Europe’s premier city for 200 years, Córdoba’s old town is a feast of Islamic architecture. It’s not frenetic or crowded, and its most important building is the must-see La Mezquita.

The name “Cordoba” comes from the Latin word “Corona” which means crown or circle.

From its building in the 8th century, the Mezquita by the 1200s was the biggest mosque in the world as successive generations added to it. But in 1236 the Christians converted it to a church and then built a cathedral inside the mosque in the 16th century.

about Córdoba

Cordoba is home to the largest old town in Spain and the only city in the world to have four UNESCO-protected sites, Mosque of Córdoba aka the Mezquita, the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, the unique Fiesta de los Patios or Cordoba’s annual Patios Festival and the latest addition, Medina Azahara. You can easily cover all these in a short visit.

Entrance to Córdoba

If you can time it right, the Feria de los Patios (Festival of the patios) is a beautiful event. It takes place every year on the last weekend of April. The streets are decorated with flowers and there are many kinds of food stands set up along the street. There are also many live music performances taking place throughout the day.

Accommodation can be in short supply in the peak seasons. On a brief visit, we suggest you stay in the old town or nearby. It’s worth booking your accommodation as early as you can if you are planning to visit between April and October.

If you are visiting for the Patio Festival bookings are essential. For a special treat book a hotel in the old town with a courtyard or patio.

Getting to Cordoba: There are two major train stations in Cordoba: Estación Central and Estación San Bernardo. Both of them are connected to the bus station called Plaza Mayor. From either of these stations, you can take a short taxi ride to centrally located accommodation.

AVE high-speed trains run between Madrid and Cordoba and south to Malaga. 

If you are flying into Spain from elsewhere in Europe, Malaga airport has a range of budget flights from other cities in Europe and is only 1 hour away by fast train. Alternatively, fly to Madrid and take the train from there.

The Mezquita, as well as the Córdoba Alcazar, its old city, and its fun nightlife, make Córdoba a popular destination for 1 to 3 days, check out self-guided itineraries for ideas for planning your own visit.


Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain

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evening view of Mosque-Cathedral and Romano Bridge, Cordoba,Spain

The Essential 2 Day Cordoba Itinerary

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Where to go next

Continue your holiday travels in Spain. After Córdoba, the most popular destinations are Madrid, Granada, and Barcelona.