A 48 hours getaway to Salamanca is always a great idea. In the first place in this city, you will find everything you need to spend a wonderful time: culture, friendly atmosphere, delicious food and in addition, everything is centered around the small town, within walking distance. So, I’ve put together in this post the best things to see and do in Salamanca in 48 hours to make the most of your brief stay.
Without further ado, here are my favorite tried recommendations:
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN 48 HOURS
Salamanca offers many attractions; in your visit you find that the city breathes culture in every corner, it’s easy to follow the traces of the golden age (Golden century), when Salamanca reached its maximum cultural splendor. Philosophers, musicians and writers such as Cervantes, Quevedo, Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca and Góngora, among others, passed through here…Today they are still present in the city with their legends, recreations and way of life.
1 – Visit the Plaza Mayor
First thing to see in Salamanca, is the Plaza Mayor square is the heart of the city. Come to it to soak up its good vibes by sitting on one terrace while enjoying some tapas and a glass of wine.
This square deserves to be visited several times, both day and at night. You’ll see that illuminated at night looks like another.
Also, another attraction is that you can find the tunas singing. Quite a show!
2 – Visit the Cathedral
The Cathedral is the icon of the city. As a matter of fact, it’s really about two cathedrals joined together. The spectacular cathedral complex is a reference point in the culture of Salamanca and a World Heritage Site.
The Old Cathedral from the 12th and 13th century is of Romanesque style and the New Cathedral attached to the old one was built between the 16th and 17th centuries, a masterpiece with a mix of styles: late Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque.
Entrance tickets gives you access to the 2 cathedrals. On its web catedralsalamanca.org, you have full information about the Cathedral history, schedules and entry prices.
3 – Climb the Cathedral Tower
If you want to see Salamanca from a different perspective, walk around the cathedral on the roofs and inside, you will have unique views over the city.
Free entrance: Tuesdays from 10:00 to 12:00
4 – Go up to the Clerecía Towers
After climbing some wooden stairs, the best views of the city will appear before your eyes. You can walk around the bell towers and from the top you can contemplate the amazing architectural landmarks of the old town – Ieronimus, Clavero Tower, San Esteban Convent, among others.
Or if you prefer, you can also pay a visit to the tower by night.
Address: Calle Compañía, 5.
Entrance fee: 3.75 euros. Free: Tuesdays from 10:00 to 12:00.
5 – Check out the church and convent of San Esteban
Another symbol of the city is St. Esteban Church. Its facade is beautifully built in a Spanish plateresque style, its figures show the gospels explained. Take your time!
The convent dates back to the mid-16th century and belongs to the order of the Dominican friars.
According to the legend, Christopher Columbus stayed in this convent (actually in the old one that was demolished to build this one) and met the prior of the convent, Fray Diego de Deza, confessor of Isabella the Catholic, with the aim that the Dominicans would convince the queen to finance his trip to the Indies.
At the top of the building, there is a terrace to which you can access and enjoy some wonderful views of the historic centre.
6 – Visit the Casa Lis
This mansion was built in the early 20th century and is one masterpiece of the city. The architecture of Casa Lis is modernist in style and stands above the old city wall. Its extraordinary facade of multicolored stained- glass windows will enchant you, and surely not going unnoticed.
Inside you can see a gallery with a beautiful colored glazed ceiling and the Contemporary Museum. This is a Museum of Decorative Arts that displays collections from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its rooms show collections of glass, porcelain, jewelry, and French porcelain dolls among others.
Like the main square, it’s also worth a visit at night to contemplate the spectacular illuminated facade.
Entrance fee: 4 euros.
Free: Thursday mornings
7 – Documentary Center of Historical Memory
It is the general archive on the Spanish Civil War and the history of Freemasonry in Spain.
The building is next to the Casa Lis, it’s interesting to visit it because in one room you can see a recreation of a Masonic Lodge. It displays the original furniture, objects and other items used by the Masons in the lodge, although in this particular room they never met.
8 – Shopping in Salamanca
Toro and Zamora vibrant streets are the most central and historical ones in Salamanca. Both are the streets for shopping and packed with interesting buildings.
The Zara store on Toro street is housed in a former convent in Baroque architecture style, San Antonio del Real. Two columns remain from it, which can be seen through a glass window. From the 3rd floor, you will have a full panoramic view.
