Mosques to visit in Spain

Mosques to visit in Spain

Mosques to visit in Spain

By Sakina Kamrudeen | 15, Nov, 2017

Magnificent Mosques of Spain
Spain has a long and colourful history, having first been conquered by the Roman Empire until the Middle Ages, when in the 8th century, Spain became a part of the ever-expanding Umayyad Caliphate. Although later, in the 15th century, Imperialism invaded Spain, followed by the wars for liberalization in the 18th century, leading to the Spanish civil war and finally establishing Spain as a Democracy.
This Islamic reign by the Muslim Moors in the Iberian Peninsula indelibly left its mark on modern-day Spain, resulting in the Spanish kingdom being dotted with some of the most beautiful mosques with an awe-inspiring architecture of that era. Thus, for the Muslim traveller on a holiday in Spain, some of the world’s most amazing Mosques await you. In fact, visiting these wonderous Spanish Mosques must be on the ‘to-do’ list for any Halal trip to Spain.
So, review these renowned Mosques, and locate them on your mobile, to experience a prayer place which has been standing for over a thousand years!

The Great Mosque of Córdoba

The Great Mosque of Córdoba located in the Spanish region of Andalusia was originally a small Christian Visigoth church. When the Moor Muslim’s came to rule Spain, Abd al-Rahman I ordered the construction of the Great Mosque in 784. This Mosque was further expanded by later Muslim rulers. This Mosque of Córdoba was important to the Islamic community of al-Andalus for three centuries. In 1236, Córdoba was converted to a Roman Catholic church. Since the early 21st century the Spanish Muslims have been lobbying the Roman Catholic church to allow them to pray at this site, but have however to date been denied permission.
In its heyday, the Great Mosque of Córdoba was used as the main place for prayer, it was also a hall for teaching Islam and the site for Sharia Law cases.

Architecture and Design

The architectural design of the Great Mosque of Córdoba is inspired by the Great Mosque of Damascus, the Dome of the Rock and the Aachen Cathedral. Architects also incorporate Roman columns of Gothic structure and others sent from different regions of Iberia as gifts. The Columns, arches and other decorative aspects of the Mosque were incorporated with ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass. Mosaics and azulejos were also incorporated in the design of the Mosque. The walls were also decorated with Quranic inscriptions. The mihrab of the Mosque was considered an architectural masterpiece with its geometric and flowing designs of plants.
However, when Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, the centre of the Great Mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. As time passed other Christian features were added such chapels and a nave. The minaret of the Mosque was also converted to the bell tower.

Interesting Facts


  • It is reported that Abd al-Rahman I is buried under the site of the Mosque.
  • Abd al-Rahman I initially named the Mosque ‘Aljama Mosque’ in honour of his wife.


The Great Mosque of Córdoba was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as a part of the Historic Center of Córdoba in 1984.
Although Muslims are not allowed to pray at this Mosque, it is a must visit with its amazing architecture and remarkable historical significance.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday – 10:00 am to 06:00 pm | Sunday and Religious Festive Days – 9:00 am to 10:30 am and 02:00 pm to 06:00 pm.
Tickets: Guided Tours – 40 € per person and free for children under 8 years old | Tours without a Guide – 10 € per person, 5 € for children between 10-14 years old and free for children under 10 years old.
Click here for more information about The Mosque of Córdoba

Mosque of Cristo de la Luz

The Mosque of Cristo de la Luz has remained nearly unchanged since its construction in 999 and is the only remaining former Moorish Mosque in the city of Toledo, Spain. Originally named the Mezquita Bab-al-Mardum, it is located near the Puerta del Sol, a city gate of Toledo, Spain, built in the late 14th century.

Architecture and Design

This Mosque was built over a Visigoth church measuring approximately 8m X 8m with four columns dividing the interior into nine parts. The designs in each of these nine parts are unique and follow Islamic design concepts. This Mosque, which was converted to a chapel in 1186, is constructed of brick and small stones. The overall architectural design and formation is a blend of Moorish style and local building techniques. However, much of its influence can be attributed to the caliphate in Córdoba and the Great Mosque of Córdoba.
After the conversion of the Mosque to a church, the qibla wall and mihrab were lost when an apse was built in the Mudejar architecture style. Today, this building also features many Christian themed decorations and murals of Christ and other figures.


