Medina Azahara

Medina Azahara: Our most recommended tours and activities

Guided Visit to Azahara Medina in Córdoba

1. Guided Visit to Azahara Medina in Córdoba

The Caliph of Umayyad Córdoba, Abd al- Rahman III, ordered the construction of palace-city of Madinat al-Zahra, meaning "brilliant city" in Arabic, in the early 10th century. Located about 5 miles (8 km) from the city of Córdoba, this amazing collection of ornate buildings and monuments was created as a symbol of the Caliphi's power against its enemies. They also served as official government buildings. On your visit to this breathtaking site, you can choose between two options: a guided tour with or without a tourist bus. Guided Tour (with bus): Hop aboard the site's tourist bus and make your way to the center of the palatial city. Once there, visit the impressive visitor center before heading north to explore the main sections of the city, one by one. Guided Tour (without bus): Start with a visit to the impressive visitor center, where you will explore Spain's fascinating Moorish history and enjoy a screening of a video that virtually recreates how this historic city was in the 10th century. Later, head north to explore the main sections of the city, one by one.

Cordoba: Medina Azahara 3–Hour Guided Tour

2. Cordoba: Medina Azahara 3–Hour Guided Tour

Either travel with the group from Cordoba or meet the group directly at the Medina Azahara, depending on what option you have chosen. At the archaeological site, you will learn about the historical context of the city and see every corner and nook that can be visited. This unique place full of legends will help you understand why Medina Azahara was called the Shining City. After this visit, continue to the visitor center where you can see the museum with more than 160 original pieces of Medina Azahara. Your guide will accompany you and show you the most important elements. The visit will end with a video in which the city is represented as it would be in the 10th century.

Córdoba: Medina Azahara 3-Hour Guided Tour

3. Córdoba: Medina Azahara 3-Hour Guided Tour

Explore the vast medieval palace of the Medina Azahara de Córdoba on a 3-hour guided tour, and travel back in time to the days of the Caliphate and Al-Andalus. Choose from a tour with or without roundtrip transportation to and from Córdoba in an airconditioned van.  Visit the most important parts of the complex, such as the large House of Ja’far built over the site of 3 earlier houses. Admire the remains of the Pórtico de Medina Azahara and visit the Salón Rico, where the caliph Abd-ar-Rahman III would receive guests.  Learn more about the first Umayyad caliph of Al-Andalus, Abderraman III.Benefit from the expertise of an official guide who specializes on archaeological history.

Córdoba City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

4. Córdoba City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Córdoba has historically attracted travelers and civilizations because of its location on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, as well as for its sunny climate and its natural resources. Romans, Arabs, Jews, and Christians have all left their mark on the city of Córdoba with monumental buildings, works of art, and advanced infrastructure. During your time in Córdoba, see the main highlights of the city with a 24 hour hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus pass. Enjoy a complete trip lasting 1 hour and 20 minutes, or get off and back on at places that interest you the most. With this pass, you can marvel at the masterpieces of the Mezquita, the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, the Torre de la Calahorra, the Palacio de la Merced, and the Roman Temple. Visit the city of Medina Azahara, built by the caliph Abd al-Rahman III, in the image of his greatness. See museums and learn about cultural festivals, and experience the city to its fullest at any of the tours 17 stops. Stop 1 - Parada Panorámica del Río - Torre de la Calahorra Stop 2 - Parada Jardin Botánico - Zoológico Stop 3 - Parada Ciudad de los Niños Stop 4 - Parada San Basilio Stop 5 - Parada Puerta de Almodovar Stop 6 - Parada Mercado de la Victoria Stop 7 - Parada Gran Capitán Stop 8 - Parada Estación de Trenes/Autobuses Stop 9 - Parada Palacio de la Merced - Diputación Stop 10 - Parada Malmuerta - Sanata Marina Stop 11 - Parada Plaza Corazón de María Stop 12 - Parada San Lorenzo Stop 13 - Parada Realejo - San Andrés Stop 14 - Parada Ayuntamiento - Templo Romano Stop 15 - Parada Arco del Portillo Stop 16 - Parada Puente Romano (Ronda de Isasa) Stop 17 - Parada Baños Califales - Alcázar

