We arrived in Cordoba in the sleepy summer siesta time. Nobody was in the streets and none of the shops were open, but we were used to this quiet feeling by now and knew the city would come alive again later in the evening. We checked into BedAndBe Córdoba Hostel which I would absolutely recommend to any solo travellers. They offer free Sangria on the rooftop gardens in the evenings (an excellent way to bond with fellow travellers) and the entire atmosphere is friendly and peaceful. Allow a couple of nights to really get to know this city. Here are a few recommendations:
This mosque switched hands from the Catholic religion (c. 600 AD) to Islam (784 – 1236) and back to Catholicism throughout the centuries to create an unusually striking and harmonious fusion of religions and architecture. The vast Moorish building is held up by 850 columns, with several large spaces designed for Catholic worship, which is the religion practiced there today. It is open to the public free of charge between 8.30-9.30am (except Sundays) and normal ticket entrance costs 8 euros. Allow an hour to absorb this impressive building.
Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos is a medieval castle located in the historic centre. You can climb to the top of this fortress for amazing views of city and surrounding gardens. Later, explore inside the castle, take a look at the Roman baths and allow plenty of time to stroll around the colourful gardens full of fountains.
The Calleja de Las Flores
Cordoba is famous for Calleja de las Flores, a street lined with beautiful flowers. Unfortunately, I discovered this interesting fact after leaving Cordoba, but we still managed to wander through some very pretty streets with beautiful flowery balconies. It is always good to have a reason to go back! Anyway, I suggest you don’t miss it!
The Roman Bridge
As you walk further towards the river, you will come to the Roman Bridge. The most magical time to experience the bridge is on sunset, when you will see pastel hues in the sky. We were lucky to come across this group of Spanish buskers, who played well into the night.
Salmoreja is the cold soup of Cordoba. It is not unlike gazpacho, but mixed with cream and topped with boiled egg and bacon. I can imagine it would make a delicious breakfast on a hot Summer’s morning! However, it is equally as tasty with a glass of wine on a balmy evening. Of course, if you prefer, you could order little pieces of salty Jamon (cured meat) in a cone, or feast on cheese and olives on a balcony!
La Flor de Levante Icecream
This homemade ice-cream is sold in the main town square and is absolutely delicious and perfect for the heat of Summer. I would personally recommend combining the mandarin and mango flavours. If you hang around the town square until the hour, you will be able to hear the unique bell tower striking a Spanish guitar tune!
Have you been to Cordoba? What were your favourite parts?