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Top 10 Activities in Seville

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By | Thursday, 18 January 2018

Whether you’re exploring the city, taking a semester abroad, or enjoying a family vacation, Seville has something for everyone! Many people look forward to immersing themselves in the vibrant and exciting Sevillana culture, but where do you even start?! To make sure you don’t miss the best things to do in Seville, we’ve got our top 10 list of activities in Seville (: Ready to start your Sevillana adventure? 

 

1)   Visit the Plaza de España

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Generally on the top of any list of what to do and see in Seville, the Plaza de España is an iconic landmark in Seville that you do not want to miss. Built in 1929, the Plaza de España was one of the many buildings artfully constructed for the ibero-american exhibition in the Maria Luisa Park (a park that borders the Plaza full of beautiful plants, greenery, and ancient trees). One of the most impressive aspects of the Plaza de España is that it is encircled by a unique building with a semi-circle shape. Whichever side you enter from, it’s clear that the Plaza de España is a cultural adventure which is why it’s top on our list of activities in Seville! Not only is its sheer size impressive, but it is filled with intricate colorful tiles representative of Spanish culture and even contains a small moat where you can take a peaceful boatride!  Grab some paddles and dive into this breathtaking must-see site in Seville

 

2)   Climb to the top of the Giralda

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The Giralda is the bell tower of the Seville Cathedral (the largest gothic cathedral in the world), which comes in next on our list of top activities in Seville. To this day, the Giralda is arguably the most important landmark of Seville as you can see its distinctive shape from around the city and is definitely worth the climb to the top. {In my opinion, it has the second-best views to look out over the city… the Metropol Parasol has the best view of Seville– because you can see the Giralda!} Representative of a time period where major world religions coexisted peacefully, the Giralda was the tallest building in the world at the time of its construction and the tallest in Spain until 2010. Although not still the tallest, the Giralda tower in the Seville Cathedral is one of the top activities in Seville that is worth the trip to Seville in itself!

 

3)   Immerse yourself in the world of tapas

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Spanish cuisine is known for its tapas (or small dishes) and gives you the opportunity to try a variety of dishes in one meal! Because one tapa ain’t gonna cut it, it is traditional to order a bunch of different tapas and share them around the table among friends. Or, you can embrace one of the typical activities in Seville like a true local and go tapas bar-hopping, trying different little plates at tapas bars around the city with friends for an enjoyable and adventurous evening! Some examples of traditional tapas to try are Spanish tortilla, paella, and various flavors of croquetas. With a huge variety of tapas to try- you won’t go hungry! (even as a vegetarian). Check out our blogs on the best tapas in Seville and how to survive as a vegetarian in Spain for inspiration when planning your bar-hopping route or to gain some knowledge on Spanish cuisine that’ll help with any eating activities in Seville!

 

4)   Enjoy breathtaking views from the Metropol Parasol

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With a height of 28.5 meters (or 93.5 feet) the spectacular Metropol Parasol has stunning views of Seville (as previously mentioned) and one of the top activities in Seville that is not only obligatory but cheap (with rooftop access at only 3€ which includes a free drink)!  When wandering through the whimsical wooden structure located in the heart of the historic center of the city, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the gorgeous 360° views of Seville! A good activity for morning birds and night owls alike, the “Mirador” or rooftop view of the Metropol Parasol (lovingly nicknamed “Las Setas” or “the mushrooms” by locals) is open from 10am to 11pm. For that instagram-perfect travel picture, visiting the Metropol Parasol at sunset allows for an incredible view and photo-op!  This is one of those activities in Seville that can make for a fun short trip with a friend, partner, or the whole family with the bonus of enjoying a refreshing drink afterwards (free with your ticket stub) at a restaurant below.  

