You are heading to Andalucia and want to include the patios in Cordoba Spain in your itinerary. Now, we all know that most of the patios are only open to the public during the UNESCO-listed yearly Patio Festival that finds place in the two first weeks of May.
But you do want to see the colorful Cordoba courtyards during your trip even the rest of the year. Luckily, there are a few splendid Cordoba patios that are open all year round and some are open on certain dates throughout the year.
Lucky for you, I’ve spent time in Cordoba researching exactly which ones you can visit, so that you can plan your itinerary.
Note that some of the patios, especially in the San Basilio neighborhood, can only be visited on organized patio tours in Cordoba outside the actual festival.
Read on to find out which patios you can visit all year round!
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The origin of the colorful patios of Cordoba
When Cordoba was under Muslim rule, houses were built with inner courtyards so that the women could move freely outside without covering up. They were like a fresh oasis for the women and also the origin of the household’s water sources as they would hold a private well.
As the wealthy started to move out of palaces and into the larger cities, people from the countryside started taking over parts of the palaces. Each family would typically live in one room and the courtyard in the middle would have a communal kitchen and well.
The courtyards turned into a communal space where neighbors became just as close as families. As time went by, each family would build out their rooms into small apartments with kitchens, water, and bathrooms inside, but the patios remained a common space.
To keep the patios pretty, flowers were planted and potplants were used to decorate the walls. Plants climbed the walls to function as insulation keeping the heat out as the sun shone strong.
To keep the tradition of the beautiful patios, the city introduced the Patio Festival in 1921 with monetary prizes to make the locals interested in keeping the patios of Cordoba beautiful. And the tradition still lives today.
How to visit the Cordoba Patios
Most Cordoba patios are situated in museums, palaces, and hotels where you must purchase an entrance ticket to the attraction to see the patio. Some hotels let you walk straight in, while others require you to eat at their restaurant or book a room to see the patio.
And then there are private patios in private people’s homes. The ones that are open all year round are mainly set in the San Basilio neighborhood.
To visit these, you must purchase a ticket that includes several patios. You can get tickets in Calle San Basilio no. 14 and in Calle Caballerizas Reales no. 4.
An alternative is to go on a guided patio tour or one of the Cordoba tours that include visits to the patios. Personally, I think a guided tour is the best way to see the patios as the guide will tell you more about the patios you visit, their history, and their customs.
Note that the private Cordoba courtyards are closed to the public in July and August due to the heat.
Best patios in Cordoba
Calle San Basilio no. 14
The patio of Calle San Basilio no. 14 is a wonderful patio close to the Torre de Belén. It is a traditional courtyard with walls covered in pot plants, Andalusian-style arches, and green plants draped around the corners.
The little courtyard has a washing place, a cute old communal kitchen, a well, and a lot of old artifacts elegantly on display like a little house museum.
Give yourself time to soak in the little details that make this place one of the most enchanting patios in Cordoba Spain.
Monday and Wednesday-Saturday: 10:00-14:00 and 17:00-20:00
Address: Calle San Basilio no. 14
San Basilio no. 17
The patio of San Basilio no. 17 is one of the smallest patios in Cordoba, yet it has got enough charm to lure you in and take your time looking at all the small details.
The walls are draped with flowers and the rustic arches give you an idea of how it would be to live there in medieval times.
A small round table and a couple of chairs invite you to sit down and take it all in. This is truly one of the cutest Cordoba courtyards I’ve been to.
Address: Calle San Basilio no. 17
Calle San Basilio no. 20
This is one of the cute small privately owned patios of Cordoba that will embrace you once you enter. Inside, there is a small central plant and arched windows with elegant decorations.
Potplants and flowers cover the walls and columns supporting the windows and entrance area. The owner will energetically explain all the different plants and nitty gritty to you, like how the lemon tree that climbs up one corner helps keep the house cool.
This is a small courtyard with plenty of charm that is well worth the visit.
Monday and Wednesday to Saturday: 10:30-14:30 and 17:00-19:30
Address: Calle San Basilio no. 20
Patio de La Costurera, Calle San Basilio no. 40
Patio de La Costurera (the Tailor’s Patio) is likely the cutest of all the patios in Cordoba. It wraps you in its greenery and the ancient walls and well gives you the feeling of walking into the Secret Garden.
