How to Beat The Lines in Seville

This blog post was originally posted on July 23, 2015, and was updated on February 23, 2017.

Who wants to waste valuable sightseeing (and eating!) time stuck in a queue?

Most visitors come to Seville with the aim of seeing two main monuments – the Seville Cathedral and the Royal Alcazar Palace. Any other smaller museums and monuments are a bonus. But there is one big problem, especially in hot weather – the queues! Queuing for an hour in 40-degree temperatures is no one’s idea of a good time, so here are some tips on how to beat the lines in Seville.

Here are Devour Seville's handy guide to how to beat the lines in Seville!

Photo credit: Albert, Text overlay: Devour Spain.

Seville Cathedral

The good news is there is a way to beat the lines at Seville’s Cathedral, a little loophole in the system, and one that works. When you buy the ticket to Seville’s Cathedral, the ticket is a combined ticket for both the Cathedral and the Church of El Salvador, Seville’s second largest church which is also worth a look.

The thing is, while beautiful in its own right, the Church of El Salvador is a lot less popular. This means you can visit the Church of El Salvador first, purchase your ticket as a combined ticket for both monuments (make sure you specify you want the combined ticket, as entrance to just the Church is cheaper), then head over to the Cathedral and stroll past the long entrance queue straight to the door with your already purchased ticket. Not a bad trick at all!

Address: Avenida de la Constitución, S/N (Cathedral) Plaza del Salvador (Church of El Salvador)
Price: 9 euros

Hours Cathedral: Monday, 11:00-15:30; Tuesday to Saturday, 11:00-17:00; Sunday, 14:30-18:00.
Hours Church of El Salvador: July & Aug: Monday to Saturday, 9:30-16:00; Sept to June: Monday to Saturday: 11:00-17:00; Year-round: Sunday, 14:30-18:00.

The cathedral is one of Seville's most popular landmarks
Seville’s Cathedral – Photo Credit: Nigel’s Europe & beyond

Royal Alcazar Palace

It used to be that queues were not so long or frequent at the Seville Alcazar, but nowadays the Royal Alcazar is Seville’s other great monument, with lines to match! Long gone are the days that this spectacular monument was a hidden gem– partially to blame for the series you may have heard of called Game of Thrones — which uses the Alcazar quite a bit in filming!

Especially later in the day, you will often find a queue. Not really surprising, given that from January to June this year, the Alcazar experienced a record number of visitors, nearly 13% more than the same period the previous year.

Luckily, the Alcazar lines are easily skipped– especially if you book tickets in advance on the website, where for a service fee of 1 euro, you can buy your tickets ahead of time. 1 euro well spent, we say! This is especially useful if you wish to visit the Upper Royal Quarters of the Alcazar.

These are the reception rooms and common areas that are still used today by the Spanish Royal family when they visit Seville, and access to this area is only by a strictly limited audio guided, security escorted tour, that operates only during the mornings. We really recommend this additional visit inside the Alcazar as it really adds context to the current use of the building.

The Alcazar is one of Seville's most spectacular sights!
Inside Seville’s Alcazar Palace – Photo Credit: JohnPickenPhoto

Address: Patio de Banderas S/N
Price: 9.50 euros (general visit) + 4.50 euros (upper quarter) + 1 euro (online booking fee)

Hours: April to Sept: Monday to Sunday, 9.30-19:00; Oct to March: Monday to Sunday, 9:30 – 17:00.

If you want to experience the best of Seville, why not combine a fully guided tour of the Alcazar Palace with a delicious tapas crawl through the Jewish Quarter of Seville? All of this in the company of one of our passionate, local experts. Certainly sounds good to us, check out more details on one of our most exciting new products here!

Since 2005, Cyra has lived in the UK, Portugal and Spain working as a professional tour guide. But it was Seville’s charm that captured her heart, and she hasn’t looked back since moving to her favorite city for food, wine and quality of life.

54 Comment

  1. Mark Hayes says
    August 9, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Great tip about the Church of El Salvador. Saved us an hour in a hot queue today.