Today, this building functions as a church. However, Muslim travellers will get a feel the Mosque that it was, especially with the inscription in Kufic script on the facade of the building that reveals the details of the Mosque’s origin.
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00 am – 06:45 pm (March 1st to October 15th) | 10:00 – 05:45 pm (October 16th to February 28th).
Tickets: General – 2.80 € | Accredited Groups – 2.40 € | Free for under the age of 11.

Click here for more information about The Mosque of Cristo de la Luz

The Mosque of Almonaster la Real

This Mosque was built in the 10th century from the origins of a Visigoth basilica of the 5th century. Hailed as one of the few surviving Spanish rural Mosques, it is an oddly shaped building made of brick and stone. This Mosque sits on top of a hill within the castle overlooking the village of Almonaster la Real in the province of Huelva, Spain. This beautifully preserved Mosque was converted to a church as Islamic rule changed to Christian rule. Over the centuries this Mosque has gone through numerous changes, but its Islamic features have been retained while new Christian elements were added on.

Architecture and Design

This Mosque was built during the reign of Abd al-Rahman III. It is trapezoidal in shape and has three parts – the prayer hall, the courtyard of ablutions, and the minaret tower. The prayer hall has five small naves. The central nave is covered by a half-sphere dome and brick arches. The courtyard of ablutions is built-into the facade of the rock. Most of the minaret has been built over due to the additions made over the years. The Mihrab, however, still stands, but has over the years lost its paint, and only the brick and stone remain today.

Interesting Facts

  • 16 undated tombs were found in the oration room of the Mosque.
  • The Mosque of Almonaster la Real is the focus of the annual ‘Jornadas de Cultura Islamica’ which takes place in the town of in Almonaster la Real in the month of October.


Despite the changes over the years, the building retains its ‘Moorish character’ to date. It was declared a National Monument in 1931 and was further renovated between 1970 and 1973. The Mosque of Almonaster la Real is a must-visit place while on your Halal trip to Spain.
Opening Hours: Every day from 09.00 am to 08.30 pm.
Tickets: Entrance is free.

Click here for more information about The Mosque of Mezquita de Almonaster La Real

MOSQUE at Alcazar of Jerez de la Frontera

Picture Credit –

The Mosque within the Alcazar of Jerez de la Frontera in the is the Cadiz province of Spain is the only remaining one in the region from the original 18 Mosques. It was built in the 11th century but was converted to a church in the 13th century when the Christians conquered the region. The entire Fortress was designated as a world heritage site in 1931.

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 09:30 am – 02:30 pm (October 1st to June 30th) | Monday to Friday 09:30 am – 05:30 pm (July 1st to September 30th) | Saturday and Sunday 09:30 am – 02:30 pm
Tickets: General – 5 € | Groups – 4 €
Click here for more information about Mezquita de Jerez

Other Former MOSQUES of Spain

Apart from the above famous historic Mosques of Spain, there are much more Mosques or Mezquita (as known in Spanish) which can be visited. While many have been converted to churches or put to other uses today, the architecture and splendour still remain. So, while holidaying in Spain and visiting these regions/cities, take the time to visit these magnificent mosques in Spain.
  • Mezquita de las Tornerías | Toledo, Spain
  • Santa Maria de la Sede Cathedral (also known as Seville Cathedral) | Seville, Spain

Modern Mosques in Spain

For those Muslim travellers are looking for Mosques with the express purpose of prayer, these modern Mosques of Spain are your answer. A quick search on Google Maps should give you its location.

