Where to Stay in Córdoba – A Guide to this Andalusian City
Córdoba is a city located in Andalusia. The capital of the namesake province, Córdoba is located next to the Guadalquivir river and is one of the most important tourist destinations in Spain. This city is especially famous for its impressive Roman, Muslim and Renaissance architectural heritage. In this article, we will explore the best areas to stay in Córdoba, Spain.
Why you should visit Córdoba
Córdoba is a historic and cultural destination like no other in Spain.
Initially an Iberian settlement, Córdoba began to gain importance with the arrival of the Romans. By the 1st century AD, Colonia Patricia was the capital of the Baetica region. It had a forum and numerous temples, and it was the epicentre of intellectual life in Hispania Ulterior. After the fall of Rome, Córdoba was conquered by the Visigoths and later by the Muslims, who made it the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba. During the Islamic period, Córdoba became an important education and learning centre and, by the 10th century, it had become the second-largest city in Europe. After the Christian conquest in 1236, it became part of the Crown of Castile.
Córdoba is home to notable examples of Moorish architecture, such as the Mosque-Cathedral, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. Since then, the World Heritage status has been expanded to encompass the entire Historic Centre of Cordoba, as well as Medina-Azahara and the Festival de Los Patios. Córdoba has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world. Find accommodation near the Mosque of Córdoba.
In addition to its Muslim-era legacy, Córdoba stands out for its Roman remains. Some of the most important Roman-era attractions in Córdoba include the Roman Bridge over the Guadalquivir River; the only bridge in the city for twenty centuries, the Roman Temple, the Theater, the Mausoleum, the Forum Colonial, the Forum Adiectum and the remains of the Palace of Emperor Maximian. Find accommodation near Córdoba’s Roman Bridge.
On the other hand, the main attractions of Christian-era Córdoba include the Posada del Potro, the Arco del Portillo, the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, the Royal Stables and palaces such as Palacio de Viana and Palacio de La Merced. Find accommodation around Palacio de Viana.
When to visit Córdoba
Due to its location in the Guadalquivir Valley, Córdoba has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. Córdoba is famous for having the highest summer temperatures in Spain (and all of Europe), with average highs of 36.9 ° C in July. Temperatures over 40 ° C are common in the summer months. On the other hand, winters are mild, with temperatures between 4 and 14 ºC. The best time to visit Córdoba is during the spring (April – June) and autumn (October – December). During these months, temperatures are pleasant for outdoor activities without the oppressive summer heat.
Getting there and around
Córdoba does not have its own airport. The easiest way to fly to Córdoba is through the Seville-San Pablo International Airport (SVQ). Located about 130 kilometres southeast of the city centre, in Seville, this important Andalusian airport offers domestic and European flights. On the other hand, the Málaga-Costa del Sol International Airport (AGP) is 166 km away, and Aeropuerto de Granada (GRX) is 190 km away.
Despite not having an airport, Córdoba has excellent train connections. Córdoba station is the fourth most important in Spain and offers high-speed services (AVE) to Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and Málaga, and medium-distance services to Seville, Málaga, Granada, Jaén and Cádiz. See train routes, schedules & fares.
To move around Córdoba and the different destinations in the province, the easiest way is to rent a car. If you prefer to use public transport, the city has several city bus routes, taxis and mobile applications (such as Uber and Cabify).
Where to stay in Córdoba
The best area to stay in Córdoba is the Historic City Centre, especially around the Mosque of Córdoba. Cordoba’s Old Town is home to the main historical and cultural attractions of the city, an excellent nightlife scene, restaurants, shopping and the best boutique hotels. Find accommodation near the Mosque of Córdoba.
Keep reading to learn more about the best areas to stay in Córdoba, Spain.
The Best Areas to Stay in Córdoba, Spain
1. Recommended area: Historic City Centre & Mosque of Córdoba
The Historic Centre of Córdoba is one of the largest and most fascinating in all of Spain.
This historic area is located on the north bank of the Guadalquivir River and it offers one of the largest concentrations of monuments, museums and tourist attractions in Europe.
The main tourist attraction in the centre of Córdoba is undoubtedly its Mosque-Cathedral. Currently known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, this Catholic temple was built on the ancient Great Mosque of Córdoba, which in turn was (arguably) erected on the remains of a Roman temple dedicated to the god Janus.
With an eclectic mix of styles, the Mosque of Córdoba stands out mainly for its hypostyle hall, which originally served as the main prayer space for Muslims. The structure of the mosque is considered an important monument in the history of Islamic architecture and is considered by many scholars to have had a great influence on Moorish architecture in the western Mediterranean regions.
To the northwest of the Mosque is the old Jewish Quarter and the Córdoba Synagogue, the main place of worship for the Sephardic population of the city that still preserves its patio, a stucco room and the women’s balcony. The nearby Casa del Judío is considered one of the most beautiful mansions in the city.
The Museo Arqueológico de Córdoba exhibits archaeological artefacts ranging from prehistory to the Middle Ages, as well as Moorish art.
A little further north is the Roman Temple, which together with the mausoleum, the bridge and the remains of the amphitheatre make up the main Roman-era sites in the city.
The Roman Bridge of Córdoba, which dates back to the 1st century AD is located next to the Mosque and was, for centuries, the only structure that crossed the Guadalquivir River in the city.
