METROPOL PARASOL Las Setas de Sevilla

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What started out as a controversial project to rejuvenate one of central Sevilla’s main squares, has turned into the city’s most impressive modern monument. The Metropol Parasol, or Setas de Sevilla (mushrooms of Seville) as it is locally called, is a massive geometric structure in the shape of interconnected mushrooms. Rising up above the entire square, these mushroom-shaped shades are almost 30m (100ft) tall and support a skywalk that offers some of the best views of Sevilla, especially at sunset.

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OPENING TIMES - LOOKOUT DECK

Sunday to Thursday: 10am to 10:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 10am to 11pm

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PRICE – LOOKOUT DECK

General: 5€
Free: residents of Seville

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ADDRESS

Plaza de la Encarnación, 41003 Sevilla

VIEW MAP
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What are the Setas de Sevilla?

Metropol Parasol seen from the streets of Sevilla, Spain
Metropol Parasol seen from the street

Besides two concrete columns that hold the elevator shaft, the Setas de Sevilla is made almost entirely out of wood. In fact, with measurements of 150m x 70m x 28m, it is said to be the world’s largest wooden structure. Over 3,500 pieces of Finnish pine were used, weighing a total of 1,300,000 kilograms. That is equal to approximately 260 adult elephants! All of this wood is held together by 16 million screws and nails.

Views from the lookout deck at Las Setas de Sevilla, Spain
Views from the lookout deck at Las Setas de Sevilla

CONSTRUCTION & CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING THE METROPOL PARASOL

In 2004, in a bid to renew the derelict Plaza de la Encarnación, the city of Seville opened an international design competition. The Metropol Parasol project from German architect Jürgen Mayer won. In 2005, at a cost of 50 million euros, the construction began. A few years into the build, the project’s engineers revealed that the due to the complex nature of the structure, it would not be possible to complete. Years passed and eventually a solution was found. In 2011, the Setas de Sevilla finally opened – but the total construction cost had “mushroomed” to an estimated 100 million euros.

The Metropol project was controversial when it was being built and that controversy continued even after it was inaugurated. Many found it to be entirely too expensive and others thought it was just plain ugly. The contrast between such a futuristic design and the historic buildings found in the square was just too much to swallow for some.

Contrast of old and new in Seville's Encarnación square, Spain
Contrast of old and new in Seville's Encarnación square

The first time I saw these massive geometric shades hovering above the square, I thought that it was rather hideous and didn’t fit in with the surrounding. But that is actually what intrigued me about it. I shook my head in dismay and said, “Who thought this was a good idea?”

But it seems that with the pass of time, locals and visitors have warmed up to the Setas. I sure have. I’ve even come to love it’s quirky contrast. In fact, I think it's one of the top things to see in Seville! It has a special character that is truly unique.

What to See in the Setas de Sevilla

LOOKOUT DECK

Apart from enjoying the views of the mushrooms from all the different corners of the Encarnacion square, the other main highlight of the Metropol Parasol is its lookout deck. To get there, take the stairs down to the underground level where you will find the elevator to the top (5€ ticket).

Walkway on top of Metropol Parasol – Sevilla, Spain
Walkway on top of Metropol Parasol

Once at the top, a winding walkway will take you all the way around the mushrooms. As you advance along the walkway, you’ll be able to take in some of the best views of Seville. If you want to enjoy a 360º view of Seville, this is definitely the place!

There is also a small bar on the top level. However, you don’t really have any views and the atmosphere is usually better in the bars around the Encarnacion square at the ground level.

BARS & ENCARNACION MARKET

At the ground level, the Setas are surrounded by a variety of bars and restaurants. There is always a lively atmosphere in the area, which attracts both visitors and locals alike. Sitting at one of the many bar terraces for a drink while enjoying the views of this crazy sculpture is definitely a great plan.

Life around Plaza de la Encarnación – Seville, Spain
Life around Plaza de la Encarnación

Apart from a couple of bars, the ground level of the Metropol Parasol is also occupied by a market, the Mercado de la Encarnacion. With almost 40 stands, this market offers a large selection of meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and more. It’s here that tradition and modernity meet: the modern Setas housing a traditional market selling high quality local produce.

The Encarnacion Market is the perfect place to learn about the ingredients of the local gastronomy. And if you are staying in an apartment in Seville, take some back and cook up something nice.

ANTIQUARIUM

There is even another bonus to the Setas. In the underground level, right next to the elevator, you will find the Antiquarium (2€ entrance fee). The Antiquarium is the largest archaeological site in the city of Seville.

The remains, which have been preserved in situ, date back to the 1st century all the way through the time of the Moors (the Almohad period to be more specific). The main highlights are the 1st century tile mosaics.

Roman mosaics at the Antiquarium – Metropol Parasol, Seville, Spain
Roman mosaics at the Antiquarium

The site was discovered in the 1990’s when an underground parking garage was being built. Needless to say, the parking garage had to be moved.

ENJOY THE SETAS FROM YOUR HOTEL WINDOW

Stylish room at Hotel Casa de Indias – Metropol Parasol, Seville, Spain
Stylish room at Hotel Casa de Indias

Are you looking for a hotel close to the Setas de Sevilla? How about right in front of it? Casa de Indias is one of our favorite hotels in Seville and it has rooms that look directly out onto the mushrooms. Besides being very centrally located and having great views, the hotel is simply beautiful. It’s sophisticated but unpretentious. And it has a rooftop terrace with a pool that is to die for.

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