Cordoba: Half-Day Medina Azahara Guided Tour

5. Cordoba: Half-Day Medina Azahara Guided Tour

Medina Azahara is the archeological site of a vast, fortified medieval Muslim palace-city built by Abd-ar-Rahman III al-Nasir, Umayyad Caliph of Córdoba. It is located on the western outskirts of Córdoba, Spain. When you arrive at Medina Azahara on this 3.5-hour excursion, you’ll enjoy a 90-minute guided tour of the archaeological site. The palace-city was the de facto capital of Al-Andalus, or Muslim Spain, as the heart of the administration and government was within its walls. Built from 936-940, the palace-city comprised ceremonial reception halls, mosques, administrative and government offices, gardens, a mint, workshops, barracks, residences and baths. Water was supplied through aqueducts. You can also visit the museum and the visitor center, where you can watch a video about the city in the days when it was the capital of Al-Andalus. At around 1:30 PM, the bus will take you back to Cordoba.

Cordoba: Medina Azahara Guided Tour with Ticket

6. Cordoba: Medina Azahara Guided Tour with Ticket

Step into the majestic remains of Medina Azahara, an old fortified city on the outskirts of Cordoba. Join a professional guide on a tour of the site to learn about its ancient history and appreciate every detail closely. Visit the local museum to find out more about this unique location. Enjoy a convenient transfer from Cordoba's city center or meet the group directly at the site entrance, depending on the option you choose. Head inside with your guide to explore every corner of the area. Looking at the ruins from up close will help you understand why it was called the Shining City. Finally, continue to the visitor center, where you can see the museum with more than 160 original pieces from Medina Azahara's golden days. Your guide will accompany you and show you the most important elements.

Cordoba: 3-Hour Medina Azahara

7. Cordoba: 3-Hour Medina Azahara

Experience the magic of the great times of Cordoba exploring the Medina Azahara citadel ruins. Ride an electric bike around the city until you reach the bike trail in the fields that will take you to the Medina Azahara Museum. Following this path along a river channel, crossing the fields in the outskirts of the city, you will enjoy your journey with this easy, eco-friendly vehicle. Get introduced into history at the free museum and ride again to the real ruins where everything happened.  Enjoy your discovery in a healthy way with an electric bike. Respect the environment and take care of your health.

Cordoba: Medina Azahara Night Tour with Ticket

8. Cordoba: Medina Azahara Night Tour with Ticket

Explore the former capital of al-Andalus by night on a guided trip to the Medina Azahara archaeological site. Learn about the Moorish history of Spain as you explore the remains of this medieval palace-city, built by Abd-ar-Rahman III al-Nasir. Take a bus from Cordoba's city center to Medina Azahara, located on the outskirts of town. Stroll around the ruins of the city under a star-filled sky and feel yourself transported back to the Middle Ages. Take in the beauty of the area being bathed by the moonlight. Hear about all its historical details and get a better understanding of its importance in the 10th and 11th centuries. Appreciate the remains of the palaces, mosques and formal gardens while guided by a local expert.

From Cordoba: Private Tour to Medina Azahara

9. From Cordoba: Private Tour to Medina Azahara

Discover the ruins of Medina Azahara on this guided tour through the "Brilliant Town." Explore the remains of a vast Arab Muslim city built by Abd-ar-Rahman III al-Nasir in the 10th-century. Located on the western outskirts of Cordoba, Medina Azahara was a medieval town and the de facto capital of al-Andalus, or Muslim Spain. Walk around the ancient palace and learn about how it once served as the heart of administration and government. Even though only around a tenth of Medina Azahara's 112 hectares have been excavated and restored, you can walk around the central area which houses 2 caliphal residences and 2 aristocratic residences with service quarters. Afterwards, stop by the new museum that lies on the edge of the site for a quick look at the impressive and fitting architecture. To be sure, this tour round one of Spain's most impressive archeological sites is not to be missed!

Other Sightseeing Options in Medina Azahara

Want to discover all there is to do in Medina Azahara? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Medina Azahara

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,661 reviews

Rafa was amazing! I’m not usually a tour person, but I listened to the advice of a local friend and booked this. It was absolutely worth it. It brought the ruins to life.

The visit to Medina Azahara is fabulous, but to do it with a guide, who explains the whole city, its parts and its history, is the authentic way to enjoy the visit.

Todo muy bien organizado. La visita de lo más interesante, la guía daba explicaciones muy claras y completas de todo el yacimiento arqueológico.

Very interesting tour available in many languages. Runs mostly around the center, past many sights.

Carlos is a very good guide. Explained in very detail.