If you came to Andalusia for a longer time and Seville has ‘tired’ you a bit, Cordoba is definitely a good place for a one-day trip. Reachable by a 45-minute train ride, it is an ideal location for a getaway while Seville still stays your sleeping base. Let’s be honest there is nothing worse while traveling with family than constantly unpacking and packing suitcases.
Those who were and visited Cordoba would surely call it white and blue city full of flowers and beautiful patios, where ‘prying eyes’ want to look in to admire them. However, for us it was an extraordinary place where we could feel the spirit of the past.
I spent hours reading about this city. I was really looking forward to seeing the most beautiful and picturesque patios, full of blue pots and flowers, but it was quite a big disappointment. Visiting Andalusia at the end of November, we completely did not consider that the patios would be closed due to the time of year.
When we arrived in Cordoba around 9:30am it was still very cold, in this situation I regretted that I did not bring my down jacket with me (hindsight is 20/20!). When we walked through the Jewish quarter, the city was still deserted, no living soul around. Before entering the Mezquita, we decided to have a quick second breakfast and coffee in one of the traditional cafes opposite the mosque. WHAT TO SEE?
A beautiful Mezquita full of columns and arcades painted in white and red stripes which make an amazing impression. Due to the size of the cathedral the tourist feels really tiny. The decorating and details on the vaults and walls made even my kids fascinated with this place (to the extent that the younger decided to skip her morning nap!). It is a place where children will want to play ‘hide & seek’ behind the columns. It would make them like in an Aladdin’s tale or a bit like in Shimmer and Shine Palace. Puente Romano
After leaving the Mezquita, take a walk versus Roman Bridge. It will take you straight to Torre de La Calahora. You can see a spectacular view of the city from this watchtower. At this point, we decided to choose a different path. After the bridge, on the left hand side, there is one of the coolest playgrounds we saw in Andalusia, in the shape of a pirate ship. It was a perfect combination for the parent to sit down and enjoy the beautiful views of the city and for the kids (and for the husband in our case) to go wild. Get lost in the alleys of the Jewish quarter
The heart of the city is the old Jewish quarter called Juderia, literally a network of narrow and cobbled streets. I think driving a car here can be counted as an amazing feat of a good racer. In this part of the Cordoba, you enjoy just walking around without a rush. Just being charmed by every corner of this place. Do not miss the most popular street Calleja de las Flores, a very narrow white street filled with flowers, where the Mezquita’s tower above the buildings is the postcard icon of this city. Patios
The typical architecture of Andalusia is the houses built around the central patios, which bring a refreshment on hot days. In May the patios of Córdoba are the main attraction of Andalusian aesthetics. During the Festival of Patios (Fiesta de los Patios de Córdoba) they burst into bloom to compete for the title of the most beautiful patio in the city. If you have a weakness for such yards, you can find various routes here: http://patios.cordoba.es/en/patios. One of the most popular is the one starting at Calle D San Basilio. WHERE TO EAT
Campo de Toro – wonderful atmosphere, beautiful traditional interior, and food is like little drops of heaven. You should not be disappointed. In addition, a baby chair for our younger child, which was a rarity in Andalusian restaurants.
Bodegas Mezquita Céspedes – after searching the internet, supposedly one of the most family-friendly restaurants; delicious dishes of traditional Andalusian cuisine and excellent value for money.
Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos – This palace is really more of a fortress and you can’t compare it to the Real Alcazar in Seville. After entering the castle, you can walk up to the Tower of Lions (Torre de los Leones). For families with small children it can be a challenge due to the climb, but if you are able to swap with your husband/partner to look after children, the view is worth it.
Plaza de la Corredera – A huge seventeenth century square, in the past it was used for bullfights or public executions. Currently, under the arcades you will find bars, antique stores or market which is ideal for discovering local products.
Palacio de Viana – This 17th-century palace is one of the most magnificent aristocratic houses in Cordoba. Known as well under another name of the Museum of Patios, it contains 12 internal patios, each worth visiting.
La Ciudad de los Ninos – It is an open playground with slides, castles, mini golf, music paths, water attractions and zips. A great place for children with attractions dedicated to different age groups (up to 12 years). You can also find a cafe and picnic tables.
Cordoba Zoo – A small zoo, easy to get around, especially if you need attraction for a few hours and your kids are tired of walking around the old town. Plus, the location is right next to the La Ciudad de los Ninos playground.
Aquasierra Water Park – Villafranca de Córdoba (30km from Cordoba) – At Aquasierra you will find water attractions for the whole family. It is a park full of various shape and height slides, a little adrenaline for adults and small children. www.aquasierra.es