5 May, 2024 @ 10:00
4 mins read

EXCLUSIVE: ‘I visited Segovia in Spain, the home of the real-life Disney castle – this is my verdict’

Legend has it that Segovia is home to Spain’s very own Disney castle, but is it really worth the hype? 

Around an hour from Madrid by train, car or bus, Segovia is an ideal day trip for Madrileños. 

Like many Spanish destinations, it has a charming old town, imposing cathedral, impressive views and tranquil walks in the surrounding countryside.  

But what makes Segovia a stand out destination is its alcazar, believed to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle. 

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Segovia’s castle delighted my inner Disney obsessed child.
Photo: The Olive Press

A replica for Cinderella’s fortress stands at Disneyland Paris, so Segovia could be considered Spain’s answer to a Disney theme park, but with less screaming children, tacky decor and extortionate prices. 

Once you hop off the train or bus, it’s about a half an hour walk up to the old town.

I recommend heading straight to the castle as it lies at one of the furthest points from town, meaning you can take a leisurely stroll past the city’s other attractions to go back to the train station. 

The walk to the castle gives you a flavour of Segovia, as you wander past centuries old buildings on one side and calming views of the town and green valleys on the other. 

I visited in autumn and it’s truly one of the best times to go as the views are dotted with vibrant reds and oranges as the trees begin to change colour. 

Autumn is the perfect time to visit Segovia.
Photo: The Olive Press

After a brief walk around the city walls you will arrive at the alcazar. 

The towering turrets and grand gates will call to mind any fairy tale, but the wonders have only just begun. 

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The castle is pristinely preserved and beautifully presented. Photo: The Olive Press

To the left of the grass in front of the castle is the ticket office, where you can buy entrance for just €10.

Tickets include the palace, museum and entrance to the tower. 

Although I thought it couldn’t get any prettier than the castle’s exterior, I was wrong. 

The inner courtyards and exhibition rooms are stunning, with arabic inspired carved and gilded roofs, plenty of art and arched windows peeking out onto the countryside. 

The interiors of the alcazar were a welcome surprise.
Photo: The Olive Press

My favourite part was definitely exploring the castle’s terraces. 

Not only were the views over Segovia stunning but the terraces full of little wonders, including bridges and wells worthy of a fairytale. 

There were many wonderful corners to be explored.
Photo: The Olive Press

After the terraces you pass through a museum while waiting for your chance to go up the tower. 

If the castle hadn’t already given you the itch to sing ‘someday my prince will come’ a la Snow White, perching your chin on your hand while admiring the valleys of Segovia will certainly do the trick. 

Perched on top of a hill, the vistas of the town are also enchanting and made me excited to spend the rest of my day exploring. 

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The valleys surrounding the castle provided stunning views. Photo: The Olive Press

After coming down from the tower, I left the castle and snapped some pictures on the lawn outside. 

Desperate for a coffee I nipped into the cafe on the left hand side, where I discovered a hidden garden with excellent photo opportunities and views of both the castle and city. 

Make sure to snap some pictures in the hidden garden cafe to the left of the castle.
Photo: The Olive Press

Then, I wandered into the Jewish quarter, with ramshackle tudor-esque buildings and cobbled streets leading to the main square. 

One thing I loved about Segovia was how quiet it was. 

The Jewish quarter is quiet and perfect for exploring.
Photo: The Olive Press

I visited in November and found it tranquil compared to similar tourist destinations. 

Once you reach the main square you will find the gothic cathedral known for its striking appearance, stained glass and art laden chapels. 

The cathedral is imposing in contrast to the colourful square below.
Photo: The Olive Press

Around the square there are plenty of cafes, restaurants and ice cream shops that even tempted me in the November chill. 

The Plaza Mayor is quite different from your typical Spanish square, as it is dotted with trees, is an irregular shape and has a band stand in the centre. 

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I loved the balconies surrounding the square.
Photo: The Olive Press

After refuelling on coffee or ice cream, wander down one of the side streets heading towards the aqueduct. 

Reaching a shocking 28m tall, it is one of the best preserved Roman aqueducts in the world. 

You can climb the steps to get an expansive view or simply admire it from below. 

The aqueduct is an emblem of the city for good reason.
Photo: The Olive Press

I recommend walking along the length of the aqueduct to truly appreciate how it transported water across the city until the 1970s. 

As the sun set over the monument it was time to go home. 

On the way back, we had some bad luck and all the bus tickets were sold out and we were forced to take the train. 

However, you must be careful when booking a train from Segovia as it is quite a confusing system and we were not the only pair at the station convinced we had picked the wrong stop. 

Therefore, I would advise booking your travel beforehand, ideally from the nearer and cheaper bus station. 

READ MORE: I visited Setenil de las Bodegas – a town literally carved into rock in southern Spain… these are my tips 

Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email [email protected]

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