43. Cordoba  SPAIN Total Sights: 35+  | Nickname: Constantinople of the West

 

 

 

 

A. Strengths and Weaknesses of Cordoba

Spain  In the 10th century, Cordoba was the capital of Islamic Spain and the largest, most cultured city in Western Europe. During the apogee of the caliphate in 1000 AD Córdoba had a population of about 500,000 inhabitants — almost 200,000 more than today.

The symbol of this lost splendour is the mesmerising Mezquita, a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. 

The most remarkable feature of the Mezquita are the 856 columns, with its soaring terracotta-and-white striped arches.  After the Reconquista in the 16th century a cathedral was plonked right in the middle of the mosque by the Christians. 

Everything in Cordoba is relatively close and the beautiful Unesco-enlisted historic centre can be easily explored by foot. 

 Scoring quiet high in most categories and boasting a very appealing climate most of the year (not during July/August) leads to a well deserved top 50 rank in our list.

 Cordoba no real flaw, but it's not a great shopping destination. 

Criteria 

Sights

Location

Pedestrian Zones

Affordability

Safety 

Cleanliness

Shopping

Climate

People

Nightlife 

 Transport

Size

Total Score

Score

6.85/10

6/10

6/10

4.25/10

6.5/10

6.25/10

4.5/10

8.75/10

6/10

5/10

5/10

5/10 [0.325 mio.]

181.55

B. Best Things to Do in Cordoba (Detailed List with Photos and Information)

These sights and attractions contribute to a sights score of 6.85/10.

MEZQUITA  9
This masterpiece of Islamic architecture is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite.

The Mezquita has served as a cathedral since 1236, but its origins as a mosque remain very distinctive. 

Cathedral and Mosque  (World Heritage Site since 1984) 

HISTORIC CENTRE OF CORDOBA  7
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, the exceptionally beautiful large historic centre of Cordoba is predominantly a pedestrian zone.

Walk the cobblestoned narrow streets from the famous and unique Mezquita to discover magnificent flower-filled patios, fabulous gardens, fortresses, bridges and monuments.

Historic Area  (World Heritage Site since 1984)

Best Things to do in Cordoba | Best Cities | Cordoba | HISTORIC CENTRE OF CORDOBA Best Things to do in Cordoba | Best Cities | Cordoba | HISTORIC CENTRE OF CORDOBA

by Salvatorecoco / CC BY-SA 3.0

ALCÁZAR OF THE CHRISTIAN MONARCHS  7
Set among magnificent spacious gardens the royal residence of the Christian monarchs served both as a fortress and a palace.

Don't miss the opportunity to come back to the gardens in the evening to see illuminated fountains included in the ticket. 

Fortified Palace and Park   (World Heritage Site since 1984) 

ROMAN BRIDGE (Puente Romano) 6
Originally built in the early 1st century BC by the Romans this 247m-long atmospheric pedestrian bridge over the Río Guadalquivir provides excellent viewing points of the bridge itself and the nearby Mezquita.

The bridge has been restored and renovated several times, in particular under Arab rule. Today only the 14th and 15th arches (counting from the Puerta del Puente) are still original.

Bridge  (World Heritage Site since 1994)

Best Things to do in Cordoba | Best Cities | Cordoba | ROMAN BRIDGE Best Things to do in Cordoba | Best Cities | Cordoba | ROMAN BRIDGE

Jewish Quarter (Juderia)  5
Córdoba's scenic old Jewish quarter with its whitewashed lanes and flower-decorated patios, small museums, restaurants, bars and artisan and silversmiths shops is a lovely area to just wander around.

City District

Archaeological Ensemble of Medina Azahara (Madinat Al-Zahra)  5
What you'll see today — only around 10% of Medina Azahara (literal meaning "the shining city") have been excavated and restored — is a pale version of the former glory of this once majestic site, located 8 km west of Córdoba.

Medina Azahara (constructed in in 936-940, sacked in a civil war in 1010) housed around 12,000 people and included ceremonial reception halls, mosques, administrative and government offices, wide-ranging gardens, residences and luxurious baths. The site and the interesting modern museum nearby can be reached by regularly operating buses.

Ruins of a Moorish palace-city 

Best Things to do in Cordoba | Best Cities | Cordoba | Madinat al-Zahra (ruins of Moorish palace) Best Things to do in Cordoba | Best Cities | Cordoba | Madinat al-Zahra (ruins of Moorish palace)

#1 by Roberto Chamoso G / CC BY-SA 3.0

#2 by Sombradeparra / Public domain  

TORRE FORTALEZA (Calahorra Tower with Museo Vivo de al-Andalus)  4
Historic Tower  (with small Museum)

Best Things to do in Cordoba | Best Cities | Cordoba | TORRE FORTALEZA (Calahorra Tower with Museo Vivo de al-Andalus)

Palacio de Viana  4
Small Palace

by David Baron / CC BY-SA 2.0

Synagogue  4
Synagogue

by José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 3.0

Puerta del Puente  4
Gate  (completed 1572)

Best Things to do in Cordoba | Best Cities | Cordoba | Puerta del Puente (gate)

Scoring and Icons Legend (Click here for detailed information)

10 = top-10 sight in the world
9 = world-class  
8 = outstanding
7 = excellent 
6 = impressive
5 = interesting
4 = decent
3 = mediocre
2 = bad
1 = abysmal

= World Heritage Site
= Excursion

Weather Forecast

Clear
Tomorrow 02/24 0%
High 17° / Low 3°
Clear
Partly Cloudy
Sunday 02/25 10%
High 18° / Low 4°
Partly Cloudy
Chance of Rain
Monday 02/26 50%
High 19° / Low 8°
Chance of Rain

C. Other Notable Sights and Attractions in Cordoba

-Museo de Julio Romero de Torres (museum)  4

-Cairuan Street (alongside the city walls) 4

-Capilla Mudéjar de San Bartolomé (chapel) 4

-Casa de Sefarad (museum)  4

-Palacio de la Merced (historical building)  4

D. Best Day Trips and Excursions from Cordoba

SEVILLE (city, 140 km from Cordoba, 42 min by train)  7

E. Top 10 List of the Best Things to Do in Cordoba (including close-by excursions)


 MEZQUITA (mosque-cathedral)  9
HISTORIC CENTRE OF CORDOBA  7
 ALCÁZAR OF THE CHRISTIAN MONARCHS   7
ROMAN BRIDGE  6
 Jewish Quarter (Juderia)  5
 Archaeological Ensemble of Medina Azahara  5
 TORRE FORTALEZA (with museum)  4
 Palacio de Viana (palace)  4
 Synagogue  4
Puerta del Puente (arch)  4



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