Do you have no plans for the weekend in Salamanca but still want to go on a mini-day trip nearby? I often found myself in a situation where I didn’t have any big plans but still wanted to explore the nearby regions. While I did plan some long trips around Spain and Europe throughout my time in Salamanca, some of my best memories are from short-day trips from Salamanca! Let me share a few of my top recommendations that are manageable for a day trip.
- Segovia (1hr 11min train): One of our orientation trips was to Segovia, so I had the opportunity to visit this beautiful city. The ancient Roman aqueduct is magnificent, and the Alcazar is such a majestic palace that allowed me to get lost in time in this city! I have a separate blog post about my trip to Segovia with the IES Abroad staff, so check it out for more details about what to do here.
- Ávila (1hr 5min train): One weekend, I didn’t have any plans, so I made very last-minute plans to visit Ávila. Honestly, I didn’t have much expectations for this trip because I didn’t know much about Ávila. Once I arrived, I was mesmerized by the massive medieval walls that surrounded the ENTIRE city center. I couldn’t believe these perfectly intact walls were built between the 11th and 14th centuries and still stand today. I got the ÁvilaCard (15€) which gave me access to 4 different sites/museums/cathedrals around the entire city, and it was beyond worth it. I really recommend this city!
- Toledo (30min train from Madrid): I was recommended to visit Toledo, and it was one of my best decisions. As I walked up the hill from the train station and the view of the city center appeared, I was shocked by the beauty of the Alcazar on the cliff. I was welcomed by the beautiful Christmas decorations and magnificent architecture. I didn’t get the Toledo bracelet (12€), but if you are interested in multiple included sites, I would recommend it. I only saw the El Greco museum (free with student ID) and the monastery (student discount) because I was distracted by the natural beauty of the city. Still, I recommend exploring more of the beautiful architecture of the city.
- El Escorial (1hr 54min train): If you are interested in majestic palaces from the Spanish Empire, El Escorial is a must-visit location. Located right outside of Madrid, this city boasts the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, built by Philip II in the 16th century. While this palace is now a monastery, I would 100% recommend it if you want to get lost in the royal history of the Hapsburgs and Bourbons, who ruled the Spanish Empire in the past. In addition, this city is also known for its tasty churros with chocolate, so don’t miss out on this opportunity!
The cities above were some of my personal favorites, but I also have some other recommendations from other students who studied abroad in Salamanca.
- Ciudad Rodrigo (1hr bus): This city is near the Portuguese border, and you can get lost in the beautiful Gothic and Romanesque architecture of the city!
- La Alberca: This small city boasts its beautiful architecture and streets, and many people have recommended it to me for a day trip!
I hope you can get some inspiration from my recommendations and ¡buen viaje!
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Hi! I am a junior studying Education Studies and Psychology on the pre-health track at Amherst College. In my free time, I love to paint scenery, go on long walks, and sing my heart out to my favorite pop songs.