If you’re visiting the region of Andalucia, you certainly need to spend at least one day in Cordoba. The picturesque city has a vibrant mix of Roman, Islamic, Jewish and Catholic architecture all fused into one stunning little melting pot. This Seville to Cordoba day trip guide will give you all the information you need to make the most out of your day in this fabulous destination.
In this one day Cordoba itinerary, you’ll get to visit the city’s top sights including the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba), the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs (Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos), the Roman Bridge and Jewish Quarter.
If you totally fall in love with the beauty of the city, I’ve also given suggestions for a two day Cordoba itinerary. This includes top suggestions on where to stay if you want to take your time and spend longer enjoying the city.
If you’re in Seville already, you’re reading this and finding yourself thinking ‘is Cordoba worth visiting?’ or planning stages of a bigger trip to southern Spain and you’re not sure about the things to do in Cordoba in one day then this article is for you!
So, grab yourself a Sangria and find out everything you need for an amazing day trip from Seville to Cordoba.
What you can expect in this article...
One Day In Cordoba Itinerary at a glance
- Must see in cordoba
Here’s a quick glance at the best things to see in Cordoba in one day.
- Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba)
- Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs (Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos)
- Medina Azahara Ruins
- Roman Bridge
- Alley of Flowers (Calleja de las Flores)
- Puerta del Puente
- Jewish Quarter
- Roman Temple
- Try the local salmorejo
And if you have two days in Cordoba then….
- Viana Palace (Palacio de Viana)
- Calahorra Tower (Torre de Calahorra)
- Córdoba Synagogue
- Baños de Alcázar
- Almodovar Fortress
Seville to Cordoba Day Trip - Getting There
Thre are a few options to get to Cordoba from Seville. Naturally, having your own transport gives you the most flexibility (I opted for this), however, the fuss-free option is to let someone else do the planning and driving for you on an organised tour.
Getting from Seville to Cordoba by car
By far the most flexible option. This is also the best way to see a couple of sights just outside the city. If you’re a bit of a ‘ruin junkie’ like me, then I highly recommend the ruins of Medina Azahara 8km outside of Cordoba.
Getting from Cordoba to Seville is easy, follow the A4 northeast out of the city. This leads onto the E5. The 140km journey should take about 90 minutes.
Getting to Seville to Cordoba by bus
You can catch a direct bus from Seville to Cordoba. The earliest bus departs from Seville’s Plaza De Armas bus station, this route runs 7 times a day up until 10pm, which is the last bus.
Journey time is anywhere between 1hr45mins and 2hr10mins and stop at Cordoba bus station.
Check availability, departure times and the best prices using Omio.
Getting from Sevile to Cordoba by train
Another option if you want to use public transport is going from Seville to Cordoba by train. This option is the quickest way and takes about 45minutes.
Trains depart up to 17 times a day from Seville’s Santa Justa Train Station and arrive in Cordoba Train Station.
Check availability, departure times and the best prices using Omio.
Another option is to make your own way to Cordoba from Seville, but then join an multi-attraction guided tour once you are there.
Seville to Cordoba by pre-organised tour including transfers
Want someone else to do all the leg work, so you can just sit back and enjoy the experience? No problem. The no-fuss option of doing the Seville to Cordoba day trip is to opt for a pre-organised tour where your transportation, itinerary and guide is all arranged for you.
Cordoba Itinerary - Morning
Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs (Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos)
Kick off your one day in Cordoba itinerary at the Alcázar of Córdoba. The full name of the palace is Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, or Alcazar of the Christan Monarchs in English.
Similar to the Real Alcazar in Seville, it’s built in the Mudéjar architectural style with a heavy influence from Islamic art. The UNESCO World Heritage site was built in 1328 on the site of a previous fortress.
The main tower of the Alcazar is known as the “Tower of the Inquisition”. This is due to its use in 1482, during the Spanish Inquisition, as one of the prisons and headquarters. Part of the Alcazar and Arab baths’ gruesome history was that they were converted into torture and interrogation chambers during this time.
The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos has also ‘hosted’ some iconic historical figures including Christopher Columbus while he was preparing to sail to the Americas. Then, in 1810, it served as a garrison for Napoleon Bonaparte’s army.
Because the Alcazar is one of the most popular things to do in Cordoba, it can get very busy. Book your ticket in advance so you can skip the queue.
Time needed to visit: Approx 2 hours
Location and opening times: Calle Caballerizas Reales, 14004, Cordoba
- 16 September – 15 June – Tuesday – Friday 08.15 – 20.00, Saturday 09.30 – 18.00, Sunday/Holidays 08.15 – 14.45
- 16 June – 15 September – Tuesday – Saturday 08.45 – 15.15, Sunday/Holidays – 08.45 – 15.15
- Closed on Mondays
During my time in Spain, this has been one of my favourite places to wander about. The Jewish Quarter of Cordoba is located in the Historic Centre, which is all listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Jewish residents of Cordoba lived in this area between the 10th-15th centuries.
