6 Hidden Secrets Not to Miss in Seville, Spain

Seville is located in the South of Spain, and according to a large majority (including me), it is the most beautiful city of the country.

It is not surprising though that it receives more than 1.8 million visitors every year.

As you can imagine, some prefer to discover Seville on a guided tour sharing the experience with another 30 people.

But others, independent travellers like you and me, opt to wander around looking for authenticity and uniqueness.

hidden secrets of Seville Spain
Seville skyline

While most of you may associate Seville with bullfighting, flamenco, delicious tapas and amazing sights like the Giralda tower or the Cathedral, the truth is that Seville has a lot more to offer.

Actually, most visitors come back after realizing there is so much to see.

Here is a list of some of my favorite places, all of them are away from the touristic circuits and off the beaten path.

Iglesia de Santa Marina (c/ San Luis, 39)

Las Golondrinas Seville Spain
iglesia de santa marina

Seville is a very old city, dating from the times of the Roman Empire.

As a consequence, it is full of monuments, buildings and structures that have been there for centuries. The Iglesia de Santa Marina is one of them.

It was built in the 14th century using the base of an old mosque and it has survived earthquakes, fires and wars.

I am always impressed by the simplicity of its design and, at the same time, the personality it has. If you get there and you see that the doors are closed, have a drink at some of the bars around and wait until it is mass time.

Plaza del Cabildo

The Plaza del Cabildo is probably the only circled-square (plaza) in Seville.

It is just 2 minutes away from the Cathedral but many miss it because you need to enter through a passage at the Avenida de la Constitución. Look for the entrance while you walk towards the Cathedral.

The action takes place on Sundays, when people from everywhere gather to sell, buy and exchange collectors (stamps, coins, stickers…). Even if you cannot make it on a Sunday, the detour will be worthwhile.

Convento de San Leandro (Plaza de San Ildefonso, 1)

Convento de San Leandro Seville Spain
Convento de San Leandro Seville Spain

The convent is famous for the yemas (sweet made with egg yolk and sugar) the nuns sell there.

It was built in the 17th century and, apart from the magnificent retablo mayor (altarpiece) it has two lateral retablos made by Martinez Montañés.

He was a Spanish sculptor (1568-1649) and he is considered one of the masters of the Sevillian school. These two masterpieces seem to be alive and any museum would charge you a fortune to let you admire them.

Plaza Doña Elvira

Donna Elvira Square in Seville, Andalusia, Spain
Donna Elvira Square in Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Despite the fact that the Barrio de Santa Cruz (the old Jewish Quarter) is generally crowded, this little square is the perfect place to sit and relax while feeling the water flowing at the fountain.

The mornings are usually not the best time of the day to get there as you will see lots of tourist groups walking around the narrow streets of the barrio.

I prefer to go there early in the afternoon, while everybody is resting after lunch.

I consider it a very special place because every little detail is important: the tree’s shade, the mosaics of the benches and the balconies around.

It makes me feel I am in a small village of Andalucia rather than in a big city.

Eat Tapas at Las Golondrinas (c/ Antillano Campos, 26)

tapas spain seville-
Tapas anyone?

After walking around the center, Triana neighborhood deserves a visit.

Cross the Isabel II bridge (also known as Puente de Triana) and head to Las Golondrinas, my favorite tapas bar in the city!

There, you will have the chance to taste the best Spanish food and refresh yourself. The menu is not very long (ie. You will not have to choose among dozens of tapas) but the selection is so good you will come back if you have the chance.

Apart from the great local atmosphere, the bar is decorated with typical Sevillian elements. You will love it.

La Alameda de Hércules

La Alameda square with large pedestrian area is one of the most beloved places for evening walks and the fine meeting point among cyclists
La Alameda square with large pedestrian area is one of the most beloved places for evening walks and the fine meeting point among cyclists

According to the experts, this area is the origin of Seville.

In fact, the oldest church of the city, Omnium Sanctorum, is a few minutes walk from there. On each end there are two  huge Roman pillars.

At the top of one of them is a statue of Hercules, the founder of Seville according to an old legend.

However, the main attraction of the Alameda is not the columns but the bars and terraces that surround the area.

Here, you will find the perfect spot to either have a great breakfast (Sevillanos love to have it at a bar), some nice lunch or a drink in the evening.

This lively neighborhood has developed in the last few years the most trendy atmosphere you can find in town.

