Córdoba actually managed to get us to see an attraction twice because we were so impressed. We are talking about the world-famous Mezquita of Córdoba, one of the most impressive buildings we have ever seen. But even apart from the big tourist highlights, we were incredibly positively surprised by Córdoba.
In this blog article we will show you why you should definitely make a stopover in Córdoba on your trip to Andalusia. We tell you about the most important sights and highlights and reveal our personal tips.
1. Córdoba in Spain: what awaits you Córdoba will be mentioned in the same breath as the Mezquita called. The monumental building is rightly one of the most important sights in Spain and will leave you speechless – I promise! A visit to the Mezquita alone is worth a trip to Córdoba.
As impressive as the Mezquita is, reducing Córdoba to just that would not do the city justice. Córdoba has an extraordinarily pretty old town – one of the most beautiful in all of Andalusia, if you ask us. With the many decorated inner courtyards (the so-called patios), the whitewashed houses and the cobblestone streets, an incredibly charming center awaits you here.
A little special feature in Córdoba: you will find countless here Patios, all of which are beautifully decorated. Not all are open to the public (some only for a fee, such as the Palacio de Viana), but it’s worth trying your luck once in a while. In May, the Festival de los Patios Cordobeses takes place in Córdoba, which awards the most beautiful patio in the city. This week you can enter all patios. The festival is even a UNESCO World Heritage Site (as is the Old Town and the Mezquita).
How many days should I plan for Córdoba? We ourselves stayed two nights in Córdoba. Although we did have a rainy day (when you really couldn’t go outside for a few hours) we feel we didn’t have to stress at all during that period. We had enough time to visit all the important sights.
Córdoba is really quite small. So if your schedule is rather tight, you can stay only one night if necessary. Then you won’t see everything, but it’s enough for the big highlights.
2. The most beautiful sights and highlights in Córdoba Mezquita-Catedral de Cordoba WOW! We apologize in advance for the little song of praise that follows, but this structure is so spectacular that we really got goosebumps while sightseeing for the first time in a very long time.
The Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba (called Mezquita for short) is a Mosque-Cathedral, a Christian cathedral in the middle of a mosque. In order to understand how this came about, let’s jump back to the 6th century: that is when (according to the story) a basilica was built, which was later converted into a mosque. After the Christian conquest, it was (fortunately!) decided to leave the mosque standing, albeit to build a gigantic cathedral inside.
As contradictory as the history of the Mezquita is, it feels just as crazy also to visit them. The mix of Islamic and Christian architecture can hardly be put into words.
One of the most well-known photo motifs are the vaulted arches with their characteristic terracotta and white stripes. You’ll find these throughout the Mezquita, but they look a little different in each corner because of the additions made throughout the stories.
The bell tower of the Mezquita The Mezquita has a bell tower from which you can enjoy a fantastic view enjoys the roof construction of the Mezquita and the whole of Córdoba. Here you climb onto a viewing platform in around 40 meters in height. That doesn’t even sound that high, but the panorama is still really huge.
Information on buying tickets for the Mezquita The Mezquita is the most important monument in Córdoba. Nevertheless, there are waiting times at most in the high season. However, you can still buy your ticket in advance on the official website if you wish. This works fine.
It looks a little different with regard to access to the bell tower. Access is every half hour and is limited to a certain number of people. During our visit in the low season (November) we were able to secure tickets for our desired period online the day before without any problems. When we were there, however, there were no more tickets available for our timeslot. So it’s best to keep an eye on the occupancy (you can see it on the official website) and buy your ticket in advance if necessary.
Official website: Mezquita -Catedral de Córdoba
Info on visiting the Mezquita Price Mezquita: 11 Euro
Price Bell Tower: 2 Euro Mezquita opening times: Monday to Saturday from 10 until 19 o’clock, Sunday and public holidays with Fair from 8: 30 to 13: 20 and from 15 until 19 (from November to February shortened opening times until Watch)
Our tip: There are also evening tours of the Mezquita ( “The Soul of Cordoba”, 16 Euro per person), which should be very worth seeing. Unfortunately, when we were there, it was not possible to visit in the evening. We imagine that to be incredibly impressive!
Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos The second big highlight in Córdoba is the Palace of the Christian Kings, called Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos in Spanish. He comes from the 01. or. 14. Century. The Catholic kings once resided in this fortress, hence the name.
We particularly liked the expansive, very well-kept gardens. You can walk here past fragrant orange trees, water features and fountains. It rained on the day of our visit, but that didn’t take away from the magic.
The fortress itself can also be visited, but to be honest it is not the highlight of the visit . However, the view from the two accessible towers, the Torre de los Leones and the Torre del Homenaje, is well worth seeing.
Information on visiting the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos Price: 5 euros
Opening hours: 16. September to 13. June: Tuesday to Friday from 8: 11 until 20 p.m., Saturday from 9: 18 until 18 o’clock, Sunday and holiday from 8: 14 until 15: 30 Watch; 16. June to 15. September: Tuesday to Sunday and public holiday from 8: 20 until 14: 30 Clock (These opening hours are from the operator on site, but apparently change regularly. Last entry Minutes before closing.)
