We’ve visited Seville countless times and must admit that winter is our favorite season. Don’t get us wrong, summer, fall, and spring are great times to visit. However, nothing beats traveling to the city in winter to enjoy great weather and better prices. Of course, and probably most importantly, fewer tourists too.
Seville is famous around the world for its flamenco music, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, food, superb architecture, and fantastic vibe. No wonder that the city is one of Europe’s top tourist destinations. Besides, since the sea is close by, loads of tourists stop for a couple of days every summer.
The city offers so much that you could spend months discovering it. That’s why we’ve been back so many times. If you’ve already been to the city in summer, you’ll be able to see it in a different light. We’ve selected the 10 coolest things to do in Seville in winter. We are sure you’ll have a blast!
Why Visit Seville in Winter
Splendid Weather is Everything
Seville in winter enjoys mild temperatures and sunny days. Due to its location in the south of Europe, it is never really cold. Especially if you compare the weather with the rest of the continent. If you are visiting from the US or northern Europe, you won’t believe it’s winter!
The average temperature in Seville in December and January is 53 F (11 Celsius). The average maximum temperature in these months is 60 F (16 C). The minimum average is 44 F (6 C). Therefore, the days are fresh and sunny and the nights cool but pleasant. All you need is a light jacket!
Temperatures in Seville in February and March are even better. The average temperature these months is 57 F (13 C). It never goes above 68 F (20 C) during the day and below 44 F (7 C) at night. Finally, it hardly ever rains during winter. Only an average of 8 days per month!
For the first time ever, a bit over 3 million tourists visited Seville in 2019. We all know what happened during the next two years, so let’s not even talk about it. Things are improving fast, and numbers should approach that record pretty soon. Seville is back, and everyone is excited!
July and August receive the biggest number of tourists. As you probably know, Europeans travel in mass these months. Not only that, but Seville is the entry point to Andalucía. A lot of tourists fly there, spend a day, and continue to their favorite beach. The same happens on their way back home.
Numbers slowly decrease in fall. From December to March is the low season. You will never have to queue for hours and you will have tons of space to do whatever you want to do in Seville in winter. However, during Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Holy Week, numbers rise a bit.
Since the city attracts so many tourists in summer, things can get pricey. Especially regarding the best hotels in Seville. Can you blame them? Who doesn’t want to stay in a palace in the center of the city? The prices in bars and restaurants increase too. Thus, you have to wait to pay more!
You can expect to pay up to 50% less in hotels from December to March. That said, the prices for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Holy Week can increase. However, even on these dates prices are not as high as in the middle of summer.
The price for tickets to the Cathedral, the Alcazar, and other landmarks is the same all year round. Take note that only a fixed number of people is allowed at any time in the Alcazar. Therefore, the lines can be long. That’s why we recommend you book your online tickets here. You can enter the Cathedral and the Alcazar without queuing.
Things to Do in Seville in Winter
1 Visit the Cathedral without the Crowds
Of all the things to do in Seville in winter, a visit to the Cathedral is a must. The temple presides over the Triunfo Square, one of our favorites in the city. The Tourist Office is also on the plaza. You can stop at a bar on the plaza to rest and enjoy the views.
Before entering the temple, walk to the Forgiveness Gate and the Orange Patio. Both are behind the church. There’s another UNESCO-Listed site in front of the Cathedral: the Archivo de Indias. If you think the magnificent temple is gorgeous from the outside, wait till you get inside.
The iconic Giralda Tower used to be the minaret of the original mosque that occupied the same spot. It was preserved and converted into the bell tower. When Seville Cathedral was completed, it became the largest temple in the world. In fact, it’s still one of the biggest.
2 Roam the Streets of the Jewish Quarter
Take note that locals call the Jewish Quarter Santa Cruz. The incredibly beautiful neighborhood is in the center of the city. In fact, most of Seville’s top attractions are in or near the quarter. Santa Cruz begins south of the Cathedral. It ends at the Alcazar gardens.
