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Day Trip to Segovia
Day Trip to Segovia
So I was staying in Madrid for 4 days and I thought that would be more than enough time to see the sights there, so, looking through my Rough Guide to Spain I saw a couple of options of places that could be visited on a day trip. I chose a day trip to Segovia as this seemed to be a very picturesque place to visit and reasonably easy and not too expensive to get to.
There are a couple of ways that you can get to Segovia from Madrid, assuming that you don't already have a car at your disposal. I looked at either taking the train or the bus. It seemed that the train station in Segovia was a bit out of the city and you would need to get another bus to actually get into the centre, whereas the bus from Madrid stops not far from the main tourist area, so I decided to take that.
The bus runs every 45 minutes from the Bus Terminal at Principe Pio and take about 1 hour 15 minutes to get there. You can get the metro there and the bus station is down one level from the street. The buses are very modern and comfortable. You can buy your tickets from a machine in the bus terminal or from the kiosk. One point if you buy from the kiosk is to make sure you check your change. The lady short changed my by 5 Euros and I had a feeling it was deliberate as she didn't blink twice when I realised and went back for my money.
Also, you need to have a ticket for the actual bus that you are getting on, so make sure you know which one you are going to take if you get your tickets in advance. A return fare is just under 15 Euros. You specify the bus that you are taking out of Madrid and you will be given a return ticket - but when you come back you need to exchange the return part for a ticket for the specific return bus before they will let you on. Do this before you queue up to get on the bus!
The most popular tourist attraction in Segovia is the aqueduct. It is purported to be nearly 2000 years old as it was thought to have been built in the first century AD. To see it in the flesh it is truly amazing. It is hard to understand how it could have actually stayed up for so long as it is not held together by any kind of cement apparently.
Even when you look at it now and you see some pieces missing you think it might fall down at any point! It is a stunning piece of engineering/architecture. It did used to carry water from one part of the city to another but of course it no longer does so.
Tip: there is an information centre just under the aqueduct which has toilets that you can use for 20 cents. They are very clean and also have disabled facilities. They are also very helpful in the information centre and will provide you with maps etc and details of where else to visit.
Other Attractions in Segovia
There are plenty of ways to pass a day in Segovia. The city is beautiful and in addition to many old houses there are quite a few stunning sandstone coloured churches, many dating back to the 13th or 14th centuries. Some are open to go in and look and to take a minute to reflect.
There are parts of the old city walls still remaining and also lots of small and large plazas where you can sit and watch the world go by or have lunch or a drink. There are also I would have to say hundreds of cafes and restaurants, some housed in ancient historic buildings.
Another place to visit is the cathedral with its old tapestries and lovely courtyard and well. It is only 3 euros to visit and worth a stop off.
You could also go to the Alcazar which is a Disney like castle at the top of the hill. Unfortunately on the day I visited it was closed so I couldn't go inside ut to be honest I was a little disappointed with the outside as it looked a bit too modern, having been rebuilt in the 19th century.
A Lovely Day Trip
Altogether I would really recommend this day trip, particularly when the weather is good (it was a perfect 26 degrees with clear blue sky when I visited!). You don't need a massive amount of time, you can see most of it in 3-4 hours, or you can take a more leisurely pace and spend the whole day.
Buses run all day until late although the direct bus back does not go as frequently as the way there, but you are pretty flexible with your timings.