Believe it or not, the sun does actually set in southern Spain. But if you visit during the summer, you could be forgiven for thinking it doesn't. Thanks to quirks of history and geography, Spain occupies a time zone it probably shouldn't, and the result is that in the southern city of Seville, sunset during the summer may not be until 10 PM.
Maybe that's why Spain is renowned for having nightlife that goes so late into the night. And in the Andalusian capital, you'll find plenty of ways to stay busy and entertained late into the long evenings.
Home to the famous UNESCO World Heritage site of the Real Alcazar, the beautiful Barrio Santa Cruz, impressive aristocratic houses like Casa de Pilatos and Palacio de las Dueñas, and the always lively Mercado de Triana, Seville has Spanish history on display just about everywhere you go, from the old Jewish quarter to the gloomy ruins of Castillo de San Jorge underneath Mercado de Triana. As the capital of southern Spain's Andalusia region, Seville is also a great place to immerse yourself in a fascinating Andalusian culture which has given the world bullfighting and flamenco dancing, among other things. And there's more to this beautiful city than the UNESCO World Heritage sites that stand as monuments to Seville's history.
Exploring Seville at night is a great way to visit tapas bars, lively nightclubs, incredible restaurants, and fascinating neighborhoods. In the long Spanish summer, it's also a great way to beat the heat and avoid some of the crowds. Once you've wandered the lamp-lit streets of Barrio Santa Cruz and seen the lights shining on Seville Cathedral after the sun finally goes down, you could be forgiven for thinking that the very best way to see Seville, Spain, is at night.
Your nocturnal journeys will be much more fun if you don't carry more than you need to. Don't forget to drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Seville either by the airport or the Plaza de Armas so you can travel light. Give you back a break and get ready to enjoy everything Seville has to offer at night.
Part of the same UNESCO World Heritage site as the Real Alcazar, Seville Cathedral has been the spiritual heart of the city since it was first opened in 1528. The final resting place of Christopher Columbus, the Cathedral is a towering monument to the wealth and faith of Seville residents through the ages, and you don't need to be a believer to be impressed by the priceless works of art preserved inside.
But even though Seville Cathedral closes in the evening, nighttime may be one of the best times to see it. When the stunning architecture that combines Gothic and Moorish influences is lit up in the darkness, the Cathedral looks at its very best. Plus, the neighboring Real Alcazar is also a stunning place to visit at night, You could easily spend a very satisfying evening of photography in the Jewish quarter, one of the best neighborhoods to stay in, capturing the stunning buildings at their very best.
See a flamenco show
To the outside world, flamenco is practically synonymous with Spain. But Spaniards know that this fiery and passionate form of dance and music originated in southern Spain, specifically Andalusia. And although you can find a flamenco show happening in just about every city in Spain on any given night of the week, most Spaniards will grudgingly admit that nowhere does it better than Andalusia.
You certainly won't find it difficult to track down a flamenco show in Seville. Just about anywhere you go in any neighborhood of the city, you'll be able to find a dance going on somewhere. Whether it's a huge theatrical spectacle involving dinner and drinks or a down-to-earth dance club tucked away down a side street, you'll be able to find a show to suit your needs. And if you're in doubt, just ask a local. They'll certainly be able to point you in the direction of a great flamenco show.
Plaza de España
Located in the picturesque Maria Luisa Park, the Plaza de España lies outside the Barrio Santa Cruz. But thanks to the attractions nearby, including the park itself and Seville Archaeological Museum, Plaza de España certainly gets its share of tourists.
At least, it does during the day.
Visit Plaza de España at night, however, and you'll have a very different experience. The Plaza looks absolutely beautiful when lit up at night, combining elements of Baroque, Renaissance, and Moorish architecture to create something truly evocative of southern Spain. And yet, this beautiful location is almost deserted. It's the perfect time to get incredible photos with nobody else ruining your shot.
Spain was doing street food before street food was a thing. And if you're looking for the best street food in Seville, you'll be spoiled for choice. In Spain, tapas is a way of life, and every neighborhood in the city has an impressive selection of tapas bars where you can try some of the best food Seville has to offer. In the heavily-touristed Jewish quarter of the Barrio Santa Cruz, you'll find that much of the food is geared up to appeal to tourists. But head out to other parts of the city such as the Triana area, and you'll find authentic and traditional tapas that will make your mouth water.
If you don't know where to start, you can get some guidance on a tapas tasting tour that will take you to some of the best spots in the city and inform you about this ancient Spanish tradition. Or, you could head out for yourself on a quest for delicious tapas and pop into any tapas bar that looks good to you. Really, in this city, you can't miss, so don't be afraid to try as many dishes from as many establishments as you can before choosing your favorite.
