The Cathedral of Seville is the second-largest cathedral in existence, surpassed only by St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It is also the largest Gothic structure in the world and one of the most recognized churches in Europe.
With such remarkable fame, it is logical that the cathedral is one of the most visited monuments in Seville, and for this, there are several options. I tell you the best ones:
The Cathedral, the Alcazar and the Giralda. The best of Seville, in a guided tour
This is the perfect option if you want to visit the best of Seville with an expert guide and for a very reasonable price, as it includes the necessary tickets for the 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 one. This guided tour of the Cathedral, the Alcazar, and the Giralda, in addition to covering the two most important monuments of the city, is a perfect summary of the history and culture of Seville.
The Gothic structure of the Cathedral, the enormous altarpiece inside, its 15th century stained glass windows, the views from the Giralda, the tomb of Christopher Columbus... Each of these aspects is enjoyable on its own, but if it is framed within the historical, the cultural and religious discourse of the city of Seville, the enrichment is even greater.
The price of this joint tour, with tickets to both monuments included, is $ 54 and the total duration is about 3 and a half hours ending at the Alcazar. The visit to the Cathedral includes the climb to the Giralda and the roofs. 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 undoubtedly 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 access 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 for a tight budget.
The Cathedral of Seville with an expert guide
You will have access to the Cathedral of Seville early in the morning to avoid crowds and an expert local guide will tell you everything you need to know about the Cathedral.
The price of $ 34 of this guided tour of the Cathedral includes the entrance to the Cathedral of Seville and the services of a professional bilingual guide in Spanish and English. The duration of this tour is approximately two hours and includes the views from the tower of la Giralda.
What differentiates this guided tour of the Cathedral of Seville from other options is that access to the Cathedral will always be at first thing in the morning which means: seeing the monument without queues or agglomerations, being able to make the most of the rest of the day for sightseeing and, in addition, cheating the high temperatures that in this city can be so annoying.
The reservation of place is online and you can choose the day of the week that suits you best to visit. I recommend that you reserve your place a few weeks before your trip as this guided tour of the Cathedral of Seville is one of the most requested. Seeing the Seville Cathedral almost empty and without having to fight the heat is a great privilege.
Why choose this option: if you want to limit yourself to getting to know the Seville Cathedral well, this is the most economical option.
Recommended if... you prefer to get to know the monumental Cathedral with an expert guide.
How much does it cost to visit the Cathedral, the Giralda, and the Alcazar?
The most complete option to visit the Cathedral of Seville with the Giralda and the Alcazar you find it in Hellotickets for about $ 60 and includes also the entrance tickets. If you want to save on the visit and stay only with the guided tour of the Cathedral, you can book it for $ 32, but it is not the most advisable option, as you would miss an essential part of Seville, its Alcazar.
How long does the guided tour last?
The complete guided tour lasts 3 and a half hours and you will have enough time to walk with the guide through the interior of the Cathedral, climb the Giralda and visit the highlights of the Alcazar. In addition, when the tour is over you will have the opportunity to walk around the interior at your leisure and explore the whole thing 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 be able to see the place without rushing and enjoy the views.
Buy tickets for the Giralda of Seville
Tickets for the Giralda can be purchased 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 it is best to purchase it together with a guided tour that also takes you to know the interior of the Cathedral and the Alcazar of Seville. With these three monumental jewels you will know the best of the city, its history, and its relevance.
You should note that the climb is not recommended for people with vertigo or dizziness, but if this is not your case I recommend you do it. The views from the top are impressive and you will feel proud once you reach the top.
Ana's Traveller Tip
The ascent to the Giralda is not by steps, but by a kind of inclined ramp. Make sure you are in good physical condition before you start the climb.
How to visit the Alcazar of Seville
A mandatory and complimentary visit to that of the Cathedral, is that of the Real Alcazar of Seville. You can get tickets for the Alcazar online or at the ticket office, but the best value for money is to make a combined guided tour that takes you to both places, as this one you find in Hellotickets for 54.
I can tell you that the visit is as worthwhile as the visit to the Cathedral; inside you will see some palaces that will leave you speechless and some gardens that will evoke the wonders of the Alhambra. Don't overlook this visit on your trip to Seville regardless of what you have to sacrifice in return.
