Matthew’s article this week concentrates on moving to Salamanca, Spain’s university city.
Moving to Salamanca: the Cambridge of Spain
Spain doesn’t get much more olde-worlde than Castile and León. And Salamanca is one of this autonomous community’s major cities, as well as being its premier seat of learning boasting the oldest university in the whole of Spain. 25,000 foreigners visit each year to learn Spanish and it’s a fantastic metropolis to immerse yourself in the Castilian way of life.
In Andalucia, you’re guaranteed a welcome as warm as the sun which toasts the area for most of the year. Up in Castile and León, the more conservative populace can occasionally be as frosty as the climate. Oh, and you can forget about a Canarian-style wardrobe of T-shirts, shorts, and flip flops.
Ins and outs
Via the A-50, it’s around a 15-minute drive from Salamanca airport to city. However, this gateway to Salamanca is only really handy if you’re travelling to and from Palma de Mallorca. Far better to fly in and out of Madrid, two hours away in the south east.
Salamanca attracts plenty of international students. Unfortunately for British parents based there, they are almost exclusively there on a short-term basis to learn Spanish, with the exception of the bilingual Colegio Calasanz, a religious school in the heart of the city which almost admits boarders.
Shop until you drop…
The Luís Mendez gallery has been making exquisite artisan jewellery since 1928 and their shop is a useful stop-off point if you want to adorn yourself like a Castilian, Spaniards who like to wear their wealth stylishly rather than ostentatiously. If you like to decorate your house in similiar fashion, check out arty-farty Enmarcaciones Chordi in Plaza de las Agustinas. CC El Tormes is the city’s best shopping centre with 100 outlets arranged over two floors.
Property in Salamanca
Salamanca follows the Spanish metropolitan template of its residents preferring to live in flats over houses. Look outside the city if you’re after land to go with your pile.
Modern apartments can go for as low as 40,000€ with villas starting at three times that figure.
In Praise Of
“Salamanca is a picturesque city with an abundance of breathtaking historical buildings and monuments. It is a university city, so it is always very lively and the cañas and pinchos are great quality and very reasonably priced! The city is based around its stunning Plaza Mayor which is phenomenal both in terms of its architecture and its bustling, convivial atmosphere. What’s more, it is a very manageable city -everywhere is walkable, and although the public transport system is very regular and dependable, nothing beats strolling around the beautiful streets and square ice cream in hand on a hot summer’s afternoon.” Katherine Voyce (Escuela Kilkenny)
- Are you an expat living in Salamanca? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know below.
Matthew Hirtes, our resident broadsheet journalist, moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He’s travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert.