Cordoba in 1 Day: all you need to know

A visit to Cordoba in just 24 hours is a difficult but not impossible mission. To make the most of that day, here are some ideas to help you make the most of your one day in this beautiful city on the banks of the Guadalquivir.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

10 min read

Cordoba in 1 Day: all you need to know

Cordoba | ©G. Lamar

Located on the banks of the Guadalquivir, Cordoba is one of the most important cities in Andalusia. Undoubtedly one day is not enough to see all the attractions of the city, but at least it is possible to get a glimpse of its endless cultural legacy and rich history.

With an intense tour, from morning to sunset, it may be possible to visit most of the activities that Cordoba has to see and do. Here I propose a tour of the main points of the city so you can make the most of your visit.

Start the day touring the Mosque - Cordoba Cathedral

Columns inside the Mosque| ©Shadowgate
Columns inside the Mosque| ©Shadowgate

The only way to start a tour of Cordoba, especially if it is your first time in the city, is by the famous Mosque, declared a World Heritage Site in 1984 by Unesco and is considered the largest monument in the Islamic West.

But, in addition, the Mosque is one of the most fascinating monuments of Andalusia, since since the years of the Reconquest it was converted into a Cathedral by the Catholic Church, so it is impossible for its eclectic style to go unnoticed.

The greatest treasures of the Mosque-Cathedral are in its interior, which summarizes centuries of Islamic art intervened with Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance details that only give account of the cultural legacy of Andalusia as an Arab territory reconquered by the Spanish.

Every day it is visited by thousands of people so I recommend that you secure your tickets to the Mosque in advance.

The most recommended option to not miss any detail of the Mosque-Cathedral is to opt for a guided tour of those offered in Cordoba, so you can discover much more than the Bell Tower and the Patio de los Naranjos.

Interesting details

  • Price... The entrance to the Mosque - Cathedral starts at eleven euros. If you want a guided tour, the price is around 26 €.
  • Location... Cardenal Herrero 1, Córdoba.
  • Hours... Monday to Saturday from 10.00 to 18.00 hours. Sundays from 8.30 am to 11.30 am and from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm.

Book your visit to the Mosque of Cordoba

Visit the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs of Cordoba

Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs of Cordoba| ©Paolo Trabattoni
Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs of Cordoba| ©Paolo Trabattoni

A few streets away from the Mosque-Cathedral you will find the Alcazar of the Christian Kings of Cordoba, one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.

The Alcazar is nothing more than a medieval fortress built within the historic center by King Alfonso XI on the ruins of the Muslim Caliphate palace during the Reconquest. Cordoba is full of symbols and myths!

The Alcazar, second only to the Mosque, is the most visited monument in Cordoba by tourists and not only because of the architectural richness of its military structure or the Tower of the Lions that offers an open panoramic view of the city, but because within its walls took place some of the most important historical milestones in the world as the visit of Christopher Columbus to present his plan to visit Asia that ended with the discovery of America in 1492 or the battle planning for the capture of Granada by the Spanish monarchy.

With your tickets to visit the Alcazar you can also visit the Museum of Roman Mosaics and the lush gardens with trees, seasonal flowers and endless fountains inside, and even some of the royal stables.

Details of interest

  • Price... The entrance to the Alcazar has an approximate cost of five euros, while those who want to go with a guide will have to pay about 15 €.
  • Location... Plaza Campo de los Mártires.
  • Hours... Tuesday to Friday from 8.30 am to 8.30 pm. Saturdays from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. Sundays from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm.

Book your visit to the Alcazar of Cordoba

Walk around the Corredera Square of Cordoba

Corredera Square of Cordoba| ©Antena
Corredera Square of Cordoba| ©Antena

This square is another example that the inexhaustible cultural legacy of Cordoba is bathed in different styles.

A few streets away from the Mosque and the Alcazar is the only quadrangular square in Andalusia in the historic district of Axerquía.

The name of the Corredera derives from the bullfights that took place there, but it was also the stage for autos de fe and for public executions of the Spanish Inquisition. Since 1981 La Corredera has been considered a Historic-Artistic Monument.

The Plaza de la Corredera is notable for the Sánchez Peña Market, which is now a food market, and the Casas de Doña Ana Jacinto, which are the only buildings in the area that predate even the construction of the square.