Basharat Mosque

Address: Mezquita Basharat, 14630 Pedro Abad, Córdoba, Spain | Opened: 1982
Click here for more information about Basharat Mosque

Madrid Central Mosque

Address: Calle Anastasio Herrero, 5, 28020 Madrid, Spain | Opened: 1988
Click here for more information about Madrid Central Mosque

King Abdul Aziz Mosque

Picture Credit –

Address: s 29602, Urb. Lomas Marbella-S, 18, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain | Built: 1981
Click here for more information about King Abdul Aziz Mosque
Sakina has over 10 years of experience in the field of corporate communications; having worked for a leading Annual Report Production House dealing with top corporates of Sri Lanka and overseas, and later as the Group Communications Specialist for a Sri Lankan conglomerate for their overseas plantations business. She is well-versed in the production process of annual reports, sustainability reports, corporate videos and other corporate communication media. She also has experience in Social Media Marketing and works to increase and improve social media presence of corporates and small niche market businesses. Today, she works as a freelance writer and undertakes consultations on corporate communications and social media related projects. She enjoys writing for blogs on topics of interest.

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Where to go Shopping in the major cities of Spain?

Where to go Shopping in the major cities of Spain?

Shopping in Spain is concentrated in the two largest cities Madrid and Barcelona. These cities have the best malls and shopping centers in the country where you can find things of any price. Collections are represented by international and local brands, however, are also known throughout the world.

In other cities like Sevilla, Valencia, Malaga, and Zaragoza, shoppers will be able to find everything they need. The famous Spanish markets deserve special attention. Unique products and souvenirs can be bought there. In outlets, travelers will be able to find things from old collections with nice discounts.

Most major cities of Spain have El Corte Ingles network. You can find goods of any category in these huge shopping centers. Tourists will enjoy the unforgettable shopping there.


You can do good shopping in several areas, depending on the purpose and budget. Shopping streets start from the central city square. There are also numerous shops of local craftsmen with traditional souvenirs.

Among the most amazing shopping centers of the capital, it’s worth noting Plenilunio, Principe Pio and Moda Shopping. There you can buy inexpensive clothing from the world famous Spanish and foreign brands.

Products of elite brands can be searched in the most prestigious area of ​​the city, Barrio de Salamanca.

Excellent shopping for everyone is waiting for tourists in the Gran Vía area. And in Cuatro Caminos you can buy exclusive fabrics and even order an outfit.

Not far from Madrid, there a fairly large outlet, Las Rozas Village, where you can buy clothes of expensive brands with discounts up to 70%. The season of sales in Spain runs twice a year. Winter sales start in early January and last until March; by the end of it, discounts may reach even 80%. Summer sales also last about two months, from early July to late August. This time is considered the best for shopping in Spain.


Barcelona has prepared a real present for shoppers. Monday to Friday, during the working hours, a bus runs along the streets of the city and takes tourists to the most important places for shopping. The length of the route is 5 kilometers; the ticket price is 10 euros. Most of the shops are located in the city center. You can find boutiques of famous Spanish brands, including Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Stradivarius with rather democratic prices on the Passeig de Gracia avenue. The same street features shops of elite brands – Chanel, D&G, and Yves Saint Laurent. One of the largest shopping centers in the capital of Catalonia is Diagonal Mar. It has more than 150 shops of various brands, children’s areas, and restaurant patios. No less exciting is shopping in the areas of Raval and Gracia. Here, you can find something vintage and exclusive.One of Spain’s largest outlets, La Roca Village, is located near Barcelona. It has more than 100 stores; discounts there can reach 60%. The village has a very special design, so you can visit it even as part of the tour.


Valencia, go for shopping to Carrer Colon, which is the main trade artery of the city. There are shops of different brands, including Lacoste, Zara, H&M, and Nike. The budget-saving shopping can be done at El Saler, where clothes, toys, cosmetics, and accessories are sold. In Seville, it is obligatory to buy something local. The homeland of flamenco produces luxurious colored scarves, dresses for dancing, shoes, and castanets. You can buy inexpensive souvenirs on Bazar Arjona. In Malaga, there is the oldest shopping center in the country, Felix, where you can find a large number of different shops.

