We anticipated that parking situation in Cordoba will be as tense as in Malaga or Granade, therefore we googled the free parking before we drove to this city. We found free parking in the area of Torre De Calahorra. You have to be aware of the self-proclaimed “valets”, who wave you in the free slot and “help” you to park the car, afterwards asking for reward for their efforts. We were skeptical at first, but who knows what they can do with a car, so we agreed to pay, but first when we were back and made sure that the car was in order. I was proud that my Spanish was sufficient to explain that to our “helper”. By the way, when we picked up the car, he was not there anymore.
The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba
Over the Roman Bridge of Cordoba, Puente Romano, we headed to the city center. Our main goal was to visit the famous Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. We were happy to realize that there was almost no queue to both the ticket desk and at the entrance of the mosque. The ticket costs 10 Euro and you can buy it at the counter or at the ticket vending machines.
On the internet page of the Mosque, you can see the development of the monument with the time, from the relatively small original mosque of Abd al-Rahman I in the 8th century to building a catholic church in the 13th century and to the thriving complex with orange gardens (Patio de Los Naranjos) in the 16th century: https://mezquita-catedraldecordoba.es/en/descubre-el-monumento/el-edificio/
This monument is indeed huge. You will need some time to take a look at all the hidden chapels, expansions, Mihrab… I was honestly impressed by the Main Chapel, Transept, intricate choir and magnificent organ!
Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs
After visiting the mosque, we explored the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs (Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos) and its gorgeous gardens. The ticket costs only 5 Euro. To check the opening hours, visit the web page of this monument: https://alcazardelosreyescristianos.cordoba.es/?id=3. Without any doubt, you have to climb the stairs to the Torres. The view from above to the gardens is priceless!
It can be very hot in the garden, but you can hide in the shadow of the orange trees.
Patios de San Basilio
To visit narrow streets full with flowers in the flower pots on snow-white walls, you have to arrange a tour at https://www.patiosdesanbasilio.com/. Unfortunately, we didn’t know that and didn’t do so before our trip to Cordoba. However, we could catch a glance of one of the streets (expectedly full with people) and of a sculpture in the middle of the district.
Lunch at Pairi Daeza
For a lunch with a view to the rooftops of Cordoba, head to Pairi Daeza. This restaurant is listed in the Michelin Guide and there are only 5-6 tables, so you’d rather reserve a table in advance: https://balcondecordoba.com/.