Carmen, the owner of Holos Boutique Hotel looks forward to welcome you to Seville.
Seville is quintessentially Andalusian: Its streets and squares are lively and busy, mainly in the picturesque town center. It has the most passionate Semana Santa (Holy Week/Easter), the most festive and romantic annual fiesta (Seville April Fair), the best tapas bars, restaurants and nightlife. Get lost in Seville’s historic center with its narrow, winding, medieval lanes and romantic hidden plazas. Enjoy the gorgeous scent of orange blossom and yourself, at night, in the tapas bars or on the streets, surrounded by Seville’s relaxed inhabitants.
Andalusia’s capital was awarded the title of World Heritage site in 1987 and numerous neighbourhoods – such as Triana or La Macarena – are still full of traditional culture.
How to Get There
Quick and convenient access to Seville:
The airport is ten kilometres north of the city, close to the A-4 motorway. Millions of passengers use this airport, mainly arriving from other Spanish cities, but also connecting to European cities such as London, Paris, Rome, Milan, etc.
Seville has been served by the high-speed train since 1992, offering daily services between Seville and Madrid (and Barcelona). The railway station Santa Justa is located on Avenida de Kansas City, just a few minutes’ walk from the old town.
There is a good road network with several motorways (toll and free). The most important are the A-4, which connects Andalusia (Cádiz/Seville) and Madrid, and the A-66 which goes to Mérida and connects with the A-5. Granada and the Costa del Sol are linked with Seville by the A-92 motorway. Travel to Portugal is on the A-49 motorway.
Seville: Plan your journey by public transport
The Santa Justa Train Station in Seville was completed in 1991. It is located in the eastern part of Seville’s city center and provides services to Cordoba, Malaga and Madrid via the Spanish highspeedtrain AVE.
You can fly to Seville from main capital cities in Europe.
Seville weather forecast
|Sevilla, España||53°F moderate rain|
Wind 11 mph, S
Pressure 761.31 mmHg
Places to go
Roman Ruins from Itálica
Ruins of the Roman city of Itálica, founded in the year 206 BC, approx. 10 kms NW of Seville.
TO SEE: Italica (located near the village of Santiponce) was founded in 206 BC on the initiative of the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio, in order to settle Roman soldiers in the area.
Under the reign of Emperor Agustus (27 b.C. – 14 a.C.) Itálica became a town and was granted the privilege of minting its own money. During its period of splendour its architectural development flourished with the construction of new public buildings such as the amphitheatre, houses with floors decorated with mosaics, and broad streets which connected the various neighbourhoods.
TO DO: Visit the ruins, the amphitheatre and other facilities.
From October to March, Tuesday to Saturday, 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM; Public holidays and Sundays 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
From April to September, Tuesday to Saturday, 8:30 AM to 9:00 PM; Public holidays and Sundays 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Closing days: Monday
RECOMMEND: After the visit, you might like to taste some traditional dishes in the bars and restaurants of Santiponce, located near Itálica. I’d recommend ‘El Ventorrillo Canario’, a restaurant located out of town on the Avenida Extremadura.
Carmona is a city which stands out due to its size and the traces left by the various cultures that have populated it during its extensive history.
TO SEE: Churches, palaces and city walls form part of the broad artistic heritage Carmona houses in its historic quarter. I’d like to recommend a visit to the Roman Necropolis (I B. C.), which has hundreds of tombs and rich burial chambers excavated from rock and is located on the outskirts of the town, and the Moorish Gate of Carmona.
TO DO: Strolling through the streets of the old part, that still preserves the layout of a Moorish town.
RECOMMEND: Search some traditional bars to taste a typical tapa or dish. The “Huevos a la flamenca” – a dish made from eggs baked with tomato, peas, chorizo and/or ham – are a must and worth trying if only because nowadays eggs are rarely cooked in the oven.
Seville Town Center
Sightseeing tour through Seville, the capital of Andalusia.
TO SEE: The whole center of Seville is well worth visiting and with some time. Stroll through its streets and squares and discover hidden squares and places is something every visitor should do. Have a beer and a tapa – if possible – on the terrace of some of the many bars, enjoying the mild and pleasant temperatures Seville offers most part of the year.
TO DO: Visit the Cathedral (which is the largest Gothic cathedral and the fourth-largest church in the world), the Alcazar (the royal palace), climb the Giralda tower, stroll through the Maria Luisa Park and discover the neocolonial-style pavilions of the Latin American Exhibition of 1929. It is also a must to visit the Museum of Fine Arts (which is the second art gallery in Spain), with its permanent collection and very interesting temporary exhibitions.
