Are you wondering how to spend 36 hours in Córdoba, Argentina? This guide will show you that it is possible to see a lot in a short period of time, while you walk through the city and see all it has to offer.
Cordoba, located in the center of Argentina, has 7 universities, therefore creating a young vibe. Because of this, it has an excellent nightlife and arts & culture scene. In 2006, the city was named the ‘Cultural Capital of the Americas’. On top of that it’s also loaded with history and amazing architecture due to the arrival of the Jesuits in 1599. There is no shortage of churches, plazas, and museums. Nor restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
You could easily do with more time in Córdoba but if your time is limited like ours was, keep reading to learn more about…
How to Spend 36 Hours in Córdoba, Argentina
Our flight arrived in the early evening. We took a taxi from the airport and checked into the Sacha Mistol Art Hotel located in the downtown area of the city for our 2 night/36 hours stay in Córboda. Downtown is a perfect location to base yourself in as it is safe, and there are lots of historic and cultural sites within walking distance. You can read further information about Sacha Mistol Art Hotel further down.
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Once we had refreshed ourselves with a few beers in the room (aka ‘refreshing beverages’) we set out on foot for dinner. We stumbled upon Alcorta Restaurante located about 5 blocks away on Av. Figueroa Alcorta. It turns out we made a great choice. My husband had one of the best steaks of our trip.
After a good night’s sleep, get ready and enjoy the breakfast included with your stay at the Sacha Mistol Hotel. It’s a perfect sized breakfast that will get you ready to start exploring Córdoba.
To start with, from Sacha Mistol, head south on Rivera Indarte down the pedestrian mall. Pass by the Cripta Jesuítica at the intersection of Av. Colon. It’s an underground museum with guided tours of what was once the Jesuit Novitiate of Córdoba. Originally built in 1713, it was demolished and buried in 1928, and then finally re-discovered in 1989 when workers were laying telephone cable. They are open Monday – Friday from 10am-3pm. Unfortunately we were there on a Saturday so we were unable to check it out.
TIP: If the Cripta Jesuítica is a must see for you, plan your Córdoba stay carefully as it is only open Monday-Friday.
Paseo de las Flores
Continue walking down the pedestrian mall, lined with all types of shops (lots of bookstores) and cafes. At some point the name of the street changes to Obispo Trejo. Stroll under the bridge of Paseo de las Flores, and stop to take a look at the lovely flower shop underneath.
Plazoleta Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera
Not much further, you will find yourself at Plazoleta Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera , a delightful and historic plaza. The bronze monument in front of the building is of the city’s founder, Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera.
Iglesia Catedral and Plaza San Martin
Next, take a left on 27 de Abril and a block down on the left, you will arrive at Iglesia Catedral and Plaza San Martin. Iglesia Catedral’s construction dates back to the 1580’s and is a visual symbol of Córdoba. Opposite Iglesia Catedral is Plaza San Martin, which marks the historical center of the city, with a large monument of General Jose de San Martin in the middle.
Iglesia Santa Teresa y Monasterio San Jóse de Carmellitas Descalzas
Walk south on Independencia less than a block, and you come to Iglesia Santa Teresa y Monasterio San José de Carmelitas Descalzas, a grand pink building with stunning architecture that you can’t miss. Since its founding in 1628 by Juan de Tejeda, it has operated as a convent for the Carmelite nuns. These day, only the church is open to visitors.
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Paseo del Buen Pastor
Carry on walking down Independcia for about 10 minutes until you eventually reach Paseo del Buen Pastor, located in Nuevo Córdoba. It’s a large arts and culture complex with a large fountain and some outside art exhibits. Sit down, relax and enjoy a coffee or an ice cream, as you have plenty of options around here.
Image by @redbarley (Instagram)
Iglesia de los Capuchinos
Just on the other side of Paseo del Buen Pastor is the beautiful Iglesia de los Capuchinos. It’s a stunning building with gothic and romanesque influences, and was therefore chosen as the First Artificial Wonder of the City.
Museo Superior de Bellas Artes Evita
Next make your way to the Museo Superior de Bellas Artes Evita, about a 5 minute walk away. Spread over 3 floors, this museum is well worth the time. The building itself is an early 20th century mansion, and is quite spectacular. There are some amazing exhibits here.
Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Emilio Caraffa
Continue walking by Plaza España to Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Emilio Caraffa, another fine arts museum that is well worth the visit, with some really interesting pieces here.
Plaza del Bicentenario
From there cross the street and walk through Plaza del Bicentenario. It’s a funky park with colourful circles, each engraved with a year, representing the years that have passed since the May Revolution of 1810,
Just past Plaza del Bicentenario you will find Parque Sarmiento. A huge park in the center of Córdoba, it is a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s more than just a park though. There is a zoo, an amusement park, a small lake, restaurants and food trucks. Stop for lunch at ‘Choripan El Parque’ food truck and try the Choripan, a type of sandwich filled with chorizo and all other kinds of toppings that you can choose from. It’s so good!
Córdoba Cultural Center
Next, loop around through the park to Av. Poeta Lugones and walk by the Córdoba Cultural Center. The modern and interesting building with the concrete roof forming down to an esplanade, mimicks the ‘waves’ of the Faro del Bicentenario (Bicentennial Lighthouse).
Head back to Paseo del Buen Pastor for a ‘refreshing beverage’. Stop at Antares Brewery, a craft beer brewery. They have a great patio overlooking the Paseo del Buen Pastor complex. The selection of beers is fantastic, as well as the seemingly never ending glasses of wine!
Tonight head to Barrio Güemes. Güemes is a lively arts and culture area. The many restaurants and nightclubs make it a very popular area with the university crowd. For dinner try Standard 69. Luis from our hotel recommended it and it was fantastic.
Feria Paseo de las Artes
After dinner, walk (2 min) to Feria Paseo de las Artes (arts fair) at the corner of Montevideo and Belgrano streets. This arts market that has been around for more than 25 years and is a must see. You can purchase all kinds of local handicrafts as well as take in performances by street performers. The market is there Saturday’s and Sunday’s, in the summer from 5-11pm, and in the winter from 4-10pm.
Where to Stay
We chose to stay in El Centro at the Sacha Mistol Art Hotel, a mid range boutique hotel. Luis and Lucia are the couple that run it, along with resident greyhound dog Niké, and are super friendly and helpful.
Everywhere in the hotel is full of cool art, mostly from local artists, with each room featuring a unique mural. The lovely outdoor space and lap pool are the perfect place to sit and relax. There is no elevator so if walking with your luggage up a few flights of stairs isn’t your thing, this may not be the place for you.
The price for a regular room is around $105CAD/$84USD including taxes and breakfast. You get a choice between 4-5 different breakfasts, the perfect size to get you going for the day.
There is no need to rent a car if you are staying in the center of Córdoba and do not plan to leave the city. You can walk pretty much everywhere, or take a short taxi ride.
To get to/from the airport, a taxi is the easiest choice. It’s about a 15-20 minute drive and costs around $13US.
Córdoba isn’t a city you normally first think of when planning a trip to Argentina, but you should! You will be pleasantly surprised. As you can see, it has just the right blend of new and old, art, cultural, history, architecture and gastronomy. Even if you only have 36 hours to spend in Córdoba, it’s definitely worth the effort. Of course if you have more time, even better. In our short stay we experienced so much and it left us wanting more.
Let me know in the comment section below if there is anything that you saw in Córdoba that shouldn’t be missed.
Ciao for now!