Want to see one of the most beautiful cities in Spain and the city with the largest number of World Heritage Sites in the world? Head to Cordoba Spain
GUIDE TO CORDOBA SPAIN
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Are you planning a trip to Cordoba last minute?
If you are traveling to Cordoba last minute, I prepared for you a short summary of the best tours in Cordoba, the best hotels in Cordoba, and more!
BEST EXPERIENCES AND TOURS IN CORDOBA:
Córdoba: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Mosque-Cathedral Guided Tour (the most popular guided tour)
Cordoba Mosque, Synagogue & Jewish Quarter Tour with Tickets (a popular tour)
BEST HOTELS IN CORDOBA:
Las Casas de la Judería de Córdoba (luxury)
Hacienda Posada de Vallina (mid-range)
Mayflowers Hostel (budget)
WHAT IS CORDOBA
Cordoba is a city in the Andalusia region in southern Spain.
Beautiful Cordoba is one of the most charming cities in Spain. Ancient Cordoba was the capital city of the medieval Moroorish Al Andalus and an important cultural and scientific center in Europe in the Middle Age.
The city of Cordoba is one of the most visited cities in Andalusia, along with Seville and Granada.
WHAT IS CORDOBA KNOWN FOR
Lovely Cordoba is best known for the masterpiece Mezquita-Cathedral. But Cordoba is also known as the city with the largest number of World Heritage sites in the world.
Even four sites in Cordoba are declared World Heritage Sites: the historic center of Cordoba, Mezquita-Cathedral, Medina-Azahar, and Festival de Los Patios.
CORDOBA SPAIN HISTORY
To understand such a rich cultural heritage, let me give a brief historical overview of Cordoba. Carteghians founded Cordoba, and Romans, Visigoths, Moors, and Christians ruled the city. And all of them left their mark on art, architecture, and culture.
However, the golden age of Cordoba was under the Moorish rule from the 8th century to the 10th century when Cordoba was the main cultural and scientific center of the ‘western world’.
Medieval Cordoba was the capital of Moorish Al Andalus and a major cultural and scientific center of medieval Europe.
WHERE IS CORDOBA
Cordoba is a city in Andalusia in southern Spain. The city of Cordoba is the capital of the province of Cordoba. It lies on the Guadalquivir River, the same river Seville lies on.
Cordoba is 86 mi (140 km) away from Seville, 100 mi (160 km) away from Malaga, and 124 mi (200) km away from Granada in Andalusia.
The city of Cordoba is about 249 mi (400 km) south of Madrid.
HOW TO GET TO CORDOBA SPAIN
Sevilla International Airport (SVQ) is the nearest airport to Cordoba. Cordoba is 69 mi (112 km) away from the Seville Airport.
Also, Granada International Airport (GRX) is 74 mi (118 km), Malaga International Airport (AGP) is 85 mi (137 km), and Jerez International Airport (XRY) is 106 mi (171) km away from Cordoba, Spain.
HOW TO GET FROM SEVILLE TO CORDOBA
Cordoba is 140 km away from the city of Seville. Visiting Cordoba is also a popular day trip from Seville.
The fastest way to get to Cordoba from Seville is by train. It takes only 45 min by train from Seville to Cordoba. A train ticket from Seville to Cordoba costs around 30 USD.
A bus ride from Seville to Cordoba takes 2 hours and costs 14 USD.
The cheapest way to reach Cordoba from Seville is by popular European carpooling service, called BlaBlaCar.
A car drive from Seville to Cordoba takes 1 hour and 30 min.
HOW TO GET FROM MADRID TO CORDOBA
Cordoba is about 249 mi (400 km) south of Madrid.
But despite the distance, Cordoba is easily reachable from Madrid thanks to fast-speed train connections.
The fastest way to get from Madrid to Cordoba is by train. A train ride from Madrid to Cordoba takes one hour and 45 min and costs around 70 USD.
A bus ride from Madrid to Cordoba takes four hours and 45 min and costs around 30 USD.
A car drive from Madrid to Cordoba takes 4 hours.
The cheapest way to get from Madrid to Cordoba is by BlaBlaBla carpooling.
HOW TO GET FROM GRANADA TO CORDOBA
The fastest way to get from Granada to Cordoba is by train. A train ride from Granada to Cordoba takes one hour and 25 min and costs about 60 USD.
A bus ride from Granada to Cordoba takes 2 hours and 15 min and costs between 15 and 20 USD.
A car drive from Granada to Cordoba takes about two hours and 10 min.
HOW TO GET FROM MALAGA TO CORDOBA
The fastest way to get from Malaga to Cordoba is by train. A train ride from Malaga to Cordoba takes one hour and costs about 30 USD.
