Seville: Top Ten Attractions

Seville: Top Ten Attractions - Seville, Spain

Seville may not be Spain's largest city, but its abundance of museums and other historical and cultural sights make it more than worth a visit. Most of the city's best attractions are located in the Old Town and easily reached on foot and, best of all, only cost a few euros (or none at all!).

1. Alcázar

Situated next to the Cathedral in the barrio of Santa Cruz, the Alcázar palace has been the seat of royalty since it was built for Moorish rulers and their harems. It later served as the home of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (of Columbus fame), and even today Spanish royalty stays here on visits to Seville.

Undoubtedly the most famous former resident is Pedro I (also known as "Pedro the Cruel"), who greatly influenced the palace’s famous Mudéjar style. Make sure to visit the Alcázar's exquisite gardens.

A general ticket to the palace is €8.50 (€2 reduced). The Alcázar is open daily.

2. Catedral de Sevilla/La Giralda

Seville's cathedral has an imposing presence. Inside, there is a monument to Christopher Columbus and works by the likes of Francisco Goya, one of Spain's most famous artists. Outside is the lovely Plaza del Triunfo in front and sunny Patio de los Naranjos (Patio of the Oranges") out back.

The Giralda tower is attached to the cathedral. When the mosque that stood on the cathedral's current site was razed, this beautiful minaret remained. Today it is Seville's most famous symbol.

The cathedral's entrance fee is €8 for adults (€2 reduced). It's open daily.

3. Casa de Pilatos

A blend of Gothic, Mudéjar and Renaissance architectural styles, the Casa de Pilatos was once (erroneously) thought to be the home of Pontius Pilate. The house, now a museum, is located along the northern edge of barrio Santa Cruz. Highlights here include Roman sculptures, frescos by European masters and gardens filled with the orange trees that have made the city famous.

Entrance to the Casa de Pilatos is €6 for the first floor only, €8 for full access. The museum is open daily and the entrance fee includes an audio guide.

4. Hospital de la Santa Caridad

Located in El Arenal near the Archivo de las Indias, the art-filled Hospital de la Santa Caridad was built in the 1600s by Don Miguel de Mañara. The hospital is famous for its many museum-worthy paintings by Murillo and Valdés-Leal. Today, monks and nuns continue Mañara's tradition by continuing to care for the sick here.

Adult admission to the hospital is €5. Note: The Hospital closes every afternoon for siesta.

5. Archivo de las Indias

Wedged between the Cathedral and the Hospital de la Caridad, this former stock exchange ("Casa Lonja") houses rare antique documents, including letters between Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus. The collection also features maps, drawings and letters by Magellan, Cortés, and George Washington.

Perhaps the best part of the Archivo de las Indias is that admission is free! The museum is open daily.

6. Barrio Santa Cruz

If you're in Seville, be sure to set aside some time to wander the narrow medieval streets of the Barrio Santa Cruz, located near the Alcázar. Once a Jewish ghetto, this quintessentially Andalusian neighborhood is distinguished by its wrought iron gates, flower-filled balconies and tiny squares. And while you're here, stop for a picnic or a stroll in the pretty Jardines de Murillo.

7. Plaza de Toros de la Maestra/Museo de la Maestranza

Spain is especially famous for bullfighting, and the Maestranza bullring is the most famous ring in the world. It holds more than 13,000 people and is mentioned in countless novels, films and even the opera “Carmen.” For some history, visit the bullring's Museo de la Maestranza, which contains matador memorabilia and artwork, as well as the heads of slain animals (for good measure).

The bullring is open daily and admission costs €6.50 (€4 reduced). Bull fighting season runs from Easter through October, and tickets to bullfights range from €5 to €125. Check out our Budget Tips guide to learn more about how to see a fight on the cheap.

8. Museo de Bellas Artes

Located in El Centro Seville's Museo de Bellas Artes is one of Spain's best art museums, second only to Madrid's Prado. The museum is housed in a former convent and focuses on Sevillian artists like Murillo and Valdés-Leal, with “cameos” by other Spanish greats like El Greco and Zubarán. Particularly enchanting is room five, with a domed ceiling that maintains the original grandeur of the church it once was.

The museum is open daily and admission is only €1.50 (free for seniors and students).

9. Plaza de España

Plaza de España is a striking plaza set inside a semicircular building complex. Be sure to take a look at the building’s alcoves, which have tile murals depicting the characteristics of Spain's 50 provinces. The plaza is a great place to read, or you can rent a boat on the tiny nearby canal.

10. Museo del Baile Flamenco

The Museo del Baile Flamenco is a wonderful introduction to the traditional Spanish dance. It covers the history of flamenco and features biographies of famous dancers. One of highlight is the collection of colorful costumes worn by flamenco greats like Antonio Gades and Cristina Hoyos, the museum's founder.

Adult admission is €10 and the reduced price is €6. The museum is open daily.

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