JIYOUNG SIM- Salamanca is a city located not so far away from Madrid. It takes three hours by bus to get there from Madrid, so it is a great place to take a one-day trip. I went to Salamanca last weekend and had a great time there so in today’s post I will write about my trip to Salamanca. There are several cities or towns great for a one-day trip from Madrid like Segovia, Ávila, Toledo, and Cuenca, and I have been to all of them except Cuenca. So far Salamanca has been my favorite!
Salamanca is a beautiful city known well for its University of Salamanca. It is a very old University, founded in 1218. The University of Salamanca is the oldest University in Spain and one of the oldest Universities in the whole Europe. Almost half of the population of the city is college students, so Salamanca is not only historic but also young and vibrant. The University of Salamanca is also the school where Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, studied. The oldest buildings from the Middle Ages are not used any more as lecture rooms, but as museums. What I really liked about Salamanca is that so many of the buildings in the city, including the University, are very antique and beautiful.
Near the University there is the old Cathedral of Salamanca. What is interesting about this building is that it consists of the old cathedral and the new cathedral. The two parts are connected with each other and you can get into the old cathedral only through the new cathedral. The new cathedral was built in the 15th century, when the population of Salamanca had a rapid increase due to popularity of the University of Salamanca. This cathedral is very large and it is built with mixed style of Gothic style, Baroque style, and Renaissance style, so it is very unique. In the old part, there is also an observatory on top of a tower where you can see the whole city in one sight.
In front of the cathedral there is a city tour train that goes around the city for about 30 minutes with a guide who explains the sights. I really recommend taking this city tour because it is only 3.5 euros and you can easily take a look around Salamanca without having to take a bus or having to walk around too much.
Other places to visit in Salamanca are the Plaza Mayor, la Casa de las Conchas, Convento de Salamanca, and the Roman bridge. They are all old and historical structures that are located not too far away from each other. This is also what I liked about Salamanca, because once I got off from the bus, there was no need to take a bus or a metro to get around.
As always, I have a restaurant recommendation for you. There is a restaurant named Ruta de la Plata. It is not a cheap place but they have really good food. Their “menu del día” is great (I recommend salmon) and they are famous for their T-bone steak (chuletón de ternera). This is also a recommendation from a friend of mine who studied abroad in Salamanca, so try this place out when you visit this amazing city.