Patios de Cordoba: Spain’s Prettiest Flower Festival!



The Cordoba Patio Festival

A Photo Diary of the Prettiest Spring Town in the World

If there’s one perfect time to visit Cordoba, it’s during the Cordoba Patio Festival. When I was planning my Andalusia itinerary and trying to decide how long to stay in town, I stumbled on an interesting little festival held each year in the beginning of May…


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During this month, the town residents compete in the Andalusian version of the All-England Best-Kept Lawn competition and throw open their inner courtyards to judge whose flower bedecked patio is the most beautiful.

Originally, I had planned to visit Spain at the end of May/early June but once I saw how beautiful the Cordoba Flower Festival was, I knew I had to shift everything to make sure I could be there in time!


Where to Stay in Cordoba

Eurostars Palace Hotel – this hotel has a gorgeous inner courtyard and gives travelers a true feel for Cordoba’s courtyards, which are usually hidden to outsiders except during the festival.

Check rates:






About the Cordoba Patio Festival

Cordoba’s Unique History

Cordoba was first a Roman than a Moorish city and its local architecture was heavily influenced by each. Homes were designed around a central courtyard (patio in Spanish) with a fountain in the middle to collect rainwater and shield against the heat in ancient Roman times. When the Moors conquered Andalusia, the Muslims added an entrance from the patio to the main street and began the practice of adding flower pots to the walls to provide cooling and a sense of beauty.


Types of Patios

There are two main types of courtyards – the more common is a smaller courtyard belonging to a single family, whose rooms surround the patio on all sides.

The second, is a larger communal space called a neighbors house (casa de vecinos) where multiple homes surround the courtyard. These tend to be much larger and more elaborate, with long balconies, a communal wash room with adorable wood scrub boards and perhaps a fountain and decorative cobblestones.

Obviously a private space is nice.. but the casa de vecinos had so much more space and everyone really came together to beautify the patio together so I’d gladly take up residence in either :)





How to See the Cordoba Flower Festival 2019

The 2019 Fiesta of the patios will start Monday, May 6 and end on Sunday, May 19. 

The local tourism board organizes the event each year and typically the town wide contest is held the first two weeks of May with judging and prizes awarded at the end of the month.

Zones | Typically different locals enter each year, so you probably won’t see the exact same courtyards that I saw. In general, there are around 6 or 7 main “patio zones” each with a slightly different look and feel. I visited 5 of the zones and over 60 patios and no one patio was the same!

Sessions | 2 sessions a day – the afternoon from 11am – 2pm and the evening from 6pm – midnight. If you’re in town from Monday through Friday, you can stop by at any home during either session and photograph, wander and breathe in the beauty to your heart’s content. Some home owners try to regulate the line of people entering to keep their patios from overcrowding. Funny enough, it was my experience that this ended up leading to longer wait times.

Tickets | If you are in town on the weekend, there used to be a ticketing system where you sign up on the official tourism website to request tickets. They discontinued this in 2016. While I was in Cordoba, the weekends became extremely crowded, as locals from other Spanish cities come to visit as well so be prepared to wait for a bit! I would also recommend visiting in the morning session.

Siesta | If you only have a short time window in Cordoba, there are 3 patios in Cordoba that are open during the siesta: Palacio de Orive (at Plaza de Orive), Zoco Municipal (at C/ Judios) and Rey Heredia (at 22 Espacio cultural).  You can visit these three when all the others are closed for afternoon siesta!







Festival of Flowers and Flamenco

The town holds a number of performances and events as well, including evening music and dance performances. These occur simultaneously with the Cordoba Patio Gardens and are mostly free. You can even see some local flamenco dances!

 Read more:  Don’t Travel to Cordoba Without Seeing These 5 Sights



When to See the Cordoba Patio Festival

The patios are generally open from Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 2pm and from 6pm to 10pm; and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 2pm and from 6pm to midnight.

The festival is open to the public so that tourists can ooh and aah over how beautiful these homes are. It’s almost as if the event is a scavenger hunt to find the best kept courtyard – and each one I visited was more charming and aromatic than the next.





