Planning a Seville to Cordoba day trip? This guide will show you how to get to Cordoba from Seville, what to do, and how to plan your time.
A day trip to Cordoba from Seville is not only worthwhile but very easy to do on your own.
While I love a good group tour, I usually only join them for day trips when the public transportation is tricky or if I'm trying to string together multiple locations in one day.
While there are plenty of tours to choose from for a Seville to Cordoba day trip, this is one I would recommend doing yourself. It's an easy train ride and you'll be able to spend your day as you wish vs being tied to a group schedule.
Cordoba is my favorite day trip from Seville with its fascinating history and glorious past. While the rest of Europe was in the middle of the dark ages, Cordoba flourished. It was a city with wealth, wisdom, art, and order.
Cordoba, now quite small, was actually the second-largest city in Europe during the tenth century. Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Cordoba is that Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived together peacefully. Cordoba was a city of one culture and three religions.
Culturally, the people dressed in the same fashion, ate the same food, appreciated the same art, and spoke the same language. Yet, in private, practiced different religions.
With the turmoil of today’s world between religions, Cordoba is a city that really gets you thinking. Walking the streets, you can’t help but visualize people of the past, coming from three very different religious backgrounds, yet all living together and adopting the same culture.
If you have extra time in Seville, a day trip to Cordoba is hands down the easiest and most worthwhile.
You'll have enough time to visit the famous Mezquita, the Moorish mosque turned Cathedral, wander the Jewish Quarter, peek into a few picture-perfect patios, take in the views across the Roman bridge, and enjoy a tapas lunch.
Now let’s get into the details of your Seville to Cordoba day trip!
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Where is Cordoba, Spain
Cordoba’s location between Madrid and Seville actually makes for a convenient stop between the two cities. More on that in the next section.
How to get to Cordoba
Seville to Cordoba train
A Seville to Cordoba day trip is simple and fast via a non-stop train service. Travel time is around 40 minutes and tickets can be found for as low as $12 each way if you book in advance.
Cordoba stopover on the way to Madrid
Cordoba is also a convenient stop if you're traveling between Seville and Madrid or vice versa. Cordoba to Madrid is just under 2 hours. Anticipate paying around $45 for Cordoba to Madrid if you book in advance.
If you do a stopover in Cordoba, you'll most likely have to store your bags. There are luggage lockers in the bus station across from the Cordoba train station, but they are often already filled up.
Cordoba Locker is a more reliable option.
Also check out Nannybag. You can pre-book your luggage storage with partner hotels and companies. It will be more expensive than the lockers but offers peace of mind.
It’s a 20-minute walk from the train station to the Mezquita in the city center. The walk is actually quite nice as it’s mostly along a park.
Taxis are available just outside the train and bus station and will cost around €10 to get to the city center. A cheaper option is to take bus #3 and get off at the San Fernando stop and walk about 5 minutes to the Mezquita. Bus tickets are €1.30.
Google Maps works well if you decide to go the public transportation route listing bus numbers and times.
How much time do you need for a day trip to Cordoba from Seville?
The amount of time you need for your Seville to Cordoba day trip depends entirely on what you want to see. Many tourists visit the Mezquita and then head to their next destination.
If you have limited time in Spain and/or this is your first visit to Spain, I would recommend about three hours for a Cordoba day trip from Seville.
This allows enough time to see the Mezquita, snap a few pictures of the Roman bridge, and wander around the surrounding old town a bit.
The Mezquita is a brilliant sight, but if you already have limited time in cities like Seville, Granada, and Madrid, you’re going to want to focus your precious hours in those cities.
If you aren’t on a time crunch and have had your fill of Seville, Madrid, and other popular cities in Spain, then plan on spending the entire day in Cordoba.
Book an early morning Seville to Cordoba train and return after dinner.
This will allow enough time to tour the Mezquita and surrounding old town, wander the Jewish Quarter, enjoy a meal or two, take a walking tour, and visit a few other sights.
Cordoba is also a great place to spend a night if you really want to slow down and enjoy the city empty in the morning and evening when the day trippers are gone.
I chose to spend the night last time I was in Spain and really enjoyed how peaceful it was in the morning and evening.
Getting around Cordoba, Spain
Cordoba is 100% walkable with a compact city center. You can get to pretty much anywhere in 25 minutes or less by foot, including the train station and all the top attractions.
