Córdoba, located in the south of Spain, is a beautiful city that tends to be overlooked by foreigners and tourists when considering visiting Spain. Perhaps the fact it does not have sea? Or perhaps because many foreigners like to visit cities such as Málaga or Sevilla first.
We are not totally sure why, but that such a beautiful and amazing city does not have many tourists should make anyone wants to visit it. The more you explore this city, the more you want to wander around and get lost in the cute streets of it – and particularly in the old part of town.
An introduction to Córdoba
Córdoba was once the richest city in Western Europe. Rich in many ways, of course, but especially from a cultural point of view.
The Middle Ages were an important area in Córdoba’s history. This city has been controlled by many different people over the centuries, and this has had an impact on the city in different ways. That’s one of the reasons why there is so much stuff to do here. You can see and learn an endless amount about the city of Córdoba. It was once described as “decus orbis“ when the city was under Islamic rule – which means “ornament of the world”.
The city has many landmarks, besides a considerable part of the architecture that recalls its past over and over. But the beauty on this city does not just lie on its landmarks, the quaint streets, the cute alleys with potted plants hanging on the houses, the kindness and friendliness of the people, the old-fashioned but charming hidden squares, cozy restaurants and taverns, the Andalusian-looking buildings… All this (and more) create a vibe that is just magical! And since it does not receive as many tourists as it should, we consider Córdoba one of the hidden gems in Spain.
Also, we recommend to give a certain amount of time if visiting, though in case there is not much time, say almost one day or just several hours left to spend in the city we still encourage you to try to visit some of the most important landmarks and walk a bit around the old town. But our recommendation is to spend at least 2 or 3 full days, and 4 would not be too much either. Some tourists even spend a week or more – and they don’t seem to regret it at all.
There are several events and celebrations all year around and some of them are quite important for the citizens of Córdoba. Even for the whole community of Andalusia:
- Feria de Córdoba (Córdoba’s Fair). It takes place between 25th of May and 1st of June.
- La Feria de los Patios (the Patio’s fair)
- The Holy Week (so many locals that attend the events of the Holy Week are not religious at all,
- Cruces de Mayo (May’s Crosses)
- Festival de la Guitarra (The Guitar’s Festival). It takes places during the first fortnight of July.
All in all, we could say Córdoba has a special vibe to it, it can be quite hard to explain … To know exactly what we are talking about, you need to visit and feel it yourself!
Must-visit attractions in Córdoba
If you’re traveling to Córdoba, it’s always nice to have a list of things to see. Read on below for specific details about each of the most popular attractions in Córdoba.
What can we say here? The Great Mosque of Córdoba is the most popular landmark of the city! It is just a masterpiece for both its exterior and interior. It is just beautiful, and in real life it looks more appealing and impressive! If you’re going to Córdoba, don’t miss it – the Mosque/Cathedral is the main sight of the city.
From Monday to Saturday: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday: 8:30 am – 11:30 am 3:30 pm – 6 pm
Address: 1 Calle Cardenal Herrero, 1nd it4003.
It is just the remains of an ancient palace-city. Its history is really interesting, as it was so important in both Córdoba’s and Spain’s history. Even though today it looks like what it is: ruins, as soon as you set foot on there, you just realize how impressive and important it had to be back in the Middle Ages, especially if you visit it on a guided tour and learn the history behind it. So if you decide to visit Medina Azahara we recommend you to do it through a guided tour. You’ll learn all the details.
It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 1st of July, 2018.
Address: Carretera Palma del Río, km 5.5, Córdoba
It is just the remains of a Roman temple. After a lot of investigation they came to the conclusion it could possibly be one of the most important Roman temples of all Córdoba, even though it was not the only one.
Address: Calle Capitulares, s/n. + 34 957 20 17 74
This is the most representative bridge of Córdoba and also one of the most popular highlights of the city. It is nearly impossible tourists don’t walk through it or see it. Its history is really interesting, it was constructed back in the 1st century by the Romans (even though reformations and changes have been made over the centuries).
Address: Av. del Alcázar, s/n.
Torre de Calahorra
The history behind this tower is pretty interesting and is situated right in the beginning of the Roman Bridge. It boasts a small museum inside of it.
Address: Museo Vivo de Al-Andalus, Puente Romano
Patios and courtyards
As soon as you set foot on this city you realize andalusians patios and courtyards are all over the place. They give a special vibe to the city, which makes it unique and cozy.
Palacio de Viana
Anyway wanting to see how beautiful the real andalusian patios look like should not miss this palace! There are more than 10 patios and gardens decorated with colourful plants, flowers and trees. The interior of the palace is so beautiful too.
The entrance costs 5 euros.
From Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Address: 2 Plaza de Don Gome, 14001
This Jewish temple is part of Córdoba’s history. Its construction was completed in 1315 and it is situated in the Jewish Quarter. As for its decorations, it clearly has a Mudejar influence which was an important style in architecture.
Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos
Its history is really interesting and important for the city of Córdoba. We could tell so much about this Alcazar (Al-Andalus castle or palace) that we would need pages and pages for it, so we would prefer you to visit it! you would be amazed with it! especially with its exterior, it is so beautiful and massive.
This splendid alcazar was declared a Cultural Interest Heritage in 1931. The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos is in the historic centre of the city which as declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
Entrance costs 4.50 euros. If you are a student and not older than 26 the cost is 2.25 euros and free for people that are less 13 years old and more than 65 years old. Although you can enter for free from Tuesday to Friday between 8.30 and 9.30 A.M., so that’s the best day to visit.
Address: Plaza Campo de los Mártires, s/n.
Other things to do in Córdoba
Above are the main attractions in Córdoba city, but there are more monuments and stuff that are worth seeing, such as:
- The palacio de la Merced
- La puerta del Puente (the Bridge’s Gate)
- The Roman Mausoleum
- The Botanical Gardens
- The Jewish Quarter
- The Monastery of San Jerónimo
- The “ Malmuerta “ Tower
- Calleja de las Flores
- The Royal Mews of Córdoba
- El Castillo de Almodovar. It is situated around 20 km or so from the city, but if you like castles you should definitely consider visiting it, it is in the municipality of Almodovar del Río. Oh, and It was one of the shooting locations of the 7th season of Game of Thrones! We also recommend a guided tour for visiting this castle, but it is possible to visit it solo as well.
In other words, the city is absolutely ideal for sightseeing.
The whole of the Casco Antiguo, the old city, is still surrounded by ancient Roman walls. The old city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is, in large part, a pedestrian zone which allows visitors to wander around, stroll through cute narrow streets lined by whitewashed houses with flowered balconies, discover monuments, some beautiful buildings and enjoy the coziness and charm that characterises this city. Words are not enough to describe the old town of this city, you need to be there and explore it so you just know what we are talking about.
Also, those who are into art can visit several art galleries in this city:
- Museum of Fine Arts.
- Galería Carmen del Campo
- Museum Julio Romero de Torres
- Botanical Gardens
- Calleja de las Flores
Córdoba is a beautiful, cozy and interesting city that is under the radar by many tourists, but here we are to show what it has to offer. If you want to know more about this city don’t forget to check out these articles:
- Best hotels to stay in Córdoba
- Best places to eat out in Córdoba
- Best apartments to stay in Córdoba
- Trendiest neighbourhoods in Córdoba
If you are interested in private guided tours, vacation packages and deals, we will also be covering this in the near future.