If you have spare days to visit it, we suggest you to pay a visit to the Tourism Office so that they can provide you with maps full of circles with a long list of wonders of this beautiful city to that you can get to discover them step by step between abundant lunches and carnations of thousands of colors.
If you are into express visits, just like we are, and want to visit Cordoba in two days and do not want to go back home feeling like you missed something important, we provide you here a list with the most renowned places of Cordoba; this way you biggest concern will be to get the best angle for your perfect selfie. You do not want to miss the magic essence of this Andalucian city. So, here is an improved and more entertaining version of your Google “what to visit in Cordoba” search.
1. Mezquita-Catedral of Cordoba
Visiting Cordoba and skipping The Mosque of Cordoba is like visiting Paris and skipping The Eiffel Tower: flat-out impossible. Actually, it would be extremely hard not to see them. In the case of the Mezquita of Córdoba, even if you closed your eyes, you will end up hitting one of its walls or one of the women who distribute good-luck rosemary in one of the entrances. Truth is that the Mosque-Cathedral is located in the heart of the city’s Historical Center.
Just to give you an idea, this is World Heritage monument began its construction in 786 AD atop of a Visigothic basilica that was also built atop of a Roman temple). Why did not they demolish the whole thing and started from scratch? Try to be in their shoes and ask yourselves the same question.
All in all, if you are not too convinced with the super summary we have provided you with about the Mosque-Cathedral, you can find more information in the official website.
Now, let’s go straight to the point, that is, how to visit the Mosque FOR FREE.
If you wish to save the 8 € of the ticket to enter the Mosque, you will have to be an early bird. From 8:30am-9:30am, you can do so from Monday through Saturday. In our opinion this is worth doing because it usually ends up being 10am instead of 9:30am, so you have plenty of time so visit it. It is obvious that we could spend a lifetime staring at each and every piece of tile in the Mosque, yet life is short and Cordoba is pretty big. If it turns out that you did not have enough time, you can always wake up early two days in a row.
Photo by Timor Espallargas
2. Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos
This palace is well worth visiting. It was the residence of the Catholic Monarchs for eight years, as well as the fortress from which they led the campaign against the Kingdom of Granada. This the very building where Christopher Columbus asked in 1486 Isabel and Fernando for funds for his famous journey. Also, after the Reconquest, it was transformed into a Holy Office Court. After the abolition of this authority by the Cortes de Cadiz in 1812 it was used as a civil prison and later on as a military building since 1931 up until 1955 (when it was handed over to the City Hall.
It really is surprising the contrast between its sober exterior appearance and the enormous interior beauty, with its amazing and attractive gardens—and the water is always the protagonist. We suggest you to take your time to walk around the place and discover the various architectonical styles that define it. It is a great reflection of the centuries of history where Visigothic and Roman remains coexist with the Arab heritage from the Caliphal period. All of it mixed with a restoration that took place in 1236 by Alfonso X, after the city’s reconquest.
The ticket price of the Alcázar is 4,5€ for adults and 2,25€ for students.
Photo by Amoluc
3. Medina Azahara (Madīnat al-Zahrā’)
Located at the feet of Sierra Morena, eight kilometers away from the city of Cordoba, this impressive archeological complex, built in 936 AD and destroyed just one hundred years later, was a symbol of the religious and political power of the caliphate of Cordoba. The most famous part of this ancient construction is the Salon Rico. This place held great ceremonies and events, where foreign ambassadors, after crossing the three overlapped terraces separated by walls that shaped the spectacular caliphal complex, were finally met by the great Caliph—all of them got extremely shocked by such a splendor and majesty.
If you are looking forward to visiting it, you might have asked yourself how can I get there. There are two ways: you can either go by car to the monument’s Interpretation Center (where you can see every 55 minutes a video about the archeological complex history) and take shuttle to the entrance that costs 8,50 € (round trip) and takes 15 minutes. The price of the bus ticket also includes the shuttle service. The tickets can be purchased in any Tourism Information checkpoint.
4. The Roman Bridge of Cordoba
The Roman bridge of Cordoba is a must see place at sunset. You do not want to leave Cordoba without enjoying the wonderful views offered by the Mosque’s complex, the Guadalquivir River and the very bridge.
It is also well-known as the “Old Bridge”. It was built early 1st century during the Roman Cordoba period—probably replacing a former wooden bridge.
Photo by Shaorang
Other things of interest in Cordoba
- Taste the famous humongous omelet from Taberna Bar Santos, right next to the Mosque.
- Walking around the Calle de las flores. It is especially beautiful at night because, from an interior patio, you can see the Mosque lit in the background.
- Walking around the Municipal Bazaar, a place for promotion of traditional craftwork from the city.
- Participate in a tea tasting at the Casa Andalusí
- Visit the Julio Romero de Torres Museum, which is dedicated to the memory of the late great Cordovan painter.
We really hope this guide is of great help. If so, we do not resign ourselves to having a bite of omelet. And if you want to recommend us any other interesting visit in Cordoba, do not be a stranger and let us know in the comment section.