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Sevilla Cathedral - Question about rooftop tour and Giralda tower climb

In the Rick Steves Spain 2019 guide book, he suggests that if you opt for the cathedral rooftop tour you should skip the Giralda tower climb. Does anybody who has done the rooftop tour know why he might be making that suggestion? Is it because the views from the rooftop are the same as or better than those from the tower? If you REALLY like climbing towers, it wouldn't be a total waste of time and energy, would it?

Posted by
2662 posts

While I haven’t done the roof tour, the views from the top would essentially be the same since you’re looking out over the same parts of the city. If I remember correctly, the tower is slightly higher than the roof of the cathedral. With the tower, there are ramps going to the top rather than stairs. That was so horses could be used to get to the top.

Posted by
2284 posts

I did both maybe 5 years ago - I don’t think much has changed? I’d say both are valuable if you have time and like towers. The views over the city are similar but the experience is different. Tower = ramp, which is cool. Cathedral roof gets you closer to spires, buttresses and other architectural details. Personally I find that part of rooftop visits more interesting than the views over the surroundings. So if I had to pick one I’d go with the cathedral. But really if you have time and are interested there’s no reason not to enjoy both.

Posted by
72 posts

I did the tower climb last November and was glad I did. I had done the climb at Notre Dame in Paris the year before so wasn’t going to do it until I found out it was ramps, not steps. A different experience all together. Beautiful views of both the cathedral roof and courtyard and you can also see a little into Seville’s bullring. It was a beautiful, breezy day to be up there. Many bells too. If you have the time, go for it! BTW, I found the ramps to be easier than steps.

Posted by
910 posts

I'd definitely walk the Girona Tower. Excellent views from the top and a fun walking experience up the ramps.

Posted by
3 posts

I did both and surprisingly enjoyed the rooftop a lot more than climbing the tower. The guide of the rooftop tour was very thorough in explaining the different parts of the roof. I’d say definitely do the rooftop and if you have time, experience climbing the tower.

Posted by
13930 posts

Is the rooftop tour a recent addition? I didn't know about it. On the first of my 3 Sevilla visits, I walked up the tower. Following recommendations, I was at the church when it opened, had a short walk around for a few peopleless photos, then was one of the first to make the ascent - so it wasn't crowded, not the walk up or the viewing areas. The tower is wide enough so there's room to for people to pass you if you are going slowly or if you stop for a breath.

Posted by
440 posts

If you go in the summer, walking up the Giralda tower will be an effort. The rooftop is a good tour as mentioned earlier, it gets you up close to the architecture of the cathedral.

Posted by
28 posts

we did both in late 2018 and weren't sorry. The spectacular view is only part of the experience. The tower has it's incredible bells and numerous museum cases punctuating the ramp while the cathedral has the spires and gargoyles... each enchanting in their own way. As for difficulty, we're both in our late 60s and it was fine.