How to Travel Córdoba, Argentina in 24 Hours
Located in the heart of Argentina, Córdoba is the country’s second largest city. With the allure of Buenos Aires, Patagonia and Mendoza, Córdoba is often overlooked on travel itineraries. But this vibrant hub was awarded the Cultural Capital of the Americas. It is located near the Sierras Chicas, where historic towns with stories of Ché and Nazi hideouts fill the air; there are breathtaking national parks that stretch on for miles, and you can even follow the journeys of ancient religious pilgrimages
Although one day is not nearly enough time to visit a dynamic city like Córdoba, one day is all you might have available with all that Argentina has to offer.
The good thing about Córdoba is that the Argentine people like to stay up late … because you need every minute of your day (siesta included) to soak up this incredible city.
7:30 a.m. – Get Up and Start Exploring Córdoba
Get out and start exploring this city early — it’s bursting with life! Head to Panaderia for some medialunas with dulce de leche and a couple of jolting cups of coffee. All the ingredients used in this iconic bakery and café are locally sourced. Ya, we know 7:30 a.m. is a bit early, but once you’ve tasted freshly baked Argentinian pastry you’ll agree rising early was worth it.
8:00 a.m. – Head to Iglesia Catedral in Plaza San Martin
Buses will be zipping by and you can marvel at the colourful graffiti as you head toward El Centro. The Iglesia Catedral in Plaza San Martin is worth a look and you can feed some pigeons.
10:00 a.m. – Check Out the 7 Universities in Córdoba
With seven universities in Cordoba, the city has a youthful feel. Nearby Parque Sarmiento, overlooks the National University of Córdoba and hosts museums and a zoo. People run the steps here to take photos of one of the better views of the city. You can stroll the university grounds, check out more graffiti, see their bicentennial monument, and other statues and works of art.
12:00 p.m. – Grab Some Pizza or a Lomito for Lunch
You’ll likely be hungry after all that walking; Córdoba has limitless options for food. It’s known for a mouth-watering style of pizza and the lomito sandwich.
If it’s pizza you want, head to Restaurante Don Luis for a slice served with Finé — essentially a secondary pizza made of chickpea flour and seasoned with dried onions, parmesan and pepper. To keep it traditional, do as the locals do and pair it with a bottle of Muscat.
Or, you can find Chapitas food truck (likely located in Parque Sarmiento) for a meat-tastic sandwich. Argentina has a few name-stake brews; I recommend washing this sandwich down with a Quilmes.
1:30 p.m. – It’s Siesta Time
Now it’s SIESTA O’CLOCK. Although Córdoba doesn’t entirely shut down for siesta, the tradition is still strong. If you happen to be there during their summer and no one is out, you’ll know why: it freaking hot! So go back to your air-conditioned room and lie down, rest those legs and digest those carbs.
3:00 p.m – Go to the most important fútbol club in Córdoba
In case you’re not into a deep siesta sleep and are itching to keep exploring, visit the Skate Park or Palacio Ferreyra Museum.
Then, you could check out a soccer game — El Meson at the Talleres Athletic Club — the most important fútbol club in Córdoba. They usually play on Sundays.
4:00 p.m. –Yerba Maté – Try the one true drink of South America
Make sure to order some fresh-baked Criollitos and cup of Yerba Maté. Let’s be clear: YOU HAVEN’T FULLY IMMERSED YOURSELF in Argentinian culture if you don’t at least try some mate. Served in a special mate cup, usually artistically designed and made from a gourd and drunk through a Bombilla (a fancy straw), mate is a caffeine-rich drink. Hot water is poured from a thermos over dried Yerba Maté leaves. It’s often sweetened with a little honey or sugar, as it’s quite bitter — kind of like a strong green tea. There is traditionally one mate cup per group of people and it’s shared, sometimes for hours — while conversation and relaxation ensue.
6:00 p.m. – Happy Hour and Picadas Cordoba
It’s time for some microbrew, delicious picadas (think antipasta) and an incredible view of Los Capuchinos Church as well as the Paseo de Buen Pastor. Go to Parador Antares in the Güemes neighbourhood. The beer rivals that of beer in Portland and the vibes are what you’d expect of a microbrewery — transplanted into the heart of Latin America.
7:30 p.m. – Tango in the Square
Try to tango in the square at Av. Vélez Sarsfield and Diagonal E. Garzón street. Although some locals will tell you that tango is considered a Buenos Aires dance, the crowds of locals, young and old, in the square each Sunday night, would suggest otherwise. The later you arrive, the more people there will be. We recommend taking a class or two prior your attempt at public dancing — although the participants here are very friendly they’re also here to enjoy a beautiful and romantic dance, so you wouldn’t want to be crashing into them!
8:30 p.m. – Head to the Artsy Belgrano Street to Check Out the Local Wares
Head to Belgrano Street for a walk through the world-class Paseo de las Pulgas artisan market. Open only on the weekends, everything here is locally made — no cheap, gimmicky tourist items and no hard sells. Prior to being able to exhibit, artists are reviewed by a panel to ensure they are in fact making their own goods.
10:30 p.m. – Have an Authentic Argentinian Dinner
It’s just about dinner time in Argentina. If you arrive at 10:30, you’ll be fine; many people (children included), will still be rolling in for dinner up until 11:00 p.m. Belgrano street is loaded with little nooks and alleyways that are home to fantastic restaurants. Our recommendation is Los Infernales de Guemes. Start with sipping a fernet and cola and then switch to an Argentinian malbec to go with your steak. Locro is the traditional soup and it’s damn good but as it’s a heavy comforting soup, locals prefer it during the colder months — we say: try it any way.
As an alternative, head back to Sarmiento Park and grab a choripan from the famous Al Dente Food Truck. If you ask locals, they’ll be able to direct to the area of the park home to Al Dente and a slew of other food trucks. Here you can munch, stroll the park and people watch. We had zero issues being in the park at night — it will be packed with people —but it’s always best to keep your travel wits when you’re in high-density areas.
Then, drive past the “Bee-Hive,” the revamped and super-modern city hall, for a bit of a light show.
12:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. – See a Live Show and Go to a Few too Many Bars
Believe it or not, you’re just getting started. Córdoba has a music scene bursting with live shows and college DJs spinning electro-tango in bars that sit side by side Jesuit ruins. Whether it’s the upcoming hip scene at one of the many bars in Alta Córdoba or a nightclub, you’ll be in for a night to remember.
We say visit Fruta, open until 5:00 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. This social club has a strong focus on art — from clothing fairs in their gardens to international DJs playing on their stages.
We didn’t even get to talk about Ganesha Resto and Night Club or Blind Music — here you can experience music in the TOTAL DARK.
Closing Thoughts: After Spending 24 Hours in Córdoba, Argentina
Despite being 715 km from Buenos Aires, Córdoba should be far from an afterthought for the traveller who wants to get a deeper taste of Argentina. In fact, because it’s still off the main tourist path, Córdoba offers an amazing experience into typical daily life in Argentina.
Getting there requires a short 40-minute flight (although this can sometimes be pricey). Or, you can take a first-class bus that will no doubt be the comfiest overnight bus ride you’ve ever had — with fully reclining seats.
We suggest you go — even if only for a day.