Spain is known for many wonderful traditions and attractions, like the running of the bulls, the Sagrada Família, and the Alhambra. One of the more popular cities to visit in the country is Seville, home of an attraction that sees hundreds of thousands of tourists a year: the Royal Alcázar of Seville. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, this Moorish-style palace is famous for its breathtaking architecture and fascinating history, easily making it one of the best things to do in Seville.
Movie and TV buffs might recognize this iconic palace as the filming location for Dorne in Game of Thrones and from popular movies such as Lawrence of Arabia and Kingdom of Heaven. Seeing as Seville is one of the hottest major cities in Europe, we highly recommend you plan your visit to the Royal Alcázar of Seville in advance to avoid waiting in long lines outside. Also, tickets to the palace sell out quickly, with around 1.8 million people visiting every year. To make sure you don’t have to wait in long lines or miss out on tickets, we’ll show you in this guide how to buy tickets to the Royal Alcázar of Seville from the comfort of your home.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to the Royal Alcázar of Seville: If you don’t want to spend your holiday standing in the hot sun, we highly recommend booking a skip-the-line ticket to the Royal Alcázar of Seville or a guided tour. The latter is generally the better option, as you’ll get further insight into the palace’s historical significance and architectural design. There is also an option to bundle the Alcázar, Seville Cathedral, and the Giralda Tower into one guided tour, giving you the best bang for your buck.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to the Royal Alcázar of Seville
Many popular tourist attractions offer multiple ways to purchase tickets. You have several options for the Royal Alcázar of Seville, and the best way depends on how organized you are and how you want to experience the palace. In this section, we’ll lay out all of the options for how and where to buy tickets to the Royal Alcázar of Seville so that you can find the best fit for your holiday.
Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
It’s possible to purchase tickets at the door to the Royal Alcázar of Seville, which is a great option if you’ve spontaneously decided to visit the palace. We don’t recommend this route, though, as the lines to purchase tickets can get extremely long, and the last thing you want to do is waste an hour or two of your holiday waiting for a ticket.
Even with a long wait in line, you’re not guaranteed to get tickets this way, as they often sell out quickly. Besides, the heat in Seville can be intense, with the average temperature in August reading around 35 degrees Celsius. In other words, it’s worth it to book in advance and avoid melting in the sun.
If you purchase a ticket in person, you’ll have to wait in two lines: one for the ticket and one for entry. If you purchase your skip-the-line Royal Alcázar tickets online, though, you’ll only have to stand in a single queue at Puerta del León (the palace’s official entry point) with others who purchased in advance.
Booking tickets to the Royal Alcázar of Seville ahead of time also guarantees you a spot rather than leaving it to chance – always a gamble, as tickets sometimes sell out days or weeks in advance (especially for certain time slots). You should still consider your schedule for the day when booking online, however, as you’ll have to pick a time slot to enter the palace. Most visitors spend about two hours inside, so plan accordingly.
You can buy tickets to the Royal Alcázar of Seville from a third-party seller or directly through the palace’s website. The benefit to booking a regular ticket directly from the palace (rather than a skip-the-line ticket from a third party) is that it also includes free entrance to the Antiquarium and the Triana Ceramics Center. However, some visitors have had trouble paying with a foreign credit card and downloading or printing their tickets from the official website.
To avoid ticketing issues, we recommend you book your tickets through GetYourGuide, as it is easy to navigate, there are various package options, and you can add a skip-the-line Royal Alcázar ticket with an audio tour to avoid all lines (except security) when entering the palace. As a bonus with the audio tour, you can cancel your ticket and get a refund up to 24 hours before your visit, which isn’t possible if you book through the palace’s website. You can also download the self-guided audio tour on your phone in advance and listen to it offline.
Book a Guided Tour (Recommended)
A guided tour is hands-down the best way to tour the Royal Alcázar of Seville. You’ll not only get to bypass the lines by entering directly at the front of the security check, but also have a knowledgeable guide to share interesting facts and stories about the palace’s history and design.
