Love monuments and milkshakes? Travel to Salamanca is your perfect plan!
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Spain has always been, and will always be, one of the most popular countries as a tourist destination. But where most people travel to Barcelona, Malaga or Madrid, I prefer going to some smaller, more interesting places, like Salamanca.
Salamanca is a small city, nearby Madrid. They also call it ‘La Ciudad Dorada’ which means “the golden city”, because of the bricks used to build the city. They consist of a certain grain of sand that gives the stones a beautiful color, especially when they’re hit by sunlight. Besides this, there are a lot of monuments in Salamanca. You can walk through the city all day long and run into historical buildings on every corner. Thanks to this, the whole old center of Salamanca has been on the UNESCO list since 1988. That just goes to show how Salamanca is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Spain.
How to get to Salamanca
Most people tend to book a flight to Madrid and find another way of transportation to go from
Madrid to Salamanca. But how do you get there as fast and cheap as possible? The most cost-effective way of using a car is when you travel with someone else. Why? Because you can split the gas bill!
Another option is to go Salamanca by train. Renfe is the main railway of Spain and a one-way ticket from Madrid to Salamanca costs approximately $16.00. You can also take the bus. A ride on a bus from bus company Avanza will cost you about $27.00 and 1.5 hours of your time. The beautiful views are well worth it. Plus, there are plenty of ways to kill the time.
Buy a city travel guide of Salamanca before you get on the bus (here's a good one) read blog posts on the internet of people who have already been to this wonderful city or share what you are doing with friends and family by calling them or posting updates on Facebook and Twitter.
What to see and do in Salamanca
There are so many things to see in Salamanca that I will only highlight a couple of must-sees. Firstly, you should visit Plaza Mayor. Plaza Mayor is located in the center of Salamanca. At this public square you’ll find a portrait of an important person linked to the history of Spain between every bow and pillar.
Secondly, there is the ‘Catedral de Salamanca’. This cathedral consists of an old and new cathedral. The construction of the new Cathedral was finally consecrated in 1733. The build began in 1513, all because King Ferdinand wanted to show his power.
Another great visit is the ‘Huerto de Calixto y Melibea’. This small garden is where the people believe the romantic encounter between main characters Calisto and Melibea of La Celestina took place. Their story is reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet’s. There is also a well where you and your partner can “lock” your love, making it one of the best of all Salamanca travel activities.
Especially as a student, ‘La Universidad de Salamanca’ is worth a visit. One of the main attractions is a frog. Not a real frog, but a carving of one in the beautifully decorated wall. Find the Salamanca frog and you will attract good luck. In case of students this means they will pass their exams!
Last but not least, you really should walk by Salamanca's ‘Casa de las Conchas’. The house is covered in shells, which are a symbol of the pilgrims that have walked the “Via de la Plata” (from Sevilla to Santiago de Compostela). Besides all these beautiful places, there is so much more to discover. But we’re gonna let you do that yourself!
Best cheap eats in Salamanca
Once you’ve visited all the old places and impressive buildings, it’s time to take a break. And what better place to take a break then at Mandala? The interior, with Moroccan features, is lovely. In Mandala they have the best and greatest variety of milkshakes, juices and tea. Everything is fresh and homemade and for less than $1, you can even choose some tapas with your drink. It's one of Salamanca's best cheap eats.
Not a unique Salamanca restaurant, but a fun one is Cien Montaditos. They have 100 breads (Montaditos), all with different (Spanish) spreads. It’s not too expensive as well the average price is between $1 and $2! In addition, they also have days when you can buy bread or drinks with a discount.
Maybe you would like to eat at Plaza Mayor but not pay too much? Well, you don’t have to go to a restaurant to enjoy the plaza. Just visit a supermarket, buy food and pick a good spot. Yes, just sit somewhere in the middle of the public square and enjoy the beauty of the city like all the locals!
Salamanca might just be one of the most impressive, historical and enchanting cities of Spain. If you have a chance to visit this golden city, grab that chance and don’t let go! Have you ever been to Salamanca? What were your favorite places?
Guest post by Tuba Kaya.
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