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 Alcazar Tickets and Tours.
Ana's Traveller Tip
If you book a private tour that includes the Alcazar, keep in mind that with the entrance ticket you can also access other monuments in Seville.
How to get to the Cathedral of Seville
The Cathedral is located in the historic center 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 that will guide you to it and you can orient yourself perfectly by the Giralda Tower that can be seen from all over Seville).
There is also a small streetcar that has a stop at the door of the Cathedral. You can see the location at Google Maps to check the route that suits you best from your accommodation.
The visit to the Cathedral of Seville
Best day to visit it
The most advisable when visiting any place in Seville is avoid the hours of maximum heat (something that will be difficult in summer). On the holidays and weekends, logically, there is also usually a greater influx of visitors.
Where to eat in the center of Seville
Avoid eating around the Cathedral. The places you will find will be expensive and of low quality. Move away towards Plaza Nueva or wander through the Santa Cruz neighborhood if you want more authentic restaurants.
Take this guided tour with children
The Cathedral of Seville has a huge historical and cultural value also for the little ones. In fact, you will find brochures oriented to 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 old because of the noise they can cause and the difficulty for them to climb the tower.
Do not forget that you are visiting a place of worship. It is not allowed to eat or drink on the premises or take pictures with a tripod without prior accreditation. It is also recommended to wear appropriate clothing and speak in a low tone of voice to maintain respect.
How to visit the Cathedral of Seville on your own
If none of the options with private visits fits you, either by price or conditions, you can also visit the Cathedral of Seville individually. To get the most out of a visit on your own I will give you some tips.
Get the tickets
You can buy them at ticket office: open Mondays from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm, Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sundays from 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm. 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 the queues and availability.
Or you can get them online: they will cost the same as at the box office and you can buy them in advance so as not to run out of seats. 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 select for your visit.
Use a map
The first thing I think you should know is that the dimensions of this cathedral make touring it different from visiting any other temple of smaller dimensions. It is not a matter of entering the central nave, turning it upside down, and leaving; inside the Cathedral of Seville there are many things to see and it is easy to get disoriented (that's why guided tours are so popular). Therefore, the first thing you should do is get a map so that you don't miss a single corner.
Avoid the queues
You have to keep in mind that, even if you decide to make an individual visit, you can still buy tickets online to avoid the queues at the ticket office.
The general admission price is 12 dollars (half price for pensioners and students under 25 years old). However, if you want to access the roofs or the masterpieces, the entrance fee is 20 dollars and you will have to do it in organized shifts and not on your own.
Like most historical monuments and museums, the Cathedral has one day of free admission: on Mondays. In addition, unemployed, disabled, and children under 14 get in free every day (which doesn't mean they don't have to either queue at the ticket office or book online).
Avoid the hot hours
The cathedral's opening hours may vary depending on services and events, but in general it is open for tours on Mondays from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sundays from 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm. I recommend you choose the first hour of the day and, if possible, avoid weekends; this will save you from the heat and the crowds. Mass times are usually posted on the side door.
Ana's Traveller Tip
Always check the calendar before planning your visit; it is common to find the Cathedral closed to the public for services or cultural activities.
What to see in the Cathedral of Seville
To explain all the history and importance of the Cathedral of Seville in just a few lines would be mission impossible. Each corner has behind it a meaning rich in nuances that is worth stopping at.
How you will get more out of everything you see in the Cathedral of Seville 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 just point out what, in my opinion, you can not miss for your visit to be complete:
The visit of the covers
For me, it 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 the Giralda itself.
Exactly; it seems a bit obvious, but the visit to the interior does not prevent you from turning the cathedral on the outside, look at its architecture and look at it from different angles.
The orange tree courtyard
It can only be accessed from inside the Cathedral through the Puerta del Lagarto, although the curious peek in from the outside to admire 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 and works of art that surround it.
Christopher Columbus' Tomb
An especially interesting stop if you visit the Cathedral on a guided tour, as your guide will tell you the different versions about the birthplace and burial place of the navigator.
The Main Altarpiece
This work of art is considered the major altarpiece of Christianity and it depicts different religious scenes.
The Royal Chapel
It keeps the remains of Alfonso X the Wise and his mother and in its crypt are buried Pedro I of Castile and his wife.