A bus ride from Malaga to Cordoba takes four hours and costs 13 USD.
A car drive from Malaga to Cordoba takes about an hour and 40 min.
BEST TIME TO VISIT CORDOBA SPAIN
Cordoba is known as the warmest place in Europe. The average high temperature in Cordoba in July and August is 99 F (37 C).
The best time to visit Cordoba is May when Fiesta de Los Patios (the annual Courtyard Festival) happens. During the festival, Cordobese patios filled with blooming geraniums are open to the public, while streets in Cordoba are full of flower scents.
WHERE TO STAY IN CORDOBA SPAIN
BUDGET: Mayflowers Hostel – is a beautiful hostel with a superb location in the heart of Cordoba and within walking distance of main tourist attractions.
MID-RANGE: Hacienda Posada de Vallina – is a fabulous 3-star hotel in the Jewish Quarter with easy access to the most famous sites in Cordoba.
UPSCALE: Las Casas de la Judería de Córdoba – is a superb palace-like 4-star hotel with beautiful rooms and courtyards in the center of Cordoba.
20 BEST THINGS TO DO IN CORDOBA SPAIN
1. Explore the Historic Center of Cordoba
The Historic Center of Cordoba is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The medieval city of Cordoba was the most cosmopolitan city in Europe. It was the main center in Europe for philosophy, astronomy, and medicine from the 8th century to the 11th century.
Among other things, the medieval city of Cordoba was known for religious tolerance between Muslims, Jews, and Christians.
The historic center of Cordoba city holds numerous Roman, Arab, and Christian monuments (churches, palaces, fortresses, traditional Andalusian houses with Moorish courtyards …, and four World Heritage sites.
The Historic Center of Cordoba holds the most popular attractions like the Mosque-Cathedral complex, the Alzacar of the Christian Monarchs, the Alley of the Flowers, the Roman walls and the Roman Bridge of Cordoba, the courtyards of Cordoba city.
The best way to explore the History Center of Cordoba is by foot.
2. Visit the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba
The awe-inspiring Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is one of the most spectacular buildings in the world.
The La Mezquita (the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba) is a fascinating architectural masterpiece.
It is a unique sacral building. At first, it was a small Visigothic Christian church, but later the church became a Mosque during the Caliphate in the 8th century. And finally, it became a Catholic Cathedral after the Reconquista in the 13th century.
Thanks to the turbulent history architecture of La Mezquita features an exceptional mix of different styles. The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba has elements of Egyptian, Greek-Roman, Visigothic, Moorish, Spanish-Flamish, Renaissance, and Baroque styles.
The Mezquita covers 24,000 square meters and has 856 columns made of exquisite materials like granite, marble, and jasper. However, the most notable are awe-inspiring white-red striped arches supported by stone columns.
The Mesquita is the most famous landmark of Cordoba and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Cordoba.
So, touring this exceptional place is one of the most popular things to do in Cordoba.
A ticket for visiting the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is 11 EURO. Visitors can tour the Mezquita on their own or join a guided tour to get valuable insights into history.
3. See El Patio de los Naranjos
The Orange Tree Courtyard, or El Patio de Los Naranjos, is a stunning courtyard entrance to the Mesquita Cathedral.
This ancient courtyard is called after 100 planted oranges trees. Orange, palm, and cypress trees, and a fountain adorn the Orange tree Courtyard in Cordoba.
It is a part of the Mosque-Cathedral complex in the Jewish Quarter.
The courtyard is 130 m long and 50 m wide. It was made as a religious courtyard for Muslim purification pre-payer in the 8th century.
It is open to the public, and visiting is free.
4. Climb Torre Campanario in Cordoba Spain
The 54-m-tall bell tower was originally the minaret of the Great Mosque of Cordoba.
The bell tower provides a bird’s perspective of the cathedral complex and the old city of Cordoba.
Only up to 20 people can climb Torre Campanario every 30 min.
Get your ticket at the ticket office next to the tower and check the panoramic views from the top.
A ticket for climbing the tower costs 2 EURO.
5. Visit Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos in Corodba
The Alzacar of the Christian Monarchs is a medieval royal palace in the Historic Center of Cordoba.
The Alzacar Palace of Cordoba was one of the main residencies of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. It is also the birthplace of Infanta Maria, one of their three daughters.
The place was built as a Roman fortress at first, later it became a part of the Moorish fortress complex. And at some point, it was turned into the seat of the Inquisition and even a prison.
