Segovia – A Day Trip from Madrid

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Having been to Madrid many times before and seen all the sights, we decided to use one of our days this time to go on a day trip.  We had a few options, Toledo perhaps, or El Escorial, but the princess in me wanted to see the Alcazar castle in Segovia so we decided to spend our day there.

Getting to Segovia

There are a few ways to get from Madrid to Segovia.

  • You can get the fast train from Madrid Chamartin train station to Segovia which takes 30 mins and goes every half an hour and costs €12.90 each way.
  • There is also a slow, regional train from Madrid Atocha to Segovia which takes around 2hours and costs €8 each way.
  • Then there is the Sepulvedana bus service from Madrid Moncloa to Segovia every 30 mins and lasts about 1hr (make sure to get a direct bus rather than one that makes stops along the way) and also costs €8 each way.

The benefit of the bus is that it drops you right in the centre of Segovia whereas the train station is about 4km out-of-town and you then need to get an additional bus in.  We decided on the bus option, bought our tickets (from the kiosk on the lowest level of the bus station at Moncloa) and hopped on board.

An hour later we arrived in Segovia having travelled through some amazing scenery – just outside Madrid, the mountains are spectacular and you can see the snow-capped peaks in the distance as you travel on the motorway.  The closer you get to Segovia, the higher you go and the more rustic the scenery becomes, small towns and villages set in the hills – you’d almost never believe you were that close to the capital city if you hadn’t been there an hour ago!

On arrival in Segovia we booked our return bus first (they fill up quickly and you can’t book a specific return when you book your outward journey so best to cross the road to the Sepulvedana kiosk and choose your return journey straight away on arrival) and decided to head towards the castle.

You can’t see much of the Old Town from where the bus drops you, it’s on the main thoroughfare, you have to walk up to the old town (about 10 minutes) and it’s a really lovely walk along old cobbled streets.

As you head upwards from the main street you can see the Old Town up on the hill in the distance.  Segovia, A Day Trip From Madrid by Emma Eats & ExploresYou’ll know you’re on the right track when you hit this amazing arch – the gate to the Old Town.Segovia, A Day Trip From Madrid by Emma Eats & Explores

Alcazar

We continued up the hill following signs for Alcazar and as you round the corner you can see it up ahead on the rocky outcrop.  Segovia, A Day Trip From Madrid by Emma Eats & ExploresA bit further on and you come face to face with the castle, it really is spectacular.  I’m reliably informed that it was the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Cinderella and also for the story of Rapunzel and you can see why.  It’s very fairytale-like with its tall round turrets and pointed roofs and pink hue.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to get a good photograph, but really, the most spectacular photos are those taken from the ground looking up at it as you get a sense of its size and dominance over the whole area.  These pictures do it justice and you can see just how it could be the inspiration for a fairytale palace!

 

We bought tickets (€5.50) and went inside to have a look around.  You can also buy an additional ticket at €2.50 to climb the John II Tower (the big rectangular one at the entrance) which has 152 steps and an amazing view.  We didn’t have much time to look around so went with the standard pass.

As you walk over the bridge to the entrance you can look down and see just how deep the moat is.  Segovia, A Day Trip From Madrid by Emma Eats & ExploresIt’s built on a rocky outcrop in the middle of a plain and you can see for miles around – definitely the best defensive spot in the area which is why it was first conceived as fortress.  It was later turned into a Royal Palace and State prison after that, but also served as Royal College of Artillery.

Segovia, A Day Trip From Madrid by Emma Eats & Explores
You can see for miles around spot any enemies coming and you can also see the immense shadow that castle creates over the surrounding area.

We started in the cellars and vaults and got to see some of the original foundations (much of the castle has been renovated after a fire in the 1800s).  Segovia, A Day Trip From Madrid by Emma Eats & ExploresWe then got to wander round some of the rooms which were huge and so opulent – the ceilings were magnificent and so were the paintings and tapestries along with the statues that adorned the walls.

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The rooms were furnished as they might have been hundreds of years ago but soon we came to Dan’s favourite room…

the armoury – he spent ages looking at the suits of armour and swords and cannons, which were, to be fair, pretty amazing.  You could see by the sheer amount of weapons that it had obviously been an amazing Artillery School.

After the castle we decided to take a walk around the Old Town.  In 1985 the old city of Segovia and its Aqueduct were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO and it’s obvious why.  It really is an absolutely beautiful town.   The buildings, like the castle, had a similar pinky orange colour and they reminded me of Siena.  We walked through the Town Square called Plaza Mayor and were stunned at the beauty of the Segovia Cathedral, the last Gothic cathedral to be built in Spain.  The streets were so quiet and the whole place was so picturesque it was hard to imagine that people actually live there.

Segovia, A Day Trip From Madrid by Emma Eats & Explores
Segovia Selfie!

Aqueduct

Lastly we wandered to the Aqueduct which was built by the Romans in about 100AD to transport water from the mountains to the town and it is still used to deliver drinking water today. Segovia, A Day Trip From Madrid by Emma Eats & ExploresIt is an amazing sight, and has been called the most impressive Roman structure in Spain.  It consists of about 25,000 granite blocks held together without any mortar, and spans 818 meters with more than 170 arches, the highest being 29 metres high.  It really is an amazing architectural beauty and we spent a while staring at it and marvelling at its construction.Segovia, A Day Trip From Madrid by Emma Eats & Explores

Had we had time, we would then have finished this amazing day at Meson Candido which is a the most famous restaurant in town – known to do the best suckling piglet around but unfortunately it was shut when we went and wasn’t going to open for a few hours – just another reason to go back in the future I guess.

We walked back to the bus station through the Old Town, picking a different route and ended up in the ‘High Street.’  This is where everyone was!  Shops and bars and restaurants, a stones throw away from where we’d been but a completely different atmosphere, it was bustling and crowded.  Plenty of places to buy a souvenir or get a drink.  We ended up getting a glass of Rioja in a traditional old bar before jumping back on the bus and heading back into town to meet our friends for dinner.

A really lovely day out with plenty of history and beautiful architecture, culture and only a short distance from Madrid.  I’d definitely recommend Segovia for a day trip – a chance to get out of the city, up into the hills and see a different side of this amazing region.

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55 Comments Add yours

  1. Belle says:

    The pictures are breathtaking! I would love to visit this wonderful place someday!

    Belle |

  2. Gonçalo says:

    Segóvia is one of my favorite towns in Spain and its castle is one of my all time favorites in Europe among the hundreds of castles I have already visited. Those gorgeous ceilings are pure perfection. I miss this place so much. This article is making me so nostalgic.

    1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

      It was truly beautiful – I can see why you would miss it so much!

  3. twoboysonepup says:

    Looks beautiful! I’m hoping to make it to Spain someday!

  4. What incredible architecture!! I’d love to visit someday!!!

  5. Becki Svare says:

    We didn’t go to Segovia when we were in Madrid – but, boy, I really wish we had now! This looks fabulous. I’ll have to put it on our wish list.

  6. Leonardo S Becerra says:

    Wow looks amazing! I always love taking day trips from a bigger city. It helps to get away for a bit for a day from all the tourist traps.

  7. Sarah Bailey says:

    This places really awakes my imagination. The palace and their architecture was stunning and I can’t wait to visit Segovia late this year.

  8. momknowsbest15 says:

    Amazing pictures. This sounds like a wonderful trip to take

  9. gokulr27 says:

    Looks like an unexplored area. Not touristy at all. Perfect for me. 😀

  10. Ess says:

    Good read and beautiful pictures especially of the castle. It looks very fairytale like and a bit magical. Hopefully, I’ll get to visit it soon 🙂

  11. Hrakaridi says:

    What a lovely town 🙂 I would love t go in Spain… Your photos are awesome… It seems you had a wonderful time 🙂

  12. Ave Hla says:

    I have been to Madrid several times but haven0t visited Segovia yet. It looks like a perfect place for a day trip. I’d love to see the Aqueduct.

  13. Bob Ramsak says:

    Thanks for this write up and tour, have heard lots of great things about Segovia. My day trips from Madrid have been limited to a couple stays in Toledo. We’ll head here next time.

  14. Lorna Ye says:

    Cannot believe you could see so much in one day trip! Those buildings are so unique, not something that can be found in the U.S. (where I live). Looking forward to visiting Madrid. Thanks for sharing the experience!

  15. It would be so amazing to be able to see this! My dream is to go to Tahiti! Kid free of course! 🙂

  16. Amazing photos. I would love to visit someday!

  17. Amber says:

    What a gorgeous area. I love all your photos. This would be an amazing place to visit.

  18. srisk says:

    That castle looks amazing! What a great trip!

  19. Elizabeth O. says:

    I think it’s breathtakingly beautiful!!! I love that you got to tour the castle and everything else in Segovia. It’s just so picturesque there! You cannot pass up on going to a place like this.

  20. Jenni Petrey says:

    It looks amazing. I love visiting places that are full of history.

