Travel Guide | Spain

Day-Tripper’s Tips to Córdoba

Córdoba is a charming city with a fascinating history and well worth a visit on your next trip to Spain.

Europe has a lot to offer and with so much to do and see, sometimes you can only afford to spend a short time in a city. No problem. Day trips offer a way to maximize what you experience while abroad. Córdoba makes an excellent day trip from Malaga or Seville or a stopover on the way to another city. Here’s what you need to see.

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  • The main attraction in Córdoba is the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba (or “La Mesquita” as the Spanish say), a must see for any traveler to Spain. Though it was originally built in the early 600s as a Catholic church, when the Moors invaded Spain in the early 700s the church was divided in half, one part to be used by Muslims and the other by Christians. This arrangement lasted for about 50 years until it was rebuilt exclusively as a mosque. Several hundred years later when the Catholic monarchs regained control of Córdoba, they took over the mosque and converted it into what you see today. History lesson aside it’s a gorgeous place and you’ll happily spend an hour or two looking around and experiencing the mix of architectural styles left behind by its jumbled past. Go early in the day before it gets too crowded to take pictures and double check the schedule online as it closes at certain times for church services.

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  • Spend some time getting lost. While the city does offer a hop-on hop-off bus tour, often a good option for sightseers in a hurry, there’s definitely something to be said for saving some money and walking the city. The historic part of town is composed of quaint, narrow, winding streets that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. You’ll find unique souvenir shops, little markets, and delicious restaurants; many of which are to be found in Córdoba’s famous, simple, and beautiful patios.

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  • After lunch pass through “La Judería”, the old Jewish quarter of the city. At the center of this neighborhood is the city’s oldest synagogue built in the 1300s. The architecture is beautiful and reflects the Moorish influence on the city.
  • Head back towards the Mosque-Cathedral and walk along the Roman Bridge, built across the Guadalquivir River by the Romans (if the name didn’t give it away) in the first century BC. At one end sits the Mosque-Cathedral and at the other the “Torre de Calahorra” a fortified gate built by the Moors to defend the city.

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  • Next check out the Alcazar de los Reyes Christianos, the Fortress of the Christian Kings. It boasts incredible architecture, wonderful gardens and patios, and some tall towers with really great views of the gardens and the rest of the city.

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While it’s hard to experience any city in just one day, hopefully this guide gives you an idea of where to start!

Hannah Polston

University of Denver | 6 stories

Hannah Polston is currently a junior at the University of Denver studying Anthropology, Spanish, and Psychology. She just got back from an incredible experience studying abroad in Cádiz, Spain. When not figuring out how to go abroad again she can be found laying on the beach back home in San Diego, California, knitting (a never ending sweater), eating mac and cheese, and/or exploring the great outdoors.

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