Rowboats at Plaza de España – A Great Activity in Seville, Spain
Plaza de España is one of the prettiest areas of Seville. The building is mesmerizing with its beautiful Spanish architecture. Tourists flock there from early morning until late evening in hopes of getting the perfect Instagram worthy pictures at this gorgeous historic site.
One of my favorite things to do at Plaza de España is to go on a rowboat around the water that lines this semi-circle shaped plaza. It’s a total touristy thing to do, which usually I am not a huge fan of, but this was an exception. Jimmy really loves boats and water, and we knew that he would get a kick out of riding, so we took one for the team and decided to do it.
To buy tickets, you have to buy them prior to standing in line. You buy the tickets at Venta Official Ticket Booth. It’s a little booth with a red and white sign on the front that is right across from the boat entrance. Go there first and then go stand in line near the boats.
The price for riding the boats is €6 for a 35 minute ride. Besides the ticket cost, you also are required to pay a deposit of €4. If you want your deposit returned, you have to go back to the booth and get it after your boat ride is finished. Make sure to keep your ticket with you.
If you surpass your 35 minute time allotment, then your ticket price goes up to €10. This is the reason that they require a deposit. If you stay out later than you’re supposed to then they just keep your deposit and call it even. You have to be back in 35 minutes to get your deposit back.
The line to ride the boats doesn’t move super quickly. Nate and I took turns running around the plaza with Jimmy because there was no way that he was going to stand in line the whole time. We waited for about 30 minutes until it was finally our turn. In the meantime, we had fun roaming the plaza. Standing near the large fountain is the perfect picture spot. There was even a bride and groom walking the plaza that day workin' it for the camera. I love the energy at Plaza de España. It is always such a fun place to visit and a great place to fall in love.
The majority of time that Jimmy was riding the boat, he was loudly singing, “Row Row Row Your Boat, Gently Down the Stream!” It was pretty dang cute. I am glad that the songs that we sing together daily are sticking with him, and that he had a chance to make a life connection to one of his songs.
While Jimmy was having a great time, Nate on the other hand was counting down the seconds until the 35 minutes were over. As dreamy, charming, and romantic as this boat ride looks from a distance, it is actually quite hard to maneuver the boat around. Nate rowed the entire time for us (I offered to help but he said he could do it) while Jimmy and I just enjoyed ourselves and took pictures. The paddles are hard to use and you have to put a huge amount of effort into it to make the boat actually go the way that you want it to. Poor Nate. It was so hot out that afternoon and here he was struggling in the heat to get the boat to actually move properly. It didn’t help that Jimmy wanted to, “Help Dada Row!,” which made it even more difficult to do efficiently.
All of the people that were rowing boats around us were also struggling. Most people were laughing because it was just so embarrassing – hitting other boats around them, going in never ending circles, and / or staying in one place because they were not able to get the boat to move correctly. I actually found the whole situation quite hilarious myself. All of these people who pictured this perfect Pinterest / Instagrammable moment rowing their boats through the famous Plaza de España water, were instead looking like total idiots, barely able to row their boats, ourselves included. It was hilarious and so memorable. We really bonded with some of the other boat riders that afternoon.
Despite the struggles, we made the best out of it and managed just fine in the end. After about 5 minutes of practice, Nate actually did really well and was picking up speed around the water. Even though we were going pretty fast, we still only made it a little over half way before we had to turn back because our time allotment was ending. I doubt that very many people get to ride through the whole semi circle loop, unless of course they decide to stay out longer and give up their deposit. It’s your call.
The setting really is so picturesque as you’re riding along on your boat. Sometimes I felt like I should pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. It was so fun going under the many bridges along our path. They are so pretty and storybook-like. The architecture is stunning here, and taking it all in from the view of the boat was a whole new way of seeing the plaza that I really enjoyed. Despite the difficulty of rowing the boat, I would still recommend this activity, at least to do once in your life.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments about Plaza de España or riding the rowboats. And better yet, let me know about your experience! Did you struggle like we did? I’d love to hear your stories and your comments below!