From an ancient Roman aqueduct to a Disney-inspiring castle, here are five charming things to do in Segovia.
All travelers have their favorite places. There’s still a lot to be discovered, but in the places we’ve been, we know which ones we still daydream about.
I have a few, but one of my absolute favorites has to be Segovia in Spain. When I dream of my life as a writer, holed up working on my next novel, fueled by tea and coffee, I imagine myself running away to Segovia.
I went three times now. When I studied in Madrid, I went once in the fall and once in late December, and recently, I went in the summer. The first time I went was on a complete whim. I only decided to go the night before while out with friends. Exploring the little city was so enchanting that I had to bring my friend, Corinne when she visited me later in the semester.
It’s not the most touristy place, and while it’s a city, it’s not crowded at all. Madrid, of course, is the definition of a city, and most people who choose to visit Toledo or El Escorial over a Segovia day trip.
As a result, Segovia, nestled within Castile and León, has a bit more of a quieter, sleepier feel (at least in the cooler months), and makes for a lovely day away from the bustle. Here are some tips and sights to see if you choose to go!
5 Charming Things to Do in Segovia
See the Aqueduct of Segovia
Thought to have been built around the 1st Century AD, this aqueduct was built without cement or mortar. It actually kept providing water to the city until the mid-1800’s! I honestly can’t capture in a picture what it feels like to see it in person.
When you get off the bus, you see hints of it almost immediately, and it grows more impressive the closer you get. Hang out around the aqueduct and just take in twenty centuries of history in one place. Also, marvel at the fact that something like this lasted twenty centuries.
Visit the Catedral of Segovia
I don’t recommend going in if this is not your first Spanish cathedral. It’s beautiful, but I think after studying Spanish architecture for my one of my classes, memorizing phrases in Spanish, and seeing the inside of cathedrals all around Europe, it wasn’t worth the 3 euros to get in. Also, for snap-happy people, no photography was allowed when I visited. So if you do go in, don’t be the jerk that sneaks pictures.
Visit the Alcazar of Segovia
My personal favorite place to see was Segovia’s main castle. It’s one of the inspirations for the castle you see in Disney World along with Neuschwanstein in Germany. While it’s been used for everything from a college to a prison, it’s most notable role is in Queen Isabella I’s life.
When you reach the Alcazar, you’ll see a staircase down the side of the cliff. Take it!
You will cry a little inside at the number of steps you’re taking, but the view from the bottom is so worth it. Heck, if you’re planning ahead, pack a little picnic and plan to have your meal in the grassy area at the bottom.
Climb to the top of the Torre de Juan II tower for the sunset
After you climb back up the cliff, you and tour around the Alcazar’s interior. I also highly recommend climbing up the Torre de Juan II, especially around sunset. It’s still one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen, so stunning I definitely have a poorly written poem from college somewhere in the depths of my hard drive.
Also, yes, it is a hike, and you might hate me for suggesting climbing this tower after climbing down and up the hillside. But you’ll love me when you get to take in the views. Promise.
Try Segovian Ponche.
If there’s one little treat to try in Segovia, it’s the ponche! I believe we stopped by the Pasteleria El Alcazar for ours, but you’ll see it displayed in different places. It’s made with custard, cake, and marzipan, and the perfect way to end your trip.
BONUS: Visit La Granja de San Ildefonso Royal Palace.
While all the other Segovia attractions are within walking distance of each other, La Granja is a little ways out. If you’re visiting on your own for more than a day, then set aside time for this beautiful palace. I haven’t been yet because it’s not very easy to get to on your own. In fact, I’m not sure how you could besides driving.
The palace is modeled after Versaille if that gives an idea of how grand it and its gardens are.
How to Get from Madrid to Segovia
There are a few different ways to get from Madrid to Segovia if you want to go on your own. I personally recommend taking a bus from Moncloa Station as it takes about an hour and will put you right across the street from the path leading up to the aqueduct.
Tours that Go to Segovia
On the other hand, if you’d like to take a guided tour, there are a few day trip options. These are affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to buy via my link. Thank you for your support!
For Only Segovia
- Private Walking Tour – This 3-hour tour is great if you want more history on Segovia from the POV of a local guide. It starts in Segovia, so you’ll have to get there by yourself, and entrance tickets aren’t included.
- Segovia By Train – This tour is a full day tour from Madrid. You’ll leave from Chanmartín, and the guide will take care of your train tickets and setting up the tour in Segovia. Entrance tickets are included in this one.
- La Granja + Segovia – If you want to visit La Granja and don’t want to figure out how to get there, then you’ll want to use this tour. Not only do they give you a tour of the palace, you still have some free time to yourself in the main city area.
Combination Tours with Segovia
- Full Day Segovia + Avila Tour – In addition to seeing Segovia, you’ll go to ancient town of Avila, which is known as one of the country’s fortified city walls dating back to the 11th century
- Segovia + Pedraza – Pedraza is a medieval town near the city of Segovia. This is great if you want to get some wine and tapas on your trip and see a smaller town in Spain.
Have you been to Segovia before? What would you add to this list?