One Day in Córdoba: The Best Itinerary from a Local Expert

One Day in Córdoba: The Best Itinerary from a Local Expert

Are you planning to spend one day in Córdoba, Spain?

In that case, you are in the right place!

I have visited Córdoba three times already, and have seen everything beyond the main historic sights and explored plenty of the off-beaten path locations. If you’re looking for the perfect one day Córdoba itinerary from a local expert, this guide will give you exactly that! 

I wrote this one day itinerary mainly for first-time visitors.

If you have already visited Córdoba on other occasions and seen the main sights, I have added an alternative itinerary, which will give you more alternatives to explore. If you need help planning your travel to Cordoba, there is a section for that at the end of the article too.

Let’s dive in!

Is One Day in Córdoba Enough?

Yes, one day in Córdoba is enough time to see the best things the city has to offer.

Even if you have just half a day, you can cover two of its most important monuments are they are only a short walk away from each other.  Córdoba is a beautiful city with an interesting history, and you can get a really good glimpse into it in just one day. 

Alcazar de los reyes cristianos in Cordoba, Spain

One Day Itinerary For Córdoba: First-Time Visitors

Córdoba offers a delightful blend of history, iconic architecture and contemporary culture, and will take you back in time as you meander narrow alleyways and cobblestone streets lined with flowering terraces.

Located in Southern Spain, the region of Andalusia, Córdoba is a charming regional hub known for its diverse cultural background. Once a major thoroughfare of Roman, Islamic, Jewish and Christian civilization, the city offers plenty to see, do, and, of course- taste. 

Here is an overview of my suggested itinerary for three different types of visits, followed by details for each location below.

One Day in Córdoba: The Highlights

  1. Mezquita de Córdoba (Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba)
  2. Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs)
  3. Juderia de Córdoba (Jewish Quarter of Cordoba)
  4. Palacio de Vianna

One Day in Córdoba: Second-Time Visitors

  1. Palacio de Vianna
  2. Casa Andalusi
  3. Medina Azahara
  4. Flamenco Show

Half Day in Córdoba: A Short Visit

If you have less than 24 hours in Córdoba, or you’re only passing through the city, you can still make the most out of your time by focusing on the top highlights: Mezquita of Cordoba and the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos. For each of these, you can reserve about 1.5 hours if you’re on a very tight schedule.

What to See in Córdoba in One Day

1. Mezquita (Mosque-Cathedral)

Time needed: 1.5 – 2 hours

Tickets: get your skip the line tickets here

Opening Times: 1 March to 31 October (summer hours): Mon to Sat: 10 am to 7 pm. Sun & Holidays: 8:30 am to 11:30 am and 3 pm to 7 pm. 1 November – 28 February (winter hours): Mon to Sat: 8:30 am to 6 pm. Sun & Holidays: 8:30 am to 11:30 am and 3 pm to 6 pm.

Starting your day in Córdoba with a visit to the famed Mezquita is a perfect introduction to everything that sets the city apart.

The mosque-cathedral of Córdoba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984, is one of the city’s oldest structures and occupied its central Córdoba location for thousands of years. The UNESCO heritage site has since been expanded to include the whole historic center of Córdoba (Juderia – the old town) and also the nearby Madinat al-Zahra.

Having gone through iterations as a temple, church, mosque, and cathedral, the site has always been one of worship. Architectural features include a horseshoe arch, a towering dome and interior paintings.

The Mezquita guides you through Cordoba’s past with every step you take. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to soak in the beauty of this place, and also wander through the Patio de los Naranjos, the orange tree courtyard in the middle of the Mezequita.

The visit to this place of worship is not complete without climbing the stairs to the bell tower, to admire the views of Córdoba (you need to purchase extra tickets for this). 

Book Your Tickets

Bonus tip: organized tours normally arrive around lunchtime, so it will be less crowded in the early morning hours. I also recommend booking your tickets as soon as possible to ensure you can get there on your preferred date and time.

2. Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos

Time needed: 1.5 hours

Tickets: get your skip the line tickets here

Opening Times: Winter Opening Times (16 Sept – 15 June): Tue to Fri 08.30 to 20.45 hrs, Sat 08.30 to 16.30 hrs, Sun 08.30 to 14.30 hrs. Summer Opening Times (16 June – 15 Sept) Tue to Sat 08.30 to 15.00 hrs, Sun 08.30 to 14.30 hrs. Closed on Mondays.

