Quick guided tour of Seville in two days
The aim of this guide is to clear up all your ideas about what you should take in when you visit Seville but you only have a few days to enjoy this incredible city.
I was born in Seville and have lived here for forty years, so now you know my age!
Here you will find some suggestions as to what to see, what should not be missed in your two days here, and a few little snippets of information to get the most out of such little time.
As a Sevillano I believe I am well aware of the most interesting places to go to, the “the must goes” for the visitor.
As there are so many monuments in the city, and it having such an impressive past and history, to get the most out of your time it is vital to fine tune your visit for such a short stay.
What is clear is that the historical quarter should be the centre of your visit as there you will find the majority of the city’s most emblematic monuments.
Well, let’s get to the point: here are my suggestions for your visit:
1) DAY ONE
-CATHEDRAL (1:45, 2 Hours)
-Go up the Giralda (1 hour)
-Reales Alcazares (2:30 o 3 hours)
-The Santa Cruz quarter (1 hour)
....and if you still have strength and are keen you can round off this first day with a stroll along Avenida de la Constitución, which since they made it a pedestrian zone is a delight for walking (you should set aside about 6 hours for this walk).
CATHEDRAL (2 hours)
Let’s start with the visit to the cathedral. It takes about one and a half hours to make a good visit. We recommend you buy the guides for visitors sold at the entrance as they are packed with a lot of useful historical and artistic details hidden away in the cathedral. As you can see in the photo there is the incredible organ in the central part, the imposing tomb of Columbus (this is the monument in the cathedral which made the biggest impression of me).
You should remember you will have to be patient in the long queue which may build up around the entrance, above all at weekends and on bank holidays. Moreover the timetable for visits is defined. I believe they open at 10 am for tourists and the entrance costs 10€ per person.
I have to admit this charge for entering only came in a few years ago as before there were no queues and entry was free. I suppose it has come about because of the increase in the number of tourists visiting the city over the last few years.
When you step inside you will be overawed by the immensity of the building, making you feel small. You can feel the respect and majesty, worthy of one of the greatest cathedrals in the world (I believe it is the second or third biggest in the world after those of Rome and Milan).
GIRALDA (1 hora)
AFTER visiting the cathedral, we shall enter la Giralda. There is a direct entrance from the cathedral or you can use an outside door at the bottom of the tower.
I believe the price of the entrance into the cathedral also includes entry into la Giralda.
You must not miss out on visiting the bell tower. You go up a ramp which was built so that the muezzin – the Arab calling the faithful to prayer - could go up with his horse and then call out to prayer from the top of the minaret / “Alminar”. (See photo).
From the top the views over all the city are impressive. From the bell tower, 90 meters up, all the city, and even nearby villages can be seen. The climb up can be hard on elderly people , but once you are up there, it is worth it!
Here you can spend from 45 minutes to 1 hour ...
REALES ALCAZARES (3 HORAS)
Well, once you have seen the city from the top of the la Giralda, we will go to the Reales Alcazares, situated near to la Giralda.
Perhaps it is the most visited monument in the city, and beyond doubt it is well worth visiting. Once again we will find queues to get in.
The Reales Alcazares, an ancient Nazarí Palace, are a genuine jewel of Mozarab art in the city. They remind me a great deal of “la Alhambra”, due to the Arab style plaster decorations in its stunning rooms.
You should be sure to take a walk in their gardens.
SANTA CRUZ (1 hora)
Once we have finished our visit to the Reales Alcázares, we shall head to the famous Santa Cruz and Jewish quarter. This area, right next to the Alcázares, is the heritage left by the Jewish community that lived in and passed through the city. Its narrow and winding streets take us back to epochs gone by. You can visit the house of the Jews, in which you can see what a typical Jewish house was like at that time.
2) DAY TWO
-Park of Maria Luisa and Plaza de España (two hours)
-The Triana quarter (two hours)
-Paseo de Colón and Tower of Gold (two hours)
PARK OF MARIA LUISA AND PLAZA DE ESPAÑA (Two Hours)
We will start the second day with our not to be missed visit to the majestic park of Maria Luisa and its famous Plaza de España.
In reality the park of Maria Luisa was much bigger at the time of its origin than it is today. Then it went as far as the Palacio de San Telmo, today the headquarters of the government of Andalucia.
In its time this park belonged to the Queen Maria Luisa, who donated it to the city.A great gift for the enjoyment of all the Sevillanos.
Inside the park there is the Plaza de España, an spectacular square and monument to the Exposition of 1929. It forms a semi-circle and in the middle there is a fountain, flanked by two great towers (headquarters of the delegation and sub-delegation of the Government of Andalucía).
THE QUARTER OF TRIANA (Two hours)
From the park of Maria Luisa it is just a short walk to the Barrio de Triana, just cross over the bridge of the Triana, which is next to the park.
This “Barrio” (neighbourhood) is one of the most noteworthy in Seville. It has its own idiosyncrasy and one could almost say it forms a mini city in Seville.
Stroll along the calle Betis (see photo), and other intricate streets, the neighbours’ yards (there are not many left, in years gone by there were many and the neighbours lived in harmony).
This Barrio should be visited relaxed, enjoying its spirit.
-PASEO COLÓN AND TOWER OF GOLD (2 Hours)
Once again cross over the Triana Bridge to the centre of Seville.
Once you have crossed, turn right and you will find yourself in the Paseo de Colón, a large avenue on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. There are several sites of interest, standing out among them: La Torre del Oro, The Maestranza bull ring and the Teatro de la Maestranza (theatre).
All of them are worth seeing.
I believe with this plan for the two days you are taking good advantage of your quick visit to Seville. Of course there are a host of other sites that I have not mentioned, but in two days you cannot fit in more.
I hope this guide does provide you with really positive ideas and that you enjoy your stay in Seville!
See you there!!