Córdoba is home to an enlightened Islamic Caliphate, Roman artefacts, beautiful patios and some of the cheapest tastiest tapas around. Here’s how to see it in 2 days.


It seems our early ancestors were onto something when they deemed Córdoba the greatest city in western Europe in the 10th century. Home to an Islamic Caliphate, Roman influences and local Spanish charisma, 2 days in Córdoba is an ideal European weekend getaway.

The world-famous Mezquita-Catedral – the 1st-century Islamic prayer hall with an icon of Christian might literally punching through the ceiling – is just the beginning of the historical journey Córdoba takes you on.

The ancient ruined caliphal capital of Madinat al-Zahra was the beating heart of an Islamic Caliphate in western Europe. The old cobbled streets and gorgeous patios still carry remnants of the original Roman design. Each contributing to the fascinating story of this remarkable town.

Córdoba is a pint-sized historical treasure that punches well above its weight.

Here’s our complete 2 days in Córdoba with the sights ordered to take advantage of their location while also factoring in opening and closing times.


Please note / This post contains affiliate links which means if you buy something following a link on this page, we’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting our blog. / Paul & Mark.

2 DAYS IN CÓRDOBA OVERVIEW

DAY 1 AM / Exploring the Mezquita-Catedral & Puente Romano

DAY 1 PM / Wandering the Alcázar and Casa Andalusí

DAY 1 EVENING / Impressive leather work & traditional Spanish dining

DAY 2 AM / Strolling the ruins Madinat al-Zahra, then Palacio de Viana

DAY 2 PM / Absorbing the masters at Archaeological Museum & Museo de Bellas Artes

DAY 2 EVENING / Innovative Spanish dining


WHY GO TO CÓRDOBA?

Exploring the remnants of a great Islamic empire

Strolling the cobbled laneways and famous floral patios

Witnessing one of the most historically fascinating buildings in the world

Visiting the home of powerful kings

Tasting superb tapas in cute squares

2 days in Córdoba: Beautiful town with evocative historical sites.

DAY 1 AM / THE MEZQUITA-CATEDRAL & PUENTE ROMANO

08:30 / Get an early start this morning to take advantage of the free entry at the Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba between 08:30 and 09:30 every day (except Sunday). It’s a truly memorable site and a great way to understand the complex history of Córdoba. Originally built in 785 CE as a mosque, it was converted to a cathedral after the Christian conquest in 1236. The mix of Christian opulence and Islamic iconography in the building is compelling.

10:00 / Next, head up to the Bell Tower for an uninterrupted view of the Christian cathedral punching its way through the Islamic mosque. From here the towering dominance of the cathedral serves as a reminder to the power of religion. Entrance to the bell tower occurs every 30 minutes.

11:30 / After the Mezquita, walk across the Puente Romano (Av. del Alcázar) for great views across the town. The bridge you see today is mostly from the Islamic period and contains the famous Moorish arches familiar across Córdoba. At the end of the bridge is the Torre de la Calahorra, which contains the Museo Vivo de Al-Andaluz. This is most uninteresting, sloppily assembled museum we have ever seen. Give it a miss.

12:30 / Head back into Córdoba to explore the Patios San Basilio. A ticket for €5 provides access to 5 patios which are all privately owned by locals. Pick up your tickets from Calle San Basilio 14 and follow the trail of smiling locals from one patio to the next. Read our full review of the patios of Córdoba.


MEZQUITA-CATEDRAL DE CÓRDOBA / 10:00 – 19:00 Mon-Sat; 8.30 – 11.00 and 15:00 to 19:00 Sun | Bell Tower: 9:30 – 13:30 and 16:00 – 18:30 Mon-Sat | Price: €10 (Bell tower + €2) | Location: Calle Cardenal Herrero 1

PATIOS SAN BASILIO / 08:30 – 20:45 Tue–Fri; 08:30 – 16:30 Sat; 08:30 – 14:30 Sun; Closed Mon | Price: €5 | Location: Calle San Basilio 14

DAY 1 PM / ALCÁZAR, CASA ANDALUSÍ & PEOPLE WATCHING

14:00 / No 2 days in Córdoba would be complete without an al fresco lunch in an atmospheric square. So, after the patios, have lunch at Puerta Sevilla (Calle Postrera 51) taking up prime spot in the square just inside the Sevilla Gate. It’s hearty Spanish fare, so if unless you have a healthy appetite, one dish per person will probably do.

