What to see in Seville in 2 days
With your two days you will be able to hit the highlights on the Seville tourist trail including amazing architecture, religious history and art. You should focus your time on the two most impressive pieces of architecture and history in the city, the Cathedral and the Alcazar. Round your time there out with a bit of art, a bit of nature and a lot of tapas. Two-days is a lot better than a one day itinerary to Seville.
What you will have to miss in 2 days
In two days, you’ll miss out on visiting more of the offbeat museums like the museum of flamenco, or the center for Seville’s history, as well as the neighborhoods across the bridge which are more local and authentic.
A historical city at a cross roads of culture and religion, Sevilla has a lot to offer and can easily fill up your itinerary.
How to tackle 2 days in Seville
All of the attractions in Seville are on the east side of the river. So I’ve divided them into two easily navigable days. You’ll start both days in the center with day one bringing you north and day two having you head south.
What to see on Day 1
Seville Cathedral and Giralda Bell Tower
The Seville Cathedral is only one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city. The cathedral is built on the remains of a mosque which was partially destroyed by an earthquake and partially destroyed due to Muslim, Christian conflict throughout history. The only parts of that mosque still surviving today are the minarets which are now known as the Giralda Bell Tower (very much worth seeing in their own right.) The Seville cathedral is the largest gothic church in the world.
The Cathedral is one of the main draws of the city, it is not only massive but also extremely interesting and engaging to visit. Be sure to give it plenty of time. You’ll be rewarded with unbelievable art and history.
Barrio Santa Cruz
When you’ve finished at the cathedral you won’t have to go far for stop number two. Barrio Santa Cruz is a neighborhood just around the corner. It is the most popular neighborhood in the city and as such has become very touristy, chock full of over-priced souvenir shops and cafes. But there’s a reason why so many people flock here.
The area is not only beautiful but also holds so much history. It is the old Jewish Quarter of Seville and though so much of what once was has been destroyed the present day Jewish community has made efforts to reinvigorate it. Those efforts are shown in the Jewish museum in the neighborhood where artifacts and truths about the community are on display.
Museum of fine arts of Seville
The collection here ranges from medieval times to the 20th century. The museum is housed in an ex convent and shows off pieces from many of Spain’s greatest artists including Goya and Zurbaran. Be sure to check up on the hours and confirm that it is open before you head over, also ensure that the top level is open as that is where some of the best pieces are kept. The museum is closed on Mondays. EU citizens can enter for free with presentation of a valid passport.
Finish off your day a little confused as you try to contemplate what this structure is doing in the middle of old town. Most people haven’t much idea. It’s a wooden structure which was completed in 2011. You can get up to the top of the parasol for just €3.
What to see on Day 2
Day two brings you a bit further towards present day as well as into nature. Enjoy the beautiful, relaxing scenery that both the parks and the alcazar have to offer.
Alcazar of Seville
The Alcazar of Seville was built in the 14th century by the Muslim Moors. It is historically a home for the royal family and is still used by them to this date. Today the Alcazar is another of Seville’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Much of the building is original though parts have been added in more modern days.
It’s important to afford time for the gardens here, they are truly astounding. Allow yourself to enjoy them without any time constraints.
Torre del Oro
This watchtower has 12 sides making it dodecagonal. Constructed in the 13th century, it was used as a prison during the middle ages and the most recent element, the circular top floor was added in the 18th century. Entrance is €3, gives you access to top views and a great deal of history explained throughout.
Plaza de España
The Plaza de España is a modern building amongst historical Seville. It was built for a world’s fair in the 2th century and is surrounded by controversy as to whether it belongs amongst the stunning, historical architecture of the city. However, with Renaissance and Moorish revival architecture at it’s core the plaza does wrap modernity in history.
The first thing you’ll see upon arrival is the canal where you can hire a gondola. Be sure, on your way out to give time to the surrounding parklands of Parque de Maria Luisa.
If you are there on a weekend
Seville is more or less the same every day of the week. You might have a slightly higher number of weekend visitors but the difference won’t be drastic. Nightlife, flamenco shows and bars remain much the same throughout the week.
Seville is a city alive with culture past and present. A story of the Jewish past is written in the streets while a story of the Game of Thrones future is written in another. With 2 days you can slow down a bit in true Andalusian style. You’ll get more history, more vino, more tapas, and more time.