The square-shaped palace complex is a gigantic monument with four towers, royal rooms, baths, halls, Mudejar-style courtyards, and terraced gardens with ponds, trees, and fountains.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The palace is next to the Guadalquivir River and the Mosque-Cathedral in Cordoba.
A ticket for visiting costs 5 EURO.
6. Stroll the Jewish Quarter in Cordoba
El Barrio de Juderia de Cordoba is one of the historic neighborhoods of Cordoba.
Medieval Cordoba has a significant Jewish community. Cordoba was the main center of the Jewish community in Andalusia.
The 14th-century Cordoba synagogue is one of the oldest synagogues in the world.
7. Walk Calleya de las Flores
The Alley of the Flowers is arguably the pretties alley in Cordoba.
It is a short and narrow alley with an amazing view of the Cathedral. The alley ends at the small square. It’s a typical Andalusian street with lined whitewashed Andalusian houses decorated with flowers.
The Alley of the Flowers is the most picturesque street in Cordoba, a landmark of Cordoba, and a tourist hot spot in Cordoba.
The Alley of the Flowers is the Jewish Quarter in the historic center of Cordoba.
8. Walk across the Roman Bridge
Picture-perfect Roman Bridge over the Guadalquivir River Is a landmark of Cordoba.
The Roman Bridge of Cordoba with its 16 arches is one of the most beautiful bridges in Europe.
The Roman Bridge of Cordoba is one of the most famous bridges in Spain, along with the Roman Bridge of Avila and the Roman Bridge of Salamanca. Romans built the bridge in the 1st century BC and later Moors reconstructed it.
The Roman Bride, or the Puente Romano of Cordoba, is often pictured on postcards of Cordoba. There is no visit to Cordoba without strolling this famous bridge.
The arched Roman Bridge of Cordoba is 9 m wide and 247 m long.
The Corodobese Roman Bridge was featured in the famous TV series Game of Thrones. It doubled The Long Bridge of Volantis in the 5th season of Game of Thrones.
The Roman Bridge is in the historic center of Cordoba.
9. See Puerta del Ponte in Cordoba
The Gate of the Bridge, or Puerta del Ponte in Spanish, is a gate in Cordoba that connects the Roman Bridge and the city of Cordoba.
It is called Arc de Triomphe of Cordoba.
The Gate is a 16th-century Renaissance gate supported by four Doric columns. It was built on the place where an ancient Roman gate once stood and which was a part of the city walls of walled Roman Cordoba.
10. Have tea in one of the famous teterias in Cordoba
The Moorish tea rooms, or teterias of Cordoba, are a must-see in Cordoba.
The Cordobese teterias are charming and cozy places that take visitors back in time. They typically offer a wide range of tea, infusions, and Arab sweets.
Salon de Te Cordoba in the Jewish Quarter is a popular tea room in Cordoba.
11. Admire Palacio de Viana
The Viana Palace, or Palacio de Viana in Spanish, is a historical landmark of Cordoba and a historical heritage monument of Spain.
It is a 15th-century Renaissance house-palace with stunning courtyards, a garden, and a collection of antiques. Families who lived in the house for over five centuries (from the 15th to the 20th centuries) gathered the artwork.
Palacio de Viana has, believe it or not, 12 beautiful patios: the Courtyard of the Cats, Courtyard of the Orange trees, Courtyard of the bars, the Lady’s Courtyard, Courtyard of the Columns, Pool Courtyard, the Courtyard of the Well, the Gardberes Courtyard, the Chapel Courtyard, the Archive Courtyard, the Courtyard of the Gate.
This authentic Corodvan house is one of the best-preserved manor houses in Cordoba and Spain.
The Viana Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cordoba. It is in the Santa Marina neighborhood in Cordoba.
12. Visit Medina Azahara
Medina Azahara, or the Shining City in Arabic, was the capital of ancient Al Andalus.
The first caliph and ruler of Cordoba built the city in the 10th century. But, the caliphate city got abandoned during the civil war in the 11th century and forgotten until the 20th century, when it got rediscovered.
The Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba was the western counterpart of the Fatimid Caliphate of Ifriqiya and the Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad in the east.
Medieval Medina Azahara represents the finest example of Moorish Al Andalus architecture. The city had urban infrastructure with buildings, streets, a water supply system, roads, and bridges.
Therefore, the Caliphate City of Medina Azahara of Cordoba is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is on the outskirts of Cordoba.
13. Taste authentic Salmorejo Cordobese
Cordoba is the birthplace of salmorejo, one of the most famous Spanish dishes.
Salmorejo is a famous Cordobese tomato puree and a version of Spanish gazpacho.
