One of the largest cities in Argentina is surprising for its large number of churches and monasteries from the Jesuit period. If you want to know in advance the city known as “La Docta”, here is things to do in Cordoba Argentina.
Cordoba is one of the most important cities in Argentina, not only because it is the second most populated but also because of its role in the history of our country (it was twice the provisional capital) and because it is a cultural and educational center of excellence.
In addition, the surroundings of Cordoba attract visitors for its mountain scenery and history.
Map: things to do in Córdoba Argentina
This is the map with the points of interest that you cannot miss if you are going to visit Córdoba Capital:
The good thing is that everything is located a few blocks away, having almost as an axis the San Martin square and the Manzana Jesuítica. In any case, you won’t get away with a lot of walking.
The historic center of Cordoba can be seen in a day, but if we start incorporating the more distant sites, the more leisurely and the surrounding towns and landscapes, you will need at least a week.
1. Manzana Jesuítica ☑️
We begin the tour of the most emblematic site to do in Córdoba Argentina, for its history and the imposing construction that led it to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Manzana Jesuítica, located in the center of the city, actually comprises three large buildings: the National University of Córdoba, the Monserrat School and the Temple of the Society of Jesus.
All the facilities were founded by the Jesuits (hence the name) who arrived in the city at the end of the 16th century with the aim of promoting education and the Catholic religion, and remained there until the middle of the 18th century when they were expelled by King Charles III.
National University of Córdoba
The National University of Cordoba was the first of its kind founded in the country in 1613. From that moment on, it became one of the largest and most prestigious universities not only in Argentina but also in Latin America. Currently, inside the building there is the old Main Library with a collection of old books made by the Jesuits in the XVII and XVIII centuries, and the Museum of History of the National University of Cordoba that allows a tour of the old courtyards, halls and cloisters.
The Monserrat School, with its imposing pastel-colored façade, is also one of the symbols of the city and the pride of Argentine education. Created by the Jesuit order at the end of the 17th century, it was initially located in a small house owned by the Duarte family. Due to the large number of students, it was enlarged over the years until it took its present form, occupying almost half a block of the Manzana Jesuítica. As an important fact, the Monserrat School housed a printing press in the basement and educated many characters and national heroes who actively participated in the country’s independence.
Domestic Chapel and Company of Jesus Church
Finally, on one of the corners, stands the Domestic Chapel and Church of the Company of Jesus with its stone front and built in the shape of a Latin cross with two chapels on each side: the chapel of the Spaniards and the chapel of the Naturals. Erected in the middle of the 17th century, it stands out for its interior paintings and its beautiful altarpiece.
Practical information for visiting the Manzana Jesuítica
The Museum of History of the National University of Cordoba can be visited on your own or by guided tours (there are two a day, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, check the schedule because it changes according to the season). Open every day except Sunday.
If you only want to enter the Iglesia Compañía de Jesús, admission is free and it is open every day.
🔘 Check out the rest of the World Heritage Sites we have visited.
2. Cordoba Cathedral
The imposing Cathedral is one of the essential things to do in Cordoba Argentina. This imposing colonial style building stands out on one side of the San Martin square. Its architecture mixes classical style in the lower part and baroque style in the towers.
The Cathedral has a small peculiarity and that is that it took more than a century to finish its construction (its construction began in the mid-seventeenth century), hence its different architectural styles.
If on the outside one is impressed, it is enough to enter to see that inside the beauty is still intact. The paintings of the vault, work of Emilio Caraffa, together with the main altarpiece are the two main charms of the place. In addition, the remains of the famous Cordovan character Dean Funes rest inside.
Behind the Cathedral is the Plazoleta del Fundador, in honor of Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera, founder of the city. There are benches to sit and rest after the long walk through the center and a statue of the priest Brochero, very venerated in these parts.
📷 Check here for a guided tour of the city of Cordoba and make a reservation. A guide will show you all the most important places to see in the city.
3. The Cabildo, another of the visits to do in Cordoba Argentina.
A few meters from the Cathedral, the old Cabildo, built at the beginning of the 17th century, is another of Cordoba’s historic sites. Its colonial style and large arches were the seat of government during the Spanish conquest.
Currently only one of the interior courtyards can be visited, where there are usually exhibitions. The rest of the building houses government offices.
The Cabildo and the Cathedral are separated by a narrow street called Pasaje Santa Catalina.
In this passage is located the Museum of Memory of Córdoba, a former clandestine detention center from the time of the military dictatorship where many people were tortured. The place recreates through photos and exhibitions, one of the saddest and darkest stories of Argentina.
At the end of the passage we find the facade of the Monastery of St. Catherine of Siena, one of the oldest in the country and where you can still see the cloistered nuns in the cloister praying.
