Romantic, artistic, colorful, and enchanting, the Andalusian capital of Seville is a dreamy stroll through a Moorish past as you wander through its charming narrow streets dripping in North African influence. The history of Seville (and Andalucia in general) is some of Spain’s most globally impactful. For 700 years the Moors ruled this southern part of Spain, leaving behind influences that have trickled down from the thousands of Spanish words that are Arabic to the art, music, and architecture in the Iberian Peninsula.
Related Read: Arab-Muslim Influence on the Iberian Peninsula
Seville is one of the best-hidden gems in Europe and as such, should be a part of your southern Spain itinerary. Here are the top things to do in Seville any time of the year, but with a focus on those fiery-hot summer months.
Fun fact: The Spanish Inquisition, which inhumanely expulsed the Moors and Jewish people from Iberia, funded Christoper Colombus’ voyages to the Americas… Which would lead to genocide and the Transatlantic Slave trade. These massacres and tragedies led to the birth of us modern-day Latinos: a mix of Spaniard, Native American, and African heritage.
How to Prepare for Summer in Seville
First, before we get to the good stuff… Here are the not-as-fun but even-more-important things to remember for your summer trip to Seville:
- Bring a compact UV umbrella like this one. The inside is lined with a dark or thick coating so you can peruse the town with proper shade over your head at all times. This is also a MUST if you do one of the Seville walking tours during the heat peak hours.
- Avoid the high peak heat hours between 1 PM and 5 PM. This is when the city becomes scorching hot. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times to be outside.
- Embrace the siesta culture. You’ll be surprised how conducive it is to your wellness and the weather!
- Don’t forget your sunglasses. If you have light sensitivity or will be driving around Seville, sunglasses can protect your eyes from UV exposure and both direct and indirect sunlight.
- Wear non-sticky sunscreen. I love this one because it’s smooth, not sticky, and doesn’t leave a white film. Sunscreen while in Seville during the summer is essential. The sun in Seville is extra spicy here. Protect your skin from the sun’s rays.
- Consider a sunhat. If you don’t want to hold an umbrella around, a sunhat is the best way to protect your face from getting burnt by the Spanish sun! One like this is both cute and practical.
- Cold water bottle: this water bottle keeps your water cold for over 24 hours! Perfect for cooling you down.
The Best Time to Visit Seville
Winter: The weather is chillier, but it’s the perfect break from a bleak European winter! And trust me, it’s hard to find a place in Europe that isn’t gray and rainy during the winter. I’ve tried searching! Even the Telegraph agrees – Seville is the best city in Europe to visit during the winter.
Fall & Spring: The best times to go because the weather is not too hot or cold.
The Worst Time to Visit Seville
For two years in a row, I’ve spent part of my summer in Seville. One time, I was there in the middle of an intense heatwave in July, asking myself “What have I done?” as the sweat dripped down my back and I reached for a sliver of shade behind a skinny tree.
Another year, in August, the temperature in Seville reached 107 F (41 C) and it would often feel unbearable to be out in the sun for longer than 10 minutes.
In fact, Seville is emptier in the summertime! That’s because the local Spaniards actually flee Seville during the summer months. Instead, they head to the Spanish coastal towns, such as Cadiz. But we tourists still flock over to Seville during the summer, usually due to vacation days but also because no matter what time of the year you go, Seville is still a captivating destination to visit.
So while this is the “worst” time to go, you can still have an incredible time here as long as you know what to do in Seville during the summer months and how to plan it.
20+ Summer Things to Do in Seville, Spain
So what’s there to do when it’s just too hot in Seville? When you just can’t brave through the Sevillian heatwaves? Well, here are 10 fun and creative things to do in Seville to stay cool and survive the heat!
Visit the Many Museums in Seville
What better way to beat the heat than to be in an air-conditioned museum full of art and history to better contextualize your stay in Seville?! Here are the top museums to visit:
- Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum)
- Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (Museum of Contemporary Art)
- Museo de Baile Flamenco (Flamenco Museum)
- Museo Arqueológico de Sevilla (Archaelogical Museum)
- Castillo San Jorge (Inquisition Museum) – regarding the inquisition.
