You can do this on a day trip from the Costa del Sol, which accounts for the strange atmosphere of the town. Pre-ten am and post-six pm its a quiet place, but during the day it throngs with tourists – much nicer when they are gone.
The old part of town could be Tangier (without the hassle) narrow white washed streets and houses with pretty internal patios – many of which are restaurants and quite often rubbish.
As most will never see their clients twice, they obviously don”t care and dish up microwaved trash; there are exceptions but hard to find – try the road along the south/ river side of the mosque.
Almost without exception I thought the waiting staff miserable and slow – and this is at the start of the season!
The main attraction is of course the mosque; began in 740 ad it really is spectacular. All the guide books will tell you it opens at 10, well that”s when you have to start buying tickets; before 10 you can walk in free of charge which apart from the obvious saving means fewer visitors.
2 or 3 days is plenty here as the place does seem very quiet after dark – although to be fair I didn”t investigate the new town much.
Recommended accommodation: Hostal Santa Ana, good location and price.
Recommended Flamenco in Cordoba: El Cardenal – in the Ajuntamiento building.