Things to do in Seville

The only guide you need to visit the Royal Alcazar in Seville

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To witness the grandeur and legacy of Spain, there’s no place better than the Royal Alcazar of Seville. Popularly known as Reales Alcázares de Sevilla in Spanish, the Alcazar is one of the most stunning complexes you will ever see. For centuries it was the centre of power in Andalusia; whispering legacies of several dynasties along its walls - from the Moorish to the Christians. Here’s us accounting everything about the fortress in 10 minutes; its long history of eleven centuries, things to see, insider tips and how to skip the long Alcazar Seville ticket lines.

Royal Alcazar Seville in a nutshell

Royal Alcazar Seville
Royal Alcazar Seville
Royal Alcazar Seville

Things to know

📍 Location:Seville
⏰ Suggested Duration: 3 Hours
☀️ Best Time to Visit:9.30 am-11.00 am
🎟️ Alcazar Seville ticket:€14.50
🚇 Closest Subway:Prado de San Sebastián

Alcazar Seville Hours

Open Monday - Sunday: 9: 30 am to 7 pm

Must-see Highlights

Patio del León
Patio de la Montería
Jardín de la Danza
Palacio de Don Pedro


Patio de Banderas, s/n,
41004 Sevilla, Spain
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Why should you visit the Royal Alcazar of Seville?

Seville Cathedral - The Door Of The Prince In The North Facade
The Royal Alcazar - Seville

Andalusia is a melting pot of cultures. Naturally, the Alcazar is a marriage of Christian and Moorish architecture. It is as dreamy as the names given to its various spaces; the Patio of the Maidens, the Room of the Prince, the Patio of the Dolls, the Hall of Ambassadors, the Gothic Hall of parties, the Hall of Tapestries, the Pond of Mercury, the Garden of Dance, the Garden of the Poets…

The walls are embedded with arabesques, calligraphy and geometric patterns, each representing an era. Inside the Alcazar, you’ll find a web of autonomous palaces. One such of Alfonso X’s gothic palace is now known as the patio of the Cruise. The aesthetic taste of Seville’s rulers is most striking in the Garden Of Dance, where fragrant herbs were planted to stimulate one’s senses - trees planted in a geometric pattern, ponds and fountains installed for their reflective, cooling air and soothing sound. Every room in the Alcazar tells a story of its own that can only be sensed when you’re physically there.

How to Buy Real Alcazar Seville Tickets?


Although the Royal Alcazar Seville is 39,000 square meters huge, the palace has a maximum capacity of 750 people at a time. This can make waiting lines lengthy, especially during the peak seasons.

Book Skip the line tickets online in advance

If waiting in queues is not your best flair, book your Royal Alcazar Seville Tickets online to save time and dime. The best part about booking online is that you receive instant confirmation, gives you skip-the-line access to the Alcazar, and you need not wait until the last day to score the ticket.

Sign up for a Guided Tour of the Alcazar of Seville

While exploring the palace on your own is a whole lot of fun, a guided Alcazar Tour Seville will give you the deepest insights that only a local would know. Here are the top picks of tours that also give you fast-track access.

Grab a Combo Guided Alcazar Seville Tour

Get to know the best of Alcazar Seville with the Alcazar Cathedral, Seville Walking Tour, access to the Flamenco Show, or La Giralda! Here are some awesome options to choose from if you want to appreciate Seville a little more personally.

Real Alcazar of Seville, Reales Alcazares or the Alcazar Palace?

Alcazar Seville is a palace of many names. So, let’s break it down.

Alcazar is a Spanish word that has its roots in Arabic, which means fort, castle or palace. The word Real in Real Alcazar of Seville is a Spanish word for royal and is the most popular name of the Alcazar. Reales Alcazares is the Spanish pronunciation of the same name, whereas Alcazar Palace is a commonly used term in the Iberian Peninsula for any Moorish fortress. However, any of these names will do in the Seville region to identify the Alcazar of Seville.

Thousand-year Alcazar Seville History - Under 10 seconds

Royal Alcazar Seville
The Royal Alcazar Seville - Garden Walkway

The Royal Alcazar Seville is the oldest palace in the world to still be in use. It became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978 and has since been an attraction house for people all over the world. You can trace back the origin of the palace to 712 when it was first occupied by the Moorish during the conquest of Seville. Although it was not exactly the way it looks today, it was nevertheless the place of Royal residency of the Spanish.

Fast-forward to the 12th century, the Almohad Caliphate controlled Seville and considered reconstructing the fortress, which is the palace as we know it today. Since then, the palace has undergone frequent changes including baroqueness, murals and ornamentation while keeping the Islamic art of the time intact. Today, the palace anchors various events for state officials and dignitaries.

