When going to Seville, you must visit Seville Cathedral and the Giralda Tower. The cathedral is a jewel of Gothic architecture and stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and religious significance.
Also known as Catedral de Santa María de la Sede, it’s recognized for its impressive Gothic architecture, guarding the tomb of Christopher Columbus, and the majestic Giralda Tower which still maintains Moorish features.
Visiting Seville Cathedral is a treasure hunt into the past and whether you go on a guided tour or explore it individually, you’ll be bewitched by its beauty.
In this post, I’ll go through everything you need to know to visit this masterpiece including a short recap of its history.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of those links, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
I’m Linn Haglund, the face behind Amused by Andalucia! I’ve been based in Andalucia, Spain for the last 10+ years, mainly in Seville and Costa del Sol while exploring the region extensively. Since 2022, I’ve slow-traveled in my van with my fiancee and dog, spending significant time in each place to truly get to know all the hidden corners of this exciting and diverse region. I’m here to help you uncover Andalucia too!
Table of Contents
Seville Cathedral history
Construction of the Seville Cathedral started in 1401, on the site of the Almohad Mosque after the reconquest, and was finished just over 100 years later.
This ambitious project was envisioned to showcase Seville’s grandeur and wealth after the Reconquista, a period marked by the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula.
Seville Cathedral’s architecture is a unique blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles and is the largest Gothic church in the world.
The cathedral’s grandeur was also a testament to the city’s economic prosperity during the Age of Discovery and materials brought back from the newly discovered Americas were used to build and decorate the basilica.
In fact, the Cathedral of Seville is home to Christopher Colombus’ tomb.
In 1987, the cathedral in Seville Spain was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the Real Alcazar and the Archivos de India.
La Giralda: Seville Cathedral’s tower
The iconic Seville Cathedral tower, Giralda, was completed in 1528. It was originally a minaret preserved as part of the mosque and later integrated into the cathedral’s structure.
“La Giralda” has turned into the most loved landmark among the locals and a climb to the top is essential with sweeping views of the city.
Instead of stairs, there’s a ramp up to the top and it was originally built like that to allow the muezzin to ride a horse to the top for the call to prayer, the same way the tower of Cadiz Cathedral was built.
The tower is 101 meters tall (331 feet) and can be seen from several places in the city. On the top, is the recognizable 4-meter high bronze statue, locally known as Giraldillo.
Seville Cathedral opening times
Monday To Saturday: 10:45-17:00
The last entry is one hour before closing time. Note that opening hours can change on religious holidays.
How long to visit Seville Cathedral
There is plenty to see in the basilica, and you can easily expect to spend 1-2 hours on a Seville Cathedral visit seeing the interior, the crypt, and the Patio de Los Naranjos.
Parking near Seville Cathedral
Located in the heart of the old town, it’s not ideal to drive to Seville Cathedral. However, if you choose to do so, I recommend leaving your car at Parking Avenida Roma, a parking garage at a 6-minute walk from Seville Cathedral.
If you don’t mind walking, I have a guide for free parking in Seville you can check out. These spots are ideal if you park for the day or even several days.
Hotels near Seville Cathedral
There are many hotels near Seville Cathedral as it’s located right in the historic center. Here are my top choices for every budget.
Hotel Alfonso XIII
an elegantly decorated 5-star hotel where you truly feel like a king and queen. Enjoy the outdoor pool on a hot day and have a drink at the bar.
beautiful Andalusian-style decor gives it a luxurious look. The staff is super friendly and makes you feel at home. Enjoy the bar and restaurant.
Hotel Doña María
a perfect location with a rooftop pool and bar where you can enjoy views of the Giralda Tower. This is a great value for money with this location.
Seville Cathedral dress code
The Seville Cathedral dress code is those of a Catholic place of worship. It is advised to cover your shoulders and wear skirts and shorts that cover your knees.
You also must take off any hat or caps when entering the cathedral.
How to visit Seville Cathedral and Giralda
First of all, your Seville Cathedral visit can easily be done individually by purchasing entrance tickets with an optional audio guide.
You can purchase tickets at the entrance but be prepared to wait until there’s a free time slot. It might not be available the same day, so I recommend booking this in advance online, especially in the high season. It makes it so much easier to plan your itinerary and avoid wasting time in long queues.
