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There are many unique things to do in one day in Cordoba, Spain. Prepare to be “Wowed” as you discover this small Andalusían city filled with historic treasures and modern-day charm.
Cordoba Spain sits on the banks of the Rio Guadalquivir with a complex, ancient history where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived and prospered harmoniously.
A highly cultured city and once the capital of Islamic Spain, Cordoba to this day holds tell-tale signs of its magnificence. Don’t miss these unique things to do in Cordoba.
1. Admire The Mezquita In Cordoba Spain
Can you wrap your mind around an enormous cathedral built in the middle of a serene and archaic mosque? Where 856 columns host spellbinding red and white arches reaching to the heavens? Smack in the middle of this extensive mosque, King Carlos I ordered a Catholic church to be built in the 16th century.
As you gaze upwards at
organ music washes over you
demanding that you question and
appreciate a bigger presence.
Welcome to La Mezquita in Cordoba, Spain
one of the world’s most intriguing Islamic structures.
La Mezquita is mesmerizing. Archway after double archway lead you to the door to mecca, the mihrab.
The mihrab, or prayer niche, faces south in La Mezquita and glistens with golden mosaic decorations. The eight-point star dome above magically shimmers.
Meanwhile, priests ready themselves for daily mass. It is a highly spiritual and mystical place to visit.
Tips For Visiting The Mezquita In Cordoba
Of all the things to do in Cordoba, visiting the Mezquita or La Mezquita is the ultimate. You may even want to go more than once.
Entrance is free from 8:30 – 9:30 am and there are no large tourist groups. They shoo you out at 9:30 as there is a mass between 9:30 and 10:00 am.
Tickets: €8. Check here for times as they vary by season.
At the Mezquita in Cordoba, don’t miss:
- Patio de los Naranjos (free) – an outer courtyard full of fountains, orange and palm trees
- Torre del Almínar (€2) – climb the tower built on the site of the original minaret for sweeping views of the mosque, river and city.
- The outside of La Mezquita has intricate, beautiful doorways all around.
2. Explore The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Fortress of the Kings)
One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cordoba Spain, this fortress/palace is another site that tops the list of amazing things to do in Cordoba.
The gardens are filled with fountains, lemon and orange trees, blossoms and statues. The gardens of the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos are indeed an oasis, tranquil and revitalizing.
In the fortress, climb the Torre de los Liones (Lions’ Tower) for majestic views and wander through the galleries. I mean, Christopher Columbus walked these same floors.
The Hall of the Mosaics is another interesting thing to do in Cordoba. Third-century Roman mosaics dug up in the old city are on display.
Tips For Visiting Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos (Fortress of the Kings)
Tickets: €4.50. Closed Mondays.
3. Wander The Medieval Streets In Cordoba Spain
Cordoba’s narrow, whitewashed streets offer up a delightful maze of exploring. One of the best things to do in Cordoba is just to get a little lost. Wander and explore.
Blossoms and vines curl around rod iron lamps, trees laden with oranges tempt you to help yourself and stray cats eye you curiously.
Wind your way through La Judería (Jewish quarter) to find one of the oldest remaining synagogues in Spain. Cordóba’s cobblestone streets provide ample fodder for any curious traveller.
Beyond the tourist shops, you will discover hidden plazas, intricate doorways, secluded patios and tiny alleyways where you can catch a glimpse of Andalusían life.
4. Stroll Across The Roman Bridge In Cordoba Spain
Stroll across the Rio Guadalquivir on this pedestrian Roman bridge. Hang over one of its 16 archways and just observe – birds swoop, lovers hold hands, guitar music fills the air and angels watch over you.
Ponder as you cross the Puente Romano that the Romans first built a bridge here in 1st Century B.C.
5. Things To Do In Cordoba: Savour Salmorejo
Cordobans are proud of their salmorejo, as it is an essential component of Andalusían culture. So important is it, that there is a street named after this ochre gazpacho.
Salmorejo is served cold and topped with chopped soft boiled egg, acorn Iberian ham and drizzles of olive oil. What differentiates it from the gazpacho you find, for example in Seville, is its thickness. It’s perfect for dipping bread or, in my case, a spoon.
Salmorejo is the perfect tapa. Served alongside Spanish potato tortilla (and its large dollop of mayo that you swear you won’t eat every time) and tinto y verano, you can’t go wrong!
My Spanish teacher in Granada was adamant that true Spaniards don’t drink sangria. He recommended tinto y verano – a tasty concoction of red wine and lemon-lime soda.
Andalusían cuisine entails many delights such as blackened cod and deep-fried eggplant with honey, but salmorejo outdoes them all!
6. Partake In A Fiesta Or Parade In Cordoba Spain
One of the most authentic things to do in Cordoba is to participate in a fiesta to parade. On El Dia de Andalusía at the end of February, the city comes alive. It’s full of Spaniards who have come to celebrate their long weekend and show their pride in Andalusía.
Don’t miss any parades, for the festive spirit is upped a notch when traditional dress and horses are thrown in the mix.
There are many celebrations in Cordoba Spain, especially in the spring.
May is full of festivals and the Patio Competition festival is not to be missed. Cordoba is known for its patios and this competition is about selecting Cordoba’s best. If you can’t make it to Cordoba Spain in May and you love flower-laden patios visit the Palacio de Viana which boasts 12 patios and is open all year.
Palacio de Viana is open all year. Closed Mondays. Wednesday afternoons there is free admission.
When You Go…
Getting To Cordoba Spain:
Granada to Cordoba:
Cordoba is easily accessed by train and bus. I took an ALSA (Spanish Bus line) bus from Granada and found it was clean and punctual.
Day Trip Seville To Cordoba:
Cordoba can definitely be visited as a day trip from Seville. Cordoba is a lovely place to stroll at night, if you decide to stay over.
Renfe Trains service Córdoba taking 45 minutes from Seville. It is a twenty-minute walk to the old town or take a taxi from the train station.
Alsa Buses also run between Seville and Cordoba and the trip takes about 2 hours.
If you decide to spend a night, the Hotel Eurostars Maimonides is in a fantastic location. You can literally lean out the window and touch La Mezquita.
What do you love about Cordoba?
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Other Posts about Spain:
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