16 Jan 20 Secret Spots in Sevilla
Seville, Andalusia’s capital, is unarguably a beautiful and majestic city. From its imposing Gothic Cathedral to the incredible Royal Alcazar, the landmarks of Sevilla are absolute true gems.
Today, we’d like to share with you some of the best secrets spots in Seville. You know that at Just Explore, we pride ourselves in always looking beyond a location’s main attractions and allowing our guests to discover and experience its true essence by going off the beaten path.
Ready to discover some hidden gems in the vibrant city of Sevilla?
Churches in Sevilla
San Luis de Los Franceses
One of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Seville, San Luis de los Franceses (known simply as San Luis) is an extravagantly decorated circular church in the Macarena district. The church of San Luis was completed in 1730 and is dedicated to King Louis IX of France, cousin of King Fernando III of Castile and Leon. Don’t miss: the altarpiece by Duque Cornejo and the gorgeous paintings on the dome and the vault
Address: Cale San Luis, 37
Capillita de San José
Another fabulous example of Sevillian Baroque architecture and despite its reduced size, it is one of the churches in the city with most Baroque ornamentation. Don’t miss: The truly monumental main doorway. This building truly is one of the best secret spots in Sevilla, as you won’t find it so easy, unless you know about it… One of our favourite Sevilla secret spots!
Address: Calle Jovellanos, 10
Santa Maria La Blanca
A recent restoration of the building revealed it as the only church in Seville with remains of three religions. Formerly a mosque, it was made a synagogue on the orders of King Alfonso X in 1252, and was then consecrated as a Christian temple in 1391. Don’t miss: the paintings by Murillo and images of Ntra. Señora de las Nieves and Cristo del Mandate
Address: Calle Santa Maria la Blanca, 5
Markets & Unique Shops in Sevilla
Sevilla Soho Benita
If you’re looking to see past Sevilla’s classic persona and uncover its more alternative side, this is the place to go. On the outskirts of the Alfalfa neighbourhood, this unique collection of around 20 independent fashion shops, hotels, restaurants and bards covers six streets (Golfo, Perez Galdos, Don Alonso El Sabio, Ortizo de Zuniga, Santillana and Jose Luis Luque).
This hipster mini barrio is a constantly-changing scene, crammed with colourful street art, books shops and boutiques. This thriving artisan community of local merchants and craftsmen is not to be missed on your next trip to Sevilla! One of our favourite hidden gems in Sevilla!
Mercadillo historico del Jueves (Calle Feria)
Every Thursday, the central thoroughfare of the Feria barrio comes alive with Seville’s largest and most colourful flea market. This hoarder’s paradise has been a staple of the city’s street life for as far back as many locals can remember and is a great place to spend a Thursday morning, even if you don’t end up buying anything.
This Thursday market’s origins can be traced as far back as eight centuries! This “medieval souk” manages to keep up with modern times. If you’re looking to find some of your own hidden gems to bring back home with you, this is most definitely the place.
Address: Calle Feria
This covered market probably has the fanciest roof in all of Spain, if not Europe…The giant wooden structure that towers over is known as Las Setas (‘The Mushrooms’) due to the fungi-like shape of its canopies. The space beneath is home to some impressive Roman remains that were discovered during the building construction, as well as a superb food market selling a huge variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and meat.
That’s not really what you come to Mercado de la Encarnacion for though, it’s more about combining a little food shopping with a stroll around the rooftop walkway, which offers amazing views of Seville. One of our favourite Sevilla secret spots!
Address: Plaza de la Encarnación
Convento Madre de Dios
Here, you’ll find the most delicious convent-produced sweets we highly recommend the muffins (magdalenas) and trust us, better take two packs, the first is sure to not last you the afternoon! One of our favourite hidden gems in Sevilla!
Address: Calle San Jose, 4
Museums & Art Galleries in Sevilla
Bellver Museum (Casa Fabiola)
This recently inaugurated art museum is housing the collection of Mariano Bellver and his wife Dolores Mejías, Casa Fabiola is actually an excellent choice for the collection, and can be found opposite the upper end of Mateos Gago, on the edge of the old Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz, in the heart of the historic centre.
This late 16th century Casa Palacio built around a typical courtyard with decorative tiling, marble columns and floors, takes its name from the novel Fabiola, written by Nicholas Wiseman, who was born in the house in 1802 and went on to become the first Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. The Bellver collection is housed in the rooms around the courtyard on the ground and first floors, and consists of 567 pieces. The true work of art however is the building itself. Don’t miss: the ceilings in each room. One of our favourite hidden gems in Sevilla!
Address: Calle Fabiola, 5
CAAC-Andalusian Contemporary Art Centre
This museum is located in the Cartuja de Santa María de las Cuevas Monastery, which housed Christopher Columbus’ remains for thirty years! The centre presents an overview of the artistic trends that developed in Spain from the mid-20th century through to the present day. The collection includes pieces by Luis Gordillo, Candida Höfer, Rebecca Horn, Pablo Palazuelo, Zobel, Joseph Kosuth and Louise Bourgeois, amongst others.
