48 Hours in Seville: The Ultimate Itinerary

Seville, Plaza Virgen de los Reyes at Dusk
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Seville is a city of contrasts. All at once, it manages to be both quintessentially Spanish and cosmopolitan, passionate and laid-back, historical and contemporary. These factors all complement each other in the most beautiful of ways to make up Spain’s fourth-largest city, and the capital of its southernmost region of Andalusia

You could spend ages wandering through Seville’s picturesque backstreets and still manage to find something beautiful around every turn. And if you have enough time, that’s the perfect way to explore. But if you only have two days to spend in southern Spain’s most emblematic city, follow this itinerary to make the most of every moment.

01 of 06

Day 1: Morning

Cathedral of Seville and la Giralda, Seville, Spain
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10 a.m.: After checking into your accommodation (or dropping off your luggage if your room isn’t available yet), head to the nearest neighborhood bar for second breakfast (or your first, if you haven’t eaten earlier). That’s right—the tradition of a second morning meal runs strong here in the south of Spain, and you’ll most often catch locals eating it at a bar (a word which is used to describe a sort of small, informal restaurant here in Spain). 

Order the typical Seville breakfast of toast with local olive oil, fresh tomato, and cured ham (feel free to omit if you don’t eat meat), and wash it down with a cup of coffee and a freshly squeezed orange juice—all for well under five euros. Bring a book, start planning out the rest of your day, start a conversation with the locals, or simply watch the world go by—any way you go about it, this is the perfect way to start your day Seville style. 

11 a.m.: Make your way to the centrally located Church of the Divine Savior (Iglesia del Divino Salvador) to start your sightseeing adventure. Visiting this small but beautiful church comes with a bonus: here you can get a combined ticket to visit both this and the Seville Cathedral for the same price as a regular cathedral ticket. Even if you’re not religious, both buildings are architecturally stunning and provide a fascinating glimpse at Seville’s history and culture. 

When you’ve finished your visit at the church, head five minutes down the street to the grandiose cathedral, the largest of its kind in the world. Your combined ticket from the Salvador Church will allow you to skip the line here. If you’re not afraid of heights and physically able to do so, head up the 34 ramps gradually leading up to the Giralda tower for impressive views over all of Seville.

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02 of 06

Day 1: Afternoon

Real Alcazar Gardens In Seville, Andalusia
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2 p.m.: It's time for Spain’s famously late lunch (this is why that second breakfast, typically eaten between 10 and 11 a.m., comes in handy). In general, eating too close to major tourist attractions in Spain means overpriced, low-quality food—but in this case, there are some incredible local gems down Calle Mateos Gago just east of the cathedral. 

Start off with an aperitif at Taberna La Goleta, a tiny, no-frills hole-in-the-wall if there ever was one that most tourists won’t even notice. Locals love this spot, however, and the family that runs it is credited with popularizing Seville’s now-legendary orange-infused wine in the city. Enjoy a glass with a tapa of cured cheese to whet your appetite. For lunch, head down the street to La Azotea, a bright, modern restaurant serving contemporary twists on Spanish classics. 

4 p.m.: Spend the rest of your afternoon exploring the grandiose palace and gardens of the Real Alcázar. This stunning royal complex holds centuries’ worth of history within its walls, and has become a bucket-list item for thousands of visitors in recent years thanks to its appearance on Game of Thrones. Be sure to get your ticket online in advance—it costs one euro extra, but you’ll be glad you did so when you’re able to skip the long line for day-of tickets. 

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03 of 06

Day 1: Evening

Flamenco dancing
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7:30 p.m.: As evening settles in over the city, head to the towering Las Setas (“mushrooms”) monument in Plaza de la Encarnación to catch the sunset from the top. The largest wooden structure in the world, the Setas (also known as Metropol Parasol) were controversial among the local community at the time of their construction from 2005–2011, but many residents have since embraced the monument as an integral symbol of Seville. 

