Home to one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, Salamanca is Spain’s answer to Oxford. Influential writer Miguel de Cervantes and Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija both studied here. The city played a huge role in the Spanish Golden Age, and to this day it remains a thriving arts centre. With a skyline defined by not one but 2 cathedrals (one old, one new), and a centre that has been declared a Unesco World Heritage site, cultural buffs are in for an absolute treat.
Salamanca’s central square is where all the action happens. Not only is it an architectural wonder, it’s also a popular place for socialising over drinks and watching the world go by. Come at night to see it at its best, when it dazzles under twinkling lights and buzzes with performers entertaining lively crowds.
The university is one of the oldest and most influential in the world. Christopher Columbus famously came here in the 1400s to seek approval for his journey to the West. Such a prestigious reputation is maintained today, and it consistently tops the league tables in Spain. The large student population means there’s a youthful buzz in the city, and loads of hip cafes and trendy tapas bars to try out. Allow some time to explore the teaching rooms and the Baroque-style library.
Salamanca is a foodie hotspot and, like in many great Spanish cities, the tapas is a delight. The Castilians are renowned for their cured meats - share a selection of Jamon Iberico and cheeses with quince jelly to whet your appetite before dinner. Other local staples include hornazo, a meat pie found in most bakeries, and fornazo, a spicy white sausage.