The Alcazar of Seville is a treat for the eyes: its beauty is more than a match for the rest of the monuments and neighborhoods of Seville and although its name does not resonate as much as the Giralda or the Torre del Oro, the Alcazar is a must-stop on your trip.
1. How to visit the Alcazar of Seville
Visiting the Alcazar is one of the must-sees in Seville and, commonly, you find combined tickets to access the Alcazar and take a guided tour or some other activity, such as visiting the Cathedral.
2. Entrance to the Alcazar and guided tour of the surrounding area
The Alcazar of Seville is located in the historic center of the city. A few steps from it you have the Giralda Cathedral or the Santa Cruz neighborhood. With this activity you will take advantage of this enclave to make a guided tour of the Alcazar and its surroundings avoiding, of course, the queues at the entrance.
What does this tour consist of?
The details are as follows: the duration of the tour is about two hours, it is available in English and Spanish and the price is about 35 dollars. To secure your place, you must book online and, once you choose the day you want to take this guided tour of the Alcazar of Seville, you will receive an email informing you of times, meeting point, and other instructions.
About the guided tour of the surrounding area
Although the tour of the surrounding area is not as exhaustive as a specific guided tour, it will help you to get positioned in the city and then explore the area at your own pace or with another tour. As for the Alcazar guide, it is a way to get much more out of your visit. If once the guided tour is over you want to stay longer visiting the Alcazar and its gardens on your own there will be no problem.
Ana's Traveller Tip
With or without a guided tour, buy your tickets online. Waiting in line at the ticket office in the sun is exhausting and does not ensure you will be able to enter the same day.
3. Guided tour for small groups to the Alcazar of Seville
If you are a fan of guided tours or are especially interested in the history of the city of Seville and its Moorish legacy, this guided tour of the Alcazar for small groups is well worth it. The price of $ 38 is very similar to that of a regular guided tour and the difference is that you will be in a group of no more than 20 travelers; this will allow you a climate of greater confidence with your guide and greater comfort when touring the Alcazar.
What this tour consists of
In addition to the services of a professional guide, the price includes the entrance without queues. That is, you will not have to wait a long line at the ticket office, but you will meet your guide outside and you will pass directly. Once you make your reservation online and choose the day you want to visit, you will be informed of the meeting point and time.
This tour covers the history of this enclave, but also information about the architecture of the place (with Arab, Renaissance, and Baroque influences) and about the rooms that served as the setting for the popular series Game of Thrones. You can book this tour in English or Spanish and the duration of the visit is approximately one hour and a half.
4. Guided tour of the Alcazar and the Cathedral of Seville
Seville Cathedral and its famous tower, the Giralda, is another key attraction for visitors to the city. This guided tour combines the Alcazar and the Cathedral of Seville as they are both places of reference in terms of architecture and cultural richness, not only in Andalusia but in all of Spain.
What does this tour consist of?
The price is $ 53 and the total duration of the guided visit to these two monuments is about three and a half hours. You can do it in English or Spanish and in both places, you will avoid the queues at the entrance by going directly with your expert guide and the rest of the group.
You can book your place online and choose the day and time that suits you best to make the visit. I recommend you to choose the early morning to escape the heat and avoid the weekends to avoid crowds. The tour includes the ascent to the Giralda tower; so be prepared for steep stairs.
Any lover of art and Islamic and Christian history will be fascinated by this tour of Seville's two most outstanding and visited monuments.
5. What to see in the Alcazar of Seville
Many compare the Alcazar of Seville with the Alhambra in Granada not in terms of importance or dimensions but in terms of style. Certainly, after visiting both you will see several similarities between the two as both are among the oldest palaces in Spain, and also both have in common the Arabic and Andalusian decoration.
To enjoy the Alcázar of Seville to the fullest, my first recommendation is that either you consider taking a guided tour or you document minimally what you will find inside and who were the kings who lived in this palace. Although getting lost in the Alcázar of Seville is a delight, do not forget to get a map at your entrance to recognize what you are seeing.
The essential stops
- The gardens: totally captivating and dotted with wonders such as the pond of Mercury or the Charles V pavilion.
- King Peter's Palace: called the little Alhambra. It is not difficult to discover why; I could name several of its rooms but I would not know how to choose which one deserves more recognition.
- Casa de la Contratación: of the highest historical value for being a reference in terms of trade with America.
- The Gothic Palace: where the Christian kings lived after the reconquest.
- Patio del Yeso: is the area that you will find at the entrance and, although it will not impress you as much as others, it is one of the oldest preserved.
6. Tips for visiting the Alcazar of Seville
If you are not a fan of guided tours or are not interested in combined tickets, you can also visit the Alcazar on your own. Individual tickets can also be booked in advance by choosing the date and time of visit on the official website of the Alcázar of Seville; this way, even if you don't have a guided tour, you will avoid waiting in line at the ticket office. The price difference will be only in the administration fees which are normally one dollar.