See the city by night
We've already mentioned how beautiful the UNESCO World Heritage site of Seville Cathedral and the Real Alcazar is at night. But the truth is, Seville isn't short of incredible monuments and landmarks, and many of them look their best when lit up for the evening. See the stunning 16th-century Casa de Pilatos or the breathtaking Torre del Oro by night, and you won't miss the daylight hours at all.
For a truly memorable experience, head to Plaza de la Encarnacion close to the Museum of Flamenco. Not only is it a great neighborhood to find an authentic flamenco show or incredible tapas bar, but it's also where you'll find Las Setas. This unique modern building is a stark contrast to the ancient neighborhood it occupies, but its creative architecture works well to stand out in this beautiful city. You can climb to the very top of this building and enjoy an incredible view over Seville at night. Don't forget your camera for this one.
Seville owes its very existence to the presence of the Guadalquivir river, the only navigable river in Spain. It was this river that made Seville such an important port city in the past and contributed greatly to its wealth and power.
As a result, many of Seville's most impressive historic buildings are located along the riverfront, and traveling over the water is like taking a trip back in time. Enjoy an evening cruise where you'll learn more about the history of the city and the importance of its river, and may even be treated to a delicious dinner while you watch night fall.
La Noria de Seville
A major landmark of the city, La Noria de Seville is a 40 m high Ferris wheel that sits alongside the river next to Seville Aquarium and offers incredible views of the city, especially at night. Bring a loved one or the whole family for an exciting ride on the wheel and watch the sunset over the rooftops of southern Spain while you enjoy Seville's famous long evenings. There aren't many better ways to experience Seville at night than that.
Sleep with the sharks
While you're in the area, Seville Aquarium offers a nighttime activity that is perfect for families with kids. At the aquarium, you can camp out in the glass tunnel that runs under the shark tank and watch these intimidating creatures swim by. For those with a fear of sharks, it may not sound like a restful night's sleep. But if you're interested in the natural world, this is a great way to see the residents of the aquarium, some of whom are nocturnal and are best seen at night. Plus, it will give the kids a thrill they won't soon forget to watch these ocean predators gliding silently past while they drift off to sleep.
Modern Art Museum
Seville is absolutely packed with fascinating museums and art galleries, and if you're a fan of culture, you could easily spend days exploring them all. But to see everything you want to see will require some planning. Therefore, it might be useful to know that Seville's impressive Modern Art Museum stays open until 9 o'clock at night from Tuesday to Saturday.
Visiting the museum at night offers a very different experience from seeing it during the day. For one thing, you'll find the hallways and galleries far less crowded, offering you a more intimate experience of the priceless art contained inside. Also, the museum often hosts evening events such as talks and temporary exhibits that will give you a deeper understanding of the changing currents of modern art. Undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Seville at night for fans of culture, the Modern Art Museum is a wonderful place to explore.
Royal Tobacco Factory
Seville and its port were instrumental to the Spanish exploration and colonization of the New World, and this period is vital to understanding Seville's history. There are few better places to do that than at the Royal Tobacco Factory. Built in the 18th century to process the tobacco coming back from the Americas on Spanish ships, this grand building was once the largest tobacco factory in Europe. Now part of the University of Seville, the building is still one of the largest in Spain. It's worth visiting just to see the incredibly ornate architecture, but during the summer you'll also find the building comes to life with dance, music, poetry, and art shows held by the University.
Seville is an ancient town that predates the Roman Empire, but the Romans certainly left their mark on this area too. Located a little outside Seville, Italica was once one of the largest cities in the entire empire and was the birthplace of two emperors. The atmospheric ruins of Italica are well worth the bus ride you'll have to take to reach them from Seville, and the ruins become even more atmospheric in the evening. Italica stays open until 7:30 PM, which isn't late enough to catch a summer sunset in Spain but is just about right in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. And whenever you choose to visit, seeing the ruins in the calm of the evening makes them even more impressive than they would normally be.
Spain is known for its nighttime activities, and Seville is no different in that respect. Whether you're a foodie, a lover of culture, a fan of history, or just someone who likes a nice view, you'll find something to appeal to you in the Andalusian capital. Once you see everything there is to do at night in Seville, you may find yourself wishing you had more nights to fit it all into.
Don't forget to drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage so you can truly make the most of the city. Leaving your things behind means you can focus purely on enjoying yourself and experiencing all the great things there are to do in Seville at night.