Salamanca is a city in the north-western part of Spain that relishes in the beauty of the land that it naturally has. In 1988 it was even tagged as one of the most important natural heritage sites in the world.
It is, therefore, one of the places that making a trip or just deciding to try it out on your list of places to try going to will not let you down. Here you will get to know some of the things that you should try out when in Salamanca, including some of the places to eat and stay during your time here.
See Also: Best Things to do in Zaragoza, Spain
Best things to do in Salamanca
1. Salamanca Cathedral
The exciting thing about this place is that the cathedral itself is a combination of two cathedrals into one, the Catedral Nueva and the Catedral Vieja. The church has ancient statues and the gothic atmosphere all over it.
It has these tall columns, arched passages and stain glass windows that have been merged with the dome with a court of arms that just makes it more authentic than before. It has some recognizable architecture that is worth visiting, beginning from the new cathedral that is at the entrance to the old one all the way.
You can check their hours and tickets here
2. Plaza Mayor, Salamanca
This is the largest square in the city and also happens to be the most active and lively of them all. It was built in two faces which makes it a combination of cultures throughout two sets of times in history. The baroque architecture that has been used here will not be very shocking to you.
Around it, you will find a 3-story building that has the whole Alberto de Churriguera signature all over it. It also happens to be on the path to some of the most exciting places in the city like the Renaissance palace and some of the other pavilions around.
3. Convento de San Esteban, Salamanca
As much as the building was started in the 16th century, it has not only the gothic styles but also the renaissance one. The unique thing you will note about this monastery is that unlike the others that have a smaller courtyard with columns around it. This one has windows with mullions that have been arranged strategically to boost the interest of the place.
The church has this Soto Staircase that has, over the years, been a great motivation for many of the architectural designs in the world. Having been built in the 1500s, the architect tried something different that was otherwise unheard of during that time. He also added a statue of Mary Magdalene on the top of the staircase.
4. Roman bridge of Salamanca
This is one of the oldest bridges in the city. It is famous because of its ancient architecture while at the same time the impressive 26 arches that have been lined on the deck. The Salamanca art and Celtic elements all over the bridge give it this attraction, especially at night.
It has a height of 176 m that makes it the best place to see the views of the cathedrals. It can also be seen from very far when the lights have been flared up. It is a fantastic view.
5. Huerto de Calixto y Melibea
This is a garden that is famous for the diversity in plant life and, at the same time, the view of the rivers and the cathedral that makes it a very romantic place to be. The 2500m2 of land in the old town of the city is one that has brought people from all over just to have a piece of the fantastic thing this place has to offer.
It is tagged as one of the most romantic places because of the love base that works of people like Fernand de Rojas and the likes put into it.
6. Casa Lis
If you hear of the Art and Nouveau, Art Deco museum, then this is the one. The center was built in the early 1900s with quite a good number of art pieces stored up in there. Throughout the whole 20th century, articles have been collected and preserved from figures, paintings, jewelry, and furniture, among many other things.
The museum prides itself in the locals, and that is why the locals have made most of the works. People like Celso Lagar and Mateo Hernandez, who lived here are given priority in this place.
You can check the tickets fee here
It is located within the medieval towers that are found at the new cathedral. It is an exhibition ground that showcases the history of not only the cathedral but also the diocese in general. The Ieronimus is then the tour to take if you are going to want to enjoy this place.
It has been used for years as the one place that you can take amazing photos and also enjoy a great dawn and dusk moment with your loved one. The entrance is free. You, therefore, don’t have to fear additional charges.
8. Frog Salamanca
When you get to Salamanca, you will notice that there are several talks about the frog. It is a symbol of the city. You will, therefore, see several of these artworks all over the city. However, the most important one is the one found at the entrance to the university.
It is meant to symbolize the doctor who took care of Prince Juan in 1497. It has also been used for many years to try and scare the students. If they were to find the frog, it meant their academic year would be great. If they could not, then the opposite was exact for them.
