One day in Córdoba, Spain is plenty of time to get the best out of this ancient city! Although Córdoba is smaller than other major Spanish cities, it definitely should not be skipped. From the burnt orange arches of the Mezquita to the colorful, flower-filled patios hidden throughout the city, Córdoba is a picturesque place like no where else. The best part? You can visit Córdoba in one day or plan a Córdoba day trip while visiting other Spanish cities. My Córdoba 1 day itinerary covers all the best places to visit in Córdoba, Spain, where to eat in Córdoba, and where to stay in Córdoba.
How to Spend 1 Day in Córdoba, Spain
This free Córdoba, Spain walking guide highlights the top Córdoba things to do and see. What I love about this tourist map of Córdoba, Spain is that you’ll see some of the city’s most well-known landmarks, but the walk itself is less than an hour! (Of course, some of these spots, like the Mezquita and the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs, deserve more than just a quick walk-by.) What’s great, too, is that you can be as flexible as you want with this guide, slowing down to enjoy a certain view or branching off completely to go explore something that may have caught your eye. You can make it your own!
1. The Mezquita – My #1 tip for anyone who plans to visit Córdoba, Spain is to buy tickets for the Mezquita well in advance unless you don’t mind waking up early to visit during the 8:30-9:30 a.m. free entry time. I didn’t realize how quickly tickets sell out so we were part of the group that woke up at 7:30 a.m. to see the Mezquita. But as groggy as I felt, it was worth the sacrifice. As a Mezquita-Catedral, or Mosque-Cathedral, this was one of the quirkiest places we visited in Spain. The mashup of Muslim and Catholic religion was evident all throughout the Mezquita-Catedral with its stained-glass images of saints and its iconic orange-striped arches.
Córdoba Mezquita Hours:
Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sundays from 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
*Always confirm the open hours for the exact date you plan to visit.
2. Triunfo de San Rafael de la Puerta del Puente and Puente Romano – If you plan correctly, you will see both of these landmarks walking from the Mezquita to the Alcazar. The Triunfo is an impressive monument that marks the beginning of the Roman Bridge. From this point, you could walk all the way across the bridge to the other side, or like we did, you can continue walking along the river to the Alcazar for some quieter views of the river.
3. Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs – This ancient castle documents the progression of Córdoba through the centuries. Its architecture and design reveal the nuances of different dynasties that have inhabited it throughout history. However, if you want to see this piece of Spanish history in a new light, I recommend coming back at night to witness the light show. It is a must see in Córdoba, Spain!
4. Patio cordobeses or see flowers for FREE near Puerta de Almodóvar – Córdoba is an extremely photogenic city, especially because of all the potted flowers residents use to decorate their patios and balconies. Spaces like Patio cordobeses are curated patios that charge a fee for admission, but offer a great backdrop for photos. Another option is to just walk around the city (and near Puerta de Almodóvar) to enjoy all the vibrant flowers that spring up along the way.
5. El Corte Inglés – My dad was crazy about taking us to this place. It’s basically the Spanish version of a Macy’s, but the one in Córdoba is exceptionally big. The little bistro/cafe at the top was the perfect place to grab a snack and relax after our exploring. Plus, the walk from Puerta de Almodóvar to here takes you along Paseo de la Victoria, giving you a view of the lush, green gardens that line the street. Mercado Victoria, situated in the gardens, would probably be a great place to grab a snack, too!
Nightlife in Córdoba, Spain
- The Alcazar at Night – Whoever created the light show at the Alcazar should work for Disney because it was magical! The way the lights, fountains, and music were all synchronized was truly hypnotizing. Getting caught up in the show feels like being in the middle of a Disney fairytale. I definitely recommend this for groups with kids or if you just want to change up your itinerary a bit.
- Walking around the Mezquita at Night – The Mezquita at night is lit up in a way that makes it look even more grand and foreboding than it does during the day. I loved seeing how this structure stood out against the black night sky.
Where to Eat in Córdoba, Spain
Just thinking about this Italian restaurant that we were blessed enough to find brings tears my eyes. JK … but seriously. The food was INCREDIBLE. If you ever find yourself sitting in one of this heavenly place, order an Iberian risotto for me. You’ll be happy you did!
Where to Stay in Córdoba, Spain
While in Córdoba, we stayed at this airbnb. It was an awesome apartment for bigger groups and was probably the most spacious airbnb we stayed in our entire time in Spain (it even had more than one bathroom!). Plus, the apartment is right in the center of the city and only a short 5 minute walk from the Mezquita!
The check-in process was smooth and simple, and the airbnb owners were super helpful. Other amenities included: WiFi, a full kitchen, air conditioning, and a work space. Like in Toledo, you cannot drive right up to this airbnb as it is on a narrow street, but there is a parking garage conveniently located a block or so away.
I hope this Córdoba one day itinerary helps you enjoy this city to the fullest and gets you excited for all the gorgeous places to visit in Córdoba, Spain!