Discover an Iconic Symbol of Seville on an Alcazar Seville Tour
Alcazar Seville offers a magnificent and striking blend of diverse cultures, religions, and influences. Each room or courtyard of the palace is rooted in history and has its own fascinating story to tell. The palace’s ornate Gothic and Moorish-style architecture features multiple chambers, intricate carvings, and beautiful stonework and craftsmanship. Be it the Lions’ Gate, the Courtyard of the Maidens, Patio of the Dolls, or the Hall of Ambassadors, each section of the palace has an intriguing history.
Read on to know how you can best explore this iconic attraction through an Alcazar Seville tour.
Why Take a Alcazar Seville Tour?
The Alcazar of Seville is one of the oldest and most popular tourist attractions in Seville, Spain. Take a look at why an Alcazar Seville tour is a great option for your visit!
Highlights Covered on Your Alcazar Seville Tour
Puerta del Leon
Also known as the Lions’ Gate, Puerta del Leon was built in the 12th century by the Almohads on Plaza del Triunfo and makes for quite a daunting and astounding main entrance to the Alcazar. It features a wide ceramic panel with an image of a crowned lion holding a cross. Built atop a tall maroon wall, the gate also features an arch and a Gothic script inlaid into the stone walls. The gate leads to Lion’s Courtyard or the Patio del Leon from where the guided tour begins.
Casa de la Contratacion
Founded in 1503, Casa de la Contratacion is also known as the Contractor’s Room and served as the meeting place for discussions on trade between Spain and American colonies. All major trade decisions and voyages were planned and finalized in this room, including Magellan’s circumnavigation of the world in 1519. The room now houses the stunning painting The Virgin of the Navigators, a must-see on your visit to Casa de la Contratacion in the palace.
Palacio del Rey Don Pedro
Built in the 14th century, the Palace of Don Pedro or Peter I is one of the most beautiful parts of the Alcazar Palace. It is a celebration of Mudejar art and is heavily influenced by the Moorish and Christian styles of architecture. Designed by Muslim architects due to the king’s strong friendship with Mohammed V, the walls and ceilings of the Palace of Peter I feature intricate patterns while the façade has a frieze with etchings.
Patio de Las Doncellas
Patio de Las Doncellas or the Courtyard of Maidens served as a waiting room for maidens before they began their duties for the day. There’s a myth surrounding the courtyard, which claims that the place was so named because the Moors demanded 100 virgins from the Iberian Christians as a tribute. The Courtyard features well-maintained gardens, a reflecting pool, Mudejar-style architecture highlighting tiles, and plasterwork with inlays from the 16th century.
Salon de Embajadores
Also known as the Hall of Ambassadors or the Throne Room, Salon de Embajadores was designed by Diego Ruiz and initially served as an administrative room. King Pedro also used it to receive important guests at the palace. Do not miss the gold-foiled dome, the balconies (used to spy on dignitaries who visited the king), or the intricate motifs influenced by Moorish designs. The hall, which is believed to represent heaven and earth, also hosted the wedding of Charles I and Isabel of Portugal in 1526.
Patio de Las Munecas
Previously a play area for children, Patio de Las Munecas or the Courtyard of the Dolls is one of the most private quarters of the Alcazar Palace. Designed for Queen Isabel II, the courtyard features intricate details, arches, plasterwork, and gossamer finishes similar to the architecture of Granada’s Alhambra.
Banos Dona Maria de Padilla
The Baths of Maria de Padilla were named after Maria de Padilla, the mistress of Peter of Castille. Located beneath Patio del Crucero, these baths originally served as a pool but have now been converted into rainwater tanks. It is believed that Maria de Padilla went to the baths to find some peace of mind. This place with an eerie ambiance also served as one of the locations for the shoot of the popular series Game of Thrones.