All you have to do is get lost in its narrow alleys and little streets. Though every street is interesting, our favorites are Calle de la Judería, Levíes, Santa Maria and Callejón del Agua. You have several houses with white-washed facades to visit. Take your time and enjoy the atmosphere.
Don’t forget to check the Church of Santa Maria the White. The stunning church was both a Synagogue and a mosque. Go inside and look for Murillo’s last supper. Raise your eyes to see an unbelievable baroque ceiling. If you get hungry, stop by any of the cute restaurants offering beer and tapas.
3 Visit the Famous Alcazar
No matter how many palaces you’ve seen, this one will leave you speechless. The Alcazar of Seville is the oldest palace in Europe still in use. The first structure on the site was built in the 11th Century to protect the city and as the residence of the Abbadid King.
From then on, every king, Muslim or Christian, contributed to its grandeur. It is one of the few things that Christians and Muslims agreed on. The beauty had to be preserved and enhanced. That’s why it took 500 years to complete and polish. Today, you can see Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical elements.
The gardens are as impressive as the palace. As old too. The Muslims built the first ones to provide food and peace for the king. That’s why it incorporates the notion of paradise mentioned in the Koran. From then on, every king added plants to the garden.
4 Climb the Giant Mushrooms
Not everything is ancient in Seville. The Setas de Seville opened in 2011 and became an instant hit. It is still the largest wooden structure in the world. The original name was Los Parasoles but due to its unique appearance, locals call it the mushrooms. German architect Jurgen Mayer designed it.
The structure is huge: 150 m long, 70 m wide, and 26 m tall. You can climb up to the roof to enjoy breathtaking views of the city. But that’s not all. The mushrooms have 4 different levels to explore. You can also walk along the third floor.
You have to go to the basement too. The city’s largest roman ruins are there. Not only that, there are andalucian remains too. Look for the unbelievable mosaics, including a Medusa. You can have a bite at the third-floor restaurant. Visit at night too. The structure looks amazing in different colors.
5 Catch Some Sun in Plaza España
Plaza España in the center of Seville is one of the grandest squares in Europe. You will recognize it from the massive curved building around it. The plaza is almost 100 years old and is still a meeting point for tourists and locals. In winter, it’s the perfect place to catch some sun.
Spain built the plaza to host the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. The mega fair celebrated the bonds of Spain with its former colonies and its neighbor, Portugal. That’s why Brazil got invited. Ten of the attendees constructed pavilions, including the United States. The Plaza was the center of the exhibit.
The building is so fantastic that it appears in Hollywood’s classics Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars. You can spend hours admiring its art. Go at night too to see it illuminated in all of its glory. Thanks to the fair, Seville’s upper classes accepted the now iconic Flamenco dresses.
6 Spend Some Time in Seville’s Nicest Park
The splendid park in front of Plaza España is called Maria Luisa. The park used to be the gardens of San Telmo Palace. Princess Maria Luisa donated them to the city in 1893. However, the park got its current appearance in 1911. That year French architect Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier completed his plan.
The park has an area of 100 acres (40 hectares), making it one of the biggest in Spain. You will see the splendid San Sebastian gardens before you reach the park. You can ice skate here in winter. The first monument you’ll see as soon as you enter is the statue of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer.
There are two incredible museums inside the park. The Seville Ethnographic Museum holds a collection of Andalucian and Spanish items. The Seville Archaeology Museum is behind. From there, you can walk along the Guadalquivir River. Don’t worry if you get hungry. Restaurants, bars, and coffee houses dot the park.
7 Climb the Tower of Gold
The 13th Century Military Tower is an icon in the city. The Golden Tower presides over the Guadalquivir River, just 2500 feet (800 meters) from the Alcazar. As you will notice, the tower has three levels. The first one was built in 1221, the second in the 14th Century, and the top one in 1760.
Admission to the tower is free on Mondays. You have to pay 3 eur any other day. Don’t even think of skipping it. The views from the tower are epic! You can see the river, the gardens, the Cathedral and the entire city. There’s a pretty cool naval museum within the tower.
Take note that several bus lines connecting the entire city depart from the tower. That’s why it’s so popular amongst the locals. Besides, you can take a boat cruise along the river from the tower. We took this one and loved it. You can also kayak along the river.
