Salamanca is a city with a wealth of sights and monuments that attract thousands of visitors every year. If you have the opportunity to spend an afternoon in this beautiful city, here are some of the most popular places and must-see monuments that you should not miss.
If you only have an afternoon in Salamanca or if you want to show the city to friends who are passing through, below we suggest a walking route for you to enjoy some of the must-see places in Salamanca. Everything proposed here is free, but there are options to enter places for a fee, depending on the timetable. The prices are usually very affordable, although as it is an afternoon stroll, it is advisable to see everything from the outside. You can also visit what you are most interested in and if you don’t have enough time, cut the walk short.
What to see in Salamanca in an afternoon
- La Plaza Mayor
- La Iglesia de San Martín
- La Plaza del Corrillo
- La Casa de las Conchas
- La Clerecía / Scala Coeli
- La Universidad de Salamanca: fachada, el Patio Escuelas, Escuelas Menores, el Cielo de Salamanca
- La Casa-museo Unamuno
- La Catedral Nueva y la Catedral Vieja. Ieronimus
- El astronauta y otros «compañeros»
- La Plaza de Anaya y el Palacio de Anaya
- El Patio Chico
- La Casa Lis
- El Huerto de Calixto y Melibea
- El Puente Romano: la estatua del Lazarillo y el Ciego y el Verraco
- La Cueva de Salamanca
- El Convento de San Esteban (Dominicos)
- El Convento de las Dueñas (Dominicas)
- El Palacio de la Salina
La Plaza Mayor
A good starting point is the Plaza Mayor, considered one of the most beautiful squares in Spain and the heart of Salamanca.
Enjoy the atmosphere of the Plaza Mayor, you can do a 360º from the centre to see it in detail, you can walk through the arcades and have a coffee in the Novelty with Torrente Ballester (the famous statue with which you can take a selfie), see the medallions, the arches… if you want to know much more about the Plaza Mayor and curiosities you can click here (spanish content).
Leave the Plaza Mayor through the arch of the Plaza del Corrillo, a beautiful corner where you will see the church of San Martín and in the Plaza del Corrillo itself, and you will come across the sculpture of the Salamancan poet Remigio González Martín. Continue towards the famous street La Rúa, Rúa Mayor, one of the most touristic streets of Salamanca with the view of the Cathedral in the background.
Strolling along the Rúa you will come across many tourist souvenir shops, as well as bars, restaurants… and you can have a tasty ham sandwich (if you need to change coins, you have Global Exchange at the beginning of the street).
The Casa de las Conchas y the Clerecía
As we walk along the Rúa we get closer to the Cathedrals that we can see in the background, but first we will find, on the right, the Casa de las Conchas and in front of it the Clerecía, where the current Pontifical University of Salamanca is located.
It is highly recommended to visit the interior of the Casa de las Conchas (nowadays it is a public library in Salamanca and hosts exhibitions) to visit the courtyard, the well, climb the stairs to the first floor and enjoy the views of the Clerecía, it is free. If you have time and feel like it, you can go up the Clerecía Towers «Scala Coeli«, built for the desire to be as close as possible to the sky. Being 61 metres high, it is one of the highest places in the city where you can enjoy the best views.
Find out more information, curiosities and legends about the Casa de las Conchas (spanish content) and the Clerecía-Scala Coeli, its opening hours, prices (spanish content)…
Did you know that this is the «corner of the three pussies» (spanish content)? Guess why?
The University of Salamanca
After these visits we can return to the Rúa and continue to the Cathedrals. On the way here, we can have a delicious croissant in the croissantería París, with many types of filled croissants. Or we can go along the Rúa Antigua to Libreros street, a street with a special charm that will take us to the impressive façade of the University.
The University of Salamanca is the oldest active university in Spain (1218) –it recently celebrated its eighth centenary– and one of the oldest in Europe. It is typical to look for the frog on top of the skull on the façade to get lucky, pass your exams or get married, depending on the legend you have been told.
As you look at the façade you find yourself in the Patio de Escuelas, along with the statue of Fray Luis de León, a very important figure in the history of the university. At the end of the Patio de Escuelas, on the left, we find the access to the patio de Escuelas Menores, beautiful, you can’t miss it and in one of the doors under the arcades you can visit «El cielo de Salamanca» by Fernando Gallego.