15:15 / After lunch, head over to the Baños de Alcázar Califal, the site of the execution of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Rahman V in 1024 CE. They’re not great – at all – but the execution did mark the end of the Caliphate in Europe. There’s not much left of these 10th-century baths today, but still, they’re worth a quick look for their historical significance if nothing else.

INSTAGRAM / ANYWHERE WE ROAM

We are Mark & Paul. Curious + Adventurous. Anywhere We Roam is the story of our travels – the world as seen through our eyes.⁣⁣⁣

If you found this article helpful and you’d like to see more of our photography, head over to Instagram and follow our journey.⁣⁣⁣

As always, thanks for supporting our blog.⁣⁣⁣

15:45 / Next, head to Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs. The Alcázar was built by the Christians after they conquered Córdoba in 1328. The gardens of the Alcázar draw the most energetic gasps of pleasure from visitors and make an ideal addition to your 2 days in Córdoba itinerary.

17:00 / Now explore some more of the Jewish Quarter. Start at Casa Andalusí, a house/museum full of Moroccan charm including the first paper factory imported to Spain by the Islamic empire. Next, take the short stroll to the Maimonides statue located here. One of the most prolific and influential Jewish scholars, Córdoban born Maimonides was also an astronomer and physician.

18:00 / After meandering more of the Jewish Quarter, it’s probably time for a refreshing beverage, so head to Cosmopolitan Food on Plaza de Judá Levi. Despite the terrible name and even worse reviews on TripAdvisor, they have a great location in the square which is ideal for people watching.


BAÑOS DE ALCÁZAR CALIFAL / 08:30 – 20:45 Tue-Sat; 08:30 – 14:30 Sun | Price: €2.50 | Location: Plaza Campo Santo de los Mártires

ALCÁZAR OF THE CHRISTIAN MONARCHS / 08:30 – 20:45 Tue–Fri; 08:30 – 16:30 Sat; 08:30 – 14:30 Sun; Closed Mon | Price: €2.50 | Location: Plaza Campo Santo de los Mártires

LA CASA ANDALUSÍ / 10.00 – 19:30 | Price: €5 | Location: Calle Judíos, 12

DAY 1 EVENING / IMPRESSIVE LEATHER WORK & TRADITIONAL DINING

19:00 / After your early evening sundowner, make your way to Casa Ramón García Romero to witness one of Córdoba’s traditional crafts. If anyone told us before we spent 2 days in Córdoba that a museum dedicated to leather art would be a highlight, we would have scoffed. But the craftsmanship here is something to behold.

21:00 / For dinner this evening, make a reservation at Taberna Luque (Calle Blanco Belmonte 4; +34 699 80 65 60) for authentic regional cooking. If you’re young, hip and cool, the decor probably won’t be to your taste. It’s aging old-school Spanish styling, with aging old-school Spanish customers. But, the service by Antonio is warm, friendly and energetic; the cooking by Maria full of home-styled elegant goodness. The pork with PX sauce was a particular standout, but the whole evening was sealed by the fantastic service. If you fancy something different here are some other excellent restaurants in Cordoba.


CASA RAMÓN GARCÍA ROMERO / 10:30 – 14:00 & 16:30 – 20:00 Mon-Sat | Price: Free | Location: Plaza Agrupación de Cofradías 2

DAY 2 AM / MADINAT AL-ZAHRA & PALACIO DE VIANA

10:15 / This morning, head out to Madinat al-Zahra, palace of Abd al-Rahman III, and the heart of the 10th-century Islamic Caliphate in Spain. The palace was a sprawling complex stretching 1500 metres across and set in the foothills of the Sierra Morena Mountain Range. The tour starts in the modern museum which has artefacts collected from the site and a film showing what the palace looked like in the 10th century. A free shuttle bus whisks visitors up to the site of the ruins.

