Spain is one of those countries where there are simply too many good destinations to choose from. Whether it’s your first trip or your fifth, it’s easy to get excited about the prospect of visiting new places in this inspiring corner of Europe. Though there may be plenty of cities, towns, and beaches to choose from, one Spanish destination you can’t miss is the city of Seville.
Found in the magnificent region of Andalusia, Seville is ideal either as a city break getaway or part of a greater Spain trip. With 2 days in Seville, you’ll see that this passionate city overflows with culture, food, history, and everything in between. It may seem tough to fit such a fun destination into only two days, but with this Seville itinerary it’s certainly possible. With that in mind, here’s what to do in Seville in 2 days to get as much out of the experience as possible.
Best Time to Visit Seville
The best time to visit Seville depends on what kind of experience you want to have there. The weather along with your interest in certain cultural events will have a great impact on when you decide is best for your visit.
This is because, more than most places, Seville’s high season isn’t dictated by the weather but rather by two important cultural celebrations. In the months of March and April, Seville holds Semana Santa, or Holy Week, along with Feria de Abril. The former is a Roman Catholic festival with parades and events, while the latter is a six day carnival. Come at this time of year and you’ll get to experience something special and unique to Seville, but be aware that the city will be at its absolute busiest.
Outside the festival season, you’ll find that Seville’s weather is best in the months of May and June. Though it’s still technically high season for the city, the crowds won’t be nearly as bad.
Seville is also quite pleasant during winter, as it never reaches the bitter low temperatures found elsewhere in Europe. By going in January or February, you avoid the rain and damp of autumn while still enjoying the affordability of the shoulder season.
Seville does definitely have a wrong time to visit and that is the summer months, July and August. Not only is the city hit with sweltering heat that will make afternoon sightseeing truly unpleasant, but this is when locals leave for their holidays. A place isn’t quite the same without its people, is it?
How to Get Around Seville
When visiting Seville, you’re going to need to move about the city as you explore all its wonderful attractions. Most of the time and especially in the historic center, that’s going to mean walking, since it’s just one attraction after the next there. But if walking all day isn’t an option for you for whatever reason, then you’re going to want to make use of Seville’s public transport.
Within the very center of Seville, the two best options to get around are the bus and tram. The bus will be of the most use to you, there are routes and stops all through the city, making it a great way to get around. It’s best to get a rechargeable Tarjeta Multiviaje card or one of the tourist cards, as they can work out better value than buying a €1.40 single trip ticket on board.
There’s only one tram line in Seville. The T1 tram line is useful as it runs right through the heart of Seville, from Plaza Nueva to San Bernado, stopping between so many of Seville’s highlights. A single ticket for the tram is €1.20.
Seville is also serviced by a single metro line, but unfortunately, due to the way in which it cuts across the city, it is not really useful for those planning on sightseeing.
For those needing to get from Seville airport into the city, there is a 35 minute bus journey that connects the two. On the EA Airport Special, a €4 ticket will get you from the airport to your choice of Plaza de Armas or the Santa Justa train station.
Accommodation in Seville
Seville is one city where you won’t encounter any problem finding accommodation. Travelers of every type will find levels of accommodation to suit their wants and needs. Really it’s just a matter of deciding which area you want to stay in for your 48 hours in Seville.
Any thoughts or concerns you have about where to stay in Seville, can easily be put at ease. That’s because Seville has a relatively straightforward city layout, making it hard to go wrong no matter where you choose to stay. Seville’s city center may be dense but it’s not huge, so anywhere you find in this part of the city will have good access to all the main attractions.
Even an interesting neighborhood like Triana across the river isn’t out of the question, as you can walk or take public transport over without too much hassle.
Anyone seeking the best place to stay in Seville that offers guests indulgent comfort, can stop their search at the remarkably upscale Hotel Palacio De Villapanés. Set inside an actual 18th century palace, this beautiful five star hotel boasts big rooms with boutique styling.
On the other hand, travelers looking for the best value for money, will want to look at the Catalonia Giralda. This reasonably priced four star hotel has everything you could need, including air-conditioning, comfortable beds, and even a swimming pool.
As for backpackers and budget travelers, Seville has many hostels but The Nomad Hostel is one of the best choices. Dorm beds and private rooms are cheap and clean, plus there are great common areas such as the rooftop bar.
For more accommodation options in Seville check out Booking.com. They continuously offer the best rates and their custom service is on point.