Canary Islands

Vacationers will also be able to make nice purchases on the Canary Islands. In the south of the island, in the resort of Las Americas, it is worth to go to the main street, which is called the Golden Mile. There, you can buy clothes of both elite designers and inexpensive brands. The largest city of the islands, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, has somewhat wider choice. Shopping centers like Carrefour and Meridiano are recommended to make purchases.

Original post by
Spain’s top fashion brands

Spain’s top fashion brands

Tracy Gold went shopping in Madrid for a few days. In this video she tells you where to shop in Madrid for the best high street brands

Gran Via and Paseo de la Castellano in Madrid

shopping Spain European brands
Madrid Gran Via Shopping

Gran Via and the Paseo de Castellano are located in the centre of Madrid and the busiest shopping areas in Spain.

A huge variety of shops cab be found around these areas including H & M, Zara, Bershka , Mango, Massimo Dutti,  Balenciaga, Pull & Bear, Springfield,  Blanco, Desigual,  Maxmara, Longchamp, Caramelo, Women’s Secret or Sephora, but also many luxury brands, such as Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Channel, Valentino.

Also in Madrid head off to the Calle Toro and Calle Zamora for plenty souvenirs and objects as you’ve never seen before.

The streets are packed with souvenir shops full of strange and interesting trinkets from earrings and bracelets, to handmade decorations made by talented local craftsmen.

Barcelona City Shopping

Barcelona Las Ramblas
Barcelona Las Ramblas

As you would expect when visiting such a vibrant city, Barcelona is full of every kind of shopping outlet to suit every taste and budget. The top places to shop in Barcelona include the renowned Las Ramblas street, the Placa de Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia and the Avenida Diagonal, here you will find all the top fashion  stores such as Versace, Gucci, Armani, Bally, Cartier, Burberry or Calvin Klein, as well as many other brands and shops with quality clothes, shoes and accessories.

Otther important shopping areas in Barcelona include Diagonal Mar, L’illa, Glories or Maremagnum. are some malls in Barcelona where you can find a wide variety of shops with international brands.

For significant discounts on luxury products, you can choose La Roca Village, located outside of Barcelona, where you can easily get by bus, which can be took right from the center of Barcelona. Some of the stores you’ll find here include: Guy Laroche, Guess, Armani, FURLA, Gucci, Timberland and Desigual.

Luxury shopping in Marbella

Armani in Spain
Armani in Spain

Marbella  has long been home to the rich an famous and as you would expect the luxury high end shops are available around the town specially within the famous Puerto Banus marina located  a few miles west of the town centre. Here you will find all the swanky upmarket shops including Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Channel, Valentino, Armani and Cartier.

Spain’s top fashion brands

» Stradivarius
» Bimba y Lola
» Adolfo Dominguez
» Zara
» Massimo Duti
» La Potegna
» Loewe
» Mango
» Tous
» Intropia

Online Shopping

Of course these days you can find all kinds of Spanish good online via Amazon, Ebay and hundreds of other well known outlets.

Top online buys include Spanish cured ham, extra virgin olive oil , chorizo spicy sausage and any number of world class wines and cheeses.

Organised shopping trips

»   La Rozas Shopping tour in Madrid.
»   Madrid Walking Tour Including La Latina and Lavapiés.
»   La Roca Village Shopping Day Trip from Barcelona.

Spain’s major supermarkets

The big players for supermarket shopping in Spain include Alcampo (Auchan), Carrefour, Eroski and Hipercor.

These big name mega-supermarkets can be found all around Spain and offer a huge variety of goods at much lower prices than the local shops.

The ever popular budget supermarkets such  as Aldi, Spar, Lidl, Dia and Mercadona are all brands which are becoming increasingly popular throughout Spain offering excellent value and are perfect for visitors on self catering holidays.

Municipal markets

Spanish Food Market
Spanish Food Market

Other interesting places to buy fresh daily produce are the municipal found near the centre of most Spanish towns and villages. Here you can find lots of varieties of fresh  vegetables, fruits, homemade bakery and confectionery.

