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Should We Do Segovia With only 2 1/2 Days in Madrid?

Should We Do Segovia With only 2 1/2 Days in Madrid?

Old May 18th, 2013, 10:26 AM
  #1  
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Should We Do Segovia With only 2 1/2 Days in Madrid?

Hi all,

New to the forums (but long time fodors browser ).

I am going on a trip in September to Marrakech and then Madrid with my boyfriend (we're both mid-20s). We fly into Madrid on a Wednesday, landing at 4:30. We're staying at Hotel Preciados, so right in the middle of everything. We have the rest of that day, all of Thursday and all of Friday, and then we leave on a 10:30 am flight back home to NYC on Saturday.

So my question is this; do we take say, 5 hours out of a day to go to Segovia? My idea was either to catch a very early bullet train (one that pulls in at 8 am), enjoy the sites of the place, check out the castle and gardens after they open at 10, return. OR try to go for lunch (as everyone has told me it's all about the suckling pig there) do sites, return later in the evening.

In Madrid, we mainly want to see the Palacio Real, Prado Museum, Parque del Retiro and of course take in food and a little shopping and wander among the various plazas. So does it make sense to make time for Segovia, or shall we just dedicate our full 2 1/2 days to Madrid only?
ivywinter is offline  
Old May 18th, 2013, 10:54 AM
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I would definitely stay in fabulous Madrid, tons of things to see, taste, experience and do. Madrid city center is like a collection of different and very local feel villages, great tapas bars, cafés, restaurants and nightlife. Always updated info on Madrid: http://www.esmadrid.com/en/portal.do
kimhe is offline  
Old May 18th, 2013, 10:56 AM
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I would. I loved Segovia - everything about it. Madrid is "OK" - seems most people either love it or hate it, but I fell in between. But you can do the things you mentioned in Madrid in one full day (and a couple of evenings) so I would give a whole day to Segovia. I'd go early and leave the return open so if you really like it you can spend the entire day. Here's my photos, see for yourself how beautiful Segovia is.

http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/spai...lamanca_toledo
isabel is offline  
Old May 18th, 2013, 11:20 AM
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Agree, stay in Madrid. I also love Segovia but i wouldnt shortchange Madrid. Two days is too little time to be doing daytrips also.
cruiseluv is offline  
Old May 18th, 2013, 11:22 AM
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Would not leave Madrid.
A great city with tons to see.
danon is offline  
Old May 18th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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Stay in Madrid
tailsock is offline  
Old May 18th, 2013, 11:27 AM
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Thank you, all. Segovia seems so wonderful, but I think maybe i should let it go and just take in Madrid fully. Hopefully i can plan a future trip there, as I want to one day see Barcelona too!
ivywinter is offline  
Old May 18th, 2013, 11:47 AM
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As someone who stayed in Madrid for almost a week, for that amount of time-stay put. Part of the charm of Madrid is sitting in a cafe or plaza at night and watching the Madrilenos interact. Or just walking around the city. It may not have the must see attractions like Paris or London-though the art museums are world class but it is a very Spanish vs. international city. Honestly, I had many people tell me that Madrid could be seen in two days and wasn't very attractive. However, I feel in love with the city and her inhabitants.
emily71 is offline  
Old May 18th, 2013, 01:22 PM
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The great thing is: you do not have to decide until you are there. Figure out how you would do it, put it in your plan. Then, if you change your mind, you can go or stay in Madrid. I would go, but probably to Toledo instead. However, Segovia is lovely and a wonderful contrast to Madrid. You don't even have to decide ahead of time how long to stay. Go early, walk around, have lunch. You can return to Madrid any time you want. I would certainly trade the walk in Retiro park for the trip to Segovia.

If you choose Toledo instead, you could visit the Palace and Prado (a couple of hours each), then catch the train to Toledo. On one short trip to Madrid, I did all four and still had time for a tapas crawl, a history walk one evening and hanging out in Plaza Mayor till midnight the last night.
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Old May 18th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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If you land a Barajas at 16.30, you will hardly reach your hotel before 18.00. So forget Wednesday.
2 days are by far not enough for a somewhat decent visit of Madrid. But it's not forbidden to visit Segovia instead of Madrid. I suppose you know that the railway station Segovia AV is not really in town.
neckervd is offline  
Old May 18th, 2013, 02:22 PM
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Yes neckervd, my friend told me it's about a 15 min bus ride frome the Segovia AV station to the actual aqueducts area.
ivywinter is offline  
Old May 18th, 2013, 06:00 PM
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One of the big omissions in your life will be skipping Segovia but under the circumstances you can't fit it in. Enjoy Madrid and I guarantee you will be bitten by the Spain bug..Do Segovia (among other wonderful places) next.time..
amer_can is offline  
Old May 19th, 2013, 06:27 AM
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I agree with those who say to decide when you are there. To me, Segovia was the highlight of my time in Madrid, and I also went to Toledo. Segovia absolutely captured my heart -- the aqueduct, the castle, the town itself, the views of the surrounding countryside, and a walk around the village walls into the beautiful landscape.

My experience with taking the train to Segovia is that it was not as booked as the one to Toledo, so it is easy to make a spur of the moment decision to go there, and to decide how much time you want to spend once you are there without fear of not getting a seat on the train. I skipped my scheduled return because I loved it so much and returned to Madrid on a later train than my original ticket. Do note that the train to Segovia leaves from the train station in the northern part of Madrid, not Atoche (which is near Retiro Park and the Prado).

I had mixed feelings about Madrid. IMO does not knock your socks off the way so many other cities do, but I did end up enjoying it.

If you don't end up going to Segovia, then I would encourage you to add the Cerralbo Museum to your list of sites to see in Madrid. This nobleman's mansion is amazing. Check it out on TripAdvisor. That's where I learned of it, and it was one of my favorite sites in Madrid.
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Old May 19th, 2013, 03:38 PM
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Thanks so much Skatedancer! Maybe it will be good to just leave our decision for when we are there. I will certainly look into the cerralbo museum.
ivywinter is offline  
Old May 20th, 2013, 03:16 AM
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Stay in Madrid, otherwise you won't see either Madrid nor Segovia properly.
pgriffin is offline  
Old May 20th, 2013, 10:10 AM
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As someone already mentioned,get an early start.Segovia is invaded by bus loads of tourists so it's so much nicer not to get caught up with groups. I always take the bus around 9AM and the ride is about an hour.The bus station is in town so you just need to walk town,about 5 minutes to the aqueduct,stop by the tourist office to pick up a map and start the walk up to the castle then loop back down a different way.You could actually go back to the bus station and take the bus-10 minutes- out to La Granja,a beautiful place for lunch,stroll through through the gardens of the palace.Then take the bus back to Madrid from there!
Madrid stays light even in September so you will be able to sight see some more-you will have rested up on your ride back to Madrid!
chapla is offline  
Old May 21st, 2013, 10:07 AM
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I love Segovia, but with only 2-1/2 days think you probably don't have time for it. I just took the bus but spend most of the day there. I don't believe in rushing around, wouldn't go for just half a day. Don't know anything about suckling pig, never heard of that, but I don't eat that kind of thing, anyway. I certainly wouldn't go there for that reason, if that was the idea.
Christina is offline  
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