Best Day Trips From Seville: 7 Tips From a Local Expat

Alhambra in Granada from afar – Best Day Trips From Seville Tips From a Local Expat

Are you staying in Southern Spain and looking for some new destinations to explore around Seville? In that case, you’re in the right place!

I have been living in Southern Spain, for over 3 years now and visited lots of beautiful places and destinations that are within easy reach from Seville. In this article, I have selected seven easy day trips from Seville that tick all your travel boxes – beautiful locations, easy reach from Seville, and plenty of time and things to explore in just one day.

Before we get to them, I have shared some tips for selecting the right destination for you below, and at the end of the article, you will find some bonus tips that will make your travel much more convenient and hassle-free. Enjoy! 

Planning Your Day Trip from Seville

Planning your day trips from Seville is pretty easy – the city is well connected to lots of other destinations in Southern Spain through high-quality highways, extended rail connections, and even frequent bus services. 

So even if you’re not keen on driving a car, there are lots of places you can explore very easily with just a train or a bus ride.

In this article, I have compiled some of the best options for cities and places to visit within a short reach from Seville. I tried to keep the travel time under two hours, so there is enough time to explore the city without feeling like you spent most of the time in the car or commuting somewhere.

There is a wide mix of different size places so everyone can find something they will like – bigger and more known destinations and some smaller local gems thrown in between.

For ease of reference, I have also added notes on each option whether it’s easy to do that specific destination with a train or bus, should you not want to rent a car while you’re staying in Seville. 

If you’re not sure how to decide on a place where you would like to go, there are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • Do you prefer hassle-free travel and want to use a train or a bus? In that case, the bigger cities which are better connected by rail network are a better option for you (Granada, Cadiz, Cordoba)
  • Do you want a fast travel time and more time exploring the destination? In that case look at the cities closest to you by car or train, like Cadiz (small enough that you see everything in one day) or Jezer de la Frontera
  • If you want to spend some time on a beach while you’re staying in Seville, I would recommend heading to Cadiz or Tarifa (in Tarifa you get to experience the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea at the same time)
  • Are you a history enthusiast and want to see all the gems of Southern Spain? In that case head towards Granda, or Cordoba!
  • If you want to see a bit more authentic side of Southern Spain, places like Jerez de la Frontera or Tarifa will be a good match for you
  • If you would like to tick off some of the ‘bucket list’ destinations for Southern Spain, a good choice is either Ronda or Gibraltar (technically not Spain, but well worth the trip)
  • For wine enthusiasts, you will love the Sherry triangle town of Jerez, and those who like good food will love the free tapas tradition in Granada (free small tapas served with every drink nearly anywhere in the city)

So here they are, my top picks for Seville day trips!

Top Day Trips from Seville

1. Cadiz

Cadiz is a coastal town on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and it is said to be one of the oldest cities not just in Spain, but also in Europe.

Cadiz is quite a unique place – first of all, it’s located on its own island, connected to the mainland with two bridges and a stretch of long beach. Cadiz is mostly favored by local Spanish tourists who love the city’s white sandy beaches and traditional southern hospitality. Cadiz indeed feels like a small village, even though it’s a pretty well-known city.

While in Cadiz, you will have plenty of time to see the old town, the market, the Cadiz Cathedral and some of the other monuments around the coastline, like the Castle of San Sebastian with its beautiful promenade stretching into the sea, and Castillo de Santa Catalina, ruins of an old fortress with gorgeous views all around.

You can drive to Cadiz pretty easily from Seville (about 1.5 hrs), or take a local train which will get you there in 1 hour and 45 minutes.

2. Jerez de la Frontera

Jerez de la Frontera is a beautiful traditional Andalusian village, about halfway between Seville and Cadiz. If you need a short and quick trip out of the city, to see one of the prettiest white villages, Jerez is a great option for a day trip.

Known mainly for its sherry production tradition (part of the Sherry Triangle), Jerez may be a small place, but there is a lot to be discovered, and everything can be seen in just one day. 

One of the highlights of the trip would be visiting the local Alcazar, a Moorish fortress from the 11th century, followed by a visit a local taverna to see a Flamenco performance. There is also a dedicated museum for sherry production called Bodega Tradition, and Jerez Cathedral is also worth a visit.

To get to Jerez, you can easily drive there from Seville, or take the train in direction of Cadiz, which should take around 1 hour. 

3. Tarifa

Tarifa is the southern hot spot for water sports and beautiful beaches. In contrast to most of the coastal destinations in Southern Spain, in Tarifa, you will find more natural, pristine beaches that offer a much more relaxing way to enjoy some sunbathing and swimming in the sea.

Tarifa is a popular resort for windsurfers and kitesurfers, and also for those who love to watch beautiful sunsets. In Tarifa, there are also a lot of companies offering whale-watching and dolphin-watching boat trips on top of ferry crossings to Morocco, a country with lots of things to do you could also add to your itinerary.

