A Guide to Visiting the Royal Alcázar of Seville
The Royal Alcázar History
In the heart of Seville, the Royal Alcázar is one of Europe’s oldest palaces still in use. From the late 11th century to the present day, every inch of the Alcázar is adorned with beautifully decorative plasterwork, tiling and ceilings alongside the luscious gardens. Whilst it first started out as a Moorish fort, the Alcázar’s main decorative heritage comes from the Renaissance period.
One of the most visited complexes in the world, the Alcázar is a passage through time, displaying a historical evolution of the city of Seville. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, visits to the Alcázar remain popular as ever. In recent years the Alcázar saw fame acting as the Water Gardens of Dorne in TV series, Game of Thrones. Take a leisurely walk through the gardens in the footsteps of those in House Martell, seeing if you recognise some of its most famous filming locations.
Visiting the Royal Alcázar
As one of Seville’s most popular attractions, visiting the Alcázar can involve some extra planning. In peak season the lines can reach incredible lengths, often winding around the walls of the Alcázar. Visitor numbers are limited throughout the day so be sure to go early morning to avoid waiting in long queues, especially as it reaches the hottest temperatures.
The Alcázar has so much to offer and is much bigger than you first might expect. We could have stayed there all day exploring, there are so many hidden nooks and secret passages, which may otherwise be missed. We spent two hours walking around the Alcázar and took some time to sit and enjoy the gardens. Make sure you leave plenty of time to account for the queues and seeing the whole Alcázar during your visit to Seville, it’s not to be missed!
Skipping the Queues
If you definitely know what time and date you’d like to visit the Alcázar, I recommend booking online and skipping the queue. The tickets are the same price and just with a small service fee charge, giving you the advantage of no waiting time.
As an additional extra, you can visit the upper quarters of the Alcázar and see into the Royal quarters when there’s no visiting Royal family present. There is an additional small cost to see these and it can only be booked in advance, as they are guided tours.
The only tickets you can buy online on the day are from guided tour sites which sell them for a premium cost of often three times the normal entry price.
The Best Photo Opportunities
There’s no denying that the whole of the Alcázar in Seville is stunning, but as a keen photographer there’s certain points which really caught my eye…
At the busiest parts of the day people quite literally queue to stand here and get a photo! It’s one of the most symmetrical parts of the palace and incredibly ornate. Don’t be fooled by what you see on Instagram, there’s really just a crowd of people waiting behind them.
Winding your way indoors, here you’ll be greeted by the incredibly ornate entrance through to the main area of the palace. Inside are some of the most amazing tiles and beautiful stone carvings, every inch of this place is worthy of a photograph!
Pond of Mercury & Gardens
Take a walk along the upper levels of the gardens as you look out and survey your imaginary kingdom. Here’s a perfect spot to take solace in the shade from the sun and enjoy the peace of the gardens. Be sure to take a look below ground at the baths of Lady María de Padilla just off from the main gardens.