If you’ve already wandered about Seville’s historic centre, then you’ll draw comparisons between Cordoba’s Jewish quarter, and Seville’s Barrio Santa Cruz. A criss-cross of narrow cobbled lanes and alleyways, some so narrow you can touch the buildings on both sides of the alley.
The Jewish District is to the northeast of the Mezquita-Cathedral of Cordoba. The street names to look out for are Tomás Conde, Almanzor Deanes, Manríquez, Judíos and Romero plus any little lane spurring off these.
If you have the time or are spending two days in Cordoba, then visit the Synagogue and Zoco Municipal Market to pick up some local products.
Time needed to visit: Approx 1 -2 Hours
Location and Opening Times: There are several streets, mentioned above, but Calle de los Judíos (Jewish Street), is obviously a good place to start. The streets themselves are open 24hours.
Roman Temple & Plaza de Corredera
If you’re into your architecture and ruins, then while you’re visiting Cordoba, I recommend checking out the Templo Romano (Roman Temple) and then nearby Plaza de Corredera (Corredera Square).
Both landmarks are located towards the northeast of the Mosque-Cathedral. The once-great Roman Temple was built during the 1st century, although only discovered during the 1950s. All that remains today are the foundations and several columns, other parts of the temple can be found in the Archaeological Museum where they have been moved for preservation. The nearby Town Square of Plaza de Corredera dates from the 17th Century and is framed by arched buildings including the old town hall and a jail.
Time needed to visit: Approx 1 hour
Location and Opening Times: Roman Ruins, Calle Capitulares, 1, 14002 Córdoba | Plaza de Corredera, s/n, 14002 Córdoba | Both locations open 24 hours.
Cordoba Itinerary - Afternoon
Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba)
After a quick stop for lunch at one of the many tapas bars, your Cordoba itinerary continues to the city’s most iconic landmark.
At the top of the list of places to visit in Cordoba is the UNESCO listed Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba or the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. If like me, you tend to get trigger happy with the camera, you will adore this place. Everything about the place is jaw-droppingly stunning!
Inside, you’ll be greeted by the vast arcaded hall which features the famous red and white coloured arches. In total 856 columns are supporting the roof of the mosque-cathedral. Matierlas to build the Cordoba cathedral came from Roman temples that ones stood in the city. Inside you’ll find an array of small chappels and alcoves elaborately decorated. Some evidently in Catholic and Christan style, while others still have a very Islamic look to them.
Although visually there is so much to look at and take in, there is a distinct lack of signage and explanations inside. If you are interested in finding out more about the Mosque-Cathedral then hire a guide to talk you through everything.
The whole building is outstanding, however, I particularly loved the Capilla Mayor with its gigantic central dome and the intricate Marsura Dome.
Naturally, the Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba is the city’s top attraction, so it does get very busy. Book your ticket in advance so you can skip the queue.
Time needed to visit: Approx 2 hours
Location and Opening: Calle Cardenal Herrero, 1, 14003, Córdoba
- Between November and February – Monday to Saturday – 08:30-18:00, Sundays and Religious holidays – 08:30-11:30 / 15:00-18:00.
- Between March-October – Monday to Saturday – 10.00-19:00, Sundays and Religious holidays – 08:30-11:30 / 15:00-19:00.
Alley of Flowers (Calleja de las Flores)
After ogling over the grandeur of Cordoba Mosque, head towards Calleja de las Flores (The Alley of Flowers). Although it feels like everything is beautiful in the city, this little alleyway always pips the spot as being one of the most Instagrammable places in Cordoba.
If you’re visiting in May, then you 100% need to add ‘Los Patios de Córdoba’ festival on to your Cordoba must see list, where every patio in the area is decorated with beautiful colourful flowers. If you have longer than a day in Cordoba and want to see THE MOST stunning flowered patios then I’d highly recommend Palacio de Viana (Viana Palace) to your visit. You can also book a guided tour of Cordoba’s stunning flower patios.
Time needed to visit: Approx 20 minutes
Location and Opening Times: Calleja de las Flores, 14003, Córdoba | Open 24 hours.
Roman Bridge ( Puente Romano de Córdoba) and the Bridge Gate (Puerta del Puente)
Not far from the historical centre, you’ll find the Puente Romano de Córdoba (Roman Bridge) and Puerta del Puente (Bridge Gate). Your Cordoba 1 day itinerary wouldn’t be complete without walking over this ancient landmark.
