City Breaks With Kids: Seville

This is the first in a new series on the blog, ‘City Breaks With Kids’, which aims to provide guides to the best cities to visit with your children, with suggestions of things to see and do in each.

Seville is the perfect size for a city break: it’s small enough to walk around yet big enough for there to be plenty to do. Seville is everything you ever imagined about Spain: flamenco dancing, bullfighting and roads lined with orange trees and jacarandas. It’s beautiful and elegant, with stunning architecture and a fascinating history.

What’s more, it’s a great place to visit now. It’s not as crowded and the temperature is very pleasant in winter and spring – Seville can get very hot in July and August.

Climb up the Giralda Tower and visit the Cathedral

The Giralda, the bell tower of Seville’s cathedral, was built as a minaret in medieval times when the city was occupied by the Moors. It was used as an observatory and to call Muslims to prayer. Climb up the tower for some of the best views of Seville. It’s much easier to climb than most towers because there are 35 gently inclining ramps wide enough for two horsemen to ride up to the top.

The 15th-century cathedral is well worth a visit as well. It’s the largest Gothic church in the world and inside, you’ll find Christopher Columbus’s coffin.

Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower is open from 11am until 3.30pm on Mondays; until 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday; 2.30pm until 6pm on Sundays. Tickets, adults, €9; children under 14, free; students under 25 and over 65s, €4.

Walk around the Plaza de Espana

The Plaza de Espana is one of the most impressive public spaces in the whole of Spain. Star Wars fans will recognise it as the city of Theed on the planet Naboo from ‘The Attack of the Clones’.  Designed in 1929 as the centrepiece for the Fair of the Americas (which never happened due to the Wall Street crash), it is absolutely stunning, full of exquisite tiles, fountains, bridges and grand stairways. Send your children on a hunt around the crescent to find scenes and maps from all the provinces in Spain. You can even hire out little boats on the tiny canal.

Watch a Flamenco show

City Breaks with Kids: SevilleThe gypsy art of Flamenco has been danced in Andalusia for nearly 500 years and Seville is a great place to watch a show. El Museo del Baile Flamenco, the flamenco dance museum, has hour-long flamenco shows every evening with incredible dancing, singing and guitar playing. It’s a particularly good place to take children as it’s small and intimate and the dancers and singers explain what they are doing in English (and other languages).

El Museo del Baile Flamenco has daily performances from 7pm. Tickets, adults, €20; children, €12.

Visit the Alcázar Palace

The Alcázar Palace is stunning. It’s a real mix of architectural styles from Moorish and Renaissance to Gothic. Seville’s rulers have occupied this site since Roman times and your children will love some of the more gruesome stories. It was originally built as a Moorish fort and it had to be enlarged under the Moorish ruler al-Mu’tadid to house his harem of 800 women. He decorated the terraces of the palace with flowers planted in the skulls of his decapitated enemies.

The Alcázar was the favourite residence of the Spanish kings for four centuries and the upper floors are still used by the current king and queen when they visit Seville. Visitors can explore the many courtyards and reception rooms and wander around the beautiful gardens. Don’t miss the amazing red, green and gold dome in the Salon de Embajadores.

The Alcazar is open every day from 9.30am until 5pm (until 7pm from April to September). Tickets, €9.50 for adults; children free.

Take a horse and carriage ride

City Breaks with Kids: SevilleYou’ll find the traditional horses and carriages all over the city and it’s a great way of seeing all the sights on your first day – and so much fun for children. Your driver should be able to explain what you’re seeing as you go past. The carriage rides take in all the main sights as well as the lovely Maria Luisa Park with its gorgeous palm trees, pines, flowers and orange trees.

 

 

Buy a picnic from the Mercado de Triana

If you cross the Triana bridge you’ll get to the Triana district which is much less touristy than the centre and the area where all the flamenco artists, bullfighters and sailors used to live. Here you’ll find the wonderful Triana market, an indoor food market where you can buy the most delicious hams, olives, cheeses, fruit, fish and bread. It’s a great place to try out a little Spanish. You could give your children a few euros and see if they can choose and buy some food for a picnic. Then take your goodies to the banks of the Guadalquivir River or one of Seville’s lovely parks for a foodie feast.

