During our road trip through Andalusia, spending one day in Cordoba was mandatory. It’s one of the most beautiful and important cities in Andalusia, and probably the best example of the Moorish influence in Spain. In this post, we will explore the best things to do in Cordoba in one day, where to eat and even the best time to visit.
When is the best time to visit Cordoba for one day?
Cordoba is a city with a fantastic vibe and it is a pleasant city to visit at night. At night??? Yes, you can visit the historic center at midnight if you want. During Summer, the weather is hot, really hot, the average temperature is 37ºC, but when we went in August, it was about 42ºC! So, walking at night is a good idea, it’s a bit cooler therefore pleasant! Or you could just visit Spain in Winter…
A little about Corboda history
Cordoba was once (in the 10th century) the most populous city in the world! Today it’s just a median city o Spain. However, it is a city with very peculiar architecture and lifestyle, mixing old and new, Christianity and Islam.
We spent the night and one day in Cordoba and we really enjoyed it. Do you know that there is a big Moorish influence in Spain? The south of Spain was under the domain of Arabs from the early 8th to the 15th century, so more than 700 years. The US is 243 years old… let that sink in for a bit…
Cordoba was conquered in 716 CE by a Moorish army and only in 1236 returned to Christian rule. In the 10th century, Cordoba was a center of education, politics, culture and a big influence on Medieval Europe. Islamic was very advanced in algebra, chemistry, alchemy, agriculture, medicine, and physics. This is a wonderful place to discover the fusion between Arab and Christian. This city is definitely worth at least one day of your time in Andalusia.
Unsurprisingly, the historic center of Cordoba was nominated World heritage site in 1984. As UNESCO puts it “Cordoba’s period of greatest glory began in the 8th century after the Moorish conquest when some 300 mosques and innumerable palaces and public buildings were built to rival the splendors of Constantinople, Damascus, and Baghdad.”
Things to do for one day in Cordoba
Visit Cordoba’s Mosque / Cathedral
This world heritage site is one of those “WOW” landmarks! is it a unique Cathedral? Or a unique Mosque…? Maybe a little bit of both… It’s really a fusion between a Mosque and a Cathedral. First, it was a Catholic church, then in 784 transformed into a Mosque, and in 1236 it was converted back into a church.
You can see the mess, but it turned out quite well! This has to be one of the most peculiar buildings that we have seen. The entry ticket costs 8 €, we got a bit of a queue, so try to go early. They also allow you to visit the tower…
Cross the Roman bridge
It is a beautiful bridge across the Guadalquivir river, the link between the city center and the old town center. It’s also a good spot to take fantastic photos with the view of the Cathedral-Mosque and the Gate of the bridge. It has sixteen arches and in the middle, there is a statue of San Rafael.
Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos
We heard that it is beautiful but we weren’t able to go because it was closed, we forgot to see the timetable and it closes on Monday. Note: Monday is not a good day to visit Cordoba as lots of museums are closed. Check this link and don’t do our mistake.
The Alcazar was a magnificent city palace built by Abd-al Rahman III, inside you can find the Royal Castle, the living quarters and the High Garden with its four ponds. Seems fantastic, don’t miss it!
Explore the Jewish Quarter
The Jewish quarter of Cordoba is usually called the Juderia e it’s located behind the Cathedral/Mosque. It’s the area of the city where the Jews lived from the 10th to the 15th century and became one of the most interesting and popular areas in Cordoba. It’s one of the most important parts of the UNESCO area in Cordoba.
Walking through the Jewish quarter and finding different shops, streets, and tasty restaurants are sone of our best memories from traveling in Spain. Check out the “Alley of the flowers”, where flowers fill the balconies and house walls in cute vases. In Cordoba, courtyards are very typical and essential to the design of the house. Enjoy exploring the different courtyards. There’s even a patios tour!
Where to eat in Cordoba
Tapas and Spanish food were an important part of this trip, at least for anyone who loves trying different foods. So the mission was to eat the biggest variety of tapas during the trip. And we found in Cordoba a culinary treasure. In the Jewish quarter, we found a typical restaurant, Taberna Rafae, that served rabo de toro rice and Salmorejo (tomato sauce) with deep-fried aubergines. These were simply divine. We also recommend Flamenquín de Jamón Serrano and Salmorejo soup in El Abanico.
If you are planning a trip to Southern Spain, Cordoba is a mandatory stop! We strongly suggest you spend the night so you can explore the big landmarks during the day and enjoy the lively nightlife and the old town at night.
Where to stay in Cordoba?
It’s possible to find hostels and guesthouses right in the center. La Llave de la Juderia is a good example of a nice place to stay right in the historic center. However, if you are driving, we strongly suggest you don’t book anything there, as it’s impossible to navigate and park. We have stayed in Hespederia Cordoba which is on a walking distance to the center but in an area where you can easily park!
Looking for even more information on Cordoba? Have a look at this full Cordoba travel guide.