Best Things to Do in Cordoba - The Traveller


Monday, January 15, 2024

Best Things to Do in Cordoba

Best Things to Do in Cordoba

Do you want to plan your itinerary for southern Spain? Or are you willing to know what are the best things to do in Cordoba? Then, go through this article. This iconic destination dates back to the Romans. Cordoba is one of the top three most visited cities in Andalusia. The other two cities are Seville and Granada.

A trip to this city for one or two days will be enough for discovering one of the most beautiful towns in Andalusia and prestigious monuments, such as the mosque-cathedral of Córdoba or the Alcázar.

 Where Is Cordoba, Spain?

Cordoba is located in the Andalusia region of southern Spain. It is 245 miles south of Madrid by car, whereas it is 88 miles northwest of Seville. Malaga, Ronda, and Granada are some other popular cities that are about two hours away by car.

Best Things To Do In Cordoba:

  •  See The Alcázar De Los Reyes Cristianos:

If you are planning to visit this city, don't forget to see The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos monument. In English, the term is spelt as "Alcázar of the Christian Kings." This monument once served as a residence for Catholic kings. During the Inquisition, it was the headquarters of the Holy Office. It was then converted into a prison. 

In order to start your visit, you need to first climb into any of the four towers of Alcázar. Then, you find yourself ending up on the ramparts, where you will be able to enjoy a unique panorama of Cordoba. After that, you need to visit the interior side of the monument by going back downstairs. The royal baths, mosaic salon, and Moorish patio will make you enchanted. Then, you can enjoy the highlight of the beautiful garden. You can see large paths lined with trees, ponds & beautiful fountains in the centre.

You can get a refreshing feel after visiting the gardens. If you are willing to take a break in the shade, don't forget to visit here. You need to pay only 4.50 € to visit this spot. Do you need extra historical knowledge during the stay? Then, it is recommended that you book a guided tour.

  • Climb Calahorra Tower:

It is the oldest defence building in this town. The tower is located on the other side of the bridge, opposite the Mezquita. Although the Moors built it originally, Christian kings expanded it later. In this case, you should know that Christian kings added a third tower to the structure so that it looks like a fortress.

The exceptional views of Mezquita, the bridge, and the old town can easily draw the attention of visitors. You can see an ethnographic museum in the tower, called Al-Andalus Living Museum. Usually, most people skip the museum as they navigate straight for the views. Although the museum isn't as interesting as other Cordoba museums, two pieces are there — intricate models of Alhambra and Mezquita that are worth a look. The Alhambra model is interesting because this one has the whole complex. The opening hours are 10 am to 7 pm. However, the time varies with seasons. In order to purchase a ticket, you need to go to the tower on the visiting day and pay a €4.50 fee.

  • Uncover Ancient Ruins At Medina Azahara:

This UNESCO World Heritage Site of the city is located about 5 miles west of Cordoba. Abd-ar-Rahman III built the Caliphate City to display his power during the mid-900s. This city was then a Muslim Capital in Europe. 


In the twentieth century, the site was rediscovered. So, it has been minimally excavated. According to history, it had three levels. There is a palace in the middle of it. Almost ten thousand people lived and worked here. 


Those who have a car can visit Medina Azahara before or after their time in Cordoba. You have to park your car at the Museum reception centre. Then, you should take the shuttle bus to navigate to the archaeological site. Hence, you need to know that the shuttle bus runs every fifteen to twenty minutes. Ensure that you get your tickets to the ruins in the museum first & have some Euros to pay for the shuttle bus to the site. 


Abd-al Rahman III, the first Caliph of Cordoba, constructed the palace in 929 A.D. Unfortunately, the palace was destroyed seven years after it was built in the succession of Civil Wars. We can imagine how wonderful the palace has been, if even the crumbled arched walls of this palace hold the status of a UNESCO Heritage site.


If you wish, visit this location independently. But you should know that taxis are quite expensive whereas buses are infrequent. Therefore, visiting this iconic Medina Azahara place on an organized tour from Cordoba is most recommended, if time is of the essence.

  • Visit Cordoba’s Museums:

If you are planning to make a tour of more than a day and visit this city to capture the breathtaking views, here is a list of some must-visit museums:

  • The archaeological museum and its collection of Roman objects
  • The Fine Arts Museum is famous for its collections of modern Spanish & baroque art.
  • The bullfighting museum is for visitors who aren't opposed to this practice.
  • The ethnobotanical museum and the botanical garden
  • The Julio Romero de Torrez museum houses a collection of works by the famous local painter.
  • The gallery of the Inquisition presents the instruments of torture that were used in the Inquisition. For kids, it isn't recommended.
  • Marvel At The Mezquita – Mosque-Cathedral:

Want to visit the most famous sights of the city? Then, it is the destination where you should visit first. In the 700s, it was built as a Mosque when multiple cities like Cordoba were under Islamic control. Currently, people know the area as southern Spain's Andalusia region.

