Cordoba 26 must-see visits in 3 days
Cordoba: 26 must-see visits in 3 days. Looking to explore a city that has been home to a rich cultural mix throughout the centuries? Cordoba is the perfect place. Its cultural wealth is reflected in its heritage, which includes 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In previous blog posts, I have already told you about Seville and Jaén, two Andalusian towns with many tourist attractions. Now, it’s time for Cordoba, a city with a rich history and culture that will take you back in time to its Roman, Arab, and Christian pasts.
Its cobbled streets, flowery patios, and traditional cuisine will evoke a sense of timelessness. In three days, you will discover Cordoba through 26 must-see visits. The itinerary includes a visit to the Medina Azahara archaeological complex, historical monuments, and charming neighborhoods. I’ve also included a map with the optimized tour so you can plan your trip easily and make the most of your time in the city.
As I have already mentioned, Córdoba is a city with a rich history and culture that dates back thousands of years.
The Romans founded the city over two thousand years ago, and it became an important cultural and educational center. Today, Cordoba is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its most notable attractions include:
- The Mosque-Cathedral, a masterpiece of Islamic architecture.
- The Jewish Quarter, a labyrinth of narrow streets and white houses.
- The Roman ruins, such as the Roman Temple and the Roman Bridge.
Useful tips for visiting Córdoba
Best time to visit Cordoba
Visiting Cordoba is best during spring or autumn, when the weather is milder and more pleasant. In summer, temperatures can be very high, while in winter the days are shorter and it may rain. For instance, it’s great during the months of March, April and May.
Where to eat in Cordoba
Cordoba has an excellent cuisine, it is a pleasure to taste its typical dishes such as salmorejo, gazpacho, oxtail and Iberian ham. Here are some restaurants I recommend:
- Casa Pepe de la Judería
- Taberna el Abanico
- La Cuchara de San Lorenzo
- Salón de Té
- La Indiscreta
Where to stay
Cordoba also features a wide range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly options. To help you with your selection, I recommend the place where I stayed: Apartamentos Atrium. I liked it because it is close to the historic center, it was very well furnished, and I found it to be very comfortable and welcoming.
Day trips and y guided tours
Also, if you’re a history buff, this guided tour of the Mezquita and the Jewish Quarter is very interesting.
Cordoba 26 must-see visits in 3 days: Itinerary
Here is an optimized itinerary for Cordoba with the 26 most important places to see. Of course, you can adapt it to the time you have to visit the city.
1st day in Cordoba
- Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba (Mezquita)
- Jewish Quarter (Judería). Old Hospital de los Agudos
- Andalusian House
- Casa Sefarad
- Trinity Church
- The Plaza de las Tendillas and Roman Temple
- Plaza de la Corredera
- The Archaeological Museum of Cordoba
- Casa de las Cabezas
- Casa del Agua
- Miraflores Bridge and Miraflores Park
- Experience at Arabian Baths, Hammam Al Andalus
2nd day in Cordoba
14. Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Alcazar)
15. The Royal Stables of Córdoba (Caballerizas Reales)
16. Alcazar Califal Baths (Baños del Alcázar Califal)
18. The Seville Gate
19. San Basilio neighborhood and amazing Patios
20. The Bridge Gate. The Roman Bridge
21. Calahorra Tower. Walk along The Riverbank (Paseo de la Ribera)
22. Enjoy a Flamenco Show at one of the flamenco tablao’s
3rd day in Cordoba
23. Medina Azahara Archaeological site
24. The Plaza de los Capuchinos
25. Viana Palace
26. San Lorenzo Church
Other interesting Museums
- Julio Romero Torres
- The Fine Arts Museum
- The Bullfighting Museum (Museo Taurino)
Cordoba 26 must-see visits in 3 days. What to see
Day 1 in Cordoba
Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (Mezquita)
This Cordoba itinerary of 26 must-see visits in 3 days, leads us with the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (Mezquita), the architectural jewel of the city. As you can imagine, it is one of the most important monuments in the Islamic world and one of the most visited in Spain. It is also one of the 9 monuments I mentioned earlier included in the World Heritage List.
