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“Possibly the most underrated site in Spain”

Archaeological Ensemble of Madinat Al-Zahra
Ranked #11 of 144 things to do in Cordoba
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Monday Closed
Reviewed 25 March 2014

Madinat Al-Zahra (also spelled Medina Azahara & Medina Al-Zahara) is a great site and highly recommended for anyone in the Cordoba area. It is the ruins of a 10th century city which was sacked and then history left behind. It is a few miles outside of Cordoba, so you will need a car or taxi to get there but my family thought it was worth the trip.

I've attached some pictures (and there are a zillion on elsewhere, of course) so you can see some of the ruins that are left behind. Since they are ruins, and it was so thoroughly destroyed that there was nothing left of material value, you need to use your imagination a little to see what once was. This city was purposely built over 1000 years ago and was once the capital of the richest and most powerful city in Europe. (some parts of the city even had running water) I've read that they've only uncovered 10% of the site, so hopefully more good stuff awaits us.

As is, it is a fantastic site, and amazing to think what once was.
If you do plan to visit, you should plan for at least 2hrs not including any time spent at the museum.

5  Thank PittJim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"archaeological site"
in 31 reviews
"shuttle bus"
in 27 reviews
"short film"
in 19 reviews
"visitor center"
in 5 reviews
"muslim city"
in 4 reviews
"euros return"
in 4 reviews
"entire site"
in 4 reviews
"tourist office"
in 14 reviews
"restoration work"
in 6 reviews
"eu citizens"
in 14 reviews
"guided tour"
in 21 reviews
"yellow bus"
in 5 reviews
"medina azahara"
in 9 reviews
"modern museum"
in 6 reviews
"its heyday"
in 4 reviews
"amazing site"
in 9 reviews
"great museum"
in 6 reviews
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236 - 240 of 2,015 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2014

This place could be a hassle to get to if you have no car but it is worth it. A few miles from Cordoba, but the tourist office can arrange transport there. The museum is fascinating, with state of the art exhibits ( free for EU citizens - they should charge!!) and puts Cordoba and Al-Andalus into context before you get the shuttle bus to see the ruins. A very atmospheric, unspoilt site.

Thank EirianCymraes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2014

This attraction is a few miles out of town but worth the effort. There is a FREE to EU citizens museum a couple of miles before you get to the archaeological site . You have to leave the car here where there is plenty of parking . The museum is very well laid out with reasonable descriptions in English and there is a film and a cafe . Next you take a bus which you have to pay for and it runs every 15 mins . Huge queues in the mornings when the tour buses are visiting . A 5 minute drive up narrow lanes takes you to the ruins . This is also signed in Englsh although less clearly . A lot of the areas are cordoned off at the moment as work is supposedly going on although I didn't see any evidence of it including the main building used by the Caliph which is a little disappointing . I could not see any information about when the work was likely to be finished

1  Thank JANDDBritinParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2014

An exhilirating experience. The Audio-visual experience was most entertaining and informative. Marvelous exhibition. Curio shop well worth the visit. The archeological site is a fantastic exhibition of human creativity and engineering. Driving up to the archeological site is well worth the first hand experience! Breath taking view of the area. Budget sufficient time for your visit.

1  Thank FazelErnest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 January 2014

We went here on our last morning in Córdoba on a guided tour with Córdoba Visión. We had a great guide (Arturo) who really brought the tour alive with his humorous and well-informed commentary. We didn't really have enough time to visit the museum so may have to go back there at some time in the future! A fascinating glimpse into the history and architecture of this region.

Thank Lizzispain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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