The Puerta del Puente is the gigantic Renaissance style gate which sits at the Old Town end of the Roman Bridge. Originally this gate formed part of the old city walls. It was restructured in the 14th century to the much more grand structure that you’ll see today.
Dating back to the 1st century A.D, the Roman Bridge of Cordoba is one of the oldest parts of the city. Cross over to the other side fo the Guadliquivir River for a stunning view looking back at the Mosque-Cathedral, the Gate of the Bridge and the Old Town. It looks great just as the sun is beginning to set. Although a bridge has stood since Roman Times, the structures you see today mostly dates from the Medieval era.
Time needed to visit: Approx 30 minutes
Location and Opening: Plaza del Triunfo, s/n, 14003 Córdoba | Open 24 hours
Cordoba Itinerary - Evening
Medina Azahara (Madinat al-Zahra) evening tour
For the perfect end to your 1 day in Cordoba trip, visit the Medina Azahara after hours. and enjoy the wandering about the tranquil ruins which are lit up after dark.
At the Medina Azahara, you’ll find the ruins of a once vast, fortified palace-city. They are located just outside of the Cordoba city so unless you have your own transport book onto a tour to get there. The Medina was built between the years 936 and 976 and was the headquarters for administrative and residential tasks in the region.
The Medinat al-Zahra is the largest archaeological site in Spain covering 112 hectares. You can visit the site during the day throughout the year, however, the evening visit is perfect for the hot summer months. There is very little shade at the archaeological site so visiting during the day can get uncomfortably hot.
Time needed to visit: Approx 1-2 hours
Location and Opening: Carretera Palma del Río, km 5.5, 14005 Córdoba | Tuesday – Sunday, 09.00 – 18.00, Closed Monday
Cocktails at one of Cordobas stunning Rooftop Bars
Finally, we’re at the end of the Cordoba itinerary. After a full day of seeing so many stunning landmarks in Cordoba, it’s time for a well-deserved drink (or two!). Head to one of the stunning rooftop bars in the Old Town to see the city lit up. These are some great options.
- Casa Pepe De La Juderia Rooftop Terrace: This is on the roof of a hotel, but non-guests can visit. Located just a few minutes from the Mosque-Cathedral, this rooftop bar has a relaxed vibe. Location: Calle Romero, 1, 14003 Córdoba
- Hesperia Cordoba: Located across the Guadalquivir river, the views from this rooftop bar looking out over the Roman Bridge and the Old City. Location: Av. Fray Albino, 1, 14009 Córdoba
- Horno San Luis: The trendiest of these three rooftop bars, with its ambient music and lighting. It’s located in the heart of the Old City with views overlooking the Mosque-Cathedral. Location: Calle Cardenal Gonzalez, 73, 14003 Córdoba
Watch a traditional Flamenco Show
If you’re after something a bit more traditional, then you could opt to watch a Flamenco Show. There are several in town, but to really experience choose an intimate venue such as the Flamenco show at the Arabian Baths, where you can literally feel the stamping of the dancer’s feet.
Things to see in Cordoba in two days
If you’re thinking of extending your visit to spend two days in Cordoba, first check out some great accommodation suggestions here.
Although it’s possible to visit the main highlights of Cordoba in one day, there are loads of other things in the city to explore. Here are some great suggestions on what to see in Cordoba in two days.
- Viana Palace (Palacio de Viana) – This Renaissance palace is filled with beautiful flowered and landscaped courtyards. If you enjoyed visiting Flower Street which I mentioned earlier in this article, then you’ll love this palace.
Location and Opening: Plaza de Don Gome, 2, 14001 Córdoba | Tuesday – Saturday, 10.00 – 19.00, Sunday 10.00 – 15.00, Closed Mondays
- Calahorra Tower (Torre de Calahorra) – You will have seen this building when you crossed over the Roman Bridge. The Calahorra Tower is was once a gate into Córdoba, Spain. Today it’s home to the Al-Andalus Living Museum with exhibitions about the history of the region.
Location and Opening: Puente Romano s/n, 14009, Córdoba |October 1 to April 30, Daily 10.00 – 18.00 | May 1 to September 30, Daily 10.00 – 14.00 / 16.30 – 20.30
- Córdoba Synagogue – Located in the Jewish Quarter, the Córdoba Synagogue was built in 1315. It’s relatively small in size and one of the few remaining Medieval Synagogues in Spain. It features some stunning plasterwork decorated with Mudejar-style plant motifs in the main hall.
Location and Opening: Calle Judíos, 20, 14004 Córdoba | Tuesday – Saturday 09.00 – 21.00, Sunday 21.00 – 15.00, Closed Monday
- Baños de Alcázar – The Islamic bathhouses were originally constructed inthe 10th Cetnruey to serve the leaders of the caliphate. Since then it was used as the bathhouses for the residents of the nearby Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos.