The Mezquita is a truly exceptional sacred place that harmoniously blends a Christian cathedral with a mosque.
Its origins date back to the 6th century, when a modest basilica was built.
In 1238, with the arrival of the Muslim community, the basilica was transformed into a beautiful mosque. Subsequently, after the Christian Reconquest, the wise decision was made to preserve the essence of the mosque, but also to erect a majestic cathedral inside it.
What is most striking about this monumental enclosure is its impressive size, covering a floor plan of no less than 24,000 square meters.
Its characteristic red and white arches, supported by a staggering 856 columns, create an enchanting atmosphere that evokes the appearance of a fascinating forest inside.
Plan your visit
You should know that before visiting the Mezquita, it is advisable to book your tickets in advance to avoid long queues. You can buy tickets at the ticket machines located in the Patio de los Naranjos (next to the Box Office).
Although it is possible to climb the bell tower of the Mosque, the entrance to the minaret is sold separately.
Pay attention to this fact, the bell tower is the tallest building in the city with a height of 54 meters and from it you can admire beautiful views of the historic center. Its price is 3 euros.
- Address: c/ Cardenal Herrero, 1
- Opening Hous: 10 am to 7 pm
- Tickets sales in: https://tickets.mezquita-catedraldecordoba.es/es or at the vending machines located in the Patio de los Naranjos.
- Entrance fee: 13 euros general ticket
Jewish Quarter (Judería)
Beyond any doubt, it is one of the oldest and best preserved neighborhoods in Europe. Highlights include the Main Synagogue, the Calleja de las Flores, the Calleja del Pañuelo and the Old Hospital de los Agudos, among others.
Its streets, surrounded by magnificent palaces and charming squares, perfectly capture the essence of this city with its Hispano-Muslim legacy. Getting lost in its narrow streets is a pleasure for the senses.
Pay special attention to the Main Synagogue, the picturesque alleys of Flores and Pañuelo, which in particular take you back to the Middle Ages.
As you wander through its cobbled streets, you will come across the Synagogue. It is one of the oldest Jewish religious temples still standing in Spain. I
t was built in the 11th century by the Jews who lived in the city in the early Middle Ages, and it is interesting to note that it has preserved much of its original architecture.
The main points of interest inside the synagogue include a reading room dedicated to the study of Jewish texts and an Andalusian-style courtyard.
Get ready to meet the statue of Maimonides in Tiberiades Square. This exceptional rabbi and philosopher is recognized as one of the most outstanding thinkers in Jewish history.
His statue is a tribute to his immense legacy and the surrounding environment is really beautiful.
Keep walking to one of the most photographed streets in the Jewish Quarter: The Calleja de las Flores. The colorful flower pots hanging on the white walls will transport you to a fairy tale. You should also visit the Calleja del Pañuelo, another beautiful alley with a unique charm.
Andalusian House and Casa Sefarad
Once you have admired the beauty of the Synagogue, I suggest exploring one of these museums: Casa de Sefarad and Casa Andalusí. In them you can immerse yourself in the fascinating Jewish history of Cordoba.
You will learn about the traditions, culture, and contributions of this community throughout the centuries. It’s like taking a trip back in time!
Casa de Sefarad
This museum is located right in front of the Synagogue in an old Jewish house from the 14th century. Through its rooms you will learn about daily life, celebrations, music and the role of women in the Sephardic community.
- Address: C/ Judíos
- Opening Hours: Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm. Sunday and Public Holiday: 11 am to 2 pm.
- Entrance fee: 4 euros (general)
Also, just a few steps from the Synagogue, you will find the Casa Andalusí in a building built in the 12th century.
This house is a perfect portrayal of the lifestyle and architecture characteristic of Al-Andalus.
By visiting it, you will be immersed in the dwellings of Al-Andalus and the Moorish way of life. Every corner reflects 12th century Cordoba with Moorish elements and Andalusian touches.
You can enter the living room, kitchen, bedrooms, and patio with lush vegetation.
