The best of C贸rdoba in 48 hours 馃嚜馃嚫

by Nick

In the heart of Andalusia (Spanish: Andaluc铆a) lies C贸rdoba, an important Roman and Islamic centre during the Middle Ages. The magnificent Mezquita (Grand Mosque) built in AD785 sits majestically at the centre of this UNESCO World Heritage city. The Alc谩zar de Los Reyes Cristianos, the Synagogue and the Roman Bridge form the nucleus of C贸rdoba鈥檚 old quarter.

From sampling restaurants serving sumptuous Spanish cuisine to diving into traditional wine bars (bodegas) and tavernas, or simply exploring the narrow, winding streets and courtyards, C贸rdoba should feature as part of any Andalusian trip.


Travel Essentials – C贸rdoba in 48 hours


Getting there

Airline:聽Wizz Air and聽easyJet from London Luton (LTN) to Seville (SVQ) and M谩laga (AGP). From 拢50, return.
Transport to C贸rdoba
: By train, bus or car.
Distance from C贸rdoba: Seville 141km (87.6 mile) and M谩laga 158km (98.2 mile).


Need to know

Visa:聽From 1st January 2021, UK residents can visit Spain for 90 days maximum in any 180 day period.
Travel:聽See the聽FCDO聽website.
Currency:聽Euro (拢1 = 鈧1.11 approximately).
Language:聽Spanish. English is spoken and understood.
Best time to visit:聽March until May.
Time:聽GMT +1.


Quick Facts about C贸rdoba

  • At one time the world’s largest city with 1,000,000 inhabitants.
  • The Mezquita de C贸rdoba is the largest mosque in the world.
  • Is the only city with four UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Home to some of the world鈥檚 largest olive plantations.

Day 1

Morning

Grab breakfast at one of the many local family-run caf茅s near Puerta del Punte. Cafeteria LLENKA (C. Tenerife, 1, 14009 C贸rdoba) or Cafeter铆a Bar Emilio (Av. de C谩diz, 25, 14009 C贸rdoba) are good bets. The classic caf茅 con leche plus tostado with ham, tomato and olive oil comes in at just 鈧2.60 (拢2.15).

Head towards Torre De Calahorra, a tower with far-reaching views and a small museum, on the cusp of the Puente Romano, or Roman Bridge which crosses the 657km (408.2 mile) Guadalquivir river built in the first century BC. The bridge has 16 arches supported by semi-cylindrical buttresses is 247m (810.4ft) long by 9m (29.5ft) wide.

The Puerta del Puente, a Renaissance gate, is a stone gateway leading to the old town and once formed part of the city’s defensive walls is located at the end of the bridge.

Puento Romano Bridge spanning the Guadalquivir River, Co虂rdoba, Spain

Puento Romano Bridge spanning the Guadalquivir River, Co虂rdoba, Spain


The tourist office is located on the right after entering the gateway and next to the Mezquita-Catedral or Mezquita de C贸rdoba (Entry 鈧11 or roughly 拢9 for Adults), with the Mezquita considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. important in Islamic architecture history, it influenced Moorish architecture worldwide.

The beautiful prayer hall of the Mezquita de Co虂rdoba, Co虂rdoba, Spain

The beautiful prayer hall of the Mezquita de Co虂rdoba, Co虂rdoba, Spain


The interior is covered with lustrous decorations, including carved marble, mosaics and inscriptions. The arches, initially supported by 1253 columns, of which 856 remain today, were designed to provide the illusion of a forest of date palms. The area around the masquara and mihrab, which symbolises the direction of prayer, is the most intricate part of the Mezquita.

The mihrab of the Mezquita de Co虂rdoba, Co虂rdoba, Spain

The mihrab of the Mezquita de Co虂rdoba, Co虂rdoba, Spain


The main altar, completed in 1653, consists of three verticles aisles flanked by columns. Dominating the central aisle is the tabernacle, whilst the upper half displays a canvas of the Assumption. Overhead, the domes are decorated with star-patterned stone vaulting.

The medieval gates of Mezquita along Torrijos street, Cordoba, Spain

The medieval gates of Mezquita along Torrijos street, Cordoba, Spain


Climb the watchtower to get a great sense of the 21st-century city and spend time exploring the Mezquita’s exterior. There are four huge doors, with their unique detailed inscriptions, on each side of the Mezquita’s sides.

Lunch

Try Casa Pedro Xim茅nez (C. Deanes, 10, 14003 C贸rdoba) near the Mezquita. Salmorejo, one of the most famous dishes from Cordoba, is a thick, cold, tomato-based soup closely related to gazpacho.


