Seville Cathedral Rooftop Tour: The City’s Best-Kept Secret

Seville Cathedral Rooftop Tour, Cubiertas de la Catedral de Sevilla
Image by Paul Gagnon via Flickr

In a city brimming with rich history and iconic landmarks, finding new ways to explore well-known attractions can be a challenge. However, right in the heart of Seville’s busy historic center, there’s a less-Known tour that offers a fresh perspective on one of the city’s most famous landmarks – the Seville Cathedral. The Seville Cathedral Rooftop Tour lets you see the building from a unique angle that not many people get to experience. (You might see it refered to as the Cubiertas de la Catedral de Sevilla.)

Surprisingly, I only learned about this amazing tour after I had already planned my trip to Seville. But now, you’ll be in the know.

Should you let yourself be taken to new heights? Let’s find out.

key takeaways

  • The rooftop tour of Seville Cathedral costs €20 per person.
  • The tickets includes also the (not guided) entrance to the Cathedral, the Giralda, and the Church of El Salvador.
  • You need to book this tour in advance.
oranges seville cathedral
Image by ctj71081 via Flickr
Seville Cathedral Rooftop Tour: The City's Best-Kept Secret Seville Cathedral Rooftop Tour
Image by ctj71081 via Flickr

Getting Tickets for the Seville Cathedral Rooftop Tour

When I last checked, there were a few rooftop tours available each day in English, Spanish, Italian and French. English and Spanish tours are in the morning and evening, while the French ones are less common. The tour time depends on the language chosen, but they usually start between 9:00 and 9:30 AM and between 8:00 and 9:00 PM. (Some call the later tickets “afternoon tickets,” but to me, 9:00 PM feels more like the evening, don’t you think?)

You can get tour tickets in two ways:

  • Go to the ticket desk in person on the day of the tour (and hope there are any left)
  • Book tickets online in advance through the official Cathedral website.

It seems they release tickets on the 1st of each month for the next two months. (For example, tickets for September become available at the beginning of August.) Each tour has a maximum of 25 spots, so if you really want to take the guided rooftop tour in your language, you should definitely buy your tickets online a few days in advance.

Seville Cathedral Rooftop Tour: The City's Best-Kept Secret Seville Cathedral Rooftop Tour

Get Skip the Line Tickets for the Seville Cathedral and the Real Alcazar (No Rooftop included!)

Seville Cathedral Rooftop
Image by Ana Rey via Flickr
Seville Cathedral Rooftop
Image by Naroa via Flickr

Do you need to print the tickets for the tour?

The online ticket terms say you should print them, but no need to worry. Lots of people just show their tickets on their phones, and it works fine.

Where is the meetup point for the rooftop tour of the Cathedral of Seville?

At the Puerta de San Miguel on Avenida de la Constitución. (The gate is also known as the Puerta del Nacimiento but you won’t find it on Google Maps. I pinned it for you, so you don’t have to look for it.)

What if there are no more tour tickets available in my language?

If all the spots in English are taken, but there are some left in another language, you can always take the tour anyway. Some people might find it worth it, even if they can’t understand the guide.

What is the rooftop tour of Seville Cathedral like?

The Seville Cathedral is indeed the second-largest, right after the one in Milan. Exploring the rooftops of the Cathedral of Seville is a fantastic addition to your visit, especially if you’re (like me) an architecture lover.

Be prepared to climb many stairs.

Make sure to be at the meeting point 10 minutes before the tour starts, right outside the big door on Avenida de la Constitución, close to the main entrance of the Cathedral.

Cubiertas de la Catedral de Sevilla
Image by Anna & Michal via Flickr
Seville Cathedral Rooftop Tour
Image by Andrew Wilkinson via Flickr

Don’t worry about not hearing the guide.

They will provide you with headphones during the tour, so you can listen to their commentary as you walk around the top of the building.

  1. The tour begins inside the cathedral, where you’ll pass through the nave to see Christopher Columbus’s tomb.
  2. Then, you’ll go through a small, modest door that leads to the stairs taking you up to the rooftops.
  3. The first climb offers a great view of the streets below and the nearby Real Alcazar.
  4. After that, you’ll go even higher to the top of the domed chapel and the rooftops of the nave.

How much does the Cathedral rooftop tour cost?

The rooftop tour is priced at €20 per person (as of January 2024). This cost covers entry to the cathedral, the Giralda bell tower, and the Church of El Salvador, which is located on the nearby Plaza del Salvador.