They say you can get the best idea on local cusine by visiting the local food market and luckily there are usually at least one in every village, town and city accross Spain.

There are a number of famous indoor food markets that are well worth visiting as give a real insight into Spanish cooking and culture.

Here is a list of the best food markets in Spain:

  1. Mercado de Asbetos – Santiago.
  2. Mercado Central – Cadiz
  3. Mercado de Triana – Seville
  4. Mercado del Carmen  – Huelva
  5. Mercado de la Ribera – Bilbao
  6. Mercado Central – Valencia
  7. Mercado de San Fernando – Madrid
  8. Mercado La Boqueria – Barcelona
  9. Mercado Santa Catalina – Barcelona
  10. Mercado del Puerto – Las Palmas De Gran Canaria
  11. Mercado de Ataranzas – Malaga
  12. Mercado de San Miguel – Madrid
  13. Mercado Victoria – Cordoba
  14. Mercado Alcaiceria – Granada

Outdoor street markets

Shopping and discounts enthusiasts can enjoy the big outdoor markets open throughout Spain, on certain days of the week. Just about every llarge village, town and city will have numerous outdoor marketsheld between Monday to Saturday.

In these markets you can find really valuable items at bargain prices and a variety of interesting goods.

The multitude of colourful stalls will delight your senses with fruits and vegetables, fragrant flowers, as well as the delicious Spanish pastries and sweets that will add extra flavour to your trip.

Top street markets in Spain:

  1. El Rastro – Madrid
  2. Mercado de Motores – Madrid
  3. Els Encants Vells – Barcelona
  4. Marcantic – Barcelona
  5. Mercadillo de Jueves – Seville
  6. Alcaiceria – Granada
  7. Plaza Redondo Market – Valencia

Spains largest shopping malls

»  Xanadu Madrid
» Commercial Centre – La Vaguada Madrid
» Centro Comercial Marineda City – A Coruna
» Centro Comercial Puerto Venecia – Zaragoza 
» Centro Comercial Parquesur – Madrid
» Centro Comercial Bonaire – Valencia
» Centro Comercial Plaza Imperial – Zaragoza
» Parque Comercial La Cañada  – Marbella
» Centro Comercial Parque Principado – Asturias
» Centro Comercial Nueva Condomina – Murcia
» Centro Comercial La Maquinista – Barcelona
» Centro Comercial Mataró Parc – Barcelona
» Centro Comercial Gran Vía 2 – Barcelona
» Centro Comercial Los Arcos – Seville
» Centro Comercial Gran Via – Alicante

Upmarket shopping at El Corte Ingles

The network of stores El Corte Inglés is probably the king of the super stores,and found throughout Spain.

Customers who come to El Corte Inglés have access from a wide range of food, electronics and toys to clothing, perfumes, jewelry or decorative objects, all of good quality.

In a few words, you can find everything you need in one place.

Usually, El Corte Inglés enjoys a central location in each city where it is located and often has all sorts of deals, which makes it attractive for each tourist eager to buy quality stuff at good prices.

Guided Shopping Tours – Book in Advance

Some of the best shopping malls in Madrid

Some of the best shopping malls in Madrid

Madrid is home to some great outdoor shopping areas like the Gran Vía, but sometimes, especially when the weather is bad, a shopping mall is a much nicer shopping prospect. Read on to discover some of the city’s best shopping centres.

Centro Comercial La Gavia

If you need some furniture or just have an urge to stock up on cheap candles, then La Gavia is for you: it is home to one of Madrid’s two IKEAs (top tip: try to go on a weekday to avoid the crowds). As well as Scandi furniture, the shopping centre, located on the end of Line 1 on the metro, has a huge range of shops, from women’s and men’s fashion, to toy shops and tech stores, as well as a cinema. There are a good number of food options too: popular burger chain Five Guys is one of the latest fast food options to open here.