 

5)   Fall in love with the quaint streets and colorful buildings

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Seville is famous for its quaint little streets, colorful architecture, and various local shops and cafés. Wandering through the maze of streets is absolutely one of the most enjoyable activities in Seville, because each street is filled with new surprises! As you walk, marvel in the unique buildings of varying styles, colors, architecture, and size. A social magnet, the streets are lively, especially at night as locals roam the streets laughing and enjoying tapas with friends! One of the activities in Seville that is SO Sevillana that you would almost be shunned as a local if you did not participate, taking an evening stroll or wandering around the streets is just a way of life. Not only will you pass many local tapas bars brimming with people, but there are markets and stores abounding that invite you to experience the city’s culture in a new way while browsing through flamenco shoes, bridal gowns, leather items, fabrics, spices, hats, etc. Walking through the streets is one of the most traditional activities in Seville that you simply cannot pass up. 

 

6)   Experience the incredible architecture of the Seville Alcázar

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The Seville Alcázar, or Royal Palace, is a divine site fit for royalty that is a must-see when planning your activities in Seville. Its impressive architecture and construction will impress those who love art, culture, history, architecture, nature, or anything fancy. Dating back to the Moorish period of Spain, this palace has a complex history. The Seville Alcázar has lived through many eras, allowing it to be directly influenced by many different cultures that you can distinctly see as you roam through the palace in awe. As one of the top activities in Seville it is also one of the busiest with a long line that steadily stretches out the front at any time of year, so buying your tickets online will help you enter much more quickly. A fun fact about this royal palace is that it is still used by royalty today, seeing as it serves as the residency for the King of Spain and his royal family whenever they visit Seville. Continuing its multidimensional style and multifunctional use, the Seville Alcázar is also home to different concerts and cultural events. Keeping this incredible site, which is also one of the oldest palaces still in use today, on your list of things to do in Seville will ensure you an exciting cultural adventure combing the past and present of Seville.   

 

7)   Discover Seville on bike with Sevici

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Sevici is a bike rental service that may not be one of the traditional tourist activities in Seville but is a fun way to discover different parts of the city. Although the historical center of Seville is not huge, taking a bike tour around the city is worth it, especially during the summer and other warmer months when the daily high in Seville regularly exceeds 40°C (104°F)! Even when the weather is not scorching, taking a leisurely bike ride can be a nice change to get some breeze after a long walk or even a sporting adventure if you prefer. Sevici is an innovative form of public transportation trusted by visitors and locals alike and is extremely easy and low-cost to use, which is why it falls upon our top 10 list of activities in Seville. There are Sevici bike racks throughout the city that allow you to “check out” a bike and return it to any one of the Sevici bike racks, paying only for the time you use. It’s a green mode of transportation that’ll leave you feeling refreshed and proud to make a healthy decision for you and the environment. 

 

8)   Enjoy a refreshing drink on a terrace in of one of Europe’s hottest cities

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Seville is one of the hottest cities in Europe (both literally and figuratively!) with blazing temperatures throughout the summer and over 300 days of sunshine a year. That’s why Seville is known for relaxing with a cold refreshment on one of its many terraces serving as one of the activities in Seville enjoyed by both locals and visitors of all ages. You can sit under an umbrella to take a break for the sun or even lay out to sunbathe in some locations if you prefer. However, don’t expect to just go lounge on a fancy terrace as a free activity, as many may charge a small “entrance fee” to the terrace or some cafés and restaurants will charge 5-10% more for terrace seating. It’s still an inexpensive delight and well worth it if you have a little extra time in Seville to enjoy. If you’re really struggling with the Seville heat, make sure to drink water throughout the day, which gives you the opportunity to sip on some ice cold Sangría or Tinto de Verano (“summer wine”) while chilling on the terrace. 