Afternooon

The Alc谩zar de los Reyes Cristianos, or Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs is a medieval alc谩zar located in the historic centre of C贸rdoba next to the Guadalquivir River. Once a fortress whose construction was ordered by King Alfonso XI in 1328, the lavish interior is complimented by magnificent gardens and courtyards demonstrating Mud茅jar inspiration. Spring results in blossoming flowers, starting with the Battle of the Flowers at the end of April, a unique parade marking the beginning of a month of festivities.

The gardens of Alca虂zar de los Reyes Cristianos, Co虂rdoba, Spain

The gardens of Alca虂zar de los Reyes Cristianos, Co虂rdoba, Spain

Apertif

Wander the streets heading for the cluster of bars around Miraflores Bridge and enjoy Fusi贸n de Sojo (C. Enrique Romero Torres, 5, 14002 C贸rdoba) serving excellent food and drinks where a Negroni costs 鈧7 (拢5.77).

The bodegas and narrow streets, Co虂rdoba, Spain

The bodegas and narrow streets, Co虂rdoba, Spain


A plethora of bars exist in and around the Jewish quarter, Taberna Rafa茅 (C. Deanes, 2, 14003 C贸rdoba) is a good bet. Typically Andalusian, this bodega with walls covered in photos of bullfighters serves tasty food along with a varied wine menu.聽

Dinner with the locals

Relatively unchanged since opening in 1879, Taberna Salinas (C. Tundidores, 3, 14002 C贸rdoba) offers traditional Andalusian cuisine including pig’s trotters (mantias de cerdo) and plenty of delicious seafood.聽

Day 2

Morning

Part of the historic centre of C贸rdoba, The Jewish Quarter, or Juder铆a de C贸rdoba, retains the urban layout of a medieval Islamic city, surrounded by a labyrinth of smaller streets often resulting in dead ends.聽

The Sinagoga (Synagogue), the Zoco Municipal (Zoco Municipal Market) or the Museo Taurino (Bull-fighting Museum). Built in 1315 (5075 in the Jewish Calendar), it is only one of three synagogues remaining in Spain, the other two located in Toledo. The size indicates it may have belonged to a wealthy man as his private synagogue.

The hekhal (Torah ark), Jewish Synagogue, Co虂rdoba, Spain

The hekhal (Torah ark), Jewish Synagogue, Co虂rdoba, Spain


El Zoco
(Zoco Municipal de la Artesan铆a Calle Jud铆os, s/n 14004 C贸rdoba) or the municipal souk of C贸rdoba is an artisan’s market near the synagogue. Serving as a market for several centuries, It was the first craft market that was created in Spain, offering spices, perfumes, leather, ceramic and silver goods.

Interior wall of the Municipal Souk, Co虂rdoba, Spain

Interior wall of the Municipal Souk, Co虂rdoba, Spain


Lunch

Try Taberna La Montillana (C. San 脕lvaro, 5, 14003 C贸rdoba), a modern tavern serving traditional Andalusian meat and seafood dishes with a creative spin at very reasonable prices.

Afternooon

Head to the UNESCO caliphate city of Medina Azahara, translated as ‘the radiant city’, lies 8km north-west of C贸rdoba. Built in the 10th century on raked terraces, it used the mountainside slopes and featured a rectangular floor plan. The construction took merely 10 years, and at total capacity, the complex housed 12,000 people.

The UNESCO Caliphate city of Medina Azahara, Co虂rdoba, Spain

The UNESCO Caliphate city of Medina Azahara, Co虂rdoba, Spain


Each of the three terraces is separated by walls, the upper one for the Alc谩zar Real Palace and the lower one for servant dwellings, barracks and the Aljama mosque. There are remains of the gates and entrances to the city walls.

The ceremonial entrance to the Alcazar, Co虂rdoba, Spain

The ceremonial entrance to the Alcazar, Co虂rdoba, Spain


A dedicated archaeological museum at the edge of the site is built mainly underground to minimize disruption to the views of the landscape.

The verdict – C贸rdoba in 48 hours

Often heard is the phrase ‘el tiempo en C贸rdoba’?, meaning ‘What is the weather in C贸rdoba? The answer is repeatedly, sunshine. C贸rdoba is often overlooked in favour of other Andalusian destinations such as M谩laga and Seville; however, this overwhelmingly historical city packs a lot in.

During the 10th century, it was the most significant economic and cultural centre of the Western world, and much of that importance is evident today with grandiose architecture. Gastronomically, C贸rdoba is a delight with plenty of traditional dishes on offer and contemporary dining. The city is perfect for a weekend sojourn, or as part of a longer Andalusian road trip.

More information

Spain’s Official Tourism site for C贸rdoba.

Read about our other聽Spanish breaks.