Things to do in Cordoba

Experience The Magic Of Alcazar Cordoba: A Complete Guide

Last Updated:

The Alcázar of Córdoba is also known as the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos which translates to Castle of the Christian Monarchs. It is a historic fortress and palace complex located in the city of Córdoba, Spain. It holds immense historical and architectural significance and is one of the most important landmarks in the region.

The origins of the Alcázar date back to the 8th century when it was built as a residence for the Caliphs of Córdoba during the period of Moorish rule in Spain. The current structure mainly showcases the additions and renovations done by the Christian Monarchs in the 14th century when it served as the royal residence for Isabella I and Ferdinand II, who played a crucial role in the unification of Spain and the end of the Moorish rule.

The Alcázar is known for its architectural style that combines elements of Moorish, Gothic, and Renaissance influences. The Alcázar of Córdoba is historically important for its role in the Spanish Inquisition and the exploration of the New World. Today, the Alcázar of Córdoba stands as a popular tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering visitors a chance to explore the rich history and culture of Cordoba.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide

Alcazar Cordoba - In A Nutshell

Handy information

⏰ Suggested Duration:2 hours
☀️ Best Time to Visit:Early morning or late afternoon
💜 Closest Bus Stop:Cruce Medina Azahara
🚇 Closest Station Cordoba-Central


The Tower of Inquisition
The Homage Tower or Keep
The Tower of the Dove
The Royal Baths
Mosaics Hall

Things to know

Constructed in: 1328
Location: Cordoba, Spain
Built By: Castilian King Alfonso XI

Opening Hours And Address

Weekdays: 8:30 am to 8:45 pm
Saturdays: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

On Mondays, the Alcazar is closed.

Address: Pl. Campo Santo de los Mártires, s/n, 14004 Córdoba, Spain
Get Directions

Why Is Alcazar Cordoba Worth Visiting?

  • Alcazar Cordoba has a rich history that spans centuries, from its caliphate origins to its role as a palace-fortress during the Moorish occupation. It offers a captivating journey through time.
  • The castle features a mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Mudéjar architectural styles, with impressive towers, grand halls, and courtyards that showcase stunning designs.
  • The city had cultural significance as the residence of the Catholic Monarchs and played a role in campaigns against the Moors and witnessed the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition.
  • Explore a one-of-a-kind Moorish bathhouse and experience the intriguing bathing rituals, while also appreciating the architectural and cultural significance of this exceptional landmark.
  • The Alcazar Cordoba is conveniently located near the Guadalquivir River and Mosque-Cathedral, providing easy access to explore the historic center of the city.

Alcazar Cordoba Tickets

You have the option to choose between a ‘Skip the Line Guided Tour of Alcazar’, ‘Jewish Quarter & Alcázar with a Guided Tour’, or a ‘Guided Tour Of the Authentic Patios of Cordoba’.

Alcazar Cordoba History

The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, also known as the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs, is a palace-fortress in Cordoba, Spain. Originally built as a caliphate residence in the 8th century, it has undergone various transformations throughout history. The Alcazar served as a residence for Roman governors, a Visigoth fortress, and a palace fortress during the Muslim Moorish occupation.

After the Christian conquest in 1236, it was rebuilt by King Alfonso XI in 1328 on the remains of the old Caliphate Palace. Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, renowned as the Catholic Monarchs, played a significant role in the history of Spain. Their reign marked the unification of the country and they were notable patrons of Christopher Columbus, supporting his groundbreaking voyages to the New World. As part of their royal residences, the Alcazar held a special place. It served as a strategic base for their campaigns against the Moors in Granada, showcasing their determination to reclaim the Iberian Peninsula from Muslim rule.

However, the historical significance of the Alcazar extends beyond their military endeavors. It was also the site where Isabella and Ferdinand established the Spanish Inquisition in 1478. This institution played a controversial role in the religious and political landscape of Spain during that time. Today, the Alcazar stands as a testament to the reign of the Catholic Monarchs and offers visitors a glimpse into the rich and complex history of Spain.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide

Alcazar Cordoba Architecture

The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos in Cordoba, Spain, is known for its captivating architecture. The castle has Gothic, Renaissance, and Mudéjar architectural styles, including towers, walls, and a moat. The gardens are extensive and well-maintained and filled with colorful flowers, fountains, and mosaics. The charm of this place is enhanced by the nearby Guadalquivir River and the Mosque-Cathedral.

