Córdoba is a student-oriented city in northern Argentina with a really lively vibe. There are plenty of cultural centers and parks where young people gather in the afternoon to listen to music and drink mate. I didn’t understand how a city of more than a million people could have such a strong student influence until I learned there are 200,000 of them.
Although there aren’t any incredible attractions here, it’s a fun, energetic place to spend a couple of days. Especially if you’re looking for a night out or want to break up a long bus ride. During the summer months this part of Argentina gets very hot and the city feels emptier, so you may get a different impression of Córdoba.
Where to Change Money
You can exchange money at the blue market rate on Calle Rivadavia near Plaza San Martín. Be aware that the money changers don’t work Saturday afternoons, Sundays, or holidays. Also, the exchange rate is slightly worse than in Buenos Aires and Patagonia.
*All prices are in USD due to Argentina’s high inflation*
What to Do
Paseo de los Artes – An artisanal fair where you can find everything from records to antiques to colorfully woven ponchos. This takes place on weekends starting at 6 PM.
Iglesia de los Capuchinos – A beautiful gothic church where you can climb the bell towers for views of the city. It’s open for visits from 2:30-7 PM and it’s closed on Sundays. Two other churches worth a visit are the Society of Jesus and the Cathedral of Córdoba. The former is open from 9 AM-1 PM and 6-8 PM, and the latter is only open for visits before the 6 PM daily mass.
Che Guevara Museum – Che spent part of his childhood in nearby Alta Gracia and his house is now a museum. The museum has lots of pictures and replicas of items from his life but not much biographical information. Even so, I did learn a bit about his life and death and the entrance is only $1.
The bus ride is 1 hour and Grupo Sarmiento has departures every half hour during the week. On weekends the departures are less frequent.
Córdoba Museum of Memory – A small museum housed in a building that was a secret detention center when Argentina was under a dictatorship.
Mercado Sud – At Córdoba’s main market, you’ll find produce, wine, cheese, and street food.
Museo Superior de Bellas Artes – This museum features lots of modern art, which isn’t my cup of tea, but it was worth the visit because a fair amount of history is mixed in. The most notable is a powerful collection from an artist whose pregnant daughter was tortured and killed by the dictatorship. The entrance is $1.25 and it’s free on Wednesdays.
Sarmiento Park – If you need a break from the sun or are taking a lazy day after a night out, Sarmiento is a nice place to relax.
Where to Eat
Comedor Club IME – I loved the atmosphere here as much as the food. It’s a no-frills parrilla with a variety of typical cuisine and it gets very busy for lunch.
Suria Comidas Árabes – Córdoba has many residents of Arab descent and this family-owned restaurant has deliciois shawarma and empanadas.
Where to Stay
Aldea Hostel – The atmosphere here is awesome and it’s definitely one of my favorite hostels. There are large common areas and a rooftop to have a few drinks before a night out. The staff is wonderful and the dorms are modern and air-conditioned.
Alvear Hostel – Located inside a historic house near the plaza, this hostel has a rooftop bar and a lively atmosphere.
How Long to Stay
2 days is enough time in Córdoba before heading elsewhere in Argentina.
Bookaway is a great resource that allows you to compare the prices of both buses and flights, and secure your seat in advance!
Where to Next
Mendoza (11 hours by bus) – Taste some of the world’s best wine and hike to the base camp of the tallest mountain in the Americas.
Buenos Aires (11 hours) – A food paradise with European influence and exciting cultural events including street parties, tango shows, and interactive dining experiences.
Salta (13 hours) – A beautiful colonial city with one of the best museums in South America and lively regional folk music events.
Cafayate (14 hours via San Miguel de Tucumán) – Scenic bike rides and bodegas where Argentina’s best white wine is produced.
Puerto Iguazú (24-hour bus or 2-hour flight) – The Iguazù Falls are one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World.
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