What to visit in Salamanca? (2023)

Located in the northwest of Spain, Salamanca is a city straight out of a fairy tale. It is known for its sandstone buildings that seem to change colors throughout the day. White in the morning, they turn pink in the afternoon and, once night falls, they are bathed in a soft golden light. This daily transformation has earned it its nickname of “La Dorada” or the “city of gold”.

Among its buildings is the University of Salamanca. Although it is one of the oldest in the world, it is still open today. Every night, its many students fill the streets, giving the city a vibrant atmosphere.

Salamanca is only two hours from the Portuguese border, but the Plateresque-style architecture and local cuisine remind tourists that they are in another country. We recommend that you take advantage of the night to admire the reflection of the lights in the waters of the Tormes River and get lost in the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Below you will find our suggested itinerary for visiting Salamanca in one day, as well as advice on the best places to eat and sleep.

Salamanca, Spain

The morning

What to visit in Salamanca? (2)

Stroll through the Plaza Mayor

Once you arrive in Salamanca, head to the Plaza Mayor located in the heart of the city. Built in the middle of the 18th century, it is one of the largest squares in Spain. Surrounded by magnificent Baroque buildings, the Plaza Mayor was designed by Spanish architect Alberto Churriguera. You will find a medallion representing him above the town hall, next to other famous figures. In the past, bullfights were organized on this square, but today its arcades are home to small shops and restaurants. We recommend that you come back in the evening: you will also enjoy this place when the lights are on and the street musicians are playing their instruments.

The Plaza Mayor, Salamanca, Spain

Admire the Salina Palace

A few steps from the Plaza Mayor is the Palacio de la Salina. This palace still impresses visitors with its richly ornamented architecture dating back to the 16th century. In the past, it was used as a salt warehouse, hence its name Salina. Today, the seat of the provincial administration of Salamanca is installed there. Exhibitions are sometimes held inside the palace, but what gives it its charm is above all its courtyard which includes an open loggia and a corbelled gallery supported by atlanteans with twisted bodies.

The Palacio de la Salina, Salamanca, Spain

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The Palacio de la Salina, Salamanca, Spain

Take a photo of yourself in front of Casa de las Conchas

It's hard not to notice the Casa de las Conchas and its walls covered in more than 300 seashells. Completed in 1517, this residence belonged to Rodrigo Arias de Maldonado, professor at the University of Salamanca and member of the Order of Santiago. The scallop shell is the symbol of this Order, and you will find it everywhere on the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route that crosses Spain, Portugal and France. The “Shell House” is an example of the Spanish Plateresque movement, a style of architectural ornamentation that evokes goldsmith work. Do not hesitate to enter to stroll through the interior patio and visit the municipal library of the city.

The House of the Shells, Salamanque, Spain

Visit the Clerecía Church

Right in front of the Casa de las Conchas you will find the Church of the Clerecía, originally called Iglesia del Colegio Real de la Compañia de Jesús. The construction of this church was ordered by the wife of Philip III of Spain and began in 1617. This Baroque-style building is now the seat of the Pontifical University. After visiting the church, don't forget to climb the Scala Coeli, a "stairway to heaven" that will give you a spectacular view of the whole city.

Visit the Church of La Clerecia, Salamanca, Spain

Enter the University of Salamanca

Located in the heart of the historic center and founded in the 15th century, the University of Salamanca is the oldest university in Spain. It is also one of the most emblematic buildings in the city with its impressive sandstone facade decorated with sculptures of mythical creatures and religious scenes. We challenge you: try to spot the frog hidden on a skull. Some say finding it on your own will bring you good luck! In front of the university stands a statue of Fray Luis de León, a famous Spanish poet and one of the many personalities who studied there. Do not hesitate to take a walk in the Patio de las Escuelas, and if you can, visit the library, which is one of the oldest in Europe.

