Where to live in Salamanca? Best Neighborhoods in Salamanca
The Old City or Historic Center, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, is definitely the most lively district of Salamanca. Home to the majority of the city’s top attractions like the Old and New Cathedrals and with a medieval glory deriving from its architecture and narrow, cobblestone streets, Centro is a favoured neighborhood by all types of visitors. Plaza Mayor, a large public square that was used as a bullfighting arena, dominates this area and offers alternative ways of dining, such as al fresco restaurants serving traditional tapas, as well as entertainment, such as open-air concerts and cultural events. Alongside commercial shops of all kinds, it is here that you’ll also find the Champion megamarket of Calle de Toro, and the famous Mercado Central, a colourful market selling a variety of local products and handicrafts. As for history enthusiasts, a walk around the main square will soothe your appetite with 18th-century baroque-style facades like that of the Grand City Hall (Ayuntamiento) with its ornate clock tower. The list goes on with more important landmarks circling Plaza Mayor including the Casa de las Conchas, the Roman Bridge or the Garden of Calixto and Melibea (monument to La Celestina).
The University district is a vibrant part of the city with more than 35.000 international students per year. As you can guess, here is where Salamanca’s prominent university, one of the oldest and most important in Europe, is located. Established around the 13th century it is known for its prototype architecture and unique carvings. Cobblestone alleys and narrow streets house oldschool bookstores and cute cafes, creating a very Harry Potter – like atmosphere! While in the neighborhood you should pay a visit at the University’s museum inside the Escuelas Menores, where you’ll come across the spectacular Sky Fresco of Salamanca. You can also enjoy breathtaking views of the river and relax before a wild night. Student packed as it is, you should expect to find a wide range of dance clubs and entertainment venues to spend your night in Universidad.
BARRIO DEL OESTE
With futuristic urban art, displayed on its buildings and streets, and an artsy – bohemian atmosphere, Barrio del Oeste holds the title of Salamanca’s artistic neighborhood. Monochromatic forests, watercolor animals and geometrical shapes are some of the paintings decorating its walls and avenues. It is here where local painter Zacarías González’s former home is located, that has now been transformed into a gallery dedicated to his work, under the name Casa-Museo. During the daytime enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the many bistros of the cosmopolitan Plaza del Oeste, the district’s main square. If you’re craving something tasty and budget-friendly grab a bite at a traditional tapas place or head for american classics around the area. For your nighttime adventures just follow the student crowds on their way to the best live-music bars and clubs.
BARRIO PIZARRALES - BARRIO GARRIDO
A little south of the center lies Fontana, a peaceful neighbourhood positioned on Tormes’ river northern bank. What defines Fontana is without a doubt the breathtaking architecture visible on everything from old houses to public buildings. Here you can find an abundance of language schools, as well as a few of the city’s top museums including the Museum of Automotive History. There you can learn all about the evolution of cars and discover an exclusive collection displaying more than 100 vehicles of all shapes and sizes.
For those of you who wonder how to spend a Sunday in Salamanca, we only have one word: Carmelitas. Head to this lovely neighborhood and blend in with the locals, looking for a break from the busy, student-filled, city center. Carmelitas is mostly known for El Rastro, its weekly flea market, where you can hunt for second hand and vintage treasures. You’ll most likely spend the whole morning there, so we recommend rewarding yourself for your rare finds with a pleasant stroll around the area. Verdant parks and picturesque streets will make the way back more enjoyable.