If you also plan to visit Seville Cathedral on your holiday, we recommend one of the two fantastic guided tour packages, which include the Royal Alcázar, Seville Cathedral, and the Giralda Tower. Depending on how long you want to spend at each attraction, you can book a 2.5-hour or three-hour guided tour. Both packages include skip-the-line entry and a guided tour of all three attractions.
If you only have time for one attraction and just want to tour the Royal Alcázar, check out this 1.5-hour guided tour that includes a skip-the-line ticket to the Royal Alcázar of Seville and a knowledgeable guide. With a guided tour of the Royal Alcázar, you can ask more in-depth questions about the palace and get recommendations for other attractions from a Seville local.
Book a Day Trip
If your main destination is a neighboring city but you still want to visit the Royal Alcázar, consider a day-trip tour to Seville. These tours include transportation to and from Seville and a live guide throughout the trip.
If you’re looking to visit Seville from the Algarve region of Portugal, such as Faro, check out this day trip to Seville from the Algarve, which offers four hours of free time in the city and a live guide during transportation. You also have options from other nearby cities, such as this day trip from Málaga and this private Seville day trip from Granada.
Useful Information for Visiting the Royal Alcázar of Seville
What’s the Best Time to Visit the Royal Alcázar of Seville?
The best time to visit the Royal Alcázar of Seville is between November and March, for several reasons:
- There tend to be fewer tourists in the city during these months, so you can enjoy shorter lines and less crowded attractions.
- The city tends to be less hot in these months, so you won’t feel like you’re melting while touring the palace gardens.
- The Royal Alcázar offers free entry every Monday from the beginning of November to the end of March. That’s right – free Royal Alcázar tickets! Of course, as with many free things in life, there’s a catch. The free tickets are only available for two time slots, 4 and 4:30 p.m., so availability is limited. You can reserve your free Royal Alcázar tickets in advance for a €1 surcharge per person, though, which is still a great deal. The only other way to get the free tickets is to try your luck at the ticket office in person.
Weekday and early morning tickets also have an advantage. Many tourists visit for a weekend getaway, so the palace will be more crowded on Saturdays and Sundays than on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Afternoon time slots also seem to be popular, so if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider booking a morning or evening ticket.
What Are the Royal Alcázar of Seville’s Hours of Operation?
The palace is open seven days a week, except on New Year’s Day, Jan. 6, Good Friday (in April), and Christmas Day. From the end of October to the end of March, the Royal Alcázar is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the last entrance allowed at 5 p.m. From the beginning of April to the end of October, the palace stays open a bit later, from 9:30 a.m. until 8 p.m., with the last entrance at 7 p.m.
How Do You Get to the Royal Alcázar of Seville?
The Royal Alcázar of Seville is ideally located in the center of the city, just across from the University of Seville. Seeing as Seville is a fairly walkable city, the best way to get to it is usually on foot. Of course, if you’re staying a little farther away, you can take public transport.
The Seville Metro Line 1 makes a stop right beside the palace, as do several tram and bus lines. If you’re coming from Sevilla Santa Justa (the Seville Train Station), you can walk for 25 minutes or take the EA bus to Paseo de Las Delicias and walk seven minutes to the entrance. (Paseo de Las Delicias’ name means “walk of delights,” so you probably won’t mind the stroll!)
How Do Royal Alcázar Tickets Work?
A ticket to the Royal Alcázar of Seville includes general entry to the gardens and palace complex, except for Cuarto Real Alto (the royal apartments). For access to the apartments, you’ll need to purchase an additional entrance ticket, which costs €5.50 and gives you one hour in the apartments.
Depending on how you purchase your ticket, you’ll have different instructions on how to enter the palace. If you purchase a ticket in person (though we don’t recommend it), you’ll have to head to the main entry point on the Plaza de la Virgen de los Reyes, wait in line for a ticket, and then wait in line for entrance.