RECOMMEND: Have a drink or something to eat in a traditional bar, such as Casa Moreno (Calle Gamazo) or El Rinconcillo (Calle Gerona), which is the oldest bar of Seville. If you prefer a more avant-garde cuisine, I’d recommend El Arenero (Pasaje de Vila) or Abantal (Calle Alcalde José de la Bandera).
Triana, Neighbourhood of Seville
Triana is a home to potters, sailors and flamenco. Its streets retain the essence of the popular Seville and traces of an ancient past. From the San Jorge castle to the church of Santa Ana, from the ‘Corralas de Vecinos’ (apartment blocks with courtyard shared by all neighbours) to the majestic Betis street.
TO SEE: Triana is one of the most characteristic neighborhoods of Seville and famous for its ancient ceramic handicrafts. There are numerous shops where to purchase pieces of pottery.
TO DO: There are several routes through the neighbourhood, buy don’t miss out on walking along the Betis Street, enjoying the stunning views of Seville on the other side of the river and visiting the Capillita del Carmen chapel.
RECOMMEND: Have a drink or something to eat in restaurants such as Abades Triana (Calle Betis 69 A) and Casa Cuesta (Calle Castilla 1).
A walk through the town of Seville
Walking tour through the town of Seville, which has a rich Moorish heritage and used to be a prosperous port that carried out trade with the Americas.
The tour starts at Plaza Nueva, right in the city center and main access to the shopping areas. The square is situated on the former site of the San Francisco Convent which did not only fill this area but even more space. The equestrian monument, in the square’s center, is dedicated to the town’s conqueror Fernando III. The monument is a work of sculptor Joaquín Bilbao and has now been installed at its original location from 1931. At the right and next to a Max Mara shop, there is a small chapel under the patronage of San Onofre. It is small in size, was once part of the old San Francisco convent and established a tradition of daily worship which it continues to this day. This is one of the sites that do not appear in any guide but are still worth a visit.
At the exit of this small chapel and turning to the right, you’ll see the town hall’s 19th century neoclassical façade, a work of architect Balbino Marrón.
Crossing the square and going to the other side of the town hall, you’ll see that on this façade the stonemasonry changes completely: The façade is Plateresque and has been designed by architect Diego de Riano, who was in charge of the works from 1527 to 1534. You are now at the back of the town hall on the Plaza de San Francisco. This square has witnessed the history of Seville: from bullfights in wooden bullrings to burning of heretics during the Spanish Inquisition. Today, Plaza de San Francisco is not only a location of religious fervor – the Corpus Christi, Virgen de los Reyes and of course all Easter week processions of pasos (floats of lifelike wooden sculptures of individual scenes of the events of the Passion) pass the square on their way to the Cathedral – but also a space for exhibitions and temporary markets.
Walking down the Avenida de la Constitución, take a stop at the Bank of Spain: inside it keeps the original Tartesio del Carambolo treasure. There is a copy in the Museum of Archaeology. The ‘Constitution Avenue’ is the main access to the old part of Seville and scenario of religious processions. If you stop in front of one of the bank offices you’ll see that on the other side of the avenue there are two facades that stand out against the rest: they’re both work of architect Aníbal González who, among other civil works, also built Plaza de España. The first house stands out due to having a narrow facade with a superior decoration that seems to crown the balconies with carved stone; the second house, only a few meters away and on the corner, has a brick facade, decorated with tiles. Today it houses another financial institution.
Crossing the street you’ll stand on a corner which now belongs to the Parroquia del Sagrario parish. There is a row of columns around the entire space, connected by chains. The 16th century Seville had numerous laws and jurisdictions. The chains pointed out, that being on the other side you were subject to the laws or privileges of the church.
Continuing along the avenue of the Cathedral you’ll get to the door of the Sagrario parish church which has been built upon part of the old patio of the Almohad mosque. Due to its classicism and exterior austerity, this temple marks the first change to Sevillian baroque. Inside, the plant has a single rectangular nave with chapels between the buttresses that hold real treasures. The major altarpiece is work of Francisco Dionisio de Ribas and has been built between 1664 to 1669. The central scene and sculptures, from the second part of the 17th century, represent the Descent and are works of Pedro Roldán. There are also two stone sculptures from 1657 on the tribune of the churches Evangelistas and Doctores, work by Flemish sculptor José de Arce.
On leaving we turn to the left, and get to the Cathedral – the largest Gothic church in the world – which is built on the former Almohad mosque of Seville. Its construction was decided in 1401 when a Council of Canons sought to build a Cathedral “… so large, that those who see it finished think we were mad”. To this very day, the cathedral of Seville is still the third largest in Christendom: after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and St. Paul’s cathedral in London.
