15 Fantastic Things to Do in Segovia on a Day Trip

Steve Cummings

Segovia

If you are planning a trip to Spain, there are many places you could consider traveling to. But Segovia is a gorgeous and exciting little city and one that should be on your list. A relatively small and walkable medieval city, Segovia is nestled in the center of the country and is just 100km from the capital city of Madrid. Its geographical location is why so many kings could maintain their reign over the country if they held Segovia.

So, what can you do in a day in this beautiful city? If you have fewer than 24 hours to spend there, consider our guide to the best things to do in Segovia. Many readers will have tight budgets. While not all of our suggestions are free, they are very affordable.

1. Segovia Cathedral

Among the many things to see in Segovia, perhaps the most important in the city's history is Segovia Cathedral. It was constructed during the 1500s and was the last cathedral with Gothic architecture built in the country. The elaborate construction took more than 50 years and consists of around 21 chapels in the interior.

When you step beyond the front doors, you are welcomed by a magnificent interior with stained glass windows and tapestries in the Chapter Hall. There is also a rather fine cathedral museum full of Spanish artists' Renaissance paintings. You should also be sure to climb up the cathedral’s impressive 90-meter bell tower. But please note that you can only access this when you take a guided tour of the building. 

2. Alcázar of Segovia

Segovia
credits: Isabel Déniz/unsplash

Located high on a rocky outcrop close to the Guadarrama Mountains, the Alcazar of Segovia is one of the best things to do in Segovia. Many consider it one of the most stunning castles in the country. From the exterior, it looks like a ship’s bow. Walt Disney is believed to have taken inspiration from Alcazar, along with some other famous castles, for the iconic Cinderella Castle.

Its construction is curious, as the Romans first established the foundations, and then the Moors built the wooden fortress. Alcazar is a Moorish word that translates as fortress. In its modern form, Alcazar was constructed during the 1100s when King Alfonso VIII was reigning. During the Middle Ages, the castle was one of the official seats of the Royals during the Trans Tamara dynasty and the Castile Kingdom. Then, during the 1400s, Queen Isabella I was crowned there.

3. Roman Aqueduct of Segovia

Segovia Aquaduct
Credit: sepavone/ Depositphotos

As a frugal traveler, you may seek free things to do in Segovia. One of the city's most impressive and historically significant sites is undoubtedly the ancient Roman Aqueduct (referred to by the locals as El Aqueduct). The Aqueduct was constructed during the second half of the 1st century when Rome ruled to help collect and take water from the Frio River into Segovia, which flows 10 miles from the city.

The Aqueduct is well-preserved and was fully operational until around the middle of the 19th century. It stretches across 813 meters and consists of two tiers and 167 arches. Over 20,000 granite blocks were used in construction without mortar, a significant architectural feat.

4. Explore Segovia’s Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter of the city is one of the best things to do in Segovia and gives you an interesting viewpoint on the city. A Jewish population has inhabited this city area from around the 1200s onwards. During the early half of the 1400s, its main synagogue was accused of desecration and subsequently converted into a church. During the later years of the 15th century, Catholic kings were crowned. Then the area was removed from the rest of Segovia by eight gates of its historic wall.

The House of Abraham Senior hosts the Jewish Quarter Education Center within the Jewish Quarter.

5. Stroll Along Segovia’s Walls

One of the most iconic and best things about Segovia is the walls surrounding it. They were built in the 2nd century when the Roman Empire established the foundation. Segovia’s modern fence, as it stands today, was constructed in the 11th century following the Christian reconquest and was used as protection against the Moors.

The average height of the wall, which changes, increases, and decreases as you make your way around it, is 9 meters/29 feet, and it is 2 km/1.2 m long. The wall has an impressive 86 towers constructed into it, and as you make your way along it, you get terrific views of Segovia, Alcazar, and many other vital landmarks. Some noteworthy and intricately designed gates, including Puerto de San Andrés and Puerto de Santiago, will also be found.

6. Mirador del Alcázar y los dos Valles

In Spanish, the word Mirador translates as viewpoint, and among the many cool things in Segovia, the Mirador del Alcázar y los dos Valles offers stunning views. Starting from Puerta de San Andres, you can follow a signposted pathway that runs through the gorgeous valley of the Clamores. Once you have crossed the main road, you climb a tiny hill and follow the road until you get to the viewpoint located west of Alcázar.

7. Explore Plaza Mayor

You must check out Plaza Mayor for things to buy in Segovia. This is the main square in the city and is a popular meeting place with many tapas, restaurants, cafes, and quaint little shops. It is a busy space and an excellent place for people to watch and understand what everyday life is like in Segovia. To one side of the plaza is the Cathedral.