To the southeast of the Mosque is the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, a palace complex in the Mudejar style with gardens, terraces, Roman mosaics and Gothic towers offering panoramic views.
The Historic Centre of Córdoba consists of a tangle of narrow streets that invite you to be explored on foot. To move from one area to another, the best option is to get lost in the history of its intricate alleys. Additionally, the widest streets in the area offer several bus stops.
As expected of the best area to stay in Córdoba, the Mosque area is full of places to stay. The accommodation offer in this charming neighbourhood is very wide and includes a multitude of boutique hotels in medieval palaces, small family establishments, tourist apartments, hostels and guest houses.
Why is this a recommended area to stay in Córdoba, Spain:
- Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba
- Best area for a cultural trip
- Excellent boutique hotels
- Roman ruins
- Charming streets
- Archaeological Museum
Accommodation in this area
Hacienda Posada de Vallina
Located next to Córdoba’s famous Mosque, Hacienda Posada de Vallina offers free Wi-Fi and luxurious accommodation with a flat-screen TV in a traditional Andalusian house.
The Hotel Mezquita is located in the centre of the old Jewish quarter of Córdoba. The cosy rooms have a TV and a private bathroom, and there is free Wi-Fi throughout.
The Eurostars Conquistador is located in the heart of the Jewish quarter, in the historic centre of Córdoba, opposite the Mosque. The hotel has a traditional Andalusian patio. In addition, there is free WiFi in all areas.
2. Near Palacio de Viana
The Palacio de Viana is located in the northeast area of the Historic Centre of Córdoba, in the Santa Marina neighbourhood.
This palace-museum was declared a Spanish Cultural Site in 1981. Built in the 15th century and expanded over the centuries, its name comes from the Marquisate of Viana, the last family that owned the property. This heritage complex covers 6,500 square metres and includes twelve courtyards and a garden.
The Santa Marina neighbourhood is considered one of the most traditional of the city and the cradle of bullfighting in Córdoba.
In the surroundings of the palace, there are some tourist attractions, such as the Plaza de Colón, the Roman Temple, the church of San Lorenzo Mártir and the Palacio de la Merced; an 18th-century Baroque convent that now houses government offices and events.
The nearby Torre de la Malmuerta was built in the 15th century on a pre-existing Almohad structure to defend the gates of Rincón and Colodro. Later, it was also used as a prison for noblemen.
Why is this a recommended area to stay in Córdoba, Spain:
- Viana and La Merced Palaces
- Historical and cultural attractions
- Roman Temple
Accommodation in this area
Soho Boutique Capuchinos & Spa
Located in the historic center of Córdoba, 900 metres from the Mosque, this elegant 4-star guest house offers a sun terrace, hammam and a wellness area with a hot tub and sauna.
Casa de los Naranjos
Located in the historic centre of Córdoba, Casa de los Naranjos combines the charm of yesteryear with the amenities of today. It is set near the monumental area of Santa Marina, ten minutes walk from the Jewish Quarter of Córdoba.
Hospes Palacio del Bailio
This 5-star hotel occupies a 16th-century palace in the centre of the historic city of Córdoba. It offers an outdoor pool surrounded by beautiful gardens.
3. South of the Guadalquivir River
The area south of the Guadalquivir was traditionally the suburb of the city of Córdoba, a territory outside the walls that in Arab times was called “suburb of Saqunda”.
Connected to the city centre by the Roman Bridge, this area offers impressive views of Córdoba and several must-see tourist attractions.
The Torre De Calahorra is an Islamic-era fortress conceived to protect the access to the Roman Bridge and the city centre. Today, the tower offers panoramic views and houses a small municipal museum.
The nearby Center for Contemporary Creation of Andalusia C3A is a space dedicated to the production and creation of contemporary art in all its forms. On the other hand, the Centro Cívico Arrabal del Sur offers temporary exhibitions of local artists.
Miraflores Park is one of the main green areas in Córdoba and has panoramic views of the river and the city.
4. Córdoba High Speed Train Station
Córdoba station, formerly known as Córdoba Central, is the main railway station in the city.
It is located on Plaza de las Tres Culturas, north of the Historic Centre of Córdoba.
Inaugurated in 1994 to replace the old 1859 terminal, Córdoba station offers a large number of Long and Medium Distance services, both on conventional and high-speed lines (AVE).
The station has four international gauge tracks for AVE (high-speed) trains and four more Iberian gauge for Media Distancia services. The main destinations that can be reached from here include Madrid, Seville, Málaga, Barcelona, Jaén, Granada and Cádiz.
The surroundings of Córdoba train station offer the most modern facet of the city and are the best areas to stay in Córdoba for travellers in transit or those on a train route through Andalusia.
Accommodation in this area
AC Hotel by Marriott Córdoba
This hotel is in one of the main business areas of the city, opposite the AVE train station. The rooms at the AC Hotel Córdoba are spacious and the common areas of the hotel are decorated in an avant-garde style.
The Itaca hotel is located in the centre of Córdoba, just 500 meters from Plaza de Colón. It offers spacious, modern rooms with a private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
Soho Boutique Córdoba
Soho Boutique Córdoba has a restaurant, seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and a bar in Córdoba. This 4-star hotel has a 24-hour reception and a concierge service.
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