Segovia is a charming city in central Spain with a noteworthy past and present. It has gained popularity among tourists from all over the world due to its beautiful architecture and extensive history. From the Roman aqueduct to the Alcázar of Segovia, there is no shortage of things to do and see in Segovia. To assist visitors in planning the ideal trip, this article lists the best tourist attractions and activities to do in Segovia. Segovia offers something for everyone, whether you prefer history, the arts, or just want to unwind and take in the city’s breathtaking environment.
#1. Visiting the Alcazar of Segovia
Any tourist who wants to explore the attractions in Segovia should visit the Alcazar. At the meeting of two rivers, on top of a hill, stands Segovia’s beautiful Alcazar stronghold. It is one of Segovia’s most recognizable and significant historical structures. Over the years, the Alcazar has served as a royal palace, a state jail, and a military academy. It is a magnificent example of medieval architecture.
For visitors to the city, seeing Segovia’s Alcazar is a must-do experience. With its imposing walls, turrets, and beautiful towers, the castle is a sight to behold. Learn about the fortress’s past by touring the interior of the castle, which has been converted into a museum. The museum is brimming with intriguing displays that highlight the castle’s colorful past, including its usage as a royal palace and its significance to Spain’s military history.
The sweeping views of the surrounding landscape that can be seen from the castle towers are one of the pleasures of a trip to the Alcazar. You can see for kilometers in all directions, and the vistas are amazing. The castle grounds, which have lovely gardens and courtyards ideal for a leisurely stroll, are also worth exploring.
#2. Exploring the Segovia Cathedral
Anyone traveling to Segovia should not miss Segovia Cathedral as it boasts one of the city’s tourist attractions. It took more than 200 years to construct this famous cathedral, which is a superb example of Gothic design. The cathedral is conveniently positioned in the Plaza Mayor in the center of the city, making it difficult to miss.
You’ll without a doubt be astounded by the cathedral’s majesty and magnificence as you get closer. Truly beautiful are the ornate carvings on the outside walls and the soaring spires. Once inside, the magnificent stained glass windows, elaborate altar, and minute decorations all over the cathedral will equally astound you. The numerous chapels and crypts, each with its own distinctive style and history, should definitely be explored.
The Segovia Cathedral is home to numerous significant works of art, like paintings, sculptures, and tapestries, in addition to its stunning architecture. The spectacular altarpiece by Juan de Juni, one of the most significant pieces of Spanish Renaissance art, will pique the interest of art lovers in particular.
#3. Tour the Roman Aqueduct
It’s hardly surprising that Segovia’s Roman Aqueduct is one of the most visited sights in the city because it’s an engineering marvel. The Roman aqueduct, which was constructed in the first century AD using more than 20,000 granite blocks without the use of cement, is a stunning example of Roman engineering.
The aqueduct is an astounding site to witness because it is over 800 meters long and over 28 meters tall. Besides, the building is built of two tiers of arches, the upper tier having 167 arches and the lower tier having 118. It truly is a work of engineering genius that has endured the test of time.
It is advised to visit this old structure at various times of the day to better appreciate its beauty and inventiveness. The aqueduct can be seen in the early morning in the lovely light of daybreak, and in the evening it is illuminated, providing an amazing display.
#4. Discovering the Jewish Quarter
Segovia’s Jewish Quarter is among the city’s most fascinating and historic neighborhoods. The Jewish Quarter, a place rich in history and cultural diversity, is a must-visit for anybody interested in learning about the city’s past. One of Segovia’s oldest neighborhoods, the Jewish Quarter, is a tangle of winding streets, lanes, and tiny squares that is close to the city’s main square. El Barrio de la Judera, another name for the Jewish Quarter, once housed a thriving Jewish population.
More so, the Jewish Cemetery, the Synagogue of El Transito, and the Segovia Torah are just a few of the neighborhood’s famous attractions. Along with these historic landmarks, tourists can take pleasure in exploring the Jewish Quarter’s winding lanes, awe-inspiring buildings, and unique ambiance. The Jewish Quarter is home to a variety of stores and eateries for visitors. Visit the artisan stores selling handmade jewelry and other ethnic items, or dine in one of the many restaurants to experience some of the delectable traditional Jewish cuisines.
#5. Walking the Medieval Walls of Segovia
The historic walls of Segovia are one of the most amazing experiences you can have. The city’s history and the walls, which date back more than 800 years, are intertwined. They have endured the test of time because they were constructed to defend against invasions. The walls’ location at the city’s highest point offers wonderful panoramas of Segovia’s magnificent architecture and its lovely surroundings. There are also various towers that have been restored and are accessible to visitors as they stroll along the city walls.
Moreover, Segovia’s historical landmarks can be appreciated from a new angle, and the charm of the city can be felt by taking a stroll around the city’s medieval walls. Additionally, it’s a fantastic chance to capture breathtaking images that will help you remember your vacation in Segovia. In particular, during the summer, make sure to pack lots of water and sunscreen and to wear comfortable shoes. For individuals who are not used to physical activity, the stroll could be a little difficult.
#6. Exploring the Gardens of the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso
The Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso is one of Segovia’s most stunning tourist attractions. This magnificent palace is surrounded by exquisite gardens and is located on the picturesque slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range. French-style gardens and English-style gardens are the two main sections of the gardens, which cover an incredible 1,500 acres in total. The French-style garden is a formal, symmetrical space with impeccable flowerbeds, trees, and plants. The stunning fountain that occupies the center of the palace is unquestionably the garden’s focal point.
