Best date and time to visit
Cordoba is off the beaten track, so you won’t meet big crowds. However, visiting such a unique religious site will be much more pleasant if there aren’t too many people. The good news is that the building is so big that crowds easily disperse inside.
The peak hours are from 11:00 to 15:00, that’s when most tourist groups arrive as well as individual tourists from other andalusian cities for their 1-day-trip to Cordoba. The midday time is the busiest. Avoid these hours and come either before, or in the evening (most group tours finish at 16:00 latest).
Our recommendation is that you come in the morning: individual visitors can see the place between 08:30 and 09:30 (except Sunday). At this time group visits are not permitted, and there are less tourists. There is a mass that usually starts at 09:30 (you can attend it, but photos are not allowed) and at 10:00 you can continue your visit when it opens its doors to all visitors.
Avoid visiting the Cathedral on Sunday and religious holidays: aside from a high number of believers, it has different opening hours and is closed from 11:30 to 15:00. At 15:00, when the doors open the number of visitors is quite high. If you don’t have another choice but Sunday, come in the morning to visit before 11:30.
Check the opening hours on the official website if visiting on a day of important religious holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.).
Saturday is the busiest day of the week.
Peak months in Cordoba fall on April-June, with May being the most popular month. While the weather is great, Cordoba hosts a festival every week during this month, from Cata del Vino (wine tasting festival, usually taking place at the end of April) to Feria de Nuestra Señora de la Salud (Cordoba’s Spring Fair held on the last week of May). It’s the nicest time in the city, with flowers in bloom (the contest for the most beautiful patio in Cordoba also takes place at this time, and private courtyard gardens are open to the public for 2 weeks), but it’s also the busiest one. You can check the festivities taking place in the city here.
In summer months it usually gets too hot, and many locals leave the city but there are still lots of tourists. Starting from September it gets quieter (and less hot), with the low season starting in November and lasting until the end of February (except for the Christmas holiday period when there are lots of visitors).
Photo credits to Marco Chiesa via Flickr
The night visit
Having visited the Mosque during the day, you can also try the night visit. It costs more, but is magical with all the lighting, and the best part is that apart from your group there won’t be any other visitors!
Keep in mind that the schedule varies a lot throughout the year and depends on the month, demand and liturgical feasts.
The typical timetable:
January - February: 8.00 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. (only on Fridays and Saturdays)
March: 9.00 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. (from Monday to Saturday)
April-May: 9.30 p.m. and 11.00 p.m. (from Monday to Saturday)
June-August: 10 p.m. and 11.30 p.m. (from Monday to Saturday)
September: 9.00 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. (from Monday to Saturday)
October: 8.00 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. (from Monday to Saturday)
November-December: 8.00 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. (only on Fridays and Saturdays)
Check the timetable here before planning your night visit. Remember to book your place, as the number of participants is limited! You can do it at the Cathedral box office, Information tourist points in the city center or online.
Adults: 8 €
Children 10 to 14 yrs: 4 €
Below 10 yrs: free
From Monday to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. - free.
Adults: 18 €
Student under 26: 9 €
Children 7 to 9 yrs: 9 €
Below 7 yrs: free
Photo credits to dogrando via Flickr
Photo credits to Hans G. Werner via Mezquita's Facebook page