When I was researching my Andalusia Road Trip Itinerary, I knew I wanted to travel to Córdoba too. This city in the south of Spain is located between Seville and Granada. I opted to stay for 2 nights and one day in Cordoba. Turned out the two nights were maybe a bit much, so I’d like to share with you what I did in Córdoba so you can plan your one day in Cordoba accordingly.
Be aware, this post contains a lot of red and white candy cane striped images!!
What to do if you have one day in Cordoba Spain?
Looking back now, I think I have allocated too much time for Cordoba. Yes, it was a lovely city and it had a whole unique vibe to it. You can easily roam the streets for days on end but I preferred Seville’s relaxed atmosphere over Cordoba. If you only have one week in Spain for example, I think you can easily visit Cordoba on a day trip or on route from Seville to Granada (or vice versa). So here are my highlights of Cordoba in one day!
Visit the Hammam in Cordoba
The evening of my arrival, I dumped by bags and rental car at the hotel and went for a dip in the soothing hot waters of the hammam in Cordoba. Nice and relaxing, I floated around in the warm pool, relaxed in the hot pool and got an excellent massage at the end. Just what a girl needs when travelling on a whirlwind tour in Spain! If you’re curious what it’s like to visit a hammam in Cordoba, check my answers to the awkward questions about hammams in Spain.
Eat out in Cordoba
After a food tour in Malaga, a tip from a local in Ronda and my Sevilla food tour, it was now time to find my own way to fill my belly. For breakfast I already sampled the local speciality “El pastel cordobés”. A sweet filo pastry desert type dish with sweet and sour tastes. It was something special and sticky!
For dinner time, I did what you can do best in Spain: taste little bits of everything. Cordoba has no lack of big and smaller tapas bars and restaurant, so you can make it your goal to try a few. I travelled solo and sometimes it can be a bit awkward to eat out alone, but I followed by 5th tip from this blog post about solo dining in Spain.
Explore the Mezquita of Cordoba
The main reason to visit Cordoba is the Mezquita of Cordoba. This ancient structure is THE personification of the Arab history in Andalusia and the Spanish and Catholic transformation afterwards. Who hasn’t seen the candy cane striped pillars of the Cathedral of Cordoba?
I did so I had to see it for myself. As I wasn’t feeling so well, I skipped the early entree (for FREE) and went a little later during the morning. I just walked up to a ticket booth, purchased a ticket and that was that. No fuss, no mocking about.
If you don’t want to lose any time during your one day in Cordoba, buy your tickets ahead of time online. Check this link for different options and prices.
I walked around the orange tree lined court yard and entered the Mezquita of Cordoba. Nothing really prepared me for the vast never ending maze of red and white arches and ornaments. Everyone stopped 5 steps away from the entrance, but I tried to restrain my excited amazement and walk a bit further. There was nobody there. Just me, walking underneath a maze of arches.
I was particularly enraptured with where the light came from. I thought of the old mosque area of a dark place, with little light coming in. But each area seemed to have its own light source. Dim light from the side. Florescent light from the ceiling. Light beams from above. Colourful lights from the glass stained mosaic windows. It was really a treasure for the eyes.
Climb the Bell Tower of Cordoba
After a good hour and a half, I found myself outside, in the courtyard again. Blinded by the bright sunlight I was back in modern times again. I noticed a line waiting near the bell tower and I checked what was going on. It turned out you have to enlist to climb the tower.
During each allocated time frame, a number of people can climb the bell tower of Cordoba. As it seemed like a fun thing to do, I opted in on the last available time slot of the day and I returned during the evening.
The bell tower isn’t particularly high and the views are not that mesmerising, but it was a nice outing. I could see the river and the whole city stretched before me. The fading sun light casted an orange spell over the Mezquita of Cordoba and the grounds of the Cathedral. It was certainly a different angle to see the sight!
Where to stay in Cordoba?
If you do decide to stay overnight in Cordoba, there are numerous options to stay. I only stayed at 1 place for 2 nights and it was a lovely, Andalusian style boutique hotel. Below you can find my top picks for Cordoba and some other inspiration on where to stay.
As prices in Córdoba appeared to be lower than in Granada or Seville, this might be an excellent budget tip for you.
*these links are affiliate links. If you decide to book via my link, I earn a small commission at no extra expenses for you.
- Hotel Maestre. I picked this one for the location. Just 2 minutes walking from the Mezquita.
- Hospederia del Atalia. This place also has a great location and don’t forget about that lovely roof top terrace!
- Hotel Mezquita. Named after the famous top attraction of Córdoba, how can you go wrong with this one?
Other things to do in Cordoba Spain
I really had a lazy day in Cordoba. I wasn’t feeling too well, and just slept in and relaxed a bit. If you feel like you want to make more out of your one day in Cordoba, then here is more for you to do in Cordoba.
- Visit the Alcazar of Cordoba. This royal palace is open for visitors and has Arab baths, different towers to climb exquisite gardens to wander around in.
- Visit the Torre de la Calahorra. At the end of the Roman Bridge it was built by the Moors and now houses a museum that shows the life of 10th century AD in Cordoba.
Should you spend more than one day in Cordoba?
Who am I to tell you what you can and can’t do? I really enjoyed my time in Cordoba and I had enough to see and do during my one day in Cordoba.
However, if you’re really short on time but you still want to include Cordoba in your Andalusia itinerary, then I suggest you take a day trip to Cordoba to see the Mezquita.
If you have more time, or already explored the Setas of Seville or the Alhambra in Granada, then I’d suggest you book a few nights in Cordoba and explore more of the city.
What do you think? Would you go to Cordoba for one day? Or would you visit the Mezquita on a day trip from Granada. Let me know what you think in the comment section below. Did you like my pictures?