9. Museum of Automotive History
It is a unique museum because unlike all the other museums around the world, this one is solely representing the automotive industry. The various trials and attempts that have been made towards the currently functioning motorized vehicles in the market today. It has over 150 vehicle types that you will get to see and learn about.
It is also possible for you to find materials on general topics like road safety, designs of the cars, and other world-class motorized competitions. It is this dedication to vehicles and automobiles in general that makes it one very unique museum all over the world.
10. Salamanca Central Market
The market is located on an old 19th-century building, which has been maintained and preserved well enough until today. The foods that are available at this place are fresh and very organic. It has, therefore, made it the best stop for people who love and adore cooking. There are also raw meats, fish, and even cheese.
Its closeness to the plaza mayor makes it the best place to stock up, especially when you are heading out to a picnic of the sort. You can, however, still, enjoy the area and more so walk around while you learn more about the place and how the foods are made.
11. Church of San Marcos, Salamanca
It was built in the 12th century with a circular floor plan and an enchanting baroque. It has columns that surround the iconic three naves that are found within the church. The walls have been adorned by gothic paintings that are aimed to symbolize the whole old century nature that was present during its building.
It has been famous over the years because apart from the fact that it is a center for prayer, it was also an excellent refuge center and defense spot during the attacks. The bell tower is also a vital part because apart from the views that people could have, it was an active watchtower.
12. Escuelas Menores de la Universidad de Salamanca
Schools are usually attached to activities that are just education-based. Right? Apart from the fancy arches that have been dated back to the 15th century, there is also an open courtyard anyone can get to and enjoy the place.
However, this place is more famous for the huge mural that depicts the sky that is opposite the entrance of the university. The painting is both an astrological and astronomical pride for the people who are in this university. And the other great thing is that it is free. You can go at any time and enjoy the scene.
13. Campo de San Francisco
The park is located right in the center of the city. It is ironically one of the largest parks and most visited ones because of the symbolic nature that the park exudes itself. The park is famous for the several monuments and orchards that are found within the park itself.
The natural setting of the park and the fact that it has several walks and avenues, has made it a great and famous place where cultural festivities take place. The coolness of the park and the fields and ponds also make it a great place to have your family hang out even when with children.
Address: 37002 Salamanca, Spain
14. Jesuitas Park
This is one of the few places that many tourists don’t go to because it is quite some distance from the historical center of the town. It is also a very calm and silent place. There is a line of trees that give the park a different look every season. It is quite a therapeutic place for you to visit.
Here you will also find several benches that you can sit and enjoy the scenery while you play around with the ducks. A bridge will also be found at the end of the park that creates the best place to take pictures and make the best memories that are possible.
Address: Unnamed Road, 37003 Salamanca, Spain
15. Enrique Estevan Bridge
It is found over the Tormes River in Salamanca.
With its 220m span steel arches and the granite masonry that has been used, it is close to impossible to assume the craft workshop on this bridge.
It is more unique compared to so many of the other bridges because of its recent time construction. Many people even still refer to it as the ‘new bridge’. Its height has therefore just illuminated the city’s beauty because of the lights from the monuments and the reflection that the town gives.
How to get there
There are various ways that you could get to the city. If you are coming from a far place, there is the Salamanca airport that accepts international flights. From the airport, you will, therefore, have 3 options. You can either take the
- Bus: which will be 2 hours and 45 minutes to the city. There are some of them that are scheduled all through the day. You don’t have to fear getting stranded at the airport. Though you can also book in advance.
- Train: This will be slightly longer but worth the experience. Just over 3 hours and you can as well as book or just take the one you will find at the terminal waiting.
- Taxi: This is more costly but more private and you can make short stops on your way there in case you find something interesting along the road. Many people do not opt for this one which could just be better for you.
Best places to stay
In the city, there are so many places that you should opt to stay at. This includes both luxury, budget and even some of the mid-range hotels around.
A few minutes away from the city center is this pride of Spain. The stylish but relatable environment that this place offers is the best. It is modern in that you will even find an iPod docking station in the rooms. There are terraces and outdoor swimming pools that both you and your family can have great fun enjoying. The 24-hour service that it offers just adds to the joy that the hotel generally provides.