Once you purchase your three euro entrance ticket, take the elevator to the top of the monument and marvel at the views over the city as day turns to evening. Be sure to explore all angles of the city as seen from above by wandering along the winding ramps that snake along the top of the structure, and stop for a drink at the small rooftop bar as well. 

8:30 p.m.: You can’t visit Seville—widely considered to be the birthplace of flamenco—without seeing Spain’s most iconic performing art come to life onstage. But a lot of shows nowadays are overpriced, low-quality performances aimed specifically at tourists. How can you be sure you’re getting your money’s worth and seeing a truly spectacular show?

The answer: Head to a flamenco venue (called a "tablao") that focuses on the music and dance itself. That means natural acoustics (no mics or amps), no food or drink being served (nobody wants to have waitstaff crisscrossing the space while trying to watch a show), and a rotating list of performers to help ensure spontaneity and improvisation—both of which are at the heart of flamenco.

One excellent venue where you can catch all of the above is La Casa del Flamenco in the Santa Cruz neighborhood. There will likely be some tourists there—it’s hard to find a flamenco show in Seville that doesn’t draw at least a few—but rest assured that the quality of the performances here is hard to beat.

10 p.m.: After the flamenco show, head out and do dinner the Seville way: by going on a tapas crawl. Las Teresas and Maestro Marcelino are two great tapas bars near the flamenco venue, both of which are favorites among locals. If you’re in the mood for a more relaxed sit-down dinner, you can’t go wrong with El Pintón, a contemporary spot serving modern Mediterranean food not too far away.

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04 of 06

Day 2: Morning

Spain square in Seville.
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9:30 a.m.: Start your second day in Seville at the magnificent Plaza de España, a grandiose square that serves as an homage to Spain itself. This colorful corner of Seville is well worth taking some time to explore on your own before the bulk of the day’s crowds arrive.

As you leave the plaza, be sure to head past the historic Royal Tobacco Factory (Carmen, the titular character from Bizet’s famous opera, works there in the show) and make your way to Paseo de las Delicias along the river. If you’re hungry, stop to enjoy an al fresco breakfast in Puerta del Jerez, an emblematic square surrounding the historic Hispalis Fountain.

11 a.m.: Enjoy a stroll along the eastern bank of the Guadalquivir River as you make your way north. Part of the Spanish lifestyle is taking the time to relax and enjoy every moment, and in Seville, there’s no better place to do just that than the laid back riverfront. Enjoy the views of the Triana neighborhood across the river—the colorful buildings lining the water make for one of the prettiest views in town.

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05 of 06

Day 2: Afternoon

Alameda de Hercules
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2 p.m.: Stop for lunch north of the city center in the Feria/Alameda area. The Mercado de la Feria is a typical Spanish food market well worth exploring, complete with several fantastic bar and restaurant stalls where you can grab a bite to eat. Take some time exploring the market before choosing a place to eat amid the bustling stalls. After lunch, head a few blocks west to the lively Alameda de Hercules—a historic promenade lined with bars and flanked by two ancient Roman columns—to enjoy a post-meal drink. 

4 p.m.: Spend your afternoon getting to know some of the finest artwork of Spain’s Golden Age at the Museo de Bellas Artes. The museum itself is one of Spain’s oldest, and it’s housed in a gorgeous 17th-century building that on its own makes the visit worth your time. When you’re done, head to the nearby Confitería La Campana, a historic pastry shop, to enjoy a sweet treat for Spain’s traditional mid-afternoon snack, known as merienda.

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06 of 06

Day 2: Evening

Spain, Seville, Triana, Colorful residential buildings
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8 p.m.: Make your way across the elegant Isabel II bridge and spend your evening exploring Triana, the colorful and eclectic neighborhood on the western bank of the river. This is the perfect place to enjoy a tapas crawl to end your time in Seville. Take a stroll down Calle Betis along the river as the sun sets, then head into the neighborhood and let the eating begin. Triana is full of fantastic food options, but standouts include Las Golondrinas, Casa Remesal, and no-frills local favorite Cervecería La Grande.

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