Visiting The Royal Alcázar of Seville

The Royal Alcazar of Seville's (or "Royal Alcazars of Seville") stunning gardens
The Royal Alcazar of Seville’s (or “Royal Alcazars of Seville”) stunning gardens

Tips summary:

  1. Book in advance! There is always a long queue and the palace has a limited capacity. For €1 extra you book a slot online and your queue would be considerably shorter.
  2. Try to choose a sunny day, which is not that hard in Seville. Everything will look better.
  3. You will need at least a couple of hours, although I recommend 4 hours, as the palace is huge
  4. It is normally crowded in the morning, so go in the evening if you want to avoid as many people as you can.

What is The Royal Alcázar of Seville?

The Royal Alcázar of Seville (or “Royal Alcazars of Seville”) is a royal palace and one of the oldest palaces still in use in the world, as the upper levels are still used by the royal family as their official residence in Seville.

It was built by Castilian Christians on the site of an Abbadid Muslim residential fortress and destroyed after the Christian conquest of Seville. Although some elements of other civilizations remain, it is a preeminent example of Mudéjar architecture in the Iberian Peninsula. [Wikipedia]

It was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with the adjoining Seville Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies.

Popularity

The palace is a breathtaking spectacle and one of the most visited complexes in the world. It has reached a peak in popularity since 2015, as part of the fifth season of Game of Thrones (episode 2) was shot in its gardens (“patios”) and hallways.

The location from George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books which the Alcazar represents is the Water Gardens of Dorne, private estate of the House of Martell, as shown in the video below.

It was also used in 1962 as a set for Lawrence of Arabiaand in 2005 for the court of the King of Jerusalem in the movie Kingdom of Heaven.

Sections

The Royal Alcazar of Seville's (or "Royal Alcazars of Seville") stunning gardens
The Royal Alcazar of Seville (or “Royal Alcazars of Seville”)

Highlights of the palace include the Patio de las Doncellas (Patio of the Maidens), with its beautiful tiled plinths, and the Patio de las Muñecas (Patio of the Dolls), with its fascinating collection of capitals.

Other sections are:

  • Patio y Puerta del León (Lion Garden and Gate)
  • Sala de la Justicia (Hall of Justice)
  • Casa de la Contratación (Contracting House)
  • Salón del Almirante (Admiral’s Hall)
  • Sala de Audiencias (Chapter House)
  • Cuarto Real Alto (Upper Royal Quarters)
  • Palacio de Don Pedro (Don Pedro Palace), including Patio de las Doncellas and Patio de las Muñecas, Salón de Embajadores (Hall of Ambassadors) and more
  • Palacio Gótico
  • Patio del Crucero
  • Jardín de la Danza (Garden of the Dance)
  • Baños de Doña María de Padilla (María de Padilla Baths)

There are also cultural and educational activities of which you may partake are organized by the Royal Alcázar Board of Patronage and the Town Hall. These include lectures, Spring Theatre or the Alcázar Gardens Evenings.

Timetable

  • Opening times from October to March, Monday to Sunday: 09:30 to 17:00.
  • Opening times from April to September, Monday to Sunday, 09:30 to 19:00.
  • Closed on the 1st and 6th of January, Good Friday and the 25th of December.

Ticket prices

There are four different type of tickets (“tarifas”). The official website in English is out of date (it seems it has not been updated since 2012) and it does not explain these types, so it is better to look at the Spanish version.

“Tarifa Primera”. General admission

General admission: This entry includes the visit to the ground floor of the Palace and Gardens of the Real Alcázar (main sections). It also includes the visit to the Antiquarium, Museum of the Ceramics of Triana and other museum spaces managed by the Seville City Council through the Institute of Culture and Arts of Seville (ICAS). € 11.50

Entrance to the Royal High Room: This entrance is limited to the partial visit organized in the High Royal Room located in the upper part of the Palace, King Don Pedro section. € 4.50

Entry fee for pensioners and students between the ages of 17 and 25 (both inclusive): 3 € (accreditation required).

Entrance for the disabled, under 16’s, those born or residing in the city of Seville and unemployed from the province of Seville. Free of charge (accreditation required).

There is an extra booking fee for advanced tickets. € 1

“Tarifa Segunda”. Group visits outside of opening times

Group tickets. Night or after hours visits, including one hour for congresses, symposia, conventions or similar (1 hour maximum).

Fixed fee per group: € 700. In addition to the fixed fee, it will be charged for each visitor: € 11.50

Individual entrance theatrical night visit: Includes the individual visit to the Courtroom and Courtyard of the Plaster, House of Contracting, Palace of King Don Pedro, Gardens of the Galera, Troy and Dances, Baths of Mª de Padilla, Pond of Mercury, Gothic Palace and Patio del Crucero. This itinerary can be modified by the Board of Trustees after justified reason: € 14

“Tarifa Tercera”. Films and documentaries

  • Movies with extras: € 1496 per hour or fraction.
  • Movies without extras: € 747 per hour or fraction.
  • Photography with extras: € 373 per hour or fraction.
  • Photography without extras: € 187 per hour or fraction.

Rules

In all cases, the authorization of the dependencies and facilities, in addition to the payment of the public price, the cleaning and surveillance expenses and any other that may occur, as well as the deterioration that may be caused, shall be paid by the assignees.

The Board of Trustees will demand simultaneously the payment, the constitution of a civil liability insurance policy, with Authorized Companies and a cash deposit in sufficient amount to guarantee the payment of the services and the possible damages, prior to granting the authorization.

The reproduction and public exhibition of the obtained images must be expressly authorized by the Real Alcázar Board.

“Tarifa Cuarta”. Others

For the celebration of other acts/events, which have no recognized official character and which are authorized by the Executive Committee or Presidency of the Board. € 8,000

Book tickets

Advanced tickets, image gallery, the “El Silencio del Alcázar” audio-visual show and a 360º virtual tour are also available.

I strongly recommend buying tickets in advance (click here), as there is always a long queue and the palace has a limited capacity. For €1 extra you book a time slot online and your queue would be considerably shorter.

Private “Skip the line plus guided tour” tickets (Viator, GetYourGuide) and “Cathedral plus Palace tickets” (Viator, GetYourGuide)  are also very good ways to visit The Royal Alcázar of Seville.

Pictures

The Royal Alcazar of Seville (or "Royal Alcazars of Seville")
The Royal Alcazar of Seville (or “Royal Alcazars of Seville”)
The Royal Alcazar of Seville's (or "Royal Alcazars of Seville")
The Royal Alcazar of Seville (or “Royal Alcazars of Seville”)
The Royal Alcazar of Seville (or "Royal Alcazars of Seville")
The Royal Alcazar of Seville (or “Royal Alcazars of Seville”)

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