Although the city may not be covered in snow, there are plenty of things to do in Seville for Christmas.
You should visit Seville during Christmas (which is as long as going from the 24th of December to the 6th of January, the Three Kings’ Day) for a magical blend of tradition and festivity. The city comes alive with dazzling lights, lively markets, and a vibrant parade.
The city’s unique interpretation of Christmas showcases its rich culture, making it an ideal time to explore the local customs, savor traditional treats, and witness the grandeur of the season’s celebrations. It’s a chance to experience the heartwarming spirit of Andalusian Christmas traditions in a setting that’s both authentic and enchanting.
Seville’s going to be jam-packed, so it’s smart to book early. Stuff tends to sell out fast!
1. Enjoy a Seville Christmas light walk
At the end of November, the Christmas lights are installed in Seville. Later on, hundreds of streets are lit up during December. So during Christmas time the city at night is aglow with hundreds of beautiful lights. Particularly, the historic center gleams in the most amazing way.
Stroll through the city’s beautifully illuminated streets, especially in areas like Avenida de la Constitución and the old center. Check out the main shopping streets, the plazas surrounding the Seville Cathedral and the City Hall.
Don’t miss out on the Christmas lights in Seville thanks to a self-guided walk as they contribute to the magical atmosphere this time of the year.
2. Visit Seville’s top monuments on a guided tour
Seville has an interesting history behind and that has made a mark in the city by the countless sights and monuments which are worth seeing. The city is a seductive mix of Moorish palaces, ornate Baroque churches, colorful ceramic tiles, and winding cobblestone lanes.
But there are clearly 2 unmissable landmarks:
- There is one attraction you simply cannot miss: the Royal Alcázar. This stunning fortified palace complex has been used by the Spanish royalty since the 13th century and it’s an architectural marvel. If you’re a history lover, you’ll enjoy this reduced group 1.5-hour tour of the Alcázar with skip-the-line admission.
- You can visit Spain’s largest cathedral. Take a 1.5 hour skip-the-line guided tour of Seville Cathedral, the world’s 3rd-largest cathedral, to discover its history, Gothic architecture, and art collection. Then climb the bell tower, Torre Giralda, for a panoramic view of the city.
3. See the nativity scenes
Exploring the nativity scenes (known as belenes in Spanish) is a cherished Christmas tradition in Seville.
The city is renowned for its intricate and expansive nativity scenes. These displays are much more than just a manger scene; they often depict entire villages, historical settings, and even contemporary elements.
These nativity scenes are not only art but also a representation of the Christmas story, portraying the birth of Jesus, the shepherds, the Wise Men, and various other biblical elements. They serve as a visual reminder of the spiritual significance of Christmas.
The craftsmanship and attention to detail in these nativity scenes are truly remarkable. Many are created by local artisans and take months to assemble, incorporating miniature figurines, landscapes, and buildings.
While some nativity scenes are open to the public and can be viewed at no cost, others are private and may require an admission fee. It’s worth exploring both types to witness the diversity in their designs and themes.
Don’t miss the chance to view the city’s artistic representations of the birth of Jesus. You’ll get a deeper understanding of the cultural and religious significance of Christmas in Seville
Here’s a list of my favorite nativity scenes in Seville:
- Ayuntamiento de Sevilla (Plaza Nueva). December 10 to January 5, Monday to Sunday from 11:00 to 14:00 and 17:00 to 20:30.
- Palacio de los Marqueses de la Algaba (Plaza Calderón de la Barca). December 3 to January 8, Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00 and 17:00 to 20:00. Saturdays, Sundays, December 6 and 8, from 11:00 to 20:00. Closed on December 24, 25, 31 and January 6.
- Belén del Arquillo (Arch on the side of the City Hall, at the beginning of Avenida de la Constitución).
- Fundación Cajasol (Plaza de San Francisco, 1). December 2 to January 5, Monday to Sunday from 11:00 to 21:00. December 24 and 31 and January 5 from 11:00 to 14:00. Closed on December 25 and January 1.
- Círculo Mercantil e Industrial (Calle Sierpes, 65). December 3 to January 5, Monday to Sunday from . December 24 and 31 and January 5 from 9:00 to 14:00. Closed on December 25 and January 1.
- Fundación Caja Rural (Calle Murillo, 2). December 9 to January 5, Monday to Sunday from 11:00 to 14:00 and 17:00 to 21:00 hours.
- Belén de los Baños de la Reina Mora (Calle Baños, 17). November 29 to January 4, Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 17:00 to 21:00 hours. December 24 and 31 and January 5 from 10:00 to 14:00. Closed on December 25 and January 1.
- Orden de San Juan de Dios (Plaza del Salvador). December 3 to January 5, Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 20:00 hours.
- Convento de Carmelitas Descalzos del Santo Ángel (Calle Rioja, 23). December 8 to January 6, Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 to 14:00 and 18:30 to 20:30 hours.
- Colegio Oficial de Farmacéuticos de Sevilla (Calle Alfonso XII, 51). December 9 to January 12, Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 20:00.
- Iglesia de San Luis de los Franceses (Calle San Luís, 37). November 29 to January 8 Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 20:00.
4. Stroll around the best Christmas markets in Seville
Not only the Christmas lights are installed at the end of November but also the Christmas markets.
Seville at Christmas offers multiple cute Christmas markets selling nativity scenes’ figurines, typical Spanish sweets, toys and hand-made crafts like jewellery or purses made of leather. I’m sure you love a good browse – especially when there’s so much variety on offer!
