This is way late. Two years and four months too late but for uni I went on an exchange to Cordoba, Spain and I saw some things.
I flew into Malaga with my mother. What a delight she is travelling, like a toddler but with a more diverse vocabulary.
Bar Mercado Atarazanas in the Mercado Central de Atarazanas is delish for seafood and the market atmosphere is lovely.
Malaga has an insane view of the top of a bull ring (Plaza de Toros de La Malagueta) from the Alcazaba or the Castillo Gibralfaro, I can’t remember but I know both were nice.
I went to Playa la Malagueta, the beach in Malaga centre and it wasn’t great. Very busy due to its easy access and the water/ sand was okay. Yes, I am pretentious about sand.
We stayed in a place that I can’t recommend since there was no a/c or fans. I can still remember my ass sticking to the leather chairs, it was not pleasant.
Then, my mother and I did the following route by car.
Where I studied. I recommend 1.5/2 days especially if you want to have a sit-down meal instead of supermarket food.
I wrote about the food here.
Definitely go to La Bicicleta for cheap good eats (fresh juices, sandwiches etc). Just be cautious of the whole siesta time and other random times that you can’t predict. I am unsure of the hours, let alone the days that it is open but if you happen to crack that mystery, then enjoy! When it is closed. you’ll know since there is just a massive, dark, door with no signs.
The Victoria Market is also nice but be aware that they call it a gourmet market. Meaning, it be pricey.
There are really obvious points to see like the Roman Bridge. It is so in your face, that I won’t mention it here.
The patios are gorgeous even in the summer. Spend the afternoon going to all the different ones. Los Patios del Alcázar Viejo is free. You should be able to find a route map online somewhere.
Going into the Mezquita is a must and if you happen to be there around 8am it is free until 10am (the security guards kick everyone out) except Sundays when it is closed for church stuff. The tower right next to it is also wonderful but you need to book a time slot in person. The tower has a bell on it and if you walk to the base of it that is where you book the tower.
The other museums aren’t worth it unless you have time to kill.
There are nice gardens at the Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs. It costs money to enter but if you are a student and under 25 it is cheaper.
Palacio de Viana, in 2016, cost 8 euros to enter. It was a cute building surrounded by pristine gardens.
Cordoba Synagogue is worth a peak inside and not just because it is free to enter.
Plaza del Potro inn is free to enter as well. It is an old building where flamenco dancers used to live. The second part of that last sentence may or may not be true but the building is old.
Outside the Cordoba centre is the complex of the Medina Azahara. You can get there by bus from Cordoba but make sure to buy your tickets for the bus beforehand since you can’t buy them on board. The bus also includes the shuttle from the Media Azahara ticket desk to the site itself, which is a doozy of a walk without the shuttle. I think your ticket would expire before you got there.
I kept seeing the Castle of Almodóvar del Río in the distance when I was in a car. You need to pay to enter and getting there by bus from Cordoba is doable but it’s a tight one since they only go every hour or so. Since my friend and I didn’t spend too much time at the castle itself, we ended up running/ rolling down the hill at breakneck speeds to catch the bus.
You can also take the bus to Las Ermitas Cordoba more or less. Well, you take a bus to the end of the road and then you hike, in delicious 35-degree weather up the side of a mountain. The top has nice views though.
Cordoba is small so around the Plaza de las Tendillas or La Corredera or anywhere in that radius would be good.
Two full days at least, it is heaps bigger than Cordoba.
I am ashamed to say, this was the one and only place that I took a sightseeing bus, not because I wanted to but because my mom doesn’t like walking when she doesn’t have to. It wasn’t great to be honest since it took you past some random shit like an abandoned water park.
What wasn’t shit was the Plaza de Espana, Royale Alcazar. Book online for this one especially if you don’t have much time.
Everyone goes here to see the Alhambra since it is spectacular. You need to book months in advance if you want to see the inside of the Palacios Nazaríes but I recommend it. The other tickets just let you see the general life/ gardens/ fort thingy which is still a large area but it’s the Palace you need time reservations for. I have never seen the town itself since it’s mostly churches but the Alhambra is definitely worth the trip out there. I booked a month in advance and it was sold out.
Ronda is small so you can stay anywhere pretty much and walk into town. I don’t need to really explain the sites since the main one is the reason you are going- the Puente Nuevo. The massive arched bridge. When I was there, I made it my mission (which I failed at) to find the Centro de Interpretacion del Vino since it has a wine wall. Literally, wine pours from a faucet in the wall. To this day, it haunts me that I never found it.
We stayed at Apartamentos Ronda Luz . The lady (I don’t know why I assume that the same lady would still be there years later but I digress) gives you a parking pass included in the rate.
I have been to Madrid multiple times now and stayed for multiple days. Don’t get mad at me but I have to say, it isn’t anything special.
Toleda, Avila, Segovia, Salamanca
Full day or day and a half towns. They are small so you can just pass through them but they are stunners. Especially, Avila and Segovia.
I did a (long) day trip from Cordoba to Nerja. Mostly because Cordoba doesn’t have any water for swimming and it was 40 degrees. Nerja is called the Balcony of Europe for some reason. There was a sign I think so it must be true. It is a nice beach town with loads of expats.
Another day trip from Cordoba is this funny place. Upon arrival by foot, you need to cross over an active runway after boarder security since it is a part of Britain. There is a massive rock in the middle of the peninsula, you can’t miss it since it takes up 80% of Gibraltar. For the love of god, don’t bring food up to the top of the rock since the monkey’s will attack you.