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When I saw that I would be staying four nights in Seville for our family Spain trip, I knew I wanted to do a day trip somewhere. In looking at the options, Cordoba was the most popular choice.

We had a car rental, but taking the train was the best option. It would only take about 50 minutes vs. driving for two hours and tiring out my husband. So if you are considering a one day in Cordoba, read along for the tips.

👉🏼Find Great Hotels in Cordoba
👉🏼Tickets for the Mesquita
👉🏼Tickets for Cordoba Alcazar

Is One Day In Cordoba Enough?

Cordoba is a historic city located in the southern region of Spain. Its historical significance, architectural excellence, and cultural legacy have made it famous. Cordoba is a popular destination for tourists in Andalusia, and many of them wonder if they can see the city’s highlights in a single day.

Although I would have appreciated a longer visit to sample more of the local fare, the city can be seen in a day.

One day in Cordoba with the family visiting the Alcazar

How to Get To Cordoba from Seville

It’s not hard to get to Cordoba, which is about 140 kilometers (87 miles) northeast of Seville by train, bus, or car. However, taking the train offers the greatest ease and productivity. 

Renfe, the national train company, operates frequent train services between Seville and Cordoba. The journey time is around 45 minutes on the high-speed AVE train or approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes on a regional train. The train station in Cordoba is located within walking distance of the historic center and the Mezquita.

Now I had difficulty finding how to buy this train ticket online! So let me save you some trouble. The best thing to do is to download the Renfe Train app. The app will show you all the route options.

My kids were super tired, so we decided to take the 9 am ish train and get there by ten a.m. We saw different options at different prices but took the cheapest one. It cost us $31.20 euros each for round trip tickets.

It was annoying to book as they needed everyone’s passport information, and it took me a few tries to be able to update it all finally. You should book the tickets beforehand, as they are assigned seating.

 Tickets can be purchased at the train station or at designated travel agencies as well.

1 Day in Cordoba

How to Spend One Day in Cordoba?

If you only have one day to explore Cordoba, it is important to prioritize your itinerary. The must-see attraction in Cordoba is the Mezquita, also known as the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. 

You need to buy tickets ahead of time, and there is a designated time slot for you to enter. They won’t let you go inside before your time slot. 

Since we had time before our ticket entry, we took a stroll through the Jewish Quarter, also known as Judería, which is one of the most charming neighborhoods in Cordoba. 

Here you will find narrow cobblestone streets, white-washed buildings, and colorful flowers hanging from balconies. We also visited the historic Cordoba Synagogue. 

According to Wikipedia: 

Córdoba Synagogue is a historic edifice in the Jewish Quarter of Córdoba, Spain, built-in 1315. The synagogue’s small size points to it having possibly been the private synagogue of a wealthy man. It is also possible that Córdoba’s complex of buildings was a yeshivah, kollel, or study hall. Wikipedia

It is super small, but worth the visit. It was peaceful to visit. It was also free to visit

Interesting Facts about Codorba

  1. Cordoba was once the largest city in the world, with a population of over 500,000 people during the Islamic Golden Age.
  2. The historic center of Cordoba, which includes the Mezquita, Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, and the Jewish Quarter, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
Mezquita Cordoba

Visiting the Mezquita

After walking around some more to kill time, it was time to enter the star of the town finally.

This impressive structure dates back to the 8th century and uniquely blends Islamic and Christian architecture. It is a beauty to see in person.

Is Mezquita Cordoba Free?

No, there is an admission fee to enter the Mezquita. As of 2023, the standard ticket price is €11 for adults and €6 for children and seniors. However, the Mezquita has free admission times, usually in the early morning or late afternoon. 

It is best to check the official website for updated admission fees and hours information. You can view tickets and times here.

How Long Does it Take to See the Mezquita in Cordoba?

The amount of time it takes to see the Mezquita in Cordoba depends on how much you want to explore and appreciate the beauty of the structure. On average, most visitors spend about 1-2 hours inside the Mezquita. 

However, if you are interested in learning more about the history and architecture of the building, a guided tour may be a good option and can take up to 3 hours. 

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Do You Need to Book Tickets for Mezquita Cordoba?

Tickets to the Mezquita should be reserved in advance, especially during the busy tourist season and holidays. Both the official website and the box office are available for this purpose. 

By making a reservation in advance, you can skip the lines and get in at your preferred time. 

