Segovia is one of Madrid is User Friendly's favourite excursions. Segovia is a beautiful sleepy medieval city perched on a hill, a little more than an hour from Madrid. In 1985 the city was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status because of its many important pieces of architecture including the Roman aqueduct, dating back to the 1st or 2nd century AD, its city walls and Disney-like alcazaror castle. It is home to one of Spain's most important cathedrals and its tall towers can be seen from afar. Visitors can also enjoy wandering around its maze like streets taking in its many romanesque churches and other examples of medieval architecture, or relaxing with a coffee in one of its fine squares. When ordering lunch, you might like to try the cochinillo de Segovia, which is very succulent pork and a speciality of the Segovia region. You will also find excellent hams here. From the city you have fantastic views of the surrounding Sierra de Guadarrama mountains, which are even more spectacular in the winter when they are covered in snow. If you have a car, you could perhaps combine a visit to Segovia with an excursion exploring of the area. We recommend Manzanares el Real, El Coto, La Granja and La Pedraza. Be warned that as you are up in the mountains, the weather here can be colder than in Madrid. Bring a jacket just in case!
Segovia can be visited as a day trip, however if you have the time it's worth spending the night. There are plenty of hotels on offer.
Getting there: on public transport you have two options, the bus and the train, although you are far better on the bus. Buses leave every half hour or so from Prinicipe Pío bus station (metro L6, 10, R) and the journey takes just under one and a half hours. The company which operates this route is called La Sepulvedana and their buses are very modern and comfortable. You can see the timetable on their website. Tickets are cheap and a return from Madrid is around 12€. The buses leave you on the edge of the old city so there's no major hassle finding the centre (you can get tourist maps at the bus station). The train however, is more complicated as most trains depart from Chamartin which is probably the other end of Madrid to where you are staying. Some trains like the AVE make the journey in as little as 20 or 25 minutes but are ludicrously expensive, whilst the infrequent slower trains take almost two hours but cost around 6€ each way. Also the train station is quite a walk from the centre of Segovia.
Are you interested in other day trip ideas in Madrid? See our post about excursions