option. I was there at the end of December, and shopping Christmas decorations in short sleeves was a very pleasant (and at the same time unexpected) experience.
48 hour-Itinerary, must-see places
To help you organize your visit, if you have little more than 48 hours, the itinerary below will allow you to explore all the must-see sights of the city, including Itálica, and still have time to enjoy its delicious gastronomy, wine, culture and even, how about a flamenco performance?
Friday afternoon: get a taste of the city, stroll through the City Center, Plaza de San Francisco, Barrio de Santa Cruz and San Bartolomé (old Jewish quarter), Metropol Parasol (“Las Setas”) in Plaza de La Encarnación.
Saturday morning: Alameda de Hércules, World Heritage Site: Cathedral and Giralda tower, Reales Alcázares palaces, Archivo de las Indias, the Hospital de los Venerables.
Saturday afternoon: Museum of Fine Arts, Guadalquivir River, Torre del Oro and Naval Museum, Barrio del Arenal (Plaza de Toros, Hospital de la Caridad), stroll through Maria Luisa Park and Plaza de España.
Sunday morning: Roman city Itálica in Santiponce.
Sunday afternoon: Triana neighborhood.
Tips for improving your visit to Seville
For a first approach to the city, the free tours are great, because the tourist guide gives you information and anecdotes that bring you closer to the culture of the city. Check out this free tour of Seville if you are interested. Other options: this one through the iconic neighborhood of Triana and this one through the neighborhood of Santa Cruz (old Jewish quarter of Seville).
Seville river cruise
Chill out on a boat cruise along the Guadalquivir River while admiring the city’s iconic monuments.
Panoramic view of the city
From the terrace of the Corte Inglés located in Plaza Duque, you can enjoy free 360º views of the entire city, especially at sunset.
Seville 13 must-see places in 48 hours
When strolling through Seville you will notice its rich artistic, cultural heritage present in all its corners, standing out the impressive 3 monuments declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1987, these are the Cathedral and its Giralda tower, the monumental complex of the Reales Alcázares palaces and the Archivo de las Indias.
For this reason, it is a good idea starting the visit with them:
1 – Cathedral and its Giralda Tower
As a curiosity, this is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and the third largest Catholic temple after St. Peter’s in the Vatican and St. Paul’s Church in London. During the Moorish time, it played an important role in terms of religious and cultural life in the city.
Built on the site of an ancient mosque, it dates from 1433. Christopher Columbus and the kings of Castile Ferdinand III, the Saint, his son Alfonso X the Wise and Peter I, the Cruel, are buried there.
Another fun fact: The cathedral has been used as a venue for major events such as the premiere of “The Conqueror”, a film about the life of Christopher Columbus.
The Giralda tower
When it was completed, the tower was regarded as the tallest one in the world, with its nearly 100 meters of height. Today, its recognizable skyline is one of the city’ s icons.
As mentioned above, UNESCO listed the Giralda in 1987 as a World Heritage Site, along with the Reales Alcazares palaces and the Archivo de las Indias.
The current building dates from the 12th century and was raised by the Almohad dynasty on the remains of an ancient minaret from the Moorish period. In 1568, with the Catholic Monarchs, a Christian bell tower was added to the top of the tower. This belfry is made up of two united bodies that show the fusion of cultures that characterize this evocative city.
In the link catedraldesevilla.es you can check up-to-date schedules and fares.
2 – The Reales Alcázares palaces
One of the must-see visits for getting to know Seville is the Real Alcazar palace. By the way, this is the oldest royal palace in Europe that preserves its original functions. In fact, it is the place where the Kings of Spain stay when they come to Seville.
The Mudejar palace, built by King Pedro I of Castile, stands out from the complex, which was built in different styles and periods.
Lately it hosted the shooting of many series and films such as “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Kingdom of Heaven” or the famous series “Game of Thrones”.
Click here for the latest schedules and fares.
3 – The Archivo General de Indias
The Archivo de Indias contains the accumulated records of the Crown, and other archives relating to the administrative and legal organization of the Spanish Empire in America and Asia from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. To give you an idea of its extensive documentation, it contains 43,000 dossiers, 80 million pages, and 8,000 maps.
Charles III found these archives in 1785. Over the years, they have gone through different situations: they were scattered in many places during the XVII and XVIII centuries; recovered in the XIX century; and finally gathered again in the XX century into two different and independent archives in Simancas, Cádiz and Seville, respectively.
Admission is free.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:45 pm and Sundays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
4 – Santa Cruz Neighborhood
Definitely one of the most charming areas to visit in Seville is the old Jewish quarter of the city, located in the neighborhood of Santa Cruz.
Walking through its evocative and winding streets full of legends and history, you will immediately feel yourself back in time.
Among its essential streets there are Mateo Gago Street, Callejón del Agua, Plaza de Santa Cruz (where the Sevillian painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo is buried), and also Calles Judería, Aire, Agua and Vida.
