The city of Seville is a must-see for any trip to Spain. Whether you’re spending one day in Seville or a month, your Seville itinerary will undoubtedly be filled with vibrant music, dance, history, and food.
We recently spent one day in Seville and absolutely fell in love with the city. Despite having a population of over 600,000 people, the city felt completely walkable. Plus, it’s a stunning city to visit any time of year.
Seville reminded us of other European cities we’ve visited, like Lyon, France and Parma, Italy. With its old narrow streets and grand Gothic and Renaissance style architecture, we felt as if we were walking through a postcard of Europe! But it’s the Moorish and Arabic influences the city’s buildings that give this city its own distinct feel. Marveling at the architecture is a must if you’re visiting Spain.
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Why you should visit Seville with your kids
If you’re a worldschooling family who loves history, culture, and food, then Seville is the perfect destination. There are so many things to do in Seville, Spain. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites. Additionally, you can take your pick from an abundance of restaurants to sample local and international cuisine.
You can easily spend weeks or months in this city. But if you’re pressed for time, you can still experience many of the Seville top sights by spending two days in Seville or fewer. That’s what we did. If you can only spend one day in Seville, here’s a fabulous Seville itinerary that will surely make lasting memories for you and your family. It has all the tips for how to spend one day in Seville.
Important things to know for your Seville itinerary
Before jumping into your Seville itinerary, it’s helpful to cover some basic information. This is one of Spain’s major cities, located in the Andalucía region of the country. It sits along the Rio Guadalquivir, inland from the city of Cadiz, which once served as an important river for trade during the height of Spain’s exploration and colonial exploitation days.
To get an overview of Seville and the Andalucía region, buy a copy of Rick Steves Snapshot Sevilla, Granada, and Andalucía.
Alternatively, you can also buy one of these other guidebooks:
The following sections cover how to get to the city, where to stay during your one day in Seville, and how to get around the city. I also touch on money matters and cultural and historical contexts for visiting Seville.
Not sure what to pack for your trip? Take a look at our essential travel items.
How to get to and from Seville
Seville has a major airport located outside of the city to the northeast. The airport has a mix of international and domestic airlines. North American airlines include Air Canada, American Airlines, and Delta.
To get to the city proper, you can take a bus or a taxi. Alternatively you can hire a car. But keep in mind that driving in Seville is tricky, since the city is full of narrow streets. So renting a car is not an ideal option for your Seville one day itinerary.
Where to stay during your Seville itinerary
If you want to stay close to your Seville itinerary activity, the best places to stay in Seville, Spain are near the historic center. This area is known as the Casco Antiguo.
Neighborhoods in Casco Antiguo include Museo, Centro, Santa Cruz, Alfalfa, Regina, and Feria. These neighborhoods are filled with small boutique hotels or apartment rentals for families.
Another option for a place to stay during your one day in Seville is the neighborhood of Triana. This neighborhood is located on the west of the Rio Guadalquivir.
Getting around Seville
Many of the top things to do in Seville are located within the central historic part of the city. They are mostly within walking distance, so it’s easy to get around the city on foot.
However, there are also other options for getting around during your Seville itinerary. There are city buses that have routes around the center. You can also use the tram. Check the bus schedules online to plan out your routes for the day.
Money matters for your one day in Seville
Spain operates on the Euro currency, since it’s a member of the European Union. At the time of this writing, 1 euro is $1.20 USD. Many banks in Seville have an ATM where you’ll be able to withdraw money.
Most restaurants accept payment by card or contactless payment via your phone. Tips are usually included in your bill, so you won’t need to leave anything extra. Many museums and attractions also accept payment by card. However for small activities, like riding a horse-drawn carriage through the streets, you’ll need to pay by cash.
Cultural and historical context for your Seville itinerary
Understanding the history and context of a destination is an important part of traveling responsibly in the world. This city’s history is long and varied. The city has been influenced by so many cultures over the last two millennia!
Early inhabitants of this area include the Phoenicians, who built cities around the hills of the region. After the Phoenicians came the Romans, who laid the groundwork for infrastructure in the area, such as bridges, aqueducts, and roads. Roman myth also states that Hercules founded the city of Seville.
Andalucía was then inhabited by the Vandals, Visigoths, and the Byzantine empire, before giving way to Muslims from Damascus, who established the Western Umayyad caliphate. The city fell under control of the kingdom of Castile in the 13th century, and thus ended Muslim rule of the city. However, the influences of Islam can still be seen in the architecture, music, and dancing of the city.
In terms of language, you’ll need to brush up on your Spanish to communicate in the city. You may be able to find some people who know some English, but you’ll have an easier time getting around if you know some basic Spanish phrases. We are fortunate to have learned Spanish through our travels in Mexico.
Seville itinerary ideas for one day in Seville
Even though we had only a little more than one day in Seville, we had such a wonderful time exploring the city. It is full of so many things to do for families, it was hard to narrow them down!
To experience all the must-do things in Seville, Spain, you want to ideally plan for multiple days. But even if you’re only limited to 1 day in Seville, you can still pack in a lot of the top 10 Seville activities with your kids.
