Cordoba is the second largest city in Argentina, and yet it is a city often overshadowed in favor of Buenos Aires. It’s an old city but it has reinvented itself as a cultural center with youthful metropolis. In 2006, the city was chosen as the Cultural Capital of the Americas. If you are planning a trip to Argentina and looking for cities to add to your travel itinerary , then you can consider Cordoba. This 24-hour suggested itinerary will lead you to Cordoba’s famous tourist attractions and will help you make the most of your trip. Depending on your traveling priorities, you can certainly fine tune this itinerary to suit your needs.
Things to know before traveling to Argentina:
Language – Being a Spanish colony for three centuries, Spanish have become the nation’s language which is widely spoken by majority of the people in the country. However, it is important to note that the people also use several secondary languages such as Italian, German, English, French and other indigenous languages like Mapuche, Aymara, Quechua, Guarani and Toba.
Tourist Visa – All US, Canadian and Australian tourists can enter Argentina without a visa. However, a Reciprocity fee prior to entering is required and must be done thru the credit card-based online system on the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones website. Effective March 24, 2016, the Argentina Reciprocity Fee charged to US citizens is temporarily suspended until a further executive order is issued. Travelers from other foreign countries may visit the website as well to check if visa is required.
Currency Exchange – When traveling to Argentina, bring cash, especially US dollars (50 and 100 dollar bills are recommended, as lower denominations often get a worse exchange rate). Argentina has two conversion rates for US dollars and you will really feel the big difference of both rates once you traveled the country. Here’s the conversion rate of US dollars to Argentinian pesos as of this writing:
Normal Rate: USD 1 = 9.41 Argentinian Pesos
Blue Dollar: USD 1 = 16.06 Argentinian Pesos
This difference is brought by the 2011 crisis when the government attempts to reduce inflation and increase confidence in pesos. Argentine residents were almost completely barred from purchasing dollars, but because the residents rely on dollars, a black market has emerged with a separate rate called “blue dollar”.
Travel tip: Pay hotels and restaurants in dollars as they have more favorable rate than the official rate. If you prefer to get the blue dollar rate, exchange with an Argentine since the demand is high but make sure to transact with trusted acquaintances.
Safety – There is currently no nationwide security advisory in effect for Argentina. Check your country’s travel advisory website to get the most up-to-date information for your personal safety abroad. Keep your guard up at all times and avoid any streets that are not crowded. Do not carry debit or credit cards with you, or hide it in your bra or shoes. There were incidences of robbery when offenders will escort you to an ATM and make you take out as much as you can. Leave your passport in the hotel’s safety deposit box and just carry a photocopy.
Getting around – Córdoba features a good public transport network consisting of taxis, public buses and tourist buses. The center of the city is a fairly compact area which can be explored on foot or on a bicycle. If you plan to bike around the city, please beware of some locals who have little regard for traffic regulations and do not follow safe driving practices. If you are only staying overnight, you may consider joining the Córdoba City Tour, the double-decker red bus tours that go around the city and visit at least 40 attractions.
Where to stay in Cordoba:
Day by Day Itinerary: Make the most of your 24 hours in Cordoba, Argentina
On your first day, take in a few of Córdoba’s most famous attractions and get an introduction to its rich history. A tour of Museo Histórico UNC – Manzana Jesuítica (open every day 9AM–1PM, 4PM–8PM, except on Sundays) a museum built by Jesuit missionaries, is a great way to get acquainted with the city. Join a guided tour to learn about its beautiful architecture and the history behind it. After your museum tour, take a stroll through Parque de las Tejas (Las Tejas Park), a public park in Boulevard Chacabuco.
After lunch, spend your afternoon at one of Granada’s best-loved churches like the Iglesia de Los Capuchinos (Capuchin Church). Next is Capilla Domestica Compania de Jesus, one of the oldest churches in the city dating back when the Jesuits established themselves in Cordoba. In the late afternoon, pick a neighborhood to explore like Güemes, which borders Nueva Córdoba. This is a lively bohemian-influenced neighborhood packed with bars and restaurants. If your travel date happens to be on a weekend, then you can enjoy Paseo de Las Artes, the all-year-round weekend craft fair.
It’s time to say “Good-bye” to Cordoba! If you still have time before departure, treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of Cordoba’s best breakfast spots like Bruncheria, Brunches, Novecento and Trigatti Pan y Cafe. You could even squeeze in some souvenir shopping before continue your trip to or other parts of Argentina or head to Chile. You may also extend your stay in Cordoba and explore the region or why not hop on a plane for an hour and enjoy the vineyards of Mendoza (one-way airfare starts at 89 USD). The decision is all yours!
This is the end of our 24-hour suggested itinerary. Remember, this is just a guide for planning and is in no way, shape or form, the only way to travel the city. There are several alternative routes of travel within Cordoba and it will depend on your intended length of stay. Happy travel!
Have you been to Cordoba or anywhere else in Argentina? Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? If so, you can leave your comments below.
Featured image: Map with pin point of Cordoba in Argentina (bobby20 / Shutterstock.com)