If you are contemplating where to stay in Cordoba (Spain), the first thing you should know is that this is not a very large city; all the prettiest areas in Cordoba are not far from each other, and you will be able to visit all of them in just a few days.
There is a lot more to tourism in Spain than Madrid, Barcelona, Ibiza, and the Costa del Sol. The Andalusia region of southern Spain offers travelers culture, history, adventure, and some of the most incredible sightseeing in the world.
The entire city of Cordoba has been declared UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984, and this is a particular point of pride for local residents who strive to keep their beloved city looking like a postcard come alive. The city is well known for its amazing Mosque – Cathedral.
To give you an idea of just how pretty neighborhoods in Cordoba are, take a moment to think about the following: each May, the city organizes a contest between homeowners who dress up their roof patios, high windows, courtyards, and balconies.
These outdoor spaces are open to the public, and they are decorated with vines, flowers, fountains, decorative tiles, statues, mosaics, sculptures, and more. Competition for the grand prize of €1,000 euros is fierce, and it is not uncommon to see city council members ask tourists who stay in Cordoba for their opinion on the best looking patios.
When you visit Cordoba, you will be staying in a historical city where you can enjoy amazing architecture dating back to the Roman, medieval, and Moorish periods. It should be noted that while many regions across Europe languished during the Middle Ages, Cordoba thrived as a caliphate that rivaled the city planning of Damascus and Constantinople.
Even though public transportation is highly efficient, you will be able to get around on foot, and tourists with disabilities will find the city to be very accessible and the people to be extremely accommodating. Once you choose to stay in Cordoba, you will be able to enjoy culture, ecotourism, delicious cuisine, shopping, family entertainment, and a vibrant nightlife.
As you travel between the main areas in Cordoba, you will come to realize that local residents are experts in the lost art of truly enjoying life. Flamenco culture is strong across the Andalusian region, but it is particularly pronounced in Cordoba.
Since this city has always been an important trading center of the Iberian Peninsula, you can find many charming shops stocked with souvenirs, crafts, novelties, and other interesting items. Best of all, many seasoned travelers who stay in Cordoba often remark that this is one of the most affordable vacation spots in Spain.
Where to stay in Cordoba: Best areas to stay in Cordoba
With all the above in mind, here’s a quick overview of the main tourism neighborhoods in Cordoba where you will certainly enjoy your stay:
1. Juderia – The Jewish Quarter
One of the reasons Cordoba has enjoyed UNESCO World Heritage Site status for many decades is that this is a city that makes a significant effort in highlighting its long history of religious tolerance. The Juderia is where the Jewish community settled in Cordoba from the 10th to the 15th centuries, and they peacefully coexisted along with their Christian and Muslim neighbors.
The Jewish Quarter is located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River and is the most charming spot of the city. If you really want to experience Cordoba, this is where you want to stay because getting lost in the labyrinthine streets of Juderia is pure magic.
The best part about staying in the Jewish Quarter is being able to step out of your hotel, which will very likely be a historic building or a boutique lodge, and walk to the Mezquita, the Mosque-Cathedral of the city.
Another must-visit attraction is the Alcázar, the Castle of the Christian Monarchy, the Historic Center, and many synagogues. This is one of the best areas in Cordoba if you are into religious history or architectural sightseeing.
Since the Jewish Quarter attracts many visitors, the area is filled with tapas bars, restaurants, pubs, and cafes. There are more than 100 hotels in this part of the city, but only a handful are for backpackers or budget travelers. As one of the most refined neighborhoods in Cordoba, you should expect to pay a little more when you stay here.
2. Modern Center (Downtown – Tendillas and Corredera Square)
Located just a few blocks north of the aforementioned Jewish Quarter, the new Downtown Cordoba district offers everything you can expect from a modern Spanish city. The main tourism hub is known as Plaza Tendillas, a very nice city square that was recently renovated to upgrade its elegant European architectural style of the 1920s.
If you are planning to stay in Cordoba for more than just a few days, this district is where you can find long-term apartment rentals. The neighborhood streets are sleek, modern and incredibly clean.
Shopping is highly recommended in this district, and there are numerous sidewalk cafes, restaurants and nightclubs to enjoy. In recent years, a small craft beer scene has emerged in Cordoba, and this is where you can sample local brews while enjoying sunny afternoons.
3. Vial Norte
As its name suggests, Vial Norte is a northern sector of Cordoba, and it features a mix of residential, commercial and tourism activities.
Unlike the Jewish Quarter and the Historic Center, the hotels in Vial Norte are modern, functional and more likely to offer continental breakfast; they also happen to be reasonably priced and tend to attract smart travelers as well as Spanish language students who need to stay in Cordoba a little longer. A few backpacker hostels in this neighborhood are very affordable.
Vial Norte is one of the best areas in Cordoba for families. This district has a few city parks, botanical gardens and small historic castles to visit. Traveling to the major historic attractions in the Jewish Quarter takes about 25 minutes on foot, but a few public buses run from the morning to the evening.
4. Cordoba Train Station
Travelers on the go will enjoy staying near the AVE RENFE train station, which offers connections to regions across Spain and Europe. This district of Cordoba offers budget inns, bed & breakfast accommodations, long-term efficiency apartments, and a few backpacker hostels.
For the most part, the lodging options near the Cordoba Train Station are modest and very affordable with the exception of a couple of international chains.
In recent years, travelers who visit Cordoba with the intention of acquiring real estate have made this neighborhood their home away from home. Even though this is a residential district, a few attractions are within walking distance, and they include a Roman mausoleum, the Merced Palace, and the Malmuerta Tower, which was part of a medieval fortress.