What to see and do in Segovia, Spain
If you want to see a fairytale castle and not travel to Disney World go to Segovia, Spain!
Segovia, Spain is another easy day trip city that you can get to from Madrid. I have always taken a bus but now you can take the train and be there in 30 minutes!
There is a lot to see in Segovia and you start out right away by walking down a main street right towards the Roman Aqueduct, so you obviously will not miss this site. The aqueduct is an impressive site as it spans from one hill to the other.
Follow the pedestrian street along the aqueduct and up into the city where you will pass interesting buildings and churches including the 11th century church of San Martin – note the adorable details on the exterior column capitals.
The main road will lead you to the Plaza Mayor and the Cathedral. The Cathedral of Segovia was built between 1525 and 1577 in the late Gothic style so it is very dramatic and has an imposing and grand presence. The cloister is beautiful as well.
The Castle in Segovia
Then there is the main attraction, the fairytale castle or the Alcazar of Segovia. This is truly a picturesque castle with towers, stone walls, and is built on top of a rocky hill. The Alcazar was originally built as an Arab fort, later used as a royal palace, military academy, and state prison (perhaps not the worst place to be incarcerated).
You can see most of the rooms in the castle, many of which are elaborately decorated. One room has elegant stained-glass windows that look out onto the valley below and it is quite a sight. There is also the Hall of the Kings with a frieze representing all the Spanish Kings and Queens! And don’t forget to climb the Tower of John II of Castile from which you get views of the whole city and the surrounding land.
To get a great view of the Alcazar (the one you see in most photographs of it), you have to walk down the hill to the green pasture right below the castle. There are various routes, none of which are clearly marked with any sort of sign saying “this way to the panoramic view of the Alcazar.” Each time I have done this I have walked down differently so really you just have to look for a path heading down (helpful I know). While down there – go to the grassy pasture, cross the river and get your photographs of the Alcazar while admiring its strategic location. (This is also where you can see that it is shaped like the bow of a ship).
If you make the effort to find your way down to the bottom of the hill you must stop to see the Vera Cruz Church. It is not always open, and I have only actually been able to see in the inside once, but the Vera Cruz Church is a darling 11th century church that deserves a visit.
There are other interesting buildings to see in Segovia but these are the main sites. I have been to Segovia in all weather conditions but I can say it is quite chilly at any time of year.
A note on food options… the delicacy of the area happens to be suckling pig which comes with no disguises, so be prepared for that!
Otherwise enjoy your trip to Segovia and see below for some helpful links!
Helpful Info for traveling to Segovia, Spain:
1 – For train information visit Rail Europe for schedules and fares.
2 – For the official tourism site for Segovia, Spain click here.
3 – For more information on the Alcazar of Segovia click here.