Must-See Spots in Sevilla, Spain
This past weekend my parents came to visit me in Sevilla, Spain. They arrived on Thursday afternoon and left Sunday morning, which meant we had only two and a half days to see all of Sevilla. Given that I am a natural born planner, I was prepared for this challenge and created a plan of all the spots that we needed to hit before they went back home. I figured it was only fair that I share this list of must-see spots for anyone that might be traveling to Sevilla, or anyone considering traveling here soon.
- Las Setas (Metropol Parasol)
Anyone who visits Sevilla absolutely MUST go to Las Setas, officially named Metropol Parasol. “Setas” means mushrooms in Spanish and this structure looks a bit like mushrooms, thus why everyone in Sevilla calls them Las Setas. At first glance, this modern structure definitely seems a bit out of place in the middle of all the traditional buildings surrounding it, however I personally think it adds something special to Sevilla. The best part of Las Setas is that you can take an elevator all the way to the top to get a view of the entire city. I recommend going at sunset for the best views. There is a path to walk on at the top so you can stroll and take in the view from each side. It is unlike anything else I have seen before and definitely something I recommend.
The Alcazar is also at the top of my list because it truly will make your jaw drop with how breathtaking it is. The Alcazar is a palace from the Moorish Almohad dynasty, and is still used by Spain’s royal family to this day! However, tourists are still allowed to enter and visit the non-residential parts of this huge palace. The Alcazar has elaborately designed rooms, patios and gardens that you can walk through and appreciate. If that is not enough to sell you, Game of Thrones filmed in the Alcazar and you can go visit the exact spots they filmed in! The set for the palace in Dorne was the Alcazar and you can find a bunch of spots and rooms that were featured in the show. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, this is not something you want to miss.
This spot is a personal favorite of mine because I live right near Alameda and it has a little bit of everything. Alameda is a big plaza that is always filled with people just relaxing and having a good time. Alameda has a bunch of cafes and bars to go spend your afternoons in with a cup of coffee or tea, and usually a pastry as well. This plaza will give you a real idea of the energy and life that exists in Sevilla. You can see groups of friends sitting on the floor in big circles just hanging out, families going out to dinner, students spending all afternoon on their laptops doing work, truly a little bit of everything. I personally love Alameda for an afternoon of studying or a dinner with friends. Alameda is also one of the more liberal parts of the city, so it is a very accepting and inclusive area to spend time in. The energy there is just like no other.
- Plaza de España
If you google “Sevilla,” 90% of the pictures you will see are of the Plaza de España. Fortunately, it does live up to the pictures! This plaza is definitely a bit of a tourist attraction, but it is so beautiful that I think it is still worth seeing. The huge building that surrounds the plaza has incredible detail with all the tiles and colors. However, I think the best part of the plaza is the little pond that you can take row boats into! It only costs a few euro to take out the rowboat for a half hour and you can row around the edge whole plaza. It is incredibly beautiful and also just a great way to spend an afternoon. Another perk is that Plaza de España was used as a filming location for Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. Star Wars fans will have an added appreciation for this location!
- Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is a small neighborhood that is a little bit different than the rest of Sevilla. It is known as the old Jewish quarter of the city and has its own distinct look as a result of this Jewish influence. The streets in Santa Cruz are all very narrow as a result of the ancient civilizations that created them with the intentions of resembling a maze that will prevent invaders from getting into the heart of the city quickly. These small streets are filled with flowers and greenery, as well as lots of restaurants and shops to stop by. It is a great place to spend an afternoon and escape the hear, since the narrow streets create more shade and this neighborhood is always a little bit cooler than the rest of the city.
- The Cathedral of Sevilla and the Giralda Tower
Whether you are religious or not, the Cathedral of Sevilla and the Giralda are worth a visit. Sevilla is super interesting because it has influence from so many different cultures and civilizations that had power of the city at some point. The Cathedral of Sevilla has both Muslim and Christian influence, since the building was originally a mosque and the Giralda was a bell tower for the mosque, then later on the mosque and tower were transformed and “Christianized” to become the Cathedral of Sevilla. The cathedral itself is incredible and the remains of Christopher Columbus are held within the building as well. The Giralda is my favorite part of this spot because you can climb up to the top to get a view of the whole city.
- Maria Trifulca Restaurant
Must try foods in Sevilla would require an entire list of its own, however I felt it was necessary to mention this restaurant as a must-see spot because of the location! Aside from the amazing food, the Maria Trifulca restaurant is located right off the Triana Bridge and looks out over the Guadalquivir river and the Triana neighborhood. This is a great spot for a fancy dinner outing to take in the city and also eat some amazing food.
Some of these spots might seem a bit touristy but trust me they are worth visiting! Especially if you have limited time in Sevilla, these are spots you do not want to pass up on seeing. These spots all contain so much history and beauty that will keep you entertained for your entire trip.