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Salamanca

Travel Guide Europe Spain Castile and León Salamanca

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Introduction

Salamanca

Salamanca

© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert

Salamanca is sometimes called 'La Ciudad Dorada' (City of Gold) because of the colour, unique in Spain, of its local sandstone. It is often said that the language, as spoken there, is the most perfect Castillian Spanish anywhere. The student population has a huge impact on Salamanca, making it a vibrant city and international city, despite its small size.

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Sights and Activities

Plaza Mayor

The Plaza Mayor is often considered the best Plaza Mayor in Spain. Just like the one in Madrid, it is completely surrounded by arched buildings. Under the arches you will find several shops, cafés and restaurants, including one shop of the tourist information. It was constructed in the 18th century, and was used originally for bullfights. Nowadays the square is a bit more peaceful, and the focal point of the nightlife, with a lot of bars in the streets leading towards the Plaza. On the eastside of the Plaza is the Mercado (covered Market).

Cathedrals

Salamanca has two Cathedrals, an old one, and a new one. The Old Cathedral was largely built in the 13th century and is in Romanesque style. The New Cathedral dates from the 16th century, so it's not so new anymore. The Cathedrals are partly built on top of each other. You can visit the cathedrals in a slightly different way than usual. You will not enter the Cathedrals through the main door as you might expect, but stairs will lead you to the roof of the side aisle, and you will have a view inside the Cathedral from the balustrate. From the roof you also have some nice views over the city center of Salamanca.

University

Salamanca University Language School

Salamanca University Language School

© All Rights Reserved davidx

The University of Salamanca is the oldest in Spain. It was founded as early as 1218, and got the title of University in 1225. Nowadays Salamanca is one of the most favourite universities in Spain, with about 30.000 students attending. Most of them are from Spain, but many are also foreigners studying Spanish. A favourite past time for tourists is to spot the frog that is sculpted in the facade of the University building. If you find it on your own, it is said to bring good luck.

Casa de las Conchas

The Casa de las Conchas (House of the Shells) lies opposite the University. As the name suggests the house is decorated with a lot of scallop shells. Scallops are the symbol for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and this was once a bording house for pilgrims. Now it is a public library. The patio is a nice place to visit.

Other Churches, Convents and Buildings in Town

  • Las Duenas Convent - beautiful cloisters
  • La Clerecia Building - massive - built as a church but now a university building.
  • San Esteban Church and Monastery - great building with good cloisters.
  • San Benito Church - Established in 1104, this Romanesque church has a blood medieval history as the base for the Benedictines, one of two factions fighting for control of the city. Today it has beautiful doors and ornate carvings.
  • San Marcos Chruch - This round church, founded near the site of the Zamora gate dates back to 1178. It's circular shape and interior containing three APSEs and three naves make it worth visiting.

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Events and Festivals

Salamanca, Plaza Mayor

Salamanca, Plaza Mayor

© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert

Look at notices in the Plaza Mayor - free recitals in churches often recommended.

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Weather

As Salamanca is located at an altitude of roughly 800 metres above sea level, the climate can be described as somewhat continental mediterranean, with hot and dry summers and mild but wetter winters, with relatively cold nights. Average daytime temperatures during summer (June to September) are between 25 and 29 °C while nights during this time are mostly between 10 and 12 °C. Winters last from December to February with days of 8-11 °C and nights of -1 to +1 °C. The absolute records for summer and winter are 40 °C and -13 °C respectively.
Annual precipitation is just over 400mm with most of it falling from October to January, though May is relatively wet as well at almost 50mm. Snow in winter is possible.

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Getting There

By Plane

Salamanca Airport (SLM) serves the city. Currently, Air Europa has flights to Lanzarote, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife-South, and Air Nostrum, a sister company of Iberia flies to Palma de Mallorca, Paris, Barcelona and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

By Train

RENFE has up to six trains departing daily for Madrid’s Chamartín station (2½ hours) via Ávila (1¾ hours). There are also frequent services to Valladolid (2½ hours). The Sud Express train from Lisbon, Portugal to Hendaye, France makes a stop at Salamanca.

By Car

From Madrid you can reach Salamanca taking the AP-6, A-51 and A-50. This newly finished A-50 reduces the time to get to Salamanca to just over two hours, bypassing the old more dangerous road. Make sure to fill up your tank for the last 100 kilometres, as the gasstations are still located near the old road, and no new ones are built (yet).