4. Pedestrian walkway and San Martín square
Although it is not one of the most beautiful places to see in downtown Córdoba Argentina, the pedestrian street has a large number of shops and restaurants with tables outside to sit and enjoy a minute or a good lunch. San Martin Square is the most important square in the city, full of benches, large trees and in the center the equestrian figure of General San Martin.
5. Santa Teresa Church and San José Monastery
Another of the relics of downtown Cordoba, capital of Argentina, is this beautiful monastery and church, one of the first in the country of the Discalced Carmelite nuns.
Although when we visited it we could only appreciate the exterior facade, which by the way deserves several photos, the interior was closed. We were eager to see the inner courtyard and the museum of religious art that operates inside the enclosure.
6. Paseo del Buen Pastor
On the busy Yrigoyen Avenue and in the picturesque neighborhood of Nueva Córdoba, the Buen Pastor Promenade is a source of pride for the locals. Formerly a women’s prison, it was completely remodeled and now houses food venues, cultural events and music festivals.
Outside there is a large fountain of dancing waters and the sculpture of two icons of Cordoba’s quartet music: La Mona Jiménez and El Potro Rodrigo. Many people come to the promenade to have a drink or just enjoy some mates outside.
7. Church of the Capuchins
Officially called Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, it was built at the beginning of the 20th century and is one of the most impressive churches to see in Córdoba, Argentina.
Its neo-Gothic style with orange tones stands out on the outside, along with the two large towers that seem not to have been completed because one has its spire and the other does not.
But these two towers have a meaning. The truncated tower (or without spire) would represent the matter that dies while the other tower, the one with spire, would represent the soul that ascends.
It is advisable to see it at sunset, when the orange tone stands out and stay to see it illuminated at night.
Although the interior is rather simple compared to the Cathedral of Cordoba, it has an unusual beauty with its vaulted ceilings painted in blue, with stars simulating the Cordovan sky.
8. Sarmiento Park
Yrigoyen Avenue ends at Sarmiento Park, the large green space near downtown. It was designed by Carlos Thays and houses an artificial lake, a skate park, a garden area and plenty of shade to sit and enjoy a picnic. You can also have something to eat in the place, there are stalls and fast food and pizza places.
Among the buildings near the park, the following stand out Bicentennial lighthouse, with its more than 100 meters high and built as a tribute to the 200th anniversary of the May Revolution, the Provincial Museum of Natural Sciences Dr. Illíathe Evita Superior Museum of Fine Arts which is located in the charming Ferreyra palace, and the modern Provincial Museum of Fine Arts Emilio Caraffa..
9. Paseo Marqués de Sobremonte and Palace of Justice
The Marqués de Sobremonte square, together with the Intendencia square, houses the building of the Municipality of Córdoba and the imposing Palace of Justice. It is worth staying in the afternoon sipping some mates in the square to see the Justice building fully illuminated from the outside.
10. The Cañada
Very close to the historic center of Cordoba is the famous Cañada, the partial channeling of a stream through two large stone walls, one of the symbols of the city. In one of the sections of the Cañada, you will find the Paseo de las Artes Craft Fair, a place to stroll, buy handicrafts and stay for a drink in one of the bars in the area.
11. Other things to do in Cordoba Argentina
- Suquía river promenade: ideal for walking or playing sports on the banks of the river that borders downtown.
- Mario Alberto Kempes Stadium: one of the World Cup stadiums of Argentina’78, which has been refurbished a few years ago. You can take a tour or watch a soccer match of the Talleres club.
- Patio Olmos: one of the most emblematic shopping malls in the city. Close to downtown and with plenty of stores and restaurants.
Practical information for travel to Córdoba Capital
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Where to stay in Córdoba city
Being a large city, the lodging options in Cordoba are endless, both in the center and in the surrounding areas. The disadvantage is the long distances if you book a hotel far away.
We chose to stay a bit far from downtown, in an apartment in a quiet neighborhood with a garage included, one block from the beautiful Jeronimo del Barco square.
If you want to sleep in the center of Cordoba, here are three options with good value for money:
- 531 Hostel: excellent decoration and ambiance. Especially recommended if you are traveling alone or on a low budget.
- Garden Hotel: good option for couples or families. Good breakfast and comfortable rooms, only 200 meters from San Martin square.
- Santiago Hotel: with swimming pool, bar and very good breakfast.
🏨 Do you want to look for other options? Find here the best hotels in Córdoba.
How to get to Córdoba Capital
Because it is one of the most important cities in Argentina, Cordoba has very good connections with the rest of the country, either by air or by road.
To know the frequencies, destinations and buy bus tickets, you can do it from the official website of the Cordoba Bus Terminal.
As for flights, Cordoba airport is one of the largest and most important national and international airports and from many cities in Argentina, and even from abroad, there are direct flights to Cordoba.
✈️ Search here for cheap flights to Cordoba.
📷 You can book from here transfers from Cordoba airport to downtown Cordoba and vice versa.
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