The Christmas markets are surely one of the best Seville winter attractions you shouldn’t miss out on if you’re there at the right time. You can get all your Christmas presents here – books, handicrafts, food, wine, ceramics…
5. See a flamenco show
Seville has a rich cultural heritage, and flamenco is one of its most beloved traditions, a passionate and exhilarating art form that combines music, singing, and dance.
No trip to Seville during Christmas time is complete without experiencing a flamenco show. There are plenty of spectacular flamenco bars in the city.
With so many flamenco shows, deciding which is best for you can be challenging. So, if you’re looking for ideas, have a look at my favorite place to experience a flamenco show.
6. Try the best Christmas sweets and roscones in Seville
The variety of traditional Christmas treats in Seville is huge. On Christmas eve and the other (many!) family celebrations during this time of the year, the table will be covered with lots of different Christmas sweets that as locals we’ve grown up with and learnt to appreciate.
If you’re coming to Seville during the Christmas season, you definitely must try at least some of them to have an authentic Spanish Christmas experience.
Here are the places where you can find some of the best sweet treats:
- Mantecados La Colchona (Calle Cuna, 37).
- Confitería La Despensa de Palacio (Calle Villegas, 1).
- Confitería La Campana (Calle Sierpes, 1).
- Pastelería La Dulcería de la Rondeña (Calle Asunción, 42).
- El Torno (Avenida de la Constitución 24 and Plaza del Cabildo, 2).
- Torrons Artesans Vicens (Avenida de la Constitución, 24).
- Confitería Ochoa (Calle Sierpes, 45).
- La crème de la crème (Calle Regina, 1).
- Cakes & Go (Calle Puerta del Osario, 13).
- Manu Jara (Calle Pureza, 5).
7. Join the New Year’s Eve countdown
Certainly, joining the New Year’s Eve countdown in Seville is a lively and memorable way to welcome the new year.
Seville’s locals and visitors traditionally gather in prominent city squares, with Puerta de Jerez, Puerta de la Macarena and Plaza de España being popular choices. These squares are transformed into vibrant, open-air celebrations. But the nerve center of New Year’s celebrations in Seville is Plaza Nueva.
As the clock approaches midnight, the streets around these gathering points come alive with street parties. You can expect live music, dancing, and a jubilant atmosphere.
It’s customary to eat 12 grapes as the clock chimes 12 times at midnight. Each grape represents good luck for one month of the upcoming year. Many people have a plate of grapes ready to participate in this fun tradition. Once you’re done, share a toast of cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and wish “Feliz Año Nuevo” (Happy New Year) to those around you.
Then, as the clock strikes midnight, fireworks light up the sky, and church bells ring throughout the city, creating a symphony of celebration.
While there’s no strict dress code, many people like to dress up for the occasion. It’s common to see people in their finest attire, which adds to the festive atmosphere.
If you plan to dine out for New Year’s Eve, it’s advisable to make reservations at restaurants in advance, as many establishments offer special menus for the occasion.
8. Indulge yourself with a relaxing Arab baths experience
The Arab baths are reminiscent of the typical hammam of Muslim Seville that transport you to another era. They have been beautifully restored in the old Mudejar style. The Mozarabic touches that you see in its arches, tiles and vault take advantage the original architecture of the building.
Its facilities are very complete, including several baths of varying sizes and different temperatures, Turkish baths, and a fantastic steam room. It’s a cozy place, decorated to the smallest detail, with dim lighting and relaxing background music.
Lose yourself in the relaxing resplendence of Seville’s Arab baths. Enjoy soothing amid candle-lit walkways and beautifully designed pools; then indulge with a massage from a professionally trained masseuse. It’s the perfect experience to run away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded streets…
9. Enjoy Three King’s Day in Seville and go to the parade
In Spain, the Christmas festivities last until the 6th of January, the Three King’s day, which is the climax of the holiday season.
On the previous day, Sevillanos gather for the Three Kings’ parade.
The parade represents part of the nativity story when the three Wise Men follow a star to come and see the newborn Jesus. They come bearing gifts namely, gold, incense and myrrh. On the 5th of January the three Wise Men arrive in Seville (and the rest of Spain, of course) and on the 6th they bring presents to all children. That is why, the exchange of gifts in Spain is on the 6th of January, in contrast to other countries on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
The streets of Seville will be full of people, carriages and floats. Performers in extravagant costumes dressed as Kings, their ladies and squires throw sweets from the carriages down to the viewers. Everyone is waiting for this day with huge excitement, especially the kids.
10. Take a day tour to Itálica
The best time of the year to visit the impressive Roman city remains of Italica, just 7 km outside Seville, is during Christmas time.
Founded in 206 BC, Itálica was one of the oldest Roman settlements in Spain and one of the best-preserved remains in Andalucía together with Baleo Claudia in Bolonia beach (Cádiz) and the Acipino ruins in Ronda.
Itálica is a delightful break from visiting the city and can easily be done on guided tours if you don’t have a rental car. I suggest you book a guided tour that includes tickets and transport from Seville and back.
This article is part of a complete tutorial about Christmas in Seville where you can read all the information you need to enjoy the best Christmas holidays in Seville.
Here is a complete summary of all the guide:
1. Immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas in Seville
2. 10 things to do in Seville for Christmas
3. 7 cool things to do on New Year’s Eve in Seville
4. Celebrate Three King’s Day in Seville attending the parade
5. The best Christmas markets in Seville
6. 10 special Christmas gift ideas from Seville
7. My favorite 5 Spanish Christmas treats in Seville
8. Experience the Seville Christmas lights walk