Going on, near the Cathedral you’ll get to the Archivo de Indias: the building housed formerly the guilt or merchants’ house. Its construction started in 1584 due to the constant abuse of the merchants who occupied the lateral stands of the Cathedral and invaded the interior of the temple in case of rainy weather, which caused the clergy to complain to the king. The Herrera influenced building had various uses since its creation: guilt and auction house and tenement. Under Carlos III it was finally adapted for the Archivo de Indias. Today it is the world’s most important archive on colonization: it keeps all the documentation concerning the governance and administration of the New World during the Spanish conquests and has an archive of over 40,000 bundles, organized in sections.
Once again on the street, turn to the right and compass the building until getting to Plaza del Triunfo, where you’ll see a small stone temple, closed by an iron fence and built in 1755 in honor of the Virgen de la Inmaculada and to commemorate that Seville suffered only little damage after the earthquake of Lisbon.
Continuing straight ahead, you’ll get to the main entrance of the Real Alcázar, called the ‘Lion’s Gate’ due to the ceramic lion above the door. This ‘royal fortress’ is the oldest palace in the world that is still used as official residence of the Kings when they visit the town. Once you are inside, you can visit several partios such as the hunting patio of the patio of the maids… Since Ferdinand III reconquered Seville in 1248, the building’s history is closely linked to the monarchy. The first works began with King Pedro I, nicknamed the “Avenging” or the “Cruel”, who transformed the old Alcázar de la Bendición into a Moorish palace. Since then, especially from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, the Real Alcázar has suffered constant alterations, which have enriched its artistic and architectural value, gardens, fountains, domes, sculptures, etc.
After taking a walk through the Alcázar’s marvellous garden, take the exit towards the Patio de Banderas and from there a door through which you get again to Plaza del Triunfo. From this point you can enjoy a very nice view to the Cathedral and the ‘Giralda’, the bell tower. Continue towards the Giralda. Before reaching the Palza de la Virgen de los Reyes you’ll see on the right the Convento de la Encarnación, a Augustinian nuns convent that was part of the disappeared Santa Marta Hospital which has been founded in 1385. Its small church features medieval architectural elements. Upon leaving, you are almost opposite the Archbishop’s Palace, residence of the Bishop of Seville. The palace has been built on the former site of some houses which Fernando III donated in 1251 to Bishop Don Remondo. The palace’s entrance is Baroque, the door is work by Lawrence Diego Fernandez de Figueroa and Antonio Diaz and has been made between 1703 and 1705. Once inside, you’ll find two of the three mannerist style patios. The second patio leads to the Archbishopric’s General Archives with ecclesiastic documentation of the whole Archdiocese of Seville. One of the most unique features of this palace are the 17th century stairs, that have been designed by Brother Manuel Ramos and are made of only one stone. The palace’s dome is adorned with murals, work of Juan Espinal. Inside it preserves an important collection of paintings, including works by Zurbarán, Herrera el Viejo, Murillo, Pacheco, Zamora … However an important part of this collection was lost with the French invasion, when Marshal Soult installed his headquarters and plundered the palace between 1808 and 1810.
At the exit, on the right and at the foot of the Giralda, you’ll find the access to the cathedral. It is a door oriented towards the Plaza de la Virgen de los Reyes.
The Cathedral contains one of the largest sculpture collections: due to the quantity and quality the inventory still not has finished. Start your walk throuth the cathedral with the Capilla Real, the ‘royal chapel’, designed by Martin Gaínza in 1551. Take then a look at the dome of Hernan Cortez II: it holds the Virgen de los Reyes, a 13th century Gothic sculpture, who accompanied Ferdinand III in his conquest of Seville. currently the sculpture is Seville’s Patron. Keep walking towards the major altarpiece, the largest work of this type in Christendom: The works lasted more than eighty years (1480-1560).
You’ll see different works by Martinez Montanes, such as the Christ of Mercy from 1603, situated in the Sacristia de los Cálices, or the Inmaculada known by the nickname “The little blind One” which is taken out every 100 years in procession on the day of the Inmaculada (its next trip to the outside will happen in 2103). There are also sculptures by Juan de Mesa, Alonso Cano etc.
Next to the Puerta del Príncipe, the ‘prince’s gate’, you’ll find the tomb of Christopher Columbus, designed in 1891 by Arthur Mélida for the Cathedral of La Habana/Cuba. Since 1902 however it has been installed in the cathedral of Seville.
There are numerous windows, doorways, chapels and each of them features different construction details, scenes and symbology for the Christian world.
After the Museum of Fine Arts, the Cathedral is the second largest gallery of the town due to the countless canvases that are stored inside. You’ll see pictures of Murillo, Zurbaran, Goya, 14th century frescoes such as the Nuestra Señora de la Antigua, situated in the homonymous chapel and to whom travelers to America entrusted themselves. Or works by other prestigious Spanish and foreign artists.
