An Incredible 3 Days in Seville, Spain | What to Do, See, and Eat

There is something enchanting about Seville, Spain that makes people fall in love with the city. Talk to anyone who has traveled through the country, and you’ll hear so many of them rave about the southern region of Spain known as Andalusia – or Andalucia, as it is sometimes spelled. 

Andalusia’s pueblos blancos as well as its capital city, Seville, captivate visitors with sun-basked beauty and a relaxed Spanish vibe. 

If you have 3 days in Seville, you’re in for a whirlwind of experiences – from touring the city’s famous landmarks to enjoying the tantalizing food scene. 

3 days in Seville Santa Cruz neighborhood
Exploring the charming Santa Cruz neighborhood is one of the must-do activities in Seville, Spain.

This Seville itinerary and travel guide details everything you need to know to plan the perfect 3 days in Seville – including where to stay and what to do.

BOOK GUIDED TOURS, EXCURSIONS, AND THE TOP-RATED THINGS TO DO IN SEVILLE HERE.

About Seville, Spain

view of Seville from the Giralda tower
Seville is a large city, which is home to nearly 2 million people.

Seville, or Sevilla in Spanish, is a city full of culture, history, incredible food and so many bucket-list worthy things to do.

Although there are a lot of attractions and things to do in Seville, simply relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere is one of the best ways to spend your time in Andalusia’s capital city.

Seville is often visited as part of a larger southern Spain itinerary or even a Spain, Portugal and Morocco itinerary. So, many people who visit only have about 3 days in Seville.

No worries, if you have a limited amount of time, you can still see many of the top sites in Seville. Our Seville itinerary also fits in plenty of sangria and tapas – which you will definitely want to make time for even if you are only in Seville for 3 days.

Quick Facts about Seville

  • Also Known As: Sevilla, Espana
  • Population: 1.945 million
  • Currency: Euro
  • Language: Spanish
  • Famous Landmarks: Seville Cathedral, Real Alcazar, Plaza de Espana, Metropol Parasol

Important Things to Know about Seville, Spain 

people taking photos in a pretty plaza in Seville
Seville is a popular tourist destination.

As with any place you visit, it’s important to know a little bit about Seville before you visit. It will not only help you appreciate the city more, but it will make your experience more memorable and more enriched.

Here are some important things to know before visiting Seville, Spain.

Seville is the capital of Andalusia

Seville is the largest city in Andalusia and the capital of the region. With nearly 2 million people living in the metropolitan area, it is the fourth largest city in Spain. 

Despite the large population, we found Seville to be safe and surprisingly clean. Situated on the Guadalquivir River, the city offers fun river activities as well as historical and cultural experiences.

Weather in Seville

little girl sitting on a pedestrian street in seville with a fan
Seville in summer is hot. You and your kids will want to take multiple breaks to cool down and escape the heat.

Seville is hot! At least in the summer. In fact, Seville is considered one of the warmest places in Europe. That’s great if you visit Seville in winter. Winters are mild and only partially wet. 

If you are visiting Seville in summer, just be prepared for the heat. Seville’s summers can be very hot and dry

You’ll want to carry a refillable water bottle in your daypack to stay hydrated and wear breathable clothing made from lightweight fabric.

History of Seville

looking up at the real alcazar from within the gardens
Seville has a long history and strong Moorish ties.

Seville is known for flamenco dancing and delicious tapas, but the history is actually much deeper and more interesting than that. 

The city was once considered the economic center of the Spanish Empire. It has seen its fair share of wars and has gone from a once Muslim-ruled city to a predominantly Catholic one.

During Moorish rule, Seville became a center of intellectual, architectural, and artistic innovation under the Caliphate of Córdoba. 

Then came the Reconquista in the 13th century when Seville was transformed into a Christian city, ushering in a period of global exploration and colonization during the Age of Discovery.

Most everything is closed on Sundays

a quiet street with only one store open
On Sundays many businesses are closed, but in the tourist areas you can still find some shops and restaurants open.

