Córdoba isn’t always the first place people think of when visiting Spain, but I can assure you that experiencing Córdoba with kids will be fun. It is full of history right at your fingertips and below your feet. This city has an amazing past with various religions, which all still meld together nicely. You will see remnants from Arabic, Jewish and Catholic, with a mix of Roman ruins in there as well.
Most don’t know it, but in 1000 A.D., Córdoba was the biggest city in Europe! Between 500,000 and 1 million people lived there, and it was the capital of the Moors. At the time, it was a sophisticated city with advanced learning, famous doctors, and a relatively educated population.
While its population is now approximately 330,000, it’s lost none of its allure as a fantastic place to visit. So if you are visiting, Seville, Malaga, or Granada, do make the effort to take a day trip to Córdoba.
Activity 1: Become Mesmerized at the Mezquita / Cordoba Cathedral
The absolute must-see place in Córdoba is the Mezquita Cathedral (The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba). In its day, it was the most important mosque of the western Islamic world. The mosque was built on top of a Visigothic church, and started in 785 A.D. It took about two hundred years to finish the mosque, and when it was completed, it was the second biggest mosque in the world. Once the Spanish reconquered Córdoba in 1236, the mosque was “converted” to a cathedral. So you will see a nice mix of both, as you walk through. Click here for Visitor Information.
TIP: The Mezquita is free from the hours of 8:30 – 9:30 (except on Sundays/Holidays). After that it’s 8 Euros for adults and 4 Euros for children. It’s a great way to start your day trip, and it’s neat to watch them open the large doors first thing.
Activity 2: Walk the Roman Bridge (Puente Romano)
As you can imagine, the Roman Bridge was built by the Romans during the reign of Augustus and crosses the over the Guadalquivir River. Along its banks you can see the Albolafia Water Mill. The wheel is no longer operational, but it must have been a great site to see when it was running.
On the far side of the bridge, you’ll see the Calahorra Tower [Torre de la Calahorra]. Inside is a museum which collects, preserves, and exhibits artifacts and documents of multicultural Córdoba. The bridge is currently for pedestrians only, but you’ll see kids running around or on bikes, as well as joggers crossing at all hours of the day. It also provides beautiful views of the city when you are on the far side of the bridge.
Activity 3: Let the Kids Run at Corredera Square (Plaza de la Corredera)
No trip to a Spanish town would be complete without a visit to a local square or plaza. The Corredera Square is massive, and contains some nice restaurants and coffee shops. Besides the people watching, you’ll find the local municipal market, Sánchez Peña Market. Here you will feel the buzz of local life and happen upon some pretty interesting food items. The square is a great place to grab a bite to eat, have a drink, soak up some Spanish sun, and let the kids run around.
Activity 4: Meander the Historic Cobbled Streets
No matter what schedule activities you decided to do, make sure you take the time to just meander the pedestrian streets of old town of Córdoba and allow yourself to “get lost”. You never know what you’ll happen upon, perhaps the street of flowers (Calle de las Flores). It is so much fun to just make a turn down a little road, just because it looks interesting. The kids absolutely love to discover what may be around the next turn.
The town is small enough, so you will end up on a main road soon enough and figure out where you are. It is also fun to roam around the Jewish quarters as well. You can walk through the Almodovar Gate, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Like the rest of Old Town, it is filled with narrow streets, many different types of shops, and be on the lookout for the frequent ornate patios. On Calle Judios, you will find the only conserved synagogue in Andalusia.
1 Great Place to Stay: Apartamentos Alberca
With so much to offer, it’s hard not to fall in love with Córdoba, and it’s one of those cities that you’ll want to visit again. If you want a little extra space and great service, you may like a stay with Apartamentos Alberca. It is centrally located and you are treated as if you are part of the family. Many of the suites are more like small apartments, in a Moorish Riad style family home. Click here for a more detailed review of the property.
1 Great Place to Eat: Join the Locals For A Meal at Taberna Luque
This is a very simple, clean and cozy place to eat in the center of town. There is nothing fancy about it, but you will love the traditional food. It is traditional There are only about 20 seats, so plan your timing wisely. Taberna Luque is located on Calle Blanco Belmonte 4, 14003 Cordoba, Spain. They have a Facebook Page as well.