A day trip to Cordoba is a popular excursion for those visiting the region of Andalusia in southern Spain. While many people choose to stay in Seville and take the train to Cordoba for one day, spending 2 days in Cordoba will give you extra time to take in all this relaxing city has to offer. There are a lot of great things to do in Cordoba, Spain, and in two days, you can experience most of them!
This 2-day itinerary for Cordoba allows for ample opportunity to explore the city, relax on one of Cordoba’s famous patios, see many of the best things to do in Cordoba, and even partake in an afternoon siesta if you choose.
So, to help you plan your own trip, we’re laying out all the top things to do in Cordoba, Spain in 2 days, and we’re sharing our complete 2-day Cordoba itinerary.
How we spent 2 days in Cordoba, Spain
After enjoying several days in Seville, the Andalusia capital city, we continued our journey through southern Spain. We spent 2 days in Cordoba before continuing on to Ronda, where we spent another two days.
The extra day on our Cordoba itinerary gave us more time to truly appreciate this historic and beautiful Spanish city without feeling rushed. We even managed an afternoon siesta – a welcomed ritual in Spanish culture!
How to get to Cordoba from Seville
We visited Cordoba as part of a 2-week trip across Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. We gave ourselves 2 days in Cordoba because we were traveling with kids.
If visiting Cordoba with kids, you’ll want to give yourself more time, because as every parent knows, kids do things at their own pace. 🙂
Getting to Cordoba by Train
As mentioned earlier, we arrived in Cordoba by train from Seville, which is a convenient way to visit Cordoba from Seville.
There are 18 trains each day that go from Santa Justa Station in Seville to Cordoba. You can choose between the high speed direct route, which will take roughly 45 minutes or a regional train that makes more frequent stops that will take about an hour and a half.
From the train station in Cordoba it is roughly a 20 minute walk to the tourist areas and to many of the popular hotels in Cordoba.
You can also reach Cordoba by train from Granada, Seville, and Málaga.
ALSO READ: Booking train travel in Europe – our Rail Europe Review
Getting to Cordoba by bus
There are also bus routes from Seville’s Santa Justa to Cordoba-Central, as well as buses that run from other cities in Spain. The bus will take you about 2 hours from Seville, and will cost you approximately $20 USD. Taking the bus is the slowest of the modes of transportation, but the buses are nice and are a reliable public transportation option.
Getting to Cordoba by car
Of course, some people choose to rent a car in Spain and drive instead.
A self-drive allows you to stop off at Medina Azahara, which is approximately 10 kilometers outside of Cordoba. The ruins of this ancient Caliphate city date back to the 10th century.
Having a car also allows you to visit some of the beautiful white villages in Andalusia that are nearby. While we typically love rail travel in Europe, a self-drive is a great way to explore parts of southern Spain that aren’t as well connected by rail.
COMPARE CAR RENTAL COMPANIES AND FIND THE BEST RATES AT AUTOEUROPE.COM
Where to stay in Cordoba, Spain for 2 days
If you decide to spend 2 days in Cordoba, Spain, you’ll want a hotel or apartment near the mosque and all the other major tourist attractions.
If arriving at the train station, there are numerous hotels and apartments in varying price ranges that can be found between Avenue de America, where the train station is located, and the mosque.
We stayed near Palacio de Vianas, and while it was a pretty, quiet area, the walk to the main attractions in Cordoba was a bit far.
A better option might be Hotel NH Collection Amistad Córdoba or Apartamentos los Patios de la Judería, both of which have incredible reviews and offer beautiful pools which would be perfect during the siesta hours. Both lodging options also offer private parking if you have rented a car.Booking.com
2 day itinerary for Cordoba
If you have two days in Cordoba, Spain here is a great itinerary to follow that gives you plenty of time at all the major attractions in Cordoba as well as an opportunity to relax and enjoy the atmosphere of this beautiful Spanish town.
- Arrive in Cordoba
- Leave luggage at hotel
- Roam the streets of the Jewish Quarter
- Photos at Calle de las Flores
- Take a Tour at Patios San Basilio
- Lunch on a patio restaurant
- Visit the Roman Temple
- Check into hotel for a siesta
- Dinner and shopping near the Roman Bridge
- Visit Mezquita / Mosque of Cordoba
- Climb the Cathedral Bell Tower
- Breakfast/brunch on a patio
- Cross the Roman Bridge
- Torre de Calahorra
- Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs
- Lunch near the alcazar
- Palacio de Viana
- Siesta Time!
- Dinner and shopping near mosque
Top things to do in Cordoba, Spain in two days
If you follow our Cordoba itinerary above, here are the top attractions you’ll see during your two days in Cordoba, Spain.
Calle de las Flores (Street of Flowers)
One of the most photographed places in Cordoba, Calle de las Flores, or Street of Flowers, is a narrow alleyway lined with bright blue vases of flowers. It is a stop on every guided walking tour of Cordoba, and should be a stop on your Cordoba itinerary, as well.
To get the best photo, walk through the alleyway and take a photo from the small plaza looking back through the alley. Doing so gives you a lovely view of the iconic Cordoba bell tower through the narrow alley.