Top Highlights Of Alcazar Cordoba

1The Mosaics Hall

This magnificent hall features Roman mosaics from the 2nd and 3rd centuries that were discovered during construction work in the remodeling of Corredera Square. These intricate mosaics showcase the artistic and architectural prowess of the Roman era and provide a fascinating glimpse into the past.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide

2The Gardens

The gardens of the Alcázar are known for their stunning beauty. Designed in the Mudéjar style, the gardens feature fragrant flowers, beautiful fountains, and a serene ambiance that creates a peaceful atmosphere, inviting visitors to explore and appreciate the beauty.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide

3 The Castle

The Alcázar includes a fortified castle area with imposing walls, towers, and battlements. This defensive structure reflects its historical significance as a stronghold during different periods of Córdoba's history.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide

4The Lion Tower

The oldest tower in Alcázar, the Lion Tower features a quadrangular floor-plan and Almohad-style border. With two floors, balconies, and battlements, it is located in the northwest corner and derives its name from the stone lions at its entrance. Climb up to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the Alcázar and Córdoba.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide

5The Tower of the Inquisition

The Tower of the Inquisition in the Alcázar of Córdoba played a vital role during the Spanish Inquisition. It served as a site where accused individuals faced interrogation, torture, and imprisonment due to heresy or religious dissent. The tower stands as a haunting reminder of the oppression, religious intolerance, and profound human suffering that transpired within its walls.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide

6The Homage Tower or Keep

The tallest tower in the Alcázar, it symbolizes the defensive nature of the fortress. It once served as the opulent residence of the Christian Monarchs, offering a captivating glimpse into their living quarters. With an octagonal shape and a square floor plan of 4,000 square meters, the tower is taller than it is wide making it the most imposing of all the towers. The castle was designed to bring European Gothic architecture to the town and has a sober character in its exterior but it is splendid in its interior. Interestingly, during the Spanish Inquisition, the Homage Tower was repurposed as a prison, adding a darker chapter to its history.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide

7The Tower of the Dove

The structure in the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos was demolished in the mid-19th century. The reconstruction of today replicates the original square shape, dating back to the second half of the 20th century. The Tower of the Dove was used as an entrance to the palace and also helped with water distribution. The tower, despite being the smallest, is inaccessible to visitors as the original was destroyed and the current one cannot be climbed.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide

8The Royal Baths

Step into the Royal Bath in Córdoba where one can enjoy the unique experience of enjoying a royal bath. This structure was built according to historical records and is an example of a well-preserved, fully functioning ancient Arab Bath in Spain. Visitors can experience a traditional Roman-style hot bath and spa/massage in a modern Arabesque setting, offering a serene and relaxing atmosphere.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide

9The Moorish Patio

The Moorish Patio, also known as the Patio Morisco, is an important site that showcases the city's Islamic heritage. The patio has a rectangular floor that reflects its Moorish influence and is well-known in Christian Andalusia. It is decorated with greenery, blooming flowers, sculptures, and water features, creating a peaceful oasis for visitors.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide

Best Time to Visit Alcazar Cordoba

It is best to visit the Alcazar Cordoba during weekdays, ideally early in the morning or late afternoon. Spring and autumn offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds, making them ideal times of year for a visit.

Opening Hours of Alcazar Cordoba

From September 16 to June 15:
  • Weekdays: 8:30 am to 8:45 pm
  • Saturdays: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Sundays: 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
From June 16 to September 15::
  • Tuesday to Sunday: 8:30 am to 2:45 pm
  • On Mondays, the Alcazar is closed.

Getting There

  • By Car: Alcazar Cordoba is easily accessible by car. It is located 21 km from the city center of Cordoba.
  • By Bus: The closest bus stops to Alcazar Cordoba are Mártires and Puerta Sevilla D.Sector Sur. Mártires is located 425 meters away and is a 6-minute walk from Alcazar Cordoba, while Puerta Sevilla D.Sector Sur is located 561 meters away and is an 8-minute walk from Alcazar Cordoba
  • By Train:The closest train station to Alcazar Cordoba is the Cordoba-Central train station

Insider Tips to Visiting Alcazar Cordoba

  • Get your tickets online ahead of time to avoid any hassle.
  • Consider opting for a guided tour for guaranteed fast-track entry.
  • Don't miss the stunning gardens, including the fun hedge maze for a picture-perfect moment.
  • Plan for at least 2 hours to fully experience the Alcazar, but allow more time if you're a history buff.
  • Consider reserving 3-4 hours if you want to delve deeper into the structure's fascinating history and architecture.