- Address: C/ Judíos
- Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm. Sunday and Public Holiday: 10 am to 7pm
- Entrance fee: 4 euros (general)
Old Hospital de los Agudos
Another building of great interest located in the Jewish Quarter is the Old Hospital de los Agudos in Cordoba. It was built in the 18th century by Francisco Hurtado Izquierdo, a Spanish Baroque architect.
At the time, the hospital was dedicated to the care of patients with infectious diseases, such as plague and smallpox.
Today it houses the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Cordoba.
If you feel like visiting it, its interior has two patios, one of them with a marble fountain. In addition, you can visit the Chapel of San Bartholomew, an example of Mudejar architecture.
The chapel houses a Baroque altarpiece and an image of Saint Bartholomew.
- Address: plaza Cardenal Salazar, 6
The Trinity Church
The Church of the Trinity or Parish of Saint John and All Saints is a historical and religious building of great importance in Cordoba.
It is a place worth visiting to enjoy its beautiful architecture and appreciate its historical value.
For your information, it was founded in the 13th century by King Ferdinand III of Castile and the current building, in Baroque style, was built in the 17th century.
On the other hand, the façade, a masterpiece of Córdoban Baroque, stands out for its Solomonic columns and its triangular pediment. Inside, you can appreciate frescoes, sculptures and altarpieces of great beauty.
Las Tendillas Square and Roman Temple
Another must-see visits in Cordoba in 3 days is the Las Tendillas square, a beautiful and iconic place that combines history, culture, and local life.
The name of the square comes from the small shops that used to house the Order of Calatrava since the 14th century.
And, in case you didn’t know, this place has become the favorite meeting point for Cordoba residents to enjoy the grapes on New Year’s Eve.
Some of the commercial buildings that surround it date back to the 15th and 16th centuries.
Among them are the Casa Carbonell and the Casa Rubio. In addition, don’t miss the opportunity to relax while you have a drink at one of the many terraces and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the square.
From the square, you can walk to the Roman Temple of Cordoba, which is near the City Hall. This temple, built in the 1st century BC, features beautiful Corinthian columns of white marble.
Imagine it with its dimensions: it is 32 meters long and 16 meters wide. To appreciate the remains of the temple, you can walk around the area a bit.
Today, you can see six columns that give a glimpse of its splendor. The authentic remains include the foundations, the altar, the staircase, and some fragments of columns and capitals.
The Corredera Square
Among the 26 must-see visits in Cordoba, this emblematic square is a must: the Plaza de la Corredera, in the historic Axerquía district.
It is a Castilian-style square, the only example in Andalusia of this style, similar to the Plaza Mayor de Madrid.
The name of the square comes from the bullfights that used to take place here. It was built on the ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheater, where during the excavations, numerous mosaics were discovered that are now preserved inside the Alcazar.
In addition, it is a very lively square, with many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.
This museum is really interesting. It contains a large collection of art and archaeological objects ranging from Prehistory to the Middle Ages, with important Roman and Muslim pieces. In fact, its collection is considered one of the most important in Spain.
In the basement, there is the archaeological site for the city’s Roman theater.
As for the sculptures, one piece in particular caught my attention: a bronze fawn from the 10th century, from Medina Azahara, which used to be part of the decoration of a fountain in the residence of the caliphs of Cordoba.
- Address: Plaza de Jerónimo Páez, 7
- Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm. Sunday: 9 am to 3 pm.
- Entrance fee: Free
Casa de las Cabezas
Located in the historic center of the city, it is a good example of a Cordoba House-Patio, dating back to the Middle Ages. By visiting this place, you can immerse yourself in the history and culture of Cordoba.
The tour of the museum begins in the beautiful main courtyard, decorated with 28 stone heads, and it is precisely their peculiarity that gives the house its name.
Thanks to the important collection of objects and furniture on display, you will be able to travel back in time and get an idea of how distinguished people lived in Cordoba in the Middle Ages.
- Address: C/ Cabezas, 18
- Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm.
- Entrance fee: 6 euros
Casa del Agua
And we continue this itinerary of 26 must-see visits in Cordoba in 3 days, with another house, the Casa del Agua, also located in the historic center.