With regard to works of jewelry, you’ll see two very important silver works such as the Custodia Procesional, embossed between 1580 and 1587 by Juan de Arfe, and the urn containing the incorrupt body of San Fernando, made in 1719 by John Laureano Pina. Other areas worth visiting are the Sacristia de los Cálices that shows relics of great value to the Catholic religion, such as a piece of wood of Jesus Christ, the crown of thorns, bones of saints etc. Don’t miss out on the sacristia Mayor and the Sala Capitular.
From the Cathedral you can access the Patio de los Naranjos, the ‘orange tree courtyard’, which formerly was the patio of the Almohad mosque. Through another small door you’ll access the former mosque’s tower. The construction of the Almohad minaret started in 1184 by order of Sultan Abu Yusuf Yaqub Yusuf, who commissioned the construction to architect Ahmad ibn Baso. The tower’s base is made of stones from Roman buildings. Today it is crowned with a vane placed in 1568, representing the triumph of the Christian Faith. You’ll climb the tower through ramps made of brick – the muezzin ascended here formerly on horseback to a height of almost 100 meters to read the Koran. On top of the tower you’ll enjoy a magnificent view of the city.
Distance/Time: 800 meters
Seville: Plaza Nueva, Plaza de San Francisco, Iglesia del Sagrario, Avenida de la Constitución, Archivo de Indias, Reales Alcázares, Palacio Arzobispal, Cathedral, Giralda.
Cordoba Sightseeing Tour: The Jewish Quarter, The Mosque and The Alcázar Fortress
The historic center of Córdoba- declared Universal Heritage in 1994 – gives you an idea of what must have been life in town when Jews, Muslims and Christians lived here together in relative harmony. Just about everything of interest in Cordoba is within easy walking distance, however the area with by far the most to see is the one surrounding the Mezquita.
Strolling through the Jewish quarter is a real pleasure: Its maze of narrow streets invite a relaxed walk, discovering the weight of history in a city that already is one of the most historic of Spain. This neighborhood, where Jews already settled in Roman and Visigoth periods, has important archaeological remains of the Jewish presence.
A beautiful network of narrow, winding streets, squares delimited with white houses built around courtyards filled with flowers invite you to stroll and discover splendid corners full of light with a touch of charm and a great history and culture.
Savour the best of the local cuisine in numerous wineries, restaurants and taverns. Different and interesting shops and studios offer all kinds of crafts.
Great Mosque of Cordoba
Located in the historic center, the Great Mosque of Cordoba is one of the finest examples of Muslim art in Spain and a mixture of architectural styles superimposed on one another over the nine centuries its construction and renovations lasted: Its history summarizes the evolution of Omeya-style in Spain as well as the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles of Christian construction.
Built in 785 by the Muslim emir Abdurrahman I, on the site of an ancient Visigoth church of San Vicente. The mosque underwent consecutive extensions over later centuries. Abdurrahman III had a new minaret built whilst in 961 Al-Hakam II extended the ground plan and decorated the mihrab. The last renovation was carried out by Al-Mansur in 987. As a result, the interior looks like a labyrinth of beautiful columns with double arcades and horseshoe arches. After the Christian conquest in 1523, the cathedral was built inside with highlights including the main altarpiece, the Baroque altarpiece and the choir stalls in mahogany. The mihrab is considered one of the most important in the Muslim world, being the finest piece in the mosque. The decoration is Byzantine mosaic with crafted marble. The courtyard of the Orange Trees leads to the complex.
Alcázar fortress of the Christian Monarchs
For eight years, the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel and Fernando, ruled in this fortress and palace of solid walls, which encloses much of the architectural evolution of Córdoba.
Originally built as the residence of the caliphs of Cordoba upon Roman and Visigothic remains, it was the haunt of the town’s different rulers. Later it became the palace of the Christian monarchs, the Inquisition headquarters, a civil prison, and finally a military prison. It is set among magnificent gardens, including the garden known as the Avenue of the Monarchs, which features statues of all the monarchs who had connections with the palace-fortress. It was declared a Historical Monument in 1931 and is part of the area declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1994.
Distance/Time: One day
Historic center of Córdoba: the Jewish quarter, the Mezquita and the Alcazar fortress
Sierra Norte Nature Reserve, Seville
Tour through the beautiful Sierra Norte Nature Reserve of Seville, visiting its picturesque villages.
A very interesting route to the north of the province of Seville visiting its picturesque villages, enjoying the beautyful views and its amazing gastronomy. The nature reserve is noteworthy for the presence of predators, as well as species of special interest, both in the vertebrate and invertebrate fauna.
Distance/Time: 224 kilometers
Cantillana, El Pedroso, La Puebla de los Infantes, Alcolea del Río, Constantina and Cazalla