    Reply
  2. Vivian Wong says
    January 31, 2017 at 2:52 am

    Hi I’ve just come across your post during my research for an upcoming trip in March and this has been one of the more helpful posts! I’m having trouble prebooking Alcazar tickets on their website though. I had similar problems with online booking for the night tour of the Cordoba Mezquita although I’m now told by their staff that they are only open for advanced booking a month in advance. Is there a similar rule for Alcazar, would you know? I would very much like to see the Upper Royal Quarters.

    Reply
    1. Jaimie Keating says
      January 31, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Vivian,
      Thanks for your kind words about the post. There is no such policy when it comes to reserving tickets at the Alcázar, you should be able to reserve tickets now for a visit in March. I´ve checked the link to their website in this post (https://oberonsaas.com/realalcazarsevilla) and it seems to be working fine. Could it be a browser issue? Perhaps try it from another browser and see if there are any better results.

      Reply
  3. Mervyn Ang says
    February 4, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Hi, 1 question why when I try to book a Alcazar ticket , it ask for a timing pass ln the GENERAL TOUR . I thought it is only when you book Alcazar tickets + CUARTO REAL ALTO

    Reply
    1. Jaimie Keating says
      February 6, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      Hey Mervyn! You actually have to give a time for when you’re going to be at the Palace regardless of the type of tour you want to take.

      Reply
    2. Eve says
      March 9, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      I’m not wohtry to be in the same forum. ROTFL

      Reply
  4. jane says
    March 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I just need the web link please ASAP to book Cathedrahl in Seville on Tuesday 28th March and then Alczar palace Wednesday 29th and then if there is a link for the Mezquita for the Thursday 30th? please let me know soonest
    kind regards
    jane

    Reply
  5. Jane says
    March 17, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Need to book in advance cathedral Seville happy to do the best option to avoid queues..
    Then another day Alcazar
    Please advise where to book going on 27th March

    Reply
    1. Jaimie Keating says
      March 17, 2017 at 11:22 am

      Hi Jane,
      Here are the links to follow to book your tickets in advance,
      http://www.catedraldesevilla.es/
      https://oberonsaas.com/realalcazarsevilla
      Thanks!
      Jaimie

      Reply
  6. Martijn Dingemans says
    March 21, 2017 at 8:13 am

    We want to buy tickets for the Alcazar in Seville, but we can not print them. what shall we do?

    Reply
    1. Jaimie Keating says
      March 22, 2017 at 10:34 am

      Hi, Martijn, It is not necessary to print your tickets, you can show them on a smart phone or tablet. Jaimie

      Reply
  7. Kathryn says
    April 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you so much for your excellent blog post – it is very helpful! I was hoping you could help me with a question about the Alcazar Real online tickets. If we have an 11:00 timed entry ticket for the Royal Apartments, how early can we enter the Alcazar complex to look around prior to seeing the apartments? We would like to be there for when they open at 09:30 but cannot find any information on if they will allow us to enter the complex if our ticket for the apartments isn’t until 11:00. Also, if we go early, can we also pick up our audioguides early as well, and is there a time limit for how long you can keep the audioguides? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!

    Reply
    1. Jaimie Keating says
      April 6, 2017 at 11:47 am

      Hi Kathryn, thanks for reading our blog and for such nice comments. As far as we are aware, it is no problem to enter the complex before you assigned time to visit the living quarters, it certainly was this way previously. With regards the audio guides, you simply collect them when entering the Alzacar and then deposit them when you leave, there is no specific time limit on your use of them, so long as you stay within the normal opening hours, of course. I hope this helps and enjoy your time in Seville.

      Reply
  8. Mervyn Ang says
    April 16, 2017 at 4:01 am

    Hi
    I only have time to spend 1 day at Seville and intend to park at Parking Avenida Roma (expensive), I intend to visit Alcázar of Seville, Iglesia del Salvado, Seville Cathedral & Giralda & Plaza de España. Which place should I visit first? Going to the north to Iglesia del Salvado first or to start off with Alcázar of Seville. Seville Cathedral & Giralda open at 1100 – 1700 & Alcázar of Seville open at 0930 – 1900 . Do you know what is the average hours people spent in Seville Cathedral & Giralda & Alcázar of Seville?

