Seville Cathedral is the second largest cathedral in existence, second only to St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It is also the largest Gothic structure in the world and one of the most renowned churches in Europe. A key visit if you go to the city of Seville that you have to complement, without a doubt, with the Alcazar, a monument declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, which dates back to the Early Middle Ages, although some areas of Islamic art are preserved and where Mudejar and Gothic art predominate, although it also has Renaissance and Baroque elements that were added later.
La Giralda is the Tower of Seville and from its top you can enjoy panoramic views of the whole city of Seville. This enclave, made up of the three monuments, is impressive and leaves no visitor indifferent. Don't miss it!
Here are the best options for your visit to this monumental complex:
Discover the Cathedral and the Giralda at your own pace
Get your tickets to the Cathedral of Seville and enter without queuing to avoid wasting time in the dreaded crowds that visit this monument every day. Climb to the top of the Giralda and enjoy the spectacular views of the city from there.
With these tickets to Seville Cathedral and the Giralda, you will see the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the emblematic tower that escorts it. An ideal option to guarantee you direct access without queues to one of the most visited monuments in the world, so you don't waste any time you can dedicate to the visit. You will also be able to climb inside the Giralda until you reach the top to contemplate the panoramic view of the historic tower of Seville.
Why choose this option: Ideal to avoid the long queues that characterise this monument and take a trip back in time.
Recommended if... You have little time in the city of Seville and you want to visit two of the city's essential monuments: the Cathedral and the emblematic Giralda tower.
Discover the marvellous monumental complex of the Alcázar of Seville
Get inside the Real Alcázar of Seville with these skip-the-line tickets. On this visit to another of Seville's must-sees, you'll travel back in time and learn about all the cultures that have passed through the city over the centuries.
With these tickets to the Alcázar of Seville you will enter one of the most important monumental complexes in the world and you will get to know every corner of this emblematic place that dates back to the Middle Ages. You will be able to visit all its rooms, the beautiful gardens and the different palaces where you will discover the different architectural styles that were used in the complex, from Islamic to Baroque, Mudejar and Gothic, among others.
Why choose this option: Ideal for visiting the Alcázar of Seville, getting to know all its corners and not missing any detail.
Recommended if... You are short on time and don't want to miss out on the must-see sights of this unique monumental complex.
The Cathedral, the Alcázar and the Giralda. The best of Seville, on a guided tour.
This is the perfect option if you want to see the best of Seville with an expert guide and for a very reasonable price, as it includes the necessary tickets for the three monuments.
Seville has many points of interest to see and sometimes it is difficult to dedicate the same amount of time and attention to all of them. If during your trip to Seville you have to choose to highlight one visit over another, my advice is to do it with this guided tour of the Alcazar of Seville, the Cathedral and the Alcazar.
This tour, in addition to covering the two most important monuments of the city, is a perfect summary of the history and culture of Seville. The price of this joint tour, with tickets to both monuments included, is £44 and the total duration is about 3 and a half hours ending at the Alcazar. A tip: soak up the explanations and ask your guide everything you want to know about the history of the city.
Why choose this option: This is, without a doubt, the option that will allow you to discover the essentials of Seville and avoid the inconvenience of having to buy tickets separately or queuing to get into the monuments.
Recommended if... You are looking for the most complete option to get to know the history and the best of the city in a short time and on a tight budget.
How much does it cost to visit the Cathedral, the Giralda and the Alcazar?
Tickets to the Cathedral and the Giralda cost around 18 euros, while the Alcazar costs around 20 euros to visit on your own. In both cases you are guaranteed access without queues.
The most complete option to visit the Cathedral of Seville with the Giralda and the Alcázar can be found in Hellotickets for about 50 € and also includes the entrance tickets.
If you want to save on the visit and just take the guided tour of the Cathedral or the guided tour of the Alcazar you can book them for €34 each, but they are not the most recommendable options, as you will miss out on the Giralda. With these three monumental gems you'll get to know the best of the city, its history and its relevance.
