Córdoba is the 2nd largest city in Argentina, so many people believe it to be a smaller version of Buenos Aires but that line of thought couldn’t be more wrong.
While Córdoba is dauntingly large, it’s in not set up in the same way as Buenos Aires at all. It has very separate areas that have to be visited at the right time with the right goal. It’s also not a city for simple strolls that end up in great discoveries.
Many people go to Córdoba, walk around the area they are staying in and think “What do people do here?”
We are so accustomed to the idea of a city just throwing options in our face that a city like Córdoba is a little disorienting. There are a lot more places to see than things to do and you really need to know where to go and when.
During the day you’ll want to be in the city center.
There you will find several peatonales (pedestrian only streets) full of shops, cafes, street food and tons of people. You can do a little shopping or simply people watch.
Interestingly enough, each peatonal seems to have a different atmosphere.
- The Deán Funes Peatonal is centered more about shopping and a whole lot of soft serve ice cream for cheap.
- The 9 de Julio and Obispo Trejo peatonales also have lots of shops but hold a lot of the better restaurants as well.
- The San Martin peatonal is definitely the most distinct with it’s incredibly chaotic feel. The streets are flooded with street merchants selling cheap goods of varying levels of quality. You’ll also find fresh produce and plenty of street food.
The city center is also home to the seemingly endless museums, plazas and parks. These are all great places to hang out during the day, but again, not exactly action-packed.
Once the sun goes down, the city center basically becomes useless to you.
In fact, the peatonales switch from being a social hotspot to being a shady area that is relatively unsafe for locals and tourists alike. You’ll want to shift your focus to Nueva Córdoba, which is the University and student area of the city.
This area is absolutely packed with bars and restaurants. The students are practically a separate community, young partiers who throw back beers while they study or even in between classes. You don’t have to wait for the weekend for this area to get lively, the students are out and about every day of the week.
Another thing that adds to the strange feel of Córdoba is the life in the hills, or Las Sierras.
Córdoba is surrounded by beautiful green mountainous areas with rivers weaving through them. Some areas are only an hour away by bus while others take upwards of 5 hours to get there.
True Cordobeses spend their weeks in the city and their weekends in Las Sierras. These towns can be kind of a trek to get to from the city but you can’t really say you have experienced Córdoba without spending a little bit of time checking out the nature outside of the city.