Halfway between Porto and Madrid lies Salamanca, the home of the oldest university in Spain, a gorgeous cathedral and the best Ice-cream I have ever had!
Halfway between Porto and Madrid lies Salamanca, the home of the oldest university in Spain, a gorgeous cathedral and the best Ice-cream I have ever had! Salamanca is a gorgeous Renaissance town, consisting of old sandstone buildings that are a beautiful golden colour, however a lot of the buildings look the same so it can get a little disorientating, especially if you aren’t carrying a map. However there are signs and at some point you will find yourself staring up at the amazing Cathedral or Cathedrals, as there is actually two cathedrals, the old and the new, built side by side. Entry into the Cathedrals is €4 for a student, €4.75 adult and it includes an audio guide that directs you around the Cathedral. If you want to get through the entirety of the audio make sure you have plenty of time. The guide was really interesting, discussing the history of the region, the cathedral and the people buried in it. However it is very long and I have to admit I stopped listening at number 16 (there are about 35 stations, possibly more), but it is definitely worth a look.
Most towns in Spain have a main square often called the Plaza Mayor, and Salamanca is no different. The large square is the centre of tourism, with streets branching off leading to shopping districts, lots of restaurants, the university and the Cathedrals. The best Ice-cream (in my opinion) can be found here, from a shop on the north side of the Plaza called Helados del Novelty. One scoop costs €2, I had the Ferraro flavoured which tasted exactly like Ferrero Rocher and was absolutely delicious! If you only have time to do one thing in Salamanca, then this should be it, unless you are lactose intolerant or just don’t like ice-cream.
Now I only had a few hours to enjoy Salamanca and most of that time was spent in the Cathedral but there are other things to do like eat at one of the many restaurants and tapas bars around the Plaza Mayor and surrounding streets or on Van Dyck street north of the city centre (this is apparently better quality and cheaper and is where the locals go), you can visit the Dominican monastery “Convento de San Esteban”, you can also rent a canoe or paddle boat and paddle up and down the Tormes River. There are plenty of things to do here if you are staying a day or two or if you are lucky enough to be studying at the university.
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