The Top 12 Free Things To Do In Seville
The ancient city of Seville, capital of Andalucia in southern Spain, has no shortage of things to offer visitors. Home to the stunning Gothic architecture of Seville Cathedral and the breathtaking Real Alcazar, Seville is also known for flamenco dancing, bullfighting, fascinating culture, and vibrant nightlife. Plus, the surrounding mountains and coastline offer some of the best hikes you'll find in Spain.
But all these fun activities can quickly eat into your holiday budget. It's always a good idea to have a few free or low-cost ways to have fun so that you can stretch your euros further and see more of what the city has to offer. Enjoying some of these free things to do in Seville will keep your trip cost-effective and make sure you don't miss anything while you explore Andalusia.
And you certainly don't want to carry more than you have to. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Seville and you'll be able to enjoy yourself more by traveling light. With locations in Seville and around the world, Bounce makes it easy to store your belongings safely and travel hassle-free.
As the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the largest Gothic building in Europe, Seville Cathedral, or the Catedral de Sevilla to give it its Spanish name, is hard to miss. Seville Cathedral sits in the heart of Santa Cruz, the ancient center of the city, and this impressive church has been the spiritual center of Seville since the 16th century.
The Moorish-influenced Gothic architecture of the Cathedral's exterior makes the building worth visiting all by itself. But inside, you'll find more artistic treasures to be discovered. Keep an eye out for the tomb of Christopher Columbus inside the Cathedral. Given its impressive size and ornamentation, it, too, is hard to miss.
Right next to Seville Cathedral you'll find another of Seville's most famous historic buildings, the Real Alcazar. This stunning royal palace was built for a Christian king but is best known for its Arabic-inspired architecture and decoration that points back to Spain's period of Moorish rule. Part of the same UNESCO World Heritage site as the Cathedral, this palace is one of Seville's top attractions and one of the most visited locations in the city.
Unlike the Cathedral, the Alcazar isn't free to visit. However, if you plan your visit right, you could see one of the treasures of Seville completely free. Head to the Real Alcazar on a Monday evening, and you won't have to spend a penny to get inside. Although these free evenings can get crowded, it's a great way to save a few dollars on your trip to Seville and still see one of the city's most impressive landmarks.
Barrio Santa Cruz
If you're visiting the Real Alcazar and Seville Cathedral, you'll already have visited the Barrio Santa Cruz. But it's worth taking some additional time to fully explore this central neighborhood. The tiny streets of this ancient district are packed with bars, restaurants, interesting shops, and unexpected attractions. And although many of the best things to do in the Santa Cruz district will cost you money, taking a wander through the charming cobblestone streets is completely free. In fact, it's one of the best free things to do in Seville, and it allows you to soak up the atmosphere of the city in an area that you're almost certainly going to visit anyway due to all the attractions it has to offer.
You can't really say you've been to Seville, Spain, if you haven't visited Santa Cruz. And since it doesn't cost anything to explore this vibrant neighborhood, there's no excuse for not seeing it for yourself.
Parque de María Luisa
Located a little way outside the Barrio Santa Cruz and a 30-minute walk from Plaza de Armas, Maria Luisa Park still gets its share of tourists. After all, this pretty waterside location is one of the most popular parks in all of Seville. With well-manicured lawns, shady trees, duck ponds, and ample green lawns to stretch out on, this is a wonderful location to take a picnic or treat yourself to a relaxing walk along the many paths through the park. And as well as being one of the best free things to do in Seville, Maria Luisa Park is also one of the best things to do with kids in Seville, thanks to its playgrounds and green lawns where little ones can run around and burn off some energy.
The park also has some big tourist attractions inside. Home to the Seville Archaeological Museum, Maria Luisa Park also holds one of Seville's most impressive public spaces, the Plaza de España.
Plaza de España
Plaza de España, built in 1929 for the Ibero-American World Fair, is one of the most photographed locations in the city — and for good reason. Mixing elements of Baroque, Renaissance, and Moorish architecture into its impressive buildings, this is a location that could only exist in southern Spain.
With its huge fountain and circular canal, the Plaza de España is a great place to hang out, enjoy the atmosphere, and watch both locals and tourists going about their day. There are lots of benches around the square where you can take a break, and during the summer you can even hire a boat and go sailing on the canal, though that will cost you some money. If you'd rather focus on free things, the Plaza de España is one of Seville's best locations for taking a break and just enjoying the atmosphere of this unique city.
