Here we come to the next part of my journey: 3 days in Salamanca. Salamanca is not as popular as the Andalusian cities, and I included it to my list because I considered its university for the lessons of Spanish. I had been looking for a place where I could study Spanish, and Salamanca university courses seemed to be perfect. I decided to visit Salamanca first to decide if I would find it interesting enough to spend there a couple of months. Well, while I liked it as a tourist, I could not imagine myself living there, so I just abandoned this idea. In no way does it mean that Salamanca is not a nice city, it is just not my place. I would prefer something noisier and more popular like Barcelona 🙂 And I admit that the weather was one of the factors that influenced my perception.
I left Seville in the early morning. ALSA buses depart from the Plaza de Armas bus station (different one from Los Amarillos). Oh, the station deserves some words. When I came there, there was in a kind of chaos: the electronic display was not functioning, the machines where passengers could check the status of the journey and the platform were useless, the lady who was working in the information desk, opened a writing-book to check for my platform, when I asked her. Obviously, they had a computer network malfunction, and everything was really disorganized. Well, it ended up well; I found my bus and arrived safely to Salamanca 🙂
How to get to Salamanca from Seville
The distance between Seville and Salamanca is very long, so I was considering buying a train ticket. When I checked the RENFE website, a ticket cost more than 60 EUR and the ride takes more than 6 hours. So I turned to my beloved ALSA bus company. I paid about 19 EUR for the ticket in a comfortable bus with Wi-Fi connection, and it took about 6 hours to get to Salamanca from Seville. As always, I bought my ticket much in advance and had it printed.
My bus had about 6 stops on the way, usually it were short ones, but there was one long stop where all passengers were asked to leave the bus. Just imagine my confusion: people going out and me, understanding nothing because of my rusty Spanish 🙂 We spent more than 20 minutes there, and got a new driver 🙂
Where to stay in Salamanca
I’ve got a place to stay in Salamanca that I can wholeheartedly recommend: it is Hostal Escala Luna. Why I chose it? For 80 EUR for 3 nights I got a single room with one queen size bed and private bathroom. When I compare this price to the other hostels and hotels I stayed at in Spain, it seems very reasonable.
What I liked about the hotel:
– It is in the center, everything was within walking distance, there was no need for public transportation
– The staff is very friendly, though not all of them spoke English
– My room was of purple colour! It is my favorite colour 🙂
– The room and bathroom were clean and spacious enough
– Good internet connection
– There was heating in the room, which was just perfect, as it was cold outside
I cannot say that the next thing I mention is what I did not like, because it is not true. It is just a minor flaw: the window of my room faced the inner courtyard, so there was no natural light. But, considering that I spent the whole day outside, it was not a problem.
How to move around Salamanca
Just like in the case of other cities I visited during my solo travel to Spain, Salamanca is totally walkable, especially if you stay in the center. It was less than a kilometer to the farthest place on my list of places to visit in Salamanca from Escala Luna, so, naturally, I did not need buses.
I came to Salamanca’s bus station from Seville, and the distance between the station and my hotel was a bit more than a kilometer, so I chose to walk. If you have luggage, than you can take bus 4 at the Avenida De Los Maristas, but it will take you only to the Archbishop Fonseca College: after that, you will have to walk anyway.
I bought a train ticket to get to Madrid, and the train station of Salamanca is quite far from the touristic area, almost 2 kilometers. I walked it, but you could take bus 1 at Calle Gran Via, and it will take you right to the train station.
What and where to eat in Salamanca
After saving as much as I could and eating only food bought at supermarkets in Seville, I decided to change the strategy for Salamanca, and the main reason was that restaurants were cheaper there.
And I have a place to recommend! During these 3 days in Salamanca, I ate mainly in one restaurant: Corrillo. Situated just in front of Escala Luna, it is not actually a restaurant, more of a pub with beer and tapas. And those tapas are amazing! Try their tortilla, marinated pork cheeks, octopus with potatoes, open sandwiches: everything is yummy!
Well, they offer breakfasts as well, including the traditional one with bread and butter and marmalade, and the English breakfast, and other options.
When it comes to prices, they are very reasonable: a portion of tapa costs 1-1,50 EUR, breakfasts cost about 5-6 EUR.
Another place I liked is a bakery Granier in Calle Zamora 43. There are many selections of baked products like croissants, pies, cakes, muffins. Again, the prices are reasonable: for example, 3 croissants cost 1,50 EUR, 3 chocolate muffins cost 1,80 EUR.
If you crave jamon, there are many shops selling sandwiches. I bought one for 3,50 EUR at Plaza del Corrillo: the place is right at the corner next to Caja Rural bank.
What to buy in Salamanca
In my humble opinion, there is nothing special to buy in Salamanca, but I saw many shops selling jamon, more than in any other city I visited. I guess it would be an excellent opportunity to buy jamon to bring home. Well, just don’t repeat my mistake with turron 🙂
What to see and do in Salamanca
I came to Salamanca to see the university. That’s it, except it, I knew nothing of the city. But seeing these old walls, narrow streets, exceptional cathedrals was totally worth a visit! And don’t forget about the famous Sky of Salamanca.
By the way, this year the University of Salamanca will be 800 years old.
As always, I will write a separate post about places to visit in Salamanca. And just a note: 3 days in Salamanca are definitely enough to see everything worth of interest.
Weather. I was in Salamanca in the end of October, and it was around 18 degrees, probably, even lower, and windy, but sunny. I was totally unprepared for this weather, especially after 30 degrees in Andalusia. I did not have warm clothes with me, so I just had to layer myself with what I had. So, my verdict: you either come earlier than October or have suitable clothes.
Supermarkets. There is a small Carrefour Express next to the Casa de las Conchas on calle Rua Mayor. The central market of Salamanca with fruit, vegetable, meat, fish, and pickles is not far from the Plaza Mayor on the Plaza Mercado. A Dia supermarket is in Calle San Justo, 20.
Pharmacies. Not far from the Dia supermarket there is a pharmacy Farmacia Palomero Gil: it is not a 24/7, but works till 8:30 PM with a break from 2 PM till 4:30 PM. Close to the Plaza Mayor on Plaza del Poeta Iglesias, 21 you can find Farmacia Estella Hoyos.
English. The situation with the language is far from being perfect. Waiters in some restaurants speak English, but ticket sellers in almost all tourist attractions don’t know any of it. The guided tours are mostly in Spanish, and even when I was the only one attending the tour, the guide spoke Spanish simply because she did not know English.
Here are my expenses during the 3 days in Seville:
Bus from Seville to Salamanca – 19,10 EUR
Hostal Escala Luna – 80 EUR
Food (restaurants, supermarket, occasional snacks) – 54 EUR
Entrance fees to touristic sights – 28,50 EUR