 

9)   Experience one of the many live Flamenco performances up close

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Flamenco– a word with a lot of cultural background. When one hears flamenco, traditional Spanish music and a woman with a ruffled dress and flower in her hair might come to mind. Flamenco is the expression to describe a specific style of music and dancing that is abundunt throughout Andalusia (southern Spain) and originated right here in Seville. Although you can attend a flamenco show almost anywhere in Spain, flamenco developed from Triana, a neighborhood in Seville historically known for gypsies, where this exotic and empowering style of music and dance emerged. Numerous eateries and theatres offer authentic flamenco shows performed by technically-skilled professionals. A passionate style of music, flamenco involves many key components including cante (vocals), toque (instrumentals) on a guitarra flamenca (flamenco guitar), palmas (clapping), baile (dance), and jaleo (calls of encouragement). Witnessing a flamenco show up close and live gives you a spectacular and beautiful evening, where sweat from the male dancer might be flung into the audience during his intense stomping and the long end of the woman’s dress might brush audience members during her explosive turns, which only adds to the unique and thrilling adventure that is hands down one of the must-do activities in Seville. ¡Olé!

 

10)  Learn Spanish basics and impress locals

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Hola, ¿cómo estás?” or “Disculpe, ¿dónde está el próximo cajero automático?” are examples of Spanish phrases to learn that can be helpful during your activities in Seville– on one hand it facilitates conversations and moving through the city and on the other hand it’ll impress locals and be appreciated. If you have taken Spanish classes at school or studied some travel phrases, you should look forward to taking advantage of these basics by using your knowledge in real life! Trust yourself and order your drink and tapas in Spanish. For those who are a little more advanced, it’s exciting to try having a conversation with a local! If you’d like to improve your Spanish skills and are in Seville for a longer period of time, even a couple weeks, just stop by our office! We enjoy meeting new visitors and are dedicated to offering Spanish courses and tutoring to those of all ages and levels. Practicing and learning at least a little bit of Spanish makes it onto our list of top activities in Seville because it is something that is fun, useful, and enhances your experience to have the most authentic and fulfilling time in Seville.   

 

Translated and edited by Amanda Beasley

 

Bonus! If you want something else to do while you’re in town, add this to your list of activities in Seville!

11) Take a walk along the gorgeous Guadalquivir river

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With palm trees that tower over your head, a fresh breeze, a bustling atmosphere that is relaxed at the same time, gorgeous city views, places to chill, close proximity to shopping and many food choices, this is an activity that can be added into any schedule! Along the entire Guadalquivir river, there is entertainment of every kind! In all honesty, you could spend an entire day along the Guadalquivir and enjoy every single aspect of a vacation or visiting a city. You can mingle with the many locals strolling on the river; visit a typical Spanish market (namely the Triana market which is located in an ancient castle!) and buy fresh food for a peaceful picnic along the banks of the river; participate in various water activities such as fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, SUP yoga, boat rides; bask in the sun and take a siesta surrounded by beautiful and peaceful nature; skateboard in a skate park; observe street art along the graffitied wall on the camino de arte or “art walk”; join in with many locals and take an afternoon jog or practice your rollerblading skills; admire modern art sculptures and bronze statues of bullfighters (right across the street from the famous bull ring); look at beautiful architecture reminiscent of a castle at the Torre de Oro (or “gold tower”) which doubles as a historical museum; shop in nearby artisan shops and buy famous hand-made ceramics; dine at local restaurants and hipster food stalls; have a traditional coffee at a café stand; allow your kids (if you have any) to play at the playgrounds along the river; lounge with drinks at different locations that also convert into clubs at night for you to dance and socialize; admire beautiful and colorful skylines across the river; enjoy a tropical paradise surrounded by palm trees towering high in the sky; gawk at one of the most beautiful and colorful sunsets on the backdrop of the gorgeous river; observe wildlife by watching all sizes of fish and birds swimming in the water; have a photoshoot in the many places along the river, on the banks, and under the bridges; the possibilities are endless! For a one-stop place that is all-encompassing, the Guadalquivir river is your place to enjoy numerous activities in Seville.  

 

Have you ever traveled to Seville before? What are some of your favorite activities in Seville? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! (:

 

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