Salamanca is a city full of history and culture. It has many monuments and must-see sights that you should not miss. If you have the opportunity to visit Salamanca, do not hesitate to take a walk as it is the perfect way to get to know its main tourist attractions or plan your visit at your leisure so as not to miss anything.
Below, we recommend a great selection of monuments and essential tourist attractions in Salamanca, their locations, opening hours, prices and tips:
- La iglesia de San Marcos
- La Plaza Mayor
- La Casa de las Conchas
- La Clerecía (Scala Coeli)
- Calle de la Compañía
- La Universidad de Salamanca
- La Casa-Museo Miguel de Unamuno
- La Catedral Nueva y la Catedral Vieja
- La Casa Lis
- El Huerto de Calixto y Melibea
- El Puente Romano de Salamanca
Iglesia de San Marcos
You can start at Puerta Zamora, where you will see the church of San Marcos (spanish content), a circular Romanesque church at the beginning of Calle Zamora. It is a shopping street (don’t spend too much time shopping if you want to make the most of your day in Salamanca) which ends at the Plaza Mayor. When you get almost to the end, at the Plaza de los Bandos, it is divided, continuing along Calle Zamora on the left and Calle Concejo on the right. It doesn’t matter which one you continue along, as they both lead to the arches that give access to the Plaza Mayor.
When you enter the Plaza Mayor (one of the most beautiful squares in Spain, considered the heart of Salamanca) you can enjoy the atmosphere. We recommend you:
- Stroll through the arcades, look at the medallions, the arches…
- Sit on the granite benches or take a 360º view from the center to see it from a wide angle.
- Take a selfie with the façade of the town hall.
- Have a coffee or an ice cream in the well-known café Novelty (spanish content) with Torrente Ballester (the famous statue with which you can take a selfie) or on any terrace inside of the Square.
- You can also visit the tourist office if you want more tourist information.
Some say it is «the Plaza Mayor of the world».
You can leave the Plaza Mayor through any of the arches and get lost in Salamanca, you will always find interesting places, but we recommend two options:
- Exit through the arch of the Plaza del Poeta Iglesias (this arch is perfect for taking a photo with the Plaza in the background) where you will see the monument to Alberto Churriguera and Count Francos. And right next to it is the Mercado Central, or Mercado de Abastos, with fresh products and a very nice glass windows. In the Plaza del Mercado, next to Calle Pozo Amarillo, you will find the statue monument to the Turroneras de la Alberca with which you can have your photo taken.
- Exit through the archway of the Plaza del Corrillo, a pretty corner where you will see the church of San Martín and in the Plaza del Corrillo itself you will come across the sculpture of the Salamancan poet Remigio González Martín. At this point you can take Calle Meléndez (on the right), a charming street that ends at La Clerecía and the Casa de las Conchas. Or you can also take the famous Calle La Rúa, Rúa Mayor (the one on the left), one of the most touristic streets in Salamanca with the view of the Cathedral in the background.
In the Rúa you will find many souvenir shops, tourist souvenirs, typical products of Salamanca, as well as bars, restaurants, food shops… you can have a delicious ham sandwich or a piece of hornazo to get more energy. In these shops you will quickly find the University’s frog . Look at the charro button, you have earrings, rings, key rings… it’s a great option for a gift.
La Casa de las Conchas
Walking along the Rúa we approach the Cathedrals that we see in the background but before we get there, on the right, we can see the Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells).
The façade has more than 300 pilgrim shells. You can see reliefs of various coats of arms and coats of arms of noble families: Pimentel and Maldonado. One of the legends tells that under a shell is hidden a map with directions to find a valuable treasure. That is why some of them are broken. Another legend says that there are jewels of the former owners hidden under a shell.
Apart from the exterior, visit the interior, nowadays it is a public library of Salamanca and hosts exhibitions, it is free of charge. You can visit the courtyard, the well, climb the stairs to the first floor and enjoy the views of the Clerecía, from here you have some nice pictures. If you feel like it, visit the exhibition of the moment. There are also events, if you are interested you can sign up if the time suits you.
La Clerecía (Scala Coeli)
In front of the Casa de las Conchas is the Clerecía, where the current Universidad Pontificia of Salamanca is located.
One of the best views of the city can be found at the Clerecía Towers «Scala Coeli», built to be as close as possible to the sky, at 61 metres high, one of the highest places in the city. For just over 3€ it is an experience not to be missed.
Curiosity: Did you know that this is the «corner of the three pussies»? Guess why? (spanish content).
Calle de la Compañía
You can walk down Calle de la Compañía and at the end you will find the Palacio de Monterrey and opposite it the cloistered convent of the Augustinian nuns and the church of La Purísima. Go back up Calle Compañía and enjoy the views; you will be able to see La Clerecía and the Casa de las Conchas in the background. This beautiful street is especially recommended at night.
Once we return to the beginning of Calle de la Compañía, at the Casa de las Conchas and the Clerecía, we can take two routes:
- Go to the Rúa Mayor and continue to the Cathedrals, and on the way we can have a delicious croissant at the croissantería París.
- Or we can go along the Rúa Antigua to the charming Libreros street, which will take us to the impressive façade of the University.
La Universidad de Salamanca
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.
Among the many things you can do here, we recommend the following:
- Enjoy the spectacular façade. Look for the frog on top of the skull for luck, to pass your exams or get married, depending on the legend you know.
- Enter to see the cloister, the most important classrooms, the chapel, go up the staircase from the kitchen to the upper floor, see the historical general library… Click here to see the prices and opening times (spanish content).