Located a short 10-minute walk from the Mezquita, the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos is the second highlight of Cordoba you shouldn’t miss.

Dating back to the 14th century, the Alcazar once housed Christian royals, and the site has a regal nature to it. Don’t miss the lush Mudejar gardens with 55 000 square meters, which are filled with impressive displays of botanical beauty along with some beautiful architecture. My favourite part are the water features!

The on-site Tower of the Lions offers views of both the gardens and surrounding architecture, making an unforgettable photo opportunity.  

Book Your Tickets

Bonus tip: you get the best views of the whole complex if you climb the stairs to the tower. This is accessible on the left side as soon as you enter the main building. The toilets are located in the gardens by the lily pond.

3. The Jewish Quarter (Juderia)

Juderia de Cordoba, Spain
Juderia de Cordoba, Spain

Time needed: 1.5 hours

Walking Tours: guided walking tour available here (includes previous two locations too)

Cordoba’s blend of religious and cultural influences permeates the city, and it’s what makes Andalusia special.

Córdoba’s Juderia, or Jewish Quarter is an important plant of your Córdoba itinerary and a great place to spend the rest of the late afternoon.

The district is conveniently located just south of the city center and was home to the local Jewish population starting in the 10th century. Narrow streets with small courtyards, the famous Puerta de Almodovar gate and the vibrant Calleja de las Flores give the neighborhood its charm. Be sure to take a walk down Calleja de las Floras, as this narrow flower-filled street looks great on camera.

On your walk through the district, stop by 14th century Cordoba Synagogue to learn more about the area’s Jewish history. Elegant archways, intricate wall details, and a stunning main hall define this as the only synagogue of its kind in Andalusia. On your way back through the neighborhood, stop at some of the shops and tapas bars along the way to enjoy the evening like a local. 

Book a Guided Walking Tour

4. Palacio de Viana (Viana Palace)

Time needed: 1 hour

Tickets: get your tickets here

Opening Times: From 1 Sept to 30 June, Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 7 pm, Sunday 10 am – 3 pm, closed on Mondays. From 1 July to 31 Aug, Tuesday – Sunday 9 am – 3 pm, closed on Mondays.

Palacio de Viana may look like an old house or a museum from the street view, but inside hides a treasure of 12 stunning courtyards with some of the most beautiful gardens I’ve seen.

Córdoba is known for its flower-filled courtyards and sprawling immaculate gardens and Palacio de Viana is one of the best examples around. In the 15th century, the palace used to be the home of the Marquis of Villaseca and over its existence, it has changed owners, and its gardens were gradually expanded. 

On the garden tour you’re free to explore the old stables and few of the rooms on the ground floor, and also get access to all the courtyards.

The palace is perfect place to visit with kids as they are free to roam around the gardens and explore without much supervision. There is a handy visual map of all the courtyards is available here to give you an idea of the size of the gardens.

Book Your Tickets

Cordoba 1 Day Itinerary For Second-Time Visitors

1. Palacio de Vianna

Please see above where this is covered.

2. Casa Andalusi

La Casa Andalusí, Cordoba, Spain
La Casa Andalusí, Cordoba, Spain

Time needed: 30 – 45 minutes

Tickets: 4 euros for adults (buy at the door)

Opening Times: From 10.00 am to 19.30 pm.

Nestled within the winding streets of the historic Jewish quarter, the Judería, the 12th century “Casa Andalusí” stands as a testament to Córdoba’s glorious past.

While not as popular as the Mezquita or the Alcazar, the Casa Andalusi well worth a stop if you have the time to discover Coroba’s hidden gems. Located next to Cordoba’s historic synagogue, the Casa Andalusi is a museum set in a beautifully arranged home. With an emphasis on Islamic architecture, design, and ambiance, the home created a sere atmosphere for visitors. 

This includes music playing throughout the space, a tranquil garden and plenty of opportunities to stop and step into another moment in time. The space also includes the museum of paper, a product that was once manufactured in Cordoba. 

3. Medina Azahara

Time needed: 1.5 – 2 hrs

Tickets: get online here

Opening Hours: they have four different opening hour seasons, you can check them online here.