This building has a quite curious history. It began as a bathhouse in the 16th century, but in the 17th century it became a women’s prison. Women accused of heresy, witchcraft and other crimes were imprisoned there.
This site also includes a section of Roman walls and sewers, a corrala courtyard, a well and a cistern.
Casa del Agua, Today
In 2010, the City Hall inaugurated the Interpretation Center, which offers an exhibition on the history of the building and its importance in the city, including a reconstruction of the women’s prison.
In addition to the exhibition, the interpretation center offers educational and cultural activities, such as workshops, lectures and guided tours.
- Address: C/ Portillo, 6-8
- Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:15 am to 14:15 pm. Tuesday: Closed
- Entrance fee: 5 euros
Park and Miraflores Bridge
During your tour, you will find the perfect place to relax and breathe fresh air. This is the Miraflores park, a symbol of the city’s modernity.
It was inaugurated in 2003 and is one of the largest parks in the city, with an area of 10 hectares.
The park features an artificial lake, an amphitheater, and offers a plenty of outdoor activities such as walks, picnics, and sports.
At the southern end is the Miraflores bridge, which crosses the Guadalquivir River. It is striking for its reddish brown color, as it is built in Corten steel, a material that rusts over time.
- Address: Pl. Cruz del Rastro, 808
Traditional Arabian Baths experience
To end your day of sightseeing on a high note, what about relaxing and enjoying a beauty treatment in a traditional hammam? One of the most popular is the Hammam Al Ándalus, located in the old part of the city.
- Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm.
- Info and tickets: on their website https://cordoba.hammamalandalus.com
Day 2 in Cordoba
Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Alcazar)
The Alcázar de los Reyes Católicos, one of nine monuments declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, is a castle-palace built in the 13th century by Alfonso X on the site of the former Umayyad alcazar.
After the Reconquest in the 15th century, the Catholic Monarchs converted it into a palace.
And for 8 years, this place was their residence. In addition, the fortress worked as the headquarters of the Holy Inquisition, where prisoners were imprisoned during that time.
The Alcazar Visit
The visit to the Alcazar of the Catholic Monarchs takes about 1 hour.
It begins in the Tower of the Lions, where you can see an exhibition on the history of the building. Then you will visit the Moorish Courtyard, the Courtyard of the Women and the Courtyard of the Inquisition.
Inside: Halls and patios. Outside: Towers, walls, and gardens.
I especially liked the Arab-inspired gardens with their beautiful fountains, ponds, orange trees that smell wonderful, and multicolored flowers. A very sensorial experience!
- Address: C/ Caballerizas Reales, s/n
- Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 6 pm. Sunday: 8:45 am to 2:45 pm. Monday: closed
- Entrance fee: 5 euros (general)
- Web: alcazardelosreyescristianos.cordoba.es
- Guided visit: You can buy your ticket here.
* Arrive early to avoid queues. The Alcazar is one of the most visited monuments in Cordoba, so it is advisable to show up early to avoid long lines and for the same reason it is best to buy tickets in advance.
* Wear comfortable footwear. The visit to the Alcazar includes a fair amount of walking, cómodo, and when visiting in Summer, it is a must that you wear comfy shoes and cotton clothes.
* Be sure to bring some water with you. This is a huge spot and it can get super hot.
The Royal Stables
Las Caballerizas Reales or the Royal Stables are located next to the Alcazar of the Catholic Monarchs and are a set of stables built in the 16th century by order of King Philip II.
The Andalusian purebred horse was born in them. It currently houses a museum dedicated to the Andalusian horse.
Alcazar Califal Baths
Located in the center of the city, near the Mosque-Cathedral, the Alcazar Califal Baths (Baños del Alcázar Califal) are one of the many wonders of ancient Al-Andalus, as they perfectly depict the evolution of Islamic architecture and the important role they played in the lives of the citizens of the ancient Alcazar.
Built around the year 1000 by the Caliphs of the city, the building has been in excellent condition ever since.
