Visiting Madinat Al Zahra for free is an option to be able to see the monument in a calm way and to be able to observe all its details. Then I will explain how to get to the monument, how to know its history and a summary of what you will find, as well as a map of the site with its most important parts.
On this website you have a free audit of the monument. You can visit Madinat al Zahra and know all its details.
Until a few years ago, visitors could drive up to Madinat al-Zahra and park practically “at the door”. Since the Madinat al Zahra Visitor Reception Center was inaugurated, it is no longer possible.
How to get to Madinat al Zahra
To visit Madinat al-Zahra by car, you must go along the Palma del Río A-431 road until kilometer 5,500 where the Madinat al-Zahra signage is. You have free parking at the visitor reception center.
Below you have the map to know how to get to the Visitor Center.
In public transport
To go to Madinat al Zahra by public transport, from Tuesday to Sunday a bus leaves from the center of Cordoba directly to the Visitor Reception Center. The bus only takes 20 minutes to arrive. You have more information on this link.
Visit the Madinat al Zahra Museum
Once at the Visitor Reception Center and prior payment of the entrance you can access to see the Madinat al-Zahra Museum. It is a museum where many pieces found in the site are shown. In addition to the Museum there is an Auditorium where they project an explanatory video of the history of Madinat al-Zahra and a recreation of how the city was before it was destroyed. It is highly recommended if you have decided to visit Madinat al-Zahra for free.
Visit the site for free
To visit the site, there is a shuttle bus that leaves the car park every 20 minutes. It is the only way to go up to see the Ruins of Madinat al Zahra, but it is very comfortable and fast.
When you arrive in Madinat al-Zahra, what you will find is an old city under reconstruction. Some areas are better preserved than others, but you can clearly see the city that was there in the time of Abderramán III. The most important parts of the Site are the Great Portico, the Aljama Mosque, the Army House and the Rico Hall.
Other interesting areas to see are the House of Yafar, the House of the Pool and the High Garden, which is in front of the Rich Salon.
To visit Madinat al-Zahra on your own, it is recommended to bring a small map. Below you have one that you can also download below. Although it is a very basic plan, it is enough to know where each of the sites of interest of the monument is.
This is a small summary of how you can visit Madinat Al-Zahra for free. It is a recommended option for those who like to travel more “on their own.” If you want to know more details about this Umayyad city under reconstruction, I recommend that you follow the following link, where you have much more information about Madinat Al-Zahra.