    Reply
    1. Jaimie Keating says
      April 19, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Hi Mervyn,
      While the parking you’ve chosen is a bit more expensive, it is very well located. I think if you head to the Alcazar first to beat the queues (consider booking ahead online to ensure you walk straight in), you can then head to Iglesia del Salvador to make use of the combination ticket that allows you to skip the queue to the Cathedral. Then round off your day in Plaza de España. It’s a jam-packed day but you will enjoy some amazing sights! Each of the main sights requires at least 2 hours, from our experience. You won’t want to leave the gardens in the Alcazar – they’re truly spectacular! Hope this helped!

      Reply
  9. Mervyn Ang says
    April 20, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks for your info, my son would like to visit a spanish bull ring but not fond of watching a bull fight, I heard there is a bullring in Seville, Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla, may I know if it is possible to go to the bullring stand to have a view of the grand bullring arena.

    Reply
    1. Jaimie Keating says
      April 20, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Absolutely, you can do tours of the bullring where they explain a bit of the history of bullfighting and you get to see the arena itself, without seeing an actual bull fight. The visit to the bullring costs 8 euro and there are visits every 20 minutes or so from 9:30 – 21:00, unless there is a celebration on, in which case they stop doing visits at 15:00.

      Reply
  10. ANSHUL says
    May 11, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Great tip about skipping the line for Seville Cathedral. We saved hours of standing in long queue while it was raining and walked in like a boss!! 🙂
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Jaimie Keating says
      May 11, 2017 at 11:57 am

      We’re delighted to hear it, there’s no time for waiting in line, especially when there’s so much food and drink to enjoy in the city!

      Reply
  11. Flora Tan says
    May 23, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    How advanced can you reserve for Seville Cathedral? Any English website? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Hayley Salvo says
      May 29, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      You can use this website to book tickets in advance – http://www.cubiertasdelacatedral.com/ – but we would recommend buying a combo ticket in person at the Divino Salvador Church in Seville, which allows you to jump the longer line at the Cathedral!

      Reply
  12. Faye says
    July 15, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Hi, this is a great post! I made a booking for the General Tour + CUARTO REAL ALTO on the booking website you suggested just then but the e-ticket that was sent to me said the ticket was for the CUARTO REAL ALTO tour only. I thought that ticket included a general tour of the Alcazar too? Or do I need to buy a separate ticket for that? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Hayley Salvo says
      July 18, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Faye,
      From the booking website, you would select “Events” and choose “General tour + Cuarto Real Alto” then hit the purchase button. From there you will be taken to the next tab to select your date and time. Next, you’ll choose how many ticekts you want and hit the “next” button and finally you’ll be taken to the last tab where you will select if you are buying a general addmission ticket or if you have any applicable discounts (for children, retirees, etc.). On this final tab is where you will see the option “Combined Alcázar + Cuarto Real Alto” which shows a general admission price of 14€. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      1. Faye says
        July 18, 2017 at 4:17 pm

        Thanks Hayley! I’m also interested in getting the combined ticket at the Divino Salvador Church – is it open in August though? I couldn’t read their website which was in Spanish. Thanks!

        Reply
        1. Hayley Salvo says
          July 24, 2017 at 3:17 pm

          Open in August!

          Reply
  13. Sheila Wray says
    July 16, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Hi
    I see that it is only 2 euros for retired people in The Alcazar. Does this apply to people from all countries or just Spain?

    Reply
    1. Hayley Salvo says
      July 18, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Hi Sheila,
      Any person from any country over the age of 65 can get the retired persons’ discount, with a valid ID!