Because Seville residents are predominantly of the Catholic faith, Sundays are treated as a holy day in the city. In fact, you will find most stores, museums, and attractions closed on Sundays. 

Despite much of the city shutting down on Sundays, it is one of my favorite days to visit. The streets will be quiet and empty, making them perfect for photos. 

Find a park to relax in or an open restaurant in a plaza and enjoy some sangria and delicious tapas. There really is no better way to spend the day!

Afternoons are meant for “siestas” in Seville (a.k.a. naps)

an empty plaza de espana a must visit on any 3-day seville itinerary
Even popular tourist attractions in Seville are practically empty during the afternoon siesta hours. | Picture by jackmac34 on Pixabay

Where we live in the United States, life always seems to move at a fast pace. People are always busy. We eat on the go and get our coffee to go. 

It’s easy to see why people are stressed and constantly burned out in the United States. We don’t take time to slow down because the never-ending rat race is the way of life. But in Spain, particularly in Seville and the Andalusia region, I came to adore the slower pace at which life seems to move.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of life in Seville is the siesta! From about 2-5 p.m. stores and many businesses in Seville are closed. The siesta is intended to be a time of rest. It keeps work hours lower for businesses and prevents people from having to work or be out and about in the heat of the day. 

Ideally, during the siesta hours people enjoy a long lunch, some family time, or take a nap. That is exactly what we did in Spain every day during the siesta.

It was so nice on a trip that is typically filled with a ton of activities, to allow ourselves to rest, and even sleep during the middle of the day. 

Although many small businesses will close during the siesta hours in Seville, most of the shops in the tourist areas will remain open.

Spaniards eat late

mom with daughter on her shoulders in a street in seville at night
Walking back to our hotel at 11pm after dinner.

As a family traveling with kids, we usually eat dinner early, sometimes as early as 5 or 5:30 p.m. Bedtime for our daughter is around 8:30-9 p.m. 

If you also eat dinner early and turn in for the night early, you may want to adjust your schedule a bit when you are in Spain. 

Spaniards eat late. In fact, during the siesta time, between 2-5 p.m. is when many people in Spain typically eat lunch. A late lunch also equals a late dinner. After the siesta is over, many restaurants will close for a few hours and not open back up until 8 p.m.

Transportation in Seville

the central train station in seville spain
Public transportation is convenient in Seville, but many of the attractions are also within walking distance.

Seville is an easy city to get around on foot, at least in the popular tourist areas. Many of the top things to see in Seville are within walking distance of each other. 

If you like to familiarize yourself with Seville when you arrive, book a guided walking tour to discover the main monuments and charming corners of the city.

If you prefer not to walk, you can book a ticket for the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus, a guided bike tour, or even a segway tour.

For those traveling to outlying areas, Seville also is connected by buses, metro rail, trains, and taxis. This makes Seville an ideal location to position yourself and take day trips to places like Cordoba, Granada, or Ronda.

Where to stay in Seville

Staying in the center of the city, in the area surrounding the Cathedral of Seville, the Santa Cruz neighborhood, or close to Calle Sierpes, will help you maximize your 3 days in Seville.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Seville, here are a few recommended hotels that are conveniently and centrally located. 

Best hotels in Seville

How to spend 3 days in Seville, Spain

Now that we’ve covered the most important things to know about visiting Seville, Spain, here’s how to spend 3 days in Seville and make the most of your time.

Day 1

the giralda tower
The Giralda Tower
  • Tour Seville Cathedral
  • Climb Giralda Tower
  • Visit Archivo de Indias
  • Tour Iglesia del Salvador
  • Take a stroll and window shop along Calle Sierpes
  • Long lunch during the siesta hours
  • Watch the sunset at Setas de Sevilla
  • Dinner at a restaurant near Setas de Sevilla

Day 2

The Triana neighborhood sits across the river from the other tourist attractions in Seville. | Photo by Taisia Karaseva from Unsplash
  • Explore Plaza de España
  • Relax in Maria Luisa Park
  • Lunch near the plaza
  • Cruise down the river to Isabel Bridge
  • Take a tapas food tour in Triana
  • Watch a flamenco show

