Cordoba: A city to write home about!

Authored by:
Denise J.

Denise J.

About five hours away from Madrid, by bus, lies the magical city of Cordoba. By train, you can shave off about three hours but add about €10-20. Cities like Cordoba have the feeling of transportation, I feel as if  I've stepped out of the 20th century back into the days of emperors or aromatic open-air bazaars. They evoke my fascination from exploring the old paths or wondering how people once lived! In the province of Andalusia, Cordoba sits on the river Guadalquivir, rightfully named “the big river,” it seemingly stretches to separate the old town from the new. In essence, a Roman bridge that is a must see stands as a gateway to the various cultures that inhabited Cordoba. These varying cultures seem to meld together perfectly as if one kept the other in mind as the city grew. History is evident all around, one square may present you with an ornate mosque or synagogue, while another reveals the cities Roman times. I must add the picturesque bridge was featured in Game of Thrones, so that was another big draw (sorry one of my guilty pleasures!). Cordoba is a destination to write home about because like so many other beautiful places in Spain it stands alone in holding its own. It is full of must-see places and it’s entire old town is considered a World Heritage Site. It has a ton of charm to explore and many centuries of culture and history to discover.

I can see why this city was once one of Europe's most vibrant and I believe it still flourishes in its beauty and appeal today. I unfortunately only got about a day here, but recommend about 2-3 days to really embrace what Cordoba has to offer! A list of what to see is below, but if you’re unsure of where to go in Cordoba a great app/website recommendation is  “visit a city!” Because of the short amount of time I had I wanted to ensure I got in my top picks that aligned with the must-see. This application builds you an itinerary that you can input your start time and it suggests the must-sees within a timeframe. I loved the ability to remove, reorder, and add things that were more important for me to see within the time that I had in the city. I’m usually a “wander the city” type, the app was particularly a great tool for me to organize and plan!

Pre-Plan and plans to return are two things taken from this adventure. It wasn't a last minute excursion but financial hiccups left some booking to the actual weekend of the trip. Now getting there I used the GoEuro app and same day tickets were relatively cheap between €10-15. Accommodations were the real calamity, and I must add we went on a 4 day weekend as well as a local holiday. Initially, Seville was apart of the grand plan but once we were forced to secure lodgings far from the city center of Cordoba and also the inability to find any accommodations to move on to Seville the trip was cut short. So being proactive is the game plan for my next visit and with my plans to return I hope to add Seville and Granada!

Here is a list of seen and unseen places from my trip, with small anecdotes of my thoughts and other tidbits:

  1. La Mezquita a decorative cathedral with Islamic architecture, quite breathtaking in its scale and opulence. Lines can be long but there are automated ticket machines available to the left of the ticket counter. [Recommended time 1 ½ hrs] ​

  2. The Roman Bridge mentioned previously...but there are great photo opportunities of the Mezquita and again Game of Thrones cameo! [Recommended time 30 minutes] 

  3. Roman Temple of Cordoba the Roman bridge is not the only Roman structure left in Cordoba. In ruins its quite breathtaking, and it always interesting to see those signature columns of Roman architecture. [Recommended time: 20 mintues]

  4. Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos if you are a castle/fortress/palace lover like me then this is the place for you. This fortress was home to the Christian royals of Cordoba. It has many picturesque features to discover, in particular, the multiple pools that cascade at different levels of a garden and walking paths. The pools seem to stretch into the distance and glistened perfectly in the sunlight as I took my photos! [Recommended time: 1 ½ hour] 

  5. The Jewish Quarter/Calleja de las Flores beautifully arranged floral baskets that line the alleyway and courtyards of this representation of a typical Andalusian street. The locals' pride, landscape artistry, and green-thumbs are evident in their presentation and arrangements of flower colors and baskets. We were here in the month of October and there was still courtyards that seemed like they had just bloomed. If this appeals to you Cordoba has a festival in May. You may just see me there! [Recommended time: 1 ½ to 2 hours]

  6. Arabic Baths (unseen) I, unfortunately, did not get to experience the Arabic baths on my first visit, but I love a relaxing option after my day of exploring a city.

  7. Gallery of the Inquisition (unseen) although a brutal time in history this museum exhibits the history of the inquisitions time in Cordoba. I experienced something similar in France that was quite interesting, so I plan to add this to my things to see next time list.

 

My list is not complete and there are many more things to see in Cordoba! In my next adventure exploring the Andalusian province, I hope to add Seville and Granda. I wish you happy planning and I hope you take that weekend escape you’ve been thinking about!

 

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