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31 Photos To Inspire A Visit To Cordoba

Cascading ponds in Cordoba

Tucked away in the south of Spain, Cordoba is a city full of history, stunning architecture and amazing culture. Most people venture for a day trip from nearby Seville, Granada or Madrid, but if you can spend a weekend in the city it’s more than worth it. Instead of rushing from a tour of La Mezquita to a walk across the Roman bridge, and back to explore the old Jewish quarter, Cordoba is the perfect city for slower travel. Yes, it has the sights to make you want to visit. But taking time to enjoy a coffee in a charming courtyard, or an afternoon tapa and caña gives you a better appreciation for the city.

Plus, Cordoba has 4 UNESCO World Heritage titles, that’s more than Paris or Rome! If you’re looking to tick off all 4, you’ll need to time your visit well as one is the Patios Festival which only takes place in May. The other 3 can be seen in a day if you’re tight on time, and they are the old quarter, La Mezquita and Medina Azahara.

White washed buildings Cordoba
White buildings in Cordoba

The narrow streets lined with white buildings are a common sight in Andalusia, the southern region of Spain that is home to Cordoba. The old town of Cordoba doesn’t disappoint if you’re hoping to spot them, but the newer parts of the city are also home to some stunning, detailed architecture.

Spanish street
Souvenirs
Souvenir shop, Cordoba

Day trippers make up a large portion of the tourists here, and there are plenty of shops offering souvenirs. From the usual postcards, magnets and tea towels, you’ll also find cute little flamenco outfits, charming tiles and…tea. For those that would rather avoid the tourist traps, Cordoba also has a modern shopping area with larger stores like El Corte Ingles. It’s a city of two styles: old, charming streets with little shops, and large, modern streets with big department stores.

Pots of tea
Puerta del Puente, Cordoba
Plaza de las Tendillas after the rain
Old & new, Cordoba
Flowers and fountains
Cordoba street fountains
Cordoba street art

Cordoba holds another title: highest average temperature in the summer in Europe. In a city where heat is a huge factor, the Spanish siestas are perfect. The streets get a little quieter toward the middle of the afternoon as the heat rises, and people take the opportunity to stop for a coffee or a caña and relax. During the rest of the day, the heat doesn’t stop life going on as normal. This is a city built for warmth, and there are plenty of shaded areas that keep the streets cool. Plus, those charming narrow streets with white buildings are surprisingly cool during the hotter hours.

Aerial view from Cordoba Alcazar
Cordoba street shades
Roman Bridge and La Mezquita, Cordoba

The Festival de los Patios is recognised by UNESCO, and is an annual festival taking place in the first week of May. The patios which are usually reserved for residents are opened up to the city and tourists, and are full to the brim with flowers of every colour. If you visit at any other time of the year, you can still appreciate the pretty public courtyards that have the instagram-worthy pots hanging from the walls. Charming, and a lovely sight to just stumble upon while exploring the historic centre.

Pots on the wall, Cordoba
Cordoba patio
Cordoba Mausoleum

No doubt the biggest attraction that draws in the tourists is La Mezquita. With a turbulent history taking it from a humble Roman temple to varying sizes of mosques and then to include a church, it’s another of the city’s UNESCO gems and one of the biggest reasons people visit Cordoba. A tour inside is worthwhile, but it’s just as impressive to explore the exterior. The walls hint at the Moorish past of the city, while the courtyard is home to orange trees, providing welcome shade from the sun.

Interior of courtyard corridor, La Mezquita
La Mezquita external wall door
La Mezquite courtyard and tower
Pond in courtyard of La Mezquita
La Mezquita courtyard
Exterior wall of La Mezquita, Cordoba

The exterior of La Mezquita alone is breathtaking, but the inside is on another level. As you step through the doors, the historical development of the building is evident and somewhat confusing. Look one way, you see the Moorish architecture and features of the mosque. Look the other, Christianity is very present. It’s one of those places that is definitely worth the entrance fee, just don’t forget your camera, a map and a jacket – it gets cold in there!

La Mezquita interior
Interior of La Mezquita
Cathedral inside La Mezquita
Interior of La Mezquita, Cordoba
La Mezquita church interior
Striped arches of La Mezquita

Cordoba is a city often overlooked in favour of the larger cities, but with so much to see and do, the only question is: when will you be visiting?

8 Comments

  • Happy Panda
    May 9, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    Gorgeous photos!!

    Reply
    • Becks
      May 9, 2021 at 3:49 pm

      Thank you! It’s easy when it’s such a gorgeous city 🙂

      Reply
  • travelling_han
    May 9, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    Beautiful photos – I absolutely loved Cordoba 🙂

    Reply
    • Becks
      May 9, 2021 at 11:29 pm

      Me too, I’ve been a couple of times and just love it!

      Reply
  • Rebecca
    May 9, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    Ah, your photos bring back memories of my trip to Cordoba over four years ago…I visited many of the quarters you photographed, as the city isn’t too big to navigate. La Mezquita was certainly the highlight of my time there, and it really goes to show the integration of different religions into one structure, which one could say symbolizes the harmony and humanity of those with various beliefs. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Becks
      May 9, 2021 at 11:33 pm

      La Mezquita is definitely one of THE things to see there, and I love the idea of it showing the harmony and humanity of different beliefs. I think it’s just amazing that they just extended, rather than knocking it down and having to have the typical features of just one religious building.

      Reply
  • Juliette
    May 11, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    Absolutely stunning! I remember wanting to visit Cordoba when I was in Seville but never really got the chance of doing it. I know I will go back to Andalusia one day as I absolutely loved that region, so I will really make sure to check this city out! Thank you for sharing 😊

    Reply
    • Becks
      May 12, 2021 at 11:02 pm

      Oh absolutely add it to your list! Most people day trip but I think a couple of days is better because you can really enjoy the city that way. I’ve been twice and will probably go back again 😂

      Reply

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