Spain Guide


Segovia Nightlife

You don't come to Segovia for the wildest nights to be found in Spain but you'll find plenty of late night haunts including a handful of music bars and clubs where you can dance till dawn. There are some excellent restaurants in the city where you can sample the typical cuisine of Castilla Leon and almost every month of the year there's a traditional fiesta either in the city itself or in one of the nearby villages. If it's the bright city lights you're after, head for Madrid, an hour's drive to the south. The Spanish capital is a partygoers' paradise of gay haunts, student hangouts, gambling tables and all night clubs.

The focus of Segovia's nightlife is the Plaza Mayor which, like all the great central squares in Spain, is lined with bars, restaurants and street cafes. Plaza del Azoguejo and Calle del Carmen are also popular night time meeting spots. Either spend the evening doing a tour of the tapas bars sampling tasty morsels such as spicy chorizo sausage, jamon serrano (cured ham) and manchego cheese or enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants which specialise in regional dishes. The most famous local dish is suckling pig known here as Cochinillo Asado de Segovia. The baby pigs are reared on a special diet before being roasted to perfection in traditional wood burning ovens. The large white beans of Segovia, called Judiones de la Granja, are another favourite of the region, often served in a stew with meat, sausage and paprika.

The Segovia Parador Hotel and the world famous 18th century Meson de Candido, at the foot of the aqueduct, are among the best places to try regional specialties. A statue of the restaurant's former owner, Señor Candido, stands in the Plaza Mayor complete with a spit laden with four suckling pigs!

The most popular dance spots in town include Mansion in Calle de Juan Bravo (open nightly from 11pm till dawn) and Bar Ginasio in Paseo de Salon (8pm till dawn). The latter is the classier of the two, attracting a slightly more "mature" clientele of 30 somethings.

Check with the local tourist information office to see if any local fiestas coincide with your visit as this is a great way to see some traditional Spanish partying. Don't let the fact that these fiestas are often in honour of a patron saint put you off that doesn't stop the locals letting there hair down with some wild merrymaking in the streets till the early hours of the morning. Each fiesta is different and may or may not have a religious element (such as a church service or solemn procession through the streets). But more often than not fiesta time means bull running, fireworks and a great deal of eating, drinking and dancing. Hundreds of people pack the Plaza Mayor in Segovia when a fiesta takes place; it's a good idea to follow the Spanish tradition of taking an afternoon siesta because very often the festivities don't even kick off until midnight.

The city hosts its big summertime fiesta in honour of San Juan and San Pedro from June 24th 29th. The celebrations include free open air concerts in Plaza Azoguejo, by the aqueduct, and culminate in a night of dancing and fireworks on the 29th.

The most famous local fiesta takes place in the village of Zamarramala, three kilometres northwest of the city. The Fiesta of Santa Agueda, in February, is a day when local women dress in medieval costume and parade through the streets with a licence to ridicule the men. The fiesta dates back to 1227 when a group of women distracted the Moorish invaders with wine and song while their men folk attacked and captured Segovia's alcazar fortress.