The Mercado de Triana is open from Mondays to Saturdays, from 8am until 2pm.

Visit the Bullring and Museum

The matador with his cape and sword is an iconic Spanish image and bullfighting is an important part of Spanish culture, particularly in the south. Seville is the second most important centre for bullfighting in Spain (after Madrid).

The Plaza de Toros Real Maestranza was built in the 18th century and is one of the oldest bullrings in Spain. You can learn all about bullfighting and its history by taking a 20-minute tour of the bullring (in English). It’s a fascinating tour. You’ll visit the chapel where the matadors pray before a fight and the museum where you can see the elaborate costumes and swords.

The Real Maestranza is open daily from 9.30am until 7pm (until 9pm from April until October). Tickets, adults, €7; under 7s, free; children aged from 7 until 11, €3.

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57 thoughts on “City Breaks With Kids: Seville

  1. There are so many cities in Spain I really want to visit – I’ve seen so few, but Seville has been in no1 spot since I finally made it to Granada. This is just tempting me even more. Thanks for linking up to #citytripping

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  2. Great post Clare. I have visited many places in Spain but not Seville. My boys would love the horse and carriage ride

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  3. Great series Clare! I was JUST talking to my hubby about Seville this morning, and ta dah, here’s your post! I was thinking of leaving the little lady with grandparents but maybe we could take her too after reading this. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

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  4. Despite being British I have never visited Spain! Victoria (the other half of globetotting) has been to Seville numerous times, however, and always says how beautiful it is. Thanks for these great tips – and the stunning photos!

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  5. I remember visiting Seville when I was 12ish and so enamored of the city! Your post has made me incredibly impatient for when my daughter will be old enough to make the trip worth the expense!

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      • So much of it has to do with money- if I had unlimited funds, then why not start traveling with them as infants and get them used to it early? But if you don’t you probably want to wait until they might actually remember something from the trip…

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      • Exactly. Take Paris for example – I really wanted to wait until my sons would appreciate it. In the end I went last year on my own with my oldest when he was 11. And it was the most fantastic trip.

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  6. For me the real beauty of Europe is the cities, Seville looks stunning, and the colours wow. This is somewhere we have to visit and our boys are mad star wars fans and would love the Plaza De Espana x

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  7. I’ve often thought about going to Seville but the flights there seem to be much more expensive than other European cities so I’ve lost out 😦 Looks great though, and is still on my ‘one day’ list. #Mondayescapes

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  8. I’ve wanted to go to Seville for a while now, even more so – there is so much to see and do. I love the idea of getting a picnic from Mercardo de Triana and just eploring the Plaza. What a beautiful city, you’ve captured it so well. Gosh I’m dying for some sunshine! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

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    • Thanks so much, Ting! I just loved Seville – perfect for a winter/spring break too. We Brits are always desperate for sunshine come February! I love #MondayEscapes – there is always such a great mix of good posts to read.

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  9. WOW. These pictures are amazing. I had many friends who studied in Seville (my university had a campus there), but I’ve never seen these beautiful details. I can understand why they love it so much now – thanks for sharing your perspective of it!

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  10. Beautiful photos, Clare. It is even prettier than I had imagined. I think that your attractions are interesting enough for those of us who don’t have kids, as well.
    #TheWeeklyPostcard

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  11. Seville is such a beautiful city! I’ve only spent a day there but I fell in love with it instantly and your photos reminded me that I should go back soon. Thanks for linking with #TheWeeklyPostcard 🙂

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  12. I LOVE Sevilla! It’s one of my top 3 cities to visit in Spain for sure! These suggestions are awesome and are pretty relevant to anyone visiting (not only just those with kids)! 😀 I also agree that Sevilla is way too hot in the summer and that winter and spring are ideal times to visit! Thanks for sharing snd linking up! Can’t wait to read more from this series!

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    • Mine too! I loved everything about it and found it much more chilled than the other Spanish cities I’ve visited. Yes, all these things would work really well for people without kids too – and they’d get to enjoy more of the tapas and wine bars too!

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