Day 3

mother and daughter posing for a photo in a gazebo in the Real Alcazar
You’ll find lots of beautiful photo spots in the gardens at the Real Alcazar.
  • Explore Real Alcazar
  • Lunch and wander the streets of Barrio Santa Cruz
  • Siesta hours free time
  • Tour Torre del Oro
  • Dinner near the city center

Day-by-Day Breakdown of or Seville itinerary

The itinerary above is basically the itinerary we followed for our 3 days in Seville. While it may seem like a lot each day, this itinerary actually allowed us plenty of time to sit and enjoy sangria, wine, and plenty of quaint tapas bars! 

It also allowed us an afternoon nap during the siesta hour at least two of the 3 days in Seville.

Here is a brief description of each of the top things to do in Seville on our itinerary.

Day 1 in Seville

Your first day of your 3-day Seville itinerary should begin at one of Seville’s most popular attractions.

Each day, you’ll want to start your morning at one of the city’s famous sites to see them before they become too crowded. For example, on Day 1 – you’ll start your morning at the Seville Cathedral.

Explore the Seville Cathedral

3 days Seville cathedral view from Giralda Tower
A beautiful view of the gothic architecture on the Seville Cathedral as you climb the Giralda Tower.

The Seville Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, is the largest gothic church in the world and one of the most famous cathedrals in Europe

This incredible church is not only architecturally beautiful inside and out, but it houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus, an important historical figure that Americans learn about as children, and a man who is often credited with discovering the Americas.

The Catholic cathedral was completed in 1528 and replaced the original Grand Mosque that stood on the site during the Moorish rule of Spain.

Climb the Giralda Tower

giralda tower
The Giralda Tower is the only portion of the original Muslim Mosque still standing.

The Giralda Tower is attached to the Seville Cathedral and is its most notable feature. The Bell Tower was once part of the original Muslim Mosque and is the only portion of the mosque that remains.

From the top of the 343-foot-tall tower, you’ll get panoramic views of the city and neighboring Real Alcazar. It is roughly 25 floors up a spiraling series of ramps and worth the climb for the exceptional views.  

You’ll also have a beautiful view of the gothic architecture on the Seville Cathedral as you climb the Giralda Tower.

BOOK SKIP-THE-LINE TICKETS TO THE SEVILLE CATHEDRAL AND GIRALDA TOWER.

Visit the Archivo de Indias

Located near the Seville Cathedral, Archivo de Indias is one of three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Seville. The famous gothic cathedral and the Real Alcazar are the other two.  

The Archivo building contains ancient documents related to the exploration and discovery of the New World, like the voyages of Christopher Columbus. 

The primary purpose of the archive was to centralize and safeguard the colonial records, which include letters, maps, and trip reports spanning over three centuries. 

Although not super exciting to tour, it’s an important historical site and admission is free. You also typically won’t find large crowds or queue lines to get into the building, so it is a quick stop.

Tour Iglesia colegial del Divino Salvador

Iglesia colegial del Divino Salvador
Iglesia colegial del Divino Salvador is one of the most important churches in Seville.

Your next stop on day 1 of your 3 days in Seville will be Iglesia colegial del Divino Salvador, but you may want to stop for lunch somewhere along the way or plan to eat right after.  

Other than the Seville Cathedral, Iglesia colegial del Divino Salvador is perhaps the second most important church in Seville. 

Also known as the Church of San Salvador, this Catholic cathedral once served as a mosque dating back to 830. It is believed to be one of the oldest former mosques in the region – second only to the Great Mosque of Cordoba – one of the top things to see in Cordoba.  

The church is worth visiting to see the elaborate altar of the former mosque turned Roman Catholic church. Admission is about 5 Euro per adult, and it is an easy detour if walking to Calle Sierpes from the Seville Cathedral.

Window shop along Calle Sierpes 

Calle Sierpes Seville Spain things to do
Calle Sierpes in Seville is a beautiful and vibrant shopping street.