How long the guided tour lasts
The full guided tour lasts 3 and a half hours and you will have enough time to walk around the interior of the Cathedral, climb the Giralda and visit the highlights of the Alcazar. After the tour you will have the chance to wander around the interior at your leisure and explore the whole of the Cathedral a little more.
If you enter the Cathedral at your own pace and are going up to the roofs and the Giralda on your own, set aside at least a couple of hours to see the place at your own pace and enjoy the views.
How to get to Seville Cathedral, the Giralda and the Alcazar
The monumental complex of the Cathedral, the Giralda and the Alcázar is located in the historic centre of Seville, so you will find it easy to get there from anywhere in the city. If you use the metro or bus you can get off at the Puerta de Jerez stop and walk from there (you will find signs to guide you and you can find your way around the Giralda Tower, which can be seen from all over Seville).
There is also a tram, called Metrocentro, which stops at the door of the Cathedral. You can see the location on Google maps to check the most convenient route from your accommodation.
Recommendations for your visit to the Cathedral of Seville, the Giralda and the Alcazar
- Best day to visit: The best thing to do when visiting any part of Seville is to avoid the hottest hours of the day (something that will be difficult in summer). On public holidays and weekends, of course, there is also usually a greater influx of visitors.
- Where to eat in the centre of Seville: Avoid eating around the Cathedral. The places you will find will be expensive and of poor quality. Head towards Plaza Nueva or wander around the Santa Cruz neighbourhood for more authentic restaurants.
- Take this guided tour with children: The monumental complex of the Cathedral of Seville, the Alcázar of Seville and La Giralda have an enormous historical and cultural value also for the little ones. In fact, you will find brochures aimed at them and educational material for them to enjoy the visit. However, it is not recommended to visit the Cathedral or climb the Giralda with children under 6 years of age because of the noise they may cause and the difficulty for them to climb the tower.
- Behaviour: Specifically in the Cathedral, don't forget that you are visiting a place of worship, so you should behave accordingly. Photography with a tripod is not permitted without prior accreditation. It is also recommended to wear appropriate clothing and to speak in a low tone of voice in order to maintain respect.
How to visit Seville Cathedral, the Giralda and the Alcázar on your own
If none of the options with a private tour suit you, either for price or conditions, you can also visit the monuments independently. To get the most out of a visit on your own I will give you some tips.
Alcazar of Seville
A must-see is the Real Alcázar of Seville. You can get tickets for the Alcázar on the internet, but the best value for money is to take a combined guided tour that also takes you to the Cathedral and La Giralda, like the one you can find on Hellotickets for 44.
I can tell you that the visit is as worthwhile as the one to the Cathedral; inside you'll see some palaces that will leave you speechless and gardens that will remind you of the wonders of the Alhambra. Don't miss this visit on your trip to Seville regardless of what you have to sacrifice in exchange.
However, if you want to know more about what you will see in the Alcázar of Seville and why it is important, you can check this article on Seville Alcázar Tickets and Tours.
Another essential visit is to La Giralda. If you want to buy tickets for the Giralda you can buy them at the ticket office on the day of your visit, at the door of the Cathedral. They cost 10 € for the general public (there are reduced rates for students and pensioners), but I recommend that you buy them in advance as the queues at the ticket offices to visit this monument are quite long and will take time away from visiting other places in the city. Also, for 18 euros you have the entrance to the Cathedral included.
You can also buy your tickets at the Seville Cathedral ticket office: it is open on Mondays from 11am to 3.30pm, from Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 5pm and on Sundays from 2.30pm to 6pm. In July and August the opening hours are brought forward by half an hour.
The main problem with buying tickets at the ticket office is queues and availability. Or you can get them online: they include the climb to the Giralda and you can buy them well in advance so as not to miss out. You will also avoid waiting in the sun to access the ticket office and you will enter directly in the time slot and on the day you choose for your visit.
The price of general admission is 10 euros (half price for pensioners and students under 25 years of age). However, if you want to access the roofs or the masterpieces, the entrance fee is 16 euros and you will have to do it in organised shifts and not on your own.