By Bus

Avanzabus has multiple connection between Madrid and Salamanca. Most busses leave Madrid from the busstation at Mendez Alvaro and a couple from Moncloa. The ride takes between 2.5 hours and 3.5 hours, depending on the type of connection you choose. Auto Res has 24 buses daily to Madrid, six buses also serve Valladolid (1½ hours) and four go to Ávila (1½ hours). Regular buses head to Ciudad Rodrigo (1½ hours), Segovia (three hours) and Zamora (one hour),

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Getting Around

Salamanca, University

Salamanca, University

© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert

By Car

Getting around by car is not as difficult as in other (bigger) Spanish cities, but getting a parking spot is just as difficult. If you go to Salamanca, it is best to park the car, and leave it in the parking space until you leave. Parking in the downtown area will set you back around €10 for 12 hours!

By Public Transport

Public buses run across the town, mostly connecting the suburbs with the center of town.

By Foot

The city of Salamanca is not very big, and most of the sights are close to each other. Getting around by foot is by far the best way to get around the town

By Bike

The are a couple of bike lanes in the city. These have a green colour.

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Eat

In Salamanca there is no shortage of meat. Some good places to eat are Meson de Cervantes, Erasmus Bruin Café and Taudio (a Brasilean restaurant, where they cut several pieces of meat at your table.)

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Drink

Basicaly there are two main areas to go for drinks. Around the Plaza Mayor and along Gran Via.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Apartaestudios Plaza de la LibertadPlaza de laLibertad 4Apartment-
Colegio Mayor Hispanoamericano Hernán CortésPaseo San Vicente 103-139Hostel-
Hostal MindanaoPaseo de San Vicente 2Guesthouse66
Hostal MisolAvda. Italia, 40Guesthouse-
Hostal Rincon de SitoBermejeros 29Guesthouse-
Hotel CeylanC/ San Juan de la Cruz Nº7Hotel-
Hotel EurowestPico del Naranco Street, 2Hotel89
Hotel Torre del ClaveroCalle Consuelo 21Hotel82
Petit Palace Las TorresC/ Concejo 4-6 37002Hotel89
Youth Hostel SalamancaEscoto 13-15Hostel72
Hotel RúaCalle Sánchez Barbero 11Hotel-
Hotel Artheus CarmelitasPaseo Carmelitas 67Hotel-
Los Abedules ApartmentsCalle AnchaApartment-
Los Cerecitos ApartmentsCalle de los VecinosApartment-
Los Cedros Arapiles ApartmentsCalle de ArapilesApartment-
Los Abetos ApartmentsCalle QuintaApartment-
Los Olivos ApartmentsCalle San VictorApartment-
Don Bosco ApartmentsCalle Don BoscoApartment-
Hostal Santel Plaza EspanaC/ Pollo Martn 12GUESTHOUSE-
Revolutum HostelC/Sanchez Barbero 7Hostel84
Hostal ReiseMaria Auxiliadora,13Guesthouse83
Hostal InternacionalAv/ Mirat 15 1AoGUESTHOUSE-
Le Petit Hotel SalamancaRonda Sancti Spiritus, 39Hotel-
Pension Salamancac/ Melendez 1, 2Guesthouse87
Hostal UriaCalle Garcia Moreno, 1Guesthouse82
Hotel VillamayorCamino Alto Villares 57Hotel-
Alda Centro Salamanca HostelPaseo Canalejas, 14HOSTEL77
Pension Hostal San JoseCalle Jesus, 24Guesthouse83
Hostal Cuzco SalamancaObispo Barbado Viejo,2 SalamancaGuesthouse-
Hostal Escala LunaMelendez 13, 1AGUESTHOUSE80
Hostal TormesCalle Rua Mayor N20GUESTHOUSE87
Pension Los AngelesPlaza Mayor 10 3AGUESTHOUSE86
Hotel Alda Plaza MayorC/ Quintana, 6HOTEL83
Hostal Santel San MarcosPlaza de San Marcos, 7GUESTHOUSE-
Residencia Salamanca DoradaCristo de los Milagros, 6HOSTEL-
Erasmus HomeC/ Jesús 18, 37002 SalamancaHOSTEL83
Hostal AlberoPlaza Carmelitas 13GUESTHOUSE-

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Learn

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.

In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.

The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.

Post

If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 40.9649717
  • Longitude: -5.6630471

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This is version 19. Last edited at 8:47 on Jul 10, 13 by Utrecht. 11 articles link to this page.

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