Opening times:

Shops: Monday–Sunday 10am–10pm

Restaurants: Sunday–Thursday 10am–1am; Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays 10am–3am

IKEA: Monday–Sunday 10am–10pm

Centro Comercial La Gavia, Calle Adolfo Bioy Casares, 2, 28051 Madrid, Spain, +34 914 25 54 01


Principe Pio

The Centro Comercial Príncipe Pío is a good option if you don’t want to stray too far from the city centre; it is located in the former Estación Norte train station just to the west – and within easy walking distance – of the centre. There is a good range of high street brands, from Spanish favourites like Zara and Mango to international names like H&M and Levi’s. There is a Cinesa cinema and a food court packed full of different dining options.

Opening times:

Shops: Monday–Saturday 10am–10pm; Sunday 11am–10pm

Restaurants: Sunday–Thursday until 1am, Fridays and Saturdays until 2am

Principe Pio, Paseo de la Florida, 2, 28008 Madrid, Spain, +34 917 58 00 40


Príncipe Pío shopping centre | © Sharon Mollerus/Flickr

ABC Serrano

Set in the historic former headquarters of Spanish newspaper ABC, this shopping centre is located right in the heart of Madrid’s most exclusive neighbourhood: Salamanca. It holds regular events, from art exhibitions to tie ins with Madrid fashion week. Don’t miss exploring the nearby Golden Mile of designer stores, even if you’re just window shopping!

Opening times:

Monday–Saturday, 10am–9pm

ABC Serrano, Calle de Serrano, 61, 28006 Madrid, Spain, +34 915 77 50 31

Centro Comercial Madrid Xanadú

Madrid Xanadú, to the south-west of Madrid, is much more than just a shopping centre. As well as a good range of shops and restaurants, it is home to the biggest indoor ski slope in Spain, Madrid Snowzone. There is also a cinema, bowling alley, and mini golf – so it’ll have you covered for activities for all the family.

Opening times:

Shops: Monday–Sunday 10am–10pm

Restaurants: Sunday–Thursday 10am–1am; Fridays and Saturdays 12pm–3am

Centro Comercial Madrid Xanadú, Autovía A-5, Km. 23,5, 28939 Arroyomolinos, Madrid, Spain, +34 902 26 30 26


Go skiing indoors in Madrid | © tookapic/Pixabay


Located in Leganés, seven kilometres south of Madrid but easily accessible on the cercanías commuter train, Parquesur is one of the biggest shopping malls in Spain. It has 153 shops and 47 restaurants, as well as an IMAX cinema and bowling alley.

Opening times:

Monday–Saturday 10am–10pm; Sundays 11am–9pm

Parquesur, Av. de Gran Bretaña, 28916 Leganés, Madrid, Spain, +34 916 87 36 00

Plaza Norte 2

This shopping centre is located in San Sebastián de los Reyes, to the north-east of Madrid. It is the location of the second IKEA in Madrid so a useful option if you’re looking for some new furniture or homeware. As well as all the usual Spanish and international high street stores, there is also a cinema.

Opening times:

Shops: Monday–Saturday 10am–10pm; Sunday 11am–9pm

Restaurants: Sunday–Thursday 10am–1am; Friday and Saturday 10am–3am

Plaza Norte 2, Plaza del Comercio, 11-12, 28703 San Sebastián de los Reyes, Madrid, Spain, +34 916 59 39 67


Plaza Norte 2 | © M.Peinado/Flickr

Las Rozas Village

In the town of Las Rozas on the outskirts of Madrid is Las Rozas Village, a designer fashion outlet with lots of top brands at bargain prices. There is a direct bus line from Plaza de España, right in the centre of Madrid. Non-EU residents can also claim back the tax on purchases by asking for a tax-free receipt and showing it to customs when leaving Spain.

Opening times:

Sunday–Friday 10am–9pm; Saturday 10am–10pm

Las Rozas Village, Calle Juan Ramón Jiménez, 3, 28232 Las Rozas, Madrid, Spain, +34 916 40 49 00


Las Rozas Village | © jacinta lluch valero/Flickr

Original post from The Culture Trip