There are some magnificent day trips from Seville which you can arrange by means of public transport or by booking organised tours. The most popular full day excursions from Seville are to Granada where you can visit the Alhambra Palace, to Cordoba to see the Mezquita and to Jerez de la Frontera for a performance at the at the Royal Andalucian School of Equestrian Art.
Jerez de la Frontera: Take a Sherry Tour
Just 90km south of Seville is the charming city of Jerez de la Frontera which is best known for its sherry bodegas. Most of the household names from the world of sherry are based here or in the nearby towns of El Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. These three towns form what is known as the ‘Sherry Triangle’. Whilst most of them offer tours and tastings it is the González Byass bodega, producers of Tío Pepe sherry, which is the most visited by visitors on day trips from Seville. Sandeman, Álvaro Domecq and Harveys are some of the other well known wineries in Jerez de la Frontera which offer tours of their bodegas.
Another major attraction in Jerez is the renowned Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art. Founded in 1973, the school aims to preserve the tradition of classical dressage and the purity of the Andalusian horse breed. Visitors can watch these magnificent horses demonstrate their graceful steps, jumps and reverential dances in twice-weekly shows at the school’s arena. Event tickets often sell out weeks in advance so bes ure to book well ahead.
How to Get from Seville to Jerez de la Frontera
Getting to Jerez de la Frontera from Seville
You can take a day trip from Seville to Jerez de la Frontera by train from Santa Justa or San Bernardo railway station. The journey just over an hour. On arrival you’ll need to take a taxi to the sherry bodegas or the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art which are about 2.5km away from the train station. To make life easier it’s probably worthwhile taking an organised day trip to Jerez de la Frontera from Seville which generally include the horse show (with tickets) and a visit to one of the sherry bodegas.
Córdoba: Visit the Mezquita
After all these years in Spain, Córdoba remains one of my favourite places to visit and you really should try to include it in your itinerary if at all possible. Located 140km north-east of Seville its top attraction is the magnificent Mezquita (Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba) which is one of the greatest works of Moorish architecture in Spain. The red and white striped arches of its interior, the ornate mihrab and the external courtyard filled with orange trees are highlights of the Mezquita which reflects Córdoba’s history as the 10th century capital of Islamic Spain.
Beyond the Mezquita you can walk across Córdoba’s exquisitely preserved Roman bridge, wander the streets of the old Jewish quarter with whitewashed patios covered with geraniums and explore the beautiful gardens of the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos. You’ll also find some excellent tapas bars and restaurants in Córdoba which serve local specialities such as salmorejo and rabo de toro (oxtail stew).
How to Get from Seville to Córdoba
Getting to Córdoba from Seville
There are high speed AVE trains which connect Seville’s Santa Justa railway station with Córdoba in about 40 minutes although you’ll find the AVANT service cheaper and only a little slower. There are also buses from Seville to Córdoba which depart from the Prado de San Sebastian bus station in Seville. They offer the cheapest option but take around two hours to get there. Alternatively, you can book an organised day trip from Seville to Córdoba which takes about 1½ hours each way and includes an English speaking guide for visiting the Mezquita.
Visit Carmona: An Overnight Stay Between Seville and Córdoba
If you’re driving around this part of the world in a rental car and would like to find a place to stay outside the main cities then I’d strongly suggest an overnight in Carmona. This beautiful town is located some 30km east of Seville, just off the main road to Cordoba. It is home to some lovely churches and has a marvellous unspoilt atmosphere. Highly recommended for an overnight stay is the historic Parador de Carmona, otherwise you’ll find a range of charming hotels in the town.
Cádiz: Ancient Port City
Cádiz lies some 120km south of Seville on a peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean.. Founded around 1100 BC it is believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in western Europe. With this 3,000 years of history, Cádiz has many architectural sites established by the many civilizations who have settled here including the Phoenicians, Romans and Moors.
A good place to start your day’s sightseeing is the 16th-century Plaza de San Juan de Dios which is at the heart of the historic centre. From here you can easily walk to all the city’s main attraction including the magnificent Cádiz Cathedral with its golden domes overlooking the Bay of Cádiz. For a unique view of the city you should pre-book a visit to the fascinating Torre Tavira which is an 18th-century watchtower with a camera obscura offering vistas of the main sights and city beaches.
Getting to Cádiz from Seville
How to Get from Seville to Cádiz
There are frequent train services from Sevilla-Santa Justa and Sevilla-San Bernardo to Cádiz in approximately 1 hour 40 minutes. The route includes stops in Jerez De La Frontera and Puerto De Santa María if you’re planning some rail tourism in the region. There are also several daily bus services to Cádiz departing from the Prado de San Sebastián bus station which take about 1 hour and 45 minutes. If you have a hire car it’s an easy drive south along the E-5 motorway which takes around 1 hour 20 minutes. A good alternative for day trips from Seville is to book an organised tour to Cádiz which allows you to make the most of your time in the city.