This historic landmark is located just a short drive from the city of Córdoba in Spain. The site contains the remnants of a grand palace-city built back in the 10th century during the Umayyad Caliphate as a symbol of the Caliph’s power and wealth.

The name “Medina Azahara” is pretty poetic. It translates to “The Shining City” in Arabic. It was supposed to showcase the grandeur of the Caliphate, with luxurious gardens, intricate architecture, and, of course, some serious bling in the form of gold and gem decorations. When you visit, you’ll still see hints of this former glory, like ornate archways and intricate carvings, even though much of it is in ruins now.

The site has been under excavation for a while, and they’re still digging up new stuff. It became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2018, giving it some well-deserved attention.

If you don’t want to drive there, the easiest option is to book a tour from a local company via button below. Otherwise, there are not many great public transport options available.

Book Your Tickets

4. Flamenco Show

Time needed: 1 hour

Tickets: book online here

Flamenco is one of Spain’s most iconic cultural features, and catching a local show is a must when in Córdoba. There are several venues offering authentic performances throughout the city. Many also serve dinner, meaning you can make a night out of it.

Top flamenco destinations include La Taberna Doble de Cepa and Tablao Flamenco el Cardenal. Both venues are centrally located.

The Tablao Flamenco el Cardenal is housed in a palace dating back to the 17th century, and the overall effect of the performance transports you to another era. La Taberna Doble de Cepa is known for its traditional menu, which offers Andalusian staples to complement the show. When looking for flamenco shows, be sure to visit venue websites in advance to book tickets.

Taberna Patio de la Juderia is another great flamenco option located just north of the Mezquita (this is the one I visited). The restaurant is set in a traditional home dating back to the 18th century. The ambience is striking, and the menu is as classic as the architecture. 

Book Your Flamenco Tickets

Where to Eat in Córdoba, Spain

Now you know where to go, and what to see – but what if you find yourself starving in the middle of your trip?

It’s always been my policy to only recommend restaurants I have visited, instead of simply scraping the top list in Tripadvisor like many bloggers do.

​Even though I spent a lot of time in Córdoba, finding great restaurant options has been quite a hassle and I also found the staff in most places to be a little rude and put off by tourists. 

That could have been just bad luck or simply the fact that I was mostly in the Juderia area, where you will find most of the tourist traps.

If there was one place I could recommend, it’s certainly the Casa Pepe de la Juderia, which is in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, and also Almatea Restaurant, which you will find by the river. Another option, if you like Italian food, is Ginos, which is a short walk away from Juderia. Those two are the only places I will happily return to.

If you find yourself hungry in the middle of the day, keep in mind that many places don’t open for lunch until 1pm. Grabbing a quick bocadillo (sandwich) might be the easiest and also cost effective lunch you can get pretty much anywhere. The quality will vary quite a bit.

If you want a little more authentic experience, you can venture in any of the Teterias in Cordoba, traditional tea rooms offering beautiful dining and more variety when it comes to the menu. Some of them do not serve alcohol at all, so be sure to check it out if you want to have a glass of wine with your meal.

Cordoba restaurants, Spain

Practical Tips for Visiting Córdoba

  • Córdoba gets VERY hot in the summer months. When I visited in July, it was over 40C nearly every day. Keep that in mind as exploring in the middle of the day is nearly impossible. Even the Mezequita was super hot during this time and there is no ventilation inside.
  • Out of all the tourist attractions, I think the Roman Bridge (Puente Romano) is probably not worth visiting if you’re short on time. Other than having a quick look from the side of the river, there is really not that much to see. Many people recommend visiting the Torre de la Calahorra, but I didn’t find it that fascinating and always skipped it.
  • If you want to add the tour of the beautiful patios to your itinerary, you might be disappointed. These are not available all year round. The festival of the patios (festival de los patios cordobeses) is held each year in May (so I missed out on this too!)
  • I always recommend getting tickets to the monuments in advance. Especially if you only have one day to visit, you don’t want to waste extra time just waiting to get your tickets. 
  • The best time to visit Córdoba and experience the rich history it has to offer is in early spring or autumn. May might be the best pick as you’re guaranteed you will make it to the festival of the beautiful courtyards and best patios. 
  • Córdoba is a popular tourist destination, so even in low season you need to expect some crowds at the main landmarks. Surprisingly, the middle of the summer might be more quiet as people tend to avoid it during the scorching temperatures reaching over 40C. 
horse carriage next to the Mezquita in Cordoba, Spain

Getting to Córdoba

Getting to Córdoba from most places in Southern Spain is fairly easy and straightforward, especially if you drive. Below are detailed transport guides I have written on the topic and everything you need to know about getting to the city.