13:30 / Back in Córdoba and after finding your favourite local hangout for lunch, stroll through Christo de los Faroles and Casa Baillo for some interesting sculptures. Then make your way over to Palacio de Viana, the second of Córdoba’s prime patio offerings. Palacio de Viana was originally built in the 15th century and after 5 centuries of expansion now boasts 12 beautiful courtyards, open for public inspection. As the scent of orange and jasmine blossom fills the air, keep an eye out for hints of Arabic roots such as the ornate mosaics and water features, or the Hispanic details such as the sculptured cypress trees.


MADINAT AL-ZAHRA / 09:00 – 21:00 Mon-Sat & 09:00 – 15:00 Sun | Price: €1.50 (free for EU citizens | Location: Ctra. Palma del Río, km 5.5 | Getting there: Bus departs from Paseo de La Victoria outside the Almodovar Gate and leaves at 10.15, 10.30 and 11:00; returning at 13.30, 13.45 and 14.15 | Bus price: €9.

PALACIO DE VIANA / 10:00 – 19:00 Tue-Sat; 10:00 to 15:00 Sun and holidays | Price: €5 | Location: Plaza de Don Gome 2

DAY 2 PM / ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM & MUSEO DE BELLAS ARTES

16:30 / After inspecting the patios, stroll past Templo Romano (Calle Capitulares) the remains of a Roman temple with reconstructed pillars. There’s not much too see but the towers standing beside the modern buildings make a nice contrast. Then, head into Plaza de la Corredera for a late afternoon coffee in a very local square. A €1 coffee never tasted so good in this thoroughly local atmosphere.

17:45 / Potter around the Muslim quarter before checking out the Archaeological Museum. It has a good selection of artefacts from prehistoric times discovered in the Córdoba area. The basement houses the remains of a Roman theatre, said to be the largest in Spain.

18:30 / After the Archaeological Museum, head to the Museo de Bellas Artes. The gallery contains work by Córdoban artists from the 15th to 20th centuries supported by a number of contemporary paintings and sculptures. It doesn’t contain any huge names in art, but it is a great little gallery, on one of the prettiest squares in town and well worth seeing on your 2 days in Córdoba.


ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM / 09:00 – 21:00 Tue-Sat; 10:00 – 19:00 Sun | Price: €1.50 (free for EU citizens) | Location: Plaza de Jerónimo Páez 7

MUSEO DE BELLAS ARTES / 09:00 – 21:00 Tue-Sat; 10:00 – 19:00 Sun | Price: €1.50 (free for EU citizens) | Location: Plaza del Potro 1

DAY 2 EVENING / SPANISH DINING

20:00 / For dinner tonight try La Boca (Calle San Fernando 39; +34 695 96 18 62). While it didn’t have the earthy atmosphere of Taberna Luque (or any customers) it did have an innovative take on some Spanish/Moroccan fusion dishes. The service is a little perfunctory and confusing but offers a different type of Córdoban dining in a modern stylish space.

If you want to eat in a more traditional setting, head a little further north to Taberna Salinas (+34 957 48 29 50 / Calle Tundidores 3) which has very traditional décor and some fine food. Their speciality is Tundidores, ratatouille with fried egg.

ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO HELP PLAN YOUR OWN 2 DAYS IN CÓRDOBA

We believe that a little pre-planning, research, and understanding what you are looking for in a destination, will help make your travels far more successful. Here’s some further information we think you might need to plan your own 2 days in Córdoba.

GETTING TO CÓRDOBA

To get to Córdoba, you can either fly to Malaga or Seville. The train from Malaga to Córdoba on Spain’s fast rail network costs around €86 per person return and takes 50 minutes. Tickets can be purchased in advance here.

CHECK FLIGHTS

The train from Seville to Córdoba takes around 45 minutes (times vary) and costs around €44 per person return. Train tickets can be purchased in advance from here

GETTING AROUND CÓRDOBA

Córdoba is a very compact city. All the destinations in this itinerary within walking distance with the exception of Madinat al-Zahra which is 10 km out of town. If you have your own car, driving out is easy – although getting out of your parking space in these tight Spanish lanes may not be.