Castillo de San Jorge
Located across the river from Santa Cruz, the Castillo de San Jorge is a perfect place to explore a murky chapter of Spain's dark past. This was the headquarters of the notorious Spanish Inquisition, the religious organization tasked with rooting out heresy throughout the sprawling Spanish Empire. Now, the castle lies in ruins, but there is still enough of it that you can get a sense of how it would have looked in its medieval heyday.
These days, the castle is home to a Spanish Inquisition museum that explains the history behind this shadowy organization. If you're a history fan or you just enjoy a dark tale, this is a fantastic place to visit. And both the castle and the museum it holds are completely free to visit. Plus, if nothing else, they give you an excuse to head across the river and visit the vibrant Triana market.
Mercado de Triana
Never let a good castle go to waste. That's how the city planners of Seville felt about it when they came to build one of the city's best and biggest market halls in Triana. Since the Castillo de San Jorge was just sitting around doing nothing, why not use it to build a market? And that's exactly what they did.
Now, the Triana market is one of the liveliest and most colorful in the whole city. Plus, the neighborhood it occupies is a great place to explore. Visiting the market itself won't cost you anything, and is easily one of the best free things to do in town. But it may prove impossible to resist the temptation to buy some delicious food or a cool souvenir from one of the traders here. At least, if you do give in, you'll know you're helping to support local businesses and keep this vibrant market alive into the future.
El Jueves flea market
For another experience of a lively Seville market, check out El Jueves flea market. Held every Thursday on Calle Feria in the heart of Seville's top nightlife district, the flea market makes for an excellent daytime activity to enjoy. You'll find just about anything here, from flamenco dresses to collectible Star Wars figurines to antiques. But you don't need to buy anything to enjoy the market for what it is: a traditional and anarchic expression of the vibrant street life of Seville.
And if that's not enough to scratch your retail itch, you could head up the street and visit Calle Feria market, the oldest food market in Seville.
The Andalusia region is known for the fiery and passionate dance called flamenco. Flamenco was invented here, and Andalusians have perfected the art over the centuries, exporting this incredible spectacle around the world in the process. Seeing a flamenco performance is one of those things you simply have to do while in Seville, and you won't find it hard to track down a place to do that, whether it's a dingy bar or a huge theater.
But often, seeing a flamenco show doesn't come cheap. Luckily, you can head to la Carbonería, a converted coal factory in Santa Cruz. Now a cultural center, la Carbonería holds poetry readings, film screenings, and art exhibitions. But it's best known for its completely free flamenco show. Shows take place every night at 10:30 PM, so make sure to get there early so you can get a seat and enjoy the spectacle of free flamenco. Without question, this is one of the best free things to do in Seville.
Seville is a city with very ancient origins. Just outside the city itself, you can visit the ruins of the former Roman settlement of Italica. Wandering through the dusty old buildings now, it may seem hard to imagine that this was once the third-largest city in the colossal Roman Empire. But it makes a fascinating place to visit on a trip to Seville, and there is no admission charge to enter the ruins, either. The only thing you'll need to pay for is your bus ticket to get there. This is a great jumping-off point for some of the best hikes in Seville as well since you've already left the City Center.
Royal Tobacco Factory
Once the largest tobacco factory in Europe, Seville's Real Fabrica de Tabacos is still one of the largest industrial buildings in Spain. Created to process the tobacco brought to Seville from Spain's vast empire in the New World, this factory once provided 75% of all the cigarettes smoked in Europe. It's even the setting for the popular opera Carmen.
These days, the factory no longer produces cigarettes and is instead part of the University of Seville. But there are often free tours held, usually, in the morning, that will explain the history of the tobacco trade and the effect trade with the New World had on Seville over the centuries. Plus, in the summer, the building often hosts artistic and cultural events put on by the University. If you're looking for free things to do, this impressive and historical building is well worth checking out.
Torre del Oro
Another of Seville's impressive historical monuments is the Torre del Oro, or Golden Tower. Built in the early 13th century, this watchtower guarded the river that was the lifeblood of the city. It also served as a prison, but now is one of the city's most recognizable historic buildings.
The Torre del Oro contains a naval museum, and it's free to visit both the tower and the museum. Even if you're not interested in the important history of shipping in Seville, the view from the top of the tower makes it worth the journey all by itself.
Considering everything it has to offer, Seville is a surprisingly affordable city to visit. You'll find the prices of just about everything, from admission to attractions to food to public transport, cheaper than in most other places in Western Europe. But in a city with as much to do as Seville offers, it's easy to find your budget running away with you.
Taking advantage of some of these free things to do means you can get to see more of Seville while spending less. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Seville, and you'll be able to enjoy all the great free things the city has to offer.