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Useful things to know about Salamanca
- Salamanca is recognised for the great beauty of its architecture and the old town is recognised by UNESCO.
- The city is a favourite for those who come to Spain to learn the language, taking a sixth of all language students who come to Spain.
- Salamanca’s university, founded in 1218 is the oldest in Spain.
- Salamanca’s nickname is La Ciudad Dorada, the golden city, because of its yellow sandstone buildings.
- Christopher Columbus was invited to lecture on his discoveries at the university.
Salamanca Mini Guide
Tell me About Salamanca
Salamanca is a city in the west of Spain situated on the banks of the River Tormes. It is well known for its beautiful buildings and was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It is also known for being a university city with thousands of students learning the Spanish language there, creating a very multicultural city.
How do I get There?
If you travel into Madrid
, you can take a RENFE fast train to Salamanca. Alternatively, the airport is 14km from the city and there are regular flights from Barcelona and Paris
. During summer, you can also fly from the Balearic or Canary Islands
. There are 13 bus lines you can use to get around the city and environs.
What can I see in the City?
The Old Quarter is well worth exploring, you can take a walking tour around the city. Two visually interesting buildings are the Casa de las Muertes (House of Death) which is decorated with skulls and the Casa de las Conchas where the façade is decorated with scallop shells. The Convento de San Esteban built in the 16th century has a façade very similar in design to the Arc de Triomphe, typical of Salamancan Renaissance design. There are two cathedrals in the city, one is 12th century Romanesque style and the New Cathedral is very gothic, the two are adjoined by an area called Patio Chico a charming area of the Old Quarter.
What Else can I do There?
There are many museums in the city, you can discover more at the Museum of History or the Museum of Trade. The Cathedral and University also have their own museums. For something different you can visit the Bullfighting Museum and find out how this famous event evolved. If you like art and architecture, you can visit the Art Nouveaux and Art Deco Museum.
What Local Food Should I try?
The Salamancan traditional meal is ‘cocido’, a hearty casserole with chickpeas and chorizo. While you are in Salamanca, go to Plaza Mayor in the heart of the city and try the local specialities at the many tapas bars and restaurants surrounding the square.
Any Special Events I Should see?
Lunes de Aquas or Water Monday takes place the Monday after Easter Sunday – all shops are closed and the locals take to the parks for a picnic and eat ‘hornazo’ a pie stuffed with pork and chorizo, specially made for the Easter celebrations.
Latest Update from Salamanca:
- Get to the old cathedral on the 30th May for the annual Corpus Christi Festival.
Celebrating the body and blood of Christ, the festival is accompanied by music, dancing and rituals including the dancing egg.