The area is popular with mature middlemarket visitors drawn by the resort's history, architecture and archaeological remains. A younger student population swells visitor ranks during holidays. Many Spanish tourists as well as N Europeans and, increasingly, Japanese tour groups.
Accommodation offers mainly middlemarket options, none above 4-stars; very few self-catering choices. Wide choice of pensions, B&Bs and medium-sized hotels in the old town. Some larger, business-orientated properties beyond the city walls.
Shopping options are varied with small souvenir shops in the cobbled streets and alleys of the old Jewish Quarter and around the mosque/cathedral. Modern shops and department stores centred on Avenida Ronda de los Tejares and Bulevar del Gran Capitan. Markets in Plaza Corredera (daily except Sun) and Gran Via Parque (Tues and Fri). Leather goods and ceramics are popular buys; local artisans produce fine silver filigree, paintings and wood carvings, with merchandise often available direct from workshops.
Popular activities here include sightseeing and walking tours around the cobbled streets of the Jewish Quarter; mosque/cathedral; Fortress of the Christian Kings; Roman walls and temples; synagogue (only one in Andalucia); 10th-century Caliphate Baths; 14th-century Viana Palace; museums including Bullfighting Museum (with 19th-century posters), Diocesan Museum (important ecclesiastical works, paintings and sculpture from the 13th to 18th centuries), Archaeological Museum and Fine Arts Museum; balloon flights; horse-drawn carriage rides; zoo; botanical gardens. By night there are lively pubs and clubs in the Jewish Quarter; a few discos near the bullring; flamenco shows; concerts, opera and plays in Gran Teatro.
Gastronomy offers a wide variety of simple cafes and tapas bars serving traditional Spanish dishes, seafood and chicken; charming courtyard tavernas and restaurants serving local recipes including Cordovan pie (puff pastry with candied pumpkin peel and almonds). A few fast-food options exist on the more residential outskirts of town. Most hotel restaurants offer international-style menus. Local beer and wines are good value.
Local excursions consist of full day drives into the surrounding countryside, including national parks in the Sierra Morena foothills, hermitages and the ruins of lavish Villa Azahara; fortress towns in the farmland to the S; dam at Iznajar (good for water sports); Seville. Two days: Madrid.
Cordoba - The Mezquita
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