Just 30 minutes by high-speed train from Madrid, Segovia is located within the Iberian Peninsula, close to the Guadarrama Mountains. A small city by many standards, it has only 55,000 inhabitants but, such a beautiful place like Segovia also sees several hundred thousand visitors every year. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Segovia is chock-full of historical buildings, Roman ruins, royal palaces, a Roman aquaduct, museums, parks, gardens and cool shopping — making Segovia a must visit city.
If you’ll be visiting Segovia, with so much to see and do, it’s sometimes difficult to make sure you see the best the city has to offer. That’s why we’ve listed five of the best things to see and do in Segovia, without which any holiday will not be complete.
The Segovia Aquaduct – If you only see one thing while in Segovia, the Segovia Aquaduct should be that one.
A gigantic Roman aquaduct that was built around the 1st century AD, it was built to channel water from the nearby Guadarrama Mountains into the town. Nowadays, the aquaduct is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Obviously, as it’s a free-standing structure, you can see the aquaduct for no entrance fee. Public transport also stops close by, so it’s easy to get to or, if you’re driving, leave your car in the underground parking lot nearby.
The Segovia Cathedral – Another of the best things to see in Segovia is the last true Gothic cathedral in Spain. The Segovia Cathedral is absolutely stunning. It’s located in the main city square, the Plaza Mayor, and has been in existence since 1525. The sheer size of the cathedral is quite startling. With its many naves and chapels, and lovely stained glass windows, don’t miss a visit here.
The Alcazar of Segovia – This more than 1,000 year old royal palace sits on a rock between two of the city’s rivers. The former home of kings and queens, nowadays it’s one of Segovia’s top tourist attractions.
The Alcazar looks like a typical fairy tale palace, but has actually seen many battles and wars and, at one time, was the refuge of many of the townspeople when invaders were close by.
Be aware, parking near the Alcazar is just about non-existant so prepare yourself for a 15 minute walk. But, as the town is so lovely around here, you can easily see much of what else it has to offer too.
There’s a small admission fee most days but several days a month the Alcazar has free admission if you’re an EU citizen.
The Old City – Named as a World Heritage Site, along with the aquaduct, the Old City of Segovia is wonderful to walk around and perfect if you’re an avid photographer as the buildings are quite lovely.
The city streets are winding and narrow, full of cafes, restaurants, small boutiques and houses, and it’s the home to the city’s old Jewish quarter.
Best way to figure out what to see is to stop off at the Tourist Office at the entrance to the Old City. Here you can pick up a few brochures of places of interest and ask the attendant what she feels are must-see places within the Old City. Streets are narrow and not planned out like modern day cities, so you can easily get lost. Take a map and you’ll manage to arrive back at your hotel in time for dinner.
Door of San Andres – One of the quirky places in Segovia, at the Door of San Andres, you can venture inside the old city walls themselves. You’ll see the old Guard Room, read panels of history all about Segovia and, if you don’t mind heights, you can even climb up onto the ramparts where you’ll get incredible views out over the old Jewish quarter.