The English-style garden, on the other hand, is a more naturalistic landscape with winding walkways, ponds, and waterfalls. This garden is the ideal area to get away from the city and spend some time in nature. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through these lovely gardens while taking in the unique architecture and breathtaking surroundings. The gardens also have a variety of delightfully hidden areas, including the labyrinth and the rose garden.
#7. Explore the Plaza Mayor
When in Segovia, it is impossible to overlook the Plaza Mayor, which serves as the city’s center and also one of the tourist attractions. A number of remarkable structures, notably the Ayuntamiento (City Hall) and the famed Torreón de Lozoya, surround this lovely area. The Plaza Mayor is a great area to unwind and take in the energy of the city. It’s also a great place to people-watch.
There are numerous cafes and restaurants that serve both international and local food around the perimeter of the square. This is the ideal location for soaking in Segovia’s magnificent architecture and energetic ambiance while sipping coffee or eating a meal.
#8. The Casa Museo Antonio Machado
On your vacation to Segovia, do not skip the Casa Museo Antonio Machado, which is a hidden gem. The well-known Spanish poet Antonio Machado lived in this house from 1919 to 1932, and it now serves as a museum in his honor. You can still see Machado’s personal effects, including his books, letters, and manuscripts, in the house, just as they were when he lived there. The museum also has a display of Machado’s life and work, which offers visitors a fascinating look inside the poet’s head.
Visit the lovely gardens that surround the museum as well. You can unwind there while reading some of Machado’s most well-known poetry and taking in the breathtaking views of the Segovian countryside. All these features make Casa Museo Antonio Machado one of the tourist attractions in Segovia.
#9. The Convent of Santa Maria del Parral
One of the lesser-known tourist attractions in Segovia is the Convent of Santa Maria del Parral, which is frequently overlooked by visitors. This magnificent monastery, which can be found on the city’s outskirts, was built in the fifteenth century and gives tourists a look into Segovia’s religious past. The monastery has a magnificent façade with Gothic and Renaissance elements and is encircled by lovely grounds. The church’s interior, which includes an amazing altarpiece and several elaborate chapels, is open to visitors.
The Convent of Santa Maria del Parral’s cloister, which is regarded as one of the most beautiful in Spain, is among its most intriguing aspects. The cloister has a tranquil garden, a central fountain, and beautiful carvings throughout. The monastery’s museum, which showcases a variety of religious artwork and artifacts, including paintings, sculptures, and elaborate vestments, is also open to visitors. The museum offers an intriguing look into the day-to-day activities of the monks who formerly resided in the convent.
#10. The Royal Mint of Segovia
It is highly recommended to see Segovia’s Royal Mint, which is a hidden treasure. Visitors can get a look at the city’s past as a significant economic hub thanks to this intriguing museum. The Mint is housed in a stunning 16th-century structure that is situated in the center of Segovia’s historic area. You can research Segovia’s coinage history and discover the processes used to make coins in antiquity inside the museum. Additionally, some of the original equipment from the minting process, such as coin presses and hammer mills, can be seen.
In order to learn more about the history of the mint and the significance of the coins made there, guided tours are offered and highly recommended. A noteworthy collection of coins and medals, featuring some rare and expensive items, is also housed in the museum.
#11. The Church of San Millán
One of Segovia’s undiscovered treasures, the Church of San Millán, is unquestionably one of the tourist attractions in Segovia. This 12th-century church has undergone numerous restorations over the years. The church can be found in the San Millán district, which is close to the city’s core. The church’s appearance is fairly plain, but the main gems are found inside. The beautiful altarpiece by Francisco de Ocampo, which was produced in the 16th century, is the focal point of the church. The altarpiece, which is a stunning piece of art, shows scenes from Jesus’ life.
The church boasts a stunning nave with outstanding vaults and arches, in addition to the altarpiece. The nave has plenty of natural light, which contributes to the serene ambiance. The church has numerous chapels, each with its own distinctive artwork and furnishings.
#12. Iglesia de la Vera Cruz
In the 13th century, the Knights Templar built the Romanesque Iglesia de la Vera Cruz. With three semicircular chapels and vaulting in the Mudéjar style, the interior is plain and austere. Tuesday through Sunday, it is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. (until 7 p.m. in the summer). Mondays are off-limits. The Convento de San José de las Carmelitas Descalzas, established in 1586 by Saint John of the Cross, is another site beyond the walled Old Town. A steep stone staircase that leads to the convent reinforces the sense that visitors are ascending to a more elevated spiritual location. The convent is accessible to the public for tours; inquire about the schedule with the tourist office.
#13. Iglesia de San Justo
This is also one of the tourist attractions in Segovia. The Church of San Justo, a marvel of Romanesque construction with a high tower, is located next to the historic Roman aqueduct. The church was a key station on the ancient Way of Saint James pilgrimage route leading to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain when it was constructed in the 13th century.
The chapel is a veritable gold mine of artwork despite its diminutive size. The bright Romanesque frescoes in the apse, which includes a striking Pantocrátor and scenes from the Passion of Christ and the Lives of the Saints, are especially notable.
The Best Time to Visit Segovia
There are many sights and activities to enjoy all year in the beautiful city of Segovia. The ideal time to go, however, will depend on your interests and what you want to do. The best time to visit if you enjoy pleasant temperatures and long, bright days is from June through August. The best seasons to visit are spring (March to May) or fall (September to November) if you like cooler temperatures and fewer visitors. December would be the ideal month to visit Segovia if you enjoy the cold and the holiday season. Throughout the month, Christmas markets, decorations, and activities turn the city into a winter wonderland.