For those with some time to spend in Seville, book one of these tours to supplement your one day in Seville itinerary:
If, like us, you can only visit Seville in one day, here’s a look at what we did during our Seville itinerary. For those wanting a slower pace of things, you can easily extend this into a Seville 2 day itinerary as well.
1. Enjoy a Spanish breakfast of tostada during your Spanish itinerary
In Spain, the main meal of the day is lunch. So breakfasts in Spain are generally a simple affair. Nonetheless, it’s worth including a Spanish breakfast experience during your Seville itinerary to get a taste of the culture.
A typical Spanish breakfast consists of coffee and a tostada (toasted baguette). You can take your pick of toppings for your tostada, including butter, jam, ham, avocado, or salmon. Coffee is usually the drink of choice, but you can also ask for tea or juice (called zumo in Spain).
The downtown area has a few cafes that are open early for breakfast, called desayuno. Or you can also try the Triana neighborhood.
2. Take a walk through Triana
Start off your morning Seville itinerary sightseeing with a walk through Triana. This neighborhood, known as a barrio in Spanish, is filled with restaurants, shops, and markets.
It’s located on the western side of the Rio Guadalquivir. The main area of Triana lies between the Puente de Isabel II and Puente de San Telmo. Just off the Puente de Isabell II is the Museo del Castillo de San Jorge, a museum about the Spanish Inquisition.
3. Enjoy the view during your one day in Seville at the Setas de Seville
After a walk through Triana, cross the Puente de Isabel II and head to the Setas de Seville, which means the Mushrooms of Seville. This architectural structure, also known as the Metropol Parasol, is the perfect place to catch the best views in Seville during your Seville itinerary.
The structure was built in 2011 on the site of a public market in the 19th century. There are multiple levels to the structure. At the underground level are remains of Roman and Moorish artifacts, while the ground level houses the Central Market. Above the market, on Level 1, is a public plaza. And on Levels 2 and 3 are terraces for viewing the city, as well as a restaurant.
4. Get inspired at Seville Cathedral
Since you’re already in the downtown area, continue walking about 10-15 minutes from the Setas de Seville to the Catedral de Sevilla, also known as the Seville Cathedral. It’s one of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, and is a must-see if you’re spending one day in Seville.
During the time of the Moors, this building was a mosque. However, when the Castilians gained control of the city, the mosque was torn down and replaced with a cathedral. The only structure to remain from the original mosque is the minaret, which was converted to a bell tower. The Seville Cathedral is also the final resting place of Christopher Columbus.
If you have time during your Seville itinerary, take a tour of the Catedral de Seville. The cathedral is open at 10:45 am on Mondays to Saturdays, and from 2:30 pm on Sundays. Entrance to the cathedral costs 10 euros for adults (children under 14 are free). If you want an audio guide, the cost is an additional 5 euros.
A guided tour of the cathedral is also available for 17 euros per person. The guided tours are available at certain times of the day, and for different areas of the cathedral.
5. Include a visit to the magnificent Royal Alcazar into your one day in Seville itinerary
Right next to the Catedral de Sevilla is the entrance to Real Alcazar, a former Moorish fortress that was converted into a royal palace. Like the cathedral, Real Alcázar is a must-visit during your Seville itinerary and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Alcázar consists of the palace and gardens. The original Muslim fortress was built in 913, but was destroyed and rebuilt in 1248 when the Christian Castilians took over the city. King Pedro I hired Moorish architects to meld Arabic architectural styles with European elements and motifs. Subsequent Catholic monarchs also made their own renovations to the palace.
The Royal Alcazar palace is open every day from 9:30 am to 5 pm. Tickets start at 13.50 euros for adults (children under 13 years old are free). You can pay extra for an audio guide or you can simply tour the grounds yourself during your one day in Seville.
If you want a more in-depth experience at Alcazar, it’s worth booking one of these tours with a knowledgeable guide:
6. Enrich your day with a traditional tapas lunch
As I mentioned, lunch is the biggest meal of the day for people in Spain. As such, you need to make sure to experience a traditional tapas lunch during your one day in Seville. Fortunately, downtown Seville has a large selection of tapas restaurants to choose from, many of them are minutes away from Alcazar and Seville Cathedral.
Tapas are small plates that are shared with everyone at the table. They can include cured meats, soups, prepared vegetable dishes, and fried fish. Order a few different plates to sample all the variety of flavors Spain has to offer.
Also, make sure you set aside ample time in your Seville itinerary for your tapas experience. Tapas should be savored and enjoyed!
7. Pass time during your one day in Seville itinerary by renting boats at Plaza España
Between the hours of 4pm and 8pm, most restaurants in the city are closed. You’re hard-pressed to find cafes or restaurants that serve food during this time, although many places still serve drinks.
To pass the time during your Seville itinerary at this time of day, head down to the Plaza España. It’s located in the expansive Parque de María Luisa, also known as Maria Luisa Park. This park was built in 1914, and still continues to be a popular place for people in the city to hang out.