I recommend walking everywhere because the city is beautiful, clean, and well-preserved. In fact, half the fun of a Seville to Cordoba day trip are all the quaint streets on the way to top tourist sights.
Taxis are available outside the train and bus station and are also fairly easy to find at tourist attractions. Cordoba also has a good bus system. Use Google maps if you need to navigate the buses as it shows which bus numbers to take and what stops to get off at.
What to do in Cordoba, Spain
Walking Tour of Cordoba
If you have limited time in Cordoba or just want someone to take the guesswork out of what to visit, consider booking a walking tour. Many of them include the sights below and give insights to the histories and stories behind Cordoba’s past.
This 4 hour tour takes you to the highlights of Cordoba including the Mezquita, Jewish Quarter, Synagogue, and Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos. It’s $45 a person and includes entrance to all the sights.
This 2.5 hour tour focuses on the Mezquita and Jewish Quarter. The $38 ticket includes entrance to the sights.
The first stop on your day trip to Cordoba itinerary should be the Mezquita. If you can’t make it before 11:00 am, visit later in the day, preferably after 3:00 pm, to avoid the worst of the crowds.
The Mezquita, aka the Great Mosque of Cordoba, is without a doubt the highlight of Cordoba. This mosque-turned-cathedral is considered Europe’s best Islamic sight after the Alhambra in neighboring Granada.
I easily spent over an hour just touring the ground floor and walking through the 856 pillars topped with eye-catching red and white double arches.
Take your time to really take in the significance and beauty of the Mezquita. For four centuries Muslims worshiped in and were called to prayer from the Mezquita.
In 1236 the mosque was converted into a catholic cathedral after Cordoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III.
Don’t leave without touring the outside courtyard, Patio de los Naranjos, filled with palm, cypress, and orange trees. If you want spectacular views of the city, climb the bell tower!
Buy your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line. General admission tickets are €13 (€16 if you want to include a climb up the bell tower). Night visits are €20 if you want something a little different. Varying discounts are offered for students, disabled, local residents, children, and individuals over 65.
Consider a “skip the line” tour if you want to dive deep into the history of the Mezquita. This 75 minute tour is $28 (includes entrance fee) and absolutely worth it for everything you learn as well as the perk of being able to skip the line.
Walk across the pedestrian bridge to get postcard-perfect views of Cordoba.
Historic Center and Jewish Quarter
The area surrounding the Mezquita is known as the historic center of Cordoba. Wander this area and continue northwest to enter the Jewish Quarter. Both neighborhoods are small and filled with narrow picturesque streets.
The most popular and probably the most photographed street is Calleja de las Flores. Here you will find whitewashed buildings and balconies filled with flowers.
Neighboring the Jewish Quarter is the San Bastilio neighborhood, most famous for having some of the best flower-filled patios and courtyards during the Feria de los Patios, the patio contest of Cordoba in May.
If you see a private courtyard or patio closed by only an iron gate, don't be afraid to take a peek. The residents leave the main wooden door open and have the iron gate closed to allow others to admire their patio.
You will also find the Alcazar de los Reyes Christianos in this neighborhood. While the gardens are beautiful and worth a visit if you have time to spare during your Seville to Cordoba day trip, I personally think this sight is skippable. Especially if you visited the Alcazar in Seville.
Plaza de las Tendillas (new town)
To give yourself a complete look into Cordoba, Spain visit the modern part of the city starting with Plaza de las Tendillas.
This grand square is a nice contrast to the historic city center and the perfect spot to get your shopping fix.
Walk down Calle Conde de Gondomar and Calle Jose Cruz Conde to find popular stores like Zara and Massimo Dutti.
Try The Golden Stack for a coffee/snack break.
This neighborhood is a great spot for tapas and where you will find a lot of locals dining and hanging out.
La Cuarta offers beautifully presented dishes like tuna tartar and grilled octopus. Taberna Los Berengueles is the perfect option for Andalusian fare in an old palace. Salinas serves traditional Cordoba cuisine in a rustic atmosphere.
Stop by Plaza de la Corredera, a historic square similar to Plaza Mayor in Madrid, and filled with restaurants and bars.
These are all the must-visit sights in Cordoba, Spain and I’m sure you’ll discover a few favorites of your own.
Seville to Cordoba via train makes for an incredibly easy and worthwhile day trip. Whether you're here for just a few hours to see the famous Mezquita, or you have an entire day to wander the varying neighborhoods, I’m sure you'll leave feeling glad you visited this historic and charming city.