The Perfect 2-Day Seville Itinerary
Even just a weekend in Seville, is enough to fall in love with the Spanish city. You won’t run out of things to do in the city either, which isn’t a shock since it’s one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations. During your time in Seville, you’ll comb the city’s fabulous old town to see the absolute best of Seville attractions. But this itinerary doesn’t stop there, instead, it guides you out of the city center into neighborhoods like San Bernardo and even across the river into characterful Triana. This way, you’ll really feel like you’ve seen the city.
However, before we get to our Seville travel itinerary we just wanted to remind you to purchase travel insurance. You never know what will happen and trust us, you do not want to get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills. As a wise man once said, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.” So don’t leave home without it. We recommend World Nomads.
Even if you don’t get travel insurance with World Nomads, please make sure to get travel insurance from somewhere.
Now that you’re prepared for your trip, it’s time to delve into the best things to do in Seville.
Day 1 in Seville
Upon arriving in the city you’re going to want to get right to the best places to visit in Seville. To do so we’re going to start in Seville’s historic center and slowly move southward towards the area of San Bernardo.
Recommendation: The first three stops on this itinerary are some of Seville’s most important monuments. To get the most out of your visit and learn more about the history behind the Alcázar, Cathedral and Giralda Tower, we highly recommend you book a tour with a knowledgeable guide. This 3-hour tour includes all three landmarks and offers the best value for money, however for your convenience we also list individual tours to each attraction below.
Real Alcázar of Seville
The perfect place to start your visit to Seville and be immediately wowed is the enchanting Real Alcazar of Seville. This Royal Palace is still in use to this day as an official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, and as such is appropriately extravagant and captivating. Dating from the 11th century, it’s rightly a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the city’s most popular attractions.
Behind its walls, you can visit the Alcazar’s exquisite rooms, iconic courtyards, and elegant and peaceful gardens. You’ll probably recognize the pools and Moorish architecture of the Patio de las Doncellas, along with the outdoor gardens that were used as a setting for one of the worlds in Game of Thrones. With so much beauty and grandeur here, you’re really starting your Seville visit off on a high note.
Recommendation: Skip the long lines and explore one of the finest examples of Mudéjar architecture in Spain on this amazing guided tour.
The Alcazar is not alone when it comes to World Heritage landmarks in Seville. The city’s other major landmark is the nearby Seville Cathedral, or Catedral de Santa María de la Sede as its full name goes. The Seville Cathedral is the third largest church in the world and the largest of Gothic design. Throw in the Cathedral’s huge, yet beautiful interior and you’d be mad to miss this site on your Seville trip.
The Cathedral was built during the 15th and 16th centuries, in the spot where the city’s mosque once stood during the Moorish occupation. While its Gothic architecture is impressive from the outside, its sheer detail and scale is best appreciated from inside. Besides its impressive architecture, you’ll also find works of art by famed Spanish artists, an incredible choir and altar, and the tomb of Christopher Columbus.
Upon exiting, take a moment among the orange trees of the Patio de los Naranjos. This idyllic courtyard even has a small fountain, a carryover from the old mosque. Before visiting, be sure to check the hours during which the cathedral is open as they vary day to day and usually aren’t very long.
La Giralda Tower
Once you’ve explored the Cathedral, it’s time to continue on and make your way up the attached bell tower, La Giralda. Originally a minaret and one of the few remaining parts of the mosque that was on this site, the tower is unusual in that it has ramps that lead you to the top rather than stairs. This was so animals could carry up the men whose job it was to perform the call to prayer five times a day.
As beautiful and ornate as La Giralda is when viewed from the street, the views out over the city are in a league of their own. The ticket to climb La Giralda is included as part of your entry into the Cathedral.
Recommendation: If you want to learn more about the history behind the Cathedral and the Giralda Tower consider booking a tour with an official guide.
Streets of Santa Cruz
Having spent much of your day so far inside major attractions, it’s time for a little wandering around outdoors. Near the Alcázar of Seville, you’ll find the quaint streets of the Santa Cruz neighborhood. This narrow maze of historic streets is full of pretty yellow and white-painted buildings, along with orange trees everywhere. Don’t get too worried about getting lost in here – that’s half the fun – you’re sure to find your way back to the Seville Cathedral at some stage.
Royal Tobacco Factory
Following the Avenida de la Constitución pedestrian area down behind the gardens of the Alcázar of Seville we find ourselves outside the Royal Tobacco Factory. Now used as the main building of the University of Seville, you’d never guess, based on from its grand architectural design, that this building was once a factory.
In fact, The Royal Tobacco Factory was responsible for the supply of most of Europe’s cigarettes throughout the 19th century. It also happens to be famous for being the workplace of the title character in the opera Carmen. Be sure to walk through to the inner courtyard to fully appreciate this former factory in all its glory.