Tips for visiting the Cathedral, the Giralda and the Alcázar of Seville
Here are some useful tips for your visit to the Cathedral, the Giralda and the Alcázar of Seville.
Like most historical monuments and museums, the Cathedral, the Giralda and the Alcázar of Seville have a free admission day:
- The Cathedral: On Mondays you can enter Seville Cathedral free of charge. In addition, unemployed people, disabled people and children under the age of 14 get in free every day (which does not mean that they do not have to queue at the ticket office or book their tickets online).
- The Alcázar: On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays you can enter the Alcázar of Seville free of charge.
- La Giralda: Mondays from 4 p.m. and Sundays until 2 p.m. free admission.
Avoid the hot hours
I recommend you to choose the first hour of the day and, if possible, avoid weekends; this will save you from the heat and the crowds. As for the Cathedral, I recommend that you check the mass timetables, which are usually posted on the side door.
Use a map
I recommend that before your visit, especially in the Cathedral and the Alcázar of Seville due to its size, you get a map so that you don't miss a single corner.
What to see in the Cathedral, the Giralda and the Alcázar of Seville
To explain all the history and importance of Seville Cathedral in just a few lines would be an impossible mission. Every corner has a richly nuanced meaning behind it that is worth stopping to consider.
How you will get the most out of everything you see in Seville Cathedral is with a guided tour or with a good art guide in your hands; as this article is not intended to replace either of these two alternatives, I will limit myself to pointing out what, in my opinion, you cannot miss so that your visit is complete:
- The visit to the roofs: For me, this is a must. You will have to book a time to go up, but it is worth it for the view you will have from there of the details of the architecture and of the Giralda itself.
- The exterior: Exactly; it seems a bit obvious, but don't let the visit to the interior stop you from looking at the cathedral from the outside, taking in the architecture and looking at it from different angles.
- The Orange Tree Courtyard: This can only be accessed from inside the Cathedral through the Puerta del Lagarto, although the curious do peek in from the outside to take in the beauty of this small garden.
- The Central Nave: Arranged in a rectangular shape, its ceilings will catch your eye. Be sure to take a look at the stained glass windows and works of art that surround it.
- The tomb of Christopher Columbus: A particularly interesting stop if you take a guided tour of the Cathedral, as your guide will tell you about the different versions of the navigator's birthplace and burial place.
- El Retablo Mayor: This work of art is considered the largest altarpiece in Christianity and depicts different religious scenes.
- Royal Chapel: It houses the remains of Alfonso X the Wise and his mother, and in its crypt Peter I of Castile and his wife are buried.
Alcazar of Seville
The Alcázar of Seville is a magical monument that will make you travel back in time. That is why it is one of the most visited monuments in Seville and in the world. A palace in which styles and arts are mixed due to the passage throughout history of different cultures. On your visit you can't miss it:
- Patio de las Doncellas: It has a wonderful gallery of poly-lobed arches, typical of the Almohad dynasty.
- Cuarto Real Alto: Subject of numerous reforms throughout history, it is the official residence of the Kings of Spain in Seville.
- Palacio del Yeso: One of my favourite spaces for its "sebka" decoration, typically Almohad and Sevillian.
- Gothic Palace: Let yourself be dazzled by its ribbed vaults and the two rectangular halls.
- Palace of King Don Pedro: It was built by craftsmen from Toledo, Granada and Seville itself on the initiative of King Pedro I in the mid-14th century.
- Salón del Almirante: This is one of the parts of the "Casa de Contratación de las Indias".
- Alcazar Gardens: It is a marvellous place to stroll through these gardens. I recommend that, once you have finished your visit, you take the opportunity to enjoy some quiet time in this marvellous place.
With a height of 60 metres, the equivalent of a 25-storey building, the Giralda has 34 ramps and 17 steps that will take you to the top from where you will have spectacular views of the city. Don't miss a single detail of this breathtaking panorama. Make sure you are in good physical condition before starting the climb. Please note that the climb is not recommended for people with vertigo, dizziness or poor physical condition, but if this is not your case I recommend you do it.