With this Alcazar of Seville guide, we will provide you with a clear understanding of the place, some insider tips, and many other important details. Hope it will be helpful for your visit to Alcazar of Seville.
Declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 along with the Cathedral and the Archivo de Indias, the Real Alcazar of Seville or Reales Alcazares, is a set of palaces with a history that spans several historical periods in addition to being currently one of the main attractions of the city, visited by more than two million people a year. Tourists can take it with or without car day trips from Seville.
After the many visits we have made to this impressive place, considered one of the must-see places in Seville, we leave you all the essential information that we believe is necessary for you to visit the Alcazar of Seville. Let’s start!
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Ultimate Guide To Visit The Alcazar Of Seville – Tickets, Access, Attractions
This place has gone through several historical stages in its long history, each with its own characteristics, both historical and architectural, which can be seen in its various rooms, which exhibit elements of Mudejar, Renaissance, or Gothic style, among others.
Pre-Islamic period: This period dates back to the 8th century B.C. since, in the place where the Reales Alcázares is currently located, different remains have been found that corroborate these dates.
They include the remains of a Roman building from the 1st century, an early Christian church built over the Roman building, which is believed to be the basilica of San Vicente, which in Visigothic times was one of the city’s most important temples.
In addition to this, some of its elements were used for the later construction of the Palace of Pedro I.
Islamic stage: This period began in 914 when the Caliph of Cordoba, Abderraman III, ordered the construction of a citadel in the city, which in part took advantage of the old city walls.
Later, when the Abadid dynasty took over the city after the fall of the Caliphate, the former Alcazaba began to undergo various extensions, including the 11th century. This almost doubled its original size.
In addition, they also began to modify and expand the interiors, building different palatial buildings until, in the twelfth century, the Almohads decided to make a complete reform, raising the interior with new and more significant palaces.
Creating a new system of walls for defensive purposes ended in the thirteenth century with the construction of the Torre del Oro.
Christian period: This stage occurs after Fernando III’s conquest of Seville in 1248, which did not alter the Alcázar of Seville in any way.
Later, by order of Alfonso X, the Gothic palace was built in the main area of the Alcazaba, and after the earthquake of 1356, Pedro I built the impressive Mudejar palace.
In 1477 the Catholic Monarchs came on the scene and visited the city after years without doing so. Queen Isabella, I decided to order a significant restoration after seeing the deterioration of the building.
Recent stage: Nowadays, the Royal Alcazar and the gardens were ceded to the city after a decree signed by Indalecio Prieto.
You should keep in mind that the Real Alcazar of Seville is one of the most visited sites in Spain, so it is highly recommended that you book your tickets in advance on the official website to guarantee entrance the day you want to visit.
What to see in the Real Alcazar of Seville
Before going into detail about the exciting things to see in the Alcázar of Seville, it is important to keep in mind the visit is not exactly fast if you want to visit all the most important rooms, as well as the gardens, which are some of the most spectacular in the country.
For this reason, we recommend you have at least 2 hours to make this visit, being 3 hours the optimal time to make the tour of the Reales Alcazares and gardens if you want to do it with tranquility.
- 1. Lion’s Gate
- 2. Hall of Justice and courtyard of the Plaster
- 3. Courtyard of La Monteria
- 4. Room of the Admiral and Casa de Contratación (House of Contracting)
- 5. Mudejar Palace or Palace of Pedro I
- 6. Gothic Palace
- 7. Pond of Mercury
- 8. Gardens
- 9. Bus stop
- 10. Patio de Banderas
Located in the part of the outer wall, this is the main gate of the Reales Alcázares, formerly also known as the Montería, since according to the story, this was the door used by the king when he went hunting with the monteros.
Behind the Lion Gate and just in front is the Patio de la Montería, separated by part of the inner wall area.
Hall of Justice
This room was formerly part of the Muslim palace and therefore retains part of its Mudejar style architecture, despite being built later by Alfonso XI, to make the work of space to meet the council, which was also done in the origins of the room.
Located right next to the Hall of Justice and with direct access, we find the Patio del Yeso of the late twelfth century, which is currently one of the few Almohad samples in the Alcázar of Seville.
Although restored and restructured on different occasions, the Patio de Yeso retains a small pool and several arches and columns.
Patio de la Monteria
This is the main courtyard as well as one of the most beautiful areas of the complex. Through it, you can access the Palace of Pedro I and the Casa de Contratación, which is located to the right. This was once the place where the king met with all his staff to go hunting.
The Admiral’s Quarters and the Casa de Contratación
In 1503 the Catholic Monarchs created the Casa de Contratación de Indias to control all the important and relevant documentation that had to do with trade, navigation of the country, and reception and shipment of goods.
Later, in 1717, the Casa de Contratación was moved to Cadiz, and in 1793 it disappeared.
Mudejar Palace or Palace of Pedro I
This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the Alcázar of Seville and one of its symbols. Built by Alfonso X in the fourteenth century, inspired by Andalusian architecture, it underwent several renovations, the most important being the one made under the order of the Catholic Monarchs.
