Visiting magical Segovia
Segovia was one of the highlights of our one-month trip through Spain. Not only does it have some incredible attractions, it’s one of the most beautiful towns in Spain (it looks like something out of a fairy tale).
Segovia is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has 3 attractions that are world class:
The Roman Aqueduct. Built by the Romans in the first century AD, it carried water from the Guadarrama Mountains to the center of town (an distance of 15 km). The most visibly impressive part of the aqueduct is the Aqueduct Bridge which spans almost 30 meters above Plaza Azoguejo, one of the town’s main squares. You can climb the steps up the Postigo Del Consuelo and from there have great views of the aqueduct and the mountains in the distance that were the source of the water.
Cathedral of Segovia. Built between 1525 – 1577, it is considered the last Gothic building in Spain (and some say in Europe). It is a huge, spacious and elegant Cathedral with high columns and ornate ceiling beams. The Cathedral has a beautiful cloister as well as an art museum in the basement.
The Alcázar. Fortifications have existed in this spot since Roman times but this castle was built in the mid-1400’s and later also served as a royal palace, becoming the primary residence of the monarchs of Castile.
The Alcázar is incredible. From the outside it looks like a fairy castle out of a Disney movie. Inside, the halls and rooms (I counted 9) have a mix of Christian and Mudéjar (Moorish) aspects including azulejos, carved arches and incredibly decorated ceilings (the ceilings are among the most impressive we have seen). More here on the Alcázar.
The above are the most important attractions in Segovia. But there are many other attractions:
Torreón de Lozoya. A palace with tower on plaza de San Martín. The best views of Segovia in my opinion as well as a museum with local art. We very much enjoyed our visit.
Walls of Segovia. You can walk along some of the walls of Segovia. There is a tourist information point at Plaza del Socorro where you can buy your tickets.
But you don’t have to go to attractions because all of Segovia is an attraction. There are great views everywhere of the turrets and towers of the town and, looking down, you’ll see valleys and mountains in the distance. If you have time, walk the path outside the walls – there are endless opportunities for great views looking back at Segovia. It is a magical place.
Segovia is a very popular destination from Madrid, competing with Toledo and Avila as great excursions from the capital.
By train: You can get to Segovia in under 30 minutes on high-speed train from Madrid’s Chamartin station. Note: Guiomar train station is about 20 minutes (by taxi) from downtown Segovia.
By bus: I recommend taking the bus if coming from Madrid. Take the Avanza bus from Moncloa Station. It takes about an hour to Segovia and is cheaper than the train.
Where to stay: we stayed at the Infanta Isabel. Excellent hotel, good rates and perfect location on Plaza Mayor (across from the Cathedral).
Time needed to see Segovia. We stayed 2 nights (ie 1 ½ full days) and saw all the highlights. But we wished that we had stayed one more day, that’s how much we enjoyed Segovia.
Related: Why we liked Madrid much more than we thought we would
Related: Re-Visiting the Mezquita in Cordoba (and what you won’t see right now…)
Related: What to see in Toledo (and how to save money)
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