Patios San Basilio
One of the best things to do in Cordoba is to take in the beauty of its many patios. Cordoba, Spain is famous for its white walls adorned with colorful posts overflowing with flowers and greenery. While some patios of Cordoba are free to visit or are attached to restaurants or hotels, some of the most beautiful patios are located at private homes.
The Patios de San Basilio are a grouping of neighboring houses with stunning, Instagrammable patios that you can pay a small fee to visit on a guided experience.
Located in San Basilio, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Cordoba, the patios are even named by UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity Site.
Your visit to the private patios includes entrance to the Ethnographic Museum and a wine and oils tasting.
BOOK A GUIDED WALKING TOUR OF THE PATIOS IN CORDOBA HERE.
Templo Romano (Roman Temple)
The Roman Temple in Cordoba is a site we stumbled upon while walking to the mosque. The ruins are surrounded by buildings and weren’t discovered until the 1950s during an expansion of the Cordoba City Hall.
There isn’t much left of the temple ruins, which date back to the 1st century. In fact, the foundation and a few pillars are all that remain. But given its position surrounded by modern buildings, it’s unique to see the ancient ruins surrounded by modern-day Cordoba.
Mosque of Cordoba / Mezquita
The mosque of Cordoba, also known as the cathedral of Cordoba or Mezquita, is by far the top attraction in Cordoba. It is one of the most notable landmarks in Spain and should be on everyone’s Spain bucket list.
It was once an Islamic mosque but was later converted to a Catholic cathedral. Today, it is one of the most famous Christian churches in Europe. Construction of the mosque dates back to the late 700s. The architecture is quite impressive, especially considering the history and how long ago it was built.
Its main prayer hall consists of 856 Moorish columns connected by alternating red and white striped arches. Be sure to also check out the Orange Tree Courtyard, which once served as an important area for public activities during the Islamic period. Aside from the fantastic orange trees, the courtyard has palms and olive trees, as well.
Keep reading below for a tip on how to tour the Cordoba mosque for free!
BOOK SKIP-THE-LINE TICKETS TO THE MEZQUITA HERE.
Cathedral Bell Tower
On the northern end of the Mezquita, the cathedral bell tower is the tallest structure in the city. At 54 meters tall, the tower serves as an iconic emblem and landmark in Cordoba.
While it is considered part of the Cathedral of Cordoba, entrance to the bell tower costs an additional 3 Euro per person. If you want to climb the tower, you’ll want to book in advance, as they only let a limited number of people in at a time, and it sells out quickly.
However, from the top of the tower, you’ll get a great view of the city and the former mosque-turned cathedral from above.
Puente Romano (Roman Bridge)
The Roman Bridge, in the heart of the historic center of Cordoba, is one of the prettiest bridges in all of Spain, if not all of Europe. Stretching across the Guadalquivir River from Torre de Calahorra to the area right outside the grand mosque, this famous bridge dates back to the first century BC! The bridge was once very important because this route connected Rome with Cadiz.
Of course, it has been through frequent reconstruction over the centuries, but its Roman architecture and 16 arches over the river remain. The only original elements that remain today are the 15th and 16th arches. All other portions of the bridge have been completely rebuilt, although maintaining its original Roman structure.
You’ll definitely want to cross the bridge to see Torre de Calahorra, which you will do on the second day of this Cordoba itinerary. The fortified gate to the historic center is a great photo opportunity in and of itself.
Torre de Calahorra
Greeting passersby at the southern end of the Roman Bridge, Torre de la Calahorra is a historic monument that currently houses the Living Museum of al-Andalus. The museum focuses on the peaceful coexistence of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian cultures and contains artifacts from Cordoba’s history.
Resembling a castle tower, Torre de Calahorra is the oldest defense building in Cordoba and adds to the significance and beauty of the city.
Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs
One of the most beautiful places in all of Cordoba, the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs is the perfect photography spot in Cordoba. Not far from the mosque, the medieval fortress served as one of the primary residences for Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Arago.
It is where the Spanish monarchs met with Christopher Columbus before his voyage to the Americas.
With pristine gardens filled with flowers, plants, and square towers on its four corners, the alcazar is not only picturesque, it is a fascinating, historical place in Spain.
BOOK A GUIDED TOUR OF THE ALCAZAR OF THE CHRISTIAN MONARCHS HERE.
Palacio de Viana
While Cordoba is teeming with flower-covered patios where you can have a meal or relax during the siesta hours or spend a fun evening. During your two days in Cordoba, a visit to Palacio de Viana is a great way to spend one afternoon.
Roughly a 30 minute walk from the mosque, Palacio de Viana is a palace featuring 12 courtyards, as well as art collections and artifacts in the interior of the palace. These courtyards make for quiet, intimate spots which are perfect for capturing the beauty and unique vibe of Cordoba.
BOOK TICKETS IN ADVANE TO PALACIO DE VIANA HERE.
