This guide to the best things to do in Cordoba, Spain was contributed by Becki Rendell.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable vacation destination, look no further than Cordoba, Spain. This beautiful city is home to some of the most iconic attractions in the country, as well as having a UNESCO heritage city center.
Cordoba is an excellent city for a short city break, a romantic getaway, or as part of a longer road trip around the region.
This article covers the must-see places in Cordoba including the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs, and the Roman Bridge as well as Cordoba’s charming Jewish Quarter.
Best Things To Do In Cordoba, Spain
Here are 8 unmissable things to see in Cordoba. Regardless of your travel style, I guarantee there’s something on this list for everyone to enjoy.
Cordoba Bucket List
- Visit the Mezquita
- Explore the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos
- Walk across the Roman Bridge
- Stroll through the Jewish Quarter
- Visit Medina Azahara
- Walk Along the Alley of Flowers (Calleja de las Flores)
- Enjoy tapas at Plaza de la Corredera
- Tour the Palacio de Viana
Cordoba sightseeing tours
Tours can be a great way to learn about a city and see the sights with an expert guide. Here are a few tours in Cordoba we recommend:
1. Visit the Mezquita
Listed as one of the best things to see in Spain, the majestic UNESCO-listed Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, or Mezquita Catedral de Córdoba, stands as a symbol of the intricate and harmonious coexistence between Muslims, Jews and Christians during medieval times. This remarkable structure stuns visitors with its grandeur and beauty, drawing in curious travellers from all over the world.
From the enormous arched halls to the small, intricately decorated alcoves, Mezquita Cathedral is full of surprises and awe-inspiring moments. During your visit, make sure to explore the Capilla Mayor with its gigantic central dome and the beautiful Marsura Dome.
Visiting the Mosque-Cathedral de Cordoba can be done solo, however, there’s minimal signage inside. Guided tours are also available if you want to find out more about the history and architecture of the mosque-cathedral.
2. Explore the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos
The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos is an impressive fortress in the heart of Cordoba, Spain. Boasting a unique Mudéjar architectural style that combines Islamic art with Christian elements, it was built back in 1328 on the site of a previous fortress.
This stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site stands as a testament to its rich and bloody past, and was once used as a prison and interrogation chamber during the Spanish Inquisition in 1482.
The Alcazar has also hosted some famous figures from history, including Christopher Columbus who stayed there when he was planning his journey to the Americas. Napoléon Bonaparte’s army also camped at the Alcazar in 1810.
The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos is still open to the public and has many tours available, with knowledgeable guides that can tell you all about its fascinating history and architecture. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area!
3. Walk across the Roman Bridge
Not far from the historical center of Cordoba, lies one of the oldest and most impressive landmarks in the city: the Puente Romano de Córdoba (Roman Bridge) and Puerta del Puente (Bridge Gate). This impressive structure is certainly worth a visit if during your trip to Cordoba.
The Puerta del Puente is a grand Renaissance-style gate that once formed part of the old city walls. The Gate was extensively renovated in the 14th century and now serves as one of the most recognizable landmarks in Cordoba.
Crossing over to the other side of the Guadalquivir River, you’ll get a stunning view of the Mosque-Cathedral, the Gate of the Bridge, and the Old Town.
The Roman Bridge itself dates back to the 1st century A.D., making it one of the oldest parts of Cordoba and the Medieval structure you see today was built on top of the original Roman bridge.
4. Stroll through the Jewish Quarter
The Jewish Quarter of Cordoba is a vibrant and historic part of the city, located in the heart of the Historic Center, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The area has been continuously inhabited by Jews from the 10th century until the 15th century; footprints of this rich and colorful past still remain in the streets, alleyways and courtyards.
The most famous landmark of the Jewish Quarter is the synagogue, located on Calle Judíos (Jews Street) and built in 1315. The synagogue is an exceptionally well-preserved example of Spanish-Jewish art which has been declared a National Monument.
5. Visit Medina Azahara
At the Medina Azahara, you won’t just find the ruins of a once vast, fortified palace-city – you’ll discover a fascinating piece of Islamic history and architecture. The Medinat al-Zahra is located just outside of Cordoba city, accessible by car or by joining one of many tours available.
When you enter the grounds, you will be able to view a variety of historic structures. If you’ve ever taken a trip to Morocco, then you’ll see plenty of familiar-looking designs.
The Medina dates back to when Andalucia was under the rule of the Moors. At this archaeological site, you’ll see remnants of places and houses which have been carved out of the rocky terrain.
One of the most impressive features of the Medina Azahara is its water supply system – an intricate network of canals and pools used to irrigate and cool down the palace city in the hot summer months. The canals were filled with water from the river Guadalquivir which is still running today and you will be able to follow its path as it crosses over the site, connecting different areas of this historical monument.
6. Walk Along the Alley of Flowers (Calleja de las Flores)
Not far from the renowned Mosque of Cordoba lies Calleja de las Flores, literally translating to the Alley of Flowers. This enchanting alleyway has managed to captivate locals and tourists alike with its stunning beauty, often being hailed as one of the city’s most photogenic locations.
If you happen to visit in May, be sure to include ‘Los Patios de Cordoba’ festival on your itinerary. During the festival each of the city’s patios are adorned with a plethora of colourful flowers, creating a breathtaking visual spectacle.
For an even more immersive experience, you can opt for one of the guided tours that take place throughout the spring.
7. Enjoy tapas at Plaza de la Corredera
Visiting the ancient city of Cordoba is an incredible opportunity to explore its rich history and deep cultural roots. If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, then head to the Templo Romano (Roman Temple) and Plaza de Corredera (Corredera Square)!
This historic complex can be found towards the northeast of the Mosque-Cathedral and is a great way to learn about Cordoba’s past.
Take your time exploring the remains of the temple, as well as the arched buildings from the 17th Century that surround the square. Stop off at one of the numerous cafes and restaurants for traditional tapas.
8. Tour the Palacio de Viana
Viana Palace, also known as Palacio de Viana, which is a stunning Renaissance-style palace situated in the heart of Cordoba, Spain. Established in the early 15th century by the noble family of Duke Don Diego de Viana, this remarkable architectural structure is composed of twelve exquisite courtyards that each showcase their own distinct style and decoration.
The most famous of these courtyards is the Patio de los Naranjos (Orange Courtyard), which is a stunningly beautiful space filled with orange trees, tinkling fountains, and vibrant flowers in bloom. Other noteworthy courtyards include the Patio de la Monteria (Hunting Courtyard), the Patio de las Damas (Ladies’ Courtyard), and the Patio de la Madera (Wooden Courtyard).
Viana Palace is now home to an impressive art collection that includes works from various eras of Spanish history, as well as pieces by artists such as Goya, El Greco, and Velázquez.
The palace is open to the public and has a small admission fee, but it is well worth the cost for anyone interested in admiring beautiful architecture or experiencing a bit of Spain’s history.
When are you planning to visit Cordoba?
Cordoba is an amazing city full of stunning attractions and unique experiences. From the iconic Mosque-Cathedral to the lively Plaza de la Corredera, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant Spanish destination.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or just want to explore some of Spain’s most famous landmarks, Cordoba should be at the top of your list! So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today and experience all that Cordoba has to offer!
About the author: Becki Rendell is a self-confessed travel addict and ‘experience connoisseur’ who knows a thing or two about travelling the world in search of the most bucket-list-worthy things to do and places to see. She’s visited over 56 countries and documents these on her blog, Meet Me In Departures. She’s an adventure addict with a real passion for spotting wildlife and exploring ruins.
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