We don’t think we’ll ever tire of Seville- having been there 3 times in the past 10 years, it is so easy to fall back into the culture, whilst marvelling at the changes each visit has opened our eyes to. For Muslim travellers, Seville ought to be a bucket list destination: rich in Islamic history, you will find whispers of the past on every street corner and with the growing Muslim population, amenities such as Halal food and prayer areas are becoming easier to find.
Direct flights to Seville depart from London, Manchester, and Edinburgh for as little as £25 in the off-peak season, on Ryan Air, Easy Jet, British Airways and Vueling Airlines. This is certainly convenient, as from Seville airport, it is then a short taxi ride or bus journey to the city centre.
At peak times however, these flights can often be costly compared to flying into airports such as Malaga and Faro (Portugal). The car journeys from Malaga and Faro respectively to Seville are approximately 2 hours, and they are worth it if you are saving yourself a few hundred pounds.
For this trip, we booked our tickets through Kiwi.com as they had a competitive price and also sent me a sign up discount code to use.
NB: although Faro airport is in Portugal, there are daily buses that cross the border into Seville, and the journey is relatively easy due to the absence of customs, border control etc.
Taxis are readily available outside the main terminal building. The journey from Seville Airport to Seville city centre is just shy of 15 minutes, and the ride will cost approximately €15 to €22, depending on the time of day you travel.
Regular bus services also run between Seville Airport and the city centre. The half-hourly service is available between 06.15 am and 11.00 pm every day (Keep this in mind if you have a night flight). A bus journey into Seville city will take about 20 to 30 minutes, and the cost for an adult traveling for a single trip is €2.30.
There is also the popular ‘BlaBlaCar’ app, a ‘ridesharing service’ that is very common amongst the residents in Seville. Sharing a car with someone already on their way into the city can save you some pretty pennies. The downside to this, however, is the drop-off location will be the driver’s destination, not yours, and you will most likely have to then find your way from there to your accommodation.
When To Go
When is the best time to visit Seville? When does Seville have the best weather Is the Seville summer as hot as everyone says? And to this, we say: April-June/September-October, and yes, it really does get that hot: during our visit in August 2022, the highest temperature we got was 44 degrees Celsius, and the nights were in their 30s too. However, in Spring and Autumn, the weather is ideal for UK residents, at more bearable temperatures of mid-late 20s and early 30s.
Where To Stay
In Seville, accommodation ranging from budget to 5* hotels and Air BnBs is a plenty. For the most family-friendly location, we recommend something within the vicinity of Real Alcazar De Seville, as the streets are quiet during the evenings, most of the tourist locations are within walking distance and halal food options are nearby too.
The air BnB we stayed in ourselves during the Summer of 2022 is this one, just a 6-10 minute walk from Real Alcazar, Cathedral de Granada and Plaza de Espana. It was perfect for 5 adults, with a double room, a twin room, a pull-out sofa bed, 2 bathrooms, washing machine/dryer, fridge, and the cherry on top: a shared pool on the roof.
If hotels are more your style, then check out Hotel Alfonso for a real luxury stay in the city, which according to the hotel’s website, was ‘Commissioned by the King of Spain to play host to international dignitaries during the 1929 Exhibition, Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel remains an iconic cultural landmark, (is) centrally located in the historic quarter of Santa Cruz, next to Reales Alcazar and Seville Cathedral.’
What To Do
Seville is the perfect city of a blend between museums, historical locations, and pretty streets, you can spend equal times marvelling at the architecture and soaking in the history.
For Seville, there are 2 main tourist cards available to purchase. You can get the Seville Super Combi which includes all the 4 options listed below, or you can opt to get individual tickets if you only want to visit select sites.
- Skip-the-line ticket for the Alcazar Palace,
- Skip-the-line ticket for Seville Cathedral & Giralda
- Skip-the-line entry to the Collegial Church of El Divino Salvador
- Audio guide for the Alcázar and the Seville Cathedral
There is also the Sevilla Pass for €59.00. This ticket includes:
- Fast-track tickets to the Alcazar Royal Palace (audioguide included)
- Fast-track tickets to the Seville Cathedral (audioguide included)
- Skip-the-line entry to the Collegial Church of El Divino Salvador
- 1 day Hop on Hop off Bus
- Admission to 5 different walking tours
- Downloadable audio guide app for Seville with commentary, maps, tips and more
If you do not have a personal tour guide, I would highly recommend purchasing either of the above tickets, as it is difficult to get a full understanding and look of the historical sights without key elements being brought to your attention.
Day 1 (Friday)
Depending on what time you land, check-in and settle into your accommodation. We suggest taking the first day slowly to adjust to your surroundings. You may want to grab something to eat, and during the evening, wander over to the Setas De Sevilla (“The Mushrooms”). The Setas is a pergola-shaped structure made of wood and concrete located in the central Plaza de la Encarnación. From the viewing platform on the roof, you get incredible views over the city, whether during the day or at night.