Photos from Cordoba’s Patio Festival

I took so many photos that I’ll let them do the talking! The event goes on for a full two weeks so by the time I left it was still ongoing and I’m not actually sure who “won” the competition but my personal favorite was a family who had a pool in their courtyard.

I didn’t get to see the judging so I thought it’d be fun to organize my photos of the patios by (my own designated) categories:


Cordoba Patio Theme 1: Green with Envy





Cordoba Patio Theme 2: Pink n’ Pretty





Cordoba Patio Theme 3: Blue Eyed Wonder





Cordoba Patio Theme 4: A Rainbow of Pots





Cordoba Patio Theme 5: Fountains of Youth





How to See the Cordoba Patio Festival All Year Long

If you can’t make it to see the patios of Cordoba in May, no worries! You can still get an idea and view of Cordoba in flower festival mode by heading to the Palacio de Viana museum, which features a beautiful local home with 12 distinct garden patios.

To check the Cordoba Patio Festival dates for next year, have a look at the official town site. About two weeks before the flower festival, they’ll release a map of all the participating homes and zones with a handy screenshot of each interior patio.


 Read more:  The Perfect 7-Day Andalusia, Spain Itinerary




Visiting Spain – Travel Checklist

To make the most of our time, we booked open jar flights, flying from NY to Madrid and departing from Lisbon. Check flight deals for your dates here.

For getting around within Spain, we recommend the local train system. Both fast and slow options are available, so Spain train travel is easy and effective! The only catch? It’s difficult for non Spanish users to book. Instead, book your tickets on Omio, which is much more convenient for English speakers and accepts international credit card holders. Check train schedules for Spain here.

We mixed up our accommodation throughout the trip, alternating between Airbnb and hotels. You can browse last minute Spain hotel deals here

Lastly, be sure to visit Spain with travel insurance. Whether you get injured and need to be hospitalized, your phone gets stolen, or a flight delay leaves you with nothing but the clothes on your back, travel insurance will help when you need it most. Get a quote for your trip here.


 You Might Also Enjoy: 


Spain Vacation Planning Articles

Spain and Portugal: A Perfect Itinerary to Explore Both Countries!

Headed to Andalusia? Check out this 7 day Southern Spain travel guide



How We Spent 3 Incredible Days in Granada

Insider Tips for Visiting the Alhambra Palace



The Best Things to Do in Seville

A Spain Food Guide: Important Tapas + Food Names in Spanish!



Spain's Hidden Gem: The Quaint Town of Cordoba

Don't Miss Cordoba's Patio Festival! Here's Why


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  1. Julia
    June 23, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    Awesome pictures! All of those flowers are gorgeous! :)

  2. Florence
    June 23, 2016 / 4:47 pm

    Oh my gosh, it’s fabulous! I’ve been to Cordoba but I haven’t heard about this flower festival before! These pictures are stunning!!

  3. Joyce
    June 24, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    Is this real? Can’t believe all the detail and care they put into making it so beautiful! So jealous that you got to go in Spring…seriously each photo was prettier than the last!

    • Sher
      June 24, 2016 / 3:02 pm

      I know right?! it was crazy gorgeous and i’m so glad i was able to make it just in time to see it!

  4. Keri
    June 24, 2016 / 3:55 pm

    To be honest, this place does not even look real! So ethereal and looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale or something!

  5. Falasha
    June 24, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    I love these patios, it is so lovely to see vibrant colors and floral designs. Very cool, thanks for sharing.

  6. Jen
    June 24, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    This place is so gorgeous! It’s good that you posted this because I haven’t heard of it before.

  7. Carmen
    June 25, 2016 / 9:49 am

    Wow this looks sooo beautiful! I’m sure it’s a great feeling to see this whole location live :)

  8. Carina
    June 25, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    Stunning pictures, it looks amazing and you look very chic!

  9. Jessica
    June 26, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    Gorgeous flowers. It truly deserves a tag of being a great spot in spring. I wish I can make it to the Patio Festival next time. :)

  10. June 27, 2016 / 12:46 am

    Oh my god, that place was tailor made for Instagram! Bonita! xx

  11. Betsy Todd
    June 27, 2016 / 2:36 am

    Love these photos, amazing

  12. Jenni
    June 27, 2016 / 4:10 am

    Wow those flowers are very pretty

  13. Kerri
    June 27, 2016 / 6:13 am

    Loving the colours and the imagery of this part of Spain. What an awesome location.

