Full day excursion to discover the city of Seville
In just one day, discover all of Seville’s most iconic places. This is, without doubt, the most complete excursion that you can do in order to get to know the capital of Andalusia. It is divided into two parts: one that you will do in the morning and another that you will do in the afternoon. Also, don’t forget that by doing two excursions in a single day, you will save money.
Morning excursion: panoramic tour and guided tour to Plaza de América, Plaza de España, Alcazar and Cathedral
We will begin our sightseeing tour in the centre of Seville, where we will contemplate some of the most important buildings and monuments. Among them, we will see the Palace of San Telmo, which today houses the presidency of the Andalusian Government. We will also see the building of the old tobacco factory where the celebrated cigarette girl from the opera Carmen worked.
From there we will arrive at the impressive Maria Luisa Park, an enormous garden that, in addition to vegetation, possesses a relevant architectural heritage, in large part arising from the Iberian-American Exposition of 1929. That international event was celebrated in these gardens, and as witnesses many of its old pavilions are still preserved, such as the Argentina Pavilion, currently the Conservatory of Dance, or the Colombia Pavilion, which today is that country’s consulate.
The American Plaza was also created in 1929, and it is one of the most impressive squares in the city. The buildings from the old Moorish, Renaissance and Royal Pavilions are concentrated there. The three are admirable and still in use. The first is the Museum of Arts and Customs, the second houses the Archaeological Museum of Seville, and the Royal Pavilion is home to municipal offices.
From there we will head toward the Spain Square, also built during the Iberian-American Exposition of 1929 in order to represent Spain. In fact, all of its provinces are present, as you will see upon walking in front of its benches, in which each province is represented by an historical event. The plaza is so beautiful and spectacular that it has been used as a set for films like Lawrence of Arabia or Star Wars: Episode II.
We will make our next stop at the Murillo Gardens, where the monument that pays homage to Christopher Columbus is located in an environment surrounded by huge palms and trees.
From those gardens, we will head toward the Santa Cruz district, the old Jewish district that surrounded the Alcazar. This typical Sevillian neighbourhood is formed by a maze of narrow streets with many stately houses and interior patios full of flowers, and the white walls of the facades contrast with the ochre colour of its doors and windows.
Shortly before arriving at the Alcazar, we will find ourselves at the Patio of Arms, where the palace service lived.
If, when making the reservation, you purchase the excursion with entrance to the Royal Alcazars of Seville, you will be able to go on the guided visit with us without having to wait in long entrance queues, which you would have to do if you went by yourself.
This palace is of Muslim origin and has been the residence of the Spanish royal family since 1249 until present day. In addition, it’s the place where the highest officials are received when they visit the city. When you enter the Alcazar, you will probably recognize some places since scenes from films like Lawrence of Arabia or television programms like Game of Thrones have been filmed here.
Once inside the Royal Alcazar, we will head toward the Plaza de la Montería, from where we will see the facade of the three grand buildings that make up the palace: The Indies Hiring House, the Mudejar Palace, and the Palace of Carlos V. In our visit, we will only have time to enter the last two.
It is curious to know that the Mudejar Palace does not correspond to the period in which the Moors inhabited Seville. In fact, it was built during the Christian age, by order of Pedro I, in the mid-14th century. During our visit, we will get to know some of its rooms, such as the Business Patio, the Ambassadors Hall or the Maria de Padilla Baths.
In the Palace of Carlos V, built two centuries before, we will have the opportunity to walk through its rooms, where it will be worthwhile to stop and contemplate its collection of tapestries, which were made with silk and thread in Flanders, and that depict relevant historic events like the Conquest of Tunez.
After the visit to the Royal Alcazars, if you have purchased entrance tickets when booking, we will take a guided visit to the neighbouring Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, the largest Gothic temple in the world and the third largest in all of Christendom.
As with many Andalusian temples, the cathedral was built over an old mosque, so the Patio of Oranges and part of its minaret were preserved. The bell tower known as La Giralda was actually built over the mosque’s minaret.