Calle Sierpes is the beautiful pedestrian-only street in Seville lined with shops and restaurants and covered with giant shades to shield shoppers from the scorching sun in Seville. 

The thoroughfare is a long narrow street that weaves its way through the historic center, beckoning locals and visitors alike.

You’ll find shops, boutiques, and traditional establishments where you can search for treasures ranging from intricately designed ceramics to flamenco-inspired fashion. 

Timeless buildings with traditional architecture flank the busy shopping street, which is a great place to hang out in Seville when it is hot, and you want to escape the direct sun.  

Climb the Metropol Parasol

Metropol Parasol in Seville Spain
Metropol Parasol is known for its unique design.

Watching the sunset at Metropol Parasol is the perfect way to wrap up your first day in Seville. 

The largest wooden structure in the world, Metropol Parasol, fondly known as “Las Setas” (The Mushrooms) by locals, is an architectural oddity. But its peculiar appearance is what makes it so popular.

Resembling giant mushroom caps, the structure provides shade below and boasts panoramic terraces atop the multifunctional gathering place. It has not only become one of Seville’s most recognizable symbols, but it is one of the best places to watch the sunset in the city.  

The attraction is about halfway between Calle Sierpes and the main train station in Seville.

Day 2 in Seville 

Your second of 3 days in Seville is all about enjoying the laid-back atmosphere of the Spanish city.

You want to begin your day at the most popular plaza in Seville. This will not only help you avoid the crowds but the afternoon heat, as well.

Explore Plaza de España

Seville Plaza de Espana
Plaza de Espana is one of the most popular plazas in Seville.

Plaza de Espana is an iconic landmark in Seville. 

The large plaza is a great place to relax and spend an hour or so exploring. You can rent a paddle boat and take a boat ride through the canal or spend some time observing people as the crowds begin to make their way to the plaza. 

Plaza de Espana is a popular place to find street performers working for tips, as well. The plaza complex, which forms a huge half-circle, was built in 1928.

Around the plaza, you’ll find beautifully tiled alcoves that represent the different provinces of Spain. These colorful alcoves flanked by bookshelves, are popular photo spots for tourists and visitors to Seville who are coming from one of Spain’s other provinces.

Relax in Maria Luisa Park

Maria Luisa park in seville
Maria Luisa Park is a great place to relax in the shade.

Adjacent to Plaza de Espana, Maria Luisa Park is a wonderful public park filled with large shade trees that are great for having a picnic underneath.

This shady oasis was once a private garden but was donated to the city in 1893 and transformed into the sprawling park it is today.

The park has walking paths that meander through lush greenery and beautiful flowers. It is a great place to sit and relax and just take in the view of the grand plaza for a few moments. 

Take a cruise on the Guadalquivir River

 Guadalquivir River  with a kayak and a river boat
Kayaking or a cruise along the Guadalquivir River gives you a different perspective of Seville. | Image by Gerhard Bögner from Pixabay

The Guadalquivir River runs through the center of Seville. There are walking and cycling paths next to the river that are great for a leisurely stroll. 

Enjoying the river from the water is perhaps the most popular way to see Seville’s riverfront. Take a river cruise or rent a paddle board or a kayak and enjoy the sites of Seville from a unique perspective. You’ll cruise or paddle beneath historic bridges and see some of the city’s most famous monuments from the water.

One of the great things about a river cruise in Seville is that the guides share a brief history about Seville and the various sites you’ll see as you navigate the river. 

The added knowledge will give you a better appreciation of your three days in Seville.

BOOK A RIVER CRUISE IN SEVILLE HERE.

Take a tapas food tour

Seville 3 day itinerary including tapas tour
Whether you are spending 3 days in Seville or 3 weeks, make sure to try a variety of tapas or take a tapas food tour.

If you love food, you are planning a trip to the right place! Seville is known for its incredible Spanish tapas. Tapas are “small bites”

What is so great about tapas, besides the fact that all of them that we tried were delicious, is that you do not have to commit to just one dish. Order 3-4 tapas to make a meal or take a tapas food tour where you will hit up several tapas restaurants or bars and enjoy a variety of tapas at each.

