For your first visit half-day should be enough to get acquainted with the city and its major sights.
Distances are walkable in all cases, you will need public transport only to/from train station.
Worthy attractions: Cathedral; Alcázar; Aqueduct.
Left for another visit: there are a number of churches and a couple of monasteries that may be worth a visit.
Last visit: June 2011.
Segovia is breathtakingly pretty and very easy to fall in love with. There are not too many attractions that specifically merit a visit, but walking the streets of the historic town core is a treat, with many houses decorated with elaborate ornamental stucco patterns. There are also numerous artisanal shops to browse, many pretty squares to rest at, and amazing vistas all over the place.
The 2000 year old Aqueduct ♥♥♥ meets you as you enter the city center and bids you farewell when you leave. The amazing structure was in use until the 19th century and remains in pretty good shape nowadays. You cannot climb on its top, but you can walk up the stairs on the side of Plaza del Azoguejo to get a nearly level view with the Aqueduct’s upper tier.
The aqueduct continued underground across the city, and you can follow its route above by walking along commemorative plaques that mark its location in two dozen places.
Segovia’s Cathedral ♥♥♥ may not be as famous as Toledo’s, but it is nonetheless the last great Gothic church in Spain. Its many chapels are not off-limits to the visitors as is often the case elsewhere, so there is plenty of exploring to be had. Near the Cloisters, there is the fine Sala Capitulares and a small museum.
Alcázar ♥♥♥ is worth the visit to Segovia all on its own. Not only there are magnificent view of Castilian countryside from its walls and the Tower (152 steps to climb up), but also there are a series of elaborately decorated rooms inside (don’t forget to look up to check the luxurious ceilings – in each room, it’s different), and the castle has that quint-essential fairy-tale look and feel. Since it is located some kilometer or so away from the town center, you can also see the panoramic view of the town, dominated by the cathedral, from the same Tower.
There are also several churches and monasteries in town, and a fine arts museum or two, but they probably only get visited by people who stay in Segovia for more than a day.
When you are riding back to the train station, ask the driver to point out to you Mujer Muerta, a mountain massif that looks like a woman lying on her deathbed. Rather eerie.
High-speed trains serve Segovia from Madrid Chamartin station, and take less then 30 minutes. Buy tickets in advance to ensure that you can get on the train that you want. From the train station, it is a 10-15 minute taxi ride to the historic town center. You can also take a bus, but I suspect it will take considerably longer.
There is also a regular train service that takes close to two hours to complete the journey one way. It actually arrives at a different train station. On your way back to the station from the town, if you’re taking a taxi, make sure the driver is clear which of the two stations you are going to. Saying “tren rapido” would do the trick for the high-speed train station.
Places to Eat
By the aqueduct, on Plaza del Azoguejo, Meson de Candido ♥ definitely attracts tourist crowds, but is nonetheless a good choice for a meal. We ordered two different soups – de pescados and a typical Castilian – followed by an “appetizer” of mushrooms that was the size of a proper meal and a reasonable codfish filet. The damage: €66 for 2 people, including a carafe of wine. Last visit: Spring 2011.