Enter the University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain

Go see the old and the new cathedral

Salamanca has two historic cathedrals that stand side by side: Catedral Vieja and Catedral Nueva. Built in 1120, the Catedral Vieja, also known as the old cathedral, is a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic elements. Inside is a fascinating altarpiece depicting 53 scenes from the life of Christ and Mary on colored panels. You should also take a look at the “Mudéjar” style organ of the Capilla de Anaya or Anaya chapel.

La Catedral Vieja (Old Cathedral), Salamanca, Spain

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The Catedral Nueva or New Cathedral is much larger and dates from the 15th century. Although its architecture is mainly Gothic, it also includes Renaissance and Baroque details like the dome and the bell tower. Remember to climb the towers to walk along the ramparts. You will be able to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city of Salamanca. The interior of the cathedral is equally spectacular with its ornate ceilings and high vaults. Once outside, consider looking at Puerta de Ramos, or Palm Gate, to try to spot the astronaut and the ice cream-eating monster. These fun elements were added in 1992 during restoration work.

La Catedral Nueva (New Cathedral), Salamanca, Spain

Morning itinerary


What to visit in Salamanca? (11)

Walk the Puente Romano in Salamanca

As you approach the Tormes River, you will find many bridges that provide access to the opposite bank. The Puente Romano is distinguished from other pedestrian bridges by its stone structure dating from the 1st century BC. It is composed of 26 arches, some of which are vestiges of the Roman era. The bridge has undergone several restorations over time, including after it was hit by a flood in the 1600s, but it remains an essential part of the city's history. In the summer you can even rent canoes and paddle along the river.

The Puente Romano, Salamanca, Spain

Contemplate Art Nouveau and Art Deco at Casa Lis

Every building in Salamanca has a story, and Casa Lis is no exception. Created for a wealthy businessman called Miguel de Lis, this 19th-century mansion is an outstanding example of modernist architecture. Since 1995, its glass gallery has unveiled the entrance to the Museum of Art Nouveau and Art Deco in Salamanca. Inside, you can contemplate an impressive collection of decorative arts dating from the 19th and 20th centuries, including one of the largest collections of porcelain dolls in the world.

The Casa Lis, in Art Nouveau style, in the city of Salamanca

Relax at Huerto de Calixto y Melibea

Once out of Casa Lis, head towards the Huerto de Calixto y Melibea. Not far from the cathedral, this small garden is an ideal place to relax after a day of visiting Salamanca. It takes its name from the Spanish novel “Tragicomedia de Calistoy Melibea” written by Fernando de Rojas in 1499 and adapted into French under the title of “La Célestine”. Sit down under a tree to admire the view of the cathedral.

Take a break at Huerto de Calixto y Melibea, Salamanca, Spain

Visit the Convent of Las Dueñas

Founded in 1419, this Dominican convent was initially in the "Mudéjar" style, but it has been modified over the years and today presents a mixture of different styles. The pentagonal Renaissance cloister is one of the most interesting elements to see. Its facade is decorated with stone carvings: the medallions on the first floor oppose the magical creatures on the second. When you leave, don't forget to taste the cookies prepared by the nuns who still live in the convent.

The Covento de las Dueñas in Salamanca, Spain

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Visit the Covento de San Esteban

Located in the Plaza del Concilio de Trento, the Covento de San Esteban is also worth a visit. Built between the 16th and 17th centuries, its imposing facade covered with reliefs still attracts tourists. Inside are magnificent cloisters, a church with a gilded altar and a museum displaying religious objects.

The Covento de San Esteban, Salamanca, Spain

Finish with the Torre del Clavero

The Torre del Clavero, a XV towerecentury of octagonal shape, surpasses the other buildings of the city of Salamanca. Once it was part of the Palace of Sotomayor, but today it stands alone on the edge of Plaza Colón. You can admire its splendid turrets decorated with coats of arms before ending your visit to the city.

The Torre del Clavero, Salamanca, Spain

Afternoon itinerary

Where to eat in Salamanca?

