When in Spain: Segovia

While staying for a while in Madrid, I went to explore its neighboring cities that aren't only beautiful but also very accessible! One of which is Segovia, a nearby city from the capital and a favorite side trip by travelers in Madrid. Segovia is relatively small, so a day trip could be enough to cover notable places.
Segovia is an ancient city tucked in central Spain, a region that’s called Castilla y León where you could probably find the best castles in the country. When in Castilla y León, imagine yourself as if you’re being brought to medieval times: A one-of-a-kind experience that makes traveling Spain worth it.
I always remember Segovia for its distinct Romanesque character. It kind of surprised me that Segovians have this Italian-Spanish accent, the food around are Italian, and the architecture is similar to what can be seen in Italy. As Segovia's history tells it, this is because the Romans occupied Segovia for a long time.

Acueducto de Segovia

Upon entering Segovia, this massive structure gives an amazing first impression of the city. This is the long and tall Acueducto de Segovia (Aqueduct of Segovia), which is one of the well-preserved Roman aqueducts in the world. It was built around 2000 years ago that worked as an ancient waterway across Segovia until the 19th century.

Legend has it that this aqueduct was allegedly built by the devil Lucifer to win a woman’s soul. Looking closer at the stones of the aqueduct, the holes on it are said to be markings of Lucifer’s fingers.

Within the vicinity of the aqueduct are strips of restaurants and cafes. As mentioned, cuisine in Segovia has Romanesque influence, thus there's abundance of Italian food there from ciabatta, pizza, to pasta.
Aside from Italian food, however, a local dish called the cochinillo is a popular must-try in Segovia. It's roasted suckling pig, which to me is very similar to the lechon of the Philippines but in a smaller size that could fit in a roasting pan.

Alcázar de Segovia

One of the reasons why I chose to visit Segovia is to tick off an item from my travel bucket list: to see the Alcázar de Segovia (Alcazar of Segovia). Seeing pictures of it online really caught my intention, and I was glad to finally see it in actual. This castle sits on top of a hill, so it has stunning view of Segovia.
Aside from being named World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it’s the castle that served as an inspiration to Walt Disney to represent his vision of a magical castle as seen in Disneyland and in a few Disney animated movies. From the outside of the alcázar, the blue roof clearly shows the huge resemblance to the Disney castle.
This alcázar served as a fortress and palace back in the day. Now, there's a museum inside called the Artillery Museum. It also highlights the amazing view from the Torre de Juan II. Full access to Alcázar de Segovia costs EUR 8.

Catedral de Segovia

Another must-see in the city is the Catedral de Segovia (Segovia Cathedral). This cathedral is in modern Gothic style, as it’s said to be the last Gothic church built in Spain.
This church sits in front of Plaza Mayor (main square). While the original cathedral of Segovia was first constructed in front of the castle (Alcázar de Segovia), it was set on fire during the civil war (Revolt of Comuneros) in 1520, thus a new one had to be built that's now in the main square.
The cathedral has a general entrance ticket of EUR 3, but free admission on Sundays from 9:30AM to 1:30PM.

How to get there

The cheapest way to go to Segovia is by bus while the fastest way is by train.

To find a bus, the bus company Avanza operates trips from Madrid to Segovia (vice versa) with bus terminals located at Madrid Moncloa and Segovia Estacio. One-way bus fare starts at around EUR 4. The bus trip is approximately 1.5 hours.

On the other hand, it only takes 30 minutes via high-speed train (with 2 common train types: AVE or ALVIA) to reach Segovia, but the price is a whopping EUR 19 for a 2-way ride. The RENFE train station is at Madrid-Chamartin station.

Have you visited any real-life castle like that in Segovia?





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