We know some of you will be keeping an eye on the purse-strings while undertaking your work placements here in Seville, and luckily for you this beautiful city is one of the easiest to explore on the cheap (or even for free)! We have compiled a guide to some of our favourite inexpensive activities, perfect for those days when splashing out just isn’t an option.
NB: All information correct at the time of publication.
Spend the day relaxing in one of Seville’s glorious parks.
Seville has a number of wide open spaces perfect for lazy days in the sun. Our preferred options for an easy Sunday include the Parque de María Luisa, situated next to the Plaza de España, and the metropolitan Parque del Alamillo, a favourite with families and students alike which is just a short walk across the river from the residential Macarena district. Why not gather your friends together and pack a picnic to cut the costs even more?
Lap up the history with a free walking tour
The complex rich history of Seville, combined with its net of labyrinthian winding streets, warrants a guided tour by a professional who can navigate the city with the ease of someone who has walked the route a million times before. There are a number of free walking tours that will take you to the city’s biggest attractions and offer interesting information about their origins, from more general tours to those that are tailored to a specific area such as Triana or Santa Cruz.
NB: Although these tours are advertised as free, the guides rely solely on customer tips, so it is expected that you make a donation that reflects the quality of the tour at the end.
Visit the city’s top sights free of charge
They say some of the best things in life are free, and the same certainly holds true for Seville’s Plaza de España, a spectacular remnant of the ambitious 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. Free to roam well into the evening, you can take in the romantic setting either on foot or from a different perspective; with a leisurely self-guided boat trip along the canal or a horse-drawn carriage ride around the circumference of the plaza.
The Real Alcázar (pictured left) is one of the city’s most impressive attractions, and you can get in completely free for every Monday in the final hour prior to closing time (times vary by season), with an online reservation. If you’d prefer to visit with more time to see the grounds, it’s worth bearing in mind that entry is only €2 for students aged between 17-25 with a valid student card, and free for those living in Seville with proof of residence.
Finally, Seville cathedral is not to be missed. The cathedral’s distinctive bell tower is famed for being one of only three remaining Almohad minarets in the world, a breathtaking example of early Arab architecture. Standing at 97.5m high, the Giralda’s looming presence over the city is rivalled only by its views from the top, which you can access for free on Mondays between 16:30 and 18:00 by emailing to reserve a place.
See a flamenco show
The birthplace of this traditional dance, nothing screams Seville louder than the passionate drama of a Flamenco show, and some of the best and most authentic performances can be witnessed completely free of charge. La Carboneria famously hosts an array of talented Flamenco performers at their bustling dinner-hall-esque warehouse venue in the centre, but if you’d prefer a more relaxed daytime showing you can regularly catch flamenco dancers busking at the Plaza de España.
Watch the sun set with panoramic city views
Metropol Parasol, more commonly known as ‘Las Setas’, may be one of the more controversial landmarks in Seville, but what it may lack in popularity with locals it makes up for in architectural ingenuity, offering spectacular 360° views of the city from the curved elevated boardwalk. Spend the evening watching the sun set from the top floor, an excellent vantage point over the city and a steal at only €3 entry fee (price includes a drink from the bar around the corner).
Finally, don’t get sunburnt
Seville is definitely best explored on foot, but when visiting in summer you should remember to be careful spending time outdoors in the relentless Andalusian heat. Here are our top tips for staying safe and avoiding the dreaded sunburn:
- Wear suncream (obviously), and always remember to top up regularly. The number SPF you use indicates the amount of time that can pass before you need to reapply, so we recommend 30 or higher.
- Keep hydrated; lack of water can cause sunstroke. Invest in a sturdy, well-insulated water bottle that you can bring with you on day activities without the water getting too warm throughout the day. There are cold water taps across the city for you to fill up regularly.
- Stick to the shade, and go indoors where possible. The Archive de Indias, which houses a number of documents related to the Spanish Empire, and the luxurious Hotel Alfonso XIII, are both open to the public and house breathtaking interiors to escape the heat while walking around the centre.