In any case, and going back to Tarifa, while the town itself still very much feels like an old village that hasn’t been too touched by mass tourism, it is a breath of fresh air to be able to still find a bit of authentic Spain even on the coastline.

4. Gibraltar

While you’re staying in Seville, it would be a shame to miss out on the experience of visiting Gibraltar, the British sovereign territory south of Seville. Here are some very interesting Gibraltar facts to know before you go.

From Seville, your best bet is to drive there by car as there are no local connections that will get you directly to Gibraltar. Give yourself plenty of time as the crossing of the border and the security checks can take quite a long time – alternatively, you can park the car on the Spanish side at the town of La Linea, and use the much faster pedestrian crossing (I would recommend this option).

While in Gibraltar, book a tour of the nature reserve to enjoy some pretty spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, and on a clear day you can see the African continent – Morocco – in the distance. You can also walk to the old town and the high street to enjoy some duty-free shopping.

5. Granada

One could definitely get used to waking up to this view, the one we got from our Alhambra Palace Hotel’s room in Granada.

Granada is one of the three cities that form the Andalusian golden triangle (together with Seville and Cordoba), and it’s one not to be missed.

The crowning glory of Granada is the ancient Moorish palace complex called Alhambra, with the Palace of Charles V, ruins of the old Alcazaba, and stunning well preserved Generalife Gardens as part of it.

While Granada’s Alhambra is a pretty spectacular place to visit, the sights don’t end there. The old part of the town called Albaicin is a beautiful authentic place to discover, and you can also stroll to the district of Sacromonte, known for its cave houses and Flamenco performances. Right up in the hill above Sacromonte, you will find Sacromonte abbey with beautiful views, and the only underground cave church I’ve ever seen.

Granada has to be one of my favorite Andalusian cities to visit and you won’t regret adding it to your day trip destinations wishlist. There is a regular train service from Seville to Granada (2 hours 20 mins), but you can also drive there probably faster with a car.

6. Ronda

Ronda is one of those places that you can’t stop talking about. An ancient city divided in half by the El Tajo gorge, with the historic Puente Nuevo bridge towering over it, Ronda is a true beauty that still feels very authentic Spanish.

Ronda has one of the oldest bullrings in Spain, and the history of bullfighting is visible in nearly every restaurant you visit, with bull heads hanging over you while you enjoy your tapas. 

Ernest Hemingway was a huge fan of Ronda and spent a lot of time here, among many other authors. 

Ronda is the perfect one-day trip destination as you can squeeze all of its highlights into a single trip – visiting Puente Nuevo bridge, the gardens that stretch right behind it leading to the old Roman Baths, the Bullring, and if you have time, I highly recommend a visit of an old villa called Casa don Bosco, from where you get some of the best views of Puente Nuevo.

Because of its location, Ronda is best reached by car. 

7. Cordoba

Cordoba is home to one of the most impressive cathedrals in Southern Spain – the Mezquita Cathedral. What used to be an Islamic mosque was later converted into a catholic Cathedral, which resulted in the unique architectural piece of work it is today.

The entrance to the cathedral is through a beautiful courtyard covered by orange trees, and just like with other historic monuments, the tickets may not be available on the day, so get them early before your travel. While in Cordoba, you can also squeeze in a visit to the Alcazar (full name Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos), with stunning gardens and beautiful water features.

To get to Cordoba, you can easily drive there from Seville, but there is also a fast train connection available with cheap train tickets. 

A Few Extra Tips

Before I let you off planning your adventure, here are a few tips that will make your trip much more enjoyable:

  • If you’re planning to visit some of the popular historic sites like Alhambra in Granada, it’s well worth booking your tickets online in advance. Specifically, Alhambra tickets tend to sell out weeks in advance, so you might be disappointed if you arrive thinking you can get them at the gates
  • If you’re traveling in the summer, it gets super hot in Andalusia. Plan your travel accordingly and try to spend the hottest time of the day commuting to your destination instead of climbing steep stairs on some historic monument.
  • If you’re planning to use the train for your day trip, the same as above applies – train ticket prices vary depending on the day and season, so you will save some money if you book them in advance. And you’re also eliminating the chance that the train you wanted to take will be fully booked. 
  • Driving in Southern Spain is pretty easy, but there are some road tolls you may have to pay, they are always marked. You can use a Spanish road toll calculator such as Via Michelin where you enter your journey and it will tell you the cost of the tolls (usually just a few euros). 

I hope you enjoyed a selection of beautiful destinations within easy reach from Seville. Let us know in the comments which ones are your favorite and which ones are you most likely adding to your travel itinerary.

Lucia is a Slovak expat living in Southern Spain. On her blog Viva la Vita, she shares her insights about beautiful locations, hidden gems, and authentic experiences from Costa del Sol and beyond.