      Reply
      1. Lisa Okamoto says
        March 2, 2018 at 4:17 am

        I hope this is still true as I just purchased 4 retired Alcazar tickets. Discovered the Alhambra only allows the discount rate for EU members. Great tips and answers on your site. Thank you.

        Reply
  14. Sara says
    August 28, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Hi, thanks for the information. I have a question about the lines…i have read here that it is more crowded in the afternoon and read someplace else that it is more crowded in the morning…any insight?

    Reply
    1. Hayley Salvo says
      August 30, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Hi Sara,
      If you want to get a real jump on the lines, we’d recommend being the first in line when the monument you wish to visit is just opening!

      Reply
  15. Katherine Lozinak says
    September 26, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Thanks for the great information! I’m trying to buy advance tickets for the cathedral and the date I want are in red. Any reason why?
    http://www.cubiertasdelacatedral.com/calendario-catedral/2017-10

    Reply
    1. Jaimie Keating says
      September 28, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Hi, Katherine. The dates in red may indicate there are no more advanced tickets available for that day. If you head to the Iglesia de Salvador church though you can skip the queue and don’t pay any extra than a normal Cathedral ticket, perhaps that would be the best option if the online site won’t allow you to purchase in advance. Glad to hear you found the info useful, enjoy your trip to the city!

      Reply
      1. Katherine Lozinak says
        September 28, 2017 at 9:46 pm

        Thanks!

        Reply
  16. Gabi says
    September 27, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Just checked both options for the palace and the cathedral – work perfecty! We skipped two very long lines. Thank you for the excellent advice!

    Reply
    1. Jaimie Keating says
      September 28, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Hi, Gabi. I’m so happy you were able to make use of the insider info, I hope you enjoyed visiting both monuments!

      Reply
  17. Jovin says
    September 28, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Hi, from the Alcazar website it mentioned that there is free admission on Monday.
    Is the free admission allowed enter the whole palace or only certain sections of the Alcazar
    Therefore if i pay a visit on Monday, shall i still buy the entrance ticket in advance?

    Reply
    1. Jaimie Keating says
      September 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Hi, Jovin. The free entry on Mondays only applies to the last opening hour of the Palace. As we are moving to October, the winter hours kick in and so the free hour for the Alcazar is from 16:00-17:00. With the free entrance you can enter all the Palace but you will have just one hour to visit it. You can still reserve a ticket online for the free period in order to skip the queue, just click on the ‘Lunes. Entrada Horario Gratuito’ link on the ticket purchase screen. Enjoy the Alcazar!

      Reply
  18. Katherine Lozinak says
    September 28, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    I grab a free tickets for Monday October 9th at 16:00. There were also tickets for 17:00…. If they are letting people in at 17:00 would I be able to stay longer than one hour?

    Reply
  19. Dianna Ang says
    December 12, 2017 at 5:23 am

    Hi, thanks for your post. Greatly appreciated. Just tried to secure tickets in The Alcazar for January 2018. Not sure if there is a problem on the website as it doesn;t allow any tickets to be booked in any months for 2018. Whenever you click on a certain date for 2018 it will advice that there are no scheduled passes for any of the dates. Does this mean that it has been booked out fully? Unsure if it applies to everyone visiting the site now or just a browser issue for mine – although I tried using different browser to book to no avail.

    Reply
    1. Jaimie Keating says
      December 12, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      Hi, Dianna. Don’t worry, it’s nothing to do with your browser or the number of tickets left. Each year, online reservation for Alcazar tickets only opens the 1st of January, so you should be able to reserve a ticket online from the 1st onwards. I hope this helps and thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  20. Audrey says
    April 15, 2018 at 4:27 am

    Thanks for the great tips. We were only able to get 13:00 tickets for the Alcázar Cuartos Reales for the day we visit, but can we hope to be able to view the rest of the palace early beforehand. Can we expect to be allowed to enter as early as 9:30 when they open? I’m hoping so. It’s a bit confusing that they have timed entry for the general tickets, but only have the Cuarto Reales time given on that ticket and don’t specify how early we can arrive for general entry. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      April 23, 2018 at 11:57 am

      Hi Audrey! We’re not 100% sure but we do believe that you can enter the Alcazar at any time, and just have to visit the Royal Quarters during the assigned time. Enjoy!