Why you should spend more than 1 day in Cordoba
Andalusia, Spain is a region with many micro-communities. While similar in some ways, each community has its own unique atmosphere and ambiance. Despite their proximity, Cordoba has a different feel than Seville or Ronda, which are both about an hour away by train.
Cordoba is worth visiting simply for the pretty, historical sites but if you spend at least 2 days in Cordoba, you’ll also have the opportunity to get a real feel for the town and its atmosphere.
You’ll also want to spend some time simply roaming the streets of the historic Jewish Quarter and taking pictures of the beautiful area and flower-filled patios.
Things to know if visiting Cordoba with kids
If visiting Cordoba with kids, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your trip and your Cordoba itinerary.
Summer in Cordoba, Spain is hot!
As previously mentioned, we visited Cordoba during a massive heatwave in the peak of summer. Temperatures were well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celcius) during the heat of the afternoon. In retrospect, Cordoba is likely much more pleasant in a different season.
Even if you are not visiting during a heatwave, summer in Cordoba is sizzling. It is one of the hottest places in Spain. So, if visiting Cordoba in June, July, or August be prepared for warm temperatures.
Dress accordingly, bring a sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and carry a water bottle with you as you are out sightseeing.
Bring a stroller
I typically recommend a baby carrier for travel or a framed child carrier for toddlers and young children, but trust me when I say, if visiting Cordoba in summer, you do not want a child strapped to you for long periods of time.
Even if you have a breathable carrier, the heat is too intense to wear your child. I have never wished I had brought a portable travel stroller more than I did in Cordoba.
Unlike some of the other places we visited on our Spain itinerary, Cordoba was relatively flat and would be easy to navigate with a stroller.
Plan accordingly to take advantage of free days/times
If visiting Cordoba on a budget, you’ll definitely want to plan ahead to take advantage of the days and times when some of the attractions are free. Here are a few free things to do in Cordoba to keep in mind when planning what days you want to visit.
Mosque of Cordoba
The mosque of Cordoba is free during the first hour of the day, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday. If you want to avoid paying admission or purchasing tickets to see this UNESCO World Heritage Site, plan to get there early. People start lining up to get in around 8 a.m., sometimes earlier.
For children under the age of 10, entry is free any day or time.
Palacio de Viana
The palace is free on Wednesdays from 2-5 p.m. for all entrants. So, if you are lucky enough to visit Cordoba mid-week, make sure to take advantage of this free opportunity and visit the palace and its incredible patios.
This is during peak siesta hours, when many of the stores and business are closed, making it the perfect time to take a casual stroll over to this lovely palace and check it out.
We noticed several advertisements around Cordoba for complimentary flamenco performances during certain hours of the day as a draw to get tourists into their restaurants. We attended one of the free shows, which was a relaxing way to escape the heat and spend a couple hours during the siesta time.
While the show had flamenco-style live music, there was not a flamenco dancer or performance like we experienced during our 3 days in Seville. Some of the other performances may have flamenco dancers, so be sure to check them out before you go.
Watching a flamenco performance should be on everyone’s Spain bucket list, as this style of dance is both beautiful and unique to Spain.
How to make the most out of two days in Cordoba, Spain
To make the most out of 2 days in Cordoba, you’ll want to get an early start. That may mean taking an early train from Seville on your first day.
Cordoba, Spain gets extremely hot, especially during the summer months. So, you’ll want to explore in the morning hours and at night. We visited in the month of July and temperatures were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius)!
Most businesses were closed for several hours during the afternoon. This is quite common in Spain, even when it isn’t hot, since most people take part in an afternoon siesta or time of rest and relaxation.
The streets of Cordoba were completely empty during the afternoons. If you can stand the heat, this is a great time to take photos without other tourists in them. Otherwise, you can do as the Spaniards do and take a nap, or go sit somewhere, have a cold sangria, and take a break from the heat!
We created this Cordoba itinerary and guide to the best things to do in Cordoba to help take the stress out of planning your trip. To further remove the stress and have everything ready before you arrive, including your tickets to attractions, skip the queues and book these tours before you go.
- Cordoba Cathedral / Mosque of Cordoba
- Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs
- Palacio de Viana
- Cordoba patios tour
Frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Cordoba
While this Cordoba travel guide covers the best things to do in Cordoba and how to spend 2 days in the laid back Spanish town, naturally, you may still have a few questions about Cordoba. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we get.
How many days are enough for Cordoba?
While many people visit Cordoba on a day trip from Seville, you could easily spend 2 days in Cordoba or more. If you only have one day in Cordoba, be sure to join a guided tour to get a good feel for the city, its history, and ensure you don’t miss any of the main things to do in Cordoba.
Is Cordoba worth visiting?
Cordoba is worth visiting simply for the historical sites, like the Mosque of Cordoba, the Roman Bridge, and the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs. But spending a day or two in Cordoba also gives you the opportunity to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the town and its beautiful flower-filled patios.
Have a question that this guide to the best things to do in Cordoba in 2 days didn’t answer? We’d love to hear from you! Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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This Cordoba itinerary was originally published in 2019 but was last updated in February 2023 for accuracy and current information.
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