The Seville Cathedral
Activity: The Seville Cathedral. Bus Stop: Palos de La Frontera, but would highly recommend walking. Cost: 9.00 €/adult, 4.00 €/under 25, free for kids under 15 and free on Mondays (reserve in advance on their website). Hours: Mondays: 11:00-3:30, Tuesdays-Saturdays 11-5, Sundays 2:30-6pm. Longer hours in the summer.
This is an attraction I would highly recommend booking in advance because there is always a line! We did a walking tour through The Seville Cathedral and we loved it! This is the third largest church in Europe (St. Peter’s in The Vatican and St. Paul’s in London are both bigger). You can spot the distinctive bell tower from anywhere around the area! Per my Rick Steve’s Guidebook, the people who built it said they were going to make a cathedral so big that “anyone who sees it will take us for madmen.”
Though the size of the cathedral is hard to appreciate because it’s in the center of the city and surrounded by buildings, we really enjoyed our tour through the cathedral. Here were the highlights in the order you will see them: the recreation of the severed head of John the Baptist, Christopher Columbus’s tomb (the four giant guys holding a coffin), Spain’s crown jewels (in the treasury off to the right as you pass Christopher Columbus), the giant wall of golden Jesus’s telling the entire story of the New Testament, and of course the Giralda Bell Tower.
A little bit more about The Giralda Bell Tower. If you look at it closely, it looks more Muslim than Christian. In 1401 when they ripped down the mosque that used to occupy this site, they left the bell tower and the orange tree courtyard below it and then built the church around them. To climb the bell tower, go to the bottom left corner of the church (opposite where you came in). There’s an attendant that will check your stroller for you.
To get up the bell tower, you will have to climb 35 ramps and 17 stairs. The reason they are ramps because the guy who did the Muslim call to prayer used to ride a donkey up and down the ramps five times a day! No matter the reason, our toddler and his pregnant mama were very excited about climbing 35 ramps instead of hundreds of stairs.
When you get to the top, you will encounter about 1 million tourists cramming in to see the best view. We spent about 5 minutes at the top, then enjoyed descending slowly and pausing in each window enclave to see different views of the cathedral. There were less people and it was nice and cool.