The first stop on our southern Spain road trip was Córdoba, an often overlooked Andalusian city, but really a must-see in my eyes. Most people stop by just for the day if at all, but you would be barely scratching the surface. Córdoba has so much to offer, so we were glad we made the time to spend at least a few days there soaking it all in.
Back in its glory years, Córdoba was the capital of Spain and the largest city in the Iberian Peninsula with Moorish, Jewish and Spanish influences. The city is now known for its beautiful Mezquita, flower-filled patios, and annual festivals and fairs. May is arguably the best month to visit. The weather is perfectly warm and all the fun festivals and fairs take place during this month. Lucky for us, La Feria de Córdoba was happening the week we were visiting (more to come!), so we got to get a little peek of how the locals celebrate!
We stayed at Hesperia Córdoba, an NH Hotel, right across the Roman bridge from downtown Córdoba. It was affordable (especially during festival season), clean and an easy 10 minute walk in either direction to both La Feria and to downtown.
Historic Centre Córdoba: It goes without saying that the best way to explore and get the lay of the land is to wander. Old town Córdoba is the perfect place to do this with it’s intricate alleyways, and the city is small enough that you can never really get lost. Phil and I took plenty of walks around the different neighborhoods during our time here and loved discovering secret side streets with gorgeous floral walls and patios and discreet little churches.
Mezquita (Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba): Visit the Mezquita for free before opening hours between 8:30 a.m. to about 9:30 a.m. most mornings. Don’t think you’ll be the only one up bright and early because you’ll probably be entering in with about a few dozen other tourists. But, it’s quite the experience to walk the through the candy cane pillars of the Mezquita in wonderful and almost complete silence, free from the even larger hoards of tourists that start to arrive a little bit later. If you were to visit one place in this city, it would be this beautiful mosque-cathedral (Cathedral built inside of a Mosque).
Palacio de Viana: Explore the many colorful, gorgeous courtyards and gardens. Totally worth trekking a bit outside of Córdoba center to visit.
Calleja de las Flores: Enjoy this popular alleyway preferably in the early morning or in the later evening when the day tourists have left. Plenty of color and blooms.
Roman Bridge & Torre de la Calahorra: This was the bridge that Phil and I crossed about 4-5 times a day to get to the historical centre. You can’t really miss it and it makes for a nice photo op. The walk across is pleasant with plenty of street musicians at all hours of the day. The tower is also a nice getaway from the heat with an amazing view from the top.
Tour the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos: We skipped this palace because we had tickets to see the Alcázar in Sevilla and the Alhambra in Granada. We didn’t want to get Alcázared-out so the speak, but we’ve heard this palace is quite popular.
Medina Azahara: Ruins of a city a few miles outside of Córdoba hidden for about nine centuries before being discovered. If you have the time, it’s a nice history lesson and peak into the past.
Eat & Drink
Regardera: It was our 8 year anniversary (dating anniversary, but any excuse to celebrate!), so we tried out this hot spot for their fresh ingredients and Spanish fusion dishes. The interior is rustic chic and the food was so so yummy! Make a reservation for the best table. Closed on Mondays.
Bodega Mezquita: An institution in the city with multiple locations. We decided to try it and thought the dishes were good. We weren’t blown away, especially after going to Regardera, but it’s a solid dinner choice.
Restaurante La Tata: The best! Affordable and so tasty and was a perfect mid-afternoon break from the heat. A little gem with authentic home cooked meals, but be prepared to put that Spanish to good use. We only paid 15 euros for 3 large tapas (all amazing) and 4 drinks.