Anyone who has spent time in Spain knows that the country offers so much more than just sun, sea, and sangria. There are some truly stunning historical towns and cities well worth exploration too, offering attractions that you simply wouldn’t find anywhere else in the world. One of these destinations is Córdoba. Once the capital of historic Spain, this stunning city offers a wonderful array of different cultural perspectives, offering visitors the opportunity to wander around Moorish courtyards and palaces, whilst soaking up a more authentically Spanish atmosphere and dining on traditional Spanish tapas.
You could spend days (even weeks) wandering around the streets of this city, exploring its architecture, boutiques and rich cultural heritage. But if you have just one day to enjoy everything that Cordoba has to offer then here is our guide to enjoying the city in a day:
Walk Across the City’s Roman Bridge
Whilst Cordoba is best known for its Moorish architecture, it also offers a dramatic Roman bridge, which was made internationally famous thanks to Game of Thrones. The city’s Puente Romano was chosen as the site of the Long Bridge of Volantis in Game of Thrones, making it the ideal location for an insta-worthy photo opportunity.
The Romans originally constructed the bridge during the 1st century BC. The style of the bridge that stands today, however, is medieval, and it features arches inspired by Moorish designs and techniques. This is because the bridge has been restored and updates repeatedly over the centuries since its original construction.
Crossing the bridge is an experience in its own right, but if you have the time then the bridge leads to the Calahorra Tower, which houses the Museo Vivo de Al-Andalus. This is a fascinating museum that celebrates Spanish culture and the peaceful coexistence between families of all religions in the city during the 9th to 12th centuries. If you have the time in your schedule, it is well worth exploration.
Explore the Mezquita: A Unique Mosque Cathedral
The Mezquita is the jewel in the crown of Cordoba, and is truly unique: there is no other building like this anywhere else in the world. The scale of this beautiful building is impossible to believe: the overall compound is the size of four football fields. You really so have to see this building to believe it: the architecture is breathtaking, and if you have the time to climb to the top of the belltower, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the city.
The building is widely considered to be the most incredible Islamic monument in the Western world. We would recommend that you enter the building through the the Patio De Los Naranjos: a court yard filled with palm trees, fountains, and flowers. From there, you should enter the Mezquita itself, where the architectural beauty of the building only increases. Think Roman columns, carved plasterwork, gold tile mosaics, and gothic vaulting.
Top Up on Tapas
It may be true that you can indulge a love of tapas in almost any Spanish city, but the tapas you will find in Cobdoba is particularly worthy of note, and worth visiting the city for. Some of the most famous Andalusian tapas dishes originated from Córdoba, including salmorejo (cold bread & tomato soup), rabo de toro (oxtail stew), or flamenquín (a deep-fried pork loin and jamon roll). The city also has its own highly regarded fortified wine, which is called Montilla-Moriles.
There are endless bars, tapas bars and restaurants where you can stop to enjoy some of these delicious dishes in the place they are made and served best. Be sure to add time to your day to indulge in regular tapas stops, making the experience a relaxing culinary one, as well as a cultural day out. Of particular note is Bar Santos, right next to the Mezquita. Whilst this tapas bar may look unassuming, locals say it has the best tortilla de patata in town. Take it to go, and enjoy your dish whilst enjoying the view from the cathedral’s steps.
Wander Around the Old Town
Seen one Old Town, seen them all? Not true of Cordoba! A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is one of the largest and most fascinating old towns in Spain. Full of beautiful plazas, architectural details, and hidden gems, there’s no need to have a plan for walking around the old town. You’ll find beautiful things to see, photo opportunities, and soak up the laid-back atmosphere of the city wherever you are.
With white washed buildings, decorated patios and narrow passageways, Old Town Cordoba should be an integral part of your day trip.
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