Travel Tips For Visiting Salamanca Spain

Known for its Romanesque and Gothic buildings, Salamanca is a medieval city of historical and religious landmarks. Visitors can take walking tours to see architectural treasures such as Casa de la Conchas and the Catedral Nueva building. Located in the western part of Spain, approximately 130 miles west of Madrid, the city is a designated World Heritage Site with a convenient transportation system of local buses and taxis.

Churches, museums, and the University of Salamanca provide a rich cultural experience for the traveler. A Renaissance masterpiece, the university was established in 1218 and remains the educational center of the city. One of the city’s best-known museums, the Museo Casa Lis has a lovely collection of art noveau and art deco works, and its bronze and ivory sculptures are fine examples of the stylistic period. The Old and New Cathedrals of Salamanca, next to each other, offer magnificent craftsmanship of the Romanesque and Gothic period. The Old Cathedral’s "Torre del Gallo", an enormous dome-like structure, and the chapel’s 53-panel altarpiece should not be missed. Spiritual displays amidst towering columns include a mural by Nicolás Florentino, bishops’ tombs, and exquisite sculptures by Esteban Rueda. Within the New Cathedral’s intricate facade is the recent addition of an astronaut carved into the stone during the latest renovations.

Culinary excellence is also a reason why visitors come to Salamanca. A rich variety of ethnic flavors, including Moorish and Jewish influences, make Spanish food a favorite among tourists. Popular dishes include tapas, hornazo (meat-stuffed pastries), rice dishes, vegetable preparations, and delectable desserts. A favorite restaurant among the local people is the Rio de la Plata, at Plaza Peso 1, offering Castilian fish and meat dishes. Another eating establishment, Chez Victor, at Espoz y Mina 26, is considered one of the finest restaurants in the city, combining both Spanish and French cooking traditions.

Lodging in the area includes two well-known, 4-star accommodations, the Hotel Regio and Puente Romano de Salamanca. The 118 room Regio’s amenities include swimming pools, gardens, terraces, tennis courts, and a breakfast buffet special. The Puente Romano is next to an old Roman bridge and provides an outdoor swimming pool, terrace and dining room. This hotel is also near the University of Salamanca and other historic attractions.

The gold hue of sandstone buildings against blue skies adds to the unique beauty of Salamanca. Walking through town’s plazas and gardens, the visitor will be taken back in time, and experience the excitement of a true Renaissance city.