Know Before You Go
Guided tours of the Mosque-Cathedral are a wonderful way to hear about the history of Islam in Spain, but if you're traveling on a budget there are a few ways to see the Mosque for free. First, admission to the Mosque is free from 8:30am until 9:30am (but only for individuals). Second, the Mosque today functions as an active Spanish Cathedral and admission to church services is free. You'll be expected to be respectful and won't be allowed to explore the Mosque beyond the Cathedral-area, but you'll have a free ticket to watching or participating in a traditional Spanish Mass while taking in the beauty of the Cathedral.
The Mosque-Cathedral is located in the central tourist-area of Córdoba. Beware of pickpockets: Roma women tend to gather outside the entrances and exits of the Mosque and will offer visitors a sprig of Rosemary or a palm-reading while pickpocketing them or asking to be paid. But don't worry too much, this is a beautiful part of Córdoba and you should try wandering along the Río Guadalquivir, strolling across the Puente Romano through the Judería, and viewing the Roman Triumphal Arch--all within a five minutes walk.