Among the most important points and rooms of the Mudejar Palace are:
Portada: This is the main door and is located in the Patio de la Monteria.
Patio de las Muñecas: Although there is no written evidence, it is believed that this place was intended for the queen and could have this name because it was the place where the children were raised or some figures of girls that are in the area of the arches.
Prince’s Room: According to the writings of the time, this is the room where Prince John, son of Queen Isabella, was born.
Courtyard of the Maidens: This is one of the most beautiful rooms of the Mudejar Palace, and it highlights the pool that is in the central part in addition to the arches, beautifully decorated, that surround it.
Royal Bedroom: Also known as the bedroom of the Moorish Kings, this is another of the palace’s most beautiful rooms.
Hall of the Ceiling of Charles V: Although there is no written evidence, it is believed that this room served as a chapel by the inscription that can be seen on the door and if so, probably the Royal Alcove, which is right next door, would once have been the clergy.
Hall of Ambassadors: This is another of the best-known places of the Royal Alcazars and one of the most ostentatious and richly decorated.
In it, we can find a golden dome that is a real wonder of which there are only two similar in the country.
Built by Alfonso X in Gothic style, this is another of the places you can not miss on your visit to the Alcázar of Seville.
A highlight of the palace is the chapel, which used to be the chapel of St. Clemente, the Great Hall, also known as the Hall of the Vaults, and the Hall of Tapestries, which is decorated with six magnificent tapestries.
Visiting the Gardens – One of the best things to do in the Real Alcazar of Seville.
One of the most significant elements in the enclosure is the garden of the Alcázar of Seville, which is one of the oldest in the world. Without a doubt, walking through them is one of the things to do in the Royal Alcazar of Seville.
Although initially, they may seem small, we recommend you to have more or less an hour to walk through them because they have a great extension.
Among its most remarkable gardens and courtyards are:
Pond of Mercury: The name of this garden is related to the bronze statue of the god Mercury located in the center of the pond.
Garden of the Dance: Located next to the previous one, this garden is named after the two figures that once stood in it, a nymph and a satyr dancing, and that today have disappeared.
Gallery of Grutesco: This gallery is one of the gardens’ best-known points and is attached to the old wall.
Prince’s Garden: There are many beautiful gardens in the Alcazar, and this one is close to the Prince’s Room, about which we spoke earlier.
In addition to the above, we recommend you not to miss the Garden of the Ladies, the Pavilion of Charles V, the Lion’s Cener, the English Garden, the Garden of the Marquis de la Vega-Inclán, and the Garden of the Poets.
How to get to the Alcazar
The Alcázar of Seville is located in the Patio de Banderas, so it can be a perfect option to combine it with a visit to the Cathedral of Seville, next door and the Archivo de Indias, which is also located in the heart of the city.
You can get there in different ways, depending on your origin:
Metro: Line 1. Stop at Puerta de Jerez station.
Bus: Lines C4, C3, 5, 41, 42, C1, and C2. Stop at Jardines del Cristina station.
Car: When visiting the Reales Alcázares by car, we recommend you leave it in one of the closest public parking lots, such as Jardines de Murillo, Puerta de Jerez, Mercado del Arenal or Plaza Nueva.
Opening hours, prices, and tickets of the Alcazar of Seville
Hours: from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Price: The ticket price is 11.50 euros plus 1 euro if purchased online.
Tips for visiting the Real Alcazar of Seville
Here is a list of tips on visiting the Alcazar of Seville which we think are necessary, and which it is advisable to take into account before visiting:
- As we mentioned at the beginning of the post, it is essential to remember that there are many things to see in the Reales Alcazares. Therefore, it is advisable to have a minimum of two hours to visit.
- The entrance is through the Puerta de los Leones, and the entrance ticket can be carried on your cell phone or printed.
- If you are a resident of Seville, the entrance is free, but you must present supporting documentation.
- The general admission price does not include the Royal High Room located at the top of the Palace of King Don Pedro. You will have to pay 4.5 euros if you want to make this visit.
Is the Alcazar of Seville accessible?
The Alcázar of Seville has different facilities for people with reduced mobility, such as access without unevenness, wheelchair loans, ramps in areas with imbalance, and adapted toilets. It also has an elevator with blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hearing-damaged facilities.
Where to stay near Alcazar of Seville
Alcazar is located in the city’s heart, so staying in Seville is the best option for a visit. However, you can easily access it from other nearby cities by yourself or with organized tours.
If you are staying in the city, we leave you a selection of hotels, all of them with outstanding value for money and some articles that we believe will help you to organize your visits and routes through Seville:
Although there are many areas where you can stay in the city, we recommend you choose the most central area, near the Cathedral or in Barrio de Santa Cruz. Both are very close to most places of interest and have a broad and exquisite range of restaurants.
Among the best options, we recommend the Hotel Doña Lina and the Hotel Doña Manuela, both with an excellent location and unbeatable quality/price ratio.
If you have a higher budget or want to live a memorable experience, the Hotel Rey Alfonso X is another fantastic option as it is very well located, very close to the Cathedral, the Torre del Oro, and the Maria Luisa Park.