According to us, the three best restaurants in Salamanca are: En la Parra, Vinodiario and Cuzco Bodega.

Located opposite the Covento de San Esteban, En la Parra is a contemporary and warm restaurant with only six tables. Sit down to order a glass of Cava and a tasting menu made from Iberian ingredients. This changes with the seasons, but always includes a few starters, a main course (fish and meat), a dessert and a coffee.

If you want a lighter meal, you can opt for the Vinodiario. As the name suggests, this is a wine bar, but you can also eat tapas here. The server will offer you a wide range of wines and will be happy to make recommendations. In summer you can sit on the outdoor terrace which overlooks the Plaza de los Basilios.

Finally, there is Cuzco Bodega, a small tapas bar near the Plaza Mayor. You can't go wrong: all their tapas are excellent! We recommend the goat cheese and its caramelized onions or the pork tenderloin and its mushroom sauce. Accompany them with a glass of wine or sangria.

Pork is an important part of the Salamanca diet, which is why you will often find tapas with chorizo, bacon and delicious Iberian ham. Roasted goat and suckling pig meat are also typical dishes of this region. As for desserts, try the bollo maimón (sponge cake) or the marzipan cookies.

Where to sleep in Salamanca?

If you plan to spend the night in Salamanca, we advise you to book a room at the Eurostars Las Claras hotel or the Rector hotel.

The Eurostars Las Claras hotelis a 4-star hotel located a few steps from the Plaza Mayor. It has 72 spacious rooms, some of which offer a view of the city. The facade of the building is modern. It is made of light pink stone, famous in Salamanca. On the other hand, inside, the decor is rather classic: the rooms have a beautiful red carpet and the bathrooms are entirely made of marble. Guests can have breakfast directly at the hotel and use the private garage for an additional fee.

The Rector Hotelis also in the historic center, but closer to the river. This charming boutique hotel stands out with its neo-classical entrance and was considered one of the best hotels in European cities by Condé Nast Johansens. Once inside, guests are welcomed into a warm living space decorated with stained glass windows and wooden furniture. There are only 13 rooms available at this hotel, which makes it a bit more charming. The suites are also equipped with free-standing bathtubs, where you can take a relaxing bath at the end of the day.

What to visit in Salamanca? (18)

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How do I spend a day in Salamanca? ›

What to see
  1. Salamanca University.
  2. Casa Lis Art Nouveau and Art Deco Museum.
  3. Calixto y Melibea Garden.
  4. Cave of Salamanca.
  5. San Esteban Church and Monastery.
  6. Torre del Clavero Tower.
  7. Salina Palace.

What is Salamanca famous for? ›

Salamanca is famous for many things. Known as the “Golden city” for the sandstone used in the construction of its buildings, it has the third oldest existing university in the world, one of the Top 10 cathedrals in Spain, and one of the most beautiful plazas in all of Spain.

How many days do you need to visit Salamanca? ›

All the main sights can be seen in a day, but it is such a pleasant city that it is worth at least two days.

What is a fun fact about Salamanca? ›

Salamanca is one of Spain's oldest intellectual centers, home to many of Spain's most famous writers—from Luis de León to Carmen Martín Gaite. They speak one of the purest forms of Spanish, which here (and throughout Spain) is commonly referred to as castellano–a nod to its birthplace on the central planes of Castilla.

What is the famous street in Salamanca? ›

If you find yourself surrounded by designer stores and elegant restaurants, you've probably stumbled into Madrid's Salamanca neighborhood. Salamanca is one of the most elite areas of the city, and its main streets – Calle de Serrano, Calle de Goya and Calle de Velázquez – are some of the most expensive.

Do they speak English in Salamanca? ›

Furthermore, other Spanish locations such as Barcelona, Galicia and the Basque Country have their own individual languages making Spanish only a co-official language. On the contrary, in Salamanca Spanish is the only language spoken, may it be in the streets, or in local businesses and administrations.

