Seville, Spain is one of the most fun cities to explore in Andalusia. Scenic parks and historic buildings extend for blocks. A walkable historic center boasts squares perfect for people-watching while enjoying a sweet treat. Wandering the streets of the Barrio de Santa Cruz while looking into the shop windows at the fancy flamenco dresses can easily take hours. On our short visit during Semana Santa in Seville, we didn’t even have time to begin exploring the area along the scenic Guadalquivir River. There are so many things to do in Seville with kids.
Our trip to Seville, Spain was just one part of our Andalusia Road Trip. Explore our Spain Road Trip tips and itinerary.
Best Things to Do in Seville with Kids – Visit Seville, Spain during Semana Santa for Easter
Our visit to Seville, Spain was not quite typical due to the Easter holidays. The Cathedral and most churches were closed to tourists for Semana Santa in Seville. We managed a quick walkthrough of the impressive Cathedral, but we could not go up in the Giralda Tower or tour the building. Somehow we also missed the tomb of Christopher Columbus, which is typically one of the main attractions in this enormous cathedral. Spending some time appreciating Seville’s Cathedral, from the inside or outside, is certainly a must-do when visiting the city of Seville.
There are lots of parks, fountains, and tot-sized playgrounds for families to enjoy when in Seville with kids. My children were a bit disappointed that most of the playgrounds we encountered were just for small children. However, families of all ages can enjoy strolling through Parque de María Luisa and the adjacent Plaza de España. Plaza de España, a set location from a Star Wars movie, lets families rent a boat and row through the canals.
Real Alcázar is one to the top things to do in Seville with kids no matter what the season. At first glance, the buildings and gardens look quite similar to the Alhambra in Granada. While the early Moorish influence is certainly apparent at the Real Alcázar, Seville was conquered by the Christian Castilians in 13th century, and the Real Alcázar was turned into a royal residence at that time. Once again my children requested an audio tour so we listened to the complex history of these impressive buildings as we walked through. Eventually, we made it outside to the beautiful gardens. The kids loved running through the hedge maze towards the back!
Semana Santa in Seville with Kids
Easter week is a very special time to visit Spain with kids. It is also very busy because all schools are on holiday. Seville, Spain and the nearby city of Málaga are known worldwide for the spectacular Semana Santa processions, like the one pictured above. Knowing that we would be traveling to Spain during Semana Santa I reserved a hotel room in Seville months in advance. We were in Seville with kids for the night of Palm Sunday, Domingo de Ramos, and the Saturday preceding it.
On Domingo de Ramos the La Paz brotherhood marches through the Parque de María Luisa. It takes at least 30 minutes for the entire procession of children and adults to pass. The experience is unforgettable and a feast for the senses; pictures simply cannot capture the atmosphere. In addition to the gilded floats (called pasos), there are marching bands with horns blasting music that makes every one stop in awe. The scent of incense permeates the air. Children hand out candies in the shape of the special robes and hoods worn by the people marching in the procession. The La Paz procession through the park is a celebration for families; kids love the candies. Even after 20 minutes, I couldn’t pull my kids away!
The other processions in town are often much more solemn. Around sunset we wandered into the city center by the cathedral to see if we could spot more processions. It was simply a matter of listening for the music and watching the crowds as they gathered. We saw about five different pasos moving around town, including one as it entered a tiny alleyway. As it turned the music played by its band crescendoed and we couldn’t help but stop to look.
Hotels in Seville for the Family
While visiting Seville with kids for the first day of Semana Santa, we stayed at Melia Sevilla. It is located near the Plaza de España about a 20-minute walk from the Catedral de Sevilla. The Melia Sevilla and the surrounding neighborhood is a very convenient place for families to stay because it is easy to reach by car. We were able to park our car in the garage below our hotel and leave it there during our entire stay. During Semana Santa in Seville, it was nice to be able to escape the crowds in the center of the city by the cathedral. It was also easy to find restaurants near the hotel that were not too busy.
Our trip to Seville with kids was just one part of our Andalusia Road Trip. Explore our Spain Road Trip tips and itinerary.
All photos by Melissa Moore