Of course, the best thing would be to be in Córdoba for at least two days, spending the night. But if you don’t have more time, this is all the essential things to see and do in Córdoba.
⚔️ Cordoba’s History
Tartessians and Carthaginians inhabited Córdoba, and in 169 BC the Romans founded Corduba. Later it became a Visigothic city. In 716 it was conquered by the Muslims and became part of the Caliphate of Damascus, and later on Abderraman I created the Independent Emirate of Córdoba, and Abderraman III the Caliphate.
In the 13th century it was conquered by the Christians, and later the Catholic Monarchs settled here, during the conquest of Granada, in the 15th century. Vestiges of all these eras have remained, such as the Roman bridge, the great Mosque and the fortress, as well as a network of streets of great beauty and a unique culture, the result of the mixture of traditions.
⛲️ Things to do in Cordoba in one day
The old town of Córdoba is not very big, so that walking we can see many interesting corners.
Wander in Cordoba streets
In this city, full of narrow alleys, cobblestone floors, white walls, and flowers on the wall, we will need little more. Some of the most famous streets are Calleja de las Flores and Calle del Pañuelo.. But almost all of them are pretty, most of them have flower balls, wonderful. Next to the walls, Calle Cairuán Also the Calleja de la Luna, which is rather a “mini” square with a terrace, which is entered through one of the gates in the wall.
Its spectacular nature makes it one of the essential monuments to visit in Spain, just to see its Mihrab, it is worth going to Córdoba. In addition to its famous network of columns and white and red arches.
The jewish quarter and its Synagogue
A beautiful neighborhood with narrow streets and white houses with flowery balconies. Here we can find, in addition to the Synagogue, a bronze sculpture of Maimonides.
The Synagogue, one of the 3 that remain in Spain (the other two are in Toledo). It dates back to the 14th century and preserves the plasterwork that adorned its small prayer room, as well as the ark, where the Torah was kept, in good condition.
San Basilio neighborhood and its Cordovan Patios
For me, seeing the patios of the San Basilio neighborhood is one of the best things that can be visited in all of Spain, not only because of the beauty that is seen, but also because of the care for the tradition behind it. The effort that the owners make to have the most beautiful patio, not only for their own pride, but for all humanity.
Castle of the Christian Monarchs
A building whose use has changed a lot over the centuries. It has been a Roman port, from which Iberian olive oil was sold to all parts of the Mediterranean. Jail of the Inquisition and civil jail until the last century. Later it was transformed to restore its historical and tourist value.
✌️ Other things to see, if you have more than one day in Cordoba
If you are lucky and you are going to spend more than a day, we have many more things to recommend you.
This city, its palace and its mosque were founded in the 10th century by the first Caliph of Cordoba. Today it is an impressive archaeological site, which can be reached by bus from Córdoba (official website).
It is a 15th century palace, much transformed in later times. Its main attraction are the twelve patios. Official website.
Cristo de los faroles at sunset
The Cristo de los Desagravios y Misericordia has a beautiful 18th century sculpture, surrounded by 8 striking lanterns. For this reason it is popularly called Christ of the faroles (Lanterns), and it generates great devotion among the people of Cordoba. The square in which it is located was the courtyard of a convent, until in the 19th century, with the confiscation, it became a public square. I recommend going to see it at night, with the lanterns lit, otherwise it loses much of its grace. See location in Google maps.
A rectangular square, like the Main Squares of other Spanish cities, also having the same uses as these: Housing the jail, hosting the Town Hall, holding the market and holding bullfights. I recommend this place to have a drink at night, maybe some tapas. If not for this purpose, to enjoy the nightlife, the square does not have a great tourist interest.
✏️ Important information
❌ Avoid Mondays, most monuments are closed: Sinagoga, Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, Museo de Bellas Artes, Museo Arqueológico, Palacio de Viana…
Too know fees and timetables, check this pdf from the Tourist Information Office.
🍴 Typical food in Cordoba
One of the typical Spanish dishes, salmorejo, is originally from Córdoba. Then there would be the flamenquines and the fried aubergines with honey.
🎁 Very special souvenirs
Why buy crap probably made in China? I personally hate “souvenirs”, but I adore local crafts. In Córdoba you can buy two types of real ‘typical’ souvenirs:
- Cordovan filigree: pieces of jewelery made with very fine silver threads
- Cordovan ceramics: from the Muslim period of Al-Andalus we have ceramic techniques that are still used today to give rise to pieces that are as practical as they are decorative at the same time. From a salad bowl to a figure of a flamenco dancer.
The Municipal Souk of Crafts (Zoco Municipal de Artesanía) is one of the places where you have artisan shops, but there are also shops in the rest of the city.
🚄 How to get to Córdoba?
El tren de Alta Velocidad (AVE) es la opción más cómoda si vienes desde Madrid, Sevilla o Granada, aunque el coste es algo elevado. Una vez en Córdona, son tan solo 15min andando desde la estación hasta la Puerta de Almodovar.