Is Salamanca a walking city? ›

Salamanca is beautiful and very walkable so it is great place to do such a tour. Particularly cool to do a tour with an alumni from the university (who studied history and had so much knowledge of the history of the university and the city!).

What is the famous square in Salamanca? ›

One of the most beautiful squares in Spain. It was built in Baroque style according to the plans of Alberto Churriguera. On the north side is the City Hall, a Baroque building that has five granite arches and a steeple decorated with allegoric figures.

Why is Salamanca called the Golden city? ›

Known throughout Spain as "The Golden City" because of its honey-coloured sandstone, Salamanca has the distinction of hosting Spain's oldest university. Founded in 1134, the University of Salamanca is the third-oldest university in Europe, after those of Bologna and Oxford.

What is the best month to visit Salamanca? ›

The best months for good weather in Salamanca are June, July, August, September and October. On average, the warmest months are July and August. August is the driest month. January is the coldest month of the year.

How do you get around Salamanca? ›

From there, Salamanca can be reached by bus, train or taxi.
  1. Bus. This is the easiest option, since a bus can be taken directly from the airport itself. ...
  2. Train. In order to catch a train, you must make your way to the Estación de Chamartín- you can get there either by metro or by taxi. ...
  3. Taxi.

Can I drink the water in Salamanca? ›

Spanish tap water is considered to be 99.5% safe to drink, although the taste may vary somewhat according to the region. If you have concerns about either its safety or taste, a water filter could be the solution.

What do you call people from Salamanca? ›

volume_up person from Salamanca = volume_up. charro.

What famous people are from Salamanca? ›

People from Salamanca
  • Fray Luis de León, poet and professor of theology.
  • Miguel de Unamuno, novelist, poet and professor of Greek.
  • Alfonso XI de Castilla.
  • Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, novelist, academic. ...
  • Juan del Encina, poet, musician and playwright.

Is Salamanca an expensive city? ›

Cost of Living in Salamanca, Spain

The average cost of living in Salamanca is $1084, which is close to the world's average cost of living, ranked 4519th out of 9294 in our global list and 104th out of 153 in Spain.

What is the oldest cafe in Salamanca? ›

The Café Novelty (Coffeehouse Novelty) is the oldest café in the city of Salamanca (Spain), which was founded in 1905 and is situated in the main square of the city, Plaza Mayor de Salamanca. Its first owners were the García brothers.

Where is Golden Mile in Salamanca? ›

The Salamanca district is known internationally because of its Golden Mile: a fashion point of reference, distributed across Ortega y Gasset Street and the surrounding area, where you can find boutiques from great fashion designers.

What city in Spain speaks the most English? ›

2022: Spanish Provinces Where English is Widely Spoken Thanks to Residing of Brits
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife with a total of 14,557 Britons (5.16%)
  • Las Palmas with a total of 14,166 Britons (5.02%)
  • Madrid with a total of 11,605 Britons (4.11%)
  • Valencia with a total of 9,335 Britons (3.31%).
May 31, 2022

Is Salamanca considered a party city? ›

Salamanca is a university city and as such, its centre is full of pubs, bars and party places.

What religion is Salamanca? ›

The cultural, historical, artistic, monumental, and documentary heritage of the Catholic Church constitutes an essential part of the Spanish cultural heritage owing to its impor- tance, magnitude, and diversity. This is also the case in Salamanca.

Does the Camino go through Salamanca? ›

The Camino de Torres starts in Salamanca, goes past Ciudad Rodrigo, crosses the Portuguese border near Almeida, continues past Braga and joins the Camino Portugués at Ponte de Lima.

Why travel to Salamanca? ›

Reasons Why You Should Visit Salamanca at Least Once in Your Lifetime. Salamanca is just two hours drive from Madrid, but feels like its a world away. This UNESCO World Heritage city is one of Spain's most beautiful. Its elegant architecture and fascinating history offer visitors much to discover.

What is the meaning of the word Salamanca? ›

Updated September 29, 2022. Origin:French. Meaning:a city in the west of Spain. Salamanca as a girl's name refers to the city in the west of Spain.

What is the name of the most important square in Spain and why? ›

The Plaza Mayor (English: Town square) is a major public space in the heart of Madrid, the capital of Spain. It was once the centre of Old Madrid. It was first built (1580–1619) during the reign of Philip III. Only a few blocks away is another famous plaza, the Puerta del Sol.

What is the most famous square in Madrid? ›

Madrid's grand central square is found in the heart of Hapsburg Madrid, the oldest part of the city. Steeped in history, the bustling plaza is the perfect place to begin your stroll through one of Madrid's most charming districts.

What is the name of the most important square in Spain? ›

In Spain, the most important Plazas de España are in Barcelona, Madrid and Seville. Madrid's Plaza de España, with over 398ft², is the biggest square in the country. It was built in the 19th Century, although its original name was actually Plaza de San Gil. In Exchange, Barcelona's Plaza de España was built in 1929.

Is Salamanca an Indian reservation? ›

Salamanca is within the Allegany Indian Reservation of the Seneca Nation of New York (one of the six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy).

What happened in Salamanca Spain? ›

The Battle of Salamanca (in French and Spanish known as the Battle of the Arapiles) on 22 July 1812 was a battle in which an Anglo-Portuguese army under the Earl of Wellington defeated Marshal Auguste Marmont's French forces at Arapiles, south of Salamanca, Spain, during the Peninsular War.

What is the name of the plaza in Salamanca? ›

The plaza mayor is the central plaza in Salamanca. The square is historically significant and the architecture is amazing. But, the most stunning visual of the square is at night after sunset, when the plaza is completely lit, it is amazing.

What is the coldest month in Salamanca Spain? ›

July is the hottest month in Salamanca with an average temperature of 21°C (70°F) and the coldest is January at 4°C (39°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 11 in July.

What is the average salary in Salamanca? ›

33.028 € (EUR)/yr.

Does Salamanca have a beach? ›

These places are best for beaches in Province of Salamanca: La Playa Fluvial de Puente del Congosto. Playa del Rostro. Embalse Del Rocoso.

Can you do a day trip from Madrid to Salamanca? ›

If you want to take a day trip from Madrid to see see the city's famous Salamanca University and historic cathedrals, you'll find that it's easy to travel between the two cities by bus, train, or car. Whichever way you choose to go, you should count on spending, on average, two hours in transit.

Is there a train from Porto to Salamanca Spain? ›

It takes an average of 16h 34m to travel from Porto to Salamanca by train, over a distance of around 155 miles (249 km). There are normally 2 trains per day traveling from Porto to Salamanca and tickets for this journey start from $32.62 when you book in advance.

How many train stations are there in Salamanca? ›

There is only 1 train station in Salamanca.

Is it safe to have ice in Spain? ›

Strangely, some people ask whether it is ok to have ice in their drinks. Ultimately, ice water will come from the tap. So having ice in your drink will be the same as drinking a glass of tap water.

How do you say tap water in Spain? ›

"Agua corriente" is the typical way to say "tap water" in Spanish.

How do I ask for tap water in Spain? ›

Ask instead for un vaso de agua (a glass of water) or agua de grifo (water from the tap)—or avoid this altogether by asking for that to begin with. Usually they'll give in, but sometimes they'll resist. They might say they don't serve tap water, or that they only have bottles.

What do you call a woman from Spain? ›

In the United States the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" (or "Latina" for a woman; sometimes written as “Latinx” to be gender-neutral) were adopted in an attempt to loosely group immigrants and their descendants who hail from this part of the world.

