Spain – Córdoba
Out of the three towns/cities we visited in Andalucia, Córdoba was by far the most relaxed and least-touristed.
The Mezquita (or Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba) is one of the greatest examples of Moorish architecture in the world. A Christian church was originally built on the site in the 8th century and since then the structure has changed hands between Muslims and Christians multiple times, at one point the structure even being split in half with one side being a mosque and the other a church. In the thirteenth century the structure was officially taken over by Christians and has been a church to this day.
Tickets to visit the Mezquita can be bought online at the official website in advance: https://tickets.mezquita-catedraldecordoba.es/en. Alternatively, you can buy tickets on site, however due to the limited numbers allowed inside at a time, you will most likely only be given a slot for the following day. As of September 2020, general admission tickets cost €11.
All throughout the town, there are wonderful examples of ancient architecture. A sunny stroll across the town centre is highly recommended, taking in the charming back alleys and ancient stone structures which litter this wonderful town.
Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs
The Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs is a medieval palace and gardens situated next to the Mezquita. In its long and varied history, the palace as served as a fortress, a headquarters for the Spanish inquisition, a garrison for Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops and a prison before the Spanish government opened the palace and its grounds as a tourist attraction in the 1950s. Today you can stroll around the grounds and the magnificent palace chambers.
The Acazar was one of the few tourist sites in Andalucia where we could queue up on the day, buy a ticket and be inside within 15 minutes.
Recommended Bars and Restaurants
- El Picoteo del Gallo – Beautiful spot for tapas and cañas or wine in the afternoon. Very friendly waiters and some great, traditional Andalucian fare.
- Bodegas Mezquitas – A more expensive location, but the price is worth it for a great sit down evening meal with a long list of authentic Andalucian dishes on offer.
- Mojaelchurro – Easily the best churros and hot chocolate combination we found in Cordoba, having been recommended to us by several people. Pick up some morning churros and chocolate from the stall and wander to the nearest park bench or the riverfront and enjoy!
- Taberna Sèneca – Tucked away down a backstreet in one of the lesser visited areas of Cordoba, this was our highlight for relaxed tapas and cañas. The outdoor tables are situated by some old ruins, and little traffic uses this backstreet, so you can easily relax and chat away for the afternoon here.