Top 10 Things To Do And See In Salamanca, Spain

Top 10 Things To Do And See In Salamanca, Spain
Located in the north-western part of Spain, Salamanca is a city of exceptional beauty and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. We have put together the top 10 activities and sights in this dazzling Spanish gem.
Salamanca © Coque/WikiCommons

Salamanca University

Salamanca’s university is located in the historic town center and was founded between 1425 and 1433. The building is considered one of the most beautiful universities in the world, mostly because of its crafted façade. The carvings are an excellent example of the plateresque style and were added in 1592 by the Catholic kings. Many tourists attempt to find one of the most intricate carvings the ‘frog on a skull’. There are various theories as to why it is there, but what is certain is that Salamanca University, one of the oldest universities in the world, is also considered one of the most impressive and dazzling buildings in the country.

University of Salamanca, 37008 Salamanca, Spain,+34 923 29 46 48

The Plaza Mayor

One of the largest squares in Spain, the Plaza Mayor is the heart of the bustling city. It was built in two phases and finally completed in 1755. The Plaza is considered one of the most beautiful in the country and its Baroque architecture and intricate decorations are a sight to behold. Small shops and restaurants are spread out around the bustling square and in the evening musical groups provide some entertainment. Along with the University of Salamanca, Plaza Mayor is considered the emblem of the city and has been declared a National Monument. Wander around the court and watch the numerous crowds pass through while soaking up the Spanish ambiance.

Plaza Mayor, Salamanca, Spain

Casa de las Conchas

Sala de Exposiciones de la Casa de las Conchas
Sala de Exposiciones de la Casa de las Conchas | © Cruccone/WikiCommons
The historical Casa da las Conchas was built by Rodrigo Arias de Maldonado, a knight of the Order of Santiago de Compostela, and was completed in 1517. It is the building’s curious façade, which is decorated with more than 300 shells, that attracts many visitors. The architecture is primarily Gothic with Renaissance and Mudejar elements. It is worth venturing through its doors to inspect the restored courtyard and take a closer look at the skillful works. While it served as Maldonado’s palace back in the 16th century, nowadays the House of Shells is home to the public library and an information office.
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Museo Art Nouveau y Deco

The exceptional Museo Art Nouveau y Deco is one of the most renowned in the region and offers artistic masterpieces from the 19th and the 20th centuries. The artifacts range from impressive collections of paintings, sculptures to ceramics and art deco pieces. The dazzling building was originally a private palace and was eventually opened as a museum in 1995. The intricate glass works and plays of light make it one of the most stunning architectural constructions in the country. The museum features the largest collection of porcelain dolls in the world and its chryselephantine statuettes and glass works are particularly noteworthy.

Calle Gibraltar 14, 37008 Salamanca, Spain, +34 923 12 14 25

The Old and the New Cathedral

Cathedral, Museum
View of the Salamanca's Cathedral from Tormes' river
View of the Salamanca's Cathedral from Tormes' river | © Alurín/WikiCommons
Salamanca’s impressive New Cathedral lies next to the Old Cathedral and its construction first began in the 15th century, and lasted until the 18th. It is considerably larger than its historic counterpart and is one of Spain’s most impressive examples of Gothic architecture, while also featuring Baroque and Renaissance elements. The Old Cathedral can be accessed via the New Cathedral and was completed in the 14th century in the Romanesque design. While both represent different architectural styles, they are nevertheless in harmony with each other. Visitors can climb the towers and stroll along the battlements, which offer a dazzling panorama over the city.
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Food tour

Due to Salamanca’s location in the heart of Spain, the cuisine shows rural influences and features a variety of tasty specialties. The quality ingredients of the province have resulted in mouthwatering dishes and it is worth joining a food tour in order to learn more about the regional cooking. The numerous tours offer range from private guides to group tours and from tapas to wine tastings. Additionally most of the tours give the visitor the opportunity to visit local markets. Salamanca’s cuisine with its finely balanced spices and fresh ingredients is worth exploring further and offers sensational eating experiences.

Mouthwatering tapas © Elemaki/WikiCommons

Clerecía Church

The church is located in the old town and was originally known as the Royal College of the Company of Jesus. Construction began in 1617 by the order of the wife of Phillip III of Spain and featured typical Baroque elements. The building features a public section, including the church and school rooms and a private section in which the monks used to live. Its towers were built to bring believers closer to heaven and offer a dazzling view over the roofs of the city. Particularly noteworthy is the beautiful Patio Barroco, which is surrounded by a two-story cloister and the Escalera Noble. Nowadays the Clerecía is the headquarters of Salamanca Pontificia University.

Calle de la Compañía, 5, 37002 Salamanca, Spain, +34 923 27 71 00

The Roman Bridge

The Roman Bridge spans the River Tormes and is estimated to have been constructed in the first century A.D. under the Roman Emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus. The bridge measures 176 meters in length and features 26 semicircular arches. The bridge represents the Salmantine art, influenced by Celtic elements and offers excellent views over the Old and the New Cathedral. It was declared a National Monument and is particularly impressive by night when it is lit up. Of prime historical importance, the bridge is one of Salamanca’s most remarkable constructions and living prove of the city’s antique origins and cultural significance.

The Roman Bridge © Jose Luis Cernadas Iglesias/Flickr

Covento de San Esteban

The Convento de San Esteban is another of Salamanca’s prime examples of plateresque style architecture and features Baroque and Renaissance elements. It was built as a convent of the Order of the Dominicans in the 16th and 17th century. While the church’s interior features impressive architectural features, it is the façade with its intricate carvings that is particularly remarkable. The building consists of three cloisters, with the Royal Cloister as the most noteworthy. The magnificent building is one of the city’s most impressive churches in Salamanca and an unparalleled example of architectural prowess.

Plaza del Concilio de Trento, s/n, 37001 Salamanca, Spain, +34 923 21 50 00

Nature Park Arribes del Duero

The dazzling nature park Arribes del Duero is located just outside of Salamanca, and covers 106.5 hectares, forming the natural border between Spain and Portugal. It features one of the largest inland lakes in Europe and its steep mountains are a popular region for wine growth. The park is particularly renowned for its biodiversity and its watercourses, which have carved their way through the landscape. South of the lake, visitors can find the stunning Pozo de los Humos waterfall surrounded by Mediterranean flora. Arribes del Duero is an absolute must for nature enthusiasts and amateurs alike, and its panoramic mountains offer some of the most exceptional natural scenery in the country.

One of the many stunning views in Arribes del Duero © CGRM/WikiCommon