As for the complex, it is entirely decorated with marble mosaics and tiles. In addition, it comprises a large central hall with ponds and several water rooms distributed in cold, warm and hot water, as well as beautiful gardens.
- Address: C. S. Mártires
- Entrance fee: 3 euros (general)
The Sevilla Gate
The Seville Gate (Puerta de Sevilla) is also a place steeped in history. The reason is that this historical monument represents the past of the city through different stages: Muslim, Christian and modern. Its construction dates back to the 14th century, during the reign of Alfonso XI.
In Muslim times, it was known as Puerta de Drogueros. Later, in Christian times, it was renamed Puerta de Sevilla, since it was the most direct exit to this city.
The best thing is that from here, you can enjoy stunning views of Cordoba.
San Basilio Neigborhood and Patios
In the first place, did you know that in the 14th century, during the reign of Alfonso XI, the neighborhood of San Basilio was built in Cordoba?
This neighborhood was designed to house the staff working in the royal fortress, and still preserves its medieval structure, with three parallel streets: San Basilio, En Medio and Postrera.
As a matter of fact, the patios of San Basilio are one of the main tourist attractions of the city. Every year, during the month of May, takes place the Cordoba Courtyards Contest, which rewards the best decorated and cared for courtyards.
Even if you can’t visit Córdoba during the festival, you can still enjoy the patios all year round. Many of the owners of the patios open their doors to the public for free. And, you can also find guided tours of the patios available.
The Bridge Gate and Roman Bridge
The combination of the Bridge Gate (Puerta del Puente) and the Roman Bridge (Puente Romanao) is a postcard-worthy sight. Have you heard of the Roman Bridge of Cordoba? It’s a marvel of Roman engineering, built in the 1st century AD. It’s the oldest bridge in Cordoba and one of the best-preserved Roman bridges in the world.
This Bridge Gate is a monumental gate, built in the 16th century and is a symbol of the city. It was originally part of the walls that defended the city.
Note that the Bridge Gate is a visiting landmark. There’s an exhibition hall where you can learn about its history, and a viewpoint with stunning views of the city.
Calahorra Tower and a stroll along the Riverbank
The Calahorra Tower used to control the aforementioned Roman bridge. Now, it’s home to the Museo Vivo de al-Andalus, which aims to show the splendor of Cordoba and al-Andalus between the ninth and twelfth centuries.
- Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm.
- Entrance fee: 4,5 euros (general)
On the other hand, The Ribera de Cordoba is one of the main attractions of the city.
Formerly, it was known as “Ribera de Curtidores” because of the many tanning establishments that existed in the neighborhood.
And nowadays, it is a lively and cosmopolitan place, full of businesses and activities, from terraces, to design stores and creative cuisine restaurants.
Flamenco show experience
To top off your day of sightseeing, I suggest an activity with soul and passion: a flamenco show, full of emotion, where guitarists, singers, and dancers will showcase their art, recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
If you’re into it, you can get tickets here.
Day 3 in Cordoba
Medina Azahara Archaeological Site
If you are staying more than two days in Cordoba, Medina Azahara is definitely a must-see. Personally, it was one of the visits I enjoyed the most.
Imagine an ancient caliphate city, with the remains of a magnificent royal palace, an orderly medieval city, and a rich artistic heritage, full of impressive sculptures, columns, capitals, and mosaics.
Medina Azahara, built in the 10th century by Abderraman III, is located about 8 kilometers from the city center. Plus, don’t forget that it is one of nine monuments declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Here, you can admire the ruins of palaces, mosques, gardens, and other buildings that will transport you back to life in Muslim Cordoba.
Public transportation options
To make the most of your visit, here are a few options I recommend:
- Option 1: Take a bus to the city and then join a free walking tour. I did this, and it was great!
- Option 2: Book a guided tour from Cordoba that includes transportation. If you prefer this option, you can book your tour here.
I chose the first option, so here’s how to get to Medina Azahara by public transportation.
How to get there by public transportation
The best way to get from Córdoba to Medina Azahara is by bus. The departure times are at 10:15 and 11 am. The return times are 1:30 and 2:15 PM.