The inside of the Cathedral is a continuous art lesson, especially at its most prominent points, like the Gothic-Moorish choir stalls, or the impressive High Altar, with an altarpiece 18 meters high of gold leaf that depicts 44 scenes of Christ’s life.
That fact about the great altarpiece should give you an idea of the splendour of this temple, but there are many other valuable works. Among them are paintings by Murillo, Zurbarán or Goya, true artistic treasures, as is the mausoleum of Christopher Columbus, where the remains of the discoverer of America rest.
Upon finishing our visit to the Cathedral, we will suggest that you climb up the bell tower, if you wish, in order to enjoy some magnificent views of the city.
Undoubtedly, this is the ideal place to finish this morning excursion to the most beautiful and spectacular places in Seville. We hope, after this guided visit through Seville, that you will understand the famous saying, “Seville has a special colour.”
This will be the end of our morning excursion, since we will now have free time in order to eat before continuing with our afternoon route.
Note: On Sundays the cathedral is substituted with another monument.
Enjoy three excursions in one with this afternoon tour. We will combine a cruise along the Guadalquivir River, a bus tour through the popular Triana neighbourhood, and two guided tours: one to a bull ring and the other to the Basilica de la Macarena.
The cruise along the Guadalquivir will give you a different perspective of Seville, since from its waters we will contemplate many of the buildings, monuments and bridges that mark the history of the city.
To start, we will glimpse the streets of the Triana district, which we will later travel, before approaching the beautiful Maria Luisa Park, where we will see some of the buildings that were built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, like the old Argentina Pavilion, which today is home to the Conservatory of Dance.
From there we will head toward Isla de la Cartuja, where the Universal Exposition of 1992 took place. Very attractive buildings are still standing from that event, such as the Music Pavilion or the Future Pavilion. Also in this area is the Schindler lookout tower and the modern Pelli Tower, the tallest building in Seville.
In addition to seeing Isla de la Cartuja, from the boat we will see some of Seville’s symbols par excellence, such as the Torre del Oro (Gold Tower) or the Real Maestranza Bull Ring.
We will pass under bridges as famous as the emblematic Triana Bridge, the oldest in Seville, or the modern Alamillo Bridge and Barqueta Bridge, or the unique Puente del Santísimo Cristo de la Expiración (Holy Christ of the Expiration Bridge), which is very important in the Holy Week processions.
Upon finishing the cruise along the Guadalquivir River, we will disembark and go on a sightseeing tour through the Triana district, one of Seville’s most popular and typical neighbourhoods, and the home of famous bullfighters and artists. The tour will show us its most attractive corners, like the O Church or the Church of San Jacinto, or one of Seville’s flamenco temples, the Taberna de la Anselma.
Triana is a perfect prelude for our guided visit to La Maestranza, one of the most important bull rings in Spain and the rest of the world. That will be well understood upon entering this 18th-century baroque-style ring, which is the second-oldest in the country.
From the bull ring’s grandstand, we will be able to contemplate the arena and imagine the bull fights when the ring is full of 12,000 fans cheering on the bull fighters.
In the museum of the Real Maestranza, we will take a trip through the history of bull fighting, from its beginnings until now, and we will find the costumes of the great bullfighters who excelled in this ring.
As it is impossible to imagine a bull fighter without religious fervour, we will see the ring’s chapel where the bull fighters prayed to the images of the Virgin of the Rosary (the patron saint of the Maestranza), Cristo del Gran Poder, the Virgin of the Macarena or the Virgin of the Cross (the patron saint of Seville).
This is the ideal end of the visit to the Maestranza before visiting the Basilica de Santa Maria de la Esperanza Macarena, or simply “La Macarena,” one of the churches most beloved by the people of Seville.
The high point for this temple comes during Holy Week, when its brotherhood takes in procession the sculpted images of Christ of the Sentence and the Virgin of the Macarena, which we will see during our visit.
In short, with this excursion we will have taken a complete journey along the emblematic Guadalquivir River, getting to know the history of the city and its modernity, flamenco, love of bull fighting and religious devotion. It’s a magnificent overview of the most representative aspects of this unique Andalusian city.