Usually, entry tickets to the cathedral, along with the Giralda and the Church of El Salvador, cost €11. For just €9 extra, the rooftop tour is a good deal for what you get to see.

When can you use the rooftop tour ticket to visit the cathedral?

  • If you’re on the morning rooftop tour: Just visit the cathedral afterward.
  • If you’re on the evening rooftop tour: After your tour, you’ll be guided out of the cathedral, and access to the Giralda and other areas will be closed. If you want to explore the cathedral earlier in the day, show your ticket at the Puerta del Lagarto or Puerta de San Cristóbal entrances during opening hours. If you haven’t done that, your tour guide can arrange a slip for you, allowing entrance the next day without waiting in line or buying another ticket.
Seville Street view from Cathedral Rooftop
Image by Ana Rey via Flickr
Patio de los Naranjos
Image by Ana Rey via Flickr

Tips for planning:

  • If you want to visit the cathedral and do the rooftop tour on the same day, it is going to be easier with a morning ticket.
  • The rooftop tour takes about 90 minutes.
  • Visiting both the cathedral and the Giralda takes around 75 minutes. and the cathedral is usually open for visits from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM. (Check on the official Website for exceptions.)

Before going to the Seville Cathedral Rooftop

  • Make sure to wear comfy shoes; sneakers are perfect, but sandals are not.
  • There are several parts of the tour where you’ll be outdoors. (You’re on a rooftop afterall!)
  • Remember to bring a water bottle, put on sunscreen, and you might also want to think about wearing a hat.
  • The best time to take a picture of the Giralda is when you’re on top of the domed chapel.
  • For a different rooftop experience, head to the EME Rooftop Bar at Mercer Hotel. Grab a cocktail there and enjoy the Cathedral even more.
  • If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email the cathedral. When I emailed them, they replied to me in less than an hour.
Giralda of the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See
Image by Naroa via Flickr
Image by Naroa via Flickr

Is the Seville Cathedral rooftop tour worth it?

I think the Seville Cathedral rooftop tour is worth it for some travelers. If you’re a history buff or an architecture connoisseur, you’ll love it! It really is a hidden spot in the middle of Seville’s busy historic center.

It’s a great way to learn more about the cathedral’s history and what makes it unique, including its quirky link to terracotta pots! If you’d like to see the Giralda up close and to walk on a narrow path inside the cathedral, this tour is for you.

This tour is not for you if:

  • You’re traveling with kids, everyone needs to be at least 9 years old for safety reasons. Plus, let’s be honest some children might get bored.
  • You’re afraid of heights and/or tight spaces. The tour mostly goes through high places, reaching about 25 meters in height, with serpentine stairwells and narrow walkways.
  • You’re not steady on your feet or not physically fit. Climbing up there can be quite tough. If you feel like the steep climb might be challenging for you, check out Las Setas de Seville instead. They have an elevator to the top, a nice walkway around (and a cafe up there), and you can still enjoy great views across Seville.
  • You don’t want to have to come back to visit the cathedral
Stairways leading you to the Seville Cathedral Rooftop
Image by Ana Rey via Flickr
terracotta pots on the roof of the seville cathedral
Image by Ana Rey via Flickr

Where to Stay in Seville

Three days is the perfect length to stay in Seville. This allows you to see all the fantastic sights; any shorter, and you might miss some of the gems this city has to offer.

The Barrio de Santa Cruz is small enough so you can walk around easily. If you choose to stay outside of this neighborhood, you might have to use public transportation. Because of this, you may need to verify that your hotel is in proximity to the Metro de Sevilla. Santa Cruz is one of the most central neighborhoods in the city, where almost everything is within walking distance.

Joya del Casco Boutique Hotel in Seville

Joya del Casco Boutique Hotel is the perfect place to stay as it’s located a mere 300 m from the Cathedral of Seville. You can walk there in 4 minutes. Best of all, it sits right next to the Flamenco Dance Museum for the culture oriented traveler. This boutique hotel has a nice rooftop swimming pool to keep you cool after a hot day visiting Seville.

Seville Cathedral Rooftop Tour: The City's Best-Kept Secret Seville Cathedral Rooftop Tour

For an even more luxurious experience, check out my favorite Boutique Hotel in the city : the Plácido y Grata Hotel Boutique.