This delicious Spanish dish is made with pureed tomatoes, bread, garlic, and vinegar. Chopped egg or ham typically tops salmorejo.
If you love tasting local dishes on your travels, salmorejo is a must-try dish in Cordoba.
14. Have a bite of Rabo de Toro
The Bull Tail Stew is another delicacy from Cordoba.
Rabo de toro is made by slowly cooking oxtail with red wine, garlic, and thyme at low temperatures.
The Cordobese Bull Tail Stew is a popular Spanish dish widely prepared in Spanish homes.
15. Enjoy Berenjas Fritas con Miel
Fried Eggplants with Molasses are a typical Spanish tapa dish from Andalusia.
Berenjas fritas con miel a la Cordobesa is a delicious local tapa from Cordoba. The mixture of sweet honey and salty eggplants makes gourmands regularly return to Cordoba.
16. Sip Montilla-Moriles wine
Montilla -Moriles wine is a wine from the area of the two small towns: Montilla and Moriles, in the Cordoba province.
Montilla-Moriles is a DO wine zone found 45 km south of Cordoba in Andalusia in southern Spain.
Montilla- Moriles wines are sweet and dry wines similar to more famous Sherry wines. Montilla- Moriles wines are dessert wines commonly made from Moscatel grapes.
17. Refresh yourself with Tinto de Verano
Tinto de verano is one of the most popular drinks in Spain.
Tino de Verano literally means ‘summer wine’. It is a refreshing mix of red wine and lemon soda widely enjoyed in Spain in the summertime.
Cordoba is the hometown of tinto de verano. So, if you want to try the authentic tinto de verano in Spain, ordering a glass of it in Cordoba is a must!
18. Stroll Patios de Cordoba
The Courtyards of Cordoba, or Patios de Cordoba, are famous for their beauty.
They are known as the most beautiful courtyards in Spain. UNESCO listed them as an Intangible World Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The Cordobese courtyards typically come with plenty of colorful flowers, graceful fountains, and stunning mosaics. The Courtyards of Cordoba are well-protected by walls providing the ultimate privacy.
The Fiesta de Los Patios Cordobeses, or Festival of the Courtyards of Cordoba, happens in May every year. During the 12-day event, about 50 private courtyards get open to the public. Visiting the Courtyards of Cordoba during the Fiesta de Los Patios Cordobeses is free.
19. Wintness Holy Week in Cordoba
The most famous Holy Week processions in Andalusia happen in the towns of Seville, Malaga, Granada, Cordoba, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, and Almeria.
The celebration of Semana Santa is the most important festival in Cordoba. Holy Week in Córdoba is a dignified event. It happens in the historic center of Cordoba a week before Easter every year.
The 38 Brotherhoods of Penance from various neighborhoods of Cordoba make processions along the streets during La Semana Santa de Córdoba.
Processions of El Rescatado brotherhood on Palm Sunday, Las Angustias brotherhood on Holy Thursday, and Los Dolores brotherhood on Good Friday are the most popular processions during Holy Week in Cordoba. The brotherhood of El Rescatado is famous for carrying the image of Jesús Rescatado, popularly known as ‘the Lord of Cordoba’ on Palm Sunday.
The Brotherhood of Las Angustias is one of the oldest brotherhoods that carries the Penitence Station in the Cathedral on Holy Thursday.
The Brotherhood of Los Dolores is also one of the oldest brotherhoods. The brotherhood carries the image of the sorrowful Virgin Mary, the most devoted sacred image by locals, on Good Friday.
La Semana Santa de Córdoba is the most popular event in Cordoba among locals and tourists.
Holy Week in Córdoba 2023: April 2-9.
Read Easter in Spain to find out more about Easter traditions and the Semana Santa celebrations.
20. Start walking Camino de Santiago from Cordoba
Camino de Santiago in Spain is one of the most famous pilgrimages and hiking routes in the world. Camino de Santiago is a network of routes leading to the tomb of St James the Apostle in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
Camino Mozarabe is one of the popular Camino de Santiago routes and the longest Camino de Santiago route.
The Camino Mozarabe can be started in Cordoba. From Cordoba, the Camino Mozarabe route goes to Merida where it joins the Camino Via de La Plata route.
Camino Mozarabe from Cordoba goes via Merida, Cáceres, Salamanca, Zamora, and Ourense towards Santiago de Compostela.
If exploring southern Spain on foot sounds interesting to you, consider walking Camino de Santiago from Cordoba.
For more info on walking Camino Mozarabe from Cordoba, contact Asociación Camino de Santiago -Camino Mozárabe de Córdoba (address: Pl. de San Pedro, 1, 2ª pta, 14002 Córdoba).