I highly recommend getting either the Seville Highlights Pass which includes skip-the-line tickets to the cathedral, Alcazar, and a Flamenco show, or the Seville Pass which includes the cathedral, Alcazar, Hop-on-hop-off bus, and an audio guide tour of the historic center.
Seville Cathedral tours
If you want to learn more from your Seville Cathedral visit, make sure you join a guided tour. There is so much precious to take in inside Seville Cathedral that it all makes a lot more sense with a guide to explain what everything is.
I highly recommend this tour because you get headphones so you can hear the guide for larger groups where it’s hard to stand close to the guide.
Going on a private tour is ideal if you travel in a group or just prefer the intimacy of having a guide to yourself. Personally, I find it a lot easier to ask questions and create a dialogue when I visit with a private guide.
Besides, it’s easier to ask your guide to take photos of you whether you travel solo or you want pictures with your whole party.
Seville Cathedral rooftop tour
In addition to visiting the cathedral and clock tower, I highly recommend joining a rooftop tour. Even though the tour is in Spanish, it’s totally worth it just for the views.
The climb to the top is strenuous and can be narrow in some places, so if you suffer from severe vertigo or claustrophobia you might reconsider it. I’ve always had a bit of both, but have not had any issues with getting to the rooftop.
Note that kids under 10 years of age are not allowed on the Seville Cathedral rooftop tours.
What to see in the Cathedral of Seville
- Main Altar (Retablo Mayor): Admire the grandiose main altar, a masterpiece of Spanish Baroque art, featuring a plethora of sculptures and intricate details.
- Giralda Tower: Climb the Giralda Tower for panoramic views of Seville. The tower was originally a minaret from the mosque that stood on the site before the cathedral.
- La Capilla Mayor: Explore the choir area, where you can find beautifully carved choir stalls and an impressive organ.
- Tomb of Christopher Columbus: Visit the tomb of Christopher Columbus, held aloft by four kings representing the kingdoms of Castile, León, Aragón, and Navarre.
- Royal Chapel (Capilla Real): Discover the Royal Chapel, a space containing the tombs of various Spanish monarchs.
- Sacristy: Explore the Sacristy, which houses a rich collection of religious artifacts, including paintings, sculptures, and vestments.
- Door of the Prince (Puerta del Príncipe): Admire the ornate facade of the Puerta del Príncipe, an entrance adorned with sculptures and intricate details.
- Chapter House (Sala Capitular): Visit the Chapter House, an octagonal room with a stunning domed ceiling and a collection of religious paintings.
- Treasury (Tesoro): View the treasures of the cathedral in the Treasury, which includes religious relics, gold and silverware, and precious stones.
- Patio de los Naranjos: Stroll through the orange tree courtyard, a peaceful space that provides a tranquil break from the grandeur of the cathedral.
- Organ: Seville Cathedral’s organ was built in the beginning of the 1900s and are in fact two twin organs beautifully set above the choir.
- Altar of the Immaculate Conception (Altar de la Inmaculada Concepción): Admire Seville Cathedral’s altar dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, featuring intricate sculptures and beautiful decorations.
- Crypts: Descend to the crypts beneath the cathedral, where you can find the remains of various bishops and archbishops. And not to mention, the tomb of Christopher Colombus.
- Door of the Conception (Puerta de la Concepción): Examine the details of the Puerta de la Concepción, one of the side entrances with impressive sculptures and reliefs.
- Museum of the Cathedral (Museo de la Catedral): Visit the cathedral’s museum to see a collection of religious art and artifacts from its long history.
- Epic things to do in Seville
- Where to stay in Seville
- Best boat tours in Seville
- How to get from Seville Airport to the city center
- One day in Seville
- Seville 3-day itinerary
- How to visit Seville Cathedral
- Free things to do in Seville
- How to get tickets for Seville Cathedral
- Seville in winter
- Fun day trips from Seville
- Day trip from Seville to Cordoba
- Towns near Seville to visit
- How to get from Seville to Malaga
Conclusion: Seville Cathedral Spain
Summed up, visiting the cathedral and Giralda in Seville is a must. Not only is it of historical importance, but it’s also an incredible architectural masterpiece.
Include a visit to the rooftop for epic views beyond the views from La Giralda. While it’s worth visiting the cathedral individually, going on a guided tour will add so much value to your visit. Nonetheless, it’s a great experience.