Seville’s vibrant culture and contagious spirit is not confined to the city limits. It extends outward to the surrounding cities of Andalusia, Spain’s most populated autonomous region, with cities that draw travelers from around the world.
While Seville is not the most convenient place to fly out of, it is conveniently located a mere 1 or 2 hours from some of Spain’s most iconic landmarks and historical must-sees. Personally, jumping on a train or bus and spending the day in a new city is one of the most fun (and cheap!) ways to explore the Spanish culture.
Here are my three favorite day trip destinations I’ve been to so far. Visit them and you’ll know why!
This beautiful city in the Málaga province is my most recent – and favorite! – day trip and 100% worth the trip from Seville.
Known as “el pueblo blanco” or “the white city”, this quaint little town is perched above the the Tajo canyon and surrounded by rolling mountains. Walk over the Puente Nuevo (“new bridge”) and through the Alameda del Tajo and take in the scenery, then hike down into the canyon for a beautiful view of the bridge.
Ronda is one of the oldest cities in Spain and its deep history shines through in the streets of La Ciudad, which is Ronda’s oldest quarter and where Ernest Hemingway spent many summers writing about the beauty of Ronda and its strong bullfighting tradition. Speaking of which, the Plaza de toros was built in 1784 and is supposedly the oldest one in Spain. It’s not the most awesome bullfighting ring I’ve seen, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you’ve never seen one!
Keep in mind that Ronda is actually very touristy despite what I expected. Walking tours are everywhere and you have to pay to use the restroom. But the second you get out of the main area and into the nature, Ronda immediately becomes the serene place that I fell in love with. It’s the perfect place to get away for the day!
How to get there: Since Ronda is a bit remote and out of the way, you can only get there by bus or car. The closest train station is in the city of Málaga which is 60+ miles away!
- Bus: Take the bus out of Sevilla (Plaza de Armas) to the Ronda bus station. Depending on how many stops there are, the trip usually ranges from 2.5 to 3 hours.
- Car: You will pretty much stay on the A376 almost the entire way until you see signs directing you to Ronda. This gorgeous drive will take you a little under 2 hours.
Rich in religious architecture, cultural history and adorable floral side streets, Córdoba is practically a city representation of Spain’s extensive history. Walking through La Mezquita-Catedral feels like you’re walking through time – the architecture not only changes with the Muslim-Christian power struggle, but you can literally see the walls and colors deteriorating as you move further and further back in history.
This “walk through history” continues onto the streets of Córdoba where the Jewish influence really shines. Of course visit the Synagogue if you can, which is situated in the heart of the Jewish quarter on Calle de los Judíos, but simply walking down the narrow winding roads and enjoying the flower-covered walls is an experience in and of itself.
Check out my Córdoba blog post for a more extensive guide, as well as some of the food you have to try!
How to get there:
- Train: From Seville, this is by far the quickest route and is sometimes just as cheap as taking the bus; prices range from 15 to 30 euros. Depart from Sevilla Santa Justa and arrive in Cordoba Central in just 45 minutes!
- Bus: I would recommend taking the bus only if it’s significantly cheaper than the train, so be sure to check all the prices! Depart from Sevilla (Plaza de Armas) and arrive in Córdoba, Estación de Autobuses about two hours later. The bus station is right across from the train station and has lockers if you need to store your bags!
- Car: While public transportation is your best friend on this day trip, you can also drive to Córdoba if you prefer. Take the A4 highway most of the way and you should be there in just under two hours.
Considered the oldest inhabited city in Western Europe, Cádiz has archeological remains dating back to 1100 B.C. That’s more than 3,000 years old!
The whitewashed buildings, lively marketplaces and jaw-dropping beaches are sure to keep you entertained for at least a day. Pick up a snack at the Central Market and watch the bustling locals gather fresh produce for the week – just beware of the live lobsters at the fish station!
Afterward, spend some time in the Catedral de Cádiz and make the trek to the top of the bell tower. The views are absolutely incredible!
A trip to Cádiz wouldn’t be complete without spending some time in the sun, so grab a towel and head to one of the many beautiful beaches in this coastal town. Plaza de la Caleta and Playa de la Victoria are two popular ones, but don’t be afraid to ask the locals for recommendations.
If you happen to be in Andalusia in February and it’s not necessarily prime beach weather, don’t worry! The Carnival of Cádiz is one of the most famous carnivals in the world and takes place over the course of two weeks in February.
How to get there: Like Córdoba, train and bus rides are similarly priced and even take roughly the same amount of time to get there – between 1.5 to 2 hours. You can’t go wrong with either one!