The city of Segovia is a great, yet underrated and under visited travel destination. Segovia has plenty of amazing sights and attractions, and if you are going to this historic city, then we highly recommend you to read this article first. We are looking into the absolute best sights in Segovia!
Some tourists choose to visit Segovia on a day trip while staying in Madrid. Others like to be in Segovia for a longer time. No matter what type of traveler you are, and no matter how much time you have in the city, there are some attractions that you can’t miss. It’s one of Spain’s best small cities for sightseeing.
Main attractions in Segovia
Segovia is a quite old city with a history dating back to the Romans. Its rich history can easily be seen in the main attractions, most of which are cultural. Let’s look into it. Read on below for the best attractions in Segovia, listed in the most popular order.
The Roman Aqueduct
Usually seen as the symbol of the city, and arguably also one of the most majestic sights in all of Spain. The Roman aqueduct in Segovia is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the two largest remaining Roman structures in Spain.
The aqueduct was built around 50 AD during the Flavio period. It is made from over 20.000 granite blocks and has a height of 28 meters, while it stretches around 800 meters. For that reason, it is a huge structure, one of the largest that you will see in Segovia. For as long as the city has existed, the aqueduct has been the most famous attraction, and it continues to impress people to this day. It’s long, so you can walk along it and get the full experience, or you can just enjoy the most central part – completely your choice.
The Roman aqueduct is completely free to see, as it is an open structure standing in the city. Taking pictures is highly recommended. It is one of the grandest structures in central Spain, and seeing the aqueduct is a great experience. It’s probably the first major attraction you will see when arriving in Segovia, since the aqueduct is quite close to the bus and train stations.
This huge castle is amazingly beautiful and for many visitors, it is reminiscent of a Disney-styled castle. Perhaps because Disney actually did use the Alcázar Castle as inspiration.
It was originally built as a fortress, which is immediately clear due to its high location. Later it has been both a royal palace and a military academy. Right now, the Alcázar is a museum and is open to visitors. Entry price is 5.5 euros to see the castle itself, but if you wish to go up into the main tower, it will cost 2.5 euros extra.
Seeing the castle from the outside is arguably what gives the best impression. It is quite extraordinary, and the sight of it is like being in a fairytale. However, getting inside is also a great experience, as you will see several grand rooms, exhibitions and halls. Highly worth it and definitely recommended. Be sure to walk all the way around it, particularly in the northern side. Here you can get some great views, and it’s a nice place to take pictures (for instance, see the one above).
Interested in late Gothic architecture? Then don’t miss the Cathedral of Segovia. It was built in the 1500s and has been standing strong ever since. It is bright yellow and impossible to miss. You will find it at the Plaza Mayor in Segovia’s old district – completely central in the city.
On the inside, you will see wonderful decorations made by famous Spanish artists. They really went all-out when building the cathedral and designing the interior. Overall, we believe that this is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in all of Europe. Certainly one of the largest and most majestic ones as well. A lot of people consider the cathedral to be the best one of the region.
Seeing the cathedral is an absolute must on a trip to Segovia. Also, be sure to take a walk around the surrounding streets. They are also beautiful and there are plenty of nice cafés where you can sit by the sidewalk and enjoy the day!
Walls of Segovia
Segovia is a partly walled city. Not entirely such as Ávila, but it does have a three-kilometer long wall surrounding parts of the city. These walls are majestic and have 5 gates. Some parts are more intact than others.
The construction of these walls took place almost a thousand years ago, after the Christian Spaniards retook the city from the Moors and wanted to secure it strategically. That resulted in these walls, and we highly recommend seeing the remains. It is a completely free attraction, although you can book a guided tour and presentation at the tourist office, where they will take you around the city and tell stories about the wall.
On the northern and western side, the walls of Segovia are surrounded by a park with great nature. But be prepared to walk a lot, because if you go outside of the walls, it’s a long walk up again!
Palacio Real la Granja
Actually not located in Segovia, but instead rather close by. Approximately 11 kilometers away from the city, you will find this royal palace, a great retreat from the upper classes in Madrid.
The palace is known for its architecture and natural surroundings, and it includes a church and a lot of fountains. If you are traveling to Segovia by car, it is easy to stop by. If you are using public transport, you will find buses going from Segovia to the palace and back again. A trip to Palacio Real la Granja is also included in many tours.
Alternative sights in Segovia
Assuming you will have your hands full with the previous attractions during your first day in Segovia, they can be considered “the main ones”. But there are plenty of other things to do and see, so let’s take a look at those too.
Here’s what we also recommend seeing in Segovia:
- The Jewish Quarter (Judería)
- Iglesia de la Vera Cruz
- Iglesia de San Martín
- Real Casa de Moneda
- Monasterio del Parral
- The Museum of Segovia
The Jewish Quarter is a historic part of the city, where you should definitely walk around. There are five preserved synagogues and a few museums there. This area has a very medieval feeling to it.
Iglesia de la Vera Cruz and Iglesia de San Martín are two of the most famous churches in Segovia. The first one (Vera Cruz) is located a bit outside the city and has a lonely location, although it simply makes the church stand out more. It feels very mysterious – perhaps because it was founded by the Knights Templar back in the 13th century! The latter (San Martín) is more central and is famous for its architecture. It has the typical Castilian Romanesque style and is even older than Vera Cruz – it was built in the 11th century, which makes it almost a thousand years old. Around this church you will also find other interesting buildings.
Real Casa de Moneda is a building that operated as a mint for centuries. It is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Spain. Today, you can go inside and get a presentation of its history, along with the general history of Segovia.
Then we have the monastery of Parral. It is outside of the centre, but quite easy to get to. This monastery was founded by Henry VI and combines Gothic and Renaissance styles. There are four cloisters in total, and it is surrounded by very beautiful and peaceful nature.
Ultimately, you can also choose to visit Segovia’s museum, also known as Casa del Sol. It includes historic pieces of all things related to the city, so it is the best place to go if you are fascinated by the attractions in Segovia and want to learn more about them.
Day trip to Segovia
You can easily go to Segovia as a day trip. In fact, that is very popular. Buses, trains and tours leave from Madrid every day and return later during the same day. Tickets are generally cheap – how about a return ticket by train for just 20 euros? It’s literally something that fits into every traveler’s budget. You can also book a guided tour for the whole day, covering Segovia as well as Ávila, for the price of 90 euros. A great way to learn the history and see everything of relevance.
If you do go to Segovia on a day trip without a guide, we recommend you to put at least four hours aside, as there is a lot to see. Focus on the main sights (Aqueduct, Castle, Palace and Cathedral) and then move on to the others IF you have enough time.
Staying in Segovia
What we recommend more than anything else is to stay in Segovia for at least a night. By having several days in the city, you can see all that it has to offer, and you really get to experience the charm of the city.
If you are looking for hotel recommendations in Segovia, then go here: Hotels in Segovia. We have reviewed some of the best options, and they are not very expensive – at least not compared to the prices in Madrid!
Overall, we are wishing you a very nice trip. Feel free to write in the comment section if you have any questions or something to add. Be sure to enjoy all the nice sights and attractions in Segovia!