Things to do in Cordoba: The Mosque-Cathedral (the Mezquita)
Although at the time it would have been common to obliterate as much of the mosque as possible in order to build a cathedral in its place, the Catholic king Ferdinand had a different plan. Instead, he supplemented the already existing building and constructed a cathedral inside. During the construction phase, he chose to leave many original details of the mosque – a progressive action for the time. This decision preserved the medieval work of architecture for the ages – and makes it possible for you to visit it today. And so, on my list of things to do in Cordoba, a visit to the Mosque-Cathedral is a must.
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You do not need to purchase tickets for the Mezquita in advance. The courtyard is free to visit, buy the ticket for the Mosque-Cathedral in the courtyard. For an additional few euros, you can climb the Bell Tower. You can get the tickets in the courtyard as well. The tickets for the bell tower often do sell out early – get them at the beginning of the day.
Things to do in Cordoba: Visit the Roman Bridge of Cordoba
Originally built in the early 1st century the bridge was rebuild during the Muslim Spanish period and restored again by the subsequent generations. The arches of the Roman Bridge are a perfect example of the Moorish architecture. You may have seen these famous arches in many photographs of the city. The best time to visit the bridge is at dusk. Here you’ll find fantastic views of the sunset and a great place for photography.
Things to do in Cordoba: The Historic Center
Cordoba’s old town is one of the largest in Europe and the entire historic center is a UNESCO heritage site. While here be sure to stop by the Jewish Quater. Although Jews were expelled from Spain during the Inquisition, the Jewish community in the area thrived under the Muslim rule. Maimonides, famous Jewish philosopher was born in Cordoba and you can visit a synagogue in the area – one of only 3 remaining synagogues in Spain. Today, the former Jewish quarter is the home of Calleja de Las Flores, the little street of flowers – and a sight to behold.
Where to eat in Cordoba: Noor Restaurant
For a truly luxury experience make a reservation in the Noor Restaurant. In this upscale eatery, you’ll find the most unique (and expensive) dishes in an elegant environment. Noor is perfect for a special occasion dinner or a splurge. Here you’ll find an incredible presentation of dozens of unusual tapas and after the meal, the chef speaks to every guest.
Where to stay in Cordoba:
And speaking of luxury, located just a few minutes from the Mosque-Cathedral, the Tryp Cordoba offers stunning views from its outdoor pool, great service, and a fantastic breakfast.
How to get to Cordoba:
Cordoba is easily accessible by train from Seville and Madrid. Additionally, you can get to Cordoba by bus and car. Parking in the old town is limited, and many hotels have their own lots.
For more ideas on what to do in Andalusia region, see The Best Places to Visit in Andalusia, Spain.