A fun activity to do at Plaza España is to rent a rowboat. The Plaza España was built for the 1929 World’s Fair, and features Renaissance Revival, Baroque Revival, and Moorish Revival styles of architecture.
Row boats cost only 6 euros to rent for 35 minutes. The boats go around a semicircular canal that passes in front of the Plaza España. What a relaxing way to enjoy the view!
8. Walk along Guadalquivir River during your one day in Seville itinerary
During the time when this city was a major port city in Spain, the Rio Guadalquivir was a busy river, transporting trade goods in and out of Spain. These days, the Rio Guadalquivir is a fraction of what it once was, but you can still enjoy the beautiful views along the river.
Both sides of the river are lined with walkways. And you can spend an hour or so during your Seville itinerary walking along the river from Puente de Los Remedios to Puente de Isabel II.
Alternatively, you can book the following cruise along the Rio Guadalquivir to enjoy the river even more:
9. Don’t forget to include a Flamenco show
A hallmark of Andalucían culture is flamenco, an art form encompassing music and dance. Flamenco draws from a variety of cultural influences, including Indian, African, and Arabic musical and dance styles. The result is a passionate musical and visual performance that is distinctively Spanish and not to be missed during your Seville itinerary.
You’ll have plenty of options for a flamenco dancing and music performance in the city. During our one day in Seville, we opted to catch a show at the Teatro de Flamenco.
Regardless of the venue, flamenco shows occur in the evening, and last about an hour. Some other Flamenco Sevilla venues offer a dinner option to accompany the performance.
If you want to delve deeper into flamenco, book this walking tour, which includes a flamenco show and tapas:
10. See history with a visit to the Roman aqueduct
If you have time to spend between the flamenco show and dinner time, take a walk over to the Caños de Carmona on Calle Luis Montoto. These are ruins of Roman aqueducts.
Before the Moors, and after the Phoenicians, the Romans ruled this area of Spain. They were responsible for building much of the infrastructure in Andalucía, including roads and aqueducts.
A visit to the Caños de Carmona is a great way to bring history to life during your Seville itinerary. You’ll have a chance to admire the ingenuity of Roman engineering.
11. End your one day in Seville with a meal at Columnas de Hercules
Compared to the United States, people in Spain eat dinner late. Most restaurants won’t open their doors for dinner until 8:30 or 9 pm.
In the evening, head over to the Columnas de Hercules, located on Alameda de Hercules. There, you’ll find several options for dinner. Many of these restaurants have outdoor seating, even in the winter. So you’ll get a chance to experience the energy of the city and admire the views of the columns while enjoying your meal.
Want to explore Europe? Read about the European destinations here.
Other ideas for your one day in Seville itinerary
Of course there are many ways to explore the city. And one day in Seville is certainly not enough time to explore them all.
If you have time during your Seville itinerary, or simply want alternative activities to choose from, take a look at the suggestions below.
Hop on hop off bus tour
A great way to orient yourself to a new city is with an open top bus tour. This city has a couple of options you can do during your Seville itinerary, including the City Sightseeing Tour.
The City Sightseeing Tour includes at least 12 stops around the city. You can purchase a 24-hour ticket and use it any time during your one day in Seville. Buses operate from 10 am to 7 pm. There’s also an option to add on a guided walking tour to your tickets as well.
You can also book the City Sightseeing Tour through Viator here:
Incorporating museum visits into your itinerary
This city is full of unique and interesting museums, so adding them into your Seville itinerary is always a good idea. One of the more notable museums is the Archivo de Indias, with artifacts from Spain’s former colonies. This museum is another one of Seville’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla is another notable museum to visit, especially if you enjoy fine arts. And if you’re looking for family friendly museum options for spending one day in Seville, you can visit the Casa de la Ciencia and the Seville Aquarium.
Supplementing your itinerary with classes or workshops
While you’re in the city, why not include a class or workshop into your Seville itinerary? Classes are fun ways for worldschooling families to incorporate learning into their travels.
Platforms like Airbnb offer experiences such as a paella Spanish cooking class or a flamenco dance class. Or you can book one of the following workshops or classes from other booking platforms like Viator:
Take a day trip from the city
This city is the perfect destination to explore the rest of the Andalucia region of Spain. One idea for a one day trip from Seville is to spend one day in Granada, which is approximately 250 kms away (less than a 3 hour drive).
Other ideas for day trips from Seville include the city of Cadiz, the city of Cordoba, and the town of Ronda, all of which are less than a 2 hour drive from the city. Alternatively, you can drive to the city of Malaga, on the coast of the Mediterranean. The drive takes between 2 and a half to 3 hours.
Book one of these Seville day trip tours for your vacation:
An unforgettable one day in Seville itinerary for your family
Regardless of how you choose to fill your Seville itinerary, this city will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on your travel memories. We loved this cityfor its architectural beauty, its vibrant culture, it’s complex history and its delicious food.
If you plan to spend one day in Seville (or more), be sure to try our suggestions for your Seville itinerary. And don’t be afraid to venture out and explore your own things too!
Have you visited this city with your family? What did you include in your Seville itinerary? Share them in the comments!
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