Location and Opening: Plaza Campo Santo de los Mártires, s/n, 14004 Córdoba | Tuesday – Friday 08.15 – 19.30, Saturday 09.30 – 18.00, Sunday 08.15 – 14.45, Closed Monday
- Almodovar Fortress (Castillo de Almodóvar del Río) – Originally a build as a Roman fort, the site was then converted into an Arab castle. You will still see evidence of this era today. Eventually, it was reconstructed in the Middle Ages. The castle is located on a hill, next to the Guadalquivir river. The castle was also used as one of the shooting locations for Game of Thrones, (Series 7).
Location and Opening: Calle Castillo, 14720 Almodóvar del Río, Córdoba | Monday – Friday 11.00-14.30/ 16.00 – 19.00, Saturday- Sunday 11.00 – 19.00
Top tips for visiting Cordoba
Where to stay in Cordoba
With so many things to see in the city, you could easily spend more than one day in Cordoba.
If you want to stay longer, then you’ll find no shortage of accommodation in Cordoba ranging from AirBnB, guest houses, hostels and luxury hotels. Although Cordoba is a relatively compact city, I highly recommend staying fairly central so that everything is in walking distance.
Here are my top Cordoba accommodation suggestions;
On a budget: Apartamentos Barroso Centro – Considering the price, you’ll find it difficult to beat this centrally located, modern apartment. Apartments come equipped with a stove, microwave, fridge, hairdryer, air-con and more. Less than a 5-minute walk from the Mosque-Cathedral this is a great option for budget travellers.
Mid-budget: Hotel Boutique Patio del Posadero – Each of the rooms at this boutique hotel is uniquely decorated. The hotel boasts an outdoor pool as well as shaded gardens, terraces and foliage clad courtyards plus an onsite restaurant. Its central location means you’re just a few minutes walk from the top attractions.
Blow the Budget: Hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailio – One of the arguably one of the best hotels in Cordoba. This centrally located 5-star hotel features an onsite spa, Moorish inspired terraces, a choice of outdoor and indoor pools, spacious modern rooms with onsite dining.
Best time to visit Cordoba
The best time of year to plan your trip to Cordoba is during the Spring and Autumn months when the days are warm and the evenings are cool. Average temperatures range from 20-25ºC.
The single best month to visit Cordoba is during May, which is when Los Patios de Córdoba takes place. The flower festival sees every patio in full bloom and is a highlight in the City’s calendar. Book hotels well in advance during this time as they do sell out.
To take advantage of fewer crowds and still benefit from decent weather, then October is also a great month to visit Cordoba.
If possible try to avoid the summer months of July and August, especially if you dislike the heat as this is when the City gets uncomfortably hot, often in excess of 35ºC.
Winter’s see fewer tourists (with the exception for the festive period). It’s also the wettest, however, rainfall is still low and you’ll be blessed with plenty of clear-skied sunny days. Temperatures are around 8-10ºC.
Free things to do in Cordoba
Everyone loves free stuff, right? If you’re looking to save a bit of money, check out these great FREE attractions in Cordoba.
- Free walking tour of Cordoba – These are free, but work on a tip basis
- Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba – Free entry between 08:30 and 09:30. Every day, except Sundays and religious holidays.
- Cordoba Synagogue – Free to EU citizens between 09.00 – 15.00. Every day, closed Mondays.
- Bellas Arts Museum of Cordoba – Free to EU citizens between 09.00 – 15.00. Every day, closed Mondays.
- Archaeological Museum of Cordoba – Free to EU citizens between 09.00 – 15.00. Every day, closed Mondays.
- Center for Contemporary Creation of Andalusia – Free entry (all nationalities). Tuesday – Sunday 11.00 – 20.00, Sunday 11.00 – 15.00, closed Mondays.
- Museum House of Guadameci Omeya (traditional Leather arts) – Free entry (all nationalities). Monday – Friday 11.30-13.30 / 18.00-20.00, Saturday 11.30-13.30. Closed Sundays.
- The Arab House – Free entry (all nationalities) – Monday – Friday 11.30-13.30 / 18.00-20.00, Closed Saturday & Sundays
- Almodóvar’s Castle/ Fortress – Free for EU citizens on Wednesday afternoons.
A day trip Cordoba - Final thoughts
I really hope this guide has piqued your interest in taking a Seville to Cordoba day trip. Whether you choose to delve into the diverse history, awe at the stunning architecture, explore the prettiest Instagram spots or simply immerse yourself in the cities chilled vibe, you’ll find something here to fall in love with.
If there is anything I didn’t mention, or you want more information on then to comment in the section below.
Staying in the country for a bit longer? Awesome! Why not check out these other useful articles on Spain.
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Don’t forget you can also download your Cordoba one day checklist and map here.