  14. christine leger
    June 27, 2016 / 8:51 am

    flower patio festival? I have never heard of that before, it looks amazing.

  15. Jessica Cutrufello
    June 27, 2016 / 12:38 pm

    I love love love this! We have something kind of similar in Amsterdam called Open Garden Days. So you may love it too if you’re in the area :)

    • Sher
      June 27, 2016 / 11:39 pm

      oh wow! i will have to check that out, thanks for letting me know Jessica!

  16. yuka
    June 27, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    This place is seriously so beautiful!

  17. Castaway with Crystal
    June 28, 2016 / 7:20 am

    I actually love the sound of this so much, it’s right up my ally.

  18. Karla Strand
    June 28, 2016 / 8:59 am

    They are all amazing but I prefer #3 the blue themed ones. Thanks for the info – never would’ve known about this little festival if I hadn’t seen your post!

    • Sher
      June 28, 2016 / 2:42 pm

      So happy to share it with you all. I’m glad you liked the photos Karla :) the pink was my personal favorite!

  19. chelsea finn
    June 28, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    So many stunning photos!!

  20. Kyna Gem
    June 29, 2016 / 10:17 am

    I AM SO INLOVE WITH YOUR PICS!!!!!!! The place looks straight out of a fairytale!

    • Sher
      June 30, 2016 / 2:14 am

      Thanks Kyna!! YES it was so pretty I went snap crazy ha!

  21. Tom Stevenson
    June 30, 2016 / 9:51 am

    Looks like a very interesting festival. Lots of great coutryards there!

  22. Deanna
    April 4, 2017 / 3:16 am

    I’ll be visiting May 2017 for the patio festival. I’m wondering if it the better to go during the week since it is less crowded. Or are there special events on the weekend that would make it more fun? How many days do you recommend? This is the best post I have seen describing the event.

    • Sher
      April 4, 2017 / 3:19 am

      Hi Deanna, glad you liked the post! I DEFINITELY recommend the weekdays.

      On weekends local Spaniards will head down to see it so it gets incredibly crowded. I believe May 1-2 are a holiday in Spain so if possible avoid those dates. Also I have heard that as the festival goes on it gets more crowded so for example, early May is better than late May.

      Nothing special goes on the weekend but there are “secret parties”. Locals will throw their own celebrations and generally its invite only, or friends of friends. I sadly havent been to one of those but I heard thats amazing for a truly local experience! Have a great time!

  23. Yi
    April 5, 2017 / 5:12 pm

    Your pictures are beautiful!! I am planning a trip in May in Adalucia, but most likely I will be in Cordoba 5/15 & 16, which just missed the Patio Festival. Do you by any chance know do I still have access to some backyards and patios after the festival is over? Again, great posting!! I am happy I found it.

    • Sher
      April 6, 2017 / 12:26 pm

      Thanks Yi! Yes there is a patio museum if you won’t be in town during the festival dates. I have more details in my Cordoba and Spain posts along with photos, if that’s helpful.

  24. tiarra Mukherjee
    January 5, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    Hi Sher, I want to join equinox Greenwich Avenue, but to get a corporate discount I think you have to join all of the gyms. I was a member there for about 5 years many yers ago but want to get a corporate membership again and as cheaply as possile since I’m not employed. Can you tell me which companies have corporate rates (I’m a freelance writer so I maight have a choice). Also can you give me a referral to the Greenwich Avenue location?

  25. Natalia
    January 9, 2018 / 8:06 pm

    These all look so beautiful. I can’t believe there’s so many in bloom during the winter!

    • Sher
      January 12, 2018 / 1:16 am

      Hey Natalia! They were soooo pretty! I’ve always loved gardens but have black thumbs personally ha! The photos were taken in spring :)

  26. Mark
    May 2, 2018 / 9:48 am

    Hi Sher, Stunning photos. We just got back from Cordoba (too early for this years festival) but the patios were already looking stunning. We were so inspired we wrote our own post as well. Keep up the great work.

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