Last weekend I checked a city off my Spain Bucket List! My friends Maury, Brittani, and I spontaneously decided to take a trip to Salamanca fairly last minute (we booked our hostel and bus tickets just a couple days beforehand). It has been a city at the top of my list of places I want to see this year for a long time and I finally got to see it! We left Friday afternoon after work and arrived to Salamanca that night.
Salamanca is a university city about two and a half hours from Madrid in the Autonomous Community of Castilla y León. It is home to the oldest university in Spain, which is also one of the oldest in the world. Therefore, this city has a very youthful vibe since a good portion of its population is made up of students. It is also a popular study abroad destination for Americans and other students in the world. I know a handful of people who have studied abroad there.
Fortunately for me and Brittani, Maury studied abroad in Salamanca so she knew where to take us around the city. She found us the most amazing hostel that was INSIDE the Plaza Mayor! The Plaza Mayor is the social center of Salamanca and it is absolutely stunning! It was definitely my favorite place in Salamanca.
During the days, we walked around and admired the beautiful architecture. Most buildings were the same beige color. The whole city has maintained its historic feeling very well, which is what I really liked about it. We also walked around the area where the university is and we even spotted the famous frog figure! On a façade of one of the buildings, there is a huge cluster of different figures. One of these figures is a frog sitting on top of a skull. It is very difficult to find, but it is said that if you can find it, you will have academic success, so students like to try to find it before an exam. Unfortunately Maury had to point it out for me, so it looks like academic success is not in my future If I don’t get into grad school, I’m blaming it on that!!
Since Salamanca is a university city, it is also known to have a really good nightlife. I can vouch for that. Both nights we were there were so much fun! And since there are so many Spanish students, we got to practice our Spanish a lot which was really cool. But unfortunately staying out until 6 in the morning took a big toll on my health. A couple days before leaving for the trip, I felt a little cold coming on and it got progressively worse throughout the trip to the point where I lost my voice on Saturday night and didn’t get it back until the following Thursday. It also didn’t help that it was FREEZING all weekend. So although all these factors would of course lead to poor health, it was so worth it! I had a blast in Salamanca and I definitely want to try to go back at some point this year.