It was an Arab capital for hundreds of years. After that, Christians seized the area to get its control. Then, they brought their religion, Christianity, to the area. Therefore, the Mosque was Christianized in the Middle Ages. Later, it was converted into a Cathedral. Now, this one is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Also, it serves as a cornerstone of the city's history. Visitors are able to visit the Mezquita at 8.30 am for free. The worst-kept secret in this city is the free entry & the lack of crowds in the early morning in Mezquita.

  • Jewish Quarter Of Cordoba (La Judería):

If you are willing to enter the historic centre of the city, you need to pass through the Almodovar Gate. It is surrounded by battlements and high walls. This location marks the entrance to La Judería, which is the old Jewish quarter of Cordoba.

  • Tour The Palacio De Viana:

This one is a palace museum, which is about a 15-minute distance on foot from the Mezquita in a quieter area of Cordoba. This area is called the Santa Marina neighbourhood. In this case, you need to know that the palace was constructed in the 15th century. It was used as a home for one of Cordoba's upper-class families.

The most attractive thing that draws the attention of the visitors is the patios. In this museum, there are twelve different patio styles that can be seen at any time during museum hours.

Do you want to see the palace's interior side, which is adorned with mosaics, tapestries, and tilework? Then, you should join a guided tour of the museum. Otherwise, you are able to join a patio walking tour that will include the Palacio de Viana.

  • Shop For Handicrafts At Zoco Municipal:

If you want to get crafts shopping experiences, then you can definitely visit Zoco Municipal or Cordoba's souk. Visiting here, you can not only see Spain’s first craft market, but also this iconic place allows you to observe the artisans as they are creating the crafts. The souk is basically a series of artisans' workshops where visitors are able to purchase crafts.

Silverware, jewellery, leather, wooden puppets, and Cordoba’s finest filigree are some of the Zoco souk specialities. In this case, you should know that Filigree is the art of fine silverwork that can make shapes of fine metal wire with twisted threads & small beads in order to create exquisite designs.

  • Try Cordoban Salmorejo:

If you are looking for a good place to eat, then don't miss to come to Ángel de Torres Square. Some tapas bars exist there that can provide an authentic and relaxed vibe compared to the ones around the Mezquita. Coming here, you can get a perfect chance to try Cordoban Salmorejo, which is a chilled tomato soup, similar to gazpacho, but creamier & thicker. To make it, skinned tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic are used. Traditionally, this food item is served with hard-boiled eggs & cured ham.

There are many other traditional Andalusian foods which you can try:

  • Rabo de toro (oxtail stew),
  • mojama (cured tuna loin),
  • torrijas (Spanish-style French toast),
  • pescaíto frito (Andalusian deep-fried fish), and
  • Jamon Iberico (Iberian ham).

Visitors also love to have the Spanish toast called Andalusia breakfast. It is served with tomato paste & olive oil of green olives. Although it sounds normal, its taste is really delicious. Besides, the olive oil that is used for this dish is flavoursome.

  • Monastery Of San Jerónimo De Valparaíso:

The Monastery of San Jerónimo de Valparaíso was built in the fifteenth century, and it is in front of Madinat al-Zahra. Originally, it was a Gothic building. However, there are a few Renaissance & Baroque architectural elements. For several years, the owner's family has done an excellent job of restoration. Visitors now admire a large art collection when they come here.

  • Walk Through The Almodovar Gate:

Are you in Juderia? Then, ensure that you walk through Puerta Almodovar, known as the Almodovar Gate. When you walk through it, you will get the opportunity to explore a long stretch of the mediaeval city wall of Cordoba. But it is not as complete & preserved as the town wall of Avila, it is still an impressive structure.

If you visit this place in the late afternoon, you get to see the golden-coloured wall reflected in the moat’s still water. Those who want to visit one of the jaw-dropping sites should definitely come here. A statue of Seneca exists right by the gate.

 The Bottom Line:

Córdoba was once the largest city in the world as well as a rival of Constantinople. It is the most underrated town in Spain. However, this city holds the record of being the only town in the modern world to host four UNESCO World Heritage sites, which are the Mezquita Mosque & Cathedral, the Historic City Center including Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos, The Cordoba Patios, and the Palace Town of Medina Azahara.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cordoba Most Famous For?

This place is famous because of its interesting mix of ancient Roman, Moorish, & Spanish culture.

How do you spend a day in Cordoba?

You can spend a day in Cordoba in these ways:

  • You can enjoy a delicious breakfast.
  • Marvel at the Mezquita.
  • You can experience the magic of the Alcázar.
  • In addition, you may fall in love with flowers at Viana Palace.

Is one day in Cordoba enough?

It depends on what places you like to visit or what things you want to do. But overall, in Córdoba, one day is enough to experience the culture & explore a few major attractions of this city.

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