Córdoba Backpacking Travel Guide

Information on hostels, transportation, cheap food and drinks, sights to see, activities and more.

Search for Córdoba hostels at Hostelworld and budget hotels at Agoda.com

About


Córdoba is a mid-sized city in the center of Andalusia in Spain. Cordoba boasts a remarkable history. It has been the capital of a Roman province, the capital of an Arab State and a Caliphate, as well as city within modern Spain. This history is plain to see in the historic quarter of Córdoba. A beautiful network of small streets, alleys, squares and whitewashed courtyards arranged around the Mezquita and the adjacent Roman bridge.

Hostels


Cordoba Bed and Be

A great hostel in a cute, centrally located Andalusian house. The best option in Cordoba without a doubt. I had a great time meeting new people and discovering the city here. Their rooftop terrace is an awesome spot to have a siesta or a few drinks with some other travellers. Wonderful hostel with exceptional staff.

Backpackers Al-Katre

Loved my stay here as well. The hostel is such a beautiful house with a lovely courtyard, very typical of the region and shows a lot of Islamic influence. Great location right by the Mezquita. It was very clean and quiet and the staff were helpful and friendly. Highly recommend as a back up option if Bed and Be is booked out.

Sights and Highlights


The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

Also know as the Mezquita. A building with a fascinating story. Originally built in 784 by Emir Abd al-Rahman I  on the site of an old church. It was then known as the Grand Mosque of Cordoba. When Córdoba was returned to Christian rule in 1236 during the Reconquista, the building was converted to a Roman Catholic church. A cathedral nave was then built within the walls of the structure during the 16th century. It is this Cathedral, built inside the Grand Mosque of Cordoba that gives it the name it now know by.

Since the early 2000s, Spanish Muslims have lobbied the Roman Catholic Church to allow them to pray in the cathedral but has been rejected by the church authorities in Spain and by the Vatican.

Price of entry is normally 10€, but between 8:30 and 9:30, entry is free. Full details on visiting the Mezquita at catedraldecordoba.es/.

Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba

The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos

The Alcázar of Córdoba, is a medieval Alcázar located next to the Guadalquivir River and near the Grand Mosque. The present day structure dates back to 1328 when Alfonso XI of Castile began building on the site of an old Visigoth fortress. The structure was built after the Reconquista in Córdoba, but appears Islamic since Alfonso used the Mudéjar style. A great example of the lasting influence the Al-Andalus period has had on Spanish architecture. The Inquisition began using the Alcázar as one of its headquarters in 1482, converting much of it, including the Arab baths, into torture and interrogation chambers. The Inquisition maintained a tribunal here for three centuries.

Opening hours vary over the course of the year. Check out andalucia.com/cities/cordoba/alcazar for details. Entrance is 4.5€. Free entry on Wednesdays.

Puente Romano (Cordoba Andalucia)

Roman Bridge of Córdoba

The Roman bridge of Córdoba was originally built in the early 1st century BC across the Guadalquivir river, though it has been reconstructed at various times since. The present structure dates from a Moorish reconstruction in the 8th century. It has 16 arcades, one less than original and a total length of 247 meters. The Roman Bridge was the filming location used for the Long Bridge of Volantis. It is the bridge that Tyrion Lannister pisses off just before he is captured by Ser Jorah Mormont.

The bridge is very picturesque. Take a walk across it to the other side and then look back towards the Mezquita for some great photo opportunities.

Free Walking Tour Cordoba

This group run a bunch of different tours is Cordoba. Their main free tour is run at 10:30am every day of the week. It runs for 2.5 hours and the meeting point is the Plaza de las Tendillas.

To Eat


Bar Santos

This place is famous for its spanish omelette (tortilla española or tortilla de patatas). The reason it gets special mention is because the omelette here is absolutely huge, it resembles a cheese wheel it is so fat. It is customary to order a serving of salmorejo to go with it and perhaps a beer as well. It's a pretty touristy place these days. It gets mentioned in a lot of travel guides these days. If the queue is small it is worth checking out. Located next to the Mezquita.

Delorean

An authentic tapas bar where the dishes come for free when you order a beer. This is the only style of tapas the budget traveller should be eating in Spain. It is cheap and a fantastic way to start of a night out on the town. For only a few euro you can grab a drink and a couple of plates of tapas. Amazing value.

La Abadía

Another great place to some drinks and tapas at a good price. A good variety of tapas that to choose from. Two people can easily drink and eat for 8€.

Casa de Kebab

The beef burgers are really good. Some friends also had a doner kebab and pizza. They make decent falafel have good wifi too.

For Drinking


Cervezas Califa

A great place for craft beer and friendly service to match. This was a nice find after a long day wandering the streets of Cordoba. I tried the Califa IPA and the Moreno, both great. There is a large board on the wall displaying a list of available beer as well as their name, origin, strength and price. A selection of open toasted sandwiches are also available. Just the job for 'mopping up' strong beer. Most of their beers are made in-house. Check out cervezascalifa.com for more details. 
The great thing about an Irish pub is you always know what to expect before you go. This place is a fairly typical Irish pub. Good atmosphere, good beer and competitive price. If you just want a relaxing place to drink without much fanfare than I suggest here.

Transportation


Local

Everything of note in and around Cordoba is very close to the city centre easily walkable.

Getting In and Out

Madrid

You should either take the high-speed train or the regular bus. The train takes less than 2 hours and you can find tickets for under 40€ if you look carefully. The bus company that operates this route is socibus.es. Their website is quite clunky to use. I suggest just turning up to the departure point and buying your ticket directly. The price should be around 20€ and the bus trip is just under 5 hours.

Seville

By far the most convenient way to travel between Cordoba and Seville is by train. The fastest trains make the trip in under 45min and tickets can be found on loco2.com for as low as 20€. If you take one of the slightly slower train, the price will decrease.

You can also take a bus with Alsa, at a cost of 12€ but a journey time of 2hrs. I think the train is the best option.

Granada

You can travel between Granada and Cordoba by train. It takes 2hr 30min and costs about 30€ for a ticket and involves one change. You should not take the train. By far a better option is to take a bus. Alsa makes this trip in 2hr 45min but is much cheaper. Some tickets are as low as 5€. Go to alsa.es/en.

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