Best things to do in Cordoba? Cordoba is a gem of Andalusia to discover and appreciate by walking. If you would like to discover the city, CLICK HERE for a Cordoba free tour (cancellation free of charge)
Cordoba or Cordova is for me the most string city of Andalusia. I wouldn’t expect to find such a remarkable city. Please, consider listing it in a huger southern Spain itinerary.
Within a full-day, you can enjoy the soul of this great spanish city.
Tips for visiting Cordoba
Usually, Cordoba occupies half a day of your visit, if you start from Siviglia (read also: what to see in Seville) and for me, that’s a pity. Follow my advice and plan your itinerary by sleeping one night in the city.
The main and most famous Cordoba “dish” is definitely the exceptional Mezquita, followed by Alcazar ( for visiting it -> Visiting the Alcazar and Mosque – cancellation for free), the roman bridge on the Guadalquivir, Palacio de Viana and Plaza de la Corredera.
Tour to visit Cordoba?
To better discover the beautiful Cordoba CLICK HERE for a complete tour for a tour (including tickets and entrance fees) in English. I assure you that the best way is to do it through a guide that explains all the characteristics of this city. If, however, you want something cheaper, there is also the possibility to book here a FREE TOUR of Cordoba.
You will certainly want to see the famous Mezquita. The guided tour is almost “mandatory” because the Mezquita needs to be better understood. So, you can’t miss the Mezquita tour (with also a city tour).
Best things to do in Cordoba
You must know that Cordoba is an extremely quiet city and there are a lot of things to do in Cordoba. I happened walking downtown in Cordoba late at night and, I swear, I didn’t feel scared, even if the city center is made of narrow streets.
Every single Spanish city and even more Andalusian ones were ruled by lots of different people coming from abroad. Each of them left their own historical and artistic evidence of the passage.
1 – Mosque of Cordoba (or Mezquita)
The Mosque is a must-see and absolutely the first thing to do in Cordoba. It’s the cathedral of the city, called Mezquita even today, because was a mosque. Over the centuries and, obviously, the rulers used to widen it, showing their power and magnitude. For this reason the different interior architectural designs are mixed. The mosque was extended 4 times towards the river, even if the last one didn’t properly stretch towards it, in order not to deal with the riverbank.
When Christians reconquered the mosque, it became a church, and still is. The main entrance is Puerta del Perdòn, a mudéjar style door, through which you can reach Patio de Los Naranjos, a citrus backyard from which you enter the old mosque. Here you can enjoy Mihrab, a Muslim votive shrine, Mecca oriented.
Visiting the Cathedral of Cordoba
A curious tidbit, to be noticed: inside the mosque, each column is totally different from the others. The reasons is that they built them with materials recycled from ancient Roman temples. Even their elevation vary: you can observe the bases placed under them.
A relaxed visit of the Cordoba’s Cathedral takes roughly an hour and a half.
Watch out to some interesting details, such as the writings on the columns (rumors say they are the signatures of those who widened the mosque) and the central chorus, the heart of the Christian liturgy. A soft light dominates the Cathedral, for its mosque origin.
I think Cordoba Cathedral is one of the 100 things to see at least once in your life: so charming!
2 – Roman bridge on River Guadalquivir
The visit to Cordoba and the things to see in this city proceeds. After having properly “tasted” the Mosque, make your way to its back: there will be a surprising view, waiting for you.
You’ll be facing the Triumph Arch and then the Roman bridge, overcoming the river Guadalquivir. Up to that point, the river was navigable and the ships came right from the sea, via Siviglia. In my opinion, this bridge is really beautiful and the skyline too. To the horizon you can enjoy the surrounding hills, which show the sharp drop in Cordoba urban development.
3 – Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (or Alcazar of Cordoba) and its garden
Not far from the Cathedral, skirting the Guadalquivir, you can reach the Alcazar de Cordoba, with its marked military features and high thick walls.
The interior is pretty attractive, but if you have already seen the one of Siviglia, you might have different feelings about it. However, its garden is one the most beautiful, with the intriguing water features of the springs and gorgeous flowers. It’s a real pleasure having a walk here.
If you want to visit the Alcázar in the best way, I recommend one of these complete tours (IN ENGLISH) of the Mosque and the Alcázar.
4 – Plaza de La Corredera
The Plaza is pretty closed to the Roman Temple.
It traces the Plaza Major of Madrid and it’s the only one in Andalusia to have a rectangular base. It was the location of the old fashioned bullfights. Inside this plaza, there’re lots of pubs, which make it very vibrant by night.
5 – The Jewish district: la juderia
In Cordoba, as in other many Spanish cities, the Jewish presence was very strong.
The district is well represented by its white houses, flowery balcony and narrow lanes, such as the Callejon de Las Flores, the most distinctive one. Here you can see lots of wonderful flowers and the Mosque Bell Tower.
The heart of this district is the fourteenth century Synagogue.
Here, it is also located the statue of Mosé Maimonide, a Jewish philosopher, and doctor as well. I take this opportunity to invite you taking pictures while touching its feet, a belief similar to the breast of Juliet in Verona.
6 – The Palace of Viana
You absolutely cannot miss the Palace of Viana, a luxurious building. It has plenty of patios, for accuracy, 14, varying to each other. This a the perfect place where you can see Cordoba’s soul looking at the popular Cordova patios.
Between the 15th and 20th century, the Palace has 18 different aristocratic owners. Inside, you can marvel at thousands of antique items, representing the pomp of those noble families and their design tastes. Since 1980, the Palace is counted within the Spanish National Monuments, thanks to its artistic and historical features.
Discover the Palace of Viana ->HERE you find the tour and tickets
Well, after quenching your culture, you might consider reading the one about the 10 curiosities of Cordoba.
Final advice: visiting Cordoba in one day is possible, but if you have the opportunity to take more time even more than a day you will be able to enjoy this splendid city to the fullest, being able to dedicate a little more time to the various patios as well.