Destinations Europe

Old City of Salamanca

To talk of culture is to talk of Salamanca. Taking a walk through the streets of its historical centre, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, means taking a walk through centuries of history, art and knowledge and experiencing the wonder of landmarks such as its famous University, one of the oldest in Europe, and which today continues to attract thousands of students.

The Old City of Salamanca is best known for its famous university which dates back to 1218. In its day it became one of the world’s principal seats of learning alongside Oxford, Paris and Bologna. Today it is a magnet for foreign language students learning Spanish who help make Salamanca the liveliest town in Old Castile.

The city is home to one of the oldest universities in the world. Numerous architects, philosophers and artists have passed through the university’s doors and subsequently left their marks on the city.

A large part of today’s population is composed of students, which have helped spark a notoriously famous nightlife and all sorts of fun bars and clubs.

Whilst the city contains many ancient buildings in its historical centre, it’s the Plaza Mayor which serves as the main attraction for visitors and locals alike. You’ll find plenty of tapas bars and Castilian restaurants around the square where you can ponder the hustle and bustle of daily life.

For some whom decide visit Salamanca by cruise liners the biggest adventure commences in the Roman city of Porto, the home of Port wine. Portugal’s once wild, river Duero, has been tamed by locks into resembling a series of finger lakes, adding greatly to the valley’s ambience. Leaving behind the Atlantic influenced greenery of the coast you are soon immersed in a Mediterranean land of olives, vines, and picturesque, medieval hilltop villages. The destination is the higher reaches of the valley from where they visit Salamanca – the home of one of Europe’s oldest universities, two of its finest cathedrals, Spain’s finest city square and even the Inquisition!

Visitors don’t just flock to Salamanca for the architecture, the town is famous for being home to some of the finest providers of Spanish cuisine. The most tasty Spanish traditional culinary, you will find at La Montanera Chacitaberna.

Offering top quality fresh market produce tapas and dishes to add to your must-try list, while diving into the local cuisine in Salamanca.

La Montanera has received visits from people from all around the world, and its main product is the Iberian Ham.

Produced by Torrencinas y Rodilla & González, two companies united by the passion for the Iberian pig of Guijuelo. Specialists in all types of cured products, two brands united to maintain their highest quality standards and make their incomparable flavor known throughout the world!

Spanish ham is a food that’s present in virtually every Spanish household, regardless of the specific culinary traditions of regions and individuals.

The importance of Iberian ham in Spanish cuisine is undeniable, it is one of the country’s most emblematic products. The quality of the ham depends on its breed, how it is raised and its diet, therefore it is important to know the different areas of Spain that produce Iberian ham as well as other types such as Serrano ham, which also play an importante role in Spanish food.

Perhaps it started out of necessity. And maybe it started for subsistence. But, the breeding, slaughter and curing of the Iberian pig in Guijuelo has always been done with great respect for the circle of life, whose maximum representation is the intimate relationship between the charro field, the pasture and the Iberian pig.

From spring through to autumn the weather in Salamanca is generally conducive to tourism but in spite of many beautiful clear skies during the winter months the city can be freezing cold. The 12th June marks the feast day of Saint John of Sahagún who is the patron saint of Salamanca. As well as the religious festivities associated with this event there are many typical Spanish fiestas around this date. The Feria de Salamanca takes place during the 2nd week of September and is a great time to visit the city when returning students join the locals pto celebrate ‘La Virgen de la Vega’ which is the city’s biggest annual fiesta.

In the absence of a nearby international airport, Madrid is the gateway to Salamanca. There are about 5 daily train services from Madrid’s Chamartin Station (check timetables at which takes around 2 hours. The station is northeast of the city centre on Paseo de la Estación de Ferrocarril which is a 15 minute walk into town. Frequent services also operate from Valladolid.

Drink up & boogie down
While Salamanca gets its fair share of visitors seeking a city teeming with history and beautiful architecture, the city is widely known for its youthful vibe and crazy nocturnal scene. Join in the fun with the throngs of university students, both local and from abroad, who fill the ancient city’s eclectic collection of bars and clubs. Madrid is Spain’s nightlife mammoth, but Salamanca packs the same punch with small town prices! From big discotecas to intimate jazz haunts, students pile into all kinds of locales every night of the week. If you’re into all-night partying at cheap prices – and who isn’t? – Salamanca is a nocturnal playground that won’t let you down.

University of Salamanca
Founded way back in 1218, Salamanca boasts Europe’s 4th oldest university, present all around in elegant and yellowstone buildings. Breath in more than 800 years of intellectual life as you wander the streets and halls of Spain’s great thinkers like Luis de Góngora, Miguel de Unamuno and Pedro Calderón de la Barca.

Reputation still intact, Spanish students flock here from all over the country, mixing with international coeds to make up more than 30% of the city’s total population.

Cathedrals- yes, there are two!
One of Salamanca’s top attractions is the cathedral complex… yes, complex. While many cities tore down their original cathedrals to make way for new ones, both of Salamanca’s cathedrals – the old and the new – are preserved and intact.

The Catedral Nueva (New Cathedral) was built over 200 years starting in 1512 and, thanks to those two centuries of construction, is a prime example of the evolution of Spanish architecture. The Catedral Vieja (Old Cathedral) is attached to its newer counterpart and is a stellar example of early Christian Romanesque architecture and contains Europe’s oldest organ.

Visit Salamanca and see for yourself how the city really comes alive, as the youthful population here ensure that there is no need to worry about being able to find a vibrant nightlife scene or something exciting to do every day. In fact, the presence of so many students here is what tends to ensure that there is always something going on.

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