Salamanca is a vibrant youth community and one of the most beautiful Spain provinces. Thanks to its cultural and artistic assets, this autonomous community was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 and the European Capital of Culture in 2002. Aside from the sandstone buildings, Salamanca in Spain has a full line of fine restaurants and designer tapas bars.
Table of Contents
- Check our top travel resources
- Activities in Salamanca, Spain
- Museums in Salamanca, Spain
- Monuments in Salamanca, Spain
- Festivals in Salamanca, Spain
- Shopping in Salamanca, Spain
- Day Trips from Salamanca, Spain
- Places to Stay in Salamanca, Spain
- Restaurants to Eat in Salamanca, Spain
- Drinking and Nightlife in Salamanca, Spain
- How to Get to Salamanca, Spain
One of Spain’s most significant historical and artistic cities is Salamanca, España. Where is Salamanca Spain located? It is between Castile y León regions lying above sea level on Tormes River’s north bank. The Salamanca history began way back pre-historical times (1000-2000BC), wherein Greeks, Carthaginians, and later on, Romans inhabited the province.
The domination of Visigoths began around 600AD until the Muslims invaded the city in the eighth century. The Spanish monarch Alfonso VI won back Salamanca in the 12th century and was declared a university town by Alfonso IX in 1218. The Salamanca population grew, and many impressive buildings rose in the 16th century. However, Napoleon’s intention to take over Salamanca in 1808 left most of the city’s buildings in ruins. The city slowly recovered by the 1900s until it became a university town by the end of the 70s.
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The average Salamanca weather consists of short and warm summers, as well as frigid and windy winters. The Salamanca temperature over the year usually ranges from -1°C (31°F) to 30°C (86°F).
During spring, the Salamanca, Spain weather and climate are relatively dry, and showers clear fast. Meanwhile, the weather in Salamanca, Spain during summer is scorching hot and can even reach 35°C (95°F) up to 40°C (104°F). The Salamanca Turismo boosts during autumn as the fresh breezes attract more tourists to the city. Frosty weather and snow are unusual during winter, but the Salamanca weather in Spain is frigid.
Activities in Salamanca, Spain
Kick-off your tour in Salamanca with these recommended activities:
Stroll in Salamanca’s Old City
The old city is the historic center of Salamanca. Here, you’ll find some of the most important Baroque, Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance, and Romanesque monuments of the city. A simple stroll will give you aesthetic pleasure.
Wander Around Plaza Mayor
Soak in the Spanish architecture as you walk through Plaza Mayor. This town square in Salamanca, Spain, is comprised of three-story buildings with a similar Baroque architectural style. It used to be a venue for ceremonial occasions and bullfights but is now filled with small shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Get your tickets to Tour Salamanca From Madrid here.
Ride a Boat on the Tormes River
Tormes is a Spanish river that crosses people to and from Avila and Salamanca. Appreciate the beauty of Salamanca more by paddling on this river through the canoes and paddle boats for hire. Have the chance to get a closer look at the Roman bridge of Salamanca.
Museums in Salamanca, Spain
Dig deeper into the city’s ancient times by including a museum visit in your “things to do in Salamanca list.”
Museo Art Nouveau y Deco
One of the most renowned museums in the regions of Spain is the Museo Art Nouveau y Deco. This museum contains art collections from the 19th and 20th centuries. Thanks to the building’s intricate glassworks, the museum is known to have one of Spain’s most remarkable architectural constructions.
- For more information, visit their website here.
Bullfights have always been a part of Salamanca’s culture. To recognize this heritage, Museo Taurino, or the Bullfight Museum was established. Learn more about this quintessentially Spanish sport through the museum’s collection.
- Visit their website here.
Museo de Historia de la Automoción de Salamanca
The Museum of Automotive History is home to a distinct collection of antique vehicles and memorabilia. It also features other exhibits related to early attempts at auto manufacturing to the evolution of car technology. Over 100 vehicles and other automobile-related objects are on display here.
- For more information, visit their website here.
Monuments in Salamanca, Spain
When you visit Salamanca, you’ll be welcomed to a wide array of magnificent historical monuments on display throughout the city, including:
Universidad de Salamanca
The world-famous University of Salamanca, Spain is built back in 1218 during Alfonso IX’s regime making it one of the oldest universities in the world. The building has a Spanish plateresque architectural style and features Catholic symbols and other curios figures. A main attraction in the University of Salamanca is the Sala Calderón de la Barca or the library. There’s also a museum inside the University, which displays fine arts, archaeology, and ethnology exhibits.