Granada: Visit the Alhambra Palace
Granada is home to the spectacular Moorish palace complex of the Alhambra which is Spain’s most visited tourist attraction. It lies 250km east of Seville beneath the snow capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains. If you’re travelling independently you’ll need to plan ahead and reserve timed-entry tickets for the Nasrid Palaces which are the main attraction of the Alhambra. You’d also be advised to book a tour of the complex which takes around 2½ hours and includes visits to the the Nazaries Palaces, Charles V Palace and the gardens of the Generalife.
Beyond the Alhambra Palace there are many other attractions in the city including the Cathedral of Granada and the historic Albaicín neighbourhood. This medieval quarter with its historic buildings, white houses and hidden plazas is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Look out for the Mirador de San Nicolás for panoramic views over the Alhambra Palace.
Getting From Seville to Granada
There are trains from the Santa Justa railway station in Seville to Granada which take 2½ to 3 hours each way. Bus services depart from the Plaza de Armas bus station and take around 3 hours. On arrival in Granada the bus station is some distance from the historic centre so you’ll probably need to take a taxi.
Considering the day return travel times between Seville and Granada it really would be a shame to spend such a limited time in this city. Therefore, we’d suggest that you stay in Granada for a few nights or if time is limited you should take an escorted tour from Seville to Granada which includes a visit to the Alhambra Palace and the city’s other main attractions allowing you to avoid wasting unnecessary time on public transport. If travelling independently be sure to book your Alhambra Palace tickets well in advance as they sell out frequently.
How to Get from Seville to Granada
Ronda: Mountains of Andalucía
The mountain town of Ronda lies 130km south-east of Seville. Whilst not the easiest of places to get to, the route travels through some stunning Andalucían countryside. It is probably the most scenic of all day trips from Seville. The town is dramatically located above the 98 metre deep El Tajo gorge and surrounded by the mountains of the Serranía de Ronda.
On arrival you should head for the Puente Nuevo bridge which overlooks the gorge. From here you can stroll to the Plaza de Toros de Ronda which is one of Spain’s oldest bullrings in Spain. Bullfights are still held here during the Feria de Pedro Romero in September. The rest of the town is filled with historic monuments dating back to Ronda’s Moorish past and some fascinating museums. There are some excellent tapas bars and traditional restaurants which are ideal for a typical mountain lunch.
Getting to Ronda From Seville
The best way to get to Ronda from Seville is by car which takes just over 2 hours following the A-375 road. Ideally you’d stop overnight in Ronda on the way back to Málaga Airport or as part of a driving tour of Andalucía. Public transport to Ronda from Seville is quite tricky. There are no direct trains so you’d need to travel from Sevilla-Santa Justa to Antequera-Santa Ana where you’d need to change train. This journey takes around 4 hours each way which is hardly viable as a day trip. A 2 hour 15 minute bus journey from Sevilla Plaza de Armas is a much better option.
Better still, however, is to take an organised day trip from Seville to Ronda which allows you to see more of the town and avoid the hassle of public transport. If you decide to stay the night in Ronda, the Parador de Ronda is a great choice as a place to stay.
How to Get from Seville to Ronda
Half Day Trips From Seville
Itálica: Discover Roman Seville
Itálica was the first Roman city in Spain which is located at Santiponce just 8km northwest of Seville. The partly excavated site dates back to 206 BC and was the birthplace of the 2nd-century Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian. Public buses leave from the bus station at Plaza de Armas every 30 minutes and the journey takes about 20 minutes. If you time your visit right you can have lunch at one of the fine restaurants on the street approaching Santiponce or else tie in a visit to the impressive Monastery of San Isidoro del Campo which is also located here.
Seville Public Transport
Day trips from Seville by Train: For any day trips from Seville by train you can check timetables and prices in English at the RENFE website.
Day trips from Seville by Bus: For those of you who prefer to get around by public bus you can check timetables from Seville on the Movelia website.
Train Stations in Seville: The city’s main train station is Sevilla-Santa Justa which operates high-speed serices to Córdoba, Madrid and Barcelona. Trains to Jerez de la Frontera and Cádiz also depart from here but also stop at Sevilla-San Bernardo which is more convenient for some tourists.
Bus Stations in Seville: There are two bus stations in Seville: Estación Plaza de Arma is the main intercity bus station with services to Córdoba, Granada, Ronda, Madrid and many other destinations. Estación Prado de San Sebastián deals with more regional services such as buses to Cádiz and Jerez de la Frontera.