It is a mix of bohemian and cutting edge styles, where people dress and live differently from the rest. Some venues host independent music bands and the neighborhood is one of the best places to enjoy Seville’s nightlife.

Remember, this is only a sample of all the secrets Seville hides.

I could have written an endless list, but I had to choose among all of my favorite places. I am sure that you will find many more plazas, corners and alleys that will marvel you.

Plan Your Trip to Seville, Spain

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Have you visited Seville? What are your favorite places? Let us know in the comments below!

More Resources for Spain

BIO – Sandra lives in Seville and spends all her free time travelling around the world. She is the editor and creator of Seville Traveller, where you can find additional things to do in Seville. You can also follow her on Twitter.

22 thoughts on “6 Hidden Secrets Not to Miss in Seville, Spain”

  1. jamie - cloud people adventures

    i visited seville for a week or so a few years back, and since the day i left have longed to go back! i cant even remember what i did or saw, i just know it was incredible. the tapas were off the chain!

  2. Hi Jamie,

    I’m glad that you liked Seville… And since you don’t seem to remember all the beautiful sights and corners the city offers, you should come over as soon as you can!

    Happy travels.

  3. Me encanta Sevilla! Thanks for sharing a couple insights I hadn’t known. Have been returning to Sevilla every years since spending a semester there many years ago. It’s a second home!

  4. It’s always a more exciting and unique experience when travelling not with a tourist group, no? Seville is lovely!

    1. Anne,

      I totally agree with you. Whenever I plan to travel, I always choose to do it independently. The freedom I have is priceless. Glad you like Seville! 🙂

  5. We are returning to Seville this month, so this post came just in time for us! During our first visit we didn’t have time to explore much beyond the main sights, but hopefully we can pack in some more of Seville this time. Taking notes from this post and will definitely put these ‘hidden corners’ on our list of things to see. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Hi Dani,

    It’s cool that you’ll be in Seville in a few days. Please, let me know if you need anything. I hope that you have enough time to wander around the streets of the city, there are many other hidden corners that need to be discovered!

  7. Hi Sandra! My name is Lindsey and I am spending 3 weeks in July this summer in Sevilla and I am so excited! I am going with a study abroad group. During our mornings we will be taking classes, during our afternoons we will be exploring the city on different activities as well as having free time, and on our weekends we will be going on excursions. My question for you is, aside of these places you mentioned above, what else could I (keep in mind that I am a teenager…I just don’t know what I am limited to) do/explore to have fun and experience the great Sevilla? I want to be able to fill my free time with fabulous things to do and create some very special memories, so please help me!!

    1. Hello Lindsey!

      I am sure that you are going to have an incredible experience in Seville. The city is a very safe place so you shouldn’t be afraid of exploring it on your own (or with other class mates). Just take the usual precautions: don’t walk alone at night, etc. (the same you’d do at home). So no limits!

      Actually, you’ll be the one deciding what to do depending on what you like. You could visit museums, explore some fabulous churches, rent a bike and wander around any of the parks (Parque de Maria Luisa is a must) or just hang out eating a delicious ice cream! Just make sure that you drink a lot of water and avoid being exposed to the sun from 2pm to 5pm because temperatures will be pretty high.

      If you need anything else, let me know. But the most important is have fun and practice your Spanish! 🙂

    1. Yes, flamenco is a very interesting part of the Spanish culture. Although it is much more related to Andalucia, the soutern part of the country. Did you enjoy Seville?

  8. Hi. Thanks for sharing. My sister and I will be traveling to Seville in Nov. May I know do you have any place to recommend for breakfast at La Alameda de Hercules?

  9. “I moved to Spain over twenty years ago (as a 21 year old nipper) and have lived in Andalucia since then. I have to agree with you Craig, it is the most beautiful city in Spain and i have been everywhere here! Although it is Spain’s 4th largest city it actually has that cosy feel of a large town more than a city, maybe because of the great variety of architecture and culture in the old town. The arabic feel, the jewish feel and the regal Spanish feel is all blended together alongside the lovely Guadalquivir river. For any international visitor wanting to get there its probably best to fly into Malaga Airport and grab a lift out there with the likes of http://www.malagaairporttaxi.net and maybe share the ride to keep costs down. Once there there are tons of options for self catering in the old quarters. “

  10. Seville is an awesome city, I can’t get enough of it. Lucky I am to live within 3 hours of it – which is my favourite spot there? Apart from the hundreds or maybe thousands of great tapas bars it has to be the extraordinary Plaza de Espana – if you visit Seville do no miss it!

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