Madrid to Cordoba
The journey from Madrid to Cordoba in Andalucia is easy by train from Madrid Atocha Station. Cordoba Station enjoys frequent high-speed links with the Spanish capital. There are around 20 daily direct high-speed AVE services from Madrid to Cordoba. The Andalucian city is one of the key stops on the busy Madrid to Seville Santa Justa line. Despite being 400kms between the city, the journey takes only 1 hour and 50 minutes! Cordoba Station is walking distance to the city centre. So you’ll find yourself in the heart of the city in no time after arriving!
For more information on taking the high-speed AVE service from Madrid, see our guide to departing on the AVE from Madrid Atocha Station. But if you’d rather drive from Madrid to Cordoba with the convenience of your own car, see our Madrid Atocha car rental guides. Many car hire suppliers also offer one-way rentals within Spain. There is usually a surcharge for this service. But it’s worth considering if you’d rather start and finish your trip in a different location.
Best in Cordoba Travel
With so many standout places to visit in Andalucia in southern Spain, Cordoba can feel a little off-the-beaten-track. But it’s a charming city that is definitely worth making the trip for. Situated about 140kms east of Seville, it has the same river (Guadalquivir River) running through the southern part of the city. Many of the attractions are north of the river. However, you can enjoy some of the best views of the city on the south of the river and the Roman Bridge. There are also a number of great restaurants located on the riverside here that make the most of the views.
The spectacular Mezquita, which used to be a mosque and is now a cathedral, lies to the north of the same bridge. Despite the change to a cathedral in the 16th century, you can still enjoy the original Islamic features. The main architectural change is the addition of a cathedral at the centre of it. In addition to the Mezquita, other highlights in the city include the Jewish and Muslim quarters. They lie north of the Mezquita.
A feature of Cordoba architecture is that many of the buildings have central patios. As well as providing shade from the hot summer sun, locals decorate their patios with planters full of colourful flowers. There’s even an annual patios contest and festival run by the local council. It’s the only time many of the patios across the city are opened to the public. The ‘Patios Festival’ is part of several celebrations that take place in May. There is als the ‘Battle of the Flowers’ and the ‘May Crosses Festival’. They all involve a competition so we can only assume Cordoba has a competitive streak!
Best beyond Cordoba
Beyond Cordoba, unless you’re visiting other major cities in the region like Seville and Malaga, you’re better off having a car. By train, you can reach each city in under an hour. A car is more convenient to explore the more mountainous areas of Andalucia. This is also where you’ll find many of the ‘Pueblos Blancos’ (white villages) the region is famous for. Picture-perfect ‘Pueblos Blancos’ around Cordoba include Zuheros, Luque and Iznajar.