Another wonderful surprise on our tour around Argentina: Córdoba. The country’s second largest city is full of rich colonial heritage, monumental ‘fin de secle’ architecture and lush green parks. However, what struck us the most were the city’s fascinating open spaces: an ex convent converted into a cultural center, a huge concrete ramp built for sliding and picnic and an ex industrial neighborhood rebuilt for arts and crafts with stylish bars and designer shops. Not to mention that gorgeous mountains, rivers and lakes surround the city!
This post will help you organize 2 days in Córdoba, Argentina
Day 1 Colonial Córdoba and City Center
Founded in 1553, Córdoba is one of Argentina’s oldest cities and one of Spain’s first colonial capitals in the Americas. Fortunately for us, several important buildings from said early period remain standing today. The most distinguished examples include the 17th century Jesuite Cathedral and the Cabildo (seat of the colonial government). The wonderfully restored Jesuit Block, world heritage site, is home to the University of Cordoba, one of the oldest universities in America.
The majority of Cordoba’s landmarks are located inside the large city center. The area is roughly limited by River Cañada on the west, River Suquía on the north and east and Av. Pueyrredón and Sarmiento Park on the south. It is full of lavishly decorated neoclassical architecture, cool 20th century residential towers and several lively pedestrian streets. Don’t forget to visit the monumental government buildings such as the Provincial Government or the Courthouse.
Day 2 Contemporary Architecture and Parks
As much as we loved walking about Cordoba’s beautiful city center we were overwhelmed by the amount of cool new sites. We loved the interesting architecture of the Centro Cívico del Bicentenario, Emilio Caraffa Museum and the usability of the fabulous Giant Slide – Cordoba Cultural Centre. Yes, architectural works should be pretty, but above all useful! As an urban planner myself I was impressed by the amount of brilliantly executed Urban Rehabilitation Projects we encountered in Córdoba. Our favorites are the Paseo de Los Artes in the bohemian Güemes neighborhood (ex factory) and cultural center Paseo del Buen Pastor (ex convent).
While Córdoba Province boasts some outstanding hills and mountains, inside the city there only a handful of small parks and river promenades. On the other hand, south of the center lays Cordoba’s green epicenter: the enormous Sarmiento Park. We liked it so much, that we stayed there for hours. It was wonderful to just stroll around and people watch; it seems that the locals use it as an open air living room! We had lunch in a small kiosk right in the middle of the park. And then we walked by the gorgeous Hipólito Yrigoyen Avenue to get back to our hotel.
Where to stay and go out
The city is big and doesn’t have metro, though there is an efficient bus system. However, the historical core is downtown. Therefore, we stayed at the strategically located NH Panorama in the center, by the River Cañada. The weather was superb so we walked almost everywhere. There are tones of coffee houses, restaurants and bars to chill and grab a bite too. Cordoba’s nightlife happens pretty much everywhere. As we were telling you, it’s a student city thus very lively. The area around Güemes neighborhood and Marcelo T. de Alvear Avenue is packed with bars. Remember that Argentineans party late. It all begins with dinner, followed by drinks and at 2AM dancing.
There is never enough time
We didn’t even get to visit Cordoba’s natural spots! We took an overnight bus from San Juan Province to Cordoba and could see how green the province is. It is our one recurrent problem: time. No matter how long we stay in a place, there’s never enough time! Guess we will have to go back.