5 – Hospital de los Venerables
Moreover, in the Barrio de Santa Cruz you will find the Hospital de los Venerables. This is a 17th century baroque style building, which was originally a residence for elderly and sick priests. Today, it is the headquarters of the Focus Foundation (Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla), which houses the Diego Velazquez Center and also hosts itinerant exhibitions in order to promote the Seville’s artistic culture.
6 – Plaza de San Francisco and San Francisco Church
In ancient times, it became the most important square in the city, since in the thirteenth century it was the main access road to enter Seville, and also to get to the Convent of San Francisco. In fact, it already existed as a square when the Christians reconquered the city in 1248.
If you step into the San Francisco church, you will find that it combines a mixture of baroque and neoclassical styles because of the works that were carried out in it during the seventeenth-and eighteenth centuries. It contains sculptures of Franciscan saints and the main altarpiece dated from 1721.
7 – Metropol Parasol
The innovative and ultramodern proposal in Seville is the Metropol Parasol. Located in the Plaza de La Encarnación, the project designed by architect Jürgen Mayer, combines past and present.
To this day, its wooden structure is the largest in the world, but this is not the only thing that distinguishes it. This engineering wonder is made up of five levels containing the Antiquarium (where the archaeological remains discovered during its construction are exhibited), the food market and restaurants.
A large square designed to host leisure activities and shows, and defying the sky, its great attraction: the Mirador (Viewpoint).
From its maze of walkways over 205 meters long and 28 meters high, you can enjoy an unforgettable 360º panoramic view of the entire city.
Keep in mind: The elevator that gives access to the viewpoint is located on the underground floor, next to the Antiquarium.
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to midnight. The entrance fee is 5 euros.
8 – The Fine Arts Museum
This is an interesting museum of painting and sculpture located in a former convent of the seventeenth century mannerism style and one of the must-see of the city.
To give you an idea, there are 14 rooms displaying Seville genre paintings from the fifteenth to the twentieth century.
The museum’s permanent collections include masterpieces by El Greco, Pedro de Mena, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and Zurbarán, among others.
The admission is free.
9 – The Arenal Neighborhood
It is definitely one of the most popular neighborhoods and visited by both tourists and locals. Bounded by the Paseo de Colón and the streets of Adriano and Dos de Mayo, is located in the former walled enclosure of the city and nowadays it is well-known for its bustling atmosphere and an incessant cultural activity.
Here you will find the most emblematic monuments of the city such as the Torre del Oro, the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza, the Maestranza Theater, the Reales Altarazanas, the Hospital de la Caridad or the Torre de Plata.
By the way, you can enjoy a stroll through the gardens of the Marqués de Contadero to get superb views of Triana and the bridges. Besides, here you will find the boats that cruise along the river.
10 – Torre del Oro, Guadalquivir River and Naval Museum
As I mentioned above, the Torre del Oro is located in the Arenal neighborhood, on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. This tower was built for closing a passage through a stretch of wall that was attached to the Torre de la Plata and defended the Alcazar.
It measures 36 meters and although it’s not made of gold, as its name suggests however, it gives off a golden hue at sunset that makes it exquisite.
As a curiosity, although it was rebuilt on multiple occasions, the Muslim king Abù I-Ulà began the first building in 1220. Then, Peter I the Cruel added another body in the fourteenth century, and was completed in 1760, with the addition of a third floor by Sebastian Van der Borch.
Among its purposes are gold storage or the gateway for the gold arriving from America.
The Naval Museum of Seville (located in the Tower) exhibits an extensive collection of items related to the nautical arts and documents linked to Seville and the great marine discoveries.
- Address: Paseo Cristóbal Colón, s/n.
- Opening Hours: Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m to 7 p. Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m to 2 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Entrance fee: 3 euros contribution.
11 – María Luisa Park and Plaza de España
Among the must-see and impressive places in Seville stands the Plaza de España, framed within the Maria Luisa Park. In my opinion, one of the most beautiful and stunning squares in Spain.
María Luisa Park
Within short walking distance from Seville’s downtown is the Maria Luisa Park, known as the green lung of the city. Its gardens of palm trees, pines and flowers are a delight for the senses.
This park is divided into two areas: on one side, you will find the Plaza de España and, on the other, the Plaza de América, with its beautiful fountains and statues.
Also, while strolling around, you can visit, for example, the Archaeological Museum or the Museum of Popular Arts and Customs.
Plaza de España
It is impossible to describe the Plaza de España in just one word. The first thing that will strike you is its enormous size: it occupies a total area of 50,000 square meters. The second is the immense semicircular building that surrounds the Plaza de España, a construction UNESCO has declared that a World Heritage Site. And the third, how incredibly photogenic it results to be.
Facing the main façade of the Plaza de España, there are 4 beautiful bridges crossing the 515- meter-long canal representing the ancient kingdoms of Spain: Castilla y León, Navarra, Aragón and Granada. Each has its own balcony overlooking the water.
Special mention deserves its colorful tiles that decorate each corner and give life to the square.
The square was built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 with the design of the sevillan architect, Aníbal González.
12 – The Triana Neighborhood
Among the must-see places to visit during your 48-hour stay in Seville, include in your agenda a stroll through the Triana neighborhood. This quarter, located on the other side of the Guadalquivir River, is the cradle of flamenco and the birthplace of some of the most famous bullfighters in Spanish history. The Triana bridge links it to the historical center, offering breathtaking views of both banks of the river.
In my opinion, the key feature of Triana is its special atmosphere and its people, while the buildings are not very significant; however, as you walk through its lively streets, you will come across monuments such as the Church of Santa Ana (a Gothic style temple built in the sixteenth century), or St. George’s Chapel, where hermits and pilgrims used to gather before setting out on their journey to Santiago de Compostela.
Also, pay special attention to St. George’s Castle, the Triana Market and the traditional Calle Betis (Betis street), popular for its countless restaurants and tapas bars.
On the other hand, Triana has always been a place of artisans and traders, so today you can still see plenty of workshops and stores. Here you will find the famous local ceramics, especially in the “Betis Street” full of craft shops.
13 – Itálica Archaeological Ensemble
I confess that one of the reasons to come back to Seville was to get to know Itálica, as I had it on my bucket list for a long time; so I was very excited to cross it off the list.
The Roman city Itálica is located in Santiponce, and is the first Roman city of the Iberian Peninsula, whose origin dates back to 206 BC, as well as the birthplace of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian.
The Archaeological Ensemble of Itálica shows an splendid amphitheater, a theater, the defensive walls of the city, the baths, the temple of Trajan and Domus (houses of wealthy families of which remain beautiful mosaics), all this surrounded by scenic grounds.
It also houses a museum where you can start your visit if you go on your own.
Since I didn’t want to skip any detail, I booked this free tour that started at 10:00 h, and to tell you the truth, I found it to be both very entertaining and informative.
In case you go on your own, here are the schedules. Admission is free.
How to get to Santiponce by public transport
Santiponce is 10 kilometers away from Seville. The cheapest way to get there is by bus. Buses leave every hour from the “Estación de Armas” (Bus station) and also from Santiponce. The journey takes about 30 minutes, and you buy the ticket directly from the driver. The price is €1.65 one-way.
- Departure times: 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30 …
- Return times: 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00 …
Where to stay in Seville
Since Seville is a city that is pretty well-connected by public transport, you can expect to find varied and quality accommodation options.
As a reference, I recommend the hotel I stayed at, H10 Casa de la Plata right in the historic center; I liked everything about it: the decor, the quiet room with a very comfortable bed, the cleanliness and the friendliness of the staff.
Where to eat in Seville
In terms of gastronomy, the city, like transportation, offers plenty has of local and high-quality restaurants to taste its exquisite cuisine. Here are the restaurants I tried and loved, so that you can have them as a guide.
- Abaceria del Postigo. In front of the cathedral, I liked it because they offer different tapas than other restaurants. In addition, the staff is super friendly and helpful. I highly recommend the tuna tartar with avocado and for dessert, cheesecake with chocolate in the shape of a red tomato, fantastic!
Address: C/ Tomás de Ibarra, 4. Tel: 654 43 19 45.
- La Barca de Calderón, in Triana, with privileged views of the river. Homemade food, great value for money and also the excellent service. I found the truffle and boletus risotto and the rice black pudding with caramelized onion exquisite, I definitely would repeat!
Address: Paseo de la O Triana, Antiguo Club de Pesca. Tel: 634 24 34 71.
- A couple of cafes caught my attention among the coffee shops. Whether to start the day with a healthy breakfast, have coffee or take a break at any time, these places have a lot of charm:
- El Viajero Sedentario (Alameda de Hercules, 77). You can spend a good time reading, sipping an excellent coffee, and tasting some of their delicious cakes.
- La Señora Pop (Alameda de Hercules – Calle Amor de Dios, 55). It’s set in the 1980s and serves delicious natural juices. Also, there is such a wide selection of cakes to choose from that you will want to try them all.
- The terrace of the hotel Palacio Alcazar, next to the cathedral and the Giralda. On the 2nd floor there is a terrace with a cafeteria/bar with spectacular views of the cathedral and the city walls.
Address: Plaza de la Alianza, 11.
Seville 13 must-see places, wrap up
I shared with you the must-see places to visit in Seville in just over 48 hours in this article. I hope you enjoyed it and that it will assist you in making the most of your time in this wonderful city, as well as in savoring the small moments found in the thousand corners you will pass through on your route to Seville!
If you’re seeking for fresh places to visit, check out this link for more tempting escapes.
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