I would love to live there! And you can, there is a room for rent. The patio is small with a small room where you find the well and the old washing place including some old artifacts.
This patio was one of the rescue projects that was completely renovated and ready to compete in the Patio Festival in 1979 where it has won multiple prizes since.
There is no wonder why, with the cascading greenery between terracotta pots holding colorful flowers. The green doors and windows blend perfectly making it a magic little getaway.
Address: Calle San Basilio no. 40
Calle San Basilio no. 44 (Former no. 50)
The patio on Calle San Basilio no. 44 is likely the most iconic and most pictured patio in Cordoba. Note that this used to be Patio Calle Basilio no. 50, but the street number changed to 44 a few years back.
It is incredibly beautiful with curtains of colorful flowers cascading down the balconies making it look like a vertical flowerbed. It is mainly recognized by the long staircase in the middle and there is a cute well and an old washing place in the patio too.
There are a few small rooms where you can see different utensils and artifacts from old times, including the old communal kitchen.
For a long time, it has been among the best patios in Cordoba earning several prizes during the annual festival.
Monday and Wednesday to Saturday: 10:30-14:30 and 17:00-19:30
Address: Calle San Basilio no. 44
Calle Postrera no. 28
Yet another exquisite patio in Cordoba is the one in Calle Postrera no. 28. Mediterranean-blue pots decorate the walls with colorful flowers cascading out of the edges.
It is a narrow patio full of exploding colors and enchanting details. There is no doubt there lays a lot of work behind its beauty and the owner is more than willing to share with you.
He also enjoyed taking photos of tourists visiting so we even got a decent family photo from his delightful corner of Cordoba.
This patio can be visited as part of the De Patios Tour.
Calle Duartas no. 2
Again, an incredibly stunning Cordoba patio waiting to be discovered. With pink detailed and multi-colored flowers crowding the walls, floor, and staircases, the courtyard is a feast to the eye.
There are various old artifacts making it like a house museum which is exactly what the private Cordoba patios are all about.
The entrance to the courtyard goes through rustic arches taking you back in time from the first instant. Old paintings hang on the walls and charming chairs are set out for the neighbors to enjoy their masterpiece.
Calle Martin de Roa no. 2
This small, yet cute patio is walled by an ancient Moorish wall giving it a rustic feel to it with a blue-painted ladder rising between blue pots with colorful flowers cascading out.
The walls are around 9 meters tall and since it is so narrow (it was near impossible to get good photos on a day with many tourists there) it gives you the feeling of getting lost in an ancient alleyway.
This is truly one of the cute and personal Cordoba patio gardens you will see during your patio excursion.
Address: Calle Martin de Roa no. 2
Calle Martin de Roa no. 7
Calle Martin de Roa no. 7 and 9 are both open parts of the year, so it is possible to see them outside the patio festival, but you will have to time your visit, and even so, you might find one of them or both closed.
This is a cute and fairly small patio with a wealth of terracotta flower pots on the whitewashed walls. In the courtyard, you find the old washing place built inside a small shed. It is absolutely adorable.
Open: The whole month of May and June, only weekends in September, and the rest of the year on bank holidays. Some of the mentioned opening days might be closed, but usually, no. 9 will be open on those days.
Calle Martin de Roa no. 9
Just as Calle Martin de Roa no. 7, this is a privately owned courtyard and the two collaborate about opening hours on the below-mentioned dates.
No. 9 is just as beautiful with colorful flowers and greeneries cascading out of terracotta pots on the whitewashed walls.
You can tell just how much the owners care about their common space as they share it eagerly with visitors. This is one of the classical patios of Cordoba that you typically expect to see. And it does not disappoint!
Open: The whole month of May and June, only weekends in September, and the rest of the year on bank holidays. Some of the mentioned opening days might be closed, but usually no. 7 will be open on those days.
The opulent Viana Palace holds some of the most splendid patios in Cordoba. In fact, you find as many as 12 patios and a garden inside the palace walls.
The palace dates back to the 15th century but has undergone multiple renovations since, and even housed King Alfonso XIII of Bourbon in 1926.
What I really enjoyed about the patios in the Viana Palace is that they are all so different. Some are large, others are smaller, but they all mesmerize in their own way.
