Wondering how exactly to go about a Segovia day trip from Madrid? Here’s my guide after THREE visits now!
Oh, Segovia. It’s funny because I almost never went, and if I’d never gone, I don’t think it really would have crossed my path even now.
Let’s go back in time for a moment to 20-year-old Sam studying abroad in Madrid. It’s Friday night, and naturally she’s out with her friends clubbing. She has every intention of sleeping in the next day after stumbling home bleary eyed around 7 am.
However, some of her friends are discussing leaving the club earlier than normal because they have to catch a bus to Segovia the next day. Sam has vaguely heard of Segovia, especially its aqueduct, but she’s never been particularly interested in aqueducts, so the city never stuck out. For whatever random reason, though, she decides to tag along. Maybe she was getting antsy just being in Madrid? Maybe she was more open to exploring now that her winter coat had arrived from the States? Who knows?
Once she decides, she’s dead set on going. Even when she’s dancing with some guy who actually seems interested in her, she cuts it off at 4am, explaining to him that she has to get home and get some sleep so she can go see some aqueducts tomorrow. He’s politely confused but they part, and she grabs a buho home. If she’s just traded potential true love in human form for true love in city form, she’s still okay with that decision six and a half years later.
Why I Love Segovia
Segovia is still one of my favorite cities. I was running on three hours of sleep on my first visit and absolutely enchanted by everything I saw. I brought Corinne back when she visited because I loved it so much. On my recent return to Madrid, I made sure to make a day trip out even though I had all of two and a half days.
Because all this information is fresh in my mind vs. recalling my trips of six years past, I wanted to write a nice guide on how to do your own Segovia day trip! Don’t worry, if the thought of DIYing sounds like a headache, I’ve also put some nice tour options too!
How to Get to Segovia from Madrid
Segovia is around 60 miles (or under 100km) from Madrid, and you can pretty much get there anyway you want to.
Most tours will be from Madrid anyway. You can do a tour specifically to Segovia like the ones below:
- Day Trip to Segovia with Walking Tour
- Segovia Hot Air Balloon Experience
- From Madrid: Segovia Horse Riding & Guided City Tour
- Segovia eBike & Guided City Tour from Madrid
Or you can mix them in with other nearby day trips like Avila or Toledo:
- Full Day Avila and Segovia from Madrid
- Segovia and Toledo in a Day
- Group Tour to Segovia & Medieval Pedraza
- Private Tour to Segovia & La Granja
- El Escorial Royal Tomb and Segovia in a Day
The fastest way to get there is by the AVE. Considering AVE stands for “Alta Velocidad Española,” you can guess it’s Spain’s high speed train. It only takes 30-minutes and is about 12 euros. It’ll go from Madrid’s Chamartin train station to Segovia’s Guiomar Station.
By Bus – My Recommendation
I’ve always taken the bus to Segovia. It’s cheaper than the train and the hour-long bus ride isn’t much of a problem. You just go to Moncloa Station and to the Zona Comercial area. Go find the Avanza ticket office next to the Dunkin Donuts (or should I say Dunkin Coffee), and get a round trip ticket for about €8,10. The gates are then on the floor above.
As for the Segovia bus station, it’s literally right across the street from the main road up to the aqueduct. Once you get to the traffic circle, you’ll see those stone beauties peeking up above the buildings.
**Note: From what I’ve read, the roundtrip ticket is only good for one day, so if you’re staying longer, you’ll only want to get a one-way ticket. You can also double check and ask, though!
Of course, you can also get to Segovia by car. I don’t know how this works, and I think the city is so walkable, it’d be more of a hassle to drive unless you’re with someone who needs assistance getting around.
A Segovia Day Trip: The Timeline
One way to see and learn a lot about Segovia is with a private walking tour. However, this guide with Google Maps should also make it pretty easy to navigate everywhere!
Segovia is such a small, walkable area, you can fit a lot of it in within half a day or less if you really hustle. However, it’s so damn charming, you could easily spend the whole day wandering the alleyways and relaxing. I’ve kind of done a mix of hurrying through and relaxing, so this is based off of all three experiences vs. just my most recent one.