Find out more information about the University of Salamanca, curiosities, opening hours, prices (spanish content)…
We continue along Calle Libreros and next to the façade of the University we find the Miguel de Unamuno House-Museum, where the professor and rector of the University of Salamanca lived between 1900 and 1914. If you feel like it and the timetable fits with your walk, you can visit the house-museum. More information about the Miguel de Unamuno House-Museum: opening hours, prices (spanish content)…
We continue along Calle Libreros and immediately turn left into Calle Calderón de la Barca from where we can see the imposing tower of the Cathedral and one of the most emblematic gates. In front of the door and the tower of the Cathedral, on the left we find the Plaza de Anaya (spanish content) from where we can contemplate on one side the Palacio de Anaya (currently the Faculty of Philology of the USAL) next to the church of San Sebastián and in front of it the spectacular Catedral Nueva (New Cathedral). On its door (Puerta de Ramos) we can look for the astronaut (carved in stone in 1992 during a refurbishment), angels and demons, a bull, a lynx, a dragon smiling with a three-ball ice cream, a crab, a stork and a hare also known as the «lucky rabbit».
If you want more information, curiosities, opening hours, prices about the New Cathedral (spanish content) and the Old Cathedral (spanish content).
Facing the Puerta de Ramos, while looking for the astronaut, we can continue to the left along the Cathedrals until we reach the Patio Chico but we can also go to the right to retrace our steps to the Plaza Juan XXIII to contemplate the height of Ieronimus: The towers of the Cathedral of Salamanca (spanish content) and if we fit in with the timetable we can climb 110 m to contemplate the city from above and have another view of the Cathedrals.
La Casa Lis
We continue down Tentenecio street and turn left into Gibraltar street, we will find the Casa Lis, currently the Art Nouveau and Art Deco Museum (spanish content), a highly recommended visit. Later we will see the facade with the stained glass windows from another place. Continuing along the street we will reach the Patio Chico, the place where the two cathedrals meet, on the south façade of the New Cathedral: a corner with beautiful views.
El Huerto de Calixto y Melibea
From the Patio Chico, following Calle Arcediano to the end, we reach the Huerto de Calixto y Melibea (spanish content). This garden is named after the protagonists of the novel «The Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea» by Fernando de Rojas, also known as «La Celestina». We can stroll through the orchard, from which we have wonderful views of the Cathedral and the banks of the Tormes. We can also see the Wall of Salamanca.
We retrace our steps: Calle Arcediano, Calle Gibraltar where we saw the entrance to the Casa Lis, Calle Tentenecio and here we head downwards. On the right we would go to the Roman Bridge, our next objective, but we will take the left path to contemplate the stained glass windows of the façade of the Casa Lis from below. Nearby is the Museum of Automotive History of Salamanca, which we can visit if not on this walk at another time.
El Puente Romano
Walk along the Paseo de San Gregorio towards the Roman Bridge (leaving the Paseo del Rector Esperabé behind) and in a few meters you will arrive. First, we will find the Lazarillo de Tormes and the blind man and a little further on the Verraco. We can walk along the Roman Bridge and reach the other bank to contemplate the views of the Cathedral, a typical photo of Salamanca. On this bank, very close by, we can hire a boat to row along the Tormes, but on this occasion we will retrace our steps to continue the walk. More information about the Roman Bridge (spanish content).
As a tip
We return along the Paseo de San Gregorio and the Paseo del Rector Esperabé until we reach the Calle San Pablo, taking it upwards. At the beginning we find the sculpture dedicated to the poet José Ledesma and in front of it the ruins of the church of San Polo, next to the hotel San Polo. We soon pass El Laurel, a vegetarian restaurant, highly recommended.
A little further up, on the left hand side, we can see the Cueva de Salamanca. Further up, on the right hand side, we have the convent of San Esteban (Los Dominicos) and the convent of Las Dueñas (Las Dominicas) (spanish content), come and see them, don’t miss them.
Continuing along San Pablo street, on the left hand side, we have the Palacio de la Salina (spanish content).
And finally we will arrive again at the Plaza Mayor, this time we will enter through the arch of the Plaza del Poeta Iglesias where you will see the monument to Alberto Churriguera and Count Francos. The archway leading to the square is perfect for a photo.
Don’t forget to treat yourself after the walk and have some tapas or pinchos, there are many places, and the one you choose is sure to be just right.
Salamanca is a city full of history and culture and has a large number of tourist sites and monuments that you should not miss.
Don’t hesitate to spend an afternoon in this beautiful city!
This page was last updated on 7 February 2023.
Timetables and prices may have undergone some modification, we recommend you to check the official information when your visit is near. Salamancalia is not responsible for any changes in the timetables and prices shown here.
Original photos by Salamancalia.