When we think of the Andalusian city of Cordoba, the first thing that comes to mind for many travelers is its Cathedral-Mosque, one of the most enigmatic monuments in Spain and a cultural reference of Hispano-Muslim Umayyad art in the Western world.
In 2019, the Mosque of Cordoba surpassed two million visitors for the first time, making it one of the most visited monuments in Spain. If you want to include this visit in your trip to the city, book tickets or a guided tour in advance. I'll tell you about it:
The visit to the Mosque of Cordoba is one of the essential plans of the city. The whole complex is absolutely admirable. World Heritage Site by Unesco since 1984, this temple lived its maximum splendor in times of the Caliphate of Cordoba when extensions were made that made it the second largest mosque in the world after Mecca with a capacity to accommodate 20,000 worshipers.
During the guided tour you will see how this primitive mosque that was erected on the remains of a Visigothic church changed over the years with different remodeling and extensions until it was transformed into the current Catholic cathedral.
The best thing about this tour is that, in addition to discovering the Mosque, you will make a tour to see the best of the city, its Jewish quarter and the Alcazar. During 4 hours you will make a real journey through time and you will never see the city with the same eyes again.
Why choose this option: this is the most complete tour to discover the city and its Mosque for a very reasonable price.
Recommended if... you have little time in the city and want to discover its essential corners with an expert guide.
How to buy tickets for the Mosque of Cordoba at the box office
The ticket office to buy your ticket to the enclosure is located in the Patio de los Naranjos. However, many tourists tend to crowd around it to get theirs and long queues form, delaying access, which could affect the plan of activities you had scheduled for the rest of the day and test your patience.
Another way to see the Mosque of Cordoba is to get up early to enter for free in the first shift of the morning from 8:30 AM to 9:15 AM. However, this free tour only lasts 45 minutes and also does not allow you to see some very interesting parts of the monument such as the treasure room, the choir or some chapels that remain in darkness, which gives the feeling of being an incomplete visit in a temple as large and important as this.
Why is it essential to visit the Mosque of Cordoba?
It is the most emblematic monument of Cordoba and an essential visit to make during a trip to the Andalusian city both for its historical and artistic importance.
When I traveled to Cordoba it was clear that this monument was going to be part of my plan of activities because I did not want to miss the opportunity to see in person a place that I have heard so much about in books and documentaries. And I can say that it is a visit that I totally recommend. It is a unique and amazing monument that leaves no one indifferent.
To contemplate it inside is like taking a trip back in time to the heyday of the Caliphate of Cordoba. Its history summarizes the progress of the Umayyad style in Spain mixed with elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque art of the Christian temple resulting in an authentic work of art at the service of God and spirituality.
The Cordoba Mosque complex is divided into five zones and, in my opinion, there are so many details to see in it that the best way to explore it is to take a guided tour to make sure you don't miss anything. It's well worth it!
Tips for visiting the Mosque of Cordoba
How do I access the temple?
The entrance to the Mosque of Cordoba is through the Patio de los Naranjos, which is accessed from Cardenal Herrero Street, Torrijos Street or Magistral González Francés Street.
When to visit?
As a recommendation, try to go during the week. The busiest days are Saturdays, while Sundays are the main day for religious celebrations and schedules may be more limited.
How long does it take to see the Mosque of Cordoba?
To see it calmly will take you about 1 hour and 30 minutes. However, after the visit you have some more time to walk around and enjoy the view inside the temple.
What to wear to visit the Mosque of Cordoba?
Remember that this is an important catholic temple so to enter the cathedral you must dress decently. You may not wear tank tops, clothes that leave the knees uncovered or caps.
What other places to see in Cordoba?
I said in this post that the old town of Cordoba has an inexhaustible wealth of monuments, which makes this city a wonderful place to travel to and where to get lost to discover all the historical and artistic treasures that are hidden among its squares and streets.
If you want to know what other places you can't miss during a trip to Cordoba, I recommend you take a look at my article What to see and do in Cordoba, one of the most beautiful cities in Spain!