Interesting Facts About Alcazar Cordoba

  • There is a hidden underground passage that connects the Alcazar to the Guadalquivir River.
  • You can also visit the secret garden, located behind a wall and accessed through a small door, it is a secluded and enchanting place to sit and admire the beauty of Alzazar.
  • There is a statue of Christopher Columbus with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella before setting off for his voyages to the New World in honor of his discovery of America with the support of the monarchy.
  • The collection of Roman mosaics is displayed during the fortress's restoration, showcasing ancient artistry and craftsmanship.
  • The collection of Roman sarcophagi offers a fascinating glimpse into ancient burial practices, with each sarcophagus discovered during the restoration process.
  • A collection of Roman statues provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the artistic heritage of the past, as they were recovered during the restoration of the fortress.
  • There's also a vast collection of medieval weapons at the Alcazar, which were used in battles to defend the fortress and reflect its turbulent history.

Exploring Alcazar Cordoba

  • Visitor entrance: You can access the Alcazar through the designated visitor entrance situated at the base of the Lion Tower.
  • River Bank Entrance: One of the two access points to the Alcazar of Cordoba is the The Riverbank entrance which is located close to the gardens of the Alcazar.
  • Queue-free entrance: Enjoy a hassle-free experience by reserving entrance slots online, granting direct entry to the Alcazar without the need to wait in line at the ticket office.

Restaurants Nearby

Alcazar Cordoba Guide
Noor Restaurant

Located just 1.5 km from Alcazar Cordoba, Noor Restaurant is a Michelin-starred restaurant that offers a unique culinary experience. The restaurant serves Andalusian cuisine with a modern twist, and the menu changes regularly to reflect the season and the availability of fresh ingredients. You must try the tasting menu, which includes dishes such as oxtail with pumpkin, and the dessert of the day.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide

A modern and innovative restaurant located just 1 km from Alcazar Cordoba, the menu mixes tradition with innovation, and everything has a light, modern touch. The space itself is especially beautiful featuring a small herb garden visible from the dining area.You must try the salmorejo, a traditional Andalusian cold soup, and the grilled octopus.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide
El Rincón de Carmen

For incredible Andalusian dishes served in a breathtaking setting, you can't miss El Rincón de Carmen. Sit out on the beautiful Cordoba-style patio for a real treat. The restaurant is located just 1.5 km from Alcazar Cordoba. You must try the rabo de toro, a traditional Andalusian dish made with oxtail, and the flamenquín, a pork roll stuffed with ham and cheese.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide
La Siesta

La Siesta is a modern Mediterranean restaurant located just 1 km from Alcazar Cordoba, in beautiful Plaza del Potro.Options here range from the classics like the abanico ibérico, to the contemporary langoustine.

Alcazar Cordoba Guide
Casa Pepe de la Judería

This traditional Andalusian restaurant located just 1 km from Alcazar Cordoba serves a cozy ambiance with delicious Andalusian dishes. You must try the salmorejo, a traditional Andalusian cold soup, and the rabo de toro.

Other Attractions around Alcazar Cordoba

Hotels around Alcazar


What are the opening hours of Alcazar Cordoba?

The opening hours for Alcazar Cordoba are weekdays from 8:30 am to 8:45 pm, Saturdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Sundays from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm, and from June 16 to September 15, Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 2:45 pm; the Alcazar is closed on Mondays.


How much does it cost to visit Alcazar Cordoba?

The ticket prices for Alcazar Cordoba vary according to the variant you choose but it starts from 17.78 Euro's.

Is there a guided tour available at Alcazar Cordoba?

Yes, guided tours are available at Alcazar Cordoba. Visitors can join a guided tour to explore the site and learn about its history and architecture.

Can I purchase tickets in advance for Alcazar Cordoba?

Yes, it is recommended to purchase tickets in advance for Alcazar Cordoba to ensure entry. Tickets can be purchased online through the official website or at designated ticket offices.

How long does it take to explore Alcazar Cordoba?

The average time to explore Alcazar Cordoba is approximately 1-2 hours, but it may vary depending on individual preferences and interests.

Can I take photos inside Alcazar Cordoba?

Yes, photography is allowed inside Alcazar Cordoba, except in restricted areas. However, the use of flash photography or tripods may be restricted.

Is there a dress code to visit Alcazar Cordoba?

There is no specific dress code to visit Alcazar Cordoba. However, it is recommended to dress modestly and comfortably, considering the historical and cultural significance of the site.

Is Alcazar Cordoba wheelchair accessible?

Visitors with mobility challenges may find it difficult to visit the Alcazar due to the presence of steps and ledges in some areas. However, there are a few online tours that provide accessibility for visitors with mobility challenges

Alcazar Cordoba Guide