      Reply
    2. Audrey says
      May 15, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      We had Cuartos Reales tickets for 13:00, and indeed they let us into the Alcázar shortly after the 9:30 opening. We went to the middle line which was far shorter than the right line. There were a lot of people waiting so you kind of have to go to the front and then work back to find the end of the line of people with tickets already.

      Reply
  21. Maxine says
    May 12, 2018 at 4:06 am

    Hi! I came across your blog while researching for our trip to Spain and find it very informative. We were able to book the Alcazar Cuartos Reales tickets with audio but upon checking out and payment, I found that the price indicated did not include audio. Would you know if it is possible to rent audio guides when we get there? Or do the tickets include audio even if the price do not reflect this? Not sure if my understanding was that audio is only for the Royal Apartment portion or includes the whole Alcazar. On the site, its inidicated that audio is for 5 euros.

    thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      May 15, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      Great question, Maxine! Though we aren’t sure, we imagine you could get audio guides once there if it turns out that your tickets do not include them. You’ll have to let us know how it turns out!

      Reply
  22. Audrey says
    May 15, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Yes, as soon as you enter, you can pay for and pick up the audio guides, currently €5 each. At the Cuartos Reales upstairs, they give you a different audio guide just for that section. We had the Cuartos Reales tickets and it did not include the downstairs audio guides so we purchased them upon entry.

    Reply
  23. Chris Rider says
    July 15, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Hi there,
    This a great blog very informative, I wonder if you can answer this question? I have purchased online combined tickets for the cathedral, they are timed for 12.30, can we also enter earlier if we get there sooner than this? Excellent info again, kind regards Chris

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      July 17, 2018 at 11:06 am

      Hi Chris! We’re not sure for the Cathedral, but know that for the Alcazar, you can get in 15 minutes before the time on your ticket, so you could try that at the Cathedral as well!

      Reply
  24. August 20, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks for the useful information about the Cathedral. I have been looking on-line for tickets for Alcazar and see that “Retired” people can get in cheaper. We are 63 & 65, will we need proof of our age? What age is “Retired” in Spain? Looking forward to our trip in September.

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      August 20, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      Hi Mena! If you buy the “retired” tickets, do come prepared to show some kind of documentation. The age of retirement in Spain in 2018 is between 65 and 66 years. We’ve searched all over the Alcázar page and have seen that student and retiree tickets require accreditation, but there don’t seem to be any details on what kind of accreditation or what age they accept as retired. If you guys go for it, let us know what you find out!

      Reply
  25. Maya says
    September 1, 2018 at 9:09 am

    I tried to buy tickets online for the Alcazar but something seems to be wrong with their site. A full ticket is 11,50 but when i press “buy” the price turns into. Same thing happens to all the other tickets, they start with 11,50 plus the normal price!! So it’s impossible to buy online.

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      September 3, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      Hi there Maya! The website was recently updated. If you are interested in a general visit, the ticket is 11.50€ but includes a 1€ online processing fee. You’ll want to scroll down to “Visita General” and on the second page choose “entrada general” and the number of tickets you’ll need. The next page allows you to choose the day of your visit and then finally, the available times will pop up! All that’s left is to make payment. We hope that helps!

      Reply
  26. Simon says
    September 15, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Trying to book cathedral tickets- can’t book because no option to enter we’re from the UK, every other country! And when we try Alcazar, every time we select general ticket the price goes from 11.50 to E18.50 not having much luck!! Any ideas.

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      September 18, 2018 at 6:17 pm

      Hi Simon! For the UK, select “Reino Unido.” For the Alcazar, the general entry ticket is 12.50€ (11.50 + 1€ online processing fee). You can find that one under the section “General Tour” (third one down). We just tested it and the price stayed at 12.50€ for us!

      Reply

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