Segovia has got to be one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. Located roughly 90km (by road) North of Madrid, it is also pretty easy to get to, for visitors outside of Spain.
Why visit Segovia?
Architecture and history. Food and beer. It’s almost impossible to walk around Segovia without coming across some sort of ancient church or monument; and while you are doing that, you will pass several fantastic cafes. And as you are in Europe, all the food is amazing, and even the cheapest beer is delicious.
The most famous piece of architecture there is the Roman aqueduct, which is one of the best preserved Roman Aqueducts in Europe. At nearly 2000 years old the Aqueduct has seen a lot of history and has had several major restorations over the years, so it is not entirely original.
But it has a lot more to offer, including food, exotic (well, exotic by British standards) meats, nice beer. Segovia is a treat for all the senses!
Getting to Segovia
Segovia is reasonably well connected. I flew in to Madrid airport, then got the metro to the bus station, and a bus to Segovia.
At the time of writing (April 2018), the metro has a station at the airport (Aeropuerto T4). Take Line 8 to Neuvos Minsterios, and then Line 6 to Moncloa. Moncloa is the bus station. The Metro takes about 40 minutes to get from Aeropuerto T4 to Moncloa.
You can see Metro maps here.
At Moncloa, the bus station is built in to the Metro station. You can follow signs coming off the Metro to the bus station quite easily. None of the information at the bus station made any sense to me at all. The bus can get pretty full so you will want to book in advance. The bus line is run by a company called La Sepulvedana (you can book tickets here). Moncloa is an underground bus station. It has 3 ‘islands’ that are not interconnected. The bus for Segovia leaves from Island 1, Terminal 8-9. There are screens at the terminals which will tell you if your bus is leaving from there.
There are plenty of small shops and coffee / donut places at the bus station, so if you need a snack, this is a good place to get one!
The journey by bus to Segovia is quite nice, so sit back and enjoy the ride! The bus has air conditioning. The bus will drop you off at Segovia bus station.
Where to stay
I was travelling on a tight budget, so I wanted somewhere cheap to stay, and was willing to put up with the place I stayed being… well, not nice to put it lightly.
Then I found a hostel called Duermevela. This place is the budget traveller’s dream come true. It’s very close to the Aqueduct. The rooms are quite small; but, they are clean and comfortable. You can have either a private double room, a dormitory room (shared bunk beds with others) or a room of bunk beds and the staff are very friendly.
Dormitory rooms are crazy cheap, and a private double room is about £35/night.
Facilities at the Duermevela
These are great. Each floor has a couple of bathrooms – which are clean and nice. The showers have plenty of hot water (it sometimes takes a minute or two for the hot water to come on in the shower so be patient!) and great water pressure (having long hair I always appreciate decent water pressure!).
There is a small kitchen that everyone can use – which is awesome for your budget! There are local supermarkets you can get normal priced food at and put in the fridge / cupboards so you can make your own meals / sandwiches.
The upstairs room is a nice open lounge space in the roof, with a TV and DVD player, some movies (all in Spanish!) and some huge comfy sofas. I took my laptop up there a couple of times to watch a movie while I had a pizza. They also have a hifi (aux cable included!) and some games, so you can put some music on and relax with your friends and a beer.
There is another lounge on the same floor as the kitchen, which is more of an eating area / lounge. Again, it has a hifi (with aux cable). They serve a breakfast for €1.50 which is a typical continental breakfast, croissant, jam and coffee; but I chose to get my own. I eat a lot, and eating 5 peoples worth of breakfast would have been taking the piss for sure.
Just across the street from Duermevela is a pizza chain called Telepizza. You have to go there at least once. Try their BBQ pizza – it’s delicious.
The hostel has good WIFI signal for anyone addicted to their phone, or wanting to get a bit of work done while out there.
It seems to attract families and people travelling, not the hardcore party party party type of person, which is perfect if you want somewhere that will be friendly, relaxed and quiet.
You can book a room at Duermevela here.
Cool stuff to go see
Most of what you want to see you can do by walking – the city is not that big. The only place you need to get a bus to is the Palace, which is about 15 minutes ride outside the city. I didn’t see everything I could in Segovia, but here is a quick run down of the cool stuff I did see:
The Roman Aqueduct
Cliché, but stunning. Check it out. There are tonnes of tourists in the square underneath it.
Like most European cities, they were built around their church / cathedral, and Segovia is no different. The Cathedral is pretty stunning at night and is also great to look around on the inside. It is a few euros to go in, and you have to pay extra to go up the tower (I didn’t go up that).
Looks pretty cool from the outside. I was going to look around inside… but three coach loads of school kids turned up. Fuck that. There are a few nice walks you can take around the outside of the castle that show it off nicely.
The castle also had a prison with a nice balcony / moat view:
Church of Le Vera Cruz
Founded by the Knights Templar in the 13th century. This is pretty cool, I really enjoyed seeing it.
The inside has three altars / chapels. Apparently it’s design is taken from the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. There is a two floor section in the centre of the church, with vaulted ceiling underneath and an altar in the upper floor.
There isn’t much to see here as such, but it is a beautiful walk with soaring views across the landscape.
Arabian style tea bar
This place was awesome. They are open in the morning and have loads of fruity teas and some nice coffee. It looked like it was a shisha bar during the night. The atmosphere was great – it’s very quiet in the morning. It’s called “Bar Teteria Damasco”
You can get these in any bar in Segovia (and probably Spain!). They’re like donut material that has been put through an old playdough squeezer. Cover them in cinnamon and sugar and then dip into a provided mug of liquid chocolate. Delicious!
Assorted old churches
If old churches are your thing, you will get your fill in Segovia, as they are literally everywhere:
Notes for Brits
I’m on Vodafone, and something changed recently that meant I could use my UK plan in Europe for no extra charge – KERCHINGGG. That included roaming data!! Obviously, don’t take my word for it and check this yourself, but still, that was pretty cool.
While there was a tonne of stuff I didn’t see, I loved seeing the city! There are all sorts of little boutique shops down side streets, places with delicious food and some great old buildings to go see! Well worth a visit.