HH Around the World - Spain! Cordoba, Granada & Madrid

Posted on May 11, 2014
Melanie Elturk


Recently, Haute Hijab visited Spain! In case you didn't see the updates on Instagram, here are some photos and tips if you're planning a trip to Spain! We landed in Madrid early morning and took a beautiful scenic train ride down to Cordoba where we met our friends who traveled from Chicago.


The streets of Cordoba were charming and quaint. Everywhere I turned was another cute side street that was dying to be photographed ;)

The second day in Cordoba we visited La Mezquita, the mosque that was built by the Muslims who conquered southern Spain and was completed in 987. In 1236, Cordoba was conquered by King Ferdinand and the mosque was converted into a Catholic church. It was beautiful and tragic at the same time. (For more, see first video below).


I kept it casual during our sight-seeing day with boyfriend jeans, flats and a lace-embroidered sweatshirt from J.Crew - of course I topped it off with the Rue Montmartre Haute Hijab!

My hands-down favorite street in Cordoba

The fortress walls surrounding La Mezquita

The view from our hotel - we stayed at the Eurostars hotel in Cordoba and it was by far the best hotel of our trip. The room was amazing and the location was right in the middle of all the action - highly recommended!

On the third day of our trip we rented a car and drove from Cordoba to Granada. I definitely recommend you visit Cordoba before Granada - as amazing as Cordoba was, Granada was even more amazing! It was my favorite city we visited by far. We stayed at Monjas del Carmen - the hotel itself was beautiful and in the best location, but the rooms were okay.


For this day's look I layered a lace top I got right before the trip at a random shop in Dubai with a denim top, pale pink broken-in straight khaki's from Gap and a statement necklace I got ages ago from Anthropologie. 


On our second day in Granada we visited Al Hambra, a palace and fortress built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain originally constructed in 889 and then largely ignored until it was renovated and rebuilt in the mid 11th century by the Moorish King Mohammed bin Al-Ahmar.


Every room was more beautiful than the next - the largest revelation I had while walking through the amazing Nasrid Palaces was the contemporary celebrated designs (like houndstooth and herringbone/chevron, above) that I assumed had European origins, but in fact have Islamic origins. How awesome is that?

The decor of the palaces consist of Arabic calligraphy and inscription surrounded by geometrical arabesque tessellations. Painted tiles are largely used as paneling for the walls, like the one above. 


Moorish poets described Al-Hambra as, "a pearl set in emeralds," in allusion to the color of its buildings and the greenery around them.


I paired denim on denim but broke it up with the neutral trench to keep the denim on denim look from being too cowboy-y if that makes sense. I topped it off with one of my favorite J.Crew necklaces and the Simply Purrrfection Haute Hijab.


After Al-Hambra we wandered around Granada and let the day take us away. We walked up the street lined with Moroccan shops and cafes that led to a clearing with a cute little cafe. As we sat down, a live band came to perform, my friend's kids went crazy dancing and a mass of people collected as the live music served as our backdrop to an afternoon of virgin mojito's. It was awesome.


Once the police came and broke up the performers (total buzzkill), we got up and continued up the winding path until we got to another clearing with a stunning view (below) and a courtyard filled with people tight-roping (see 2nd video below), playing soccer and riding a unicycle (what?) Again, it was awesome. We chatted up the locals and they were super friendly.

Breathtaking view of the snow-capped mountains of Granada

The sun was setting and we knew there must've been something at the top of the path we were on, so we continued on until we finally got to a scenic look-out point overlooking Al-Hambra. We watched the sun set behind Al-Hambra and it was beautiful.

The last city on our trip was Madrid. We drove up to Madrid from Granada and stayed at the Hotel Catalonia Atocha, which was in an okay location, but the rooms were great. I was a little surprised at how small the main area of Madrid was - we walked the entire city stopping at the main tourist attractions in just one day!

This beautiful cathedral was directly opposite the Royal Palace, which I absolutely recommend you take a tour in. It only takes about 45 minutes and the rooms are absolutely stunning and opulent - a definite must-see! Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed in the Palace so no pics of the rooms :(


I saved this spring outfit for Madrid featuring wide-leg white pants, a striped tee and red tweed blazer from Zara. To bring everything together I wore the Spring Fever Haute Hijab and this gorgeous gold chain necklace coming soon from Mon Amour Collection for Haute Hijab!

The beautifully ornate Royal Palace (See 3rd video below for Madrid highlights!)

Our last meal in Madrid before we took off early the next morning. Hamdulilah for the best trip with amazing friends! Check out these short videos I posted on Instagram in each city.