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Seville, or Sevilla to the locals, is a beautiful city in the South of Spain, and according to a large majority (including me), it is one of the most vibrant cities in the country.
Known for being the birthplace of Flamenco and home to the world’s third-largest cathedral, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll never run out of things to do in the Andalusia capital.
And because there’s so much to see and do, it can get quite crowded. For independent travelers like me, you might be looking for somewhere to escape the crowds and discover some hidden gems in Seville.
Those looking for authenticity and uniqueness should look no further. In this guide, I’ve listed some of my favorite hidden secrets, so you can get off the beaten path in Seville.
Hidden Gems in Seville
Are you ready to explore the backstreets, secret corners and less-visited spots in Seville? Then you’re going to love these Seville hidden gems!
1. Iglesia de Santa Marina (c/ San Luis, 39)
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.
While most tourists think of Seville Cathedral when they think of Seville, this small church is a must-see hidden gem of Seville not to be missed.
2. 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.
3. Convento de San Leandro (Plaza de San Ildefonso, 1)
The convent is famous for the yemas (a 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.
4. Plaza Doña Elvira
Despite the fact that the Barrio de Santa Cruz neighborhood (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 like I am in a small village in Andalucia rather than in a big city.
5. Tapas at Las Golondrinas (c/ Antillano Campos, 26)
After walking around the center, the Triana neighborhood deserves a visit.
Cross the Isabel II bridge (also known as Puente de Triana) and head to Las Golondrinas, one of my favorite tapas bars 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.
6. La Alameda de Hércules
According to the experts, the Alameda de Hercules neighbourhood is the origin of Seville.
In fact, the oldest church in 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), a 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.
7. Royal Alcazar Palace Gardens
The Royal Alcazar Palace is still one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, dating back to the 10th century. Its design is a mix of Mudéjar, Renaissance, and Moorish architecture, which may scream out Game of Thrones vibes to you – that’s because some of the series was filmed there.
However, while the house is met with long queues, one of the hidden gems of the house is actually outside.
During your visit, head to the Real Alcazar Palace Gardens to ignite your senses with citrusy smells from the rows of orange trees, palms, and flowers.
The gardens are designed in true Hispanic style, with vegetable gardens, huge hedges, tiled water features and fountains, and an ornately decorated pavilion dedicated to Charles V.
8. Las Setas (Metropol Parasol)
So far we have shown you a lot of historical hidden gems in Seville, but for visitors who enjoy modern art, may enjoy casting their eyes at the Mushroom of Seville, or Las Setas as it’s known in Spanish (formerly Metropol Parasol).
The wooden structure was designed by German architect, Jürgen Mayer, and is said to be the largest wooden structure in the world.
At 150 x 70 metres, it’s certainly unmissable.
This interesting piece of architecture marks the entrance to the Antiquarium museum containing Roman and Moorish relics, as well as the Central Market and a piazza, where wooden parasols offer shade to visitors.
9. Maria Luisa Park
Another beautiful park in Seville where you can find some peace and quiet is Maria Luisa Park, a public park along the Guadalquivir River.
It’s the most famous park in the city and it is also one of the oldest, having opened in 1914. However, just because it’s popular doesn’t mean there are no hidden gems here.
The park is so big, 99 acres in fact, that you can easily find a quiet spot to have a picnic.
On one side you have the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions and on the other, the Plaza de España, and throughout the middle, there are many lakes, fountains, piazzas, small gardens, and hedgerows.
Rent a bike and cycle around until you find an empty spot. If you want to find a quiet spot in Seville, you’ll find one here.
10. Casa de Pilatos
Another beautiful palace in Seville that still remains somewhat of a hidden gem is Casa de Pilatos, the official residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli.
Designed with a beautiful Italian Renaissance facade with hints of Mudéjar inspiration, it’s a building of monumental beauty.
What makes this palace so beautiful however, is the tile work It has over 150 different azulejo (Spanish glazed tile) from the 1530s, making it the largest azulejo collection in the world.
If you’re looking for a beautiful backdrop for photos, this is it.
11. Tablao Flamenco Pura Esencia Sevilla
One of the top things to do in Seville is to watch a flamenco dance, but finding tickets can be a challenge.
One of the hidden gem flamenco theatres in Seville is Tablao Flamenco Pura Esencia Sevilla, just opposite Torre del Oro across the Puente de San Telmo Bridge.
Every day at 8pm, visitors can watch a traditional flamenco experience, with dancers, a live band, and singers.
Make sure you check out this hidden gem of Seville before everyone hears about it!
12. Museo de Bellas Artes
The Museo de Bellas Artes, or Museum of Fine Arts, is a wonderful museum containing Spanish art and sculptures from the 14th – 19th centuries, including original pieces by Spanish painter, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
Set inside a former convent, you can also expect to see a lot of religious artworks and exhibits.
But the museum’s artwork is not the only reason to visit, the building itself is stunning.
Perhaps the most beautiful room is the former chapel, which has a striking dome ceiling, which is truly a wonder to behold. Not many visitors remember to look up when visiting the museum, which makes this room a true hidden gem in Seville.
13. El Rinconcillo
El Rinconcillo is one of the oldest tapas bars in all of Seville. It was founded in 1670 and very little has changed. It was acquired by the De Rueda family in 1858, who linked it to the house next door.
The first house was originally a tavern, and so the family has kept it that way, and the second one was a corner shop, but now serves as a tavern along with the original house.
The preservation of not only the relics, memorabilia, and decoration of this bar is not the only reason to celebrate it, but the dedication to carrying out tradition should be as well.
It’s a charming hidden gem in Seville not to be missed.
Places to stay in Seville
If you’re looking for accommodation in Seville, you can scroll through the following list to find the best hotel for your style!
Popular tours in Seville
Here are the most popular tours and attractions for Seville, Spain.
Final Thoughts on Hidden Gems of Seville, Spain
So there you have it, those are my hidden gems in Seville and as you can see, there are quite a few great spots waiting to be explored.
Remember, this is only a small highlight of all the secrets Seville hides. And even though these are lesser-known attractions, don’t forget to see the iconic pieces too. The Seville Cathedral and Giralda Bell Tower, as well as the Tomb of Christopher Columbus, are well worth seeing – even if they are touristy.
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, courtyards, neighbourhoods, and more that will marvel you when you visit Seville.
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.
More Spain Travel Tips
Are you planning on visiting other parts of Spain? Then you may find these below resources useful!
- Things to Do in Barcelona
- Things to Do in Madrid
- 3 Day Itinerary for visiting the Unique Basque Region of Spain
- Don’t miss things to do in Valencia
Have you visited Seville? What are your favorite places? Let us know in the comments below!