  21. That castle look very nice. Would love to visit one day. xx

  22. Yes the castle looks like Cinderella’s castle, LOL. Your photos are wonderful & my favorites – the moat & aqueduct because you can look at the architecture and wonder as you say you did. The town reminds me of Carcassone in France. Thanks for sharing & Stumbled for reference when I get to Spain …

  23. Ada says:

    That looks wonderful! Looks like you choose great day as the weather looks amazing as well. I would love to visit that place

  24. Beautiful photos, and it looks like you fitted plenty into the day! Thanks for the inspiration, never been to Madrid and would love to visit one day, I love travelling!

  25. Anosa says:

    Oh wow, I am so adding this to my bucketlist of places to visit and the fact that there so many ways to get to segovia makes it even more interesting.

  26. O how I wish I can travel anywhere as you! Or even with my little family. Segovia is something I really wanted to see with my own eyes. I envy you! 🙂

    Mhaan |

  27. Kiwi says:

    If only I lived that close to take a day trip like this to Madrid so easy. I would love a travel experience to Madrid one day!

  28. Kathy - Walkabout Wanderer says:

    Wow I had never heard of Segovia but it looks like a wonderful place to visit on a side trip from Madrid. I am planning on exploring Madrid in 2017 so this is great to know. Thanks for the transport tips too. This will save some research 🙂

    1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

      Thanks Kathy – I couldn’t find much info about hoe to get there (or it was all out of date) so it took me a while to work everything out. Happy to share the knowledge if it means someone else has an easier time!

      1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

        The architecture around the whole town is fantastic and showcases so many eras, from Roman to Medieval, to Gothic – it really is a beautiful town!

  29. neha says:

    I love visiting historical places like these, which have great architecture at display. The arch definitely looks mindblowing and so do the other parts. A must visit I would say

  30. Laura says:

    Segovia looks great! I’m spanish myself and cannot wait to discover more about my country, especially Madrid and the surroundings! Great post with really nice information 🙂

  31. Candy says:

    Love see this through your photos. Anything historical I love

  32. Chad says:

    These are amazing pictures!
    My wife and I went on a Spanish road trip for our honeymoon and regret that we didn’t spend the week in just one place.

  33. Hanka says:

    Hi Emma, thank you for this post. Spain is on my “must-visit” list and I will definitely add Segovia to list of places to visit there.

  34. dantescarano says:

    This looks like an awesome little castle town to go and visit! Definitely going the next time I’m in Spain.

  35. megandemoss says:

    The princess in me is happy the princess in you decided to visit this beautiful place. The pictures are great and I’m now living vicariously through you.

    1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

      Yay another princess! 👸🏼

  36. featherflint says:

    Omg! I’m dying to see some Roman architecture in old European cities–I have a bunch on my list for when I visit Spain someday, as well as the French countryside!

  37. WOW! It looks like an amazing place to go. Madrid is on my bucket list and one of my goals for this year.

  38. Dana Vento says:

    The place is simply beautiful. The brown tone from just about everything just emits a historical glow. I wouldn’t mind taking a day off for Segovia!

  39. Cori Carl says:

    I only ended up in Segovia because my CouchSurfing host in Madrid cancelled at the last minute and someone in Segovia offered me a place, but it ended up being one of my favorite stops on my 4 month trip! The view is gorgeous!

    1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

      sounds like you lucked out! Disaster averted and you got to stay somewhere amazing! 🙂

  40. This looks absolutely beautiful in photos (: I haven’t left the US yet but these pictures make me want to start saving to visit a different country.

    Isaly Holland |

  41. Erin says:

    I’m adding this to my bucket list now that I’ve seen your post. Segovia looks like an amazing destination! I love all the photos you shared.
    erin |

  42. Lisa Rios says:

    I love traveling a lot & exploring different places and their culture. Segovia sounds like a wonderful destination to visit and the pictures are quiet breathtaking with lots of history behind it.

  43. It looks absolutely amazing there! Maybe one day I will make it there =)

  44. Prerna_Malhan says:

    I wish I had read this blog earlier when we were visiting Spain as then we would have added Segovia to our list. This town looks magical.

  45. Wow these pictures are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing I can’t wait until we start traveling internationally!

  46. Segovia looks incredible! The architecture and monuments are spectacular.
    Looks like a perfect trip to explore history. Perfectly clicked shots!

  47. Suz says:

    These are such pretty photos! We’re in Madrid right now, but we decided on Toledo instead of Segovia. You definitely have me wishing we had time to do both. But like you said, all the better to come back and have a treat the next time, right? That aqueduct is seriously something else!

    1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

      I’ve not been to Toledo so who knows – it may be even better! Hoping to get in a trip there next time I’m in Madrid! Enjoy your time in Spain!

  48. The place looks so stunning. We would love to visit Spain someday and will definitely visit Segovia. Lovely pictures of the castle.

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