Beautiful Salamanca is a well-known stop on many travellers’ itineraries of Spain. However, there are many hidden gems in the city. Amongst the cobbled streets and intricately decorated buildings are many stunning attractions that aren’t featured in the pages of many guidebooks.
While there are many stunning Instagram locations and, of course, the amazing sights such as the twin cathedrals, there is so much more to this beautiful city. It seems like you can barely walk down a street without running into something beautiful and intriguing, whether it be a cute little bakery or a tucked-away chapel.
Plus, everything in Salamanca is cloaked in history, making every hidden gem very romantic and exciting.
Here are some of my favourite hidden gems that I discovered during my recent trip to Salamanca.
Not far from Escuelas de Menoras in a beautiful little chapel, you’ll find Cielo de Salamanca (Salamanca Sky). This is a stunning painted ceiling featuring the zodiac symbols and their accompanying constellations.
The artist behind the stunning painting was Fernando Gallego, and his work is considered one of the best examples of a Spanish Renaissance painting.
The ceiling was painted in the late 15th century, but you’d hardly know it as it’s been so well preserved. There is an almost magical atmosphere as you look up at the sky, while the chapel is also a great place to go to get a break from the warmth on a sunny day.
Interestingly, I found out that the ceiling is actually not in its original position. It was first painted to be a part of the university; however, there was a massive fire in the 1700s. As part of the restorative works, the Salamanca Sky painting was moved to its current location. I can only imagine the work that went into carefully moving the masterpiece to its current home.
As well as the ceiling itself, the surrounding is also absolutely beautiful – particularly the Patio de las Escuelas. Like much of Salamanca, it’s possible to see the influence of all different groups on the architecture, and it has distinctly Islamic as well as Gothic architectural influence.
There’s no better way to enjoy the atmosphere of Salamanca than to sit in a lovely cafe enjoying a coffee and a traditional pastry. Like much of Spain, Salamanca has a beautiful and laidback coffee culture – cafes are a huge part of everyday life in the city!
It’s such a joy to live like a local, sipping a delicious coffee and doing some people watching, either near the major square or perhaps tucked away down one of the little cobblestone streets. Chances are, you’ll be surrounded by locals – whether they be students from the renowned university or perhaps lifelong residents of the city.
It’s a wonderful way just to soak in the atmosphere and perhaps indulge in a spot of people watching!
While I knew that coffee is extremely popular in Salamanca, I was surprised to see just how many amazing bakeries and pastry shops there are in the city. If you have a sweet tooth, you will be spoiled for choice with all the amazing cakes, pastries and desserts.
I tried to sample as many as I could, and two of my favourites were hornazo and (of course) churros. They were both absolutely delicious! Plus, the exterior of the shops are usually very pretty and cute, too – what’s not to love?
Salamanca tourist train
It’s a more unusual way to see the city, but definitely one of the best! I really loved riding the Salamanca tourist train, which takes you to many of the city’s most significant and beautiful sites including the two cathedrals, Salina Palace and much more.
The bright coloured train is unmissable, and you get onboard at Plaza de Anaya. The entire loop takes about half an hour and takes you past all of the major highlights. There’s also an audio tour so you can learn about the history of the city as you loop past the most important sites.
Some highlights include the mesmerising Convent of San Esteban, the two cathedrals and the ancient and historic University of Salamanca.
With so many stunning things to see in Salamanca, it can be challenging to fit them all into your itinerary. That’s what makes the tourist train such a good option – it will take you past all of the highlights, as well as give you some information along the way.
It’s definitely something I highly recommend for your trip to Salamanca.
Huerto de Calixto and Melibea
Sometimes the best things of all are sites you stumble on by accident, which is what happened to me with Huerto de Calixto and Melibea, the beautiful hidden gardens.
Tucked down a dead-end street atop the ancient city walls is the beautiful hidden garden. To find it, you can enter through a discrete old archway, which in itself is very atmospheric.
All of a sudden, I found myself surrounded by unique and colourful flowers. It’s impossible not to love a bright and fragrant garden, and I absolutely loved this hidden gem in Salamanca.
Although the garden dates from the 1980s, it feels much older – perhaps because it was styled on a garden out of a 15th-century romantic novel. The garden certainly has plenty of romance about it, and it’s the perfect place for a stroll either as a pair or on your own.
The peaceful atmosphere of the garden is helped by the fact that there are hardly any other visitors. You really feel like you’ve stumbled upon a well-kept secret!
As you can see, while there are many popular things to do and see in stunning Salamanca, there are also plenty of hidden gems that will allow you to discover a side of Salamanca that is often overlooked by visitors.
If you visit some of these amazing hidden gems in Salamanca, you’re sure to come away with an even deeper appreciation for the beautiful city and all its many charms.
Disclaimer: This post has been created as a part of sponsored collaboration with Spain Tourism Board, but all opinions are 100% mine.