Breaking down Alcazar Seville Architecture

Royal Alcazar Seville
The Royal Alcazar Seville - Garden Courtyard

In addition to the elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque design, you may notice what is known as Mudéjar in the Alcazar’s architecture. Mudéjar art is a fusion of Romanesque and Islamic architecture, especially noticeable in the Iberian Peninsula from the 12th to 16th centuries. The Patio de Yeso, the Sala de Justicia, the Patio del Crucero and the Patio de la Casa de Contratación are places where you will come across prominent Mudéjar patterns. The architecture of the palace is so captivating that the location for the Water Gardens of Dorne for the popular series Game Of Thrones was shot in the courtyards of Royal Alcazar Seville.

Alcazar Seville Highlights - What You Cannot Miss

The Alcazar would seem a vast space, but here is our collection of the best things you should not miss while you're exploring.

Royal Alcazar Seville
Puerta del León

Puerta del León means Lion’s Courtyard in Spanish and is rightly named so. The walls of the courtyard are some of the oldest in the Alcazar and can be dated back to the 12th century. Hall of Justice and Plasterwork Courtyard are on either side of the courtyard.

 Alcazar Seville
Patio de las Doncellas

Patio de las Doncellas or the Patio of the Maidens located in the heart of the Alcazar steals the show. In the lower storey of the Patio, you can find inscriptions that refer to Peter of Castile as a Sultan. It is ornamented with symmetrical arches, plasterwork and patterns of the era. You may have come across the Patio in several pop culture pictures such as the Kingdom of Heaven and the famous series, Game of thrones.

 Alcazar Seville
Los Baños de Doña María de Padilla

Los Baños de Doña María de Padilla loosely translates to “Baths of Lady María de Padilla”. It is located beneath the Patio del Crucero. This wonderful and photogenic bath belonged to María de Padilla, the mistress of Peter of Castile.

Royal Alcazar Seville
Salon de Embajadores

You can witness how the Moors ran their court in Salon de Embajadores also called Ambassadors Hall. This is an ancient throne room of Al-Mu'tamid of the 11th century. The ceilings and the access gates are the highlight of the room, which appears to be almost covered in gold.

Royal Alcazar Seville

The one thing you will notice wherever you are in the Fort is its tiles. They’re everywhere, in the Gardens, beneath the fountains, on the floors and in the walls. majolica and arista tiles make up the majority of the tile designs. As a trade centre for the Islamic world, you can come across geometric designs inspired by arabesque ornamentation.

The Magnificent Alcazar Seville Gardens

An Immersive Alcazar Seville Tour –  All You Must Know
The Royal Alcazar Seville - Palace Gardens

The Alcazar Palace complex is spread across 100,000 sqm, of which almost 75% belongs to the Alcazar Gardens. These fantastic landscaped gardens have over 20,000 plants from more than 187 species from across the world. The gardens held functional use as kitchen gardens plus offered aesthetic value. You can visit the gardens with a ticket to the Alcazar complex however there is no separate ticket just for the gardens. Some of the spaces you should visit are Troy Garden, Garden of the Flowers, The Dance Garden, Ladies Garden, Maze Garden, and Garden of the Poets.

Timings of the Gardens

  • From October to March: Everyday – 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
  • From April to September: Everyday – 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM

The Royal Apartments in Alcazar Seville

Real Alcazar Seville
The Royal Alcazar Seville - the Ambassadors' Lounge

The Alcazar Palace is the oldest Royal Palace still in use in Europe and the family lives in these quarters on the first floor of the palace. Known as the Cuarto Real Alto, this set of eleven rooms completes the private quarters of the family. These rooms are replete with personal effects of the royal family including paintings, tapestries, beautiful furnishings and more. No one is allowed to photograph these private apartments and a visit is the only way to view them!

How to access them?

To visit the Royal Apartments you require an additional ticket and it is open for a visit only until 13:30 daily. The rooms are open only in half-hour slots from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM, and only 30 people are allowed in one slot. You can purchase the Royal Apartment tickets while booking your general admission tickets or make a reservation at the dedicated desk as soon as you enter the complex. Note, admission to the royal apartments is strictly by time slot reservations and the time printed on your tickets are for entering the Royal Apartments, not the Alcazar complex.

The rules for the Royal Apartments are strict, you cannot bring in any luggage and there is a locker to place your stuff in, be ready with 1 Euro for the locker. Also, do not under any circumstances take photographs of the apartments.

Alhambra Granada vs Real Alcazar of Seville

Alhambra Granada

Ending with the eternal question. Alhambra or Alcazar?

A quick look at photographs of the Alhambra in Granada and the Real Alcazar of Seville and both seem similar, however they are quite varied in style. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the Alhambra is built in traditional Islamic style with little influence of European Christian art whereas the Alcazar is built in the contemporary mudéjar style which is a confluence of Moorish and Christian art.

