Córdoba’s most famous attraction can be marvelled at come rain or shine. Sitting on the banks of the Guadalquivir river is the Mezquita-Catedral, or Mosque-Cathedral, the grandest single embodiment of the two cultures that have shaped Andalusia. It was built between 784-987, during Córdoba’s period under Moorish rule, and used as a place of Christian worship after the city was claimed by King Ferdinand III in 1236. Small alterations and additions were made until the mid 16th century, when Charles V built a Renaissance nave on top of and amongst the mosque. A rainy day in Córdoba is the perfect time to wander around its iconic main hall, the roof of which is supported by over 850 double-arched columns. Entry is 10 euros ($12.30).
On the rare days in Córdoba when indoor activities are preferable to spending time outside, take a trip to the city’s Museo Taurino (Bullfighting Museum) to learn all about the history and customs of this controversial Spanish spectacle. The collection was originally just one part of a Museum of Popular Art that launched in 1956; but when the museum re-opened in 1983 after a two-year facelift, it was dedicated solely to bullfighting. Another nine-year renovation followed between 2005-2014, resulting in the modern and engaging museum you can visit today. It’s open every day during winter (but closed on Mondays during the summer), and entry is just 4 euros ($4.90).
The elegant 15th century Palacio de Viana is the centrepiece of Córdoba’s annual Feria de los Patios, when visitors flock to its thirteen beautiful gardens and courtyards. If it’s too rainy to linger in the palace’s grounds, though, you can also visit its opulent interior (for 8 euros, or $9.80), which has served as the home for Spanish aristocracy and royalty for centuries. Upon stepping inside, it requires but a small leap of the imagination to imagine that the Marquis of Viana – who lived here with his wife in the late 19th century – is about to step around the corner and personally welcome you. Items on display in the exquisitely preserved rooms include royal muskets, intricate tapestries, paintings and archaeological artefacts.
What better way to kill a rainy day in Córdoba than by following the example set by the locals – namely, to crowd into the city’s old-school bars for a lunch or supper that lasts for hours. The old town is home to a bewildering array of such places, where you can enjoy locally made wines and classic Córdoban bites such as flamenquines and salmorejo whilst surrounded by traditional Andalusian décor. Bar Santa Marina – great for a pre-lunch beer or two – is so old-fashioned it doesn’t appear on the map (it’s easily located opposite a church of the same name, though), whilst Bodegas Campos offers several traditional dining spaces in which to spend a rainy afternoon or evening. Oh, and if you fancy a slice of one the largest tortillas in Andalusia, head to Bar Santos.