Salamanca, a city of just under 200,000 people, is widely known to be one of the most beautiful renaissance-era cities in Europe. In actual fact, Salamanca’s Old City is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, although there are parts of the city which are a little more up-to-date. The city’s spiritual connections make it a major destination for people going on a pilgrimage. The city is also a major stopping point for people going between Madrid and Portugal. It lies around 20 miles or so from the border between the two countries, meaning a trip from the city into a different country is always a possibility. However, it’s going to be difficult to stray from the Old City, while the surrounding countryside is great if you fancy a leisurely country walk.
A small car will help to get you through the suburbs of Salamanca, while it would be surprisingly useful for going down the avenues and highways that skirt the edges of the city.
Driving in Salamanca
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Much of the city centre is pedestrianized, so it’s best to avoid driving there, just to act on the side of caution.
The A-52 highway is the main route into Portugal. During the daytime, parts of the road can be a little clogged with traffic going across the border.
To drive towards the south of the city, the A-50 is the ideal road to go on, although traffic can be a problem in the summer.
Highlights & Hotspots
Salamanca, rather oddly, has two cathedrals. Catedral Vieja, the older of the two, was built in the 12th century while Catedral Nueva was constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries. Even more astounding is the fact that they’re right next to each other!
The best part of the city to go people-watching is the Plaza Mayor; the central square. At the heart of Salamanca, it’s where many of its best bars, cafes and restaurants are, while it’s a good place to meet before a spot of sightseeing.
The main cultural event in Salamanca is the Virgen de la Vega, a fiesta which takes place between September 8 and September 21. The fiesta is a spiritual one which attracts visitors from all over the Castilla y Leon region, as well as other parts of Spain.
One of the more unique museums in the city is the Museum of Automotive History of Salamanca. Here, you can learn about how cars have been made in Spain for around a century or so, mainly by Seat, the country’s most well-known manufacturer.
Salamanca-Matacan Airport is the main airport serving the city and the province of Salamanca, nine miles east of the city centre. At the moment, it only provides flights to other major cities such as Barcelona, but more may be on the way.
The airport is on the N-501, which goes westwards towards the centre of Salamanca. To reach the city centre, simply cross one of the bridges northbound.