From arched walkways lining the courtyards to flower-draped walls closing in on small spaces with lush fountains your journey through Viana’s courtyards of Cordoba is sure to mesmerize.
The patios of the Viana Palace is very popular, so I recommend booking tickets in advance to assure your visit.
Opening times 1st of September to 30th of June:
Saturday-Sunday + Public Holidays: 10:00-15:00
Opening times 1st of July to 31st of August:
Address: Plaza de Don Gome, 2
The impressive house museum, Casa Andalusí, in the Jewish Quarter has a small, wondrous patio Cordoba can be proud of.
The walls are draped with greeneries enhanced by a lush fountain in the middle making it the perfect little oasis in Spain’s hottest city.
I particularly love the details on the porch behind Andalusian-style arches held up by white-painted columns. It truly gives you the feeling of walking into a 12th-century home. There is also a couple of narrow and lush courtyards further in the house.
Opening hours: 10:00-20:00
Address: Calle Judíos, 12
Patio de Los Naranjos
The most visited Cordoba courtyard is Patio de Los Naranjos as it is the patio of the Mosque-Cathedral. This means that even those spending only one day in Cordoba will see this magnificent space.
Orange trees and palm trees are perfectly lined across the patio where you can enjoy a lovely fountain with views of the clock tower and fill up your water bottle from the drinking fountain on the other side of the square.
The patio was started built in year 1172 as the courtyard of the grand mosque where devotees would wash themselves before entering the place of worship. Today, only one fountain remains from Muslim times.
I particularly love the views from the clock tower! But this is a patio you can visit for free and it is perfect for grabbing a sandwich nearby and sitting down in the shade of the trees before you continue your Cordoba itinerary.
Opening hours: 08:30-18:00
Address: Calle Cardenal Herrero, 1
Casa Sefarad is a museum dedicated to the Hebews that were violently driven out of Cordoba in the 15th century. There are different rooms with information about different parts of the near-lost culture, including a Sepharad music room.
In the center, a typical Cordoba courtyard receives natural sunlight onto the beautifully ornated stone floor indicating a Jewish star in the middle.
It is a simple, yet beautiful patio surrounded by rustic arches, and columns, and draped in lush green hanging plants. Casa Sefarad might not be on most people’s itineraries unless spending more than 2 days in Cordoba.
However, it is well worth it as it is situated right between the Synagogue and the more popular Casa Andalusí.
Saturday-Sunday + Public Holidays: 11:00-19:00
Address: The corner of Calle Judíos and Calle Averroes (right in front of the Synagogue)
Zoco Municipal de Artesanía
The Souk of Cordoba was once the Royal Souk where the most luxurious items were sold. But long before this, it was a regular marketplace where you could buy anything from wool to perfumes. Until the 10th century, the marketplace burned down on several occasions.
Today, there are artisan workshops and you can buy different artisan goods in a shop connected to the patio. It is free to enter and open at all times.
What I love about this patio of Cordoba’s old times is the simple and rustic design which makes you appreciate the few details around the fountain, the blue-painted pots on the whitewashed wall, and the unique fresco on the opposite wall.
Opening hours: 24 hours
Address: Avenida de la Fábrica, 3H
Tablao el Cardenal
Tablao el Cardenal is the best place in Cordoba to see a Flamenco show and they happen to also have one of the prettiest patios in Cordoba. It is set in a 17th-century palace with mesmerizing details.
I just love the tall banana plants in the center of the reception courtyard. Cordoba sure knows how to decorate their outdoor spaces.
Considering one of the best things to do in Cordoba is to see a Flamenco show and this is the place to do it, you might as well check it out!
Open for performances April-October:
Open for performances November-March:
Note that times might change!
Address: Calle Buen Pastor, 2
Reflections on the Cordoba courtyards
It is hard to argue that the Courtyards in Cordoba are among the most pretty sites you will see in Andalucia alongside the gardens in the Real Alcazar in Seville and the Alhambra in Granada.
With this list of the best patios in Cordoba, you should have enough places to add to your itinerary if you spend 2 days in Cordoba or more.
If you only have one day in Cordoba, I suggest going on a guided patio tour and seeing either Casa Andalusí or the Casa Sefarad beside the top attractions in Cordoba that you can not miss out on, the Mosque-Catedral, the Cordoba Synagogue, and the Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos.