One day in Salamanca may not be enough to explore this medieval town. Up to this day, the community is still known as a university town. The town’s premier university – University of Salamanca – is Spain’s oldest university and the world’s 3rd oldest that’s still operating until today.
Salamanca is definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to in Spain. Because of its place in the historical culture and art of Spain, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
This city is loaded with attractions and seeing all of them in a day can be too overwhelming, but the following popular attractions can be visited in a day.
One Day in Salamanca
1. Be amazed at the Old and New Catedral de Salamanca
The Old and the New Cathedral are built side by side, one in the 4th and the other one in the 15th century, respectively. The former shows a Romanesque architecture and the latter has touches of Renaissance, but they collectively make a spectacle to be amazed at.
2. Climb the Twin Towers of Clerecia (Scala Coeli)
Previously known as the Royal College of the Company of Jesus, the Clerecia Church was built in 1617. Its towers were built to take the believers closer to the heavens. With that, they also offer a stunning 360-degree view of the Old Town.
3. Go people-watching at Plaza Mayor
Completed in 1755, the Plaza Mayor is the busy centre of the city. It is because of this that you’ll probably see people (or students) from every continent as well as the locals doing their daily routines. What could be better than watching then in a lazy afternoon?
4. Visit the old public library
Of course, you wouldn’t have time to read something, but a quick tour of one of the oldest libraries in the world is worth it. It is located in the Casa de las Conchas (the House of Shells) and it offers many literary marvels. Go and see it!
5. Find the frog on a skull at Salamanca University’s Ancient Door
The Salamanca University is not only known for its history, but also for its intricately designed building. The most famous carving of all that have adorned the façade is the “frog on a skull”. People have hard time finding it. The legend says that if you find it without any help/clue, you’ll pass your exams! Why not give it shot? Good luck!
Walk few steps on your right and you’ll see the office / library / museum of one of Spain’s beloved essayist – Miguel de Unamuno – who served as the University’s rector but was later removed by Franco.
6. Count the shells at Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells)
It is called the House of Shells because it has more than 300 shells dotting its façade. The building was originally built from 1493 to 1517 by Rodrigo Arias de Maldonado – a professor in the University of Salamanca and a knight. The Public Library we talked about (see above) is housed by this building.
7. Take a peek inside Convento de San Esteban
If it’s open, go and take a peek. The Convento de San Esteban initially served as a convent of the Order of the Dominicans. By taking a peek inside, you’d see intricately designed convent interior with three cloisters, including the Royal Cloister.
8. Get lost by wandering around
Besides the attractions stated above, there are plenty of walking routes snaking through the city. In fact, some, if not all, of these routes connect more than one attraction of the city. Thus, you could explore a lot just by walking around.
Salamanca is enriched with a rich history. Of course, all of it cannot be seen in one day. Yet, a single day is enough to stroll through the places mentioned above.
WHERE TO STAY IN SALAMANCA
Well, since Salamanca is a university town, then, you should expect decent places for bar-hopping. So, if you wanna experience the city’s nightlife, be there during the academic year. Search here for places where you can stay for a night or two. For budget accommodation, they also have s few decent hostels.