Also known as the Water Gardens of Dorne from the Game of Thrones series, the Alcazar Gardens houses over 20,000 plants and trees from across the world, beautiful ponds, and fountains that are a treat for sore eyes. Also, find exotic species of flora and fauna from South America. It is the perfect place to relax and soak in the lush greenery. The gardens are divided into several areas like the Maze Garden, Garden of the Poets, and Troy Garden.
Galeria del Grutesco
Designed by architect Vermonda Resa in the 16th century, Galeria del Grutesco or the Grotto Gallery is an extension of the Alcazar Gardens featuring a raised roof, columns creating porticos, and an adventurous maze for children. Built using volcanic stones and mock rocks, the gallery offers unparalleled views of the gardens and is a sight for sore eyes.
The Royal Apartments
Consisting of 11 rooms, the Royal Apartments now serve as the chambers of the royal family and can be accessed through a private visit. The apartments are made up of rare and elaborate furnishings, tapestries, and architecture influenced by the Moorish rule. Also, find an exquisite collection of paintings, books, and tapestries that adorn the walls of the apartments. These are private quarters of the royal family, which is why photography is strictly prohibited.
Guided Tours vs Non-Guided Tours
What to Expect on a Alcazar Seville Tour?
A visit to such a complex and iconic historical attraction can be overwhelming and a little difficult to navigate all by yourself. To help you explore Alcazar Seville more efficiently, we recommend opting for an Alcazar Seville guided tour because it includes a tour guide who knows the attraction and everything about it thoroughly.
Once you meet your tour guide at the decided point, you will be taken inside the palace and given a tour of all the major attractions that are worth a visit within the Alcazar. These include the Alcazar Gardens, the Royal Apartments, Patio de Las Munecas, Patio de Las Doncellas, Puerta del Leon, and many more. There is a lot to explore inside the palace and an Alcazar Seville tour offers an opportunity to do just that.
- We suggest that you book your tickets online and well in advance.
- Wear comfortable footwear because you will have to walk a lot inside the palace.
- Read up about the Alcazar Seville if you’re not taking a guided tour.
- The museum provides a locker room facility for a small fee in case you’re carrying large bags, luggage, or other carry-ons.
- The best time to visit the museum is in the early hours when the attraction opens or late in the day right before closing time.
- There’s a café at the Alcazar where you can grab a light meal and refreshments.
- There are washrooms near the café and at the far end of the garden.
- Photography is prohibited in certain sections of the palace. Therefore, watch out for the signs that signal the same.
- Pets, except guide dogs and therapy or assistance animals, are not allowed inside the Alcazar.
- Eating and drinking are allowed only in designated areas of the palace.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alcazar Seville Tours
A. Alcazar Seville tours costs €28.10 and above.
A. There are two types of Alcazar Seville tours available – Skip the Line Guided Tour of Royal Alcazar of Seville and Seville’s Alcazar, Cathedral and Giralda Guided Tour.
A. Alcazar Seville tours include access to all sections that are open to the public like the Alcazar Gardens, Galeria del Grutesco, Banos Dona Maria de Padilla, the Royal Apartments, Salon de Embajadores, and more.
A. Alcazar Seville guided tours are available in four languages – English, French, Italian, and Spanish. You can also choose a bilingual tour.
A. The Alcazar Seville guided tour covers all the major points of interest inside the Alcazar Seville including Puerta del Leon, Casa de la Contratación, Palacio del Rey Don Pedro, Patio de Las Doncellas, Galeria del Grutesco, and more.
A. It depends on the type of Alcazar Seville guided tour you book. The small group guided tour will have no more than 10 people while the other guided tours have a maximum capacity of 25 guests.
A. Yes. The Alcazar Seville tour is worth it because it’s the best way to explore this iconic heritage site and learn all about its history. The palace is a striking blend of diverse cultures and religions. Every nook and corner of the palace is rooted in history making it an interesting site to explore.
A. Yes. Children between 0-13 years of age and senior citizens above the age of 65 enjoy reduced ticket rates. Please carry a valid photo ID. Additionally, adults can enjoy up to 5% off on their Alcazar Seville tour tickets.