What to do in Cordoba, Spain: 16x see & do
Cordoba is a city located in the southern region of Andalusia in Spain. A region full of beautiful cities so many people skip a city trip Cordoba during a tour. A pity, because in our opinion Cordoba is one of the nicest cities in Andalusia. Although the historic center is quite compact, the city has much to offer. The most beautiful Cordoba sights are therefore easy to discover in one day. What to do in Cordoba? We share sixteen tips for an unforgettable city break.
La Mezquita: The mosque cathedral of Cordoba
One of the most important and popular attractions in Cordoba is without a doubt La Mezquita, the mosque cathedral of Cordoba. The Mezquita is an impressive Moorish mosque that was converted into a cathedral in 1236. Because Cordoba has been in the hands of different population groups over the centuries, you can see different architectural styles in the mosque-cathedral. In particular, the red and white arches are typical of the Moorish architectural style and you imagine yourself in a mosque while in the middle of the huge structure there is an imposing church with all the trimmings. Nowadays La Mezquite is open to visitors and a visit should definitely not be missed during your city break.
- The entrance fee for La Mezquita is €11 per person. You can buy your tickets on the spot or order them online. The Mezquita is one of the most popular sights in Cordoba and therefore it is often quite busy. Don’t feel like standing in line? Then purchase skip-the-line tickets for the Mezquita online . Want to learn more about the history and current use of the impressive structure during your visit? Book tickets here.
- The mosque-cathedral in Cordoba is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm. On Fridays, the mosque-cathedral is open to visitors from 1 to 6:30 pm and on Sundays from 8:30 to 11:30 am and from 4 to 7 pm.
Climb the Bell Tower for an impressive view of the city
One of the biggest eye-catchers in the city is undoubtedly the gigantic Bell Tower which rises above all the structures in the city. The Bell Tower is part of the Mezquita and can be climbed during your visit to the mosque-cathedral. The entrance fee to the Bell Tower is unfortunately not included in the price, but is €3 per person. Due to its popularity, you should choose a time slot for your visit to the tower. Tickets can be purchased online through this website.
Patio de los Naranjos
Before or after your visit to the Bell Tower and Mezquita, I recommend you take a short walk around the square that surrounds the mosque-cathedral. Patio de los Naranjos – square of oranges – is super atmospheric, courtesy of the many orange trees.
Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos is one of the other popular attractions in Cordoba. This royal palace built around 1328 and served as a residence for the king. Today, the palace fortress is open to visitors. Especially the huge palace garden with its colorful flowers and ponds is worth a visit.
- Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos is open every day except Monday.
- Since the palace fortress is one of the most popular attractions in Cordoba, it is wise to book skip-the-line tickets online in advance
- Every Friday, Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos in Cordoba is free for tourists to visit.
The royal stables
The royal stables, or Caballerizas Reales, of Cordoba are located near the Alcazar. Here you can admire the special stables for free and attend a horse show several times a week.
Puente Romano: The bridge of Cordoba
Cordoba is situated on the Guadalquivir River so it is not surprising that one of the most beautiful Cordoba attractions is an impressive bridge. The Puente Romano is a 240 meter long bridge that connects the Jewish quarter with the outskirts of the city. Across the bridge stands the imposing Torre de la Calahorra. Today the Torre de la Calahorra houses a museum where you can learn more about the culture of Andalusia.
Hotel tip Cordoba: Eurostars Azahar
Puerta del Puente
Right opposite the Puente Romano you will find the Puerta del Puente, which means gate of the bridge. Walk from the bridge through the gate and you’ll find yourself in the middle of the city’s Jewish quarter, Juderia.
Juderia: The Jewish Quarter of Cordoba
Although Cordoba consists of several districts, there is actually one district that you should definitely not skip during your city break. The district Juderia, or the Jewish Quarter of the city, is the area where you will find the main attractions of Cordoba, but also consists of the coziest, most intimate, narrow streets. Stroll through the alleys and admire places like la calleja de las Flores (the flower alley).
Sinagoga de Córdoba
One of the main attractions in Juderia is the Sinagoga de Cordoba. This synagogue is one of three remaining synagogues in all of Spain (the other two are in Toledo). Built in 1315, the synagogue is free to visit and is super special to admire.
Capilla de San Bartolomé
Another special place in Juderia is the Capilla de San Bartolomé. This special chapel built in the Moorish architectural style gives you a nice impression of the Moors and beautiful buildings. You can buy a ticket for the Capilla de San Bartolomé at the entrance for € 1.50 per person.
Although it is certainly not one of the most beautiful or special sights of Cordoba, it is still nice to walk along the Templo Romana. These ruins of a Roman temple can be found next to the city hall and it certainly is impressive.
Plaza de la Corredera
If you are going to take a look at Templo Romana you should definitely walk a little to take a look at one of the most impressive squares in the city. Plaza de la Corredera is a typical Spanish square where you can sit down at one of the terraces for a snack and a drink.
Iglesia de San Pablo
Cordoba is full of beautiful churches and cathedrals and one I do not want to withhold from you. Near the Templo Romano and Plaza de la Corredera you’ll find the beautiful Catholic church Iglesia de San Pablo. Worth a look!
The patios of Cordoba
At first glance they are almost invisible, but did you know that Cordoba consists of a chain of beautiful patios, or courtyards? The patios are super colorful, atmospheric and decorated with different plants and flowers. The patios are so special and important that they even host a patio festival every year in the city (usually in May). Some of Cordoba’s patios are freely accessible, but many are difficult to find. Therefore, booking a tour of Cordoba’s patios is highly recommended.
Don’t want to search through the entire city yourself and/or don’t feel like joining a guided tour? There is another option! Palacio de Viana is a mansion from the sixteenth century where several special gardens and patios (12) can be admired.
Discover Cordoba by bike
The center of Cordoba is quite compact and therefore easy to explore on foot. Don’t feel like walking? Then join a bike tour through Cordoba with a Dutch guide. The bike tour by Bajabikes takes a total of two hours and takes you along the most beautiful and important Cordoba sights.
Have you discovered all the sights in Cordoba and still have some time left? I definitely recommend a visit to Medina Azahara – Al Madinah al-Zahr. Eight kilometers from the city you will find the remains of an ancient Moorish city from the eleventh century. Because Medina Azahara is just outside the city on a hill you have a fantastic view of the surroundings. Unfortunately there is no public transport available to Medina Azahara, so it’s best to rent a car to make this trip – and a tour of Andalusia. If you do not have a rental car, it is possible to book a tour from Cordoba.
- The entrance to Medina Azahara is basically free, but you need to buy tickets at the visitor center. With these tickets you can visit the ruins for free and also watch the movie in the visitor center and visit the museum.
- Although the entrance tickets are free, you must travel to the ancient ruins by bus. The buses leave about every twenty minutes from the visitor center and tickets cost €2.50 per person (return)
- You can easily park your car for free in the huge parking lot near the visitor center
Where to eat and drink in Cordoba
Cordoba is bursting with atmosphere and the nicest restaurants and bars. However, keep in mind that many restaurants – as in the rest of Andalusia – are closed between 4 and 8 pm. Want to eat and drink well in Cordoba? Here are some of our favorite addresses:
- Norte Y Sur Taberna Selecta: Here you eat the most delicious pintxos and tapas.
- Teteria Córdoba: A cozy and super cozy tea house in the center of the city.
- La Trapperia: This is where you go for the most delicious specialty beers in Cordoba
Places to visit in Cordoba on the map
On the map below you can find all the Cordoba attractions mentioned in this article: