Córdoba was previously the chief city of the Western World, the best city of Constantinople, and the home of Europe’s first college. Today, there’s a current boom in the business focus, yet most of its visitors love walking along the town’s old cobblestone avenues, looking through entryways for sights of rich blossoms and wonderful tiled central park fountains. The Old Center of Cordoba is all history with beautiful old buildings and narrow alleyways. The old Jewish quarter is also a must see. The famous Old Bridge is also nearby along with the good restaurants of Cordoba. Check out the many squares and have a drink for just as throughout Spain it is cheap. Enjoy the Tapas. Order just a few and enjoy it, of course with a delicious Spanish wine.
When To Go:
The best times to visit Córdoba are amid the spring and fall months: winter is exceptionally mellow, yet the mid year is strongly hot. Located just a few miles from the ocean, there is nothing to stop temperatures from taking off into the mid-40ºcs, making this one of the most sizzling places in Europe.
While there is not a terrible time of year to visit the city, it is worth considering the climate to a certain degree. The best time of year to arrange a trek here is amid the fall or spring season, when temperatures are lower and tolerable.
Like the vast majority of inland Spain, the mid-year months in the city are the hottest time. Thus, summer occasion in Andalucia is not the best time to go, unless you feel ready to adapt to amazingly high temperatures. The most smoking temperatures have a tendency to happen in July and August, averaging anyplace between 27°c/ 80°f and 29°c/ 84°f. An afternoon nap (siesta) is frequently a need. Summer nighttimes have a tendency to be cooler, making al fresco dining a charming plausibility.
Cordoba’s atmosphere is wettest amid the winter season, especially in November. Indeed at this point of the year, temperatures are agreeably mellow and the days are regularly sunny. The coolest climate lands amid the month of January, where a normal mean temperature of 10°c/ 50°f can be normal. It seldom snows amid the winter, in spite of the fact that winter sports fans can wander into the adjacent mountains to delight in skiing and snowboarding activities.
Numerous travelers opt to visit amid the spring or harvest time months, when temperatures are soothing and touring can be done in more noteworthy solace. A special extra is the relative absence of vacationer swarms at a portion of the city’s significant attractions. The spring season months of May-October are broadly viewed as being the best months to visit this part of Andalusia.
Here are the best places to see and things to do in the city of Cordoba, Spain:
Historic Centre of Cordoba
Walking through the Historic Center of Cordoba, one has the feeling of having gone back centuries in time. Everything is well maintained and cared for, without losing the historical features of the past. A place like this cannot pass under your eyes without leaving a good impression. You will like the Tapas / wine menu and selection of the restaurants, and the palace of the late Middle Ages located in the historic area. And of course the various patios with huge Arab influence. You must dine in at one of the large patios (or places) that exist in the city with restaurants and bears that are well equipped to cater to your hunger needs.
In the historical center you can find the Mosque of Cordoba (a must see). After the visit, walk through the streets, enjoying the local craft shops (each more charming than the other!), houses with their flowered courtyards and squares with trees, see iconic monuments, visit old museums and churches, and sit in a typical restaurant for lunch. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Historic Center is extremely well maintained and very pleasant for a stroll on the river crossing the famous Roman Bridge. It is an exciting ride!
Great Cathedral and Mosque
The Great Cathedral and Mosque is a gigantic mosque, which forms an architectural hybrid since it has blended a diverse style of both religions. It was built in the year 600 and turned into a Visigoth church in 785. On its ruins was built a mosque, and in the year 1236 the mosque is converted into a Christian church. Its main attractions are its arches and pillars (over 850 columns) made in granite, marble and jasper, the Mihrab (prayer niche) and the Capilla Villaviciosa (the first Christian chapel). It is a very interesting religious structure.
See the mix of culture, architecture and religion in one place and realize cohesion that at least makes you think about certain things. If you go to Cordoba, must know this place!
First the Romans, then the Visigoths, then the Muslims and finally the Catholics, this church is a living testimony that all religions may co-exist in a given time. You can see all these steps in one place and that’s what makes this site really amazing. The Moorish arches and the Catholic chapels with much gold fill the eyes and make you wonder how beauty can resist the struggles and achievements of the Great Cathedral and Mosque.
Capilla Mudejar de San Bartolome
The Mezquita of the Capilla Mudejar de San Bartolome encapsulates the story of a whole country. Under it there are the remains of a Roman temple, the arch of the Mosque show, discerning eye, and the different stages and in its central part has installed the Catholic Cathedral. All this is not only a unique monument in the history of world art, but also a magical place for the visitor. It is one of the most suggestive landscapes of the world that sends strong feelings about the art of an era that is full of charm. The brilliant art of the Muslim Mosque dates back to 780, the year of initiation of the construction work of this architectural gem located on the former church of San Vicente, and covers about two centuries until the end of the work took place in 987. Later on, the Christians built a Gothic cathedral in the heart of the delicate aisles of the mosque.
The entrance of the mosque is generally occupied by the beautiful courtyard of the Oranges, full of fountains and the well of Almanzor. Across the courtyard you must cross the threshold of the building. Like entering an enchanted forest populated by columns and arches whose color and coral stone follow one another with a harmony that leaves the visitor in a state of pleasant self hypnosis.
Do not miss the arches supporting the lamp Al Hakam II, the wonders of the mihrab, the domes of macsura. The Christian part requires a visit to the Royal Chapel of Alfonso X, the two pulpits by Michel de Verdiguier, the sumptuous choir, the Baroque Silleria Pedro Duque Cornejo and theartistic Christ Baroque ivory that is on display in the chapel of the Cardinal.
Patios de Cordoba
Cordoba has remarkable monuments, heritage of the Arab sultanate, but a discovery that is as fascinating is the meticulous care that the inhabitants of the town center have for their backyards (patios in Spanish). They have even created a festival that takes place every year in May to decide the most beautiful patio of the city (there are several categories, including a section on “balconies”). On this occasion, you can then enter in these private homes and access to patios, some are really spectacular and rich green with nice features and walls adorned with potted geraniums.
You can visit alone (the tourist office has detailed maps of where they list all the places to be visited), or you can participate in a guided tour in the afternoon with a travel agency (Cordoba Vision) that leads to the discovery of two areas; the routes of dell’Alcazar Viejo and the Juderia (the patios participants are really many). With their guidance you have the chance to chat with the owners of the houses, some of which also offer drinks to visitors, and a free choice to leave some money in exchange for the hospitality.
To recognize the homes of the participants, outside of the entrance doors the owner usually place two plants with red pots. The visit with “Cordoba Vision” starts with the chosen home, just outside the beautiful city walls all the way to the south in the beautiful Calle Cairuan with it beautiful stepped fountains. The discovery continues with large courtyards beautifully furnished with dozens of plants; some with stairs and classic geranium plants on the walls. The other owners even install real small green oasis with some wells. One design in particular is imprinted in the mind; all houses have walls that are several floors high, chock full of geranium pots much that one wonders: but how do you water them? And here the owner kindly shows a tool that works to do the operation.
The other yard is located directly behind the Arab wall. It is also impressive to see a small chapel adorned by the always blue vases with geraniums. Some show the original rooms decorated with vintage gear (kitchens, laundries); one particularly impressive house has a large scale at the center of the patio surrounded by greenery, the sides of which there are small craft shops offering traditional local products. In view of the heat that is already noticeable in May, the advice is to visit these beautiful places in the early evening. This way you can have the opportunity to turn to the beautiful streets of Cordoba that is very well kept and manicured.
Tablao Flamenco Cardenal
The Tablao Flamenco Cardenal is a live house that is well located and attended. It offers a good option to enjoy a typical dance show and it is worth checking out. It is just one among the many wonderful options to experience Spanish culture, to watch a Flamenco show in Cordoba. The dancers delighted me; was a perfect presentation.
The atmosphere is very good and you have a full view of the stage. The general admission is 20 Euros and includes a drink. It is necessary to book a few days before by phone and to save for reserve tickets from their office. The show is very good with quality artists. The attentive and friendly guitarist did a brief description of each of the performances. Watching a show is highly recommended. The location of the inn is excellent and not hard to miss. It stands right next to the Great Mosque.
Jewish Quarter (Juderia)
The Jewish Quarter (Juderia) welcomes you with a maze of narrow streets and lanes (often no more than 150 cm wide) that seem all the same, but instead hide a glimpse of a particular Spanish customs that are sometimes surprising to discover. There are patios to be seen at will with a wide variety of flowers displayed and usually well groomed. This quarter indicates the huge presence of Jews in the city.
In the tenth century, they were already well placed among the most active members in the society. Take note that the importance of the community is confirmed by the proximity of the Juderia, the Mezquita, and other places of power. The part of the old quarter today survived, as they write guides as it lies to the west and northwest of the Mezquita. The area is a great tourism spot, with white houses and patios to see along with the narrow streets, alleys, squares and small shops where you can shop for objects of great quality.
Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (The Castle of Christian Monarchs)
The building of Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (The Castle of Christian Monarchs) is objectively beautiful and has the advantage of being smaller in size compared to the famous Alhambra in Granada or the Reales Alcazares of Seville. For this reason the visit is on average pleasant, unfolds in freedom without being too tiring and allows you to enjoy both the interior and beautiful gardens. To improve are undoubtedly the visitor services (it needs an audio guide and map).
Alcazar was the residence of the Christian Kings. The gardens are beautiful, full of flowers and hedges. The central part consists of fountains that come alive in the evening in a beautiful show that comes complete with the ‘dancing’ sound and light (included in the ticket is the evening show of dancing fountains). The residence of the Christian kings is mainly attractive for its beautiful gardens that are worth a visit. The gardens and fountains present are harmonious and denote the desire of the Christian kings to have a pleasant atmosphere and surroundings.
Archaeological Ensemble of Madinat Al-Zahra
The Archaeological Ensemble of Madinat Al-Zahra is located about 9 km from the city center. There are buses that take you around for 8 Euros round trip. There is free parking area within the enclosure. Once there you go inside the building where you get tickets (free). One of the first things to do is go to the media room where a 20 minute documentary film explains how life was in Medina Al-Zahra.
Without this video you will not understand the ruins. Next to the hall there is a museum with period pieces and explanations. Then it’s back to go outside (car park) to catch the shuttle bus that takes you to the set. The price is 2.10 Euros per person one way / return, about every 20 minutes. It is the only way to reach the ruins. Once there you get a brochure with a suggested itinerary.
The ancient Roman Bridge has retained all its grandeur despite its antiquity. The long walk takes you directly into the historic city center. The bridge and the Roman gate of Cordoba are two buildings present along the river that runs through the city. It is worth a walk in the evening to see it lit up with beautiful lamps that gives extra charm to Cordoba. Enjoy an architectural masterpiece with great millennia of history while you are in Cordoba.
The Calahorra Tower is an excellent opportunity to know the history of Spain under Arab rule. It stands close to the Cathedral-Mosque. The tower provides a strong point in the cultural terms of Cordoba. It is well maintained and preserved complete with an audiovisual guide and a group of guides who are well prepared to answer every question about the tower’s history. You will really enjoy touring the famous tower because of two reasons; first, because it has models of the most important places in the city during the Moorish occupation and second, because the top of the tower view of Cordoba City is truly wonderful.
Cordoba is a very charming and favorable city for walking, and discovering numerous attractions since almost everything is very close and near one site after another. One good travel tip: do away with the maps and get lost through its narrow streets, stop to take a juice, watch the beautiful handicrafts typical of the region and spend time to unwind on the gorgeous parks and fountain areas. There is no need to rush, simply explore every corner because it is all worth the travel and knowing every part of Cordoba City.