Córdoba is a beautiful city set on a convenient route connecting Seville, Granada, and Madrid. If you have time to explore Spain at a leisurely pace, feel free to leave time to dig into this city. However, if you have more of a limited time budget, making this city a quick stopover is very doable. Make a beeline for the main mosque turned cathedral, the Mezquita, enjoy the view from the Roman Bridge, and take some time to lounge in the shade during lunch.
TRANSPORTATION & LUGGAGE
Travel to Córdoba is easiest via train, since it is on the high-speed route between Madrid and Seville, with connections to Granada as well. If you are en route between hotels and don't want to drag luggage with you for a few hours, use the lockers located conveniently across the street in the bus station.
Go in the main doors, go to the right end of the building and at the end of the hall you'll find a room full of lockers big enough to fit even larger-scale luggage. Simply put in a couple of euro, take the key, and go about your local adventures.
Note: These fit even big checked bag size luggage!
WALK INTO TOWN + LUNCH
Depending on train times, most stopover day-trippers to Córdoba will arrive roughly in time for lunch. Between the train station and the river is a long series of gardens that provide enough tree cover to give walkers a pleasant break from the sun. After a leisurely 15-20 minute walk through the shade, part of the old city wall becomes visible on the left. Look for a large gate, the Puerta de Almodóvar, and pass under it.
There are many restaurants and outdoor cafes hidden along backstreets between this gate and the Mezquita, but the first one you'll see is Casa Rubio. Offering a variety of tapas to pair with a drink in the shade, this is definitely a great spot to stop for lunch before exploring the main sights.
Hours: Sun - Thurs, 1pm - 4pm & 7:30pm - 11pm / Fri & Sat, 1pm - 4pm & 7:30pm - 12am
MEZQUITA-CATEDRAL DE CÓRDOBA
After a relaxing lunch, make your way to the Mezquita. This impressive structure is a showcase to the mixed history of reigning religions in Spain throughout the ages. A current catholic cathedral sitting in the middle of an expansive mosque, built on the ruins of even older buildings dating back to the 600s.
For a great historical overview and self-guided tour, I recommend the one in Rick Steves' Spain guide book. He has a full Spain book, or a shorter version that covers Seville, Granda, and other spots in Southern Spain. Both have the chapter on Córdoba which includes a walking tour + map.
Hours: Cathedral / Mosque, 10am - 6pm / Bell Tower every half hour from 9:30am - 5:30pm
Admission: € 10 Cathedral / Mosque + € 2 Bell Tower
While I love visiting churches and other historical or architecturally interesting spots, I'm always on the lookout for a great city view from a bridge. Something about finding the calm flow of water even in a bustling city always gives me a minute to stop and fully embrace the pure joy I get from travel and exploring a new place.
From the Mezquita, turn down one of the streets on either side of the main entrance and make your way to the Guadalquivir River. The Roman Bridge will be directly in front of you once you can see the water.
BACK TO THE TRAIN STATION
Once you have taken in the lovely view from the Roman Bridge, go back to the Mezquita side and use the Puerta del Puente bus stop right at the end of the bridge to catch the #3 bus. This will take you back to the bus & train stations, simply buy a ticket onboard (under 2 euro) and ask the conductor for the train station (estación de tren). Just don't forget to pick up your bags on the way out of town!
Bus Fare: 1,30 € / Bus Route Map
I hope this snapshot of Córdoba inspires you to add this city to your Spanish travels, even if only for an afternoon. If you have any questions about following my footsteps or even just using one of the suggestions, please let me know in the comment section below. And of course please leave a note afterwards about your experience!
Thanks for coming along, and check back every week for a new Victinerary to help plan your next adventure!
Photos Take With: Nikon D5300 & Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f3.5-5.6 lenss