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There are so many exciting cities, countryside areas, and beautiful mountain towns in Spain that it’s nearly impossible to squeeze everything into one trip. However, one destination that’s definitely not to be missed is Seville. There are so many incredible experiences you can have by just wandering around the streets or perhaps joining a tour to make the most of your limited vacation days. Here are some of the best things to do in Seville to add to your Spain travel bucket list.
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Regardless of your destination, one of the best ways to get to know a new place is to simply wander around and allow your senses to guide you. Better yet, you can join a guided walking tour to learn about the sights you’re seeing and really get the most out of the city’s architecture and historical landmarks. Some must-see sights on a walking tour include the Santa Maria Cathedral, Alcazar, Giralda Bell Tower, Santa Cruz Quarter, and Plaza de España. Guided tours last about three hours and include your entrance fees to some top attractions.
A place in Seville that every tourist should see is the Alcazar, which is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site and royal palace. This landmark has a fascinating history, which you can read about in advance of your trip or hire a local guide to tell you about while you’re in Seville. Some of the many areas you’ll learn about at the Alcazar are the upper floors, gardens, Salon de Embajadores, and the Los Baños de Doña María de Padilla. Tours booked in advance with a small group last about an hour and a half and help you skip the long admission lines.
But let’s be honest, many travelers dream of visiting Spain because of all the amazing food and wine. There is definitely no shortage of great restaurants and bars around the city to choose from, which you can visit with a little advance research or by simply wandering into one that attracts you. Alternatively, you can join a guided gourmet wine and tapas tour to sample everything from sweet sherry wine to sizzling king prawns, succulent oxtail, and ripe tomatoes. Tours typically visit several tapas bars in an afternoon or for evening dinner, and they last for about three hours. Must-try Spanish dishes include bacalao, paella, and gazpacho.
Flamenco is a beautiful Spanish tradition, and there are quite a few amazing places to watch a live flamenco performance right here in Seville. One particularly popular spot is Tablao El Arenal, which puts on two-hour flamenco shows that exude raw emotion and expert choreography with every move made and note played. This is one of the best venues in the world to see a live flamenco performance. It also has comfy seats, packages that include drinks, and the option to dine on traditional tapas or a gourmet three-course meal. This is an essential Spanish experienced you’ll never forget!
This region of Spain is also known for its locally grown olives, so for something different and unique to do on your trip, you can tour an olive oil farm near Seville. Tour groups will take you from the city on a three-hour farm visit to learn about the history of cultivating olives, see how olive oils are made, and enjoy a tasting of this delicious product. Farm visits include walking through the olive groves, checking out an olive oil factory, browsing the shop to buy oils to take with you, and easy hotel pickup and drop-off.
As you’re walking around the city of Seville, don’t miss out on touring the Seville Cathedral. This impressive Roman Catholic cathedral is one of the largest churches in the world and was completed in the early 16th century. The Giralda is the cathedral’s bell tower, and it has over a dozen beautiful doors to see. Guided tours of the cathedral often include a tour of Giralda Tower too and last about an hour and 15 minutes. Here you can also see the tomb of Christopher Columbus and get amazing views of the city.
To get a whole new perspective on the city of Seville, it’s fun to plan a hot air balloon ride and see the sights from the air. Morning rides to see the sun rise over the city are particularly spectacular. From the air, you’ll see picturesque mountains, green forests, flowing rivers, and parks that surround Seville. Hot air balloon rides here are even more memorable with a champagne toast to celebrate your flight and a traditional Andalusian breakfast at a nearby café after your ride.
To treat yourself to some relaxation after long days of sightseeing in Seville, head to the Aire ancient baths to soak in these soothing waters. This is a great plan for the second or third day of your trip to schedule in some much-needed downtime and do something good for your jet-lagged body. You can make your visit even more rejuvenating with a massage, wine bath experience, or olive essence ritual.
It’s also exciting to see Seville from the water on a river cruise. The Guadalquivir is a navigable river that divides Seville and the Triana neighborhood. On a one-hour boat ride, you can see lovely sights, such as the Torre del Oro, Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza, and Teatro de la Maestranza.
If you head just outside of Seville, you can also go horseback riding to experience the Andalusia region in another really unique way. This is a great opportunity to get a city break and enjoy the beauty of the lush countryside and forests. Guided horseback riding experiences include hotel pickup and drop-off, last about three hours, and encourage you to learn about your horse and local wildlife.