2-day itinerary in Cordoba and Granada

As I mentioned before, we were in Spain and Portugal in early December. After four intense days in Barcelona – you can click here to check our itinerary there – we leave for the south of Spain, where we met my sister and my brother-in-law (they live in Paris). Our trip included the cities of Cordoba, Granada, and Seville and, on today’s post, I will tell you what we did in the first two cities. My sister already had this trip planned. I confess: I did not participate in much of the planning of this part of the trip.

We traveled from Barcelona to Seville by plane. We researched domestic flights through Google Flights and bought tickets with Vueling. It is a low-cost company – you pay to choose seats, pay to check luggage … We chose to buy checked baggage (hand luggage and a personal item were included). The check-in fast, as was the boarding. The flight to Seville is about an hour and a half. From there, we took the car that my sister had already rented – by Avis – and took the road towards Cordoba. The road is great and very well signposted. We slept in Cordoba and spent the next day exploring the city. We rent an apartment by AirbnbIf you have never used Airbnb, click here and earn $ 40 in credits. It was not very easy to find a place to park because the streets are narrow and the city was crowded due to the Spanish holidays. I arranged a time with the host and he was waiting for us. The apartment was great – super spacious with two bedrooms and he also provided us some food. The only problem was the hot water – I was the first to bathe and before I was finished, the water was already cold. Thiago took a shower and the water was almost cold. That evening, we had dinner in a restaurant next to the apartment, the Sociedad Plateros María Auxiliadora. We ordered tapas – including a typical southern dish from Spain, fried eggplant with honey. A delight!

The next day, we woke up very early, packed our bags in the car, and set off for our first stop in Cordoba – the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. To enter, you need to buy a ticket, which costs €10. The places date back to the 10th century, when the city reached its apogee, under the rule of the Emir Abd ar-Rahman III, one of the greatest rulers of Islamic history. At that time, Cordoba was the most prosperous city in Europe, overshadowing the Byzantine Empire and Baghdad in science, culture, and the arts. When Córdoba was reconquered in 1236, the mosque was converted into a Christian cathedral. This has made it a melting pot of Islamic and Christian culture. The structure is huge and it is very interesting to observe the Christian elements inside a mosque. We spent a lot of time there and then we went out for breakfast. We chose Los Patios de la Marquesa, a food court with several options. We ordered coffee, hot chocolate, and the pastel cordobês, which is more like a tart.

After we ate, we walked out and explored the area around the Mesquita, which is full of narrow streets, super cute. It’s like a maze, hehe. One of the highlights is the Calleta de Las Flores, a narrow street full of hanging flower vases, very cute. Through the streets, you will find a multitude of restaurants and shops of the most diverse segments. And it is where La Casa Andalusí is located. It is like a museum – the place was restored by the architect Arturo Ramírez Laguna, recovering part of the legacy of the past generations. The decoration is Moroccan inspired and is full of interesting details. We paid €4 to enter. Our last stop in Cordoba was the Roman Bridge of Cordoba. This bridge, which is a pedestrians one, was, for 2,000 years, the only bridge in the city. It was also featured in Game of Thrones! Oh, we also tried to visit the Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos, also known as Alcázar de Córdoba. It is a medieval fortress located next to the Mosque. However, we stayed in the line for a long time and the place was closing.

We took the car – which was in a parking lot near the Mosque – and followed our trip towards Cúllar Vega, a city very close to Granada. Our goal in Granada was only one: to visit Alhambra. Due to the holiday, we did not find Airbnb places in the city and we rent a room in Cúllar Vega. The experience was awful. Luckily, it was only one night with no heating, and, again, we had problems with hot water. The next day, we left early for Alhambra. This place was a palace and fortress, which housed the monarch of the Nasrid Dynasty and the court of the Kingdom of Granada. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Spain, which receives 8 thousand people every day. Inside, the place displays elements of Islamic architecture in the country along with Christian structures from the 16th century.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t participate in the planning of this in southern Spain. My sister wanted to visit Granada because she and my brother-in-law really wanted to visit Alhambra. I had no idea what the place was – and, I confess, I did not even research because I had no time, I was focused on producing content for my blog before the trip. When we tried to buy the tickets through the official website –  €14 per person – they were already sold out. I believe this was due to the fact that it was a holiday and it is a very famous attraction – but I’ll leave a tip to you: if you are planning to visit the Alhambra, buy it as soon as possible. My sister researched some alternatives until discovering the guided tour from GranaVisión, which included the tickets and a guided tour of the place for €59 per person. Yes, it is expensive, but it was this or nothing because we only had one day in the city. Thiago and I took the tour in Spanish and my sister and brother-in-law did in English. The GranaVisión’s office, the meeting point, is close to the Alhambra. Our experience was great: we learned a lot from the guide and he was very patient. It was a three-hour tour. My sister did not have the same experience – according to her, the guide did everything in a hurry.

Regardless of positive or negative experiences, I must say: Alhambra is incredible. The place is huge and both the palaces and the gardens are wonderful. The view of the city is also breathtaking. Not to mention what we have learned. We ended our day happy and of course, tired! If you are planning to visit Alhambra, wear comfortable shoes and get ready to walk a lot. And arrive early when the place is empty. If you buy the tickets through the website, do not forget to download the official app, which has as an audio guide. It is much more interesting to visit the place listening to the curiosities and understanding better.

After the visit, we went to the city and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant before taking the road back to Seville, where we returned the car to the airport and stayed for two more days. But that’s a topic for another post.

I hope you have enjoyed the tips of Cordoba and Granada!


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