Abundant courtyards, flowers dripping from balconies and narrow, winding streets make Córdoba a captivating and unhurried city. Perched on the south bank of the Río Guadalquivir, it was once the largest city in Western Europe and for three centuries the hub of the Moorish Empire, capital of the mighty Umayyad Caliphate and rivalled only by Baghdad and Cairo. Córdoba remembers that heyday with amazingly well-preserved monuments of Roman, Jewish, Islamic, and Catholic origin, each accentuating the other in their baffing proximity. Only in Toledo are the remnants of Spain’s colourful heritage as visibly intermixed. The judería is one of Spain’s oldest Jewish quarters, containing one of the few synagogues in the Iberian Peninsula, and the 14th century Palacio del Marqués de Viana anticipates Spain’s Golden Age by three centuries. Spectacular scenery, hearty locals and refreshing fountains charms visitors with the grace of a Cordoban flamenco dancer.
Cordoba is split between two parts: the old city and the new. The modern and commercial northern half extends from the train station on Av. De America down to Plaza de las Tendillas, the center of the city. The old section in the south is a medieval maze known as the judería. This tangle of beautiful and disorienting streets extends from Pl. de las Tendillas to the banks of the Río guadalquivir , winding past the Mezquita and Alcazar. The easiest way to reach the old city from the train station or the bus station is to take city bus 3 to Plaza Campo Santo de los Mártires (0-80€). Overly concerned locals may encourage you to get off near Pl. Potro since the bus seemingly heads in the opposite direction but hang on to your backpack and your seat- the 3 will make a loop and return along the river to the old city. Alternatively, the walk is about 20min. From the train station, with your back to the platforms, exit left, cross the parking plaza, and make a right onto Av. De los Mozárabes. When you reach the Roman columns, turn left and cross Gta. Sargentos Provisionales. Make a right on Po. De la Victoria and veer toward the left until you reach Puerto Almodóvar; you are now in the old city.