The easiest way to get to Madinat al-Zahra is by taxi. However, a bus leaves from Paseo de La Victoria outside the Almodovar Gate at 10.15, 10.30 and 11:00; and returns to Córdoba at 13.30, 13.45 and 14.15. The price is €9.

BEST TIME TO GO TO CÓRDOBA

Córdoba can be a fiery Spanish town so it is best avoided from June to September. We suggest March to May when it’s not too hot, the gardens are lush and the sun is beckoning those of us from more northern climates.

In particular, Córdoba springs into action during the second week of May for the Patio festival. During the festival, a lot of the patios are open for free and the streets hum to the murmur of discussing who might take the converted Battle of the Flowers prize. An ideal time to spend 2 days in Córdoba.


COSTS OF OUR 2 DAYS IN CÓRDOBA

The total cost of our 2 days in Córdoba, for two people, was €305. With Apr 2019 exchange rates of €1.16 to the British Pound; €0.89 to the US dollar; this equates to:

4 day Cappadocia Itinerary
US $340
4 day Cappadocia Itinerary
GBP £260
4 day Cappadocia Itinerary
EUR €305

BOOKING TIPS FOR YOUR 2 DAYS IN CÓRDOBA

While not a big place, to make the most of your 2 days in Córdoba, you will want to stay in the old town. From here you can walk to all the sights listed in this itinerary. We went fairly economical with our accommodation and stayed in an Airbnb. Otherwise, there’s a big selection of hotels in and around the old town.

BOOK YOUR STAY

ATTRACTIONS IN CÓRDOBA

Before you go, read our articles about how to see the main sights in Córdoba for free. We put this itinerary together to maximise your time, allowing you to see as much of this fascinating city as possible. However, if you have more flexibility, it’s possible to see most of the main sights for free by visiting at certain times of the day and on certain days of the week.

If you prefer to have guided tours, here are some which you can purchase in advance and download to your phone to avoid queuing up on the day.

MEZQUITA-CATEDRAL / Guided tour including tickets

ALCÁZAR DE LOS REYES CRISTIANOS / 1-hour guided tour

CÓRDOBA COURTYARDS FESTIVAL / 2-hour walking tour

MADINAT AL-ZAHRA / Guided tour plus transportation from Córdoba

Good evening restaurants can fill up fast in Córdoba. If you arrive just as they open (usually about 20:00 – 20:30) you will get a table but after that, you may need to wait. If you don’t fancy sitting in their bar with a glass of wine for a half hour or so, make a reservation.


GUIDEBOOKS & READING

We used the Lonely Planet guidebook for Andalucía which contains helpful information about opening times, attractions and is generally good for restaurant recommendations.

Another great source for restaurants is Foursquare. Download the app before leaving.

GET YOUR GUIDE

WHERE NEXT?

Córdoba has a fascinating mix of Christian and Moorish history, but so has Seville, just a 45-minute train ride away. It became the capital of the largest Moorish city-state (after Cordóba fell) and the centre for riches to arrive from the Spanish American empire. (check out this list of things to do).

Here’s some more reading from this fantastic part of Spain.

3 DAYS IN SEVILLE

HIKING GARGANTA VERDE

PUEBLOS BLANCOS DE ANDALUCÍA

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments section below – we will always reply. But before you go any further why not follow us on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and TWITTER and sign up to our monthly NEWSLETTER.

Our complete guide to spending 2 days in Córdoba. / Things to do in Cordoba / Cordoba mosque / #cordoba #mezquita #cordobamosque

Our complete guide to spending 2 days in Córdoba. / Things to do in Cordoba / Cordoba mosque / #cordoba #mezquita #cordobamosque

368 Shares
Trips100 - Travel Blogs
Trips100

BEST UK TRAVEL BLOG 2019

UK BLOG AWARDS

Trips100 - Travel Blogs
Trips100

BEST UK TRAVEL BLOG 2019

UK BLOG AWARDS

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap