Cordoba’s history is written in stone, from the beautiful Mezquita (Mosque-Cathedral) to the narrow lanes of the Jewish Quarter. Three days is enough to take in the city’s essential sights, and you can even make Cordoba a home base for a day trip to the vibrant city of Seville. Here’s how to plan for three days in Cordoba.
Day 1: Unwrap Cordoba’s Layered History
There’s a reason the Mezquita is Cordoba’s most iconic site, and the beautiful mosque-turned-cathedral is the perfect place to start exploring the city’s past. Join a guided tour, to learn how the architecture tells the story of Cordoba’s past.
From there, continue into the rest of the historic center, setting out on foot, bicycle, or Segway to see the Jewish Quarter, Moorish Quarter, and cozy plazas. If you’re visiting Cordoba during the Cordoba Patios Festival, this is the heart of the action, with flowers bedecking private homes and public spaces. For the evening, book tickets to a flamenco show to experience Andalucia’s fiery performance art; you’ll see pairs of dancers stamp and twirl to the sound of guitars and their own castanets.
Day 2: From Patios to Small Plates
Even if it’s not the Cordoba Patios Festival—which happens during the first two weeks of May—you can see the flower-filled enclosures that inspired the event. Take advantage of the relatively uncrowded morning hours to explore Viana Palace, where you’ll find a gorgeous series of 12 patios with burbling fountains and lush plants. Though the patios are the main attraction, don’t leave without checking out Viana Palace’s wonderful collections of books, tapestries, and art.
Spanish tapas might have started as bar food, but you can make a meal of the bite-sized snacks as you explore Cordoba’s tapas bars. To rub shoulders with a local crowd, head out during after-work hours, or join a tapas tour with a guide who knows where to find the best tapas in Cordoba.
Day 3: Take a Day Trip from Cordoba
It would be easy to while away another day exploring markets, cafés, and historic neighborhoods in Cordoba. If you’re craving another round of Cordoba culture, consider a tour that features aspects of the city that interest you most, whether you want to get a guided intro to local cuisine, check out monuments you missed, or discover how religion has shaped the city.
You can also use this day to explore beyond the city. Thanks to a high-speed train, Cordoba is just a day trip away from Seville. Head there to see the remarkable Alcazar of Seville—a royal palace and UNESCO World Heritage Site—and snag tickets on a hop-on hop-off bus that lets you cover the key sights, even if you have limited time. You’ll be back in Cordoba in time for tapas.