- Archivo General de Indias (General Archives of the Indies) – contains a ton of information and records regarding genealogy and other histories/research. You can also sit down with specialists regarding your query.
Explore the Alcazar Palace
If there is just one thing you can do in Seville, this should be it. Real Alcázar de Sevilla is a beautiful palace built as a fort in 913 and revamped multiple times through the 14th century. Islamic and Christian architectural influences converge into a breathtaking complex of different rooms and gardens to explore. There is also an outdoor cafe where you can enjoy food or coffee. Be sure to go during the early morning to avoid the midday heat or you take a night tour! You can skip the lines with this tour for $50.
Fun fact: This was the setting for Dorne in Game of Thrones (the HBO show)!
Go to a Flamenco Show (or Two or Three)
Seville is the birthplace of flamenco. So seeing a show is a must-do cultural activity while you’re here. You can catch local Flamenco shows both on a professional stage (Museo del Baile de Flamenco) or for free at a local spot (La Carboneria). But plan/book these ahead of time since they fill up fast during tourist season. There are SEVERAL flamenco shows throughout Seville every night. Remember that flamenco styles can greatly differ, so check out more than one venue/show! Here are some I recommend:
- Tablao El Arenal + Dinner & Tapas
- Museo del Baile Flamenco – The most beautiful, captivating, and professional one in my opinion.
- La Carboneria – FREE and very laid back.
- Casa de la Memoria – more focused on the foot rhythms
Take Classes on Flamenco Music & Dance
While on the topic of flamenco, you can also sign up for flamenco dance or music classes in Seville. What better way to spend the extra sunny hot afternoons, than in the indoor comforts of an air-conditioned dancing studio? There are tons of instructors and classes in Sevilla for a flamenco course, such as with the instructors of La Carboneria and Museo del Baile Flamenco.
Splurge at AIRE Bath Spa
Going to AIRE Bath Spa is one of my favorite ways to treat myself while in Seville. You can reserve a half or full-day retreat in this hamman-style spa getting massages, soaking in a wine bath, visiting the different hot and cold baths, floating in their salt-water pool, cooling down in their rooftop pool (pictured above), and/or just… relaxing!
Go Kayaking & Paddle Surfing
In the early morning or evening, go on a tour by kayak with Kayak Seville or on a guided Paddle Surf tour for just $35. You can also simply rent the equipment and go on your own. Remember to avoid peak heat hours.
Relax on Boat Tour or Dinner Cruise
Take an enclosed boat cruise down the Guadalquivir River. You can combine this with food or drinks, or simply sit back and enjoy the air-conditioned ride. There are several tour organizers who sell these tickets, but the most affordable tickets are bought in person at the port in Seville. However, if you don’t have time for that or don’t want to risk the spots being sold out you can book your dinner boat cruise ahead here.
Take Some Spanish Food Tasting Tours or Cooking lessons
What better way to integrate yourself into the local Spaniard culture than to take some classes on the famous local cuisines? You can learn to make sangria, paella, different tapas, and more in one of many group cooking classes. This was an unforgettable, culturally immersive travel experience for me, and I strongly recommend it! Here is a group food tasting tour you can book. Or, book a full cooking class with a tour of the Triana local market.
Check Out the Metropol Parasol at Night (Setas de Sevilla)
Located in the Plaza de La Encarnacion is Seville’s best kept secret: Setas de Sevilla. This wooden architectural structure is open until midnight, which is perfect for your Seville summertime travels. For a small fee (about 5 euros) you can enter to admire the panoramic views from the top.
Please note – prices vary depending on what time you visit
Take Day Trips Around Seville
Seville is in the center of Andalucia and, as such, can serve as a prime launching pad to visit several nearby destinations. So, some of the best day trips from Seville, Spain include:
Cool Off at the Swimming Pool
Swimming in Seville isn’t as common since there aren’t that many pools available for travelers. However, for 10 euros, you can visit SADUS University and cool off in their beautiful outdoor pool.
So there you have it. Over twenty creative and fun things to do in Seville all year round but particularly helpful in the hot summertime! Have a few to add? Drop your ideas below in the comments 🙂
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