Cathedral of Salamanca
The Salamanca cathedral consists of two cathedrals. Catedral Vieja or the old cathedral Salamanca is the oldest Christian monument in the city. This 12th-century Romanesque structure has a 328 feet (110-meter) tall clock tower, which features Europe’s oldest organs and 15th-century biblical scene paintings. Catedral Nueva, or the new cathedral, was constructed in the early 16th century. The cathedral’s grandeur is due to the combination of Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance architectural styles.
Casa de las Conchas
What to see in Salamanca? Visit the House of Shells. It is a Renaissance Palace with an impressive Gothic structure built in the 15th century. The facade has over 300 carvings of stone shells representing the Santiago Order’s emblem. Some believe that there are hidden gold pieces behind the shells.
Festivals in Salamanca, Spain
An exciting part of Salamanca tours is joining various festivals that are held throughout the year.
Feria de Salamanca
The Salamanca Fair held every 8th of September is one of the most popular events in Salamanca. This festival honors the Patron Saint, la Virgen de la Vega. It involves a week of feasting, concerts, dances in traditional costumes, bullfights, and fireworks displays.
El Carnaval del Toro
El Carnaval del Toro is a festival dedicated to bullfighting. It originated in Ciudad Rodrigo and is celebrated every February since the 14th century. It makes this one of the oldest festivals in Spain.
Semana Santa de Salamanca
The most important religious event in Salamanca is Semana Santa which usually takes place in March or April. During this event, the streets are filled with beautiful processions carrying carvings of representation of the Passion of Christ. Every Holy Thursday, a breakfast of hot chocolate and cakes are served.
Shopping in Salamanca, Spain
Complete your Salamanca holidays by shopping through the city’s various shops. Most of the top brand stores are around Calle Meléndez and Plaza Mayor. If you’re looking for souvenirs, check out the interesting specialty shops at Calle Toro or Calle Zamora.
Day Trips from Salamanca, Spain
Salamanca is an ideal base for visiting other Spanish cities.
You wouldn’t want to miss exploring Spain’s capital. Madrid is about a two-hour drive away from Salamanca. The city’s historical gems, manicured parks, and world-class museums will surely leave you astonished. Check out The Trainline for tickets to Madrid.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Spain is the city of Avila. This town is best known for its Renaissance palaces, Romanesque churches, and medieval convents. Moreover, its city walls are among the best preserved in Europe. Read about all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain here.
La Alberca is an authentic Spanish village in Salamanca. It is in a hilly region and doesn’t allow entry of cars. Let the scenery of half-timber houses and displays of geraniums and summer flowers take you to another dimension during your visit.
Places to Stay in Salamanca, Spain
Hoteles en Salamanca Centro or hotels in the historic center of Salamanca is the recommended accommodation since this location is near the city’s main interest points. Suggested city center hotels include:
- Salamanca Hospes Palacio de San Esteban
- Soho Boutique Canalejas
- Hotel Ibis Salamanca
- Hotel Rector Salamanca
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Restaurants to Eat in Salamanca, Spain
Typical dishes in Salamanca include a meat pie called Hornazo and Paloma, a fried wheat crust wrapped around a Russian salad.
Sweets like Doughnuts of Ledesma and Perrunillas or Christmas cookies are a must-try.
Indulge in Spanish delicacies from Salamanca’s best restaurants, including Don Mauro, La Fonda del Arcediano de Medina, and La Posada. Get the best tapas from restaurants like El Corrillo or Casa de Comidas Montero.
Drinking and Nightlife in Salamanca, Spain
Salamanca has a lively nightlife community. Bars in Salamanca are usually open until 4 am. Bars like Gran Café Moderno and El Puerto de Chus have been around for years and are located in the Gran Vía area. Meanwhile, some of the most popular clubs in Salamanca, like Camelot and Cvm Lavde, can be seen in the Bordadores district.
How to Get to Salamanca, Spain
Domestic flights to Salamanca are the only ones accepted at Salamanca Airport. If you are arriving from another country, fly into Madrid-Barajas airport instead. From there, the easiest option to reach Salamanca is to ride a bus. Travel time is almost three hours. For a bit faster travel time to Salamanca, catch a train from Madrid’s Estación de Chamartín. The most expensive yet most convenient option is to ride a taxi or hire a car rental.
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