Córdoba Old Town & Jewish Quarter (Judería) The two most important sights (Mezquita and Alcázar) are located in the middle of the historic old town. Nevertheless, we would like to introduce them to you separately, especially the district called Judería. It is the former Jewish quarter and one thing you will notice immediately: the townscape is a little bit more authentic here.
The Judería is located west or north-west of the Mezquita. Just a few turns around the corner and you enter a beautiful labyrinth of cobbled streets and white houses. Some streets in the Judería are lined with souvenir shops and restaurants, but there are also totally quiet corners that you have to yourself. In the Judería there is also a small but fine synagogue, which you can visit (free entry).
One of the most famous and most photographed streets in Córdoba the Calleja de las Flores, is the flower alley. It is just a stone’s throw from the Mezquita. (Not in the Judería, but on the other side of the Mezquita.) The name of this alley becomes 100 Per cent fair: There are countless flower pots on the whitewashed houses. A very worth seeing, although mostly overcrowded place.
Palacio de Viana The beautiful Palacio de Viana was one of our personal highlights in Córdoba. If, like us, you have a soft spot for lovingly designed courtyards, then you will love it here!
The Palacio de Viana consists of a total of twelve patios and a garden, which are connected by a circular path. Each inner courtyard is special in its own way. For example, there is the patio de los naranjos, the courtyard of the orange trees. Another highlight is the patio de las columnas, i.e. the courtyard of the columns – a beautiful, Roman-looking place.
The palace building or the Inner courtyards date back to five centuries, and the patios are correspondingly diverse in terms of their architecture. The map that you receive on site is very informative and a good companion for your tour. You should allow about an hour for your visit.
Information on visiting the Palacio de Viana Price: 01 Euro
Opening hours: July and August: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 to 15 Watch; remaining months: Tuesday to Saturday from until 19 o’clock, Sunday from 01 until 15 Watch
Puente Romano (The Roman Bridge in Cordoba) You can tell immediately that there is a lot of history in the Puente Romano, the Roman bridge, when you stand in front of it. The monumental stone bridge crosses with 16 Arches of the Río Guadalquivir. It was supposedly built in the 1st century and has been rebuilt or renovated countless times since then.
The Puente Romano is closed to traffic, so you can stroll on the bridge in peace. On the other side of the bridge you reach the Torre de la Calahorra, which houses a museum. You can also take great photos from that side of the bridge with the old town of Córdoba in the background.
By the way, we went to the bridge early one morning and really enjoyed watching the sun rise. It’s also great at sunset, because the sun goes down behind the city – perfect for a nice photo.
Plaza de la Corredera The very extensive Plaza de la Corredera is not a sight in the traditional sense, but it is certainly worth a stopover. The place comes from the 17. It dates back to the 19th century and is surrounded on most sides by a characteristic terracotta colored facade.
The square is not very busy during the day, but weekends and evenings are the chairs in the cafés and bars are full. According to the owner of our accommodation, the Plaza de la Corredera is also a popular meeting place for locals.
In our opinion, the Plaza de la Corredera is not one of the big highlights in Córdoba, but if you are If you have some time, then it’s worth stopping by.
3. Eating and drinking: Tips for restaurants and cafés in Córdoba In the old town of Córdoba you will find countless tapas bars and restaurants. Many of them are more touristy – but of course that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. As in all of Spain, the offer is very meat-heavy almost everywhere, so we went looking for restaurants with a vegetarian selection – and found what we were looking for.
Restaurante La Boca: You should definitely come to this stylish restaurant for lunch. Then there is (weekdays) a vegetarian lunch menu for 01 Euro. Also included is a coffee or the dessert of the day. Mediterranean dishes are served at a slightly higher level – in the evening, going to the restaurant is rather expensive.
Amaltea: We had an excellent meal in this colorful restaurant. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you are in good hands at Amaltea. The selection is surprisingly large. There are also plenty of meat and fish dishes on the menu.
4. Our hotel tip for Córdoba We stayed for two nights in the boutique hotel Patio del Posadero, the we can highly recommend to you. The hotel has only six rooms – each of them is very individually furnished according to a specific theme.
The hotel is incredibly personal, familiar and with a lot of love for detail guided. The owners (a group of several young people) are very helpful and have great tips in store. The breakfast also deserves a big compliment. One sweet and one savory dish is served daily. There is also an impressive selection of olive oils.
The location is great: The Hotel Patio del Posadero is in a very quiet alley in the old town, about Minutes walk from the Mezquita. So you can reach everything on foot. The hotel also has a small car park just a few streets away. All in all highly recommended! We would stay here again at any time.
You can book the hotel here: Patio del Posadero
Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
Have you ever been to Córdoba? Or maybe you are planning a trip there and still have questions? Please leave us a comment. We look forward to your additional tips and experiences!