Salamanca: The Complete Guide

Salamanca is the capital and largest city of the province Salamanca. The city lies on the banks of the Tormes River on Spain’s Northern Plateau. The city is considered to be one of the most beautiful Renaissance cities in the whole of Europe, with its historic center full of architectural treats and incredible monuments that date back centuries.

As with most Spanish cities life revolves around the busy and bustling Plaza Mayor, lined with cafes, bars and restaurants – which looks magical at night when it is lit up.

Other stunning places to see such as the New and Old Cathedrals, both of which are built out of sandstone – these warm hues that lend Salamanca its nickname – La Dorada, or ‘Golden City’.

Salamanca is Castilla’s liveliest city, home to a massive Spanish and international student population which gives it a vivacious and youthful feel – its University was founded in 1218 and is one of the oldest higher education institutions in Europe.

Visiting Salamanca for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Salamanca on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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10 Best places to See in Salamanca

This complete guide to Salamanca not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Salamanca and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Palacio de Monterrey

Palacio De Monterrey
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Tamorlan
The Monterrey Palace is a a 16th-century royal Palace in the Spanish city of Salamanca. It was built by the III count of Monterrey, it is currently owned by the Duchess de Alba. It was a building much admired and imitated in the 19th century, giving rise to the so-called Monterrey or Neo-Plateresque style. It […]
Location: Monterrey's palace Pl. de Monterrey, 2 37002 Salamanca Spain | Hours: Morning Tours: At 10:30 am. At 11:30 am. At 12:30 p.m. At 1:30 p.m. Afternoon Tours: At 5:00 p.m. At 6:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. (summer). | Price: €9.50 | Website | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Palacio de Monterrey

Salamanca Plaza Mayor

Salamanca Plaza Mayor Evening
pixabay / NakNakNak
Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor built between 1729 and 1755 is one of the most beautiful Baroque squares in Spain. The City hall is the focal point of the Plaza, with its five granite arches and a steeple decorated with allegoric figures. Bullfights were held here well into the 19th century; the last ceremonial corrida (bullfight) took […]
Visiting Salamanca Plaza Mayor

Casa de las Conchas

Casa De Las Conchas
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Richard Mortel
The Casa de las Conchas (the House of Shells) is a Gothic style building. It was constructed in the late 15th century, although it also features Renaissance and Mudéjar elements and belongs to the style known as Isabelline art. This stately mansion was built from 1493 to 1517 by Rodrigo Arias de Maldonado, a knight […]
Location: Casa de las Conchas, Calle Compañía, 2 37002 Salamanca (Castilla y Leon) | Distance: 0.90km
Visiting Casa de las Conchas

Palacio de la Salina

Palacio De La Salina Courtyard 2
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Tamorlan
The Palacio de la Salina de Salamanca is a building built in a Plateresque style with Italian elements, built in 1538 . It has an airy façade, a courtyard with arches, capitals and corbels of great interest. The architect was Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón . The Palacio de la Salina de Salamanca is a building […]
Location: Palacio de la Salina C. San Pablo, 18 37001 Salamanca Spain | Distance: 0.90km
Visiting Palacio de la Salina

Salina Palace

Salina Palace Salamanca
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Luis Rogelio HM
The Salina Palace was commissioned by Rodrigo de Messía and designed by the architect Gil de Hontañón in the Renaissance style. It was built in the first half of the 16th century. It owes its name to the fact that it used to be a salt storage. It has a wide facade in the plateresco […]
Visiting Salina Palace

Salamanca University

Salamanca University
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Luis Rogelio HM
Salamanca University was founded in 1218 by King Alfonso IX, and gained great prestige outside Spain as a centre for teaching and culture. The university building has a square floorplan with a central courtyard and surrounding galleries. Its most interesting feature is its Plateresque façade. The Escuelas Menores buildings stand beside the University and have […]
Location: Patio de Escuelas Menores, 37008 Salamanca | Website | Distance: 1.00km
Visiting Salamanca University

Torre del Clavero

Exterior Torre Del Clavero Salamanca
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Luis Rogelio HM
This 15th-century octagonal fortress is part of the palace of Sotomayor. It has an unusual square base that turns into an octagon as it goes up and smaller cylindrical towers on each of its eight angles. The towers have a “basketweave” pattern on the bottom and a shield midway. The Torre del Clavero currently houses […]
Location: Torre del Clavero C. Consuelo, 34 37001 Salamanca Spain | Distance: 1.00km
Visiting Torre del Clavero

Palacio de Anaya

CC BY-SA 2.0 / Hugh Llewelyn
Currently, the Philology Faculty of The University of Salamanca, the Anaya Palace was designed and built in 1760, by José Hermosilla and Juan de Sagarvinaga after the damage caused to the city by the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. It was founded by Sir Diego de Anaya and served as the old College of San Bartolomé […]
Location: Anaya Palace C. Salamanca Zamora, 3 37008 Salamanca Spain | Distance: 1.00km
Visiting Palacio de Anaya

Catedral Viejo y Nueva

Salamanca Cathedral
pixabay / sebastianrequejo
When we speak of the Cathedral of Salamanca in fact we are referring to two churches joined next to each other. The Catedral Viejo or Old Cathedral, was built in the Romanesque and Gothic styles from the 12th-13th centuries. It has a basilica ground plan that resembles a Latin cross with a central nave and […]
Location: Salamanca Cathedral C. Benedicto XVI 37008 Salamanca Spain | Hours: 10am-8pm Apr-Sep, to 6pm Oct-Mar | Price: adult/child incl audio guide & Catedral Vieja €6/4 | Website | Distance: 1.10km
Visiting Catedral Viejo y Nueva

Salamanca Puente Romano

Salamanca Roman Bridge
pixabay / Clemen Fraile
Some historians date the construction of the bridge to the first century A.D. under the Roman Emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus. The bridge crosses one of the widest stretches of the Tormes River and is located on rocky subsoil. It is 176 m long and 3.70 m wide with 26 round arches and robust pillars. Only […]
Location: Roman bridge of Salamanca Puente de Sánchez Fabrés 37008 Salamanca Spain | Hours: 24 Hour | Distance: 1.40km
Visiting Salamanca Puente Romano

Tours and Activities from Salamanca