things to do in cordoba spain

Top 10 Things to Do in Cordoba, Spain You Can’t Miss

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Planning a visit to Cordoba and looking for things to do? With its stunning architecture and fascinating history, this Spanish gem is a tourist hotspot for a reason.

Get ready to discover the top things to do in Cordoba and make your visit unforgettable! From architectural wonders to cultural hotspots, I’ve rounded up the city’s top 10 must-see attractions that will leave an impression on you.

Quick Answer: Best Things to Do in Cordoba

At a glance, here are the top 10 things to see and do in Cordoba:

  • Mezquita de Córdoba
  • La Juderia
  • Roman Bridge
  • Calahorra Tower
  • Cordoba’s Patios
  • Calleja de las Flores
  • Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos
  • Medina Azahara
  • Roman Temple of Cordoba
  • Arab Baths

Wondering if Cordoba is even worth visiting? Check out this article on why Cordoba is a bit of a hidden treasure in Spain!

Top 10 Things to Do in Cordoba

As a city with the most number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (four), Cordoba is simply teeming with history and culture and there are many things to do and see in this beautiful city. 

To help you plan your visit, I’ve picked out the top 10 things to do in Cordoba that you shouldn’t miss. 

what to do in cordoba - mezquita

1. Admire the Mezquita de Córdoba

Prepare to be transported to a world of exquisite Islamic art and architecture with a visit to the Great Mosque or Mezquita de Córdoba.

This masterpiece, showcasing a stunning blend of architectural styles from across the centuries, is a must-see Cordoba attraction.

Built in 785 during Cordoba’s Islamic era and converted into a cathedral in 1236, the Mosque-Cathedral boasts a rich history and breathtaking interior. Its history makes it one of the world’s most awe-inspiring places of worship.

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2. Meander Through La Juderia in Cordoba

Step into the enchanting labyrinth of La Juderia, the Jewish quarter that is the beating heart of Cordoba.

Here, whitewashed houses adorned with vibrant balconies and fragrant flowers line narrow streets home to restaurants and shops, all offering an authentic taste of the city’s Moorish heritage.

Lose yourself in the maze-like alleyways and immerse yourself in the history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site with Cordoba’s top attractions, such as the Mosque-Cathedral and Alcazar.

It’s safe to say a visit to La Juderia is an essential part of any Cordoba itinerary.

3. Walk Across the Roman Bridge of Cordoba

For a breathtaking bird’s eye view of Cordoba, don’t miss a stroll across the Roman Bridge of Cordoba!

As one of the city’s oldest features, this iconic bridge boasts over 2,000 years of history and has been restored countless times, most notably in the 8th century.

Spanning the Guadalquivir River from the Mosque-Cathedral to the Calahorra Tower, walking across the bridge is a memorable experience. So, stroll at your own pace and don’t forget to snap some memorable photos of the city from the other side of the river!

4. See the Breathtaking Views from Calahorra Tower

If you’re looking for an unforgettable panoramic view of Cordoba, head to the Calahorra Tower at the end of the Roman Bridge.

Originally built as a defensive tower by the Moors and later expanded by the Christians with a third tower, climbing this historic landmark is a must-do activity in Cordoba.

From the top, the stunning view of the city and the Guadalquivir River is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

But that’s not all – the tower also houses the Al-Andalus Museum, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of Jews, Muslims, and Christians during the peak of Cordoba in the 10th century. 

While this museum is not a must-see attraction in Cordoba, if you have extra time, a short visit here will give you more insight into the city’s history as the capital of Al-Andalus. 

things to see in cordoba - patios

5. Explore Cordoba’s Patios

Be dazzled by the vibrant colors and fragrant blooms of Cordoba’s famous patios!

The plants and flowers in these courtyards are a nature lover’s dream. They add a touch of natural beauty to the already beautiful architecture of the city.

Originally designed to provide a cool escape from the scorching summer heat, the best time to visit these hidden gems is during the annual Patio Festival held in May. During this festival, all over the city, locals open up their patios to the public and it’s surely a sight to behold!

To truly immerse yourself in the beauty of Cordoba’s patios, explore the charming San Basilio neighborhood. A guided tour can take you on a magical journey through these breathtaking oases.

6. Photograph the Beauty of Calleja de las Flores

Nestled in the heart of the Judería neighborhood, the Calleja de las Flores is a breathtakingly beautiful sight you can’t miss in Cordoba.

Like a charming alleyway, this picturesque flower street is lined with houses and shops adorned with a sea of blue flower pots of all shapes and sizes.

Beginning near the Mezquita de Córdoba, the Flower Alley ends at one of the charming courtyards of the houses. From there, you’ll be treated to a narrow view of Mezquita’s Bell Tower, peeking through Cordoba’s signature flower pots.

It’s a stunning sight; you wouldn’t want to miss capturing it in a photo or two!

7. Admire the Gardens in Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos

Dating back to the 1300s, ths Mudejar-style palace was once home to the Christian monarcghs, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Unlike other royal homes, the interior of this palace doesn’t boast much. The highlight is the so-called Hall of Mosaics which houses some Roman-era mosaics that were found in the city. 

After wandering through the palace rooms, you’ll come to the gardens which are the gems of this must-see attraction in Cordoba. 

Tiered gardens, fountains, and various flora and fauna make this a magical area to stroll, relax, and enjoy nature in a royal fashion. The gardens are especially vibrant and colorful in the spring and summer but when I visited in the autumn and fall, the gardens were still pretty lush!

Insider Tip: A great way to see Cordoba’s highlights in to join a guided tour. I like this tour as it includes the Mezquita, the Jewish Quarter, and the Alcazar (entrance fees included) which will give your a holistic view of the three cultures in Cordoba. 

