Salamanca is a brief two hour bus-ride from the city of Madrid. The city known as “Golden City” (because of the way it looks when the sun hits it) has much to offer in the way of scenery, history, shopping and nightlife. It is home of the oldest University in Spain, Universidad de Salamanca founded in 1218.
As our bus arrived into the city, my first view was of the spectacular chapel. It appears as if it sits upon a hill, and I couldn’t wait to see it up close. My cousin, who was a student at Universidad de Salamanca, met us at the bus station and we decided to have lunch.
My first view of La Plaza Mujer was one that caused me to stop and catch my breath. This breathtaking town square was built in the 1700’s. Originally it was created for things such as bullfights, and now is host to shops and restaurants. Built in the traditional Spanish baroque style, it features 88 arches and over 200 private residences. There are still numerous events hosted here, and when the sun goes down it is illuminated.
We were happy to spend a couple of hours people watching, while sipping delectable Sangria. As afternoon rolled around, jetlag started to catch up with us and the plaza started to clear out for everyone to go take their siestas. We strolled back to our own hotel room to nap and shower.
Having agreed to meet in the hotel lobby around five, we were dressed and ready for an evening in Salamanca. Our first stop was to meet friends at La Boca Abierta, a café lounge and tapas bar whose name literally translates to “the Open Mouth.” There we met the owners, Sylwia (from Poland) and her life partner Andy (from England).
La Boca Abierta has a mostly Spanish staff, including their chefs. This ensures that your food is authentic Spanish cuisine. They featured local musicians, a lower wine cellar, and a perfect café con leche. There are also numerous photographs on the wall, done by Sylwia and can be purchased for home enjoyment. After being served conversation by Slywia and Andy, as well as the perfect riojo vino and café con leche we went out to explore the city.
Salamanca has a full night life. There are numerous tapas bars to enjoy. Many of the tapas bars offer a pinchos or small appetizer when you order a glass of wine. As we bounced from bar to bar we met new people along the way. Each nightclub was packed with people and various types of music, including one nightclub called Chupito or in English, Shots! Quite obviously, it’s known for its simple cheap shots and is popular among the Universidad de Salamanca students.
We called it an early night around 4am, wanting rest for the next day’s adventures.