24 Hours in Cordoba

24 Hours in Cordoba

Charmingly compact and easily reached from major cities like Seville and Málaga, the culturally-dense city of Cordoba is a small but mighty hub in the heart of Andalusia. Cordoba’s long history of Islamic, Jewish and Catholic rule over the last 2,000 years is woven into the city itself, be that in the tasty Moorish pastries you can savour in the Jewish Quarter or in the juxtaposition of architectural styles in the seriously impressive Mezquita, a mosque turned cathedral. From a morning walk through the old town’s prettiest streets to a night-cap in a lively traditional tavern, we’ve got you sorted for how to spend an unforgettable 24 hours in Cordoba.


  1. Early Morning
  2. Late Morning
  3. Lunch
  4. Afternoon
  5. Evening

Early Morning

Explore the Jewish Quarter Ahead of the Crowds

You only have 24 hours in Cordoba and there’s not a moment to waste, so set your alarm early and get yourself prepped and primed for the day ahead (a wide-brim sunhat won’t go amiss in summer). First thing on the agenda is a good cup of coffee; for this, head to the Jewish District. Home to a thriving Jewish community between the tenth and 15th centuries, the enchanting labyrinthine streets of the Juderia offer no shortage of charming cafes with small patios perfect for an early-morning coffee and nibble. This is one of the most popular districts of the city, so make sure to use your head start on the crowds to soak in the sites. Wander down Calleja de las Flores (Flower Alley), a narrow cobbled street bordered by whitewashed houses with potted flowers climbing the facades, and visit La Mezquita, an ancient Mosque turned Cathedral that stands out for its over 850 marble columns. The entrance to the building is also seriously picturesque – think orange, palm and cypress trees and elegant fountains.


Late Morning

Soak in the Sites of Nearby San Basilio Neighbourhood

After a good bit of sightseeing, it’ll be high time to rest your legs and grab another bite to eat. For this, head back into the network of mind-bogglingly narrow streets and make your way ever so slightly north to the lovely Salón de Té (just a five-minute walk away from La Mezquita), a beautiful cafe set in a traditional courtyard. This is one of the most popular haunts in town thanks to its classic Andalusian aesthetic: intricately-carved stone archways, Islamic tiling, colourful hanging plants and plenty of antique furniture. Make sure to order a traditional Moorish pastry, as well as one of their many herbal teas. Once you’re fuelled up and ready to get exploring again, head to the nearby neighbourhood of San Basilio, winding your way in and out of the streets and poking your head into the many flower-filled courtyards that catch your eye along the way. Then it’s time to hit the splendid Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos, a 14th-century palace set among beautifully manicured gardens filled with turquoise ponds, fountains and hundreds of cypress, citrus and palm trees.



Settle in for a Long, Lazy Lunch in a Local Restaurant

Most restaurants will fling their doors open at around 1pm, so once you’ve had your fix of medieval beauty at the Alcazar, it’s time for some indulgent food. The overlapping neighbourhoods of San Basilio and the Jewish Quarter are awash with a great selection of tapas restaurants which are perfect for a light lunch (you’ll want to leave some room for dinner). Our favourites include Regadera, an upscale spot on the riverbank whose talented chef adds some serious finesse to regional dishes, and Casa Pedro Ximénez, a warm and welcoming local favourite which aims to showcase Cordoba’s ingredients, flavours and specialities. This is also a great time to enjoy your first beverage of the day so make sure to ask the knowledgable waiting staff for their recommendations on the best wines to pair with your tapas of choice.



Enjoy a Siesta at Your Boutique Hotel

The end of lunchtime marks the beginning of siesta-time: local shops and restaurants will close for a couple of hours in favour of a nap (generally more of a food coma, but we’ll let them call it a nap). Our favourite boutique hotel in Cordoba is home to a beautiful garden, delightful pool and soothing spa, so live life like a local and enjoy a good spot of relaxation. Read your book by the pool, enjoy a massage or simply drift off for a nice snooze. As the clock strikes five, you’ll want to start thinking about sprucing up in preparation for an evening of food, wine and plenty of good music… but first up: aperitivo.



Wine and Dine in Central Cordoba

You’ve already seen the best of the old part of town, so for the final portion of your 24 hours in Cordoba make sure to head to the more modern part of the city: Centro. Though just a few blocks north of the Jewish Quarter, extending out from Plaza de las Tendillas, the downtown area has a completely different feel – think 1920’s architecture and wide, well-kept avenues filled with vibrant bars and restaurants. The Spanish normally like their aperitivo to be fairly small but packed with flavour, so we’d recommend going for a strong sherry and brandy cocktail (the staples of the Andalusia cocktail) alongside a dish of marinaded olives. For dinner, head to one of the many tabernas (taverns) – both Taberna Salinas and Taberna San Miguel (the oldest tavern in town) are great options thanks to their excellent selection of regional dishes and rustic, traditional decor. After copious amounts of hearty food and indulgent wine, we won’t blame you if you’re ready to call it a night, but if you’ve still got some steam left in the tank, then we’d recommend just following your nose (or better yet, your ears) around Centro to find a bar with live music to enjoy a night-cap.