8. Uncover Ruins at Medina Azahara

Prepare to step back in time at another fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cordoba – Medina Azahara!

This ancient palace, built in the mid-10th century by Abd-ar-Rehman III, is located just 5-8 miles outside Cordoba and must-see for history buffs.

Immerse yourself in the remnants of this incredible palace, which tell the story of the tumultuous Civil Wars that shook Andalusia in the 11th century. Stroll through the ruins of majestic arches and gardens, and let your imagination run wild with visions of the palace’s former glory.

Take advantage of the chance to visit this awe-inspiring site. I recommend booking an organized tour of Medina Azahara to ensure you don’t miss any of its secrets!

cordoba attractions - roman temple ruins

9. Visit the Roman Temple of Cordoba

The Roman Temple of Cordoba awaits you with its stunning columns that will leave you in awe.

Situated right before the modern City Hall, this temple was discovered in the 1950s and is now considered one of the most important Roman cultural heritage sites.

While not much of the temple remains, the impressive columns still stand tall and can be viewed from a distance. But don’t just stop there!

If you’re a true Roman history buff, you can take advantage of the Roman mosaics discovered at the temple and now on display at the Alcazar of Christian Kings.

10. Relax in the Arabian Baths

Get ready to indulge in a true oasis of relaxation and culture! Having an Arab Bath is a unique experience you should have during your visit to Cordoba.

As you marvel at the incredible arches and mosaics adorning these ancient underground spas, you’ll be transported back in time. With various decorations and rooms, from simple to luxurious, these Arabian Baths were once a hub for social interaction and relaxation.

And today, they provide the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. So why not treat yourself to a massage and some well-deserved pool time?

Book an appointment at these Moorish-era spas and experience a lifetime of luxury and tradition. The Arab Baths of Al-Andalus are waiting for you!

Calling all foodies! Cordoba has lots of culinary pleasures so be sure to check out all the delicious Cordoban food while you’re here…

How to Get to Cordoba 

With its location in the center of Andalucia, Cordoba has the great fortune to be well-situated and well-connected with transport connections. 

Here’s how you can get to Cordoba from other parts of Spain. 

Get to Cordoba by Train

The easiest way to get to Cordoba is by train. There’s only one train station in Cordoba and with highspeed trains serving the city, getting here is a breeze!

Here are the fastest travel times on Renfe’s highspeed trains (check the Renfe website for up-to-date information):

  • Madrid to Cordoba: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Seville to Cordoba: 45 minutes
  • Malaga to Cordoba: 50 minutes
  • Granada to Cordoba: 1 hour 25 minutes

There are no highspeed trains direct from Barcelona so I would suggest making your way to either Madrid or Malaga for the AVE train connection. 

Train tickets are relatively affordable and your best bet is to buy them in advance to get the best price. 

Once you arrive in Cordoba, the train station is a pleasant 20-minute walk from the historic center. 

Get to Cordoba by Bus

You can also get to Cordoba by bus. ALSA runs several bus services to Cordoba from other major Spanish cities. They’re a reputable company with comfortable buses (I’ve used them many times throughout Spain), so you can be assured of a good journey. 

Getting to Cordoba by bus is cheaper than taking a train but the downside is that it will take longer. So a bus may not be the best choice if you have a tight itinerary. 

Cordoba’s bus station is located just opposite its train station and it’s similarly a 20-minute walk to town. 

Get to Corboda by Car 

For the ultimate flexibility, renting a car is one of the best ways to get to Cordoba. The city is connected by highway to other major cities, making it an easy drive. Highways in Spain have good signage and are well-maintained so you won’t have any trouble. 

I suggest using GoogleMaps to calculate the best route from your departure point. Upon arriving in Cordoba, my best tip is to park outside the historic quarter — much easier and cheaper than trying to find a spot near the tourist attractions. Then simply walk a few blocks to see the sights. 

Car Rental Recommendation

If you’re looking for the best prices for car rental during your stay in Spain, check out Discover Cars. Just plug in your location and dates and you’ll get the best deals available. Super convenient and easy! 

Get to Cordoba by Plane

Cordoba doesn’t have its own airport. By plane, the nearest airport would either be Madrid, Seville, or Malaga. Then you can take a highspeed train that will connect you to Cordoba. 

cordoba must-see - mezquita

Getting Around Cordoba

The best way to get around Cordoba is by foot. 

Cordoba’s historic area is very compact and walkable, making it easy to see the city’s highlights without traveling too far. Wear comfy shoes because you’ll be walking everything! 

Out of the top 10 Cordoba attractions above, you can visit all of them by foot except for Medina Azahara which is located a little bit outside of Cordoba’s city center. If you have a car, it’s just a short drive away. If not, there’s a public bus from Paseo de la Victoria Blvd that will get you there. Easy-peasy! 

When to Visit Cordoba

May is undoubtedly the best time to visit Cordoba but the good news about Cordoba is that there’s really no bad time to visit this historic city. Due to its Mediterranean climate, it has a mild winter and it’s a great time to visit when there are fewer tourists. It can get super hot in July and August but if you stay indoors and cool during the midday hours, it’s still doable to visit then. 

For more on the best time to visit Cordoba including information on its famous festivals, check out this article.

Visiting Cordoba on a Day Trip

Cordoba’s well-connectedness makes it popular as a day trip. While I highly recommend spending more than just one day here, you can definitely see a lot of the city even if you only have limited time.

Check out these articles to help you the ultimate Cordoba day trip:

I hope the information above has helped you plan an amazing visit to Cordoba. It’s one of my favorite places in Spain and I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!

Get more information on visiting Cordoba in our Cordoba travel guide!

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