Breath-taking Baroque buildings characterise the medieval cobbled-stoned streets of Andalusia’s capital, Seville. Take a break and fly to Seville for a few days of unrivalled culture, history and great food. Dig out your dancing shoes, don your best polka dot dress and party in the birthplace of Flamenco. Here are nine must see sights in Seville.
Standing at enormous heights, the Seville Cathedral is one of the largest gothic cathedrals in the world. Built between 1402 and 1517, the UNESCO protected structed is known by locals as Santa Maria de la Sede and sits in the heart of the city. The impressive exterior is matched on the inside with intricate decorations and an ornate altar piece. If you’re a travel enthusiast make sure to visit the burial place of Christopher Columbus inside the cathedral. An undeniable must-see, the cathedral is not to be missed when visiting Seville.
Located in the Parque Catolica de Maria Luisa, the plaza was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American exhibition. A clear example of architectural mixing, the area features elements of Renaissance and Moorish styles synonymous with Spanish architecture. Just a short walk from the cathedral, the plaza is one of Seville’s most popular sights for its coloured ceramics and tiled alcoves.
Housed inside a neo-renaissance pavilion, the archaeological museum boasts a collection of artefacts spanning the centuries. Another project of the Ibero-American exhibition, the museum has three floors of noteworthy pieces of art and sculptures from Phoenicians, Tartessians, Romans – to name but a few. As you’re strolling through the halls, don’t miss the Carambolo Treasure, a highlight of the collection thought to date all the way back to the sixth century. Whether you’re a history buff or just a keen tourist, a trip to the museum is well worth it!
Hide away from the busy streets inside the market at Plaza Altozano. Mingle with the locals and immerse yourself in the Spanish culture as you eat your way through the stalls at Mercado de Triana. Known by Sevillians as ‘Independent Republic of Triana’ for its strong identity within the area, the indoor space has a buzzing atmosphere you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the city. Venture down to the lower parts of the market, feast your eyes on the remains of the Castle of San Jorge and relax on the banks of the Guadalquivir river in the summer sun.
Built for King Peter of Castile, Real Alcazar de Sevilla is one of the oldest operating palaces in the world. The UNESCO listed complex is a mix of Christian and Mudejar architecture and is one of the most breath-taking buildings in the city. So cinematic it was even featured in Game of Thrones, the highlight of the site and the ultimate must see, is the Palacio de Don Pedro. Take your time wandering through the picturesque courtyards and historical hallways for an unforgettable experience.
Once used as a hospice for retired priests, the Baroque 17th century building is now home to a collection of artistic masterpieces. The Focus-Abengoa Foundation’s set of centuries-old paintings are displayed in the Centro Velazquez and feature striking works such as Bartolome Murillo’s Santa Caralina portrait, each paying homage to a specific genre. A real sight for sore eyes, the exhibition space is a great one to add to your itinerary when looking for the best things to do in Seville.
The wooden structure located at La Encarnacion square has become an icon of the city – and for good reason. Opened in 2011, it has become known as ‘the mushrooms’ by locals for its 30 metre high pillars resembling the fungus. Designed as a sunshade, the Metropol Parasol is the largest wooden structure in the world and has a walkway on top with spellbinding views over the city. Take the lift from the basement to the roof, grab a drink at the café and watch the world go by in the streets below.
Sitting right next door to Seville Cathedral, the bell tower is one of the city’s best must-see sights. An age-old emblem of the area, the structure takes its Moorish origins from its former purpose as the previous mosque’s minaret. Not just an ordinary bell tower, there are no stairs inside, you have to climb a ramp to get to the top but the views that great you are well-worth the struggle. One of the most iconic buildings in the city, La Giralda is one to make time for during your visit to Seville.
No trip to Seville would ever be complete without catching a flamenco show. With a never ending schedule of performances across the city, you won’t struggle to find somewhere to watch the dancers in action. Make the most of the experience and opt for dinner and a show at one of the tablaos. Expect an evening of live music and tapas or a full dinner when you book into places such as Tablao El Arenal and fully immerse yourself in the age-old tradition. Stich around in spring or autumn to see Penas de Guardia, a series of performances showcasing local and emerging talent.
Heading to Seville soon? Make sure to tag us in your photos of Seville’s must-see sights, using the hashtag #ryanairstories, to be featured on Ryanair’s Instagram feed.
Flights to Seville
- Lucy Norris