The price of the general admission is 13 dollars plus 5 extra dollars for those who want to visit the area of the Upper Royal Room, located at the top of the Palace of King Don Pedro.
Attractions included in the Alcazar entrance ticket
- Bellver Museum-Casa Fabiola
- Triana Ceramics Museum
- Castle of San Jorge
You also have to take into account that the entrance to the Alcazar is free for disabled people, children under 16 years old, and residents of Seville. Beneficiaries of a pension and students will also have a discount on the general admission and in the last hour of access to the Alcazar (from 16 to 17 in winter and from 18 to 19 in summer), the entrance is free for all visitors. Something very important: this does not mean that you should not book in advance any type of free entrance so as not to be left without a place.
Finally, you will also be interested to know that sporadically the Alcazar organizes dramatized nighttime visits. Keep an eye on the official channels to find out when they are and reserve your place in advance.
Ana's Traveller Tip
Don't visit the Alcazar in a hurry. Reserve two hours (minimum) of your trip to enjoy its gardens and architecture.
7. Organize your visit
How to get there
The Alcázar of Seville is located in the historic center, very close to the Cathedral and the Santa Cruz neighborhood. Once you arrive in this area you will have no problem finding the different signs that indicate the entrance, although it is true that it can go unnoticed by the beauty of the surroundings. Different city buses will leave you near this area and also the metro line that runs through some areas of Seville.
The nearest metro and bus stop is Puerta de Jerez and from there, if you do not want to walk, you can take a streetcar that will leave you at the door of the Cathedral, a few meters from the Alcazar.
The Alcazar of Seville is open from Monday to Sunday from 9:30 am throughout the year. In winter it closes at 5:00 pm and in summer at 7:00 pm. It is only closed (with some exceptions) on January 1st and 6th, Holy Friday, and December 25th. Outside these hours the Alcazar can be opened to groups belonging to congresses, symposiums, or similar events paying the exclusive price of a night visit.
When to go
Those who are not used to the high temperatures of Seville may have a hard time visiting not only the Alcazar but also the different monuments of the Andalusian capital. Therefore, the first recommendation on when to go to the Alcazar, especially when visiting in summer, is to shun the central hours of the day even though both in the gardens and the palaces there are many shady areas.
Being one of the most visited monuments of Seville, I also recommend avoid holidays and weekends as far as possible to enjoy the visit without crowds.
Duration of the visit
Whether you go on an organized tour or an individual visit, the Alcázar of Seville has a lot to see and it is not worth doing it in a hurry. My recommendation is to reserve a minimum of two hours to tour the interior of the same delighting in their rooms and gardens.
Undoubtedly the Alcazar is one of the most photographable places in Seville. The beauty of its palaces and gardens will constantly invite you to capture every detail. Since photos, unless otherwise indicated by signs in certain rooms, are allowed, if you especially like photography add an extra hour to the time you reserve for the visit.
Where to eat
If you want to eat before or after your visit, my main advice is to stay away from the area as much as possible. You will probably find different public relations people on the street selling you the typical delicacies of restaurants in the area. Regardless of the quality of these places, the price is quite inflated and let's say they are not the most authentic in the area...
Instead of succumbing to these offers, I recommend you to wander around a bit; the prices will probably still be high, but you will find more authenticity.
The location of the Alcazar is the historic center of Seville. That means that just a few meters from it you will have treasures like the Cathedral or the Santa Cruz neighborhood; both are worth a separate visit. If you follow the streetcar route coming from Puerta de Jerez you will arrive at Plaza Nueva taking a beautiful, though hot, walk. One last tip: stroll around the area as much as you can, it's worth it.
Visiting the Alcazar with children
The Alcazar is an ideal place to visit with children, not only because children under 16 have free admission, but because the little ones will love to walk through its courtyards and labyrinths. If the Alcazar is like a fairytale setting for adults, it is even more magical for children.
Ana's Traveller Tip
Bring water with you during your visit: to combat the heat and to avoid paying high prices at the cafeteria inside.
8. If you are interested in buying tickets for the Alcazar, you will also be interested in...
A few meters from the Reales Alcazares of Seville stands the impressive Cathedral. The Cathedral of Seville, in Gothic style and crowned by the Giralda tower, is among the most important works of architecture in the world and if contemplating it from the outside is already a privilege, accessing it, visiting its interior, and climbing the tower is a unique experience.
The architectural styles of the Cathedral of Seville and the Real Alcazar are very different, which is why it is so fascinating for the traveler to enjoy both in the same visit. There are joint guided tours of both monuments, but I recommend that you take a look at this article on How to visit the Seville Cathedral, the Giralda and the Alcazar to soak up all the necessary information about a must-see visit.