The Alhambra is located on the outskirts of Granada and is expansive, covering a vast network of palaces and surrounded by the vibrant Generalife gardens. Whereas the Alcazar is more compact, located in the centre of Seville and has pretty yet small-scale gardens. A Skip the Line ticket of the Alhambra costs about €61 while a Skip the Line ticket tour of Alcazar costs about €32.

Both are excellent examples of Southern Spain’s historical heritage and you can choose either depending on the city you're visiting and time in hand.

To read more about visiting Alhambra Granada and getting last minute Alhambra tickets to this Moorish jewel, read on >>

Visiting Royal Alcazar of Seville

Getting there

By subway
The closest subway station is Puerta Jerez which is just 5 minutes walk from Alcazar.
By tram
The closest tram station is Puerta de Jerez just 2 minutes from the gates of the Palace.
By bus
Menéndez Pelayo is the closest bus station and is right in front of the palace.
By car
If you’re driving, take the de las Delicias road and turn into Prta de Jerez to reach Alcazar.

Alcazar Seville Hours

The Alcazar is open every day from 9: 30 am to 7 pm.

Best time to visit

The best season to visit Alcazar of Seville is during spring in March and April. The temperatures are lower and it is easier to spend time outdoors and enjoy the gardens without breaking into a sweat. It is also a great time to see the gardens in glorious bloom.

If you are visiting during the busy summer season, the best time to visit Alcazar Seville is to visit before 11 AM or after 3 PM. This way you will avoid the big tour groups as well as the humid heat of the afternoons.

Alcazar Seville Entrance

The main entrance for the visitors is through Lion’s Gate (Puerta del León) located towards the east of the fort. It leads you on to the Lion’s Courtyard (Patio del León). Refer to the Alcazar Seville map below to help you navigate the fortress.

Plan of the Alcázar of Seville

1-Puerta del León
2-Sala de la Justicia y patio del Yeso (cyan)
3-Patio de la Montería (pink)
4-Cuarto del Almirante y Casa de Contratación (cream)
5-Palacio mudéjar o de Pedro I (red)
6-Palacio gótico (blue)
7-Estanque de Mercurio
8-Jardines (green)
9-Apeadero (yellow)
10-Patio de Banderas

Handy tips for first-time visitors

  • Casa Palacio Madre de DiosTickets to Alcazar Seville are much more easily available in advance than other Palaces in Al-Andalus tickets. So, get your tickets in hand well before you leave for your trip.
  • The Sevilla Card gives you direct access to the Alcazar plus other attractions in the city like Seville Cathedral and the Giralda tower.
  • If you are exploring the Alcazar on your own, consider getting a map and an audio guide to help you through the self-tour.
  • The gardens are a no-miss because if blessed with good weather, you can watch peacocks.
  • If you want to explore the gardens in particular to the fullest, arrive early morning or late afternoon to beat the heat.
  • You can visit the Alcazar of Seville for free on Mondays. The monument is open from 6:00 to 7:00 PM (from April to September) and 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM (from October to March) for such free visits. However, you have to reserve your entry on the official website.
  • Washrooms are available off the Patio de la Monteria before entering the main Mudejar palace. It's close to the café, at the far end of the garden. There are two other restrooms within the palace complex.

Where to eat near Alcazar Seville?

After exploring the ancient realm of Seville for hours, your sore legs call for a break. And there is no better time to grab some authentic Al-Andalus snack or lunch. Here are our top picks of the endless eateries within 5 minutes from the royal fortress.

Tapas Sevilla
Realcazar Restaurante

Located just outside the entrance, Realcazar Restaurante is a classy restaurant that serves delicious Mediterranean and Spanish fusion. The location is convenient and the staff are hospitable.
Must eat: Tapas, Cod, Sardines

Arabesca Restaurant

Another classy option, Arabesca Restaurant, is a fine dining restaurant with Lebanese, Moroccan, Healthy, Middle Eastern, Arabic meal options to give you the taste of true Moorish palate.
Must eat: Lamb tajine, Tabbouleh, Falafel

El Rincon De Beirut

If you are on a budget and want to try Arabian influenced Spanish cuisine, El Rincon De Beirut is your place to go. The food is finger-licking good and the service is exemplary without burning a deep hole in your pockets.
Must eat: Moroccan mint tea, Plato Degustacion, chicken biryani

Cristina Bistro

If you’re looking for a casual dining option, head into Cristina Bistro. It's a small yet lovely restaurant that serves traditional Spanish cuisine with a twist.
Must eat: tapas, BBQ, Sherryjito

Where to stay near Alcazar Seville?

Seville has more to offer than what meets the eye. It would easily take a couple of days to explore the ancient city to the fullest, so here are some amazing hotels with a wonderful view that you should consider staying at.


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Royal Alcazar Seville Guide