The day’s sightseeing should conclude at the Roman Bridge over the Guadalquivir. This historic bridge dates back to the 1st century BC and offers stunning views of the city.

The Roman Bridge

For all the videos we saw about visiting Cordoba for just a day, they all mentioned this Roman bridge, which was definitely better in person. 

All the videos we watched about day trips to Cordoba referred to this Roman bridge, but seeing it in person was far more impressive.  

You can stroll across the bridge and take in the views of the city and the surrounding hills, or you can also visit the Calahorra Tower at the end of the bridge. The tower now houses the Museum of Three Cultures, which explores the history of Cordoba through the lens of its three main cultural influences: Islamic, Jewish, and Christian.

Lunch in Cordoba

We finished our visit to the Mesquita, and now it was time for lunch. I had saved a few places to eat, but they ended up being further then where we were and it was hot.

We turned in this cute street and stumbled upon this restaurant that had pizza. I ordered a Cava and it was nice to sit and enjoy the batatas bravas.

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We then browsed around a few shops looking for souvenirs and knick-knacks. 

Visiting Cordoba Alcazar

Did I mention the kids were tired, and it was a bit hot? Well, at first, no one was on the same page with me about visiting the Alcazar, but I am so glad we did.

The garden and water areas are beautiful and amazing for photos! We really felt like spring was in the air in seeing all the colorful flowers.

The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos was built in the 14th century, this fortress-palace served as the residence of various Spanish monarchs throughout history. 

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Today, visitors can explore the beautifully landscaped gardens, which feature fountains, orange trees, and peacocks roaming freely. 

The Alcazar also has a rich history, having been the site of various significant events, such as the meeting between King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella with Christopher Columbus before his voyage to the Americas. 

The underground chambers of the Alcazar house a fascinating mosaic display showcasing the intricate designs and craftsmanship of the Islamic period. Don’t miss out on this stunning attraction when visiting Cordoba.

Mercado Victoria – Cordoba Food Market

This is not a typical food market; it has stalls and it’s more gourmet.  The Mercado Victoria in Cordoba is a modern gastronomic market that opened in 2013, but the site where it stands has a long history. 

The market is located in the Plaza de la Victoria, which was once the site of the old Victoria Cinema. After the cinema closed down in 2002, the site was redeveloped into a public square, and the Mercado Victoria was built in its place.

The market was designed to showcase the best of Andalusian cuisine, and it features over 30 stalls selling a variety of foods and drinks, from traditional tapas to international cuisine. 

The market is open daily, and it is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to sample some of the best food and wine that Cordoba has to offer.

We headed here to kill time before our train back to Seville. Again, we had more Cava and unwound.

There is a pretty pink bar called Premium Bar, which is great for photos, plus the bathroom has this art deco decor, which is also very cool for photos.

The kids had some deliciously filled popsicles.

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Other Things to do in Cordoba

  • Visit the Plaza de Canas
  • Visit the Central Market
  • Palacio de Viana
  • Casa de Seafarad
  • Go on a walking tour of Patios de Cordoba
  • Do a Private tour to Medina Azahara
  • Go up the Calahorra Tower
  • Patio de los Naranjos

 Is a Day Trip in Cordoba Worth it?

Yes, a day trip to Cordoba is definitely worth it. Despite being a relatively small city, Cordoba is packed with history, culture, and beauty. The Mezquita alone is worth the visit, and the city’s charming neighborhoods, historic buildings, and delicious food make it a worthwhile destination for any traveler.

Why is Cordoba So Popular?

Cordoba is popular among travelers for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and cultural heritage. The Mezquita, Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, and the Jewish Quarter are just a few of the attractions that draw visitors to the city.

 Additionally, Cordoba is known for its delicious food, vibrant festivals, and friendly locals. It has this small town but very well kept vibe and at times I felt like I was at Hollywood Studios at Disney.

Family day trip to Cordoba

Why is Cordoba So Special?

Cordoba is special because of its unique blend of Islamic and Christian architecture, which is evident in the Mezquita. The city was also an important center of learning and culture during the Islamic Golden Age, and it has preserved many historic buildings and landmarks from that time period.

Additionally, Cordoba is known for its cultural diversity, as it was once home to Jews, Muslims, and Christians, who coexisted peacefully and contributed to the city’s unique character.

What Food is Córdoba Famous for?

one day in Cordoba itinerary

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