Córdoba Nearest Airports

The closest international airport to Cordoba is Malaga International Airport.

Córdoba Transport Guides

Córdoba Train Station

Cordoba’s train station is located a short 10-minute drive from the center of the city. There are high-speed train services connecting Cordoba with Seville and other important cities in Southern Spain. If you’re planning to use trains, you’re in for a comfortable, convenient, and affordable journey. Train tickets can be purchased in advance online and are very affordable, especially for shorter-distance trips. 

The station in Cordoba is a decent size, although a little outdated, but it has everything you need for a good trip – lots of souvenir shops, cafes and even a bookstore with magazines (although finding an English one won’t be super easy). 

Córdoba Bus station

Córdoba’s bus station is right across the road from the main train station, so you can easily change connections if needed. You can also use the train station facilities as those in the bus station are more limited.

Parking in Córdoba

​As you’re only spending one day in Córdoba, you can’t count on securing a parking space in your hotel or other accommodation place.

Your best bet is to check your parking options in advance and leave the car in the same place for the whole day. The center of Córdoba is very easy to navigate on foot and it will save you a lot of hassle with the additional parking.

​Public parking garages in Córdoba are marked on the map below.

Getting Around Córdoba

Getting around in Córdoba is easy, as the city is smaller than some of Spain’s other major urban hubs. If you’re planning to stay in the city center, walking to the main attractions is entirely feasible. You’ll also likely be within walking distance of many restaurants, bars, shops, and performance venues. If you want to tour the other side of the river, you can cross the Roman Bridge on foot. 

Cordoba’s public bus system offers 15 lines and is both reliable and efficient. The bus will get you anywhere you need to go within the city, and fares can be paid onboard.

If you want to venture outside of the city or minimize travel time, taxis are readily available throughout the city center.

Córdoba Day Trips

If you’re staying somewhere else in Southern Spain and want to see Córdoba on a day trip, that’s certainly possible and easy to do.

If you don’t want to drive or rent a car, or navigate public transport, local travel companies offer a number of day trip options from popular destinations. These are the best options for a hassle-free day trip and also very affordable. I have linked the most popular ones below.

Frequent Questions

Can you do a day trip from Seville to Córdoba?

Yes, you can do a day trip from Seville to Cordoba. You can either use public transport, drive there yourself but there are also lots of local travel companies who will take you on a day trip to Cordoba and provided a guided tour of all the main landmarks.

How do you get around Córdoba?

You can get around Córdoba easily on foot, especially if you want to see the main landmarks. Córdoba is very walkable city and you won’t struggle to see everything it has to offer without a car or public transport.

The only exception is if you plan to see the Medina Azahara, which is located outside of the city and you will need a car or taxi to get there.

What is Córdoba most known for?

Córdoba is most known for the famous Mezquita Catedral – the former mosque turned cathedral in the Jewish quarters.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links – if you decide to book using one of the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this site. This is at no extra cost to you.

Southern Spain Travel Tips

Find Best Hotels

Find Hotels

I have been using booking.com for all my trips in Spain and abroad, and it’s the best place to book your hotel.

Find Car Rental

Find Car Rental

To rent a car, I highly recommend Discover Cars, an award-winning price comparison site for car rentals.

Book Your Tour

Local travel companies offer many day trip options from almost all the destinations in Southern Spain. You can check them out here.

Book Local Transport

To get the cheapest bus or train tickets, take a look at Omio to find the timetables and prices.

Find Cheap Flights

Get the best flight deals when you book early via Skyscanner.com

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links - if you decide to book using one of the links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this site. This is at no extra cost to you.

Hi, I'm Lucia

At Viva La Vita, I will help you to discover Southern Spain like a local!

I've been living on Costa del Sol since 2020, and fill these pages with first-hand insights, personal experience and practical tips that will help you plan a wonderful trip to Spain.

Make yourself at home and find the best places to explore in Andalusia and beyond.

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