Nightlife in Salamanca, Spain
Salamanca: Rich in history and full of life
Salamanca is small city located about an hour and a half Northwest of Madrid in the Castile and Leon region of Spain. Local population typically rests around 150,000, but experiences a large jump in revelers whenever school is in session. Why? It's because Salamanca is home to one of the oldest Universities in the world, founded in the year 1218. Joining the pool of alumnus are great figures in history such as Miguel de Cervantes and Hernan Cortes. Our friend Christopher Columbus was even at Salamanca University to lecture about his world explorations. Along with the University of Oxford, Bologna, and Paris, the University of Salamanca is considered one of four "leading lights" in academia. With such rich culture and deep roots in the history of academics, it makes sense why this town still thrives off the young and eager to learn.
The Nightlife in Salamanca
The incredibly diversified student body and charming architecture around Salamanca make it an ideal place to live, study abroad or visit while traveling. Many will vouch for the nightlife scene in Salamanca as the best in all of Spain. While it doesn't compare to places like Barcelona or Ibiza with their posh British-influenced discos and 30 Euro cocktails, it doesn't care. When the sun sets behind the Plaza Mayor in the city center, a different kind of buzz begins to roll in, and it only intensifies until the next morning. The nightlife in Salamanca is not a weekend affair, but instead every night of the week. Between the high influx of friendly international students, cheap drinks and good music, Salamanca is the place for anyone who's not afraid to watch the sunrise in last nights attire.
I spent a good part of my freshman year of college in Salamanca, having more discussions with bar owners at 5am than with any professor. After roaming these beloved streets after dark for quite some time, I feel personally obligated to share my best of the best when it comes to the nightlife in Salamanca.
Calle de Monroy, 8
Do not enter this place before 3AM because it will be empty inside. There will usually be a cover charge, and there is a dress code (nice shoes and collar for guys). Black lights and a glowing blue neon floor are good for disguising your horrible dance moves but not for the stain on your shirt. On the weekends, this place turns into, well, a circus.
Gran Vía, 93
If you are a starving student, a broke backpacker or just a sorry bloke with no money looking to get drunk…this is your bar. Nightly drink specials like 3Euro all-you-can-drink sangria, beer, or wine from midnight to 3AM (sometimes free for ladies). Medievo goes all out for holidays and other themed parties like 80's night. Swedes, Columbians, Nigerians, Aussies, Brits, Yanks etc., you will find every citizen of the world in here.
Calle Rúa Antigua
This old theatre turned restaurant/nightclub is another place typically reserved for dancing. After 3AM, the stage up front, as well as an upstairs balcony will be packed with people. These people here, like everywhere you go in Salamanca, are fun.
Plaza de Monterrey
Literally translated, it's name means "The Shot Store". Literally, that is all they serve. Shots range in price from 1Euro to 4Euro for specialty shots. A small U-shaped metallic bar and a few stools makes for not much breathing-room on crowded nights. It's an ideal stop-off to drink a few chupitos and move onto a club.
Calle Iscar Peyra, 22
Easily my favorite bar that I've ever been to on the planet Earth. Not because of the weak Michael Jackson themed motif (entailing one photo of M.J. from the 80's and one drink named after him), but because they serve 1liter cocktails and beers, all less than 5Euro. It's small, very small, but like most bars in Spain, overflows into the street. With the Spaniards pouring their cocktails at an 80-20 alcohol to mixer ratio, 1liter for 2.70 Euro at Jacko's goes a long way.
Calle del Prior, 7
One of the more popular spots in Salamanca. So popular that you should be ready to stand in line. For me, this means using the bathroom first and having a jug of calimocho to pass around while you wait. The dance floor inside resembles the famous Plaza Mayor outside, which is really quite brilliant!
Salamanca city center
There you have it, the best of the best of Salamanca nightlife. The truth is folks, even if you never make inside an actual bar, you will still have a great time. Sitting cross-legged in the plaza drinking wine, joining a botellón in some back alley, singing songs in the street with locals and foreigners alike, this is the nightlife in Salamanca. While it may appear that I'm promoting a lifestyle in Salamanca that encourages going out until 6AM during the week, drinking far too many drinks, and dancing the night away to good music, I am. The rest of the student population in Salamanca would do the same. As the once great explorer, 'founder of America' and Salamanca city dweller Christopher Columbus once said, "if you're not boozing, you're loosing."
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