Parque de María Luisa
It’s nice to get a bit of balance when exploring big city destinations like Seville. So for a change after spending so much of the day in the city streets, head for the Parque de María Luisa. This big beautiful park sits just south of the historic center, and walking along its wide, leafy streets is a great little break after a long day in the city.
Plaza de Espana
The other key reason to visit the Parque de María Luisa is to see the the Plaza de Espana. It becomes immediately clear why this is one of Seville’s most popular tourist attractions the moment you set foot here. The plaza is a huge oval space, surrounded by a moat canal and resting below a great long pavilion that features an incredibly elaborate design full of imaginative tilework.
The Plaza de Espana is one of the most photographed spots in historic Seville, and yet many are surprised to learn that it’s not even a hundred years old. In fact, the Plaza de Espana was created for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition World’s Fair. With its various revival architectural styles though, it creates quite the spectacle. Little wonder then that it’s been used as a setting for films like Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.
When in Spain, you have to try Spanish food, which means tapas!. There’s no shortage of restaurants and tapas bars in Seville, but for something simple and central, head for Taberna Coloniales. Don’t expect fancy cuisine here, and it can get busy, but for affordable and tasty food it’s worth the wait. Try the Huevos de Codorniz con Jamón, Pechuga de Pollo a la Mostaza Antigua, and Solomillo al Whisky, for a nice mix of tapas.
Day 2 in Seville
On your second day in Seville, the plan is to continue exploring a new part of the historic center with the El Arenal neighborhood before crossing the river and experiencing life over in Triana.
Start your second day off with one of Seville’s most popular recent additions, the Metropol Parasol. This modern wooden structure and its waffle-like design sprawls high above a square in the city center to great effect. Not only does it look fascinating from below, but you can also buy a €3 ticket to walk along the top and take in views from its panoramic terraces.
Museum of Fine Arts
A city of great culture, you’ll find many museums to visit in Seville. With only a weekend though, you may have to pick just one in which case the choice is clear, the Seville Museum of Fine Arts. Housed inside an old convent, this museum highlights works by artists that contributed to the city’s Golden Age of painting.
Real Maestranza Bullring
One thing that Spain and especially the region of Andalusia is known for is its tradition of bullfighting. While you may not want to actually see a bullfight while in Seville, you can learn about the history and tradition of bullfighting with a visit to the Real Maestranza Bullring. Taking a guided tour, you see not only a museum on the sport and the history of matadors, but also get to walk around the historic stands of the beautiful arena.
Once you’ve seen the bullring, you may as well spend some time strolling the quiet riverfront of the Guadalquivir River. Lined with palm trees and a pleasant stone boulevard, it’s a very pleasant place for a stroll. It also offers great views over the river to the pretty neighborhood of Triana, and along the river too, with the modern Sevilla Tower in the distance.
Toro del Oro
After following the waterfront of the Guadalquivir River south you’ll eventually come to the historic Toro del Oro. This twelve-sided tower stands out along the riverfront which makes sense given its past role as a watchtower of the city walls. Built by the Moors in the 1200s it served many purposes, everything from being a prison to acting as an anchor point for chains blocking passage along the river. Today, it houses a naval museum which you can visit. You can also climb up the tower for river views from the roof.
When it comes to the districts of Seville, none have as strong a local identity as that of Triana. Separated from the city center by the river, in many ways Triana has developed apart from Seville. Still the two have had great impact on each other, with much of Seville’s creative flair able to be traced back to Triana. After all, the neighborhood is particularly known for its flamenco and azulejo tiles.
Aside from walking the streets of Triana, there are a few landmarks left to visit. One is the Triana Market, where a market of local produce and other items sits directly above the remains of Castle of San Jorge. This castle was actually the local seat of the Spanish Inquisition, something you can learn more about at the nearby Spanish Inquisition Museum.
To end your last day in Seville, stick around the neighborhood of Triana and find one of its many Flamenco bars or tablaos. More than just a dance, flamenco is a performance that combines dance, music, and singing, all of it deeply ingrained into Andalusian culture. They’re often held in very close, intimate settings and tend to be more spontaneous and inclusive than just a straightforward show. Casa Anselma is considered to be one of the best flamenco bars in Triana but it doesn’t open until midnight.
Alternatively, head back to Santa Cruz and watch a traditional flamenco show at the Museo del Baile. You can buy tickets in advance here.
You should now feel pretty comfortable knowing what you can hope to do in Seville in 2 days. I’m sure that like me, you too will be thoroughly charmed by this exceptional city and its unbelievable beauty.
Also heading to Madrid? Check out our 3 day Madrid itinerary next.