If you’ve heeded our call about long lines and purchased a ticket in advance, you can head right to the advanced bookings line at Puerta del León. Double-check your entrance time and date so that you don’t miss your slot! If you’ve booked a guided tour, you should review your booking details, as tour groups usually meet at a point nearby before heading inside.
Royal Alcázar tickets are only available for purchase a month to six weeks in advance. Once you buy them, you can download them onto your phone or print them out. If you purchase an entry ticket through the palace’s official website, you’ll get same-day or next-day access to the Antiquarium and the Triana Ceramics Center.
How Much Do Royal Alcázar Tickets Cost?
There is only one standard entrance ticket for the Royal Alcázar of Seville, which costs €13.50 (or about $14.25) per person. For EU citizens who are retired, over age 65, or students, the tickets are €6 per person. Entry is free for visitors who are under age 13 or disabled. There is an additional €1 management fee for each entrance ticket, including free tickets.
To explore the royal apartments, you can purchase an additional entrance ticket for €5.50. There is a strict time limit of one hour for the apartments, and you should be at the Cuarto Real Alto entrance 5-10 minutes before your entry time to ensure you don’t miss it.
Free tickets to the Royal Alcázar of Seville are available for every Monday from the end of November to the end of March. These tickets only work for entrance at 4 and 4:30 p.m., though, so they run out quickly. To get the free tickets, you can try your luck in person or reserve them on the palace website for a €1 fee per person. We recommend the second option, which is still an amazing deal.
What Are the Best Hotels Near the Royal Alcázar of Seville?
One of the keys to a relaxing holiday is quality accommodation. Especially if you’re planning a short stay in the city, you’ll most likely want to stay within walking distance of popular attractions, including the Royal Alcázar and Seville Cathedral, to save time on transportation.
If you’re looking for luxurious and elegant lodgings in Seville, check out Hotel Alfonso XIII. This five-star hotel boasts an incredible aesthetic of ceramic designs and Arabic-style architecture, along with a swimming pool, restaurant, gym, and garden courtyard.
For a relaxing and modern stay in Seville, consider the four-star Legado Alcázar. This beautiful hotel has a chic, contemporary vibe with exposed brick and wood beams throughout, creating a homey feel. It offers a fantastic breakfast, an airport shuttle, and an on-site bar.
Another great hotel with complimentary breakfast is the Hotel Rey Alfonso X. Here you can enjoy a rooftop pool, private parking, and excellent room service.
What’s the Security Process at the Royal Alcázar of Seville?
Seeing as the Royal Alcázar is one of Seville’s most cherished landmarks, its security is quite high. All visitors – including children and teens – must provide a valid ID or passport and a ticket to be scanned when entering the palace. Visitors are also subject to bag checks to ensure the safety of the palace and other visitors.
What About Visiting the Royal Alcázar of Seville With a Disability?
There’s good news for those who use wheelchairs and are looking to visit the Royal Alcázar of Seville: It has a tour route specifically for wheelchair users. However, as most of the palace is navigated by stairs, certain attractions are inaccessible. There is a lift for some sections, but in our understanding, they aren’t particularly well marked.
FAQs: Facts About the Royal Alcázar of Seville
What Is the Royal Alcázar of Seville?
The Royal Alcázar of Seville is a palace built for the Christian King Peter of Castile in the 14th century. It is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe.
How Old Is the Royal Alcázar of Seville?
While many sources say the building dates back to the 11th century, some experts have found evidence of the site being used as far back as 913. The current building was completed in the 14th century.
Why Was the Royal Alcázar of Seville Built?
The original structure, which was built in the beginning of the 10th century, was used for government purposes. In the 13th century, Castilians took over Seville and declared the building a royal palace, which it has remained ever since.
Is the Royal Alcázar of Seville Still Used as a Royal Palace?
Yes, the king and queen of Spain still use the apartments inside the Royal Alcázar when they visit Seville.
That should be all the information you need to plan an awesome visit to Seville’s most beloved attraction. Just remember to bring lots of water and sunscreen, as you won’t want the heat to stop you from enjoying the palace gardens!
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