The museum also places special emphasis on the history of contemporary Andalusian creativity, and its relation with other Spanish and international artistic movements. The perfect addition to a visit to the museum itself is the chance to take in the natural beauty of La Cartuja gardens. Inside the gardens, you will find an ombú tree that is said to have been planted in the area by either Christopher Columbus himself or his son Hernando– worth a visit!
Address: Avenida Americo Vespucio, 2
Fine Arts Museum
The second gallery in Spain! After the Prado Museum in Madrid, this is perhaps the most important art museum in Spain. You will find works of art from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque era and up to the 20th century, mainly Spanish artists such as Francisco da Herrera, Murillo, El Greco, Velázquez, José García Ramos and Francisco Zurbarán, but also from foreign painters such as Jan Brueghel l’Ancien, Pieter Aertsen and Cornelis de Vos. One of our favourite Sevilla secret spots!
Address: Plaza del Museo, 9
Palaces in Sevilla
Condesa de Lebrija
This 16th-century mansion set around a beautiful Renaissance-Mudéjar courtyard, blends Roman mosaics, Mudéjar plaster work and Renaissance masonry. Its former owner, the late Countess of Lebrija, was an archaeologist; she remodeled the house in 1914, filling many of the rooms with pieces collected from her travels. One of our favourite Sevilla secret spots!
Address: Calle Cuna, 8
Palacio de Dueñas
This 15th-century palace was the favorite home of the late Duchess de Alba, one of Spain’s most prominent aristocrats. Renaissance in design, featuring beautiful gardens and an arcaded courtyard. Inside, you’ll find paintings and tapestries, as well as the Duchess’ collection of Semana Santa, bullfighting and football memorabilia (she was a Betis fan). A plaque commemorates famous Spanish poet Antonio Machado, who was born here in 1875. One of our favourite hidden gems in Sevilla!
Address: Calle Dueñas, 5
The Venerable Hospital is located in a historic 17th-century Baroque building, designed by the architects Juan Domínguez and Leonard de Figueroa. Currently, it houses the Velázquez Center, dedicated to the famous painter Diego Velázquez.
Address: Plaza de los Venerables, 8
The Roman City Of Italica
Itálica was the first Roman town in Spain, founded in 206 BC. It was the birthplace of the 2nd-century AD Roman emperor Trajan, and of his adopted son and successor Hadrian. What remains of those times are broad paved streets and ruins of houses built around courtyards of beautiful mosaics. Itálica also contains one of the biggest of all Roman amphitheaters (seating 20,000 spectators). The most notable houses are the Casa de Los Pájaros (House of the Birds) and the Casa del Planetario (House of the Planetarium), with a mosaic depicting the gods of the seven days of the week. One of our favourite Sevilla secret spots!
Bars & Restaurants in Sevilla
Artsy and relaxed, this slow-food restaurant in the Boho neighborhood of la Macarena serves dishes which highlight locally-sourced organic produce. Don’t miss: The duck rice, the house specialty. The wine list is also excellent with a strong selection of Andalusian reds, white and Sherries.
Address: Calle San Luis, 50
La Casa del Tesorero
This wonderful Italian restaurant is also a historical jewel; located on the premises of the former Royal Mint, the restaurant’s decor has preserved the building’s original 16th century layout of the building as well as various historic items which are on display throughout the place. One of our favourite hidden gems in Sevilla!
Address: Calle Santander, 1
Bar El Comercio
If you’re looking for authentic Sevillian flavors, this lovely café is the place to be. Established in 1904, Bar El Comercio has become a popular spot for breakfast and brunch. Walking into this bar is like being transported back in time, very little has changed in over a century and the interior still displays decorative tiles and vintage display cabinets. Brunch includes tostadas, ensaladillas and their celebrated churros.
Address: Calle Lineros, 9
Unique Experiences in Sevilla
Get active and have fun while enjoying the most beautiful views of Seville from a unique and different perspective; from a kayak on the legendary Guadalquivir River. In our opinion, this is the most enjoyable outdoors experience to discover Sevilla! One of our favourite Sevilla secret spots!
Ceramic is one of the biggest traditions in Seville, the whole city is covered in it! Why not discover the heart of this art, see where it´s all done and learn to do it yourself!
If you want to explore your artistic side and learn about the history and tradition of Sevilla’s pottery and ceramics, we invite you to attend any of the different pottery whorkshops that our local craftman can offer. One of our favourite Sevilla secret spots!
Flamenco dance lessons
Of course Sevilla is synonymous of Flamenco. You can go beyond the experience of attending a flamenco show and take proper lessons to learn the basics on how to dance it. One of our favourite places in Sevilla is the Museo del Flamenco, where you can take an introductory flamenco class with one of their teachers. They have been part of the Ballet Cristina Hoyos and the Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía, One of our favourite hidden gems in Sevilla!
Ready to plan your next trip to Spain? Here you have our insider tips:
For a first visit to Spain we highly recommend to add Madrid and Barcelona and do a 9 days itinerary to cover the major cities of Spain. Together with Sevilla, this tour would make a nice mix of architecture, culture, gastronomy and local traditions, Check our previous posts: 24 Secret Spots in Barcelona and 24 Secret Spots in Madrid to not miss any of our recommendations.