What to eat and drink
I hope you’re a meat eater because you’re about to enter pig heaven in Seville.
Start with Secreto Ibérico, possibly the best cut of pork the world has ever known. Essentially the armpit of the pig, the Iberian secret is generally grilled and is melt in your mouth good. Give it a go at Los Coniales, right by the Metropol Parasol.
If pig is not on your can-eat list than you’re actually in luck here. Thanks to the Jewish and Moorish history in Seville you can try Espinacas con Garbanzos, quite simply a tapa of spinach and garbanzo beans served with one large crouton. A local specialty.
And before you go, make sure to try the dry Manzanilla sherry at any bodega.
Where to stay and how to get around
El Arenal is a great choice to stay centrally so your commute to attractions in the morning won’t be long. You’ll also have a great deal of nightlife, tapas bars and rooftop terrace at your fingertips. Do keep in mind that while an area like this is great fun it probably won’t ever be quiet; the Spaniards continue the fiesta all night long, but then again, if you’re looking for authenticity, so should you!
Seville does have a metro, tram and bus. However, you’ll have to have a separate ticket for the metro than the other two. Realistically, you can easily walk this itinerary as it stays very centrally and walking is the best way not to miss any hidden bit of wonder.
However, if you need to take public transport you can get a single tram/bus ticket for €1.30 or a 10 pass for €6.40. The airport bus is separate. You might also consider a bike; Rent A Bike Seville offers them for as little as €12/day or €20/2 days.
How to spend your evenings
Flamenco in Triana
Andalusia is the home of flamenco and Triana district in Seville is known to be the nursery that incubated this art. Find yourself a flamenco bar and enjoy the show. There are two main types of venues, a tablao or a pena. Head for a pena, it’s a bit more authentic and less touristy.
Stroll down Calle Betis, there you’ll find tapas bars, flamenco spots and clubs. T de triana on this street has free flamenco shows on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
Also, be sure to check out cervecerias which serve nothing more than cold beer and perhaps a bowl of peanuts. They are not the same as bars and are intended for pre-dinner drinks.
Advance booking for Seville attractions
Definitely book the Cathedral and The Alcazar in advance to avoid waiting in lines or missing out altogether. These are the most popular tourist spots so if you schedule a time to go to them you can fit the other spots in around your spare time so as to leave yourself some flexibility.
Seville cards and Tours
Currently the Seville card is unavailable so just buy individual tickets and tours. In any case it may not make sense to buy a card for only a 2 day visit.
Recommended walking tours?
Dorne, from Game of Thrones, is actually the Alcazar of Seville. If you’re a fanatic you can relive the scenes with a GoT guided tour through Seville Walking Tours. Or stick with a more standard city tour gathering the basic historical facts about the city.
HoHo Bus is not worth it
The Seville hop on hop off bus runs a 75-minute route every 30 minutes and the tickets are €20.00 for one adult. There is no 2-day option. The staff are regarded as not very friendly and often don’t speak any English. The information given is often seen as irrelevant to most tourists. All in all, the bus tour isn’t highly recommended.
Places to consider visiting if you are with kids
Seville is a great city for a visit with kids. On your visit to the cathedral be sure to head up the Giralda bell tower and show your kids the birds eye view of the city. Barrio Santa Cruz will also be excellent for youngsters, let them explore the twisty streets on foot. And be sure to bring them to a flamenco show to top off your evening, they’ll be entranced by the sounds and movements of the dancers.
Places to consider visiting if you are a couple
Parque Maria Luisa, outside the Plaza de Espana is a perfectly romantic park for a stroll. As the evening darkens pasear (walk) along the river and find a riverside bar for a drink in this lovely setting.
On a longer trip
Two days is a great start to Seville however you won’t be able to go with the Andalusian rhythm in such a short time frame. The Alcazar itself could take up nearly an entire day simply getting lost in and appreciating its beauty. This city shouldn’t be rushed. Ideally 3-4 days in the city is a perfect amount of time.
Can you do day trips from Seville?
Yes, but in two days you still won’t have the time to finish everything there is to do and see in the city so you’ll want to afford at least four days in order to include any sort of day trip.