Nowadays it is very accessible to get to the square because it is one of the usual fixed points of the hop on-hop off buses that travel around the city.

The area around the Plaza de la Corredera is known for its tapas bars and restaurants. Since it is an excellent intermediate stop, one option I recommend is to have lunch there before continuing your frenetic tour of Cordoba.

You will find delicious food places for all tastes, but I advise you to try the seafood at Tu Pescaito or the tapas at La Taberna de la Corredera.

Book your tourist bus in Cordoba

Marvel with the Roman Temple of Cordoba

Roman Temple of Cordoba| ©Eric Titcombe
Roman Temple of Cordoba| ©Eric Titcombe

Incredible as it may seem, the structure of the Roman Temple dating back to the 1st century was discovered in 1951 while excavations were being carried out to enlarge the City Hall facilities.

Since then, the six columns of the reconstructed entrance leading to the altar became one of the main attractions of the city.

The Roman Temple of Cordoba also shows the vital importance that the city had during the Roman period and for this it is enough to understand that to find structures of similar size it is necessary to refer to the Forum and the Palatine in Rome, the capital of the Empire.

These columns can be visited at any time and can be seen from various points of the city, but the best time to see them on a clear day is during the morning and afternoon.

Interesting details

  • Price... Admission is free.
  • Location... Capitulares 1, Córdoba.
  • Hours.... Available for visitors 24 hours a day.

Book a guided tour of Cordoba

Get to know the courtyards of Cordoba in the Viana Palace

Inner courtyard of the Viana Palace| ©Andrew and Annemarie
Inner courtyard of the Viana Palace| ©Andrew and Annemarie

A concept typical of the city is that of the Cordoban patios, which consist of large balconies filled with pots of colorful plants and flowers.

These patios can be found on any street in Cordoba, even outside the date of the Festival de los Patios Cordobeses that takes place in May, but in the Palacio de Viana many of them converge and some of the most beautiful.

The Palacio de Viana has twelve Cordoban patios that concentrate the essence of the city, with the colors of Andalusia and its influences of Roman and Islamic architecture.

The palace also has fountains, flowering trees and ample outdoor furniture that make the experience of walking through its corners magical.

The Viana Palace also has a very complete museum where you can find Flemish tapestries, firearms, porcelain of the time and several originals of Francisco de Goya, one of the great artists of romanticism.

Details of interest

  • Price... Entrance to the palace costs approximately ten euros.
  • Location... Plaza de Don Gome 2, Córdoba.
  • Hours... Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm.

Visit the Jewish Quarter of Cordoba

Jewish Quarter of Cordoba| ©Joan Carles Doria
Jewish Quarter of Cordoba| ©Joan Carles Doria

Cordoba has one of the best preserved medieval Jewish quarters in the world. In the Jewish Quarter it is possible to discover narrow cobblestone streets and one of the few remaining historic synagogues in Spain, since most of them were destroyed.

This neighborhood was occupied by members of the Jewish community from the 10th century until they were expelled in 1492 by the Catholic Monarchs.

Among the sites that can be visited in the Jewish Quarter are the Casa Andalusí, the Calleja de las Flores, the Plaza de Maimónides and the Casa de Sefarad. You can also visit the Calleja del Pañuelo, one of the narrowest in Europe, and as its name suggests its width is the same as a handkerchief in its entirety.

The Jewish Quarter stretches from the Puerta de Almodovar to the Mosque-Cathedral and is one of the main visits within the eclectic historic center of Cordoba.

Its tour is essential to understand the cultural richness of the city that was known as the City of Three Cultures for its Catholic, Jewish and Islamic influence.

I recommend you to visit the Jewish Quarter with a tour with an expert local guide to not miss any detail and get the most out of your visit to one of the emblematic sites of Cordoba and Andalusia.

Details of interest

  • Location... From the Almodovar Gate to the Mosque-Cathedral in the historic center of Cordoba.

Book a guided tour of the Jewish Quarter

Enjoy the Arab baths of Cordoba

Arab Bath of Cordoba| ©Monica Duran
Arab Bath of Cordoba| ©Monica Duran

After a full day of sightseeing in Cordoba it is normal to feel exhausted, so a visit to the city's Arab baths to relax body and mind is the ideal option.

