If you can’t tell by now, I have a big soft spot for the Andalusia region in southern Spain. Whenever I’m in Spain, a trip to Sevilla is a must, so depending on time, I’ll do a couple days in another part of the region, or I’ll do a day trip. If you’re okay with getting up a little early, day trips are an awesome way to see another place without having to pack up your suitcase and worry about that awkward time between when you had to check out of one hotel and when you can check in to the next.
Like my visits to Segovia and Toledo, I also opted for a day trip to Córdoba. And while I absolutely could have found more things to occupy my time if I were staying in the city longer, a full day was the perfect amount of time to explore everything I came in wanting to see (plus discover some new things along the way!) without feeling rushed.
Assuming you’re coming from one of the other big Andalusian cities or Madrid, I’d recommend traveling via train. Rail Europe is a really easy site to use when booking train tickets, and you can usually start searching about 2 months in advance.
- From Sevilla: the high speed train (the AVE or ALVIA) takes just under 45 minutes between the two stations and costs $25-40 each way. If you’d prefer the regular train, those cost around $20 and take roughly 1 hour 15 minutes. Either way, there are 4-5 trains/hour, so you’ll have lots of options!
- From Madrid: there is only about a 20 minute difference between the high speed and regular train (1 hour 40 minutes for the high speed and 2 hours for the regular), so I’d recommend checking for your specific date and opting for whatever is cheaper (the high speed trains are usually a bit pricier but occasionally there are deals where they end up being the more cost-effective option if you’re flexible on a time). Similar to with Sevilla, there are several trains per hour.
- From Málaga: the high speed train takes just around 1 hour between the two stations and costs $40-50 each way. The regional train takes a little over an hour (about 10 minutes more than the Ave), and costs around $35. Similar to Madrid, there isn’t a huge time difference between the regional and high speed trains, so I’d go with whatever is cheapest for your specific travel day and times
Note that there are very few trains that run daily between Granada and Córdoba, and they all require a connection, making the travel time a bit longer. It’s absolutely doable, but easier if you’re coming from Madrid or Sevilla
WHAT TO SEE
Cordoba is known for being home the the stunning La Mezquita, but we’ll get to that in a minute. From the train station, head to the Puerta de Almodóvar and cross under the arch into the old town. From there, I have no directions other than to walk down every tiny side street, look up/down/left/right – it’s a beautiful, beautiful town. Spend the day wandering in the general direction of the Mezquita. I wanted that to be my ending point so that i could spend as much time as I wanted there without feeling like I still needed to see other things afterwards, but you can by all means start there as well and make your way back to the Puerta de Almodóvar, essentially doing the reverse of my path.
Here are some key places I’d recommend making sure to stop on your self-guided walking tour:
- Puerta de Almodóvar: start or end here, but make sure it’s on your list. It’s beautiful, as are the stores and cafes just inside
- Asociación Cordobesa de Artesanos ZOCO: this is an incredible artisan market with beautiful jewelry and other crafts, and the street it’s on (Calle Judios, just to the right once you enter under the Puerta) is beautiful too, so it’s worth a visit
- La Mezquita: one of the most stunning examples of Moorish influence in Spain, and an absolutely MUST see. Entry is 10 euro per adult, and it’s open daily from 10:00-19:00. You can tour the tour on the hour and half hour for an additional 2 euro
- Plaza Agrupación de Cofradías: tons of cute little restaurants and bars to grab a bite to eat or something to drink
- Convento de San Francisco: you don’t have to go inside, but it’s a beautiful building from the outside with an equally picturesque courtyard
OTHER ‘GRAM-WORTHY SPOTS:
- Calleja de las Flores: beautiful, flower-lined streets/alleys – even if you aren’t a big flower person, this is a total ‘gram-worthy spot!
- Calle Romero: specifically around Taberna No. 10 and Joyeria Maimonides
- Calle Cardenal Gonzalez: there’s a cute plaza and joining of streets near La Tata Bodega at the intersection with Calle Zapateria Vieja
- Mezquita de los Andaluces: even if you don’t go in, just walk down this adorable street and admire the beautiful blue dome and archway across it
Do you have a favorite spot in Córdoba? If so, please share!