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Salamanca in 3 days

Salamanca in 3 days

Three days don’t count as a proper holiday, but they do offer visitors the opportunity of taking their time to discover and enjoy the city, and many times this might mean doing nothing at all, simply pulling up a chair and gazing at the people as they walk past, letting the city tell its own story. A pleasurable experience and a sure cure to any ailment, whether in body or mind.

Day one

With the information from the  Tourist Office in hand, we can either take a tour with a professional tour guide or discover the city at our own pace equipped with an audioguide. The latter is a great option if we want to have a general overview of the city (departing from the Plaza de Anaya). After visiting the Plaza Mayor and the Cathedrals, we climb the Cathedral’s medieval towers to enjoy the spectacular views from inside and from the outside on the terraces. Along Calle La Rúa, we come across souvenir and gift shops as well as delicatessens. Under the heading shopping for souvenirs, there are three establishments worth stopping at: the La Casa Lis museum store; Mercatus, belonging to the University and the Tienda de Turismo (Tourism Store), located in the Plaza Mayor.

With our gifts and souvenirs in hand, we continue our tour with a visit to the different parts of the  University’s Historic Building: the cloisters, the library, the lecture halls, the auditorium and the Cielo de Salamanca).

Lunch in a restaurant serving up traditional, Castilian dishes using only locally grown ingredients.

In the afternoon, a visit to the Art Nouveau & Art Deco Museum and a quick peek at the cultural calendar to see about watching a play at the Liceo Theatre.

We round off the day with tapas in the Van Dyck district of the city, followed by drinks and cocktails in the bars located in the centre.

Day two

After breakfast on a terrace in the Plaza Mayor, we head off to the Tourism Office to purchase our Salamanca Card, which gives us major discounts in stores and free entry to a number of historic sites. In the morning, we visit the Casa de las Conchas, the Pontifical University and the Clerecía Towers. It marks the starting point of a pleasant walk along the Calle Compañía, stopping off at the San Benito Church, the Monterrey Palace, owned by the Duchess of Alba, and the La Purísima Church, with its famous portrait of the Inmaculada by Ribera. We then go on to discover a beautiful corner of the city, Plaza de las Úrsulas, home to the Las Úrsulas Convent and the house where Miguel de Unamuno, Vice-chancellor of the University, once lived.

Then its off to a Michelin Star restaurant for lunch, the Víctor Gutiérrez.

Followed by an afternoon of shopping in the city’s commercial district. Along Calle Toro, the clothes store Zara is well worth a visit - a very unusual location, a former church. We then stop off at the San Esteban and Las Dueñas Convents followed by the Patio de la Salina.

And just a few kilometres from the provincial capital, there is choice of either wine tasting at the Hacienda Zorita, a visit to a farm that breeds fighting bulls or a boat ride along the river Duero. The more daring amongst you might also go for the helicopter or balloon ride option.

Supper is tapas in the centre or in the Calle Van Dyck.

After nightfall with the buildings lit up, a night-time guided tour is highly recommendable and a great way to discover the legends and some quirky anecdotes about some of the city’s monuments. We then head on to discover the city’s nightlife, paying careful attention to the wonderful decor of the bars.

Day three

The third day starts off with a stroll along the river to the Roman Bridge, via the Santiago Church, the Automotive History Museum and the Flour Mill Museum. At the city’s Architectural and Urban Cultural Heritage Visitors’ Centre, housed in the San Millán Church, we can learn about the cultural history and monuments in the city’s historic centre through the use of new technologies. We then head to the Huerto de Calixto y Melibea gardens and the Cueva de Salamanca.

For lunch, why not savour some traditional, creative and avant-garde signature dishes from Salamanca.

The afternoon can be spent at an exhibition at the DA2 Contemporary Art Centre or why not take in a show at the Liceo Theatre or the CAEM, the city’s performing arts centre. You could also pay a visit to the Guijuelo cured ham factory or a cheese factory or even go horse-riding. Also worth discovering in the province of Salamanca are Ciudad Rodrigo, La Alberca, Candelario, Ledesma … and if you like trekking and outdoor pursuits, the outdoor art walks (caminos de arte en la naturaleza) are a very appealing alternative. These are circular routes in the heart of the Sierra de Francia national park: the Camino del Agua (Water Walk), Camino de las raíces (Root Walk) and the Asentadero-Bosque de los Espejos (Forest of Mirrors). http://www.lasalina.es/turismo/turismoactivo/senderismo.htm

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