Visiting the Royal Alcazar of Seville

The Alcazar of Seville (official name Alcázares Reales de Sevilla) – the crowning glory of the capital of Andalusia.

It is one of the oldest actively used palaces in the world and one of the most impressive monuments in Spain.

If you’re visiting Seville, you simply can’t leave without seeing the Royal Alcazar!

The compound that makes up the modern-day Alcazar was founded in the early Middle-Ages, and it was historically known as al-Qasr al-Muriq.

The building and gardens beautifully capture the different historic periods it has survived. Alcazar features some of the finest examples of Mudejar style, and combines elements of Roman, Gothic and Renaissance architecture, all in one building.

Since 1987 it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, together with Seville Cathedral and the General Archives of Indies.

With the brief introduction out of the way, shall we take a little tour?

During my trip to Seville, I stayed in an apartment opposite Murillo park, adjacent to the Alcazar gardens. It’s a great location for exploring if you want to access all the main sights in Seville on foot.

I got the first available tickets for the morning and ventured towards the Alcazar entrance through the park.

Jardines de Murillo – gorgeous spacious green park with some enormous fig trees.
Jardines de Murillo in full bloom in early summer.
The wall borders of Alcazar – there is no direct entrance to the Alcazar from the park.

Entrance to the Alcazar – Puerta del León

The main entrance to the Alcazar of Seville is through Puerta del Leon. It is located on the junction of two roads – Calle Miguel Manara and Calle Santo Tomas.

The entrance is a short walk away from the Seville Cathedral.

The tickets are best to buy in advance and have allocated entry time. In the summer months, it’s worth checking before you book your trip as I’ve heard the tickets are sold out weeks in advance.

Before entry, your ticket is checked and they also measure your temperature. Masks are also compulsory (accurate as of summer 2021).

Big red gate with a mighty lion on top of the door.

Patio de la Montería Courtyard

The entrance to the Alcazar is through a spacious main courtyard.

As you stand facing the courtyard, you can start exploring on your right side where you find some porcelain exhibitions. Or you can continue on the left side which will lead you through various rooms towards the gardens.

A short path will lead you to the main courtyard of the palace.
One of the first rooms upon entering the main building.
The courtyard as seen from the main approach pathway gate.

Maidens Courtyard (Patio de las Doncellas)

One of the most impressive courtyards with well-preserved architectural features.

The courtyard was the center of public life in the court of King Peter I and consists of the central part surrounded by a gallery. The walls are intricately decorated and finished with impressive tile work.

The central part was previously covered by marble with a fountain in the middle, but thanks to archeological excavation it was restored to its former glory as recorded in the 14th century.

The central part of the courtyard is not accessible, only the galleries.

The courtyard was used as a movie location for the Kingdom of Heaven by Ridley Scot, where it represented the court of King of Jerusalem.

The Hall of Ambassadors (Salón de Embajadores)

The main hall of the royalty, and that of the court of King Pedro I. It was a public room for admitting visitors.

It is dominated by a large dome covered by detailed golden, the sheer size of the salon is breathtaking. The decorations of the salon very much echo the walls seen in Alhambra, in Granada.

This hall along with Mercury’s Pond, gardens, and baths of Maria de Padilla was used as a movie set for the Game of Thrones series.

The golden dome.
Intricate details on the walls.
The famous golden ceiling in the hall.

Royal Alcazar Gardens

If you thought the inside spectacular, wait till you see the gardens!

The Alcazar has a total of 13 different garden sections, each offering something unique and spectacular.

We browsed the gardens in no particular order, letting ourselves discover where the paths lead on our own.

The garden grounds are fairly extensive and will take up more of your time than exploring the palace. Leave yourself enough time to wander around and get lost.

There are over 20,000 different plants and tree species scattered around the vast complex and feel like a private jungle.

The gardens might be the most recognizable set from the Game of Thrones – they were used to film a number of scenes in here.

Access to the gardens, lines with lemon trees.
Framed view of the pond.

Mercury’s Pond

This small pond with a statue of Mercury is surrounded by an old wall, which was turned into a grotto gallery overlooking the gardens of Alcazar.

Before it was converted into a pond, it used to be a small swimming pool that was collecting water coming from the Roman aqueduct, and the water was used to water the Alcazar gardens.

View towards the gardens from the pond

Grotto Gallery

This long walkway gallery leads along the side of the gardens of the maze, offering some of the best views of Alcazar gardens.

To access it, you will have to exit by the pond on the right side where you will see a small door and very narrow steps leading to the gallery.

View towards Mercury’s pond
Garden of Poets visible from the gallery balcony

That concludes our virtual tour!

Hope you enjoyed this visit with me, below are some practical details for booking your own trip.

Visiting the Royal Alcazar in Seville

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased online, and start from 14.50 euros for general admission, 1 euro for kids up to 13 years old. Entrance on Monday between 6.00 pm and 6.30 pm is free (you still need to get a ticket assigned for this specific time in advance).

Opening Times: From October 1 to March 31 : Monday to Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. From April 1 to September 30 : Monday to Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Virtual tours: the website offers you a virtual tour so you can get a glance of what to expect on your visit.

See More in Seville

Guided Game of Thrones tour of the Royal Alcazar

Seville: Alcázar and Cathedral Guided Tour & Priority Access

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Read More About Seville

Best Restaurants in Seville

Visiting the Cathedral and Giralda Tower

The Venice of Spain: Plaza de España

Palacio de las Dueñas

Getting from Seville to Cadiz: Your Complete Transport Guide

The Gem of Andalusian Architecture: Casa de Pilatos

The monument of controversy: Las Setas de Sevilla

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