Walking or public transport are the easiest and most sustainable option to get to the Setas. By bus, both lines 27 and 32 have their respective stops very close to the monument, both for outbound and return journeys. Furthermore, the Metrocentro has its stop in Plaza Nueva, ten minutes from Las Setas on foot.
To access the viewing platform, it is necessary to go down to the underground floor, next to the Antiquarium entrance and, once there, after purchasing your ticket, take the elevator that will transport you to the building’s rooftop.
Close to the Setas is Heladería Bolas, an artisanal gelateria that uses only natural ingredients in their products, no chemicals, no syrups, and no additives. They have over 100 flavours and it is truly some of the best.
Day 2 (Saturday)
Pre-book tickets here to start the day at the UNESCO world heritage site, Cathedral De Sevilla, one of the most impressive and characteristic monuments of the Sevillian heritage. The now-cathedral was originally constructed as the Grand mosque of Seville. The minaret, now bell tower, was built to resemble the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, Morocco and is accessed via thirty-four sloping ramps, which the Muathin would ride his horse up to give athan over the city. Shortly after the conquest of Seville, it was converted into a cathedral. The cathedral is the burial place of many kings and even houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus.
After touring the Cathedral, explore the surrounding streets and alleys to do a spot of shopping, collecting souvenirs as you pass. Directly outside the exit of the cathedral, you will find Delicias De Sevilla, an artisanal shop making and selling freshly caramelised nuts and seeds.
After the Cathedral and souvenir shopping, make Italica your next stop. Depending on the time of year you visit, your trip to Italica can be made either at midday, or in the late afternoon. The Roman city of Italica dates to 206 BC. Currently, the amphitheatre gives the possibility of walking through the layout of what were its streets, houses, public buildings, objects of art and utensils of everyday life used for its inhabitants. For Game of Thrones fans, this is a must-visit. You can buy tickets for a guided tour that includes transport from Seville here, or a guided tour without transport here.
Day 3 (Sunday)
Start the day early at Real Alcazar De Seville, and pre-book tickets for the first hour if possible, as by midday, it is heaving with crowds and that does not make for a pretty combination with the sun also beating down on you.
Spend a good 2-3 hours circling the Alcazar taking in the Quran ayats engraved on the walls, the Andalusian, Moor-ish architecture, the beautiful mosaics and of course, the stunning gardens where peacocks walk freely, fountains flow and fish swim in the ponds.
Depending on the time of year you visit, afternoon may be the time of siesta and most of the city will close until the day start to cool. When you finish at the Real Alcazar, take advantage of the quiet streets, and walk to Plaza de Espana, the main plaza in Seville. Along the entire perimeter of the plaza, there is a canal of 515 metres in length, where you can hire rowing boats for a fun activity. The four beautiful bridges that cross the canal represent the ancient kingdoms of Spain and two tall towers stand at the ends of the Plaza, providing the area with perfect balance. These towers can be seen from all over Seville. Several film directors have fallen in love with the Plaza de España. This monument has been seen in famous films such as “Lawrence of Arabia” or Episode II of “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones”.
There is a spot along the wall for each of the 52 provinces within Spain and the tile work depicts a moment in Spanish history that took place in each area. For the Spanish, perhaps one, if not the most monumental part of their history is when the Moors were overruled, and a lot of the tilework is showing this. Keep an eye out for the picture showcasing the area of Badajoz: the painting illustrates the moment the Muslim ruler handed over the keys to the city to the Christians.
Towards the evening, make your way to Torre Del Orro, a dodecagonal military watchtower erected by the Almohad Caliphate in order to control access to Seville via the Guadalquivir river. The tower is located on a riverside banking, where you can enjoy an evening walk and even hire pedal boats.
Masjids and Prayer Areas in Seville
- Mezquita Al Hidaya Sevilla
- Sevilla Mosque Foundation: perfect to visit if you are in the vicinity of Setas De Sevilla
Where To Eat
Halal food is becoming increasingly accessible in Seville and of course, a visit to the city isn’t complete without trying some churros. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a detailed Halal Food Guide to Seville with all your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert options.
Check out the A Halal Food Journey Instagram page for more visual guides to Seville, including a day-by-day tour.
You Might Also Be Interested In…
- Halal Travel Guide: 4 days in Lisbon
- Food, Hammam and Meanders: How to Spend 3 Relaxed Days in Marrakech
- 6 Underrated (but incredible) Experiences in Istanbul
- A Comprehensive, Luxury Halal Guide to the Stunning Scottish Highlands
- Travel Essentials For Every Muslim Traveller