The largest city in the Andalusia Region in southern Spain is also its capital. Seville is located on the banks of the River Guadalquivir and with a population of about 1.5 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, the 4th-largest city in Spain.
The city was originally founded by the Romans as “Hispalis” and was conquered by the Moors in the 8th century until the Christian reconquest of Andalusia in 1248.
This period between the 8th and 13th centuries has defined the architectural landscape of the city, something that is still visible in some of Seville’s most famous landmarks.
Today, Seville is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and is visited by millions of people every year.
That’s because this fascinating city has a lot to offer, and in this post, we’ll take a closer at some of the best things to do in Seville so you can add these attractions to your Seville bucket list.
1. Seville Cathedral
One of the absolute highlights in this sweltering place in southern Spain (at least during the Summer months) is the city’s most important religious building, Seville Cathedral.
It’s the largest Gothic church in the world and the 4th-largest church of any kind in the world. It has a length of 135 meters (443 feet) and a maximum width of 100 meters (330 feet), staggering figures indeed.
The size of the church isn’t the only thing to admire though, because the Gothic architecture is fascinating to watch as well.
What’s even more intriguing about this structure is that it was originally built as the local mosque during the time Seville was part of the Almohad Caliphate in the 12th century.
It ended up being transformed into a church initially in the 13th century and then expanded in the Gothic style between the early 15th century and 1528.
Today, the cathedral is simply a must-visit attraction while you’re in Seville.
Official website: Seville Cathedral
2. La Giralda
Another structure that was transformed from its original purpose is the famous bell tower of Seville Cathedral known as “La Giralda.”
This magnificent structure was originally built as the minaret of the mosque of Seville but was turned into a bell tower after the mosque was transformed into a church.
The tower was made higher and the final piece to be added was the lantern at the top in the typical Renaissance style of the 16th century, topped with a statue known as “El Giraldillo.”
This means the tower now reaches a height of 105 meters (343 feet), making it one of the most prominent landmarks in this section of the city.
Read more on Listerious: 12 facts about La Giralda
3. Royal Alcázar of Seville
Seville Cathedral, the Giralda, along with the General Archive of the Indies and the adjoining Royal Alcázar of Seville are all part of the complex that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
Similar to the Cathedral and bell tower of the city, the Royal Alcázar was originally constructed as “al-Qasr al-Muriq,” a residential fortress built by the Muslim rulers of Seville in the 11th century.
This initial Muslim structure was destroyed during the Christian Conquest of Seville in 1248 and turned into a royal palace by Christian King Peter of Castille (1334-1369).
What makes this royal palace so special is the fascinating architectural style considered a prime example of Mudéjar architecture.
This style was distinctive for Christian buildings on the Iberian Peninsula between the 13th and 16th centuries.
Even more remarkable is that the upper floors of the palace are still used by the modern-day royal family of Spain when they are in Seville.
It’s one of the most popular attractions in Seville and a must-visit sight during your stay in the city.
Official website: Real Alcázar of Seville
4. Plaza de España
Every city in the world has one or more popular public spaces, and the most famous square in Seville is without a doubt the Plaza de España or “Spain Square.”
This square was built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 and is located within one of the city’s most popular parks, the Parque de María Luisa or “Maria Luisa Park.”
Completed in 1928, the square features a wide range of different architectural styles which have been popular in Spain throughout history.
This means that the buildings were built in a mix of Art-Deco, Baroque Revival, Renaissance Revival, and Moorish Revival architectural styles, creating one of the most fascinating ensembles you’ll ever come across.
Today, most of the buildings have been renovated and adjusted to serve as office buildings for government agencies. Along with its practical purpose, the square is a popular place to hang out and relax in the city of Seville.
5. Puente de Triana
The city of Seville is located on the banks of the River Guadalquivir, and multiple canals were built as well. One of these canals is called the Canal de Alfonso XIII and is situated near the city center.
One of the most iconic bridges in Seville crosses this canal and connects the Triana Neighborhood with the center of the city.
Therefore, this bridge is referred to as the “Puente de Triana” or “Triana Bridge.” Another name of the bridge is the “Puente de Isabel II.”
The bridge was completed during the reign of Isabella II of Spain (1830-1904), even though the original bridge on this location dates back to the 12th century. Yes, that was also during the Moors’ occupation of Seville.
The best time of the day to explore the area around the bridge (and walk across it) is during the night. Then it’s magnificently illuminated and one of the most picturesque spots in the city emerges.
6. Setas de Sevilla
One of the most fascinating landmarks in the city is considered to be one of the largest wooden structures on the planet.
This attraction is officially called “Metropol Parasol” but is commonly referred to as the “Setas de Sevilla,” which literally translates to “Seville’s Mushrooms.”
This enormous structure was built between 2005 and 2011 and cost an enormous 102 million euros to build.
It has dimensions of 150 by 70 meters (490 by 230 feet) and covers a large part of “La Encarnación Square” in the historical center of the city.
The structure can be accessed, and even though it only stands 26 meters (85 feet) tall, it provides magnificent views of the city, especially during sunset!
Official website: Setas de Sevilla