The Triana neighborhood, located across the river from Seville’s historical center, is one of the best places to enjoy tapas. Known as one of the birthplaces of flamenco, this historic neighborhood has a maze of bars and small restaurants that are great for discovering traditional flavors. 

I swear, you will want to spend your entire time in Seville eating all the food. And if you do, don’t worry. How much weight can you really gain in just 3 days in Seville?! So go ahead, eat all the food and don’t feel guilty! 😉

BOOK A TAPAS TOUR HERE.

Watch a flamenco show

flamenco dancer in Seville
While you can often find flamenco street performances, attending a flamenco show is well worth paying for admission.

Seville is a city that dances to its own rhythm – and its rhythm is infused with the enthralling beat of Flamenco.  

Flamenco is as equally famous in Seville as tapas. The region of Andalusia is known as the birthplace for this type of performance art and catching a show is worthy of any Spain bucket list. While many consider flamenco a type of dance, a flamenco performance actually consists of three parts, guitar playing, singing, and dancing.

Watching one of these elegant Spanish performances is a must in Seville. You can take in a show and learn the history of the artistic dance and music at the Flamenco Museum or if you’re lucky, you can find free performance at a local bar, restaurant, or even on the street.

However, it is best to book tickets to a live flamenco show to ensure you have the best experience.

BOOK A FLAMENCO SHOW IN TRIANA HERE.

Day 3 of 3 Days in Seville

Your third day in Seville leaves you plenty of time to explore the top attraction in the city – the ancient Real Alcazar. You’ll want to give yourself a full morning at this expansive palace.

Wander through the Real Alcazar

Real Alcazar Sevilla 3 days
In one of the inner courtyards in the Real Alcazar of Seville.

The Real Alcazar was our favorite place to explore in Seville. The royal palace was built for Spain’s Christian king after the Christian conquest of Seville in 1248. The city was previously under Muslim rule. 

The palace was built on the site of the former Muslim ruler’s residential fortress and is the oldest royal residence in Europe. The well-preserved and restored interior of the Alcazar is jaw-dropping while the gardens and fountains are equally breathtaking. 

Give yourself several hours to explore the Real Alcazar of Seville. It is much larger than it looks from the outside. There are so many photo-perfect spots that will make you want to wander around awestruck.

Booking a guided tour is a great way to discover parts of the palace you may otherwise miss and learn about the history of the palace.

The castle, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was also a filming location in Game of Thrones, so fans of the show will enjoy finding the sights that were used as backdrops in the series.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR THE SEVILLE ALCAZAR AND SKIP THE LINE HERE.

Explore the lovely Santa Cruz neighborhood

a pretty street in the santa cruz barrio in seville
The Santa Cruz barrio is one of the most historic and loveliest neighborhoods in Seville.

After exploring the Real Alcazar for a while, have a leisure lunch and then spend some time wandering around the Santa Cruz neighborhood. 

Santa Cruz is the tourist heart of the city. It can be crowded, but for good reason. The neighborhood, which surrounds the Real Alcazar and Seville Cathedral, is beautiful and is a great place to let yourself get lost.  

Once the Jewish quarter of medieval Seville, Santa Cruz is notable for its winding alleys that lead to hidden squares adorned with fountains and orange trees. The neighborhood’s historical significance is obvious as you walk along the cobblestone streets. 

FIND A WALKING TOUR OF THE SANTA CRUZ BARRIO HERE.

Take a self-guided tour of Torre del Oro

the tower of gold in seville
Torre del Oro now houses a naval museum. | Photo by Jaime PF from Pixabay

Torre del Oro is a 13th century military watchtower right on the river and only about a block away from the Seville Cathedral. 

Known as the Tower of Gold in English, this magnificent historical monument is notable for its distinct golden tiles that once shone in the sun.