8 Mingle with the Locals in Triana
Triana is probably the most traditional neighborhood in Seville. To get there, all you have to do is cross the Isabel I Bridge. Locals call the iron bridge from 1852, Triana Bridge. The neighborhood is known in Spain for its flamenco shows and pottery. You can see live performances on the street!
If you are into fine pottery, stop by the Pottery Museum. From there, take a leisure stroll along pedestrian San Jacinto Street. Bars, restaurants, and flamenco tablaos (stages) populate the area. The vibe is so much fun and contagious you will want to dance yourself!
Our favorite restaurant in Seville is in Triana. Mariatrifulca offers top-quality food with memorable views of the river and the city. Book a table on the terrace. For cocktails with the best views in the city, head to the Atalaya Terrace, on the top of Seville Tower. The highest bar in Andalucía is totally worth it!
9 Bike along the River and in the Expo Area
We love biking, especially when traveling. To us, it’s the best way to know a place. However, biking in Seville in summer can be exhausting. It’s simply too hot! That’s why biking around Seville in winter is such a great idea. You can even bike at night, wearing a jacket.
There’s a dedicated bike lane along the Guadalquivir River. Don’t rush and enjoy the views. Our favorite place to bike is around La Cartuja. It’s a green area with almost no cars and fantastic views. The World Fair Expo Sevilla took place in La Cartuja in 1992.
Though most of the pavilions were dismantled, you can still see the Moroccan, Canadian and Spanish ones. Don’t forget to stop by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Seville. The original building from the 14th Century used to be a monastery. Today, it holds an impressive collection of art from all over the world.
10 Watch an Authentic Flamenco Show
We have to be honest, we are no experts in Flamenco music. However, since we love it, we’ve seen countless shows around the country. We strongly recommend this show held in the Flamenco Museum. The 18th Century building is gorgeous, and the show unforgettable. It includes the show and the entrance ticket to the museum.
Another incredible show we saw is the one held at the Memory House. You will love the 16th Century House with its traditional courtyards and fragrant trees. Some of the best Andalucian musicians and dancers perform here. The entrance only includes the show. It doesn’t get any more authentic than here.
Our final recommendation is north of the city, next to the Guadalquivir Gardens in La Cartuja. It’s a big theatre with incredible sound and lights. This one does include dinner and drinks. If you think that the food is just for tourists, you are wrong! As good as the show.
Where to Stay in Seville
The best places to stay in Seville are in and around the center. The best hotel in the city is the Hotel Alfonso XIII. Actually, it is one of the best hotels in the world. The King himself got involved in the design of the 1920’s jewel. Book a room with a terrace to enjoy glorious views of the old town.
Our favorite hotel in the city is the Hotel Casa Del Poeta, just steps away from the Cathedral. The grand 17th Century mansion was meticulously refurbished and features antiques and art. It only has 18 luxurious rooms. The service is in a class of its own. They also operate top-notch apartments a couple of blocks away.
The Eurostars Torre Sevilla is the tallest building in Andalucía. The contemporary masterpiece is an icon in Spain. Considering its location and class, it’s great value for money. Since they have onsite parking, it’s perfect if you are driving. The junior suites are sumptuous. You won’t believe the views! The higher the floor, the better they are.
Moving Around Seville
The best way of moving in winter in Seville is walking. It’s the best way all year round, but believe us, you can’t walk in the middle of the day in summer. As soon as winter starts, you can walk everywhere and never be hot! At night, grab a coat and explore the city on foot.
Our favorite way of moving is biking. Due to the number of visitors in summer, sometimes you can’t bike. Come winter, everything changes. We recommend biking in the center at night. Seville looks beautiful with the lights on. You can use the public bike sharing system. It’s online and in several languages. Info here.
If you don’t feel like walking or biking, don’t worry. Seville has a first-class transportation system. You can the metro, buses, and trams everywhere. Spaniards are incredible hosts. All you have to do is ask around, and you will be kindly helped. Taxis are inexpensive and safe.