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Segovia is a small town in central Spain with a long history. Built by the Arevaci, an ancient tribe who lived in the Meseta Central, it was conquered by the Roman Empire in the first century AD and turned into a strategic military base. The Romans constructed what is now one of the town's most famous sights: an aqueduct. The town's other famous sights, its Gothic cathedral and the Alcázar, were both constructed during the Middle Ages, when Segovia was part of the Kingdom of Castile.
These days, Segovia has a population of around 55,000 inhabitants. Set a 1000 metres above sea level on the slopes of the Sierra de Gauadarrama, Segovia is located in the south of Castile and León, near the border with the Community of Madrid. Thanks to its proximity to Madrid, the town is an excellent day-trip for travellers staying in the Spanish capital.
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One of the most special sights of Segovia is the Roman aqueduct, which has been intact since the Romans first built it 2000 years ago. The aqueduct measures up to 28 metres at its tallest point, and stretches for 728 metres. It was used to bring water from the mountains into the city until the late 19th century.
Segovia's Alcázar is a picture-perfect castle that looks like it's been ripped from the pages of a fairytale. Situated at the far western end of the walled city, it affords a splendid view of the town and surrounding regions.
There is an information centre in one of the buildings to the left as you're entering the Alcázar. Tickets can be bought there to climb the tower, which is well worth it. Once inside, you will receive a brochure (available in many languages) with information about each room of the Alcázar.
The Cathedral of Segovia towers over the old city. Building of this Gothic church was commented in the 16th century, and finally completed 200 years later. It stands on the site of an older church, which burned down.
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There are numerous other attractions in the Old City, including the three old Romanesque churches of San Juan de los Cabelleros, San Eseban and San Martín. Casa de los Picos, a 15th century mansion with a unique facade, is found near the aqueduct just inside the city walls. Segovia also has a synagogue that can be visited.
Riofrío is a palace located about 11 kilometres southwest of Segovia. Built in 1752 by Isabel Farnese, the widow of King Felipe V, it is set in a deer park. It now contains a hunting museum.
Segovia has no airport, but the airport of Madrid isn't far away.
Segovia is easily accessible by train. From Madrid, the trip only takes about half an hour. If you're travelling from most other places in the country, catching a train to Madrid and going from there is the easiest option. There is also a Valladolid - Segovia - Madrid service which can be easier to get to if you're coming from the northwest of Spain.
There are several routes leading to/from Segovia:
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You can actually drive into the old city from the north side, but to explore the town it is best to park the car and continue on foot.
Buses run from the train station to the old city, making a stop at the bus station.
Segovia can easily be done by foot. Note that you will have to climb the difference in height between the new city, and the old city above, but if you enter the old city from the aqueduct, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. If you arrive by train, and you don't want to walk to the old city (takes only 15 minutes though), then catch the bus. If you arrive by AVE, note that the station for these trains are much further away from the city, than the original trainstation. From here it is best to take a bus.
|Angosta Apartment||Calle Angosta 1||Apartment||-|
|Casa Baños||Calle Baños 6 San Ildefonso||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel AR Los Arcos||Paseo Ezequiel Gonzalez, 26||Hotel||83|
|Hotel San Antonio El Real||San Antonio El Real s/n||Hotel||84|
|La Granja Apartamentos||Plaza Matadero San Ildefonso (Segovia)||Apartment||-|
|Refitolería Apartamentos||Calle de la Refitolería, 5 Segovia||Apartment||-|
Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.
In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.
The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.
If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.
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