Its purpose and use have evolved over the centuries – from serving as a defensive watchtower to a prison, and eventually housing a naval museum that now showcases Seville’s maritime past. 

A prominent landmark in Seville, Torre del Oro offers breathtaking views of the river, the city’s skyline, and the iconic Giralda Tower in the distance for those who choose to climb to the top.

The tower is free to visit on Mondays, so if any part of your 3 days in Seville happens to fall on a Monday, go ahead and plan your Seville itinerary to take the self-guided tour and climb the watchtower on that day.

Best things to do in Seville for kids

Seville with kids Real Alcazar
Exploring the Real Alcazar is one of the best things to do in Seville with kids.

While all of the things on this 3-day Seville itinerary can be done with children in tow. There are a few things that will be more memorable for kids than others on this list. 

Children will enjoy climbing the Giralda Tower. Although I did have to carry my 4-year-old up part of it. (It was a workout, thank God for a travel child carrier!) Once we got down my daughter immediately wanted to do it again. (But we didn’t; once was enough.) 

There is something about climbing an old bell tower that will always intrigue kids. So, if you are wondering if your kids will be up for the challenge, give it a go, make it a race to the top, and have a blast together!

Little ones will also love exploring the alcazar and its gardens. There are plenty of maze-like places at the alcazar to explore as well as fountains with fish and ducks that will keep your kid’s attention. 

Of course, Plaza de Espana and Maria Luisa Park are both great places for kids to run around and burn off some energy. The plaza can be quite hot during summer, so duck into the park for some shaded areas for little ones to run free.

Our little one was also fascinated by the flamenco dancers and was completely entertained and quiet during the entire show watching the fancy footwork, despite being at least an hour after her bedtime.

If you are searching for more kid-centric things to do in Seville, the Seville Aquarium and Isla Magica theme park and water park are both great options that will entertain children for hours.

More time in Seville? Consider adding some of these things to your Seville Itinerary

Three days in Seville gives you enough time to see the highlights of the city, but if you have more and prefer a slow travel style, there are plenty of fun things to do in the city to keep your family entertained.

Museums in Seville

Because we were visiting Seville with kids, we decided to pass on most of the museums in Seville. Although if museums are more your speed, here are some of the top museum choices in Seville.

Frequently Asked Questions about Seville

Have additional questions about how to spend 3 days in Seville? We did, too. Here are a couple of the more frequently asked questions about visiting the Andalucian city.

Is 3 days in Seville enough?

a pretty street in sevilla espana
A quiet street in Seville, Spain.

There are plenty of things to do in Seville for three days, whether you prefer to stay busy or take things slow and enjoy the city at a slower pace. 

We visited Spain as part of a 2-week itinerary that took us from Lisbon, Portugal, to southern Spain, and across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco. After 3 days in Seville, we moved on to Cordoba for 2 days, and Ronda for a day, then other parts of southern Spain, but the city was one of the highlights of our trip.

If you are planning a trip to southern Spain and you’re wondering if 3 days in Seville is enough, it’s hard to say.

I felt like I could have spent weeks in Seville and not been tired of it. But if you are more interested in just seeing the sites, you can see most if not all of the top attractions in Seville in three days. 

Is Seville good for kids?

a little girl eating an ice cream in seville with ice cream all over her face
Our daughter loved Seville, and the ice cream we let her have multiple times a day to keep her cool.

Parents in Spain seem to have a more laid-back approach to raising kids. Children are generally welcome in most places and establishments, but things aren’t necessarily catered to them. 

Dinner is eaten late and shows and performances don’t start until later at night. But they counter the later bedtime by allotting for a siesta hour (or two) during the day.   

Additionally, food in Seville is very kid friendly. From bite sized tapas to Spanish tortilla, there is always something on the menu that children will enjoy.

Have a suggestion or a question about things to do in Seville, Spain or how to spend 3 days in Seville? We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below and let us know how you would spend 3 days in Seville.

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This three-day Seville itinerary was originally published in October 2019 and was most recently updated in April 2024 for accuracy and current travel information.

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