Segovia vs Toledo: Choosing a Madrid Day Trip

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by Maggie Turansky

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It took several trips to Madrid for us to venture outside of the city itself and head out on a day trip. We spent a week in the Spanish capital on our most recent trip and though I’m still absolutely in love with the city, I am so happy we took the time to head to the popular day trip spots of Ávila, Segovia and Toledo.

The latter two lovely cities are the most popular Madrid day trips and lie within easy reach of the Spanish capital. However, they do both offer different things and can appeal to different types of visitors.

So if you’re spending a few days in Madrid and are struggling to choose between heading out to Toledo or Segovia for a day trip, then you’ve found the right guide.

In general, choose Segovia for its well-preserved Roman ruins and a more compact city to explore. Choose Toledo for quick accessibility from Madrid and more things to do for a whole day.

In this article, we will dig deeper and outline what each city has to offer, including the accessibility, affordability and things to do in each town so you can make an informed decision about which will suit you more!

Comparison Table between Segovia & Toledo


Located to the northwest of Madrid, Segovia is one of the most popular day trips from the Spanish capital – and for good reason.

This historic city is home to many incredible sites – including a grand cathedral, medieval Alcázar and, of course, a Roman aqueduct – and is an absolute joy to explore and the views of the aqueduct as soon as you alight from the bus is sure to take your breath away.

Alcázar de Segovia
Alcázar de Segovia


For those travelling independently, you will find that Segovia is incredibly easy to reach from Madrid. And if you’re interested in going via public transport (which is how I would recommend visiting as having a car really isn’t necessary in Segovia’s centre), you have a couple of options.

The first and most popular option is to take the train. There is a high-speed train that connects Madrid to Segovia in under 30 minutes, which is significant when you consider that the city is located about 90 kilometres outside of the Spanish capital. You can view schedules here.

The train leaves from Madrid’s Chamartín station, which is located in the north of the city. One thing worth noting is that this station isn’t quite as central as Atocha (where trains to Toledo leave from). It is, however, really easy to access via public transport.

The journey time from Chamartín is under 30 minutes, however, the train arrives at Segovia’s Guiomar station, which is located a few kilometres outside of the city centre.

Because of this, you need to hop on bus number 11 or 12 (they leave from directly outside the train station, you can’t miss it). The bus takes another 20 minutes to reach the aqueduct.

The other option is to take the bus. Buses leave from Madrid’s Moncloa station and let off only about five minutes from the aqueduct, so there is no need to hop on another bus to get to the city centre. The journey time is about 1.5 hours. You can view schedules here.

Once in Segovia, you will find that it is incredibly compact and easy to navigate on foot. The city is also not particularly hilly, which cannot be said for Toledo if you’re struggling to choose between the two! For me, the flat terrain was a welcome respite after huffing and puffing around Toledo.

Segovia Train Station
Segovia Train Station


In general, the prices within each city for things like entry fees, food and activities are going to be roughly the same, however, there are a few things to consider.

Segovia has three major points of interest and most day trippers are going to want to enter some of these. The Roman aqueduct can be viewed free of charge, however, both the Alcázar and the cathedral charge entry fees. None are that steep and it’s worth paying to enter if both things interest you.

You also need to consider the costs associated with travelling to or from Segovia vs Toledo. For instance, while the train tickets to both cities cost roughly the same, you also need to consider the fee for the bus between the station and the city centre in Segovia (€2 per person each way). This is not a cost associated with visiting Toledo.

However, there are fewer tourist sites with entry fees in Segovia, so it is also likely that you can end up spending a bit less. How much, though, is really up to you and where your interests lie.

All in all, both Segovia and Toledo are in line with the majority of the prices in Spain and neither is much more expensive than the other.

Roman Aqueduct in Segovia
Roman Aqueduct in Segovia

Things To Do In Segovia

On paper, Segovia has very similar things to offer to Toledo – Roman ruins, a historic Alcázar, a grand Cathedral and an old Jewish Quarter. But the cities are different places and there are still different things to see and do.

Obviously, one of the most striking landmarks of Segovia is the Roman Aqueduct. This is one of the best-preserved aqueducts of its kind in the world and it is a truly impressive structure to behold.

Another top site in Segovia is its incredible cathedral. The Segovia cathedral is much grander than the one in Toledo and it is absolutely massive. So, if you’re a fan of gorgeous Gothic architecture, then make sure to head to Segovia.

Segovia is also home to a tranquil Jewish quarter, which was home to the city’s sizeable Jewish population before their expulsion (or forced conversion) in 1492. There is a small Jewish museum here, as well, but if you’re particularly interested in Spanish Jewish history, Toledo may be a better place to visit.

And finally, no visit to Segovia is complete without heading to its imposing Alcázar. Once home to the Spanish Royals in Segovia, you can tour this beautiful castle and enjoy its incredible Medieval architecture.

In general, I found that the major sites – and particularly the cathedral – were more impressive in Segovia compared to Toledo. So if you’re someone who wants their breath taken away by a truly awe-inspiring church or are keen to explore a castle that looks like it’s been plucked from a Disney film, then Segovia is a great option.

Segovia Cathedral
Segovia Cathedral

Day Tours from Madrid to Segovia

If you want to forgo visiting Segovia independently and would rather head on an organised tour to the city from Madrid, then there are plenty of options to choose from.

For example, this full-day tour or this full-day tour includes a stop in the town of Ávila along with a lovely guided tour where you can enjoy all of the highlights of Segovia.

If you want transport included to and from Segovia from Madrid along with a special activity, consider booking this hot air balloon ride that also includes pick-up and drop-off from Madrid.

