Let’s talk about Córdoba, it’s amazing! During our two week Spanish road trip we spend a day and a half in this beautiful little city in southern Spain in the Andalusian region. This city really had everything I love, amazing historic sites and beautiful architecture, good fresh food and colourful little streets filled with flowers. We spend so much time just wandering around away from the tourists and just enjoying the beautiful sunny day and stopping every two feet to take a picture of flowers. Córdoba was by far my favourite city in Spain and I would go back in a heartbeat. We were in Barcelona for 5 days but we ate at almost a many place in Córdoba in less than half that time and it was all great. So this little travel guide is going to be just as long as my Barcelona one if not longer because I took so many photos!
What To Do in Córdoba
Córdoba is tiny but there is lots to do in addition to just wandering aimlessly and admiring all the beauty. The city has a long history dating back to Roman times and during the Medieval period it was under Islamic rule until the 13th century when the Christians conquered the city.
The Mezquita – Catedral de Córdoba is probably the number one site and it so worth while visiting. The Muslims built this amazing grand mosque that the Christians then built a cathedral on top of when they conquered the city. The mosque wasn’t demolish though, it is inside the cathedral. I personally found the mosque to be most interesting part and I was lucky enough to have to place all to myself for a few minutes when we visited because I was first in line when it opened. Definitely arrive first thing in the morning to visit otherwise you’ll experience huge lines. We were there on a Sunday so we managed to get in before Mass when it closes to tourist for an hour but later in the afternoon the lines were huge!
The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos is probably the number two site. It is an ancient fortress and used to be a residence for the Catholic monarchs. The gardens were very pretty but busy in the middle of the afternoon. They were also quite small and we didn’t bother to visit the palace part of the complex. If you have the time and if you aren’t visiting the Alcázar in Seville then definitely see this one.
The Palacio de Viana is a former Renaissance palace, now a museum with twelve beautiful patios that you can visit. We visited Córdoba during the annual patio festival that is held every year in May. During the festival residence decorate their courtyards full of flowers and open them up to the public to see. We didn’t end up seeing any of them though because it was a weekend so there were tons of local Spanish tourists and the lines were crazy long! So instead we visited this museum with patios and it was really reasonably priced too. We got the same kind of experience without the crazy crowds.
Córdoba has much more to offer including museums and archaeological sites just outside the city but we really just enjoyed walking around. I would really recommend walking across the Roman Bridge at sunset to see the city all lit up at night. Also see the square outside of Casa del Bailío, it’s just the most perfect pretty view!
What To Eat in Córdoba
The food in Córdoba was so good and often vegetable forward. Other cities in Spain were very tapas/meat focused and what veggies you did get were tomatoes, olives or eggplant but Córdoba had such a good variety. Everywhere we ate was great and was a memorable experience.
Maddow Coffee – we ate breakfast here both mornings and it was delicious and we got to sit on a cute little patio located just across the street. We probably would have come here for lunch too if there weren’t so many other great places to try.
La Bicicleta – this fruit focused bar/restaurant was located just below our Airbnb in Córdoba and it was so refreshing, literally. The amount of fruit was insane! You can get any kind of juice you want made fresh with any combination of ingredients. We also stopped here one night for mojitos filled with fresh mint and limes.
La Boca – this was my favourite place of the whole trip. We started the evening drinking red wine with lemonade on the plant covered patios and then had an amazing meal inside. I forget exactly what we ate because we tired lots of dishes but it was a fusion of flavours and cuisines. I also ate the best cheesecake of my life and fell in love with vermouth. If you can make a reservation, if not arrive early!
Taberna Bar Santos – you know it’s good when there is a big line of locals! This place is nothing fancy and they only serve one thing, tortillas. These are Spanish potato omelettes and they were amazing! You get it one a paper plate and you can also order a cheap beer in a plastic cup. Then you go and sit along the wall of the Mezquita with everyone else and people watch.
Taberna Salinas – this place has been around since 1879 and they’re known for the ox tail stew. It’s pretty touristy but good and meat heavy.
La Libélula Coffee Shop – located away from the central tourist zone by the Mezquita but still in the centre of Córdoba is this great vegetarian cafe. I had a great veggie wrap that was so big I couldn’t finish it. It’s tiny but they have a couple seats outside on a quiet street.
Salon de Té – this beautiful tea salon is located in the centre of the tourist zone where you find the tacky souvenir shops but you wouldn’t even know it sitting inside the beautiful covered patio. It was so peaceful and some of the best tea I’ve ever had. It’s a perfect space from the crowds after visiting the main sites.
Still to come are my travel guides to Seville, Granada and Madrid! And check out my previous travel guide for Barcelona!