Other key landmarks around the square include Segovia Town Hall, San Miguel Church, and Juan Bravo Theater. Plaza Mayor is perfect for sitting with a coffee during the day, as there are many benches around it. It is especially worth visiting at night, as it becomes more atmospheric and beautiful.

8. Iglesia de San Martin

Iglesia de San Martin
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Among the many things to do around Segovia, Iglesia de San Martin is a stunning church on the west side of the square, Plaza de Medina del Campo. This 12th-century church has a bell tower constructed in Mudejar and Romanesque architecture, a common feature in many Spanish churches. The feature that stands out the most is the arched galleries that cover three sides of the building. Make sure, though, that you take in the beauty of the ornate archivolts at their entrance, too. Compared to the exterior, its interior is relatively simple.

9. Mirador de la Canaleja

Among the unique things to do in Segovia is a secret vista of the city close to Casa de los Picos (also known as The House of the Peaks). From there, you can enjoy inspired views over the city’s red-tiled roofs with the mountain range known as La Mujer Muerta (which translates as The Dead Woman) on the horizon. It is called that because the shape of the mountains resembles a reclining woman.

10. Plaza de Medina del Campo

Plaza de Medina del Campo
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Even with just one day to spend in the city, there are many things to see and do in Segovia. One of those that is worth visiting is Plaza de Medina del Campo. Found in the heart of the city’s aristocratic quarters, this is a beautiful public square with the incredible Tower of Lozoya to the east and the Romanesque-style San Martin church to the west.

The key feature of the square is the monument to Juan Bravo, a leading figure in the 1500s Revolt of the Comuneros. This aesthetically pleasing plaza of the city has a laid-back charm.

11. Mirador de la Pradera de San Marcos

Although many of the things we have featured so far are perhaps not the best for younger travelers, there are a few kid friendly things to do in Segovia. One of those is Mirador de la Pradera de San Marcos. This public park (the word Pradera is Spanish for meadows) provides beautiful views of the Alcazar in all its imposing and intimidating glory. It will take about 15 minutes to reach Pradera from the fortress.

While there is not much to do there, it is perfect for stopping, resting, and relaxing with a picnic. The park is also a great place to use as a stopping point if you want to explore the Iglesia de la Vera Cruz. The Roman Catholic church has a curious 12-sided polygon shape.

12. Puerta de San Andrés

As we have noted already, one of the things to do around Segovia is walk along and follow the walls that surround the city. While doing this, you will come to the many gates that offer entrance and exit from Segovia. One of the most popular is Puerta de San Andres on the southern walls. At one point in its history, this gate was used as one of the entrances to Segovia’s Jewish Quarter. You will find a helpful tourist office nearby and can get access codes to open the gate and then walk along the city walls.

13. Enjoy Some Suckling Pig

We’ve tried to include many things to see and do in Segovia that are ideal for frugal traveling, and for the most part, the sites and landmarks we have highlighted do not have an entry fee. You will have to spend a little bit of money for this next suggestion, but it is worth it if you want to try something unique.

As a warning, this may not appeal to animal lovers or vegetarians, but if you want to eat like a local, please read on. Known locally as Cochinillo, Suckling Pig involves slaughtering a baby pig 3 to 4 weeks old and then roasted in a specially designed oven to ensure the meat is tender.

14. Iglesia de San Millan

Iglesia de San Millan
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The Iglesia de San Millán, is close to the ancient Roman Aqueduct. This is among the many great things to do in Segovia. The oldest part of the church is the bell tower, constructed in the 11th century in attractive Moorish-style architecture. The rest of the church was built following the Romanesque architectural style during the 12th century.

The exterior and interior of this church are impressive. There is no entry fee to explore them in detail, making them a perfect addition to your frugal travel itinerary.

15. Segovia Museum

Finally, to close out our guide to the best things to see and do in Segovia, the Segovia Museum is one of the cool things in Segovia. It is located close to Puerta de San Andres, and the building houses 1500 intriguing artifacts (like pottery and coins) and many paintings. Although there is an entry fee, it is set to just 2 euros/2 USD for every adult.

We recommend allowing at least one hour to get around the museum in your schedule. The critical information about the artifacts is available in Spanish and English.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, 15 of the best things to do in Segovia if you only have one day to spend in this beautiful Spanish city. We have tried to be diverse and include many different options for different types of travelers and budgets. We are interested in providing tips and suggestions for frugal holiday ideas, so we have included many free and low-cost locations and activities.

While we have included many of the best places and things to do in Segovia, there are some that we may have missed. If you believe there is a site, landmark, or something interesting to do that will fall into a tight budget, let us know in the comments section below. 

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