- While you look at the façade you find yourself in the Patio de Escuelas. Next to it, we can see the statue of Fray Luis de León, a very important figure in the university’s history. He was condemned by the inquisition in the 16th century and spent 4 years in prison for translating passages from the bible into Spanish. On leaving, he began his lecture with the famous «as we said yesterday».
- At the end of the Patio de Escuelas, on the left, we find the access to the beautiful Patio de Escuelas Menores, which you can’t miss. There is free entrance.
- In one of the doors under the arcades of the courtyard of Escuelas Menores you can visit «El cielo de Salamanca» by Fernando Gallego.
La Casa-Museo Miguel de Unamuno
Moving along Calle Libreros, 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 are interested, you can visit it. More information about the Miguel de Unamuno House-Museum: opening hours, prices… (spanish content).
Continuing along Calle Libreros, we immediately come to Calle Calderón de la Barca on the left, at this point we can:
- Continue along Libreros Street forward, and you will come across several streets with bars and cafes frequented by university students from the nearby Science campus; as well as the Santa María de los Ángeles library, or commonly known as Libreros library.
- Turn into Calderón de la Barca street from where we will see the imposing tower of the Cathedral and one of the most emblematic gates.
La Catedral Nueva y la Catedral Vieja
We will stand in front of the door and tower of the Cathedral to enjoy the views. If we arrive on Calderón de la Barca street, we will find the Plaza de Anaya on the left.
If we arrive from the Rúa then our views will be of the imposing Catedral Nueva and the Plaza de Anaya.
The atmosphere of the Plaza de Anaya is unique and from here we can contemplate on one side the Palacio de Anaya (nowadays the Faculty of Philology of the USAL) next to the church of San Sebastián and in front of it the spectacular Catedral Nueva, in whose door (the Puerta de Ramos) we can look:
- The famous astronaut (carved in stone in 1992 during a reform)
- Angels and demons
- A bull
- A lynx
- A smiling dragon with a three-ball ice cream
- A crab
- A stork
- A hare also known as the «lucky rabbit»
In front of the Puerta de Ramos, while looking for the astronaut, we can continue to the left along the Cathedrals until we reach the Patio Chico; the place where the two cathedrals meet, on the south façade of the New Cathedral. This is a corner with a beautiful view. But we can also go to the right to the Plaza Juan XXIII to contemplate the height of Ieronimus: The towers of the Cathedral of Salamanca (spanish content), and climb the 110 meters to contemplate the city from the heights and have another view of the Cathedrals. It costs 4€.
More detailed information:
- Curiosities, timetables, prices about the New Cathedral (spanish content).
- Curiosities, opening hours and prices of the Old Cathedral (spanish content).
- Access, opening times, prices and buy tickets for Ieronimus (spanish content).
- Don’t miss the Patio Chico, it’s very close and the views are worth it. From there you can quickly get to the Huerto de Calixto y Melibea (spanish content) and the Casa Lis (spanish content).
- From the Plaza de Anaya you can catch the tourist train to see the old town in half an hour. The train stopped running during the pandemic, but it will be back soon and will probably extend its route to include other parts of the city.
Free tours? There are special occasions when you can visit Salamanca’s monuments and museums free of charge, for example, on World Tourism Day, 27 September, with open days, guided visits to archaeological sites and nature walks. Also on International Museum Day (18 May) and Museum Night (21 May).
La Casa Lis
The Casa Lis, a small palace built by Miguel de Lis, a tannery industrialist at the beginning of the 20th century, currently houses the Art Nouveau and Art Deco Museum, an essential visit.
Apart from the exhibition you will find when you visit it, it also has a permanent exhibition: a large collection of porcelain dolls. Enjoy its beautiful stained-glass windows, both from inside and outside when you finish your visit (you can stand from the Automotive Museum to see the stained-glass windows from the street).
Spend a pleasant time in the cafeteria after visiting the museum –where photography is forbidden, but not in the cafeteria. Concerts are held on the terrace in summer.
More information about the Casa Lis, opening hours, prices, curiosities… (spanish content). Did you know that on Thursday mornings, from 11:00 to 14:00, admission is free?
- If you haven’t arrived at the Casa Lis through Tentenecio Street, stop by to see it, it’s next door, with the Old Cathedral at the end, and if you’re curious, look for the reason for the name Tentenecio.
El Huerto de Calixto y Melibea
These gardens are named after the main characters of the novel «La Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea» by Fernando de Rojas, also known as «La Celestina». We can walk through the orchard, from which we have a wonderful view of the Cathedral and the banks of the Tormes. We can also see the Wall of Salamanca.
Admission is free, but check the opening hours as it closes at night. More information about the Huerto de Calixto y Melibea here: curiosities, photos, videos… (spanish content).
El Puente Romano de Salamanca
It dates from the 1st century (89 AD). It was the gateway to the ancient city. It formed part of the Calzada de la Plata, which linked Mérida with Astorga. It is one of the best preserved of the Silver Route.
We will find the Lazarillo de Tormes and the blind man and a little further on the Verraco.
Walk over the Roman Bridge, almost 360 metres, and we will reach the other bank to contemplate the views of the Cathedral, a typical photo of Salamanca. On this bank, very close by, you can hire a boat at the jetty to row along the Tormes.
Did you know that until 1973 it supported road traffic?
Location, curiosities, photos… of the Roman Bridge (spanish content). It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, totally free of charge.
Plan your day with the places you are most interested in, check the timetables and reserve time for lunch or tapas, Salamanca’s gastronomy is another monument.
This page has been updated on 7 February 2023.
Timetables and prices may have undergone some changes, we recommend you to check the official information when your visit is near. Salamancalia is not responsible for possible changes in the timetables and prices shown here.
Original photos of Salamancalia.