I’d try to depart Madrid mid-morning. Maybe grab breakfast somewhere nearby first and then catch a bus around 10:30/11:00 am. Get a return bus for around 8 or 9 pm, so you have a long time in the city and won’t feel rushed. In the summer, the sun doesn’t set until 9:30 pm, so you’ll have plenty of daylight!
Stop 1: Iglesia de San Millán
When you get to Segovia and step off the bus, you’ll want to walk out to the traffic circle (as mentioned above). You’ll almost immediately see the aqueduct peeking up above the street you want to walk long. This street is filled with restaurants, so it’s a good place to stop for dinner before you head out.
Before you get to the aqueduct, you’ll notice a pretty church to your left. You can tour Iglesia de San Millán and buy a ticket for a variety of different churches around the city for €5. I did this but didn’t wind up stopping at the different ones.
The interior is nice, and if you haven’t been to Europe before or you’re particularly interested in European church architecture, this is worth getting to visit inside. It dates back to the 11th century. I’ve been to many European churches, especially Spanish ones, and I’m not exactly a church architecture buff, so I personally don’t think it’s worth going in them.
Stop 2: The Aqueduct
The aqueduct is always incredible to see in person and one of the best things to do in Segovia. No photo, I’m convinced, will ever do it justice. You just have to see it in all its glory in person. Just walk around it and enjoy the view before you begin to climb the stairs into the old part of the city. You can get a cool view of them from the side once you start climbing as well.
Stop 2: Plaza Mayor
The next stop worth noting is Plaza Mayor, though you’ll walk a tiny bit before you get there. I loved this walk. It was relatively quiet, and I could really enjoy the sunset-colored buildings.
The plaza is, of course, what you’d expect from a city’s main plaza. A bit more crowded with some eateries and outdoor seating, and quite a few pretty buildings. If you’re really hungry, I’d get lunch around here as there are many restaurants with nice outdoor seating to enjoy.
Stop 3: Catedral de Segovia
Bordering the square is Segovia’s main cathedral! I went in the first time I visited, but I’ve never felt a need to pay to go in again. The Gothic exterior is much more interesting than the interior.
Stop 4: The Park Below the Alcazar
Once you’ve seen the cathedral, continue on to the alcazar! I can’t quite decide if the aqueducts or the alcazar is my favorite part of Segovia. While the area of the alcazar dates back to Roman times (which pre-dates Muslim rule), what you currently see dates back to about the 11th or 12th century after Spanish Christians retook the city. Before you go into the castle, though, walk down the cliffside via a set of stairs to see everything from the bottom.
Basically, you’ll walk down the stairs and come to a main road. Turn left and just follow the road until you come to a nice grassy area. The park gives you the above view! If you’re really planning ahead, this is where I’d stop for lunch with a nice little picnic. Or I’d go to the restaurant at the bottom of the hill.
Stop 5: Visit the Alcazar
Once you’ve enjoyed the view from below, it’s time to climb back up those stairs to actually visit the castle. I only did the castle part on my first visit, but I definitely make it a point to do the tower part as it’s only €2-3 and you get the best views of the city!
Stop 6: The Jewish Quarter & Puerta de San Andrés
Afterwards, you can climb back down and follow the signs to the Jewish Quarter to see the Puerta de San Andrés. There’s really not much, at leas to the casual wanderer, that makes this particular Jewish Quarter stand out, and I had to double check that I was in the right area at first!
Stop 7: Dinner back by the Aqueduct
Before you head back, grab a nice little dinner in the area around the aqueduct or more into town. There’s even a Cien Montaditos if you’re on a budget!
Stop 8: Dessert
Okay, this is obviously optional but right before you cross the street to go to the bus station, there’s a gelato shop by the park. It’s a nice place to enjoy for a bit.
Back to Madrid
And then make sure you make your bus back to Madrid! Again, it’ll be about an hour to get back, and maybe an hour and a half if you don’t have a direct bus. But otherwise, it’s pretty easy! Segovia is my favorite day trip from Madrid and, hey, it’s one spot I could see living for a month. Stroll around in the morning, work in the afternoons, and meet friends for dinner and drinks in the evening!
Have you been to Segovia? What did you think of the city?