This bus drops you off at the Reception-Museum, and the archaeological site is 2 kilometers away. You need to take a shuttle bus to get to the site.
That said, if you buy your tickets online, you get a 5% discount.
The bus costs €10 round-trip and gives you 2.5 hours to visit the archaeological complex. The shuttle bus is included in this price.
Bus departure points in Córdoba:
* Paseo de la Victoria (Hospital Cruz Roja roundabout)
* Paseo de la Victoria (in front of the Mercado Victoria)
In case you booked the free tour I mentioned before, at 10:40 a.m. they will be waiting for you to start it and guide you in everything you need.
The visit to Medina Azahara
The tour starts at the museum, where you’ll watch an entertaining documentary about Medina Azahara that will immerse you in the context of the visit.
Then, with the guide, you’ll take the shuttle bus to the archaeological site, where they’ll start explaining the site in great detail.
- Address: Ctra. A-431 Almodovar, km 7
- Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm. Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm.
- Entrance fee: free (UE). Other countries: 1,50 euros
Plaza de los Capuchinos
Another must-see in the historic center of Cordoba is Plaza de Capuchinos, where you can take a pleasant walk and enjoy the city’s atmosphere.
It is mainly known for its Cristo de los Faroles, a sculpture of Christ crucified that stands in the center of the plaza. This sculpture was created in the 18th century and is one of the most revered images in Cordoba.
In addition, the square is also home to the Convent of Capuchinos, a 16th-century Franciscan convent, and the Los Dolores church, a 17th-century Baroque church located right next to the convent.
Another must-see in Cordoba in 3 days is the stately Viana Palace, located in the Santa Marina neighborhood.
This palace, built in the 15th century by the Marquesses of Viana, is an architectural gem that has grown over time to meet the needs of the families who have lived there.
The patios of the Viana palace are undoubtedly one of its main attractions. Each of the 12 patios has its own unique style and decoration, and you can appreciate the evolution of Andalusian architecture over the centuries.
In addition, the Viana palace hosts a house-museum that is an authentic architectural and historical treasure.
Here you will find such outstanding works as a portrait of Charles V painted by Titian, an impressive tapestry from the “Three Kingdoms” series, and a set of 16th century furniture.
- Address: Plz. Don Gome, 2
- Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm. Sunday: 10 am to 3 pm.
- Entrance fee: Total visit: 10 euros; courtyards only: 6 euros; Palace only: 6 euros.
San Lorenzo Church
The Church of San Lorenzo is one of the 26 must-sees in Cordoba, not only for its architectural beauty, but also for its historical meaning. This religious building is a testament to religious coexistence in Córdoba, which has been a multicultural city for centuries.
That said, the church as we know it was built during the reign of Ferdinand III the Saint, in the 13th century. Since then, it has been restored several times, with the most recent restoration in 1950.
Today, the Church of San Lorenzo is an important religious and cultural center in the San Lorenzo neighborhood. Be sure to check out the bell tower, which offers stunning 360-degree views of Cordoba. Personally, I find it a memorable way to end your stay in the city.
- Address: C. Cardenal Herrero, 1
- Opening Hours: from 10 am to 1 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm.
- Entrance fee: 5 euros
Cordoba 26 must-see visits in 3 days: Map
In the map below, you will find the 26 places I recommend you visit during your stay in Cordoba. I have marked the itinerary for the three days using different colors.
Cordoba 26 must-see visits in 3 days, my thoughts
To sump up, Cordoba is a city that perfectly combines past and present.
Its streets are home to centuries of history. On the one hand, the city has a rich historical heritage, which you can appreciate in its monuments, such as the Mezquita, the Alcazar, or the Roman Bridge.
On the other hand, Cordoba is a modern and cosmopolitan city, with a top-notch cultural and gastronomic experience.
Follow this itinerary to make the most of your time in Cordoba and discover everything this amazing city has to offer you.
If you’re looking for inspiration to explore other similar destinations, check out these getaways.
Pin for your Pinterest!