Segovia is another of the amazing day trips you can do from Madrid. It’s a historic city just 30 minutes train ride from Madrid in the region of Castilla y León. Like most cities in this region of Spain, Segovia hides interesting architecture, history and Spanish culture all waiting to be explored.
We took the train from Madrid to Segovia on a cold and windy day in February. With a few extra coffee stops to warm us up and a hearty lunch we wandered the streets and admired all the Segovia attractions.
This guide will give you details of the main sights to see and things to do during a day exploring Segovia.
*RELATED article: Amazing and easy day trips from Madrid
Most famous for its huge Roman aqueduct, impressive fairy tale style Castle and imposing Gothic Cathedral. Segovia is a city packed full of Roman and Gothic architecture.
Throughout history the population of Segovia has seen periods of both boom and decline. It’s been attacked numerous times and resettled by Celtic, Roman, Moorish and Spanish occupation.
A textile and wool trade sustained it until the 18th Century. Nowadays it’s a pretty city that offers tourists from around the World a chance to imagine what life was like in the city and enjoy the historic food and culture.
In 1985 both the Old City of Segovia and its Roman Aqueduct were given UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
The main sights in Segovia
The first thing you see when arriving at Segovia by train or bus is the very impressive Aqueduct. Built by the Romans back in the 1st or 2nd Century it’s one of their most amazing works of engineering. This dramatically beautiful construction is said to be over 25,000 blocks of granite, strategically placed without any mortar.
The narrow streets are dotted with traditional restaurants, modern cafes and interesting shops. Cobbled stone paths lead onto plazas and squares perfect for enjoying an afternoon drink or snack.
The main square of the city sits halfway between the Aqueduct and the Alcazar. At most times of the year you will find outdoor seating for taking a well-earned break with a view of the magnificent Cathedral.
One of the last Gothic cathedrals built in Europe, the Cathedral in Segovia is a sight to behold. It’s regarded as one of the most significant in Spain and a great example of Basque-Castilian Gothic architecture. Entrance costs €3 and you have to pay extra to go up to the bell tower.
The Alcazar or “castle” in English is the royal palace of Segovia. It’s a picture perfect, fairy tale style castle set up high atop a hill, surrounded by castle walls. With its tall towers, drawbridge, moat, and inner courtyards, it’s easy to image a princess living here. The romantic design and shape is said to have inspired the Disney castle! Full access to the castle is €8.
Some fun things to do in Segovia
Eat Cochinillo de Segovia
Cochinillo Asado is a popular Spanish dish of slow roasted young pork. Segovia is famous for making the most tender and succulent Cochinillo and it’s a must try dish when you visit. The Segovia version of the dish is theatrically sliced in front of you using a plate to show just how soft the meat is, knives are not needed to carve here! The traditional restaurants take you back in time and are the perfect setting for such a feast.
Walk in the gardens
Just outside the city wall is lush green parkland. Grab your camera and take a walk in Paseo del Salon.
Amongst the beautiful old buildings you will find many intriguing and interesting shops. Stop to enjoy a little retail therapy or purchase some souvenirs to take home.
The surrounding snow capped mountains show just how cold this part of Spain becomes in the winter time. Shelter from the wind in one of many lovely little cafes for a nice cup of coffee to help warm you up.
Ice cream stops
In the summer this area will become scorching hot, if you visit at this time of year seek out the ice cream stalls. A nice ice cream will help you to cool down.
My tips for visiting Segovia
- It’s quite a walk from the Aquaduct to the Castle so you might want to consider taking a taxi back (we asked staff a nearby bar to order one for us)
- Book train tickets in advance to get the best price
- Give yourself enough time to get back to the train station for your return train
- On Sunday mornings you can enter the Segovia Cathedral for free (9:30-13:30)
- Conde Duque and Meson de Candido are known for the best quality (and portion size) of Cochinillo Segovia
- Be prepared for very high temperatures in the summer and very low temperatures in the winter.
How to get to Segovia from Madrid
Take the high speed train from Chamartin station in Madrid. It costs €17 for an adult return and takes 30 mins. Book tickets in advance online as the price might go up to €30 on the day
Then take a bus to city centre, no.11 goes to Aqueduct and costs €2 each. You buy tickets from the driver. Or jump in a taxi which taxi costs €8 from Segovia train station to the centre of town.
You can hire a car and drive from Madrid. It will take around 1 hour and 45 mins via the A6 & CL601. Be aware that driving up into the mountains can be difficult in the winter and roads may be closed due to snowfall.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to what to see and do during a day exploring Segovia in Spain. There are many wonderful, historic cities around Spain to explore. It’s not just all beaches and sangria here 🙂
If you’ve been to Segovia, tell us all about in the comments box below. If city exploring is your kind of holiday check out these articles and Spain city guides…
If you’d like to learn more about what the different regions of Spain have to offer read our A quick guide to the different regions of Spain
Spending some time in Madrid? These guides by Seeking the Spanish Sun might be useful…