9 – Go for a stroll in Huerto Calixto and Melibea
Wander through this historical orchard, another symbol of the city. The orchard is beautifully maintained and because of its location, on the ancient wall of Salamanca, you’ll enjoy great views of the Cathedrals and the river Tormes.
It’s believed that Calixto and Melibea characters in the novel La Celestina, by Fernando de Rojas, had their love encounters in this very orchard.
10 – Visit the Cave of de Salamanca
According to the legend, in this subterranean crypt Satan taught astrology, magic and occult sciences to 7 students for 7 years, after which one of them was to serve him for life.
The cave has played an important role in literature. Authors such as Cervantes, Calderon de la Barca, Ricardo de Rojas, among others, have written about this popular cave.
Address: Cuesta de Carvajal, 73.
11- Cross the Roman Bridge
Another symbol of the city is this Roman bridge that has been rebuilt several times.
Go through it to reach to the other side of the river and enjoy great views of the city. At night, with the city illuminated, the panoramic view is incredible.
12 – Enter the Central Market
Not only you can admire its striking facade with colored stained-glass, but also treat yourself you with the exquisite traditional products of the province.
Located in the Plaza del Mercado next to the Plaza Mayor, the building is more than a century old.
13 – Take some photos to the charming Fonda Veracruz building
Look for an alleyway at Zamora street and find the Fonda Veracruz building. Take your time to admire the special facade of this building.
In the first place, this building was an inn until the mid-20th century, and soon will become the new headquarters of the city’s Tourist Reception Center.
Address: Veracruz 2, Street
Let’s talk about food… the gastronomic culture plays a very important role in Salamanca, both for its variety and quality, so it’s in your best interest to get to know what the typical dishes are and try them!
– Hornazo Salmantino. It is an empanada stuffed with loin, ham, chorizo and boiled egg.
– Cured meats with designation of origin “Guijuelo”. Exquisite above all the cured hams, but also the pork loin, chorizo and salami.
– Chanfaina. Its ingredients are rice, lamb meat, cooked lamb blood, pepper, paprika, onion, garlic, chilli and cumin. It is served in a clay pot to keep it warm.
– Potatoes scrambled (Patatas revolconas). Its ingredients are cooked potatoes that are stirred into puree, with oil, paprika and meat products.
As for the traditional sweets to name a few: the Bollo Maimon (sponge cake with brandy), Ledesma doughnuts (Rosquillas de Ledesma), Almond biscuits (amarguillos de La Alberca), all of them delicious.Where to eat in Salamanca
Where to eat in Salamanca
In general, you can eat very well in Salamanca. Keep in mind that you are in the city of tapas par excellence. You can expect rich and quality tapas in most bars.
The typical area to go for tapas is the Plaza Mayor and nearby streets. Also, the Van Dyck Street, a university area, is cheaper.
Just in case you prefer to eat in a restaurant, here are some suggestions:
– El Bardo
Located in the centre between La Clerecía and the Casa de las Conchas. It has a menu of the day (12 euros) and meat specialties on the menu.
Address: Calle Compañía, 25. Telephone: 923 21 90 89
– El Figon Charro
It’s all about traditional cuisine from Salamanca, with several menus ranging from 18 euros to 30 euros.
Address: Calle Alfonso Castro, 28. Telephone: 673 50 23 86
– Mandala Coffee Bar Restaurant
In the old town, it has a wide variety of vegetarian dishes, salads, tapas, cakes and smoothies at a good price. It also has a menu of the day for 13.50 euros.
Address: Calle Serranos, 9. Telephone: 923 12 33 42
Where to stay in Salamanca
The options for accommodation are plenty and city ranged for all budgets.
To make your search a bit easier, below I recommend a couple of hotels I have tried and that are worth value for money.
– Ikonik Plaza Mercado
– Silken Rona Dalba
Salamanca by night
The city doesn’t slow down at night and lit up becomes even more magical if possible. There are options to suit all tastes: live music, having a wine in one of the city’s terraces or bars, night tours to the Cathedral and the Clerecía Towers… Make sure to take a look at the city’s agenda and enjoy the city!
Salamanca in 48 hours, Final Thoughts
I hope this post was helpful and has inspired you to spend at least 2 days in this cozy and lively city. If you liked it, you might interest my other practical getaways blog post guides.
Pin for your Pinterest!