Very close to the Jewish Quarter you will find several traditional Arab bath complexes to live a hammam experience.

The hammam is a type of steam bath taken by the Arabs in ancient times to purge the soul, body and mind. These baths combine hot steam with the cold temperature of the water to reduce stress and loosen muscles, achieving a state of total relaxation.

The Arab baths can be accompanied by massages and aromatic herbal teas for a complete experience before embarking on Cordoba's evening activities or the city's flamenco shows.

Details of interest

  • Price... Entrance tickets start at 34 euros.
  • Location... C. Corregidor Luis de la Cerda 51, Córdoba.
  • Hours... Every day from 10.00 to 00.00 hours.

Book a tour with a visit to the thermal baths

Watch the sunset from the Roman Bridge and the Calahorra Tower of Cordoba

Calahorra Tower| ©-JvL-
Calahorra Tower| ©-JvL-

A few meters from the Mosque - Cathedral the Roman Bridge, crowned by the tower of the Calahorra, will be waiting for you to see the sunset reflected in the waters of the Guadalquivir River.

I recommend that you place yourself in a comfortable place and wait for the sunset to see one of the most beautiful sunsets in one of the monumental cities of Spain.

If you feel like it, you can also go to the top of the Calahorra tower and see the immensity of Cordoba from there. In any case, watching the sunset from the banks of the Guadalquivir from the bridge or from the tower is a very interesting plan.

Once it gets dark you will be ready to close your day tour of Cordoba with some tapas and wine or your favorite drink in some of the delicious restaurants and bars of the city.

Interesting details

  • Price... Entrance tickets to the top of the tower start at five euros.
  • Location... Puente Romano, Cordoba.
  • Hours... Every day from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Now yes: go for some tapas and wine

Tapas and wine| ©rob thompson
Tapas and wine| ©rob thompson

Mission accomplished, you have managed to know the main points of Cordoba in a frenetic tour of a full day and you deserve to close the day with an excellent meal and a good drink, because if Andalusia amazed you with its landscapes then you will fall in love with its varied gastronomy.

Eggplants, oxtail, marinated japuta, salmorejo, snails and Iberian ham are some of the typical dishes of Cordoba's cuisine. Is your mouth watering? You can accompany any of these alternatives with a wine or a local preparation such as the typical rebujito.

Places to eat you will find in the Jewish Quarter, in the Plaza de La Corredera or in the taverns of the Plaza de las Tendillas. You can also opt for the Mercadillo Victoria or the Mercadillo de los Patios de la Marquesa. But don't worry, you won't go hungry.

Tips for your one day visit to the main points of Cordoba

Cordoba Tourist Bus| ©Magaly
Cordoba Tourist Bus| ©Magaly

Touring a city in one day can be tiring but also a satisfying experience at the end of the day. The success of the tour will depend on the organization of the itinerary and also on the optimization of time, especially during the intermediate stops.

If you have hired the Cordoba tourist bus service you can use it for the longer distances, but don't be delayed waiting for it if your next activity is a few blocks away.

As the tour of Cordoba starts at the Mosque-Cathedral, which opens its doors only at 10.00 a.m., it is ideal that you take the time to have breakfast and start the walk without rushing or interruptions. Also, always have a bottle of water and a snack in your backpack in case you get hungry in the middle of the tour.

I also recommend that you wear comfortable shoes for the long walk and that you make the intermediate stops for lunch in places suitable for that, such as the Plaza de la Corredera, which has many tapas bars and restaurants.

Finally, always remember to respect the itinerary, especially in places where you can take too long, such as the guided tours of the Mosque or the Alcazar or the Arab baths.

Your itinerary according to the time slots of the day

  • Morning
  • Historic Center
  • Mosque - Cathedral
  • Alcázar de los Reyes Católicos
  • Plaza de la Corredera
  • Afternoon
  • Barrio de la Judería
  • Roman Temple
  • Palacio de Viana
  • Arab Baths
  • Afternoon- Afternoonevening
  • Return to the historic center
  • Roman Bridge
  • Calahorra Tower
  • Tapeo and visit to the street market