The hotel has its original charm that is merged with a minimal modern change that has been adapted over time. It is, therefore, possible to find so many old-time essences all over the place. Its location just at the corner of the Plaza Mayor makes it very easy for you to see some of the most natural and fresh meals directly from the market. There are also some amenities like gyms and a pet-friendly environment.
This place is somewhat slightly different and more romantic, especially if you are coming here with your loved one. It is just an apartment where you rent it for the whole period that you will be in the city. They, however, have 24 hours service, including cleaning. The rooms are cozier and designed to bring out the personal home experience that most people would love to have. It is the perfect place to experience the whole town from a different angle.
It is an old-century hotel that is believed to date back to as far as the 1600s. The fact that it looks more like an old castle, the bustle of the city cannot be felt. You get to enjoy an almost palatial experience that you will enjoy.
The kitchen still working allows you to have some freshly cooked meals and take relaxed strolls at the garden as you enjoy the scenes and even plan on your entire itinerary. To top it up, there is also a romantic Turkish bath that can be organized for you.
Best places to eat
Food is a great thing to look forward to, especially if you are in a new home and you would love to try out something new.
Located within the Plaza Mayor, it is the best place to settle for a meal or a refreshing drink after having a long day. Apart from the fact that it is the center of the social life in Salamanca, it is also the go-to place if you want to be served both the regional and the new dishes that I am sure you will enjoy.
Tagging both as a café and a restaurant, you are assured of some of the most exciting entertainments as you have your excellent meals. It is more famous for dinner dates. You will be lucky enough to have some live concerts of music from all over the world, but the most played here is Jazz. It also has an active bar that drags people till late in the night because they serve some delicious signature cocktails that you would try out.
Some of the feelings of pride in being in a Spanish land is the Mediterranean dishes that are offered. La Posada assures you that you will get the best of the seaside meals better than you have been served anywhere before. The old décor that it has just added to the cozy and relaxing feeling that the place aims at all the time. It is an excellent place just to come and eat or even enjoy a nice glass of your desired refreshment considering the bar that is attached to the restaurant.
Some of you may still want some dishes that you are more in-tune with apart from the new exotic dishes that you may be served. Gutierrez is the best place for you to visit. Located close to the Plaza Mayor and the cathedrals, you will not have to walk or move far away from the city before you enjoy the professionally cooked meals that are served here. The chef has both Peruvian and Asian roots which assure you of the quality of the meal that you will be taking.
Some activities will come in hand while you are planning on how you will go through the whole city, making the best out of it. The events are very many. The following are just but a bit of the thing you can be involved in.
It is a 2-6 hours tour of the city’s significant occurrences and prized historic features. You will have an excellent English guided tour for the people who fear because of not being able to speak Spanish. The great thing about this guide is that you get to learn some of the inside secrets from interacting with the locals right from the place you will be staying at and at your most convenient time.
It is generally an 11hour tour that will take most of your day. It is one of the tours that will inconvenience any other thing that you would have planned out for that day. It will then have to start super early just to make sure you are back in good time. The tour has both a Spanish and an English guide. You will go through some of the vital areas of san Vincente’s shrine and Avila cathedral among so many others.
This tour is aimed to walk over the whole city, showcasing a bit of everything that you will be able to come across. You will get to the Conchas (shells), the facades around the cathedrals and even he plaza mayor who has a great way of enchanting everyone. There is also a headset guided tour that will help translate the guide to your preferred language to ensure you have the best of the journey ahead.
Salamanca is one of the most exciting places you could ever think of going or visiting and making plans to tour through the numerous historic sites and even enjoy the Mediterranean Spanish environment that is all over the place. Have meals that will turn your taste buds upside down but at the same time, take time and learn about the culture that is so authentic in this place. It is the perfect place for a small getaway and also an educational one at the University of Salamanca. It covers all round and will be worth your time and money.