Seville to charge entry to iconic Plaza de España

Alex Dunham
Alex Dunham - [email protected]
Seville to charge entry to iconic Plaza de España
No details have been given yet about how much entry to Seville's Plaza de España will be. Photo: Shai Pal/Unsplash

Authorities in the Andalusian capital have announced they will charge visitors to access one of Spain’s most famous landmarks in a bid to preserve it.


No visit to Seville is complete without a stroll through the intricately detailed Plaza de España, a grand square with exquisite architecture, water features and, as often happens, plenty of tourists.

So it’s no surprise that the announcement by Seville’s mayor that the emblematic square will no longer be free to enter for visitors has proven divisive to some and unavoidable to others.


"We are planning to enclose the Plaza de España and charge tourists to finance its conservation and guarantee its safety," José Luis Sánz tweeted on Sunday. 

"The monument will of course continue to be freely accessible and cost-free for all Sevillians," the right-wing mayor added.

This will mean that those who are registered at Seville town hall (padrón) or who live in the province, as well as those born in the Andalusian capital, will not be charged entry.

On the other hand, visitors from other countries and other parts of Spain (including those from other Andalusian provinces) will be charged an entry fee which is yet to be disclosed.

Sánz explained how there are also plans to create an artisan workshop school in the square and that the earnings from ticket sales will pay for a 24-hour surveillance service in the square.

Built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition the following year in the city on the banks of the Guadalquivir river, the Plaza de España is famed for its neo-Mudéjar Moorish architecture, Venice-style bridges and detailed ceramic tile collections honouring each of Spain’s autonomous regions. 

If it’s not Spain’s most famous square, it’s certainly its most flamboyant. 

However, its increasing popularity has meant that it’s been targeted by vandalic acts and swarmed by illegal street vendors, which spurred conservationists at the Association for the Protection of Andalusian Patrimony (Adepa) to suggest in 2018 that access to the square be controlled.  

Early estimates suggest 3.4 million tourists visited Seville in 2023, a new record

As visitor numbers to the Plaza de España (Square of Spain) are not monitored there is no data, but the equally popular Royal Alcázar of Seville palace, which does charge entry, had 1.9 million visitors in 2023.

Opposition Socialist leader and former Seville mayor Antonio Muñoz has criticised Sánz's plans to "privatise" the iconic square, arguing that "nobody would even think of closing off San Marcos Square in Venice or the Plaza de Mayor in Madrid" and that it essentially represents "stealing public space from the general public".



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