For those who can’t decide between Segovia and Toledo, then this guided day tour or this day tour is a good option. It includes a morning stop in Toledo before busing you to Segovia for the afternoon. This will be rushed but can be worth it if you’re short on time.

And if you want to visit all three of the top day trips from Madrid, this full-day tour or this full-day tour will take you to Toledo and Segovia and also includes an optional add-on to Ávila.

Murallas de Segovia
Murallas de Segovia


Toledo is arguably the most popular day trip from the Spanish capital, especially when you consider just how quick and easy it is to reach from Madrid.

Known as the “city of three cultures,” there is a lot of history to take in in this small but bustling little city. Absolutely beautiful and packed with sites, it makes for an excellent day trip destination to explore and I know I was instantly charmed by it’s beauty as soon as we started walking from the train station.


Getting from Madrid to Toledo is even easier and quicker than getting to Segovia – mainly because the main train station is within easy walking distance from the Old Town.

The easiest way to reach Toledo from Madrid is by train. There is a high-speed train that arrives in Toledo in under 20 minutes and it leaves from Madrid’s Atocha station, which is far more central than Chamartín. The main train station in Toledo is also only about a 15-minute walk from the entrance to the Old Town. You can view schedules here.

The bus is also another great way to reach Toledo. Buses take about 1-1.5 hours and are generally a bit less expensive than train tickets. The main bus station in Toledo is also about 15 minutes on foot to the city centre.

Once in Toledo, your best bet is to get around on foot. It is worth noting, however, that Toledo is an incredibly hilly city – so be prepared to add some extra time when walking between sites! It may also make it a less favourable option for those with some mobility issues. Make sure you wear comfortable, supportive shoes – I promise you will not regret it!

Toledo Train Station
Toledo Train Station


As mentioned in the Segovia section, it’s hard to say whether Toledo or Segovia is more expensive or cheaper than the other. Prices for entry to sites, food and other things are relatively the same.

The main thing where Toledo and Segovia can differ price-wise is that Toledo does have a few more popular tourist sites that charge entry. Generally, entry into most sites is around €3 per person, however, if you visit many different places, this can all add up.

What Toledo has that Segovia does not, however, is a tourist bracelet that, for a flat fee, grants you access to seven different sites for the cost of entering fewer than three at full price.

Therefore, you can generally spend about the same in Segovia if you opt for this option. You can purchase the tourist bracelet here.

Beautiful Toledo
Beautiful Toledo

Things to do in Toledo

There are a lot of things to do in Toledo, arguably more than in Segovia, and you can easily be kept occupied for an entire day (or even more depending on how much interests you).

Like Segovia, you can enjoy a cathedral, Alcázar (though the one in Toledo isn’t as impressive) and a historic Jewish quarter.

Toledo also has several museums and historic sites that are worth visiting. Take in the beautiful bridges over the Tagus River, enjoy the gorgeous city gates and just absorb the views of this incredible skyline.

There are also many churches and former religious sites to see in Toledo. These include (but are certainly not limited to), Mezquita de Cristo de la Luz (a former mosque that was converted to a church), the Iglesia de los Jesuitas (which also has incredible views from the bell tower) and the Sinagoga de Santa Maria Blanca in the former Jewish Quarter.

Toledo was also the home to the famed Renaissance painter El Greco. There are some churches where you can view some of his works, and you can also head to the Museo del Greco to learn more about the painter and see more of his artwork.

Alcázar de Toledo
Alcázar de Toledo

Day Tours from Madrid to Toledo

If you would rather have a guide and not deal with the hassle of train or bus timetables during your day trip to Toledo, then these guided tours are an excellent choice.

For those who simply want to have a guided walking tour and transport to and from the city, consider booking this guided day tour or this day tour.

Another great option is this full-day tour or this full-day tour from Madrid that not only has a guide through the city but includes entry into some sites, as well.

And if you are a fan of historic cities along with wine and food, then this day tour is the choice for you. It includes a visit to Toledo before taking you to enjoy a winery in the Castilla-La Mancha region!

Catedral Primada
Catedral Primada in Toledo

Toledo vs Segovia: The Verdict

While both cities are worth visiting, they have different aspects that can appeal to various visitors.

Toledo is a great option if you want a very easy and quick day trip option. The high-speed train leaves from central Madrid and arrives close to Toledo’s old town in under 30 minutes. Toledo also has many things to do that can keep visitors occupied for an entire day (or more, if they’re interested).

Segovia is perfect for those who are interested in excellently-preserved Roman ruins. And while Toledo may be more striking from a city-skyline point of view, Segovia’s actual landmarks (the cathedral, aqueduct and Alcázar specifically) are a bit more impressive. It’s also slightly more compact and easier to get around on foot.

Iglesia de los Jesuitas
Iglesia de los Jesuitas in Toledo

If you have the time, I highly recommend you try to visit both cities and I’m super happy that I was able to. But regardless of whether you choose to visit Segovia or Toledo, you’re sure to have an excellent time on your day trip from Madrid!

Are you trying to decide between visiting these two cities? Have any questions about either? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie


  1. Hi, I’m planning a day trip to Segovia from Madrid. Would like to find out the following:
    1. How is the weather in Segovia in early Dec? Is it still good to visit Segovia in early Dec? Or would you recommend to go to Toledo in Dec instead?
    2. Is self-driving recommended to travel from Madrid to Segovia in early Dec? Will be 4-wheel drive be required to travel to Segovia or normal sedan will be sufficient?


    • There’s not going to be much of a difference in the weather between Segovia and Toledo in December. Just choose whichever appeals most 🙂 You can drive to Segovia with no problem – there is absolutely no need for a 4WD. It’s recommended to park in a car park outside the city centre and then plan to walk around while there 🙂


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