How safe is Salamanca Spain? ›

Salamanca is overall safe to travel to, with somewhat low crime rates where pickpockets are the biggest issue. However, it is advised that you remain vigilant at all times, especially when crossing the streets.

How do Spaniards look? ›

Spanish people have the typical Mediterranean look, with brunette hair, light brown skin, and aquiline noses. One of their standout features is their amber eyes, a rare color appearing in only about 5% of the global population.

What ethnicity is Salamanca? ›

Spanish: habitational name from the city of Salamanca in western Spain which is of pre-Roman foundation and obscure etymology. During the Middle Ages it was one of the leading cultural centers of Europe and the surname may in some cases have been been a respectful nickname for someone who had visited the city.

What nationality is the Salamanca family? ›


How much is Salamanca worth? ›

Raymond Cruz (Tuco Salamanca) Net Worth - $4 Million

He is one of the most memorable villains on the show, being an unhinged drug addict and dealer, and someone with major aggression problems.

Is it worth visiting Salamanca? ›

The architecture is beautiful and the Plateresque ornamentation you see on many buildings is unlike what we've seen anywhere else in Spain. All the above make Salamanca definitely worth visiting. Note: the region of Castile and Leon has some incredible cities. If in Salamanca, you have to visit Segovia and Ávila.

What is the most luxurious city in Spain? ›

The richest city in Spain is Madrid, with the richest areas of Salamanca, Chamartin, and Los Jerimos located in the central parts of the city. Enjoy strolling through mansions with beautiful foyers, tall ceilings, and enchanting architectural designs.

How much is a meal in Salamanca Spain? ›

Prices in restaurants in Salamanca.
Meal in a cheap restaurant12 EUR (5.00-16)
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course52 EUR
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)11 EUR (9.00-12)
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)2.00 EUR (1.50-6.50)
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)3.50 EUR (3.00-4.00)
5 more rows

Where can I walk in Salamanca? ›

Hiking in Salamanca
Camino del Agua – circular desde Mogarraz por el Parque Natural de las Batuecas y Sierra de FranciaIntermediate
Peña de Francia desde el área recreativa El Casarito – Parque Natural de las Batuecas y Sierra de FranciaExpert
Ruta de los Tres Ríos – circular desde SotoserranoIntermediate
17 more rows

Is Salamanca big or small? ›

About a fifth of its 160,000 strong population are students – although most of them now attend modern campuses on the perimeter, far from the medieval cloisters of the old city, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. "By most standards Salamanca is a small city," says Christina.

What are the most famous dishes in Salamanca? ›

Iberian ham and cold cuts, beef, pulses, hornazo, cheese and wines are some of the most traditional ones, which in the hands of master chefs, become succulent dishes. Come, look, try and taste the varied, delicious menu that Salamanca has prepared for you.

Is breakfast a big meal in Spain? ›

In Spain, breakfast (el desayuno) is the smallest meal of the day. It is typically light and more like a continental breakfast than anything else.

Do you pay for tapas in Spain? ›

When in Spain, you always pay for your tapas after you've eaten, not when it's served. Relax and enjoy your food and drink, then simply say “la cuenta, por favor” (the bill, please) when you're finished and ready to move on. You'll be impressed by the abilities of the staff to remember your order!

What is the most famous public square? ›

11 of the most famous city squares
  • Times Square, New York City, New York, US.
  • Red Square, Moscow, Russia.
  • St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.
  • Trafalgar Square, London, England.
  • Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech, Morocco.
  • Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy.
  • Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium.


1. Highlights of Castile: Toledo and Salamanca
(Rick Steves' Europe)
2. Top 15 Things To Do In Salamanca, Spain
(City Travel Review)
3. Visit Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage site - Spain
4. What to see in Salamanca (Spain)
(The Travels of BBQboy and Spanky)
5. 